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cruisin
05-18-2012, 05:25 PM
If the recipient of the gift has already been tactless enough to have "no gifts, please" stated with the invitation, is she/he now expected to send a written thank you note for the unwanted gift? Or would not doing so that make him/her a double offender against the "rules of polite society"? Or would his/her feigned warmth and enthusiasm at the time the gift was received be considered to be sufficient? :slinkaway

Actually, I think a thank you note to the people who did not bring gifts would be appropriate. Their thoughtfulness, in respecting their wishes should be acknowledged. :D

maatTheViking
05-18-2012, 05:32 PM
Going for the hat trick, I'm also surprised no one's pointed out it is COMPLETELY RUDE for the intended recipients in any way to suggest they're asking for gifts, expecting gifts, or assume invitees will think bringing a gift is conditional to their invitation. Including writing "no gifts" on the invitation. Technically parents and siblings aren't supposed to host showers, either (and NEVER the bride and groom) because that makes it look like a blatant gift-grab/shakedown by the family.

The people doing the inviting are (ideally and in a civil world) inviting you because they want you to be their guest at a special event. The people who give gifts are doing it because they would like to thank their host and honor their special occassion.

I personally prefer getting straight up answers - including what gifts people want. I think for events where it is reasonalbe to expect gifts - weddings, (kids or big event) birthdays - it is reasonable to state your wishes. Why pretend that people don't give gifts to weddings, when you actually do? that makes no sense to me. I do think you can be tactful about it - friend of mine has a 'wedding website' they referred to for further details, it contained info about the venue, places to stay for out of towners, and a link to the registry, engagement shots and so forth.
I would find it INCREDIBLE annoying if I had to call the couple, or the couple's parents, to ask where they are registered/what charity they prefer I donate to/if they want gifts at all. I don't think it is tacky to assume that people will bring gifts to a wedding, I would find it tacky if people showed up with no gift (except if that is the wish).

taf2002
05-18-2012, 06:07 PM
When my parents had their 50th anniversary, we threw them a huge party & invited over 500 people. Some of the people came from as far as Wisconsin to attend. I think the final count was about 450 people. Now if you had been invited, wouldn't you have expected to buy a gift for an anniversary? Does anyone think my parents needed or wanted hundreds of small gifts? The greatest gift anyone could have given them was to attend. Many people brought cards of congratulations with a personal sentiment about how much they treasured the friendship but even that wasn't necessary.

Anyone who thinks we were rude to say no gifts on the invite can kiss my lily white ass. I think people here have a lot of nerve to criticize other people's customs. You like giving gifts whether the person needs or wants them? Fine....go on ignoring the requests on invitations. That's your call. If your gift ends up being given away or regifted & that makes you happy, so be it. I will never criticize anyone for buying someone a gift out of the kindness of their heart. But I will never understand why some here can't respect someone who thinks differently than you.


As for asking people to write something, eek, that would cause me to hyperventilate! I can't imagine anything more stressful.

It's pretty easy to go into a store & buy a gift. Personalizing a card or letter to the recepient is hard. Receiving a lot of crap you don't need or want is pretty stressful too.

cruisin
05-18-2012, 06:09 PM
My next invitation will read:

Please do not feel required to bring a gift.
However, if that makes you feel uncomfortable, we understand. And will appreciate your thoughtfulness, if you bring a gift.
You should not feel it necessary to bring a traditional gift. If you prefer to donate to a charity, we support XYZ. If you are not comfortable with that charity, please donate to one of your choosing, we will not be offended.
You may give a gift card to a restaurant, we are not vegetarian, so a steakhouse would not be offensive.
Please do not bring flowers, as I am highly allergic. But, if that is what you like to do, I will put them in a room where they do not bother me.
Please feel comfortable doing whatever works for you. We have invited you because we want to share this occasion with you. We want you to enjoy it as much as we do. The giving and receiving of gifts, or lack there of, should not make or break the event or our relationship.

Lastly, if you still want to come, after all of that, we know you really love us :lol:!

skatingfan5
05-18-2012, 06:12 PM
Actually, I think a thank you note to the people who did not bring gifts would be appropriate. Their thoughtfulness, in respecting their wishes should be acknowledged. :DWell, that would have been my actual (if tacky) course of action if ever I were in that situation. :lol: The ones who had brought gifts despite being asked not to might have gotten a group email. :P

Would you be able to fit all your proposed invitation text in a single envelope? Without paying additional postage? :D

cruisin
05-18-2012, 06:17 PM
It's pretty easy to go into a store & buy a gift. Personalizing a card or letter to the recepient is hard. Receiving a lot of crap you don't need or want is pretty stressful too.

Maybe for some people. For others, they don't just go into a store and buy crap. They might buy a picture frame and frame a special photo for the celebrant. They might get a gift card for their favorite restaurant, a play, a book store. You seem to be assuming that everyone who gives a gift does it with no thought. And as far as criticizing people's customs, no gift is not a custom it's a request. And lots of posters here seem quite comfortable criticizing the actual custom of giving gifts of appreciation.


Well, that would have been my actual (if tacky) course of action if ever I were in that situation. :lol: The ones who had brought gifts despite being asked not to might have gotten a group email. :P

Would you be able to fit all your proposed invitation text in a single envelope? Without paying additional postage? :D

:rofl: I don't know, it might cost me big time at the post office. Then I'd need the cash gifts :lol:

taf2002
05-18-2012, 07:36 PM
So if my parents had received hundreds of thoughtful gifts all given with love, which then required my mother to write hundreds of thank you cards, you think that would be the thing to do?

I have no doubt that the attendees at my parents 50th would have been more than happy to buy them a small gift. Most of their friends at that stage of their life could well afford it. But it would have changed the whole party. Just the opening of hundreds of gifts would have taken a huge slice of time, not to mention having to keep track of who gave what so the thank you cards could be personalized. And if they didn't open them there, there would have been people disappointed about that.

I don't understand why the people giving a party can't dictate the terms of the party. Do you ignore it if someone says from 7 to 11pm & show up at 5pm? If someone says casual dress do you show up in black tie? If you're invited to a dinner party, do you show up with a dish & insist it be served?

Aceon6
05-18-2012, 09:33 PM
If you're invited to a dinner party, do you show up with a dish & insist it be served?

Eeeeek. Personal pet peeve. I have a friend who does this and it drives me nuts. She makes the effort to cook something, but can't pick up the phone to coordinate with my menu. Bless her heart.

cruisin
05-18-2012, 09:40 PM
So if my parents had received hundreds of thoughtful gifts all given with love, which then required my mother to write hundreds of thank you cards, you think that would be the thing to do?

so was the reason that you didn't want gifts or that you didn't want to have to write thank you notes?


I have no doubt that the attendees at my parents 50th would have been more than happy to buy them a small gift. Most of their friends at that stage of their life could well afford it. But it would have changed the whole party. Just the opening of hundreds of gifts would have taken a huge slice of time, not to mention having to keep track of who gave what so the thank you cards could be personalized. And if they didn't open them there, there would have been people disappointed about that.

You would not open gifts at an anniversary party. You open them at home. And most gifts probably would have been gift cards. For our party, 4 couples chipped in and bought us tickets for Book of Mormon. We went to a retirement party for a friend, on the invite they requested: Instead of gifts, please contribute to a trip to Italy that we are planning for our father. That was great, our friend had never been to Italy, he wanted to go very much and we all felt great that we could be a part of his ability to go. He was thrilled.


I don't understand why the people giving a party can't dictate the terms of the party. Do you ignore it if someone says from 7 to 11pm & show up at 5pm? If someone says casual dress do you show up in black tie? If you're invited to a dinner party, do you show up with a dish & insist it be served?


No one said the people giving the party can't dictate the terms of the party. And, no one is saying that their wishes should be ignored. But, some of us are saying that it makes us feel uncomfortable to show up empty handed. We will/would go along with the terms of the party, but would feel uncomfortable. And no, if I were invited to a dinner party I would not just show up with a dish. I would ask if I could bring a dish or a desert. If the hostess said no, I would bring wine and chocolates. And the next day I would write a thank you note to my hosts for inviting me to their party and tell them I had a wonderful time.

Habs
05-18-2012, 09:45 PM
We will/would go along with the terms of the party, but would feel uncomfortable. And no, if I were invited to a dinner party I would not just show up with a dish. I would ask if I could bring a dish or a desert. If the hostess said no, I would bring wine and chocolates. And the next day I would write a thank you note to my hosts for inviting me to their party and tell them I had a wonderful time.

Cruisin, feel free to bring your wine and chocolates over to a party at my place! ;)

taf2002
05-18-2012, 09:53 PM
so was the reason that you didn't want gifts or that you didn't want to have to write thank you notes?

Yes, everyone in my family are ungrateful bitches. No one wanted to write hundreds of TY notes for crap my parents didn't want. And I realize there would have been some thoughtful gifts but if you think there wouldn't have been lots of generic gifts you're dreaming.


You would not open gifts at an anniversary party.

Yes I know that. I didn't say it was the done thing, I said some people would be disappointed that *their* gift wasn't opened.


And most gifts probably would have been gift cards.

That makes it better? A thank you note for a gift card is a lot easier on your writing hand than a TY note for a gift. :rolleyes:


We went to a retirement party for a friend, on the invite they requested: Instead of gifts, please contribute to a trip to Italy that we are planning for our father.

Well I would have considered that the height of tackiness, asking for money.


No one said the people giving the party can't dictate the terms of the party. And, no one is saying that their wishes should be ignored. But, some of us are saying that it makes us feel uncomfortable to show up empty handed.

Silly me, I forgot to consider that YOUR discomfort is the most important thing here.

The main thing is, people need to do their thing, I'll do mine, but don't call me selfish if I say no gifts on occasion.

cruisin
05-18-2012, 10:02 PM
Yes, everyone in my family are ungrateful bitches. No one wanted to write hundreds of TY notes for crap my parents didn't want. And I realize there would have been some thoughtful gifts but if you think there wouldn't have been lots of generic gifts you're dreaming.

Actually, based on the rest of your post, that is how you are coming across.

And gift cards would make it better, after all it wouldn't be hundreds of "crap" items.


Silly me, I forgot to consider that YOUR discomfort is the most important thing here.

The main thing is, people need to do their thing, I'll do mine, but don't call me selfish if I say no gifts on occasion.

Great reading comprehension. I said YOU SHOULD RESPECT PEOPLE'S INVITATION REQUEST, I can repeat that 3 or 4 hundred more times if you need me to. How does that make my discomfort more important? But, some people will not feel comfortable with that. They will DO WHAT IS ASKED, but not feel good about it. All of your insistence that people who enjoy giving gifts are self centered and rude does not make it true. Quite frankly, if I invite someone I care about to an event, I would want them to feel comfortable being there. If that means I accept a gift I did not ask for, or heaven forbid have to write a note, so be it.

kwanfan1818
05-18-2012, 10:54 PM
It's actually up to the recipient to decide whether a gift and/or the thought behind it are burdens or worth the thank you note. One person's thoughtfully-researched/took-a-year-to-hand-carve/etc. gift is another person's unwanted crap/clutter/destruction of the planet.

No one is arguing that you shouldn't feel a particular way or that if you enjoy giving gifts there is something wrong or that if you let other people give you stuff you don't want and smile you should be flogged.

Your feelings are irrelevant, as long as you keep them to yourself in front of the hosts: it's your actions that count, and from your early posts, it sounded very much like you would give a gift when there was a request not to in order to alleviate your discomfort with not giving one. If you felt any hostility, it was over that.

JJH
05-19-2012, 12:18 AM
Thank God I eloped.

cruisin
05-19-2012, 12:41 AM
from your early posts, it sounded very much like you would give a gift when there was a request not to in order to alleviate your discomfort with not giving one. If you felt any hostility, it was over that.

Then you assumed incorrectly. I never said I would do that. In fact I said that I'd only been invited to one celebration where gifts were discouraged. And I said I did not bring one, but felt very uncomfortable. But, even if I had done what you thought, would it deserve such hostility? What is wrong with people that they cannot be gracious and accept a kindness, even if they did not request it. It's not like anyone is killing babies here.