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kwanfan1818
05-19-2012, 09:24 AM
Great reading comprehension. I said YOU SHOULD RESPECT PEOPLE'S INVITATION REQUEST,


Then you assumed incorrectly. I never said I would do that.
So sorry that I interpreted this, for example, to mean that you would follow the advice you're giving other people.




I appreciate and respect that a bride and groom might request no gifts. But they also need to appreciate that some people will feel uncomfortable if they don't give them something. A donation in their name is perfect. If that is not what the guest wants to do, a gift card would be appropriate.


Because a "gift card" is a gift.

millyskate
05-19-2012, 11:40 AM
"No gifts" can mean so many different things to different people too. That's why a little give and take is necessary on both sides - including, IMO, on the side of the recepient.

It can often mean "no big gifts", "no expensive gifts", "no individual gifts", "no household items as gifts, we already have them", "don't put yourself out of pocket to buy us a gift" or "don't feel you have to bring a gift, we won't be offended if you don't".
It certainly doesn't universally mean, in terms of etiquette, "it is rude to turn up with a token of appreciation". In fact, I've heard people who requested no gifts complain because they didn't receive anything!

To me, it sounds like an invitation do to something personal - like a scrap-book, a poem, help with the organisation of the event, a thoughtful card or something - rather than something expensive. It's also the implication that if a whole office is invited, a collective token is more appropriate than 15 expensive items purchased by individuals. It's the implication that if you're already travelling 1000 miles to attend, your petrol money is the gift. It's the indication that if you can't make the event, there's no point in sending a gift instead. That's just my sub-culture though.

By hosting a party, you're gifting other people. From my perspective, there's a small contradiction in insisting "I'm going to give something to you, you'd better enjoy it, but you're not allowed to do *anything, at all* back.". If the person is known to genuinely not ever want anything at all and systematically refuses offers for practical assistance, I'd probably feel highly uncomfortable attending - I might not. The party starts coming accross like a display or wealth, catering ability and self-sufficiency, something that would make me feel uneasy. That's an extreme, though.

There are also many cultures where "no" means yes. Especially when it comes to gifts and help! We all know of countries and cultures where it is absolutely imperative for the guest to arrive with a gift whatever the circumstance, and where the host will go to great lengths to say it wasn't necessary. The world is a melting pot, and to imply that everyone should hold the same understanding of a choice of words is a bit utopian, wherever one lives. Traditions vary from one family to the other. There are many families where "no gifts" means "small gift". It's a shame to get offended by someone doing their best IMO.

I'd say, cut the OP's coworker some slack. She's organising a collective gift, which in her mind is acknowledging the host's request for not desiring anything too lavish. Some people will turn up without a gift. That'll be fine too.

cruisin
05-19-2012, 01:07 PM
"No gifts" can mean so many different things to different people too. That's why a little give and take is necessary on both sides - including, IMO, on the side of the recepient.

It can often mean "no big gifts", "no expensive gifts", "no individual gifts", "no household items as gifts, we already have them", "don't put yourself out of pocket to buy us a gift" or "don't feel you have to bring a gift, we won't be offended if you don't".
It certainly doesn't universally mean, in terms of etiquette, "it is rude to turn up with a token of appreciation". In fact, I've heard people who requested no gifts complain because they didn't receive anything!

To me, it sounds like an invitation do to something personal - like a scrap-book, a poem, help with the organisation of the event, a thoughtful card or something - rather than something expensive. It's also the implication that if a whole office is invited, a collective token is more appropriate than 15 expensive items purchased by individuals. It's the implication that if you're already travelling 1000 miles to attend, your petrol money is the gift. It's the indication that if you can't make the event, there's no point in sending a gift instead. That's just my sub-culture though.

By hosting a party, you're gifting other people. From my perspective, there's a small contradiction in insisting "I'm going to give something to you, you'd better enjoy it, but you're not allowed to do *anything, at all* back.". If the person is known to genuinely not ever want anything at all and systematically refuses offers for practical assistance, I'd probably feel highly uncomfortable attending - I might not. The party starts coming accross like a display or wealth, catering ability and self-sufficiency, something that would make me feel uneasy. That's an extreme, though.

There are also many cultures where "no" means yes. Especially when it comes to gifts and help! We all know of countries and cultures where it is absolutely imperative for the guest to arrive with a gift whatever the circumstance, and where the host will go to great lengths to say it wasn't necessary. The world is a melting pot, and to imply that everyone should hold the same understanding of a choice of words is a bit utopian, wherever one lives. Traditions vary from one family to the other. There are many families where "no gifts" means "small gift". It's a shame to get offended by someone doing their best IMO.

I'd say, cut the OP's coworker some slack. She's organising a collective gift, which in her mind is acknowledging the host's request for not desiring anything too lavish. Some people will turn up without a gift. That'll be fine too.

Well said.



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.



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.

I think this was a bit provocative. And you were the one who brought up that you didn't want to have to write hundreds of thank you notes for crap gifts. I simply asked if that was your reason for not wanting gifts.

The fact is, that we are discussing how we feel about the situation. How we feel about it and what we do about it are completely different things. I may not like the idea of arriving empty handed, but I will respect the wishes of the person who invites me. How that deserves all of this hostility is beyond me.

leesaleesa
05-19-2012, 01:23 PM
And for what it's worth, I'm not a prude, I'm simply not crass. Can't imagine anything hotter than an unshowered stripper in a crusty thong

Had you the reading comprehension you accused another poster of lacking, you would realize that I find bridal showers abhorrent and that the stripper in the crusty thong was part of the overall horribleness.

Too bad you don't want to join my social circle. :( I'm like a really poorly dressed Beau Brummel. Invitations out the wazoo. Strippers only show up every few months. Hey, maybe you can give the gifts to the strippers! They would like that, I wager.

cruisin
05-19-2012, 01:48 PM
Had you the reading comprehension you accused another poster of lacking, you would realize that I find bridal showers abhorrent and that the stripper in the crusty thong was part of the overall horribleness.

Which is why I, and several others, thought what you described sounded more like a bachelorette party than a shower. Then you got nasty.

allezfred
05-19-2012, 08:49 PM
Nobody ever complains about receiving cash. :bribe: :P

overedge
05-19-2012, 09:00 PM
And Taff2002 :rolleyes: try reading the posts you critique. You might actually get a clue.

This from someone slamming other posters for being "nasty".

MacMadame
05-20-2012, 08:41 PM
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 I'm saying... too bad. People do things that make them uncomfortable all the time and no ones dies from it.

Suck it up and deal.

cruisin
05-20-2012, 10:01 PM
And I'm saying... too bad. People do things that make them uncomfortable all the time and no ones dies from it.

Suck it up and deal.

And again, I am :confused: :eek: :( by the level of hostility.

kwanfan1818
05-20-2012, 11:07 PM
This from someone slamming other posters for being "nasty".
That would be "hostile." ;)

MacMadame
05-20-2012, 11:19 PM
And again, I am :confused: :eek: :( by the level of hostility.

Actually, I think you are the most hostile one here. Most of the "hostility" towards you is just people disagreeing with you. As you repeat your point over and over and over and over.

And, if people get a little hostile after the 100th time of saying basically the same thing, I think that's a bit understandable if people did actually get hostile but most haven't. In fact, I don't think I was hostile at all. Blunt yes, hostile no.

jlai
05-21-2012, 12:12 AM
I'm a bit surprised a question about social etiquette can spark such a long and "spiritied" discussion. Or perhaps not, since this is skating off season :)

I am a big fan of "no gift please", but over the years, I've found that the request does not work. I've asked for "no gift" for birthday, Xmas, and just about any occasion. Despite the repeated requests, I still get "what do I want for my birthday?" And yes, from the same people.
If I ask for a meal instead of a gift, I'll get a meal and a gift. If I ask for a donation instead of a gift, I'll get a donation and a gift. And sometimes I get a book as a gift with a personal note written on the book, so I cannot even return the book or give it away.

Am I annoyed? Sure. Yes, they cannot see past their cultural frames to understand someone who is different. But then I dare say there are instances where I, like most people, cannot see past my own frames of experience. So a little give and take may be all we can do when it comes to a thing like this. After all, the gift givers care about me, and vice versa. Which is the most important thing.

taf2002
05-21-2012, 02:23 AM
And again, I am :confused: :eek: :( by the level of hostility.

It wasn't hostile to call my family lazy? Or selfish? yarite.

mag
05-21-2012, 03:24 AM
Whole post

ITA!

Before I read this thread, I thought I had it all worked out. Now, I'm not so sure. It never occurred to me that someone might be offended by the flowers and wine I took to a dinner party. You know what, I can't live that way. I can't second guess every invitation and worry that I might offend by taking or not taking something. I'm not interested in spending hours worrying about whether "no gifts" really means no gifts, just like I don't spend hours worrying about whether "black tie" means black tie, or "business casual" really means business casual. All I can do is treat people the way I want to be treated and then hope for the best. My dd recently returned from Japan with fabulous gifts for all of us from her host family. I didn't send those kinds of gifts to them when their daughter stayed with us. I'm not offended by their gifts, nor am I embarrassed that I didn't send that kind of gift to them. Their culture is obviously different from mine, and that's okay. We both did what we thought was the correct and polite thing to do - what more could I ask for?

I always take wine and flowers when I go to someone's house for dinner. Sometimes I take a small hostess gift if it is a more formal occasion. I don't consider that a "gift" like a birthday or wedding present. I see it as a thank you for the gift of dinner the receiver is giving me. If the hosts are terribly offended, they have the option of not inviting me back ;)

It seems to me that most people, most of the time, try to be considerate of others and try to do what they think is polite. Sometimes that means you will get a gift you don't want and sometimes that means you will be asked not to take a gift you would like to give. All this talk about whose feelings are more important is, IMHO, crazy. People don't give gifts to be offensive and people don't ask for no gifts to be offensive. There are a lot of things in this world to get worked up about and, again IMHO, this is not one of them.

I don't think reading comprehension comes into the equation at all. People just interpret invitations differently. Go to a black tie event and look at what people are wearing. Quite clearly there are many out there who feel invitation instructions are optional. I may not agree, but as Miss Manners once said, "the only people whose manners you should correct are your own children, and then only when they are children."

kwanfan1818
05-21-2012, 03:39 AM
ITA!

Before I read this thread, I thought I had it all worked out. Now, I'm not so sure. It never occurred to me that someone might be offended by the flowers and wine I took to a dinner party.
Dinner party etiquette is a different set of rules. The basic traditional etiquette is to bring a token of appreciation to the host, which usually is flowers, chocolate, or wine. What you're not supposed to bring is anything to be served at the party unless you are asked. (The wine and chocolates aren't meant to be served at the party unless the host wants to, as the host is presumed to have chosen the appropriate wine(s) for the meal.)

However, if you know the host is an observant Muslim or Mormon (or other "dry" religion), is alchoholic or diabetic, or is allergic to flowers, it's usually a good idea to take into consideration when choosing what to bring. Also, as a friend who worked for one of Prince Charles' charities told me, flowers work well for dinner parties in houses with servants, who can take the flowers, arrange them in one of many spare vases, and discretely display them in the fourth guest bathroom. They, too, are for the host's appreciation, not to be displayed in a prominent place only to see your delighted reaction.