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View Full Version : Does "No Gifts" really mean NO Gifts.



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numbers123
05-22-2012, 06:17 AM
I don't think you should be part of the catering, that would be the last thing I would want - I would be trying to meet someone's need to bring me something with something that can be shared with the group. I just don't believe you need to bring a gift of any kind. I invite you to my house for dinner or a significant event because I like you and want to talk/spend time with you. I spend time with my friend outside of my home because I know she feels obligated to provide me a hostess gift. I would prefer to entertain her at my house, but it pains me to think that she feels she must bring a hostess gift despite me saying it is not necessary. I guess that makes me selfish to have found a way to spend time with her without her feeling obligated to bring me a gift because I invite her to my home.

I don't think it is a waste of my "busy" life to write thank you notes. I appreciate people's generosity, I really do and I write thank you notes. I accept gifts with a thank you even if it is something that I would not use. You would have to ask PrincessLeppard and Spinner, but I think that they might tell you I am fairly quiet in real life. That I wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings - that I would accept your gift with thanks and appreciate. This is discussion board, I was stating my feelings.

No matter how well you think you know someone, you might be surprised that you don't. Example: every Christmas my grandfather got chocolate covered cherries from everyone, all his children and his grandchildren (think 15 some boxes each Christmas). Years later we found out that he never liked them - he got them one year from one of his children and thanked them so profusely it that everyone really believed he loved them. He threw them out after everyone left.

I love to give gifts - I learned the hard way that it is not about me and feeling the need to give gifts, but it is about the receiver (recently learned lesson - last Christmas). If the receiver asks for no gifts, then I should honor that.

kwanfan1818
05-22-2012, 07:30 AM
There's custom and there's etiquette. There's custom about gifts for different purposes, for example, and etiquette concerns the rules around custom.

There's no rule in etiquette, at least traditional North American etiquette than tends to be rooted in English etiquette, that says you have to bring a hostess gift. However, there's custom around it in some places and circles. For example, I've read in several books about cultural differences in international business that if in the rare instance you are invited to someone's home to dinner in France, you show up at a particular time and you bring specific things with you if you want your hosts to think well of you, because that's the custom, bien sur. (Those books were written 8-10 years ago, and this might be changing among younger people.)

If I don't know people very well and am invited to dinner, I will bring wine, flowers, or chocolate, assuming they're for the host, not the party. That's my default: it doesn't have to be anyone else's, and I never assume it to be. If I know people well and/or they've said, "Just bring yourself", or I've heard through others that this is their preference, I just bring myself. I would never ask anyone but a few close friends if I can bring anything for the meal, because I assume dinner is taken care of, except for holiday meals, where I usually check, because I've found that they often are more of a group effort and more often than not, they're not my holidays. If I invite people over and they bring something for me, I thank them. If I invite people over, and they insist that what they've brought be shared, unless that's part of the entertainment, they're probably off my list.

skatefan
05-22-2012, 08:28 AM
INo matter how well you think you know someone, you might be surprised that you don't. Example: every Christmas my grandfather got chocolate covered cherries from everyone, all his children and his grandchildren (think 15 some boxes each Christmas). Years later we found out that he never liked them - he got them one year from one of his children and thanked them so profusely it that everyone really believed he loved them. He threw them out after everyone left.

:lol: This reminds me of the time my brother and his wife bought me and my sister a set of bath foam/body lotion/body spray, etc., for Christmas one year. We thanked them and told them how lovely the gift was, except my sister hated the smell but didn't want to upset them by saying so ... so every Christmas for years after we were given basically the same gift set in different packaging - I was very happy because not only did I love the gift I also got my sister's :lol:

As for the question 'Does 'no gifts' really mean no gifts', I'd say 'Yes, it does' and, having requested 'your presence, not presents' for my 40th birthday, it does complicate things when people still turn up with a gift in that those who turned up without one then felt unhappy that they too didn't bring something :shuffle: I did thank those who turned up with a gift for their kind thoughts. But I felt a little concerned that I had to spend time reassuring other guests. My party was my gift to them for being a wonderful family and good friends, their 'gift' to me was turning up and having a good time :P When my brother married for the second time they were merging two households and really didn't need anything so they requested a small gift of a child's toy to be donated to a women and children's refuge he was involved with professionally. That was a great idea and I took along a sturdy toddler tricycle. After the wedding he took all the toys to the refuge.