Gifts- give/take- how do you feel?

Vash01

Fan of Yuzuru, Three A's, T&M, P&C
Messages
49,855
I am one of those who love buying gifts for others- mostly friends and family. Occasionally strangers but those are called donations. :)

I don’t expect a gift in return, and if I get one, I don’t care about the price. I accept any gift with gratitude. Occasionally the receiver can put me in a difficult situation. That’s what this thread is about.

A good friend of mine and I came to an agreement a few years ago that we would buy the other gifts for only Birthdays and Christmas. The background for this was that sometimes during my travels I would bring her a gift. Apparently it made her uncomfortable because she felt she must buy me a gift too. So we put a limit on the gift exchange. Just twice a year - Christmas and birthdays.

We used to buy each other lunch or dinner as a birthday gift, in addition to the Wrapped gifts. We could not do it during the YKW (still ongoing).

In May, she brought me birthday gifts. It was the peak of the ykw, so she stood outside my door, at 6 plus ft from me and put the bag of gifts near my door. I gratefully accepted and later told her in a message how much I appreciated the gifts and her gesture To bring those over. We were maintaining the social distance and both of us wore masks.

Her birthday is coming up in a couple weeks. I will be out of town for about a week. I sent her a message that I could bring her birthday gifts to her home either before or after my trip. She told me not to buy her Birthday gifts because I bought a new home and I must have extra expenses.

This puts me in an odd situation. First of all, I know my income, expenses, and what I can afford, after buying a home. She does not need to worry about it because I won’t be buying her a new car, for example. It would be something similar to what we have been buying each other for years. I feel disappointed that she is depriving me of the joy of giving, while she was able to experience that joy on my birthday.

what if I bought her gifts anyway and mailed those to her? Would that be rude? What if I accepted her suggestion and bought her nothing? She suggested that after there is a vaccine we could get together. I responded with “I won’t hold my breath for a vaccine”. Who knows when that will happen? I feel slighted by the rejection of my gifts (I have already bought one and was going to buy some candies to add to that).

In general, I accept a gift if someone is kind enough to buy me something. It does not matter what that gift is. Sometimes it is just what I needed. At other times it could be something that I don’t really need. It is the thought that counts. When others reject my gift, it hurts my feelings. Sometimes they say no at first but then accept it. I find that a bit irritating because I should not have to persuade someone to accept my gift.

In one case someone accepted the gift From me because it was a public event but after the event she returned it to me, saying “I have too many mugs”. Did she really have to do that? She could have easily donated it without my knowledge.

These are rare instances. Majority of the times I do enjoy gift exchange. With the holidays coming up, now I don’t know how this friend will respond to a Christmas gift From me. If she buys me one, I can insist that she accepts one from me. I will be upset if she does not.

What are your experiences with gifts, as a giver or receiver?
 

Lemonade20

Former Kurtholic
Messages
576
I am one of those who love buying gifts for others- mostly friends and family. Occasionally strangers but those are called donations. :)

I don’t expect a gift in return, and if I get one, I don’t care about the price. I accept any gift with gratitude. Occasionally the receiver can put me in a difficult situation. That’s what this thread is about.

A good friend of mine and I came to an agreement a few years ago that we would buy the other gifts for only Birthdays and Christmas. The background for this was that sometimes during my travels I would bring her a gift. Apparently it made her uncomfortable because she felt she must buy me a gift too. So we put a limit on the gift exchange. Just twice a year - Christmas and birthdays.

We used to buy each other lunch or dinner as a birthday gift, in addition to the Wrapped gifts. We could not do it during the YKW (still ongoing).

In May, she brought me birthday gifts. It was the peak of the ykw, so she stood outside my door, at 6 plus ft from me and put the bag of gifts near my door. I gratefully accepted and later told her in a message how much I appreciated the gifts and her gesture To bring those over. We were maintaining the social distance and both of us wore masks.

Her birthday is coming up in a couple weeks. I will be out of town for about a week. I sent her a message that I could bring her birthday gifts to her home either before or after my trip. She told me not to buy her Birthday gifts because I bought a new home and I must have extra expenses.

This puts me in an odd situation. First of all, I know my income, expenses, and what I can afford, after buying a home. She does not need to worry about it because I won’t be buying her a new car, for example. It would be something similar to what we have been buying each other for years. I feel disappointed that she is depriving me of the joy of giving, while she was able to experience that joy on my birthday.

what if I bought her gifts anyway and mailed those to her? Would that be rude? What if I accepted her suggestion and bought her nothing? She suggested that after there is a vaccine we could get together. I responded with “I won’t hold my breath for a vaccine”. Who knows when that will happen? I feel slighted by the rejection of my gifts (I have already bought one and was going to buy some candies to add to that).

In general, I accept a gift if someone is kind enough to buy me something. It does not matter what that gift is. Sometimes it is just what I needed. At other times it could be something that I don’t really need. It is the thought that counts. When others reject my gift, it hurts my feelings. Sometimes they say no at first but then accept it. I find that a bit irritating because I should not have to persuade someone to accept my gift.

In one case someone accepted the gift From me because it was a public event but after the event she returned it to me, saying “I have too many mugs”. Did she really have to do that? She could have easily donated it without my knowledge.

These are rare instances. Majority of the times I do enjoy gift exchange. With the holidays coming up, now I don’t know how this friend will respond to a Christmas gift From me. If she buys me one, I can insist that she accepts one from me. I will be upset if she does not.

What are your experiences with gifts, as a giver or receiver?
Ooh that’s a hard one. I understand how much you enjoy giving gifts, but at the same time as a receiver it can make me uncomfortable with the frequency. I have an amazing friend who’s always bringing a gift but the problem is I don’t need any more material gifts (if that makes sense). Spending time together is a gift in itself. If you feel the need to do something, it’s always nice to make a donation to charity.
 

Vash01

Fan of Yuzuru, Three A's, T&M, P&C
Messages
49,855
Ooh that’s a hard one. I understand how much you enjoy giving gifts, but at the same time as a receiver it can make me uncomfortable with the frequency. I have an amazing friend who’s always bringing a gift but the problem is I don’t need any more material gifts (if that makes sense). Spending time together is a gift in itself. If you feel the need to do something, it’s always nice to make a donation to charity.
As I mentioned in my post (if you read it beyond the second paragraph) that we made an agreement that we would buy Each other gifts Only twice a year - Christmas and birthdays. She bought me gifts for my birthday but refused to accept gifts from me on her birthday.

This is a good friend and we have been doing this for many years. Donating those goods to Goodwill does nothing for me. I do donate many times to strangers/charity organizations but it Is usually to get rid of what I don’t need. Two very different situations.
 

Japanfan

Well-Known Member
Messages
23,809
I think the principle of reciprocity plays a role in all relationships and the exchanges of time/things/emotions that go into it. If it doesn't, a relationship could be unbalanced.

In your case, @Vash01, I would buy the gifts and deliver them in person or by mail.

If she can continue to buy you gifts, but you shouldn't buy her gifts because of other financial obligations, it sets up an uncomfortable situation.

And you seem to want to buy her gifts - so IMO, do it.
 
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millyskate

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,893
@Vash01 I feel you as I think people today often have an overly materialistic approach to gifts, and forget that part of what makes a society better is allowing others do do things for us. Even if they're not the things we've chosen.
Returning a mug was really inappropriate.

In this case, the friend may still be secretly feeling that Christmas and Birthdays are too much for her. Maybe she wants to get out of giving gifts altogether. But I'd just not make a fuss and put the gift in the post.

I have a lifelong friend who absolutely loves giving gifts. They are really hit and miss - some beautiful things I treasure and some things that are just taking up space in my house and not ones I'd feel comfortable displaying or using. But we live in different countries and the 20 years of gift giving have cemented our friendship. In the initial years I wasn't as financially comfortable as her so had to be more conservative in my reciprocal gift giving. Then she had 3 children and I was single - so I was the more generous one.

But still, she will give me a box with 4 or 5 gifts, only 2 of which I actually can use. Our friendship is worth not mentioning it though - I'm just grateful she was thinking of me throughout the year picking out these things at the time.
 
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Brenda_Bottems

Well-Known Member
Messages
369
what if I bought her gifts anyway and mailed those to her? Would that be rude? What if I accepted her suggestion and bought her nothing?
Yes,that would be rude and self-serving. I strongly suggest you take the hint and do not send her gifts. Take the money and run,dear.

She suggested that after there is a vaccine we could get together. I responded with “I won’t hold my breath for a vaccine”. Who knows when that will happen?
I believe we are on track to get a vaccine by the end of the month,no?

What are your experiences with gifts, as a giver or receiver?
I do not like receiving rather inexpensive material gifts as I despise clutter.

-BB
 
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once_upon

Voter
Messages
16,702
I have a good friend who loved to do gifts. Then I would reciprocate. It got out of hand - like everytime we met for dinner gifs.

I dont know how we decided to forgo gifts, but thankfully we did.

It might be that she is looking to end the gift giving practice and she is thinking this is a good time to end gift giving?
 

Lemonade20

Former Kurtholic
Messages
576
I have a good friend who loved to do gifts. Then I would reciprocate. It got out of hand - like everytime we met for dinner gifs.

I dont know how we decided to forgo gifts, but thankfully we did.

It might be that she is looking to end the gift giving practice and she is thinking this is a good time to end gift giving?
Exactly, it gets to be too much. Gifts should be reserved for special occasions, not every time you get together
 

Erin

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,897
Exactly, it gets to be too much. Gifts should be reserved for special occasions, not every time you get together

Well in this case, Vash was talking about a special occasion, since she only exchanges gifts with this friend for birthdays and Christmas.

Now that said, it sounds to me like this friend is trying to find a polite way to end the birthday/Christmas gifts.
 

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