Gift acceptance dilemma


#1

My husband has decided that our children will not be able to accept gifts from their aunts (my sisters), only from godparents. He claims the children do not need anything, which I totally agree with. But to tell the aunts they cannot buy gifts for the children seems a bit cold. What is your take on this?


#2

Oh for goodness sake let their aunts spoil them a bit. It never hurt any child to be overly loved. And if you don’t want the children to have too many gifts you can give any you feel they don’t need to those children who aren’t lucky enough to have people who care so much for them or parents who can buy them a nice toy for Christmas. Don’t alienate your relations for the sake of so-called principles. They won’t understand and you will have to live for years with the consequences of unnecessarily upsetting them.


#3
  1. You cannot PRESUME to get gifts from the aunts. By telling them that they are not to give gifts, you presume that they would in the first place.

  2. You cannot tell the aunts what type of gifts to get.

  3. It is quite possible that the children do have more than enough. This is a time to teach THEM (the children) of the joy of giving (instead of restricting the aunts from doing so).

  4. The two solutions that present themselves are to allow the children to give old toys away to make room for the new or to pass the new toys on to those in need. In either case, you would not tell the aunts this or allow them to guess that their toys did not bring the joy they intended to convey with their thoughfulness.

  5. This is a perfect opportunity to teach your children about the true joy of Christmas by learning to graciously ACCEPT a gift, as well as to GIVE them.


#4

I am an aunt and a single, unmarried woman with no children of my own. More than that, I live alone in the state of Ohio, with no relatives in the state. I only get to see my family at holidays or special occasions. I would be deeply saddened for anyone to forbid me to express the love I have for my nephews and nieces through the Christmas and birthday gifts I give them. :frowning:

~~ the phoenix


#5

we faced a similar dilemma years ago. certain family members led us know that either no gifts would be accepted or that only certain gifts were acceptable. they also let us know that it was not acceptable to give gifts to our godchild unless we also gave gifts of equal value to all this child’s siblings (who are no relation to us) to avoid “hurt feelings.” Sensitive to the parental concern about hurt feelings we no longer gift gifts at all except to our own grandchildren, and I have let our daughters know giving gifts at any time, on any personal whim of mine, is my perogative as a grandparent, and I will do my own thing in this regard. What they do with the gift is their business.


#6

forest pine that was truely great gift edicate. :thumbsup:


#7

[quote=bjj]My husband has decided that our children will not be able to accept gifts from their aunts (my sisters), only from godparents. He claims the children do not need anything, which I totally agree with. But to tell the aunts they cannot buy gifts for the children seems a bit cold. What is your take on this?
[/quote]

Whether or not they “need” anything is irrelevant to how one responds to receiving a gift.

And why would your kids be allowed to receive from godparents but not their aunts? Did you mean grandparents instead of godparents?

Even so, it is extremely rude and uncharitable to tell his/your sisters that you will not accept gifts from them. People give you gifts out of love. To reject those gifts is to say you do not accept their love.

Keep in mind, a couple of gifts at Christmas will not spoil your children. It is what you do the other 364 days of the year that will spoil them or not.

Also, look down the road. You are communicating to your kids in this. Will they say “my parents loved me so much they prevented others from givng me presents.” More likely it will create bitterness in them. What exactly is dangerous in receiving a gift from each aunt once per year?

I can say that I never “needed” any gifts from my aunts and uncles but they gave me gifts every year. I look back on those gifts with fondess and know they were expressions of love.

If the children’s aunts do give them gifts, that is an occaision you should use to teach your children the value of expressing appreciation to others. Your children should thank them when they open the gift - assuming they open the gift in front of the aunt. If the aunt is not presen to witness the opening, the child should call the aunt and thank her. The next day they should write and mail a thank-you note for the gift.

Teaching children to appreciate what they receive seems a better lesson than teaching them they don’t deserve gifts to begin with.


#8

I have news for your husband. It’s not up to him! Proper etiquete and manners dictate that the giving of a gift is up to the giver. Refusing a gift is not an option. Add that to everything people said above and present it to him as softly as you can. I find a lot of men do not like being told they cannot control every aspect of their kids lives.


#9

Imagine refusing God’s gifts! Egads!


#10

[quote=Forest-Pine]1. You cannot PRESUME to get gifts from the aunts. By telling them that they are not to give gifts, you presume that they would in the first place.

  1. You cannot tell the aunts what type of gifts to get.

  2. It is quite possible that the children do have more than enough. This is a time to teach THEM (the children) of the joy of giving (instead of restricting the aunts from doing so).

  3. The two solutions that present themselves are to allow the children to give old toys away to make room for the new or to pass the new toys on to those in need. In either case, you would not tell the aunts this or allow them to guess that their toys did not bring the joy they intended to convey with their thoughfulness.

  4. This is a perfect opportunity to teach your children about the true joy of Christmas by learning to graciously ACCEPT a gift, as well as to GIVE them.
    [/quote]

Bravissima, esp. point #1!!!


#11

Wouldn’t it be better to just not allow any presents to be opened until you get home?

Then you can return what you don’t want for clothes or whatever, or donate and no ones feelings are hurt.


We have this rule because it avoid issues on items we don’t allow in our home, think are dangerous, or just plain don’t have room for.


#12

[quote=bjj]My husband has decided that our children will not be able to accept gifts from their aunts (my sisters), only from godparents. He claims the children do not need anything, which I totally agree with. But to tell the aunts they cannot buy gifts for the children seems a bit cold. What is your take on this?
[/quote]

Huh? This is nuts, it makes NO sense. I feel sorry for you kids. Of course kids don’t “need” things, but what of the sheer joy in giving? I love giving things to my nieces and nephews-- not because they need them but because they enjoy them and I enjoy giving them these things (religious things as well as toys or clothes). Did Jesus return the gifts given to him-- the anointing with expensive oil or the gifts given by the Magi? Hmmm… I don’t think so. God is the ultimate gift-giver and he wants us to be generous givers and receivers.

And, I think you and DH need to talk about his unilateral decision making not only for everyone in your immediate family but also for those outside it. Did he just announce this without any discussion or input from you? Seriously, that would be a huge issue for me.


#13

Let the aunties give gifts! I would let them know if there is anything they need, whether it be a new pair of shoes, pants, coat, book… all of these things make great outings with Auntie, they get to spend time together and Dear Child get something cool. By letting your children see how much joy someone recieves from giving, it will give them a reference for when they are older.
I too have been in the position where we had too much! I called my MIL and mom (both the culprits of the too many gifts). I invited them to come over to my house and help me clean up their toy area. Amazing how the trend changed after they saw what I was dealing with!
I gave my older daughter an assignment to give away 20 barbies. She didn’t like it at first, but when she recieved two new ones for her birthday, she has not complained about purging her toys.


#14

Also, if you ALWAYS make your kids write Thank You notes afterwards, you will be teaching them that that there is a certain amount of responcibility in recieving gifts as well. Even if they are too young to actually write the notes, they should always be apart of the card in some way (a picture, drawn or taken…, their words dictated to you). My first child had to write thank you’s in Kindergarden!


#15

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