Let me preface this post by expressing that I more than understand why this email seems rude and entitled. A gift is a gift is a gift, and the fact that someone put any thought, time, effort and money into giving a gift is more than enough in itself. That being said, I can appreciate this email and let me tell you why.
Anytime there’s a holiday, birthday or gift-giving event approaching, I find myself asking or being asked repeatedly, “What do you want … What do you need … What’s a good gift for [child]?” but rarely do I ever get–or give for that matter–a straightforward, helpful answer.
Because of this, I’m often left bouncing off the aisles at Target or entering search after search on Amazon trying to find something I hope the gift receiver can appreciate. However, if we’re all being honest with ourselves when we play the gift-guessing game, unless we’re with the person we’re shopping for on a daily basis, we probably haven’t picked up on all the little things they need or appreciate day in and day out.
Cut to the gift opening: I can honestly say the majority of holidays, events, parties, showers and birthdays I’ve been to have resulted in at least one duplicate gift and who knows how many other gifts that were never used or immediately returned. Personally, I don’t enjoy living in a false reality where I pretend like my gift was truly appreciated. When I go into a gift-giving situation blind, I leave hoping my gift wasn’t one of the duplicates, re-gifts or returns but I’ll never know to be honest. That sucks.
And that is exactly why I can appreciate this woman’s email. The majority of people who are going to get you, or someone close to you, a gift try to find out beforehand what they want, need or like. The woman hands you the golden ticket to the correct gifts in her email.
The next question that always pops into my mind–if I happen to actually find out or know what a person wants–is, “What if someone else already got it for them?” Guess what … the woman split up her gift list so there’s no second-guessing, and I think it’s convenient she let everyone know that. You’re welcome. Gift-buy in peace.
Finally, this woman confronted, admitted and put into words what we’ve ALL done–returned a gift [GASP IN HORROR]–and for some reason, everyone’s offended by that. Personally, I’m glad she said it. She just saved people from potentially wasting their time and money, because whether we like it or not, she’s right. If she or anyone else returns a gift and doesn’t have a receipt, the gift-giver potentially just wasted a chunk of their money.
What’s that? “Don’t return the gift and be grateful you got anything at all” you say? You’re right–that’s a fair argument, in which case the gift never gets used and you’ve wasted all of your time and money.
So, is this letter slightly tacking, overboard, rude and/or entitled? Perhaps, especially in our society, it’s definitely not a social norm. Sometimes people get offended–myself included–and I can see how this email offends, easily. From my perspective though, this woman is just being honest and to the point. I. Appreciate. That. It’s refreshing and rare.
I’m sure people asked her what to get her daughter for her birthday, so she made a list. She told people what they already had too much of, and she admitted that if it was a gift they couldn’t use, they would have to return it. We all know those things to be truths in our own households, whether we tell them to other people or not. I can’t be mad when someone has the gull to answer a question in the most straightforward manner possible and ask for exactly what they need/want.
And that’s why I can appreciate this one-year-old’s birthday list email. What are your thoughts? Do you agree or are you just absolutely appalled by the email?