Children and gifts

Canada
June 28, 2007 1:56pm CST
My daughter is celebrating her 16th birthday today. Friends of our family, have been giving her gifts for various occasions, since she was a little girl. Now that she's an older teen, she has developed very specific tastes. This year she received a 'lovely, brand name watch' for her birthday. None of my daughter's friends wear watches, as it just isn't the style in their group, or among teens in general around here. The watch came with a gift receipt, and so we were planning to exchange it for a bracelet. The problem is, my friend phoned today, and asked about the gift. I was honest with her, and could tell that she's not pleased. She's coming to take back the watch, and 'discuss what to do about it,' with her family. My daughter doesn't know about this yet. This family is not used to shopping for teenagers, and keep giving my daughter gifts that she'll never use. The watch is too expensive for me to 'allow' this to happen. What would (do) you do, if your teen or younger child, receives a gift 'that just isn't suitable?' Are you honest with the giver, or do you do everything in your power not to upset them, and keep a gift that'll never be used?
2 people like this
13 responses
@wrdsofwisdm (1070)
• United States
29 Jun 07
I just caught this discussion and was about to start with what Galena said. If this friend the gift giver, cared anything about your daughter's happiness, she would have brought up bringing your daughter with her so that she can choose something she likes from the store the watch came from. Why does this lady need to discuss the situation with her family and DECIDE what to do with it? They left a receipt with the gift. That shows that they weren't totally sure that your daughter would like it. This lady is being ridiculous and petty. I think I would make her feel guilty by bringing it back to her and saying, please return this gift and don't worry about replacing it. You have obviously been offended and my daughter and I had no intention of offending you. Seems to me that this lady was more interested in giving the most expensive gift to show off than she was in actually pleasing your daughter with a nice gift. Kudos to you for being honest with her and shame on her for acting like a jerk.
2 people like this
• Canada
2 Jul 07
Hi wrdsofwisdm. This lady has been a friend for many years, and has 'always' been this way. I've tried to figure out her thinking on things many times over the years. Thanks for 'applauding' my honesty, as it wasn't easy for me, under these circumstances, however, the watch is too expensive an item. The gift receipt was included by her sister, who when approached by my friend, simply said, "Just have them return it, and choose something else," which we then did. Thanks for sharing.
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
29 Jun 07
As a teen I got some pretty crazy gifts...Things that I never ever would wear or use. I had an aunt that was famous for giving me wierd gifts. She once gave me a necktie made of pearls. I know she paid alot for it and I hung to it and even wore it around her on occassion just to spare her feelings. eventually I threw it away. Years later, I no longer have my aunt. I wish I had that necktie to show my girls the kind of silly gifts she gave me. it was a token from her. I say, put the watch away. when she's much older she will appreciate the sentimental value more than she is able to now.
2 people like this
• Canada
2 Jul 07
Wow, a necktie made of pearls. I've never seen anything like that before. Sometimes, we don't appreciate a person's uniqueness until they're gone, and I can understand why you wish you'd held onto the necktie. Thanks for sharing.
@wachit14 (3600)
• United States
28 Jun 07
I think you did the right thing by being honest. It is what you would want your children to do as well. Although I'm sure you feel badly, it is not your fault that the other person feels bad that your daughter doesn't want the watch. I can tell you that I did have the very same thing happen with a dear aunt who had no children of her own. She was forever buying things that weren't suitable for my kids, including expensive watches. I did tell her the very same thing and she was hurt, but I still stick by my decision to be honest. Since the watch came with a gift receipt, then the giver obviously wanted to give your daughter the option of exchanging the gift for something else. I would hope that once she got over her hurt feelings she would allow your daughter to choose a gift that's suitable for her. Anything other than that will just cause bad feelings for the future.
• Canada
28 Jun 07
It's not always easy to be honest in a situation like this, where someone else's feelings are involved, but I felt it the right thing to do. I'd want my daughter to do the same, and in this case, she 'may' have to. I totally understand the circumstances with your aunt. The gift receipt was 'apparently' put in by my friend's sister, when she wrapped it, and I think it's my friend who disagrees with this. At this point, I'm not sure what'll happen. Thanks for your support, and response.
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
28 Jun 07
honestly, is it really worth the agrivation? in a year or two she prolly would have worn the watch... we either keep it or regift! the giver is none the wiser
2 people like this
• Canada
28 Jun 07
I had to ask myself if it's worth the aggravation too, cher913. I have to say, yes it is, in this case. It wouldn't be 'good enough' for my daughter to wait 'a year or two' to wear it, as my friend and her family expect to see it used 'instantly.' I've also regifted various items, and have sometimes felt guilty, but this is just too costly an item, and I also have to consider the occasion it was given for. Besides, my friend 'would' find out. Thanks for your response.
@horsesrule (1960)
• United States
28 Jun 07
Wow, what kind of friend takes a gift back? That's really mean. I would think that a real friend would want your daughter to be happy and would be ok with her exchanging a gift for something that she would actually use. I think keeping an expensive gift that your daughter will never use is really ridiculous and just doesn't make any sense at all. Surely no one would expect such a thing? It seems that being honest with your friend didn't work out but really, she has the problem, not you.
2 people like this
• Canada
28 Jun 07
I know my friend and her family are planning to exchange the watch for something else, but my concern here, among other things, is, what if they choose another unsuitable item. It'd be so much simpler, if my daughter could just choose something for herself, and then could express her appreciation for something she's going to enjoy. I've 'given away' other gifts from this friend, and her family, but this is just too costly an item, considering the occasion. Thanks for your support, and for sharing.
@mummymo (23707)
30 Jun 07
I would try and be very tactful (like I KNOW you were) and be honest! If they keep a gift pushed away in a drawer or bottom of a cupboard somewhere it is just a waste of money isn't it! I usually say I have the receipt so if it is not suitable you can change it for something you prefer - I would much rather someone got the use out of a gift! xxx
1 person likes this
• Canada
2 Jul 07
Thanks so much, mummymo. By the way, welcome back, and I hope you've had a wonderful vacation. I felt I was being totally tactful, and this is a friend we've had for many years. We've had 'other' gifts from them, 'at times' that weren't suitable, and I've ended up passing them on to someone else, or just keeping them. The watch was too expensive for this, and I felt confident about returning it, because a gift receipt was enclosed. The situation has been taken care of now, and 'we've' returned the watch for other items, which my daughter is happy with, but I haven't spoken personally to my friend about it yet.
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23707)
2 Jul 07
Thanks honey it was good and the kids had a blast! It is sad that your friend had this attitude but I am glad that your daughter got something she could enjoy and use instead! xxx
1 person likes this
• Canada
2 Jul 07
So glad to hear that things were great for you, and happy about the 'gift exchange' too.:)
• Philippines
29 Jun 07
Someonesmom i really don't get it why they'd get the gift back. It was already a "gift" and since it was already given to the person, the receiver has every right to use or not to use the gift. On your part, your daughter has the right on the said gift. She has the say on what to do with the gift. I myself get gifts unuseful, but i still keep them (thanking them for the gift) or give it to someone who needs it more than me, its alrady mine so its my call :
1 person likes this
• Canada
2 Jul 07
Thanks pilotjune1972. I totally agree with you about the gift. Thankfully, the situation has been taken care of (I hope), as I haven't actually spoken to my friend about it yet. We've had many gifts that we couldn't use over the years too, and a good number from this particular friend, but since the watch is such an expensive item, I felt it best to be honest. The gift receipt made me think it okay to do so, as well. Thanks for your response and welcome to myLot.
@naadia (830)
• India
29 Jun 07
mm...wearing watch is not a style nowadays.if i am in your daughters place,me too dont pleased very much,but never show disappointment in front of giver!k.. i dont like watches,but i dont think it was a right decision to tell this to your friend.it may hurt her!
• Canada
2 Jul 07
Thanks for agreeing with my daughter, that the wearing of watches isn't in style these days, naadia. It's not something I would've thought of . I was very careful in telling this to my friend in the best way possible, but felt it right, because this has happened so many times with them, and gifts have been given, and not used. Thanks for your response.
@Galena (9123)
29 Jun 07
is there any way you could talk them into taking her to choose something more suitable together. then they might feel like they have an input in the choice, so not have a chance to be so offended by their choice not being right
1 person likes this
• Canada
2 Jul 07
That's a very good suggestion Galena. As it turns out, the problem was (is) with my friend (unfortunately), and not the other family members. Since I posted this, 'we've' returned the watch, for other suitable items, that my daughter's very happy with. Thanks for your response.
• India
29 Jun 07
From chocolates to plants to dinner there's something that everyone can afford.
1 person likes this
• Canada
29 Jun 07
That's true, lakshyamadhu23, as there is usually a gift that'll fit everyone's budget. Thanks for your response.
@rupee1 (38)
• Pakistan
29 Jun 07
recieveing an unsuitable gift can be quite often in the life as not all the people know really what you want, but gifts are gifts.. apart from what came as gift and what worth is it, the real thing is.. it came as gift...i will never preffer to make the sender feel bad by telling him or her that i didn like the gift.. Now the simple solution which i use for such complex situations is.. just keep the gift, wont use it as its not suitable.. but keep it to someone else for whome it may be the suitable.. by this mechanism. the right gift may reach the right person ultimately who will use it, untill its perishable :) and likewise its gonna compensate your gift spendings on the other end!
1 person likes this
• Canada
29 Jun 07
It's true rupee1, that there are times in everyone's life when they receive an unsuitable gift. I don't want to make the giver feel bad either, but in this case, it's quite a costly gift, and it came with a gift receipt for easy exchange. I believe like you, that sometimes it's appropriate to 'help the gift reach the right person,' by giving it to someone who'd enjoy it. However, this time, because of the value of this particular gift, and the special occasion it's for, I'll have to work this out with my friend. Thanks for sharing, and welcome to myLot.
@limosonia1 (1559)
• United States
29 Jun 07
I usually discuss gifts with my family when it comes to the kids ahead of time this way it makes like easier on everybody. Although I think your daughter should keep the watch. I had also gotten one when I was sixteen and although at that age I didn't really care for it my mother kept it for me and when I was 18 or 19 we were talking and I told her about me going to get a watch I had forgotten about the watch and she reminded me of it and I was so greatful because i relized how I could never afford anything like that at my age so it worked out well.
1 person likes this
• Canada
29 Jun 07
I discuss gifts with my family too, limosonia1, and it usually works out well. This friend usually likes to act independently of any prior discussion. I'm glad that you were able to use the watch later on, that your mother kept for you. However, in our case, I'd like to see my daughter enjoy a special gift now. I'm wondering when watches will become fashionable again for teenage girls, as there may be quite a wait. Thanks for your response.
• Canada
28 Jun 07
What works best for me is a gift certificate (have friends ask what her favourite store is!) or just cash. I personally don't care whether I receive $4 or $40, and people I know, know this, so there is no awkwardness there. I end up putting all the money in the same place, and thinking of each of them, when I do something for myself.
1 person likes this
• Canada
28 Jun 07
I think these things really work well too, danishcanadian, but these particular friends, don't 'like' to give gift certificates, or cash, as a rule. I'm sure your genuine pleasure in all of the gifts you receive, really pleases everyone. Thanks for your response.