Christmas Gifts & Gaffes


Every year Mary’s kids anxiously await Christmas gifts from their beloved grandparents.  Mary however, dreads the annual influx of giant plastic toys – most with loud, annoying sound effects…  So this year, Mary sent an email out to all the grandparents, asking them not to send anything plastic, big, loud, or that had lots of pieces. 

Mary’s parents were fine with her directive, but her in-laws… not so much.  They wrote back saying they felt it was rude that Mary was telling them how to spend their money and what to buy – and not buy – for their own grandchildren!  They feel that the very nature of a gift is that it comes from the giver’s heart (and wallet) and should be appreciated no matter what…

Now, of course, Mary is trying to figure out how to get everyone back in the holiday spirit – before they all come for their week long Christmas visit.  So, what do you think?  Was Mary wrong to send the email to her family – or would you (OR HAVE YOU) have done the same thing?!

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4 Responses to “Christmas Gifts & Gaffes”

  1. louie says:

    Of course she was wrong. Gifts are given, or should be given, especially to Children, with the “Play thought” well thought out and behind it. Just because a toy might be an annoyance to a parent doesn’t mean it’s not a great source of fun and learning for the Child. Grandparents, in particular, like to give “Fun” things. They know the kids and what they like. Sorry, Moms and Dads, it’s fun for the kids, not particularly fun for YOU. This is what being a Grandparent is all about. We’ve actually been there before.
    Mary Needs to acknowledge this to her inlaws and say she was out of line.

  2. cat says:

    agreed. wrong and annoying. she should have taken the approach of “here’s some of the things the kids have been asking for” and making that list conform to HER needs (not theirs obviously)… that way the inlaws and she are on the same page, no hard feelings. and, yes, an apology is in order.

  3. Lynn says:

    I think Mary’s request was fine. I think her in-laws reply was rude. Gifts are not appreciated “no matter what.” The in-laws should take the parents’ wishes into account when giving a gift, and Mary’s husband should be supporting Mary in setting parameters for gifts to the grandkids.

  4. Molly says:

    I think that it was okay to Mary to send the email, however, I would have suggested doing it in a more positve tone, rather than a negative one.
    In other words, say, “This is what the kids want for Xmas, along with some suggestions of things I think they would like” as opposed to a “don’t send this” list.

    The positive approach (with an array of price choices) makes the most sense to me. It’s kind of like a wedding registry. Those that want to buy the happy couple what they’d really like, as opposed to buying the recipients what you want.

Any Thoughts?

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