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And I never hear anyone complaining about how selfish it is for the bride and groom to tell you what it is that they actually need. When I got married, it was so hard when someone bought off the registry, because a lot of times, they gave us something we already had and their good intentions are wasted and then we have to go to the hassle of bringing it back. Then you feel bad for the person who bought it. As a gift giver, I want what I buy to be appreciated and used. For my children, if asked, I suggest what they like.

In fact, not a single person who has bought for my girls this Christmas has bought something without checking to see what size the girls are and if there's anything that they are really excited about lately. Not because they are materialistic or spoiled or that I am , but because my family genuinely wants to give them something they will LIKE. Why does that make me greedy? I guess brides and grooms are the worst since they tell us what to get them- how selfish of them to think about your time and money.

Shame on them. It's the same thing with a baby registry. I find the it's same people who insist on buying whatever they want for my kids when they don't need it, but have zero clue what my daughter's favorite season is, or the names of any of her friends, or her favorite color, or what she wants to be when she grows up. Why are you giving her things when you don't want to know who she is?

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Aimee, I get your point, but you completely missed the point of this article! Wouldn't it be so much nicer if the gratefully received gift that you gave my child would light up their life and that of their parents, because you as a gift giver made the effort to get to know my child, find out what they really want or need and then go out and buy a gift that will come to good use and doesn't waste your money by ending up in the bin or at the nearest charity shop?

It's not about being ungrateful, it's about being thoughtful and grateful at the same time. Instead of lots of these kinds of gifts, I've decided to be the boring Auntie and instead gift in small ways but put money into their MESP college savings. My nieces and nephews have all appreciated it as they come of age. You mean you're the awesome Auntie who loves them so much you invest in their future instead of your own need to shop for frivolous things.

Good for you :. I buy a Christmas ornament for my God daughter each year. That way she'll have the beginning of her own collection when she's grown up and moves out on her own. That's a wonderful idea.

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We actually request ornaments with their names and the year engraved or painted on them to hang on our tree. My husband still has one he received as a little boy that we use every year and now our daughters have some too. One of my sisters did this for me. When my daughter was born, she stopped buying ornaments for me and started buying them for my child. I love it! Every year, I enjoy putting those ornaments on the tree and I think about how old I was when received this one or that one. I really do not like individual ornaments.

My Christmas tree has coordinated ornaments in the same colours of my home decoration. So the whole personalised ornaments thing just makes me shiver and I have received some for my children and my children received some, but they stay in the Christmas decoration box and some have been so ugly they 'accidentally' broke and eded up in the bin. Think before you buy!? Nicolette I have a solution for that- when I was growing up my friend's mom really loved having a perfectly coordinated tree, but the kids really love a sloppy mosaic of decorations.

Everyone was very happy with this arrangement. I guess. There are plenty of kids that dont owe a stuffed animal. Or you could donate them to. I am sure someone would be happy with the items you cannot use. Your blog here makes me sick really.

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Without childeren yes not by choice. Humbleness and gratitude for your friends and family without kids wanted or unwanted Shame on You!!! These items ARE donated. But ask the same family and friends to make a donation in our child's name to a charity and they refuse because they want to give something to the actual child. The logic of that completely baffles me because it disappoints the child in the process.

Other parents totally understand how horrified we are by the sheer waste that goes into spending on our children. That way those in need would receive new gifts instead of ones that have been opened. What you have overlooked is that the main thing that parents want from family and friends for our children is their TIME, which is why I suggested that instead of a gift that they offer to do something together. We are tired of excessive, thoughtless spending and want people to know that the biggest gift they give is getting to know our children as people.

But perhaps you you skimmed the entry and didn't get the main message. I'm pretty sure you missed the point of this post entirely Maya. The fact that you even felt the need to reply in such an ignorant manner makes me sick. Keyboard warriors like you should be ashamed of yourselves. My kids have so many toys it is ridiculous.

And a lot are hand-me downs but many are gifts from relatives. They are all appreciated but kids only play with them for a week and then move onto something else. When they ask me what they should get for the kids, I reply that if they would really like to give them something they can give money which I will deposit in their bank account.

That way when they are older they will have a nice start to their savings. Some relatives gladly have done this great. Some will give a portion in money and a a smaller gift to open also great. However certain relatives refuse because they want to the children to know what was given by them.

I'm not thankless. It's that I don't want my kids overwhelmed by toys, that they take them for granted. And saving for the kids future or even saving up for a large purchase in their teenage years, I think is a great idea. Indeed, there are a lot of kids without stuffed animal, why don't you give a stuffed animal to those kids instead of insisting on giving to someone who doesn't need one? What's your purpose of giving gift?

Why do you not bother to check what the receiver wants? You make me sick that you think you can just get whatever crap YOU like and expect the other person to like it. Then just keep giving kids things they don't want. Who cares what they need? After all, it's more important for you to feel good about giving than the kid to enjoy your gift. Because that's what you're saying, Maya. I have an internal fight every year when my kids receive presents that are inappropriate for one reason or another.

I am very thankful that the gift giver took the time and spent the money on my child's gift, and as a consequence I generally keep it in a cupboard because I feel guilty about moving it on, because I value the fact that someone spent money on that gift for my child. Take that problem and times it by 4 - for the amount of children I have and then try to find room in a small house to store said items I don't see this post as ungrateful, it's more about enlightening others on what items your kids would enjoy or need more than others so that your gift doesn't end up on a stock pile, never to be played with.

I even go one step further and ask grandparents especially not to buy cheap toys. Maya, I understand your frustration at not having children yourself and you probably want to spoil every child you see rotten because they are so precious. I totally get that. The thing is that you don't have a house full of broken and useless toys that clutter up your house, so you may not understand where the writer is coming from. I am sure even you and other adults reading this have received gifts that you find completely useless or not to your taste that you've thrown out or given to charity Why should we stop at asking children what they want?

Reader, ask yourself, have you asked your partner, brother, sister, mother, father, best friend, etc what they want for Christmas? Sure have asked and usually get the it doesn't matter, they'll like whatever you get them spiel. The presents I buy are what reminds me of the child, not some random, well it's in my price range and doesn't look deadly gifts.

Personally it rankles me a bit that it comes across as let me tell you how to spend your own money. So, these days it's a gift card to toys r us and let the parents spend hours listening to their kids agonize over which toys they can purchase so I don't have to do the agonizing myself. Here's hoping basic HTML tags work here I'm not as concerned about getting annoying talking toys but otherwise I would say that this list gives a very good account of recommendations for gift-giving to people with children - infants and younger children, especially.

Speaking as a parent of a 2-year old. With respect to the counter-claims attempting to "shame" the OP, I have this to say: Nothing - nothing - says "I am a considerate and thoughtful gift-giver who takes the time to understand and appreciate the people I am giving gifts to" like making the effort to buy, craft, donate, etc. After all, giving a gift is supposed to be about the recipient.

I think part of it is because I have such clear memories of how it feels to be a child. I had a very considerate aunt who always asked and picked wonderful gifts that made me very happy and I also remember the terrible disappointment I felt at the poorly picked gifts from others. I thought holidays were supposed to be about the kids, not the adults? I agree I always ask and I have five kids myself but seriously.

If you don't know the person you are giving too what is the point??? A gift should be a reflection of your relationship with the person. It's not hard. Asking is always the best way but seriously to make a list about what NOT to get your kids? You'd have been much better off with a list of their all time favorites and what they beg for the most.

Gift giving is so expensive and there are so many things to consider and your article is a good reminder. I spent years with well meaning "family" buying so much for my kids that they never wore or played with. I tried to ask them to not spend so much or do so much because I knew they would not be able to keep it up and eventually the younger kids would be left wondering why they did not get the same attention the older ones did. What I would have preferred would have been one joint big gift for all the kids like a good game that they could play together or a season pass to the zoo or an overnight stay at a hotel with a waterslide for the family - THOSE types of things the kids treasured for years and still talk about as adults.

We used to love seeing him arrive Christmas Eve with a box because we always knew there'd be "something to do" once we unwrapped it. Some years the games were ones that eventually wore out Life, Monopoly because we played them so much; some years they were played for the winter and sold in a yard sale the following summer. But we always looked forward to that gift, and looking back it's amazing to me that a person would choose to buy a "split gift" one that had to be shared among siblings because people almost never seem to do that anymore.

It's a great way to get more bang for your buck - we appreciated an "expensive" board game that forced us to play together much more than we would have appreciated three cheaper gifts. This is a well-thought out article. To those claiming the OP is "selfish", "greedy" or "ungracious"- you have totally missed the point here. I find it baffling that people are actually claiming it is selfish and greedy to suggest gifts of say, a picnic in the park, a book, or a set of pyjamas in lieu of junk food or expensive, useless toys.

And to suggest an ungracious attitude- who in his. Where in the article does the author say "whenever someone gives us a gift that isn't appropriate or useful, we openly scoff at them and mock them for their inferior gift-giving skills"? It doesn't because this is a real person writing this article, and most real people aren't monsters. And we never insult a gift or not let the kids have it just because it's annoying. I just wish people would stop spending their money on things that are going to waste.

If making gift lists or requests are selfish and greedy than why do we get kids to visit and write to Santa to let him know what they want? Does that mean by teaching them to ask we are making them selfish? Well, I'm happy to tell you that some people without kids like me are already fitting in the second category without getting any advice!!!

No need to have kids to realize what kind of gift you should give it is my point of view. I think people are too much focusing on giving "stuff" to kids, so I like your suggestions of "experience" and "interest". My oldest daughter is going to the movies with her Nana for her Christmas gift this year. Another year she went to the children's museum with her and for her birthday she went for tea at a fancy dining room with her. The memories were very special for her.

Puppies and kittens are cute but a normal person would ask someone if a puppy or kitten was wanted right? So why not have the same consideration and ask if something is wanted or needed.. I am quite sure that there are many adults that have been given "that gift" that makes them think if they were thought of when the gift was purchased..

Thanks for the advice! God, you think you people with kids are the only people in the universe to be stuck with something you didn't really want from someone who was trying to be kind? SHUT UP, get over yourselves, send a thank you letter anyway a basic courtesy that I've noticed people with kids seem to believe they're not obligated to do any more , and then do whatever you want with it. Just stop complaining.

That's a weird word to describe someone who buys something another person doesn't want, but expect him to be happy about it. I give them gift to make them happy, not to expect them to pretend to be happy to boost my own ego. If you don't consider what your friend wants when you give gifts and would expect your friend to just like whatever YOU like, then it doesn't sound like you are that kind of a person. If you are not going to put any thought into your gift, yes, please don't buy me anything. Gotham77 so you think someone should thank you for wasting your money on something that clutters up their house, just because you want to feel good about giving?

We are the first to have kids on my side of the family and my brothers think it's "funny" to buy the noisy toys that my boys LOVE and hubby and I don't he works 3rd shift and sleeps during the day so I have to try to keep kids quiet for him we discovered that a few layers of duct tape over any speaker will take the toy down to about half volume without totally ruining the fun for the kids like taking out the batteries when they have pushed the same button for the millionth time without letting it ever finish the original phrase yes my son did follow me around the house for hours with "wel-wel-wel-welco-we-welco-wel-wel Sorry "mommy broke it!

And the duct tape comes in so many different colors its barely noticeable on most toys so everybody wins!!!! That's a great idea. My eye was twitching this evening while I was making dinner because my daughters were in the next room pushing the same button over and over on some toy. And you're right, the worst part is when they keep hitting it so fast that it doesn't even play the whole word or phrase, it just does that weird robot stutter type thing.

I think you have covered everything!! And I shall inconspicuously drop this link in every email and letter I send to my friends and family going forward!!

Now, after having twins They are mostly on shelves just taking up space. They are a pain to clean when the kids puke on them, get them dirty, whatever. Can't stand them. But you're right, I had no idea until I had my own kids. I guess I've been lucky with most everything else. I've only gotten a few things that were TOTALLY inappropriate or annoying I can remember one babydoll that cried - as if I wasn't tired enough of hearing babies cry - luckily the twins were as annoyed by it as I was, so it was given away immediately.

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I'm glad we never got one of those dolls! And I think how easy it is to clean bodily fluids off the gifts is also very important. And it's also a "it's so horrible that people do nice things" blog, too! You got two birds with one stone! I hope your children learn to be more gracious and appreciative than you are You don't like the stuffed animals and talking toys?

So throw them out! Who forced you to keep them and make yourself a martyr? Until your friends have kids, you have no idea how self-absorbed and condescending people who have kids become. Oh my goodness, what a touchy young man. It looks like another person bought a giant bear. I am confused as to why you think I would personally insult someone who gave me a gift.

We always graciously thank people for any gift, even the totally inappropriate ones. This post was compiled of the opinions of many other parents I know, not an attack on anyone we know personally. It sounds like you have unresolved issues regarding your friends having children. A complete stranger wouldn't trigger that kind of anger otherwise. Right, you don't insult your friends for their gestures of kindness.

You just turn to the internet and tell the entire world what a burden they are on you. Fine, make up a reason to dismiss me. Don't bother reexamining your own behavior and considering how utterly self-absorbed you sound in this blog. But just understand, my reaction is from the fact that his is probably the hundredth blog I've seen about what a burden it is as a parent to receive acts of kindness from people. From whining about how it feels to be told "cherish these moments" from parents of now-grown children to this kvetching about gifts, all you can think about is yourself. This isn't even about your kids.

It's about YOU. Well maybe how it makes YOU feel when someone gives something to your child isn't really what matters. Well that's actually much less aggressive and makes a lot more sense. What I was trying to convey wasn't that we didn't like the gifts people were giving our children the annoying toys are true, but it's mainly just funny to us , but how heartbreaking it is for friends and family many who have very little money to begin with waste their money on things my children cannot use. I don't know if you read the second half of the post, but my suggestions and message were that as parents we don't expect expensive gifts, that we would prefer you spend the time with them, or buy them something small that they will really use.

Friends of the family always tell us how thrilled they are to see photos of the girls playing with their toys, or wearing the clothes they were given in many pictures that we share. It's a shame when something ends up not fitting, either their bodies or inside our small house, especially when someone we care about has put so much money and thought into it. This isn't about greed, this is about less wasted money and resources.

I'm not trying to insult people without children, for 31 years I was one of them, and I bought many stuffed animals because that's what I thought was expected. If I had known otherwise, I would have given something else. Howdy strangers I'm going to have to agree with gotham77 here. It seems like the past 2 months have been nothing but lists complaining about nice things that happen or nice things that people do for them.

Basically, stop being annoying about people giving you gifts. They do not have to do this for you, they are being kind. But what do you and all these other whiners do? You complain about it to the internet and expect more - "It's not enough someone is giving me a gift, it has to be THIS gift else I'll be annoyed or my husband and I will laugh at it behind your backs.

No one but you really cares this much about your kids. For what it's worth, I have kids of my own and almost none of this applies to me. How dare you think you speak for all parents with children. You don't speak for me My 5 year old still adores stuffed animals. And oh yeah, I still have a scar on my face because one of your precious wooden block toys splintered off and cut me as a baby so I in no way allow my children to go near them. Different strokes for different folks lady. You don't own parenting so you have no right to pretend like you do.

Why aren't you bothering to reexamine your own behavior and considering how utterly self-absorbed you sound? And why are you accusing of others being self-absorbed only because they disagree with you? Why don't you just lay down your reasons in a civil way? Is it ok for me to accuse you for all of the above? This blog is to bring attention to people who do not put thoughts into their gifts and keep buying garbage, thinking that whatever crap they buy, the other person has to like it. Yes it is about them when I buy gift for them, it is not about me.

Stop making up excuse and reexamine YOUR attitude in giving gifts. Bottle line, yes, different strokes for different folks, best advice is to ASK, and not buy someone because YOU like it and expect the other person would too. When someone gives your child a gift it is an act of love. When you reject it or put conditions on it, you're putting conditions on their love.

Perhaps that's not want you intend, but in effect, that's what your doing. Be gracious and just say thank you, and acknowlege how blessed you are that so many people want to give to your children. Aren't you so very blessed? I do say thank you every single time. I think the sarcasm may have been lost on a lot of people, this post was supposed to be funny. We have wonderful friends and family who love our children very much. Oh no, the sarcasm came through loud and clear. What's apparently lost on YOU is that sarcasm is a form of passive aggression.

I agree with you sej, gift is in the giving and is an act of love, and when the giver does not consider the other person's needs and want, is it really an act of love? When you make gift giving about yourself, and making gift giving about boosting your own ego and don't consider the receiver's feeling, it's not an act of love anymore. As a gift giver, do you not want to know exactly what the other person wants?

Claim it as an act of love all you want, but the moment you think that you deserve that the other person has to be happy even when you give them something that they don't like, it's not an act of love anymore. Let us compare gift giving to another act of love-a hug: It is your birthday and I know that this is a time where I should show you love so here is this X I have no clue if you want or need I just got it because I am supposed to show you love.

I have not seen you in a while so I am supposed to show you love so here is a hug a bit awkward and not very snug In both cases it is obvious that is was done out of obligation rather than thought or caring THINK about the gift you give to give to make it more meaningful to the child. I am thankful and appreciative of each gift that my children get but I also feel great amount of guilt when that gift "goes to waste" because it was not appropriate for the child and thus they were never able to use it. My father gave my children a LARGE train set that is too big for us to set up in our house and our son was too little at the time when it was gifted to us.

We still have it tucked away in our storage unit brand new waiting for a day when we will hopefully have enough space to set it up. Every time my dad asks about it I feel guilty, every time my son asks if we can set it up I feel guilty I know, the guilt is the hardest part of it. The reason I haven't 'just thrown out' or donated that pile of stuffed animals is because of the guilt I feel on behalf of the people who gave them with good intentions.

I keep hoping my children will grow to like stuffed animals when they are older. For now they are stuffing in our beanbag chair. Oh, Cassi, I want to hug you as I feel your pain over your guilt! I so empathise with you on that one. Can you somehow explain to your father that you really love his gift, but that unfortunately it will not fit in your house? Could you take out part of it and let your child play with only a section of it? Or perhaps when you break the subject with your dad get it exchanged for a smaller one that will fit and can be played with?

Lulu, I feel the same about the stuffed animals. Unfortunately my son LOVES stuffed animals and they all have to live on his bed, it's a nightmare to make his bed as all the stuffed animals need to come off and then be put on and arranged so there is still Soave for him to sleep. He's 7 years old now and still needs all of them there, they fall off the bed when he turns in his sleep, so the mess in his room every morning is incredible.

We have them on shelves in his room, on the floor, in a net with different compartments hanging from the ceiling, on his book shelves, which are also over crowded with books They are cute I always think of the parents when I'm buying for their children and I don't need to have kids to know this. It bugs me a bit that people generalize and lump all of us together. It really depends on their living quarters as well. My friend has a studio and I'd never think of getting her anything that would have a footprint in her home.

We learn a lot from all of the times we babysit our friends and family's kids for free. If people don't like the idea of buying clothes sometimes they think it's too boring buy some clothes with organic fabrics or ask about the bedding -- could they use extra sheets for the bed wetters etc. Make your gift count, be thoughtful and you should do just fine.

PS I'll still buy the noisy toys if they are educational. If I can phase it out so can parents! We know a lot of people who are considerate like you are. I wish we had people to babysit as well! Your friends are very lucky! For those crying ungrateful Especially if they just keep buying you size 2 skirts over and over again? I almost never post on the blogs of complete strangers, but felt compelled to here.

A lot of these commenters are frankly jerks. What's so wrong with being asked to respect the needs of your friends and family? Also, what's so wrong with being advised on what will help someone's kids grow as a person and feel genuine, non-rampant-consumerism-driven happiness?

I echo the above opinions that some gift-givers make it entirely about themselves rather than the recipients, which is just so very thoughtless and rude. As someone who has no kids and isn't planning any, I am very grateful to Lulu for this useful post. Your list is wholly accurate though I'd disagree about sheets; I seemed to have gotten bombarded with them , but your attitude sucks. Please remember that your target audience for this is people who are indeed buying gifts for your children.

Maybe you're trying to be funny with your comments, but you come off as rude, dictatorial, and entitled to the gifts your children are receiving. I also rarely post on anyone's blog, strangers or otherwise - but a friend posted this to FB and it really left a bad taste in my mouth. It is sad that you don't see the ingratitude with which this post is written.

Defending yourself by saying "but I always say thanks and that wasn't my point" is a day late and a dollar short. Your gut impulse was to write a cheeky list advising people of what to give your kids. Were your soul truly filled with gratitude and understanding towards others, your ENTIRE post would have be written differently.

Brilliant solution: give those gifts to your local homeless organization, church, synagogue or hospital. Because while so many of us are about to just pull out our hair if we have the hear another chatty doll…some people would die for the opportunity to give their kids such an expensive toy. What makes this better: while we all know kids can get attached to these things on first sight, explaining to them that we're giving it to other girls and boys who are not as lucky as they are is an invaluable lesson.

Do you know how incredible insensitive that suggestion would be to someone in real life giving a gift to your child in real life. Let your child open it and tell the person 'Oh I'm sorry, they can't keep this, we're going to give it away but thanks for nothing'. When someone gives a toy to a child they generally expect them to take it out of the packaging and watch them play with it right away.

This means that even if you're giving it away to charity, you're giving them a used toy. We actually donate NEW toys to charities to give to children, as well as money and food. When someone gives YOU a present do you look them in the eye, say 'no thank you' and tell them you plan to give it away? I didn't think so. This isn't a post about gratitude and charity, it's about the massive amount of waste that is created by misdirected spending toward children.

We're and extremely environmental family and it really bothers me when people feel obligated to buy excessive amounts of gifts for my children. It also bothers an extremely large number of other parents out there considering the hundreds of messages I've received in the past few days thanking me so trying to spell it out for people that they should think before they buy whatever they think of. My BIGGEST concern is actually that there is actually still a planet left for my children to live on at all when they grow up, but it doesn't look very hopeful considering they mass consumerism and thoughtless spending that has become the norm in our culture.

So I guess I'm selfish for requesting small, practical gifts or that people spend time with my children instead of buying them a giant piece of landfill fodder. Lulu -- You are not selfish. And if people ASK, by all means, request all the things you mentioned. But I have definitely told my kids, even at birthday parties where all the gifts were purchased by well-meaning parents, "No, let's wait and open that later," and then quietly put it in a closet to be given away or regifted at a later date. My kids never even noticed.

As I mentioned above, your suggestions are all sound; it was the snarky "Don't you know any better? I know you were trying to be funny; it just didn't sound that way. I am sorry if I offended anyone. I seriously didn't expect anyone except a handful of friends to read this in the first place. But so many of them both parents and those without kids- the same ones who bought us gifts and can laugh about it loved it so much that they kept asking to share it and it ended up going viral on Facebook.

So suddenly hundreds of thousands of people are reading something that was intended for about four. I've been blogging for 3 years, mainly over at my cooking blog and I've never had anyone but my own friends following any of it. Not much. Well, on the plus side, maybe you picked up some new readers! Viral is what bloggers shoot for, right? Ha, too bad it's the wrong blog! That place is my 'real' blog. But I guess my grilled chicken and cheese dip just don't touch any nerves with people.

I can't believe how many negative and down right rude comments this blog post has received. First of all, there was a degree of humor to it. Second, If you know the kid well enough to be getting him or her a toy, why not take the time to get to know the kid? Otherwise, why are you buying a gift in the first place?!

The author has been attacked for "acting like a martyr" and keeping gifts out of guilt.

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What about all of these people with the attitude of, "I'm giving you a gift so be grateful That isn't very loving. Shouldn't gifts be given out of love? We have a problem when gifts are given out of guilt because the culture tells us that we need to purchase gifts for everyone and their dog. I don't think that this blog meant to divide the internet into parents vs. This is obviously a touchy subject and name calling will get us nowhere.

If the author has offended you, calling her things or accusing her of things will only perpetuate negative comments and attitudes. Be kind and gentle and write as you claim you want to be written to. Yes, yes, for the love of your deity of choice, YES!!! I have three children, ages 11, 4, and 2, and I wholeheartedly agree with every point on this list!!! And I also have to say in response to some of the harsher responses.. Please don't be so quick to judge. This is about a mom sharing her life experience. Nowhere in her post is she nasty, degrading, demanding, or rude. Why are some people feeling such a need to bash her for what is obviously meant to be a helpful post.

I'm not saying everyone should agree or that we can't have differences of opinion, but is it really necessary to be mean to someone you've never met simply because you don't like something they wrote that you CHOSE to read? I'd like to say something meaningful here about the spirit of the season, but really all I have is a twist on something we've all heard before What I find disturbing is the number of people who want to buy other people's children noisy, annoying toys to 'pay them back'.

I find this spirit of revenge uncalled for. What are you paying them back for? Having children in the first place? Or if you're grandparents are you paying them back for someone ELSE buying them annoying toys as a child that they were playing with? How is that justified? If you feel the need to get back at someone passive aggressively by buying their kids something that will torture the parents then you clearly either don't love their child, or the parents, or both and should not be giving them anything.

If I knew someone in our lives felt this way about us then I wouldn't want them around my kids in the first place. Also, contrary to popular belief, most parents don't look down on people without kids or want to 'pay them back' for not having kids. Many of my close friends are child free by choice and I totally understand and respect their reasons for making that choice, just like I hope they respect my choice to have children myself. I always had a very strong desire for children and wanted them very very much since a young age and couldn't imagine not having them because it was something that I wanted.

Having kids is such incredibly hard work and it overtakes your life in so many ways that I can't advocate for anyone going into it without wanting it with everything you have. The fact that you want it so much is what gets you through the moments of cleaning up vomit at 3 am when people without kids are sleeping soundly after a nice evening out with friends. I also don't assume that people who don't want kids don't like children, often the opposite is very true. I happen to feel the same way about dogs- love them when they belong to someone else, but I don't want the work and responsibility that comes with caring for one.

I don't have kids, but I like the idea of this blog. And I appreciate you letting me know what I should do when I give my friends' kids gifts. Another suggestion, it's not if you are too lazy or inconsiderate to learn what the kid wants and just want to buy something that YOU like, at the very least include the gift receipt when you give the kid the gift. But still, it's a hassle for him to bring all the toys back. I agree with absolutely everything you said. I love your idea for a gift card for the actual child instead of for the parents to get something for them. My daughter would love an 'ice cream card'.

She got one for the book store this year and we went together and she picked out 2 books that she wanted. She liked the idea of being able to get any book she wanted! When my cousin called my house "Al's Toy Barn" I told him it was the grandparents' fault. For my kid's next birthday that same cousin bought my son snack packs of carrots and celery with ranch to dip in and it was my son's FAVORITE gift that year lol.

I don't have kids, but I remember that, as a kid, I enjoyed many of the things you mentioned in the first part of your post. I would have appreciated a stuffed animal more than pyjamas, which I think is more of a gift for the parents who don't have to buy a necessary but not desired item anymore. When the baby is too young there is no such thing as a gift for the it because it doesn't understand the concept of receiving. Even when kids are a few years old, some people still see gift giving as a sort of exchange with the parents. But you're saying this post was intended for a few childless close friends and relatives, so I don't get how they didn't know what your kids needed by now.

Wasn't it better to tell them in person, from the beggining, instead of generalizing advice? I totally understand that some gifts are inappropiate for kids, like items made for adults or too much of something, but CANDY? Really, not even in small amounts once in a while?! An "experience" with the kid is a gift for you, because it's free babysitting. So is a meal you didn't have to cook yourself. And books that you as an adult still like after reading them over and over sounds like mission impossible. Maybe you don't realize it, but what this article expresses is not that you care about the wasted money of the givers for them it's not a waste if it's from the heart.

It expresses that motherhod has turned you in a very demanding person, if you weren't like that already. Gifts are not charity, you can buy yourself the things that your daughters actually need. Only if you can't is it ok to ask specifically. I agree, however, that it's better to ask the parents when buying smth for their kids.

After a while, you'll probably complain there are two many hard wooden toys on the floor and you'll miss the days when you accidentally stepped on a fluffy buny. Candy is actually the biggest problem. Because yes 'just a small bit once in a while' is fine. But what makes you think that you're the only person in their entire lives offering that 'small bit of candy' once in a while? My oldest daughter was in pre-school last year where they celebrated the kids birthdays.

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In a class of 30 this meant there was at least one birthday a week, which meant cupcakes with frosting for all. They also had days to celebrate all the different colors pink, red, blue, green, yellow, brown, ect There was also 'hockey day' and 'rainbow day', as well as a halloween party, Christmas party, Valentine's party, Easter party, St. Patricks day party, ect, complete with cupcakes or cookies. On Halloween, Valentine's and Easter the kids gave each other cards, but with almost each card a mother had attached a bag of candy. She also went out trick or treating on Halloween and was given more candy from all the neighbors.

We take her to the Santa claus parade every year where most organizations throw candy to the kids, and she gathers up a big pile. We attend several Christmas parties for family friends, as well as at my husbands work and at her school. They are given cookies, cake and candy at all of these parties. She is also invited to many birthday parties for her friends on the weekends, there seem to be 1 or 2 every month.

At these parties there is always cake served, as well as many other treats. She comes home from each other these parties with a 'grab bag' full of candy. This does not include our family, which means every time a cousin, aunt, uncle, parent, ect has a birthday or holiday we all get together and there is birthday cake or some sort of holiday dessert. And she is babysat by her grandma many weekends who wants to buy her an ice cream.

This assumes that as parents we never EVER give our children treats ourselves, which we actually rarely can because they are already eating so much of it and that makes us sad. So yes, when someone without kids gives our kids a gift of candy and tells us 'oh lighten up, a little bit of candy is okay for them once in a while! And THIS is why it is a problem.

My point was that there are worse things you can get a child, though I understand your concern. Nonetheless, it seems to me that the bigger problem is kids receiving a lot of candy from other parents too, not only people without children. Your post is called "a message to those without children", so it's a bit unfair.

Other parents are definitely the biggest part of the problem as there is some sort of unwritten competition between school mothers to out do each other with holidays. It's a peer pressure thing that I myself refuse to succumb to but am constantly exposed to. I'm just saying that people without kids might not be aware that this is already going on and that some parents really really want other people to stop giving their kids candy.

I don't think there is a worse gift to give a child than diabetes. Since when do have guidelines of what we should give to those kids we adore? As parent of 5 kids, being given a gift, shouldn't we thank and respect what ever gift they give to our children, no matter how annoying the sounds are or even out of season whatever. The thought of somebody adores your child and spend their hard earned money to make your child happy is demonstrating love to your child no matter what the gift may be. If a parent will have these "guideline" of what or what not to give I see this very disrespectful and over the top picky especially coming form a mother like Lulu.

This is not "Fact", this is "Selfish and Tactless Opinion" from a the author that perhaps apply to some but not the most. Very well said! But no matter how good your intentions, there are always the haters out there. I think all your points are spot on, and the comment someone made about 'me me me When I give gifts I like to think the gift will make a positive difference My goddness, get a life I can hear it now Well instead of buying crappy gifts that are not so much 'unwanted' as they are just never used, try sponsoring a starving uneducated child in Africa, hmm, I wonder what the Africans who are literally starving to death would think of getting a truck load of soft toys for Christmas?

As oppossed to gardens planted, wells sunk and school fees paid How dare someone do something nice for you. This is the most selfish thing I've read. This Is So Ignorant. Those people spend money on you they could have spent on themselves. Be thankful you can complain about how much you have when alot of people these days are doing with out. Christmas is a time to give.

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  • I am saddened by the arguement that my gift to your child isn't exactly what YOU wanted. Be grateful you even have a child to love. Christmas is hard enough when you have lost a child- don't make it any harder by your "gift rules". You may have meant to be helpful but really you just sound mean. And yes I read the whole blog and replies so no skimming here. How about you stop being so god damn selfish and be thankful for what you get! There are so many families in this world that can't afford food, never mind toys. They would be grateful for a stuff animal. Some children have never even seen a teddy that can talk!

    Stop being so selfish over things and just be grateful, instead of bitching about the gifts your spoiled kids get, why not donate them to the needy! Christmas is about giving and being with family, not bitching that you didn't get book you asked for! Or like some people, ask your friends and family instead of gifts for my child, how about you donate money, toys, food to a local charity! I got nothing for my birthday. I got stuffed animals for Christmas. It was the only thing I got. Now I am failure to launch.

    I have no money. No job. No school. No anything. I am disabled. The best gift I got was skating lessons from my grandma. It isn't bitching. I have been homeless I have been in ruins. Nobody thought about my future. Imagine if the money they kept spending on stuffed animals was spent on a future for me? It is you who keeps buying the stuffed animals that is selfish.

    I'm happy my grandparents did what they did,and am happy we do what we do for ours. I am also happy we dont have you as a child or daughter in law. We do what we do because we love the grandkids, and so did our grandparents. I am sure that many people are a little annoyed, but your blog takes it to another level. So selfish. That said, if any child or inlaw posted this, then I'd have ahrd time buying gifts at all. I still would, because they are NOT foryou, they're for the grand kids. A drumset and electric guitar would be cool. And well deserved. Our grandkids have always been thriilled with everything.

    We take them to swimming lessons, we have them pretty much one to two days a week, every week, always, and do a LOT with them. We ask THEM what they want, not their parents. And we get noisy toys because we want to. TRY a bit of gratefulness. And a bit of humility. This whole blog made me ill. My grandparents were THE most important people in my life. You shold be grateful you have them, your kids have them, start there.

    There are also many other reasons people may not have children beyond not having them yet and being too selfish to want them. How extremely narrow minded. In addition, I have never once gifted one of these items - but thank you for assuming that sense I don't have children I am too stupid to know better. These gifts could come from anyone, children or not. Humility and grace go along way.

    You know what, I would love to have kids, but God has not blessed me in that way. So sue me if I want to buy things for your kids that I would have bought for my own. How awful and thoughtless of me. Also, I;m sorry, but I thought these gifts were for the kid, not the convenience of the parent.

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    I have spent years buying gifts for nephews, cousins, friends kids and they never give me a thing. Because I am so selfish and thoughtless. I don't even put up a Christmas tree anymore because there's never anything under it for me to open. The stuffed animals I've bought for some kids are the ones they still have If your kids has too many, then donate the rest Not only have I gifted your child with a stuffed animal, but I gifted you with a tax donation.

    Let's not forget that in the end, the joy is in the giving, not the getting, so get over whatever it is your kids are getting and recognize the joy someone had from picking it out and giving it to them. Great list! I used to think sleepers with zippers were great too, until I had a son with an umbilical hernia. Trust me-I caught it in the zipper-bad situation. So even with my second I used all the hand me down snaps and survived :. Although you forgot to mention that there are some of us that won't be able to have children naturally not just by choice , live vicariously through those who have kids, and adore our friends' kids, nieces and nephews, I do appreciate your blog.

    When we get a vague response, we always default on gift cards like visa cards that you can use anywhere , and have them decide what they want. To me, and this is just my opinion, nothing says 'I love you' more than taking the time to get to know the kids in our life and investing in their interests, likes and dreams. By asking first, you are being considerate to the family culture and showing that you love and care for them.

    But then, I guess this blog wouldn't be necessary if we all ask I have no children of my own, but I do have to buy for some friends. This information was extremely helpful. I was relieved to figure out that I had given some of the good gifts! Phew, it took us three years to conceive a child and we went through a lot of pain with infertility and it cost tons of money. I'm sure you are very grateful for all the gifts you receive from folks that don't have children. Although this is not true of everyone without children, I would have found it really painful to know that the gifts I had bought were not the right ones.

    I've always tried really hard to be a good gift giver. Truly, though, the real gift is being able to have the child. Sometimes those who have conceived children without difficulty fail to realize that one of the reasons the child free don't give the right gift is because it's painful to research that provided they have a history of infertility and aren't child free by choice, of course. I know that this may be beside the point of the one you were trying to make with your post, and I'm not trying to attack you.

    This independence can scare some cubs though. After all, a rich older woman is used to the best and also to her independence. So why does she need you? You also need to be well aware that she is a strong, independent woman, so check your male dominance at the door. While anyone who is dating someone who is richer than they are would expect to have different backgrounds and expectations, sometimes the vast amount of difference between the two of you can be shocking. Just keep an open mind and ready to explore and experience parts of her world that she loves.

    It sounds simple, right? Not all cougars are going to be a sugar momma, just like not all cubs have their lives sorted out at the age of So what do you have to do in order to have a sugar momma? Put in the time to search. You need to do some research and you need to put some money in. After all, sugar mommas are not looking for a reverse Pretty Woman scenario. Get groomed. Know where the lines are. Cubs who are set on being the dominant partner and in control of a relationship, should look elsewhere. If you are lucky enough to find yourself with a sugar momma or rich cougar on CougarLife.