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Old 09-28-2005, 09:04 PM   #1
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Default Xmas, Kids, Gifts & G'parents....

So holidays are fast approaching, we just recently moved to a small box of a house in CA & space is seriously limited, we're moving overseas probably in less than 18mos so the house size won't improve any in the near future. My problem is G'parents & Aunts who love to buy things for my kids, they don't go overboard with the # of gifts but size is often an issue...Princess vanities etc....the kids generally like the gifts but G'parents are far away & don't often know what the kids desperately want.
So my question....would it be rude to send an email saying due to space issues we're cutting down on gifts this yr, the kids have made lists can you please buy from the list so they are happy & our house does not explode...obviously I'd like a more diplomatic way of saying this...
They buy great gifts but they often don't work for our situation, that remote contol boat is way cool but the nearest lake is basically the pacific ocean !!!!! so you have G'parents who spent a lot of $$ & sad kids because Daddy doesn't want to drive hrs to play with the toy
I don't want to offend anyone but how do I do that ???
Help...
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Old 09-28-2005, 09:20 PM   #2
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I would worry less about offending anyone & just be frank about it. You don't have the space, an overseas move can seriously damage some stuff, and you feel that the "excess" of it all needs to end.

I can relate because my kids have 4 sets of grandparents. My dad & stepmom are on a very tight budget & give magazine subscriptions as gifts. So our kids get "Highlights" from them, which they love. What child doesn't think that getting their own mail every month is cool? My mom & stepdad try to send one thing that the kids want & maybe an outfit. My DH's dad & stepmom usually don't listen to us & buy a bunch of crap for the kids that they didn't ask for & don't like. And his mom & stepdad just get the kids one larger toy (like a big Lego set for my son) that they've asked for, or a gift card for WalMart or TRU. I always suggest clothes because it gets expensive to clothe these kids & they like to get new clothes occasionally. We live in Hawaii now, so shipping a bunch of packages over here gets expensive & it's a general pain.

If your kids like to read, suggest a Borders or BooksAMillion gift card. If they would rather have toys, make it WalMart, Target or TRU. My kids LOVE to go shopping with their own "money". If they need clothes, speak up. I'm a grown-up with a practical streak (that does NOT apply to my stamping habit!). We would rather get stuff we need & will use than get a bunch of impractical crap that we don't want & have no space for.
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Old 09-28-2005, 09:27 PM   #3
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I,too, would just nicely state that you guys have space issues and moving issues, and then ask them to just keep that in mind while shopping. If they ask what they are interested in, I would definitely answer. But I wouldn't just ask for giftcards because many people really enjoy picking out the gift. I really don't see a problem with telling them about storage and moving though.
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Old 09-29-2005, 03:16 AM   #4
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Default Same situation here....

We are in the same situation...military family on the move. We just frankly told our very generous family members that we really don't have space and would not want to have to "part" with any gifts due to lack of space. We have set up a 529 college account for DD #1 and also said that any monetary gifts (she's only 6 m/o) would be placed in a savings account especially for her to use as she gets older and has "wants". So far, everyone has been great! We have received plenty of smaller items that are easy to store and keep her plenty entertained.

I have a friend who also dealt with the situation.....her kids lessons (riding, karate, etc...) are gifts from the family. The kids love it! Just another idea.

I know how you feel, you don't want to be rude or seem ungrateful, but your family should respect your wishes!

Good luck!
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Old 09-29-2005, 05:26 AM   #5
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Having the kids make a list and asking everyone to shop from it is not a problem. My kids have done it for years and they have been happy with it. The one thing that DH and I do, is if there is something they really want and we have or want to buy for them we take it off the list before we share it with the rest of the family. That way I know there wont be any double presents. I also agree that gift cards are great too, and after christmas shopping is the best because you can get more for your money, my kids like that too. I am sure if you ask them they will be thoughful and helpful. Hope it all works out, Kerry
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Old 09-29-2005, 06:56 AM   #6
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Well, Miss Manners may say something different....But they're your parents and I don't think it's wrong to be frank with them. If it were a more distant relative it might be different, but it's not. Give them a list of ideas (books are great too and travel well and take up little room in their rooms) and ask them if they'd stick with that at least until you get back from overseas. I agree that magazine subscriptions are wonderful. A free month or two of movie rentals from Netflix or Blockbuster would be fun for the kids as well. They could pick out all of the movies and then they get mail all of the time. Good luck!

Renee
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Old 09-30-2005, 05:11 AM   #7
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The greatest gifts to ask for that take up no space is to have them pay the fees for a sport they may already be in. My DD is in swimming and there are new fees every quarter, how nice would it be to remind her every time she's in the water that Grandma bought this for you for Christmas?

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Old 09-30-2005, 05:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajm
The greatest gifts to ask for that take up no space is to have them pay the fees for a sport they may already be in. My DD is in swimming and there are new fees every quarter, how nice would it be to remind her every time she's in the water that Grandma bought this for you for Christmas?

Ann
I love that you mentioned this. My youngest DD is obssessed with Cheerleading she wants to be a Cheerleader so bad. When I looked at the price to sign her up with the park team I just about died. I told her we couldn't afford it at this time maybe next fall and somehow she can earn it (have to find ways for that she is only 6). Anyway she got it in her head that her birthday has past and Christmas is coming so she declared she was asking everyone for money or gold (I don't know where that came from) so she can do Cheerleading.

As far as letting Grandparents know about gifts and stuff you can nicely let them know what the kids would like and your concerns for space and if they play with those toys, but remember they may not always listen
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Old 09-30-2005, 05:28 AM   #9
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OK, I must be the only adult who still makes Christmas Lists for Santa (for myself and my husband). Being the only family member that lives out of the area, my family appreciates the suggestions. One year I even e-mailed my wish list straight from the JCP on-line catalog to my mom. My sister's thought it was a great idea because all mom had to do is click and pay and she was done with me, and I got something I wanted and it was the right size.

My mother still tries to buy something for each of us, and it is rather overwhelming; my dad, 7 kids, 7-inlaws, 15 grandkids, 2 grand babies on the way, and my sister has an exchange student with her again this year. That is 33 people to shop for not including any friends of the family, and mom is 79. Bless her soul, I hope I am still kicking it as strong as her at her age.

In our family lists are a MUST.
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