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Thread: Etiquette Questions

  1. #461
    FORT Fogey
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    Re: Etiquette Questions

    I have to admit, I'm a bit mixed on requests to give to a charity in lieu of gifts for a wedding or baby. On the one hand, I think it's a nice way of saying "our marriage is what matters to us - not getting material goods we really don't need". On the other hand, it kind of plays into the notion that a gift is expected, compounded with an assumption that how you give that gift can be dictated.

    Sometimes, people want to give a gift, and make it a keepsake gift, because you are special to that person and they want you to have a momento to signify that. I have a couple of dear friends that when they got married, I was very careful in selecting a gift that would be a keepsake that would stand out, and not just a setting of china or whatever, so that 25 years from now, they could look at that item and remember where it came from. I also have some things I've been given on special occasions that I still look at and remember who gave them to me and why, and it makes it special (the earrings I have in today as a matter of fact, came from my mom's best friend for my high school graduation) In those cases, asking for charitable donations in lieu of gifts gets tricky. If I give you a gift instead because you're special to me and I want you to have a keepsake, am I being heartless in not supporting the charity?

  2. #462
    On a cupcake mission! Lois Lane's Avatar
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    Re: Etiquette Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Veruka;2992223;
    If I give you a gift instead because you're special to me and I want you to have a keepsake, am I being heartless in not supporting the charity?
    I don't think anyone would be mad about that. I also get the impression that when people ask for donations to be made to a charity, they really aren't expecting anything for themselves or even to the charity -- unless the guests want to make that donation. I doubt they sit there wondering whether Mr. and Mrs. so and so donated in their honor. I could be wrong, but that's the vibe I've gotten from similar situations.

  3. #463
    FORT Fogey
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    Re: Etiquette Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Lois Lane;2992280;
    I don't think anyone would be mad about that. I also get the impression that when people ask for donations to be made to a charity, they really aren't expecting anything for themselves or even to the charity -- unless the guests want to make that donation. I doubt they sit there wondering whether Mr. and Mrs. so and so donated in their honor. I could be wrong, but that's the vibe I've gotten from similar situations.
    I think that is definitely the case in some instances. In that respect, it's along the lines of a "in lieu of flowers ..." line in an obit, which I find totally appropriate. But there are other cases where I've been left with the impression that it's done in more of a "Aren't we so wonderful? Look at how selfless we are" where I've been left with the impression that they would keep tabs. It's definitely all in the presentation.

  4. #464
    On a cupcake mission! Lois Lane's Avatar
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    Re: Etiquette Questions

    Well, I hope they're doing it for the right reasons. But I guess if the end result is that a worthy organization is helped, I can overlook their tackiness and patting themselves on their backs.

    I've noticed that more and more people are sending invitations to birthday parties that specifically say, "No gifts please." I never know if I should believe them or not! I try to honor whatever they wish, but I remember feeling like a cheapo when I showed up without a gift and everyone else was bringing in huge gifts! The hostess took those gifts and discreetly hid them away--but not before I saw them!

  5. #465
    Trouble in my life just1paul's Avatar
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    Re: Etiquette Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by myrosiedog;2991362;
    I've gotten 5 grad announcements and all are from old friends whose kids are graduating. So I'm only sending $25 as I can't afford to send more since I have so many.

    However, none of them sent my child anything when she graduated, so I may not send anything. I don't know.
    I would send exactly what was sent to juniorrosiedog.
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  6. #466
    Wild thang Rattus's Avatar
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    Re: Etiquette Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Lois Lane;2992320;
    I've noticed that more and more people are sending invitations to birthday parties that specifically say, "No gifts please." I never know if I should believe them or not! I try to honor whatever they wish, but I remember feeling like a cheapo when I showed up without a gift and everyone else was bringing in huge gifts! The hostess took those gifts and discreetly hid them away--but not before I saw them!
    This is why I think the majority of people who opt for donations to charity do it. Most people (not my friends, fortunately - I said no gifts at my weddings, no gifts is what I got) feel uncomfortable and awkward about not bringing or sending a gift to what would be a traditionally gift giving event or occasion. The donation is a gracious way of making one's guests feel comfortable while at the same time helping those in need. A win for everyone concerned.
    All I wanted was a 45, a stinking 45 - the record or the gun. I'd even settle for the damn malt liquor. - Al Bundy.

  7. #467
    addicted MamaC's Avatar
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    Re: Etiquette Questions

    When we celebrated my parents 50th wedding anniversary, my mother made sure that "No gifts please" was included in the invitation.

    Most people obliged, and they were fine with that. Others did, however, note in their cards that they made donations to St. Jude's and other charities that mean a lot to my parents. Others gave them gift cards to restaurants...or a bunch of lotto tickets!...again, because the guest felt odd not giving something.

    We also put together a "memory book" that included photos and little stories (submitted by the guests) that related to my parents. It is definitely something that both mom and dad truly treasure.

  8. #468
    FORT Fogey famita's Avatar
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    Re: Etiquette Questions

    I have to tell you of my almost "faux pas",...ok, it was really a whopper! I have ex-in laws and there is a history of not nice things. Well, in planning the rehearsal dinner, I neglected to invite them to the dinner. They are not in the wedding, and I really wasn't sure if they were coming into town the night before the wedding or not. Anyway, I found out that they were, so I called her last night to see if she and her husband would like to come to the rehearsal dinner and they will be attending. I feel better because I know it was the right thing to do. I know that if my ex were still alive, he'd be helping to pay. And it wasn't the money, but the things that she says that irks me and my sons no end! And, I'm going to seat them at my table! So, I guess I win the mini etiquette award (although I just lost it since I was bragging about myself!)

  9. #469
    FORT Fogey misskitty's Avatar
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    Re: Etiquette Questions

    famita: Congrats on your mini etiquette award!... Well deserved.

    I just attended a funeral and in lieu of flowers were donations to the Alzheimer's Society. My Dad and I were happy to do that. They just had envelopes at the entrance of the chapel where the sign in sheet was. They'd rather that money go for a cure than towards flowers which would die off in a week.

    I think if it is a different occasion and it says no gifts, it means no gifts. However, if the person was someone very special to me, I would probably give something prior or after the event so no-one was made uncomfortable. If you can contribute to a memory book with old photos, stories, or memorabilia, that usually really appreciated.

    As for monetary donations for graduation....I never got anything from anyone except a pat on the back! I know that nowadays, some kids expect a car, a big purchase, a holiday or something, but in my day, if you passed, that was your present!! Then it was, go and find a job!
    Live simply ~ Love generously~ Care deeply~ Speak kindly

  10. #470
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    Re: Etiquette Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by misskitty;2994851;
    As for monetary donations for graduation....I never got anything from anyone except a pat on the back! I know that nowadays, some kids expect a car, a big purchase, a holiday or something, but in my day, if you passed, that was your present!! Then it was, go and find a job!
    I've never heard of graduation gifts from anyone but the parents myself. Maybe it's something we don't do up here in the Great White North. Any other Canadians care to weigh in and enlighten us?
    All I wanted was a 45, a stinking 45 - the record or the gun. I'd even settle for the damn malt liquor. - Al Bundy.

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