Receiving gifts on any occasion is wonderful, but when does it become excessive? Unfortunately, excessive gift-givers, especially to children, have become a dilemma for families who want a clutter-free lifestyle and believe that too many material possessions negatively impact kids.
Receiving too many gifts happens to adults as well. Usually, the giftee will keep the gift in the attic or storage, exchange it for something else or regift it to others. So, how can you say “No, thank you” to gift-givers without hurting their feelings?
- Think of a gift-giving alternative – This can be charitable institutions, soup kitchens, or any organization about which you feel passionate. Targeted gifts allow both the giver and the receiver to be involved in doing something more purposeful and avoids hurting Grandma’s or a favorite aunt’s feelings.
- Create a wishlist or gift registry at the website of your favorite online store or nearby retailer’s website. Gift registry is practical and the best way to point gift-givers in the right direction on what you want to receive.
- For kids, ask gift-givers if they are comfortable giving cash to a bank account for the kids. If they are, provide them with the bank account information to direct their cash gift. Tell them any amount will be appreciated. The money will be spent on the child’s favorite hobbies, sports, particular music or dance lessons, to purchase a musical instrument, etc. This way, gift-givers become a genuine part of the children’s growth and development.
- Whether to your own gift-givers or those of your children, say “No” politely and emphasize that their presence is the best gift. Sometimes it’s better to be direct and just say No. It doesn’t mean you think of them less, just that the physical gifts aren’t necessary. Their presence in your lives, getting to know them, and enjoying their company is priceless.
Saying ‘No’ is not being disrespectful or ungrateful. It’s just telling the person who you are and what you value most.
In our present time, we want to watch carbon footprint, lessen the use of plastic and paper for packaging and keep our home free from clutter, so being forthright is more appropriate.
One more appropriate step towards a clutter-free home!