On grace and gifts

mtnrdredux_gwApril 28, 2014

I am curious what posters here do about decor gifts.
We are pretty particular about our homes, obviously. So what do you do when someone gives you a gift for your home, and it is not something you want to display?

I have had this happen a few times. The gifts have been nice and thoughtful and appropriate, to be honest. (which makes it harder). But I don't like a lot of stuff around anyway, and what i do have I have chosen with great care, and usually don't want to add or replace.

What I did do, in a quest to avoid clutter (borne partly from the experience of recent moves), was to almost immediately send these things to Goodwill.

Now, I feel really badly about that decision. In particular when people visit (thank god no one has asked). I am wondering if I should keep such items in a box somewhere, and bring them out when people visit? That seems dishonest, but nicer anyway.

Then,I think, am I just a horrible control freak person that I cannot enjoy a gift given with thought and care, even if it isn't 100% what I would choose?

What are your experiences?

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I would put out enough information to allow others to make rational gift decisions regarding your home. Perhaps there is a special wine you are fond of?

There is no point in allowing others to waste their resources unproductively.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 11:42AM
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Hmm, if it ever comes up, I always say I don't want anything of course, and if pressed I will ask for flowers or plants or somesuch.

Frankly, too, I could tell these people really did put thought into it (they gifts were well beyond the threshhold of rational), it's just that I am a PITA I suppose.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 11:53AM
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For me, I think when people come into my home they see that I don't do clutter or frou frou or tchotchkes. I have so few things out that they don't get a sense of what I would want so they don't bother. And if they did, I would be gracious in thanking them and store it in the box in which it came until I could get rid of it.

I always remember 31 years ago when my DH and I got engaged and he said that he had no idea what kind of ring to buy me because I never wear jewellery. So we shopped together

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 12:00PM
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We've received gifts for the house that I don't like. I keep them in the basement and put them out when people come (I even have a clock that was given to me that is plastic wood that plays music (!!!) that I hang (I take down a different clock and hang it up when they come).

Dishonest, but it avoids potentially hurt feelings...

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 12:06PM
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That's a tough question, but I also give away any decor gifts that I don't want to use. I figure if the gift giver never sees their items on display, they will get the message and stop giving me decor items.

The exception is a gift from my mother. I'm honest with her when she buys me something that I won't use and she keeps receipts so that I can return things. The same is true for items I buy for her.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 12:07PM
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If it is a gift that I know someone is going to look for when they next come over, I will put it away and pull it out when they visit. This is a relatively small number of items.

The rest of the items I will give to family members or friends who like and want them. I figure that it is better that someone use them than have them sit in the closet forever.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 12:09PM
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"I would put out enough information to allow others to make rational gift decisions regarding your home. Perhaps there is a special wine you are fond of? "

I would keep trying that, but I know it doesn't always work. I have a friend that has bought me more than one decorating item and I wish she'd stick to other stuff. She hasn't bought me tons of items, but a few with birthday or Christmas gifts. I do believe she puts thought into and she's a very sweet person. There is one gift that I get out when I know she's coming. It's not my taste, but it makes her smile. Maybe it's lying, but I don't feel wrong about doing it.

This is exactly why I'm a huge fan of giving money. Most of us have so much stuff, it allows the person to decide how to use it. We just gave our three year old niece money for her birthday along with a book so she had something to open. Her parents were quite appreciative!

I know there are some people who find the money thing offensive and feel there was no thought put into the gift, for those people I'll buy something, but it always leaves me wondering if they really like it.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 12:09PM
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Difficult and thorny area of discussion -- even among the closest of families and the best of friends .....

a)In a perfect world -- folks would choose gifts wisely -- and realize that a true GIFT -- comes with no strings attached. That means that the use/display time held/disposal of the gift is truly up to the Receiver ....

b)Gifts with a family history -- again -- some of these type of gifts come with the added weight of family history -- which works for some folks -- but not others. Again -- in a perfect world -- there should not be a "time limit" for keeping/displaying/disposal of such gifts. And some of these gifts are given because The Gifter wants them out of THEIR house without the guilt of any kind of disposal options -- and thereby the Receiver takes on that guilt .....

c)Upfront Gifting: This is another thorny issue -- where the receiver is upfront and honest about the type/sort of gifts that they would appreciate. Of course -- this discussion depends on the occasion (wedding registry; shower gifts; holiday gifts etc.) AND on the family situation at that time .....

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 12:12PM
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I will add a d) to your list.

No-gifts-please Perceived Snobbism

I have always been vocal about no gifts. For example, for all of my kids birthday parties. I tired of seeing toddlers take home trashbags filled with toys, and I find the whole ritual devoid of meaning when parents clearly are the ones doing the selecting, giving, etc. Some parents felt odd about this and wanted to give a gift anyway. Okay, no biggie. Thankfully as kids get older, donations to causes are more acceptable.

I also always try to avoid any situations where we might receive a gift. Why? I hate for people to spend money on me. Also, i can't even find myself a gift, how can they? (DH is very very good at it though, dear man). I really like nice cards and I appreciate people making me a nice meal, etc. Gifts, not so much.

But, I realize, it is important to other people sometime, to give a gift. ONe has to learn to be a gracious recipient.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 12:23PM
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I have seen some truly horrid (perhaps gag) decor gifts given, often by close family members. And I have seen them dutifully displayed.

I have received gifts of decor which I don't care to display.

Typically, I keep them in storage ... for the typically rare occasion when I might want to pull them out for display (i.e. if said relative is coming by).

A way to look at the situation is like this. I furnish my home (i.e. where I live 365 days a year) ... with that which I LIKE.

A gifter is, typically, giving you something which looks good/interesting/attractive to THEM.

If I don't like it, ... it makes no sense for me to infuse it into my day-to-day life.

However, I can retain the gift to display when the person who does like it is coming by ...

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 12:28PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

I try to hold on to things for a time, at least. Right now my biggest difficulty are decor things my kids buy. Their Sunday school group goes a thrift store to sing carols and give out Christmas cookies and then the kids shop. I have some truly hideous things out right now. I try not to see them when I walk by.

We have other things that were gifts from in-laws. We smile and say thank you but at some point, I hope to be rid of those that are not useful or to my taste. I will do so discreetly because there is no way to get out of receiving those based on the nature of the relationship. It is what it is and makes me appreciate all the more the relationships where I can be open and honest.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 1:36PM
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Depends... when my kids were still living at home they bought me things I'd never have chosen and I displayed them proudly. If I ever made the mistake of admitting to a 'collection' I would get many of that type of item! However, after awhile many of those things disappeared into a cupboard and eventually made their way to the thrift shop. Now that they are adults (and I have a well deserved reputation as being difficult to buy for) I get fewer decorative items, altho still a few which are rarely what I'd choose. They do listen to what I say (occasionally!) and have tried to choose things they think I might like. That to me is precious even if the gifts may fall short. I have a few things on display I would never choose but the thought is more important to me than the decor result. Items such as this are not placed in prominent places and will eventually go the cupboard/thrift store route.

One of my kids has totally listened to me and gives me a donation to my fav charity which is very much appreciated.

So I guess my take on this subject is that it depends on who the giver is and whether one wants to risk the chance of making them feel bad.

My parents would always give us money, often with the request that we buy a particular item they thought we needed. Since we didn't agree with that assessment of need we would always buy something else and say we needed that more than whatever they intended. It was almost funny that they continued to request we buy the same things we didn't want altho they thought everyone should want what they found useful. Giving (and receiving) gifts is not without it's difficulties.

This post was edited by luckygal on Mon, Apr 28, 14 at 13:48

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 1:47PM
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In our family, we have a few ways of avoiding horrid gifts. One-when someone asks you what you would like, you tell them EXACTLY what it is you want. There is no-just get me anything, or I don't want a thing, (you know they are going to buy you something).

This saves a lot of wandering around malls or the web desperately looking for an appropriate gift , mis-spent money and disappointed , (and horrified!) receivers.

Two-if the receiver does not like the gift, there is a thank you but can I exchange it for something else? My feelings are hurt more if you do not use and enjoy my gift so returning it and getting what you will enjoy is not a problem.

This has helped immensely, at least within the family circle.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 2:01PM
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I keep them for awhile, sometimes put them out for awhile, then I put them away, then I donate to Salvation Army.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 2:11PM
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Most of the gifts I receive from my in-laws go straight to my Goodwill box as soon as they come into the house. I used to hang onto them for months or years, in storage not on display, and eventually give them away. Then I realized, with help from my husband's insight, that they don't even remember what they give us, it's the act of handing us a gift that's important, not the actual gift. They have never inquired about where something is or why they don't see it. They have bought us the same item twice, in the same year, because they don't remember they've already bought it.

I understand that gift giving is how they express love. In an attempt to head off the waste of money on things I don't want, I have requested specific items and/or monetary donations to be made to certain charities. They won't comply, they continue the same practice of buying random things.

I believe I act very gracious and thank them for the gifts but I dread gift giving occasions. It seems so wasteful but I guess they get to express love and Goodwill gets something to sell, so two out of three happy parties is okay.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 2:47PM
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I feel a little bit better seeing that a lot of people do what I do, sooner or later.

To clarify, things from my children or husband are excluded from this discussion. One, because their feelings are too important; two, because they would know, and three, because by DH is very good at steering them gently towards good gift choices.

And, in our family growing up, "I-hope-you-like-it-if-you-don't-feel-free-to-exchange-it" was as ubiquitous as "Happy Birthday". So my sibs and parents were never a problem.

I guess I am talking more about friends and or in-laws.
I think i will designate a cabinet in the basement to keep things from now on. Having read people's replies and rationale, I have decided it's fine to display things only occasionally.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 3:27PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I understand the idea that a great deal of thought went into choosing the appropriate gift line, but, if they really knew you and thought about it, they would also know you like to pick out things yourself. So, I wouldn't feel bad about doing something else with it.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 3:55PM
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My DS gave me one of those perpetual calendar things for Christmas so not only do I have to display it THIS year, I have to use it forever!? Seriously. It doesn't work with anything in my house except maybe for my office but DH made the stupid statement that it should be in the kitchen so, there it is. Sigh.

A friend gave me the most horrendous dried flower arrangement years ago. Fortunately at that time we had a cat, so guess what, the "cat knocked it over and destroyed it." How sad. Do you have a misbehaving cat or dog? They can be convenient at times.

A very close friend gave me a nice handmade glass picture frame a couple of years ago. Now, I have a thing about picture frames and I only like very plain, basic frames. Well, guess I forgot to mention that to her. And, it's in colors that are found nowhere in my house. But...I have built-in bookshelves in my bedroom tucked away from sight, so that's where the frame lives. So I'm displaying it proudly...where no one can see it.

Just wait til you get that beach house and friends visit, and they just have to bring you "a little something." Ask me how I know.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 4:21PM
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I have been gifted kitchen towels, oven mitts, a suction cup thing with dirty/clean for the dishwasher, and a spoon rest all with Hilton Head printed on them. All at the same time, not over a few occasions. I don't understand if I'm suppose to use them in the HHI place or at my non-HHI home. When I gave them away, I hauled them back down to HHI figuring the thrift stores there would have more luck reselling them. I also have notepads and magnets and cocktail napkins with beach related sayings. Also beach towels from when my husband was a boy (he's 57) for use at the beach. Honestly, you might dry a dog with them but they're too old and too threadbare for humans. We don't have a dog, in case you're wondering.

I sound ungrateful because I am. I don't want the stuff, I don't want them spending money on it, it doesn't add any value to my life.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 5:23PM
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To the orig poster. I think you did the absolutely right thing in saying THANK YOU and then getting rid of the stuff as soon as possible. Eventually the gifters will get the hint and this will be the least hurtful way to say that you didn't like it. Also, totally agree with another poster who said that if the gift is truly with "no strings attached", then giver will not care one way or another about what you do with gift. And, if they do care enough, hopefully they will bring up the subject and you will be able to delicately say what you'd really like.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 5:35PM
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When my husband and I were first married, I was horrified each time he gave his teen daughter a gift and accompanied it with a sincere, completely unemotional comment along the lines of, "If you don't like, feel free to return/exchange it..." She was always gracious but would often let us know that it wasn't exactly right for whatever reason and exchange it. Growing up In my house, we were raised to thank people profusely and sincerely for each and every gift, even people we were super close to, like siblings, etc., and not to even consider raising the possibility of exchanging it. But after a few years of married life, I completely came around to DH's way of thinking. It actually put the focus exactly where it belonged, on the sentiment (I love you and want to make you happy), not on the item. He's given me items that weren't quite right, and I've been able to exchange them for things that were a better match, things that I would use and enjoy, not stuff in the back of a closet. We've raised our children the same way, and it is truly such a freeing experience -it makes me wish the whole world operated this way. Since it doesn't, we don't extend this to anyone but our immediate family. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and friends are all thanked profusely for items that will never see the light of day.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 6:30PM
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I'm just a mean girl, I guess. I thank the giver sincerely and either regift or donate within five days. I can't stand having that stuff around. I've made it really clear to everyone possible that I like flowers and plants and wine, period. Please do not bring me cute tea towels with sayings, or ---the worst--- stuff with "welcome to the lake" on it (before we sold the lake house). I wouldn't keep it to put out occasionally when the givers visit because my memory isn't good enough to remember who gave what, nor do I have the inclination to even make the effort to pretend.

My mother gets all kinds of stuff from her friends and hates it all, and and she gives it to me or my SIL or donates it. It's usually pretty nice stuff :-) And her friends are in their eighties and nineties and really don't remember, so she never worries about hurting their feelings, lol.

The junky vases and hand thrown pots my kids made in elementary school are all packed up for their future spouses to contend with. None had the slightest bit of artistic talent in that way and I don't feel compelled to display the unsightly results of halfhearted efforts. They hated art class and those pottery atrocities were a family joke.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 6:49PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

KSWL, you are disillusioning me!I had the opposite reaction with my elementary school pottery. My Dad still has some of mine and while it is not beautiful nor important to me, the fact that he kept it and treasured it for 40 years hugely touches my heart.
I teach elementary school pottery classes occasionally and like to think the kids parents will have the same experience.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 8:30PM
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Bumble, my kids were/are the singers, dancers and actors and I have their medals, DVDs, a few Irish dace costumes, etc. , and photos of those achievements in their rooms. But seriously, they are all impaired in the visual arts. Our daughter had such poor fine motor coordination we had to buy special scissors for her, and the youngest had to practice picking up and playing with tiny Legos for a year before he could even hold a pencil. It's hard to like something you just cannot do. :-(

I'm sorry if I gave the impression we don't value the visual arts, or the teaching thereof, nothing could be further from the truth!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 10:48PM
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I have found that some gifts that I thought were terrible when I first received them, ended up being useful, or at least meaningful, a few years later. For instance, when I graduated from college my father bought me a little ceramic thing that said "Teachers Have Class". I thought it was stupid, but now that he is much older and in such poor health, I absolutely love it. I don't live near my parents, so it is a happy reminder of my father being proud of me and taking the time to buy me something. I don't display it, but I keep it in a drawer in my kitchen and smile every time I see it.

I love all the little art things from my children, again, I don't diplay them all, but I store most of them in boxes. Their sweet little hands made them - they are treasures to me. :)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 1:23AM
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This is why gift receipts were invented and should always be included with every gift. I could write a book on this topic.

My mom volunteers in a thrift shop and was forever giving me wonderful "finds". To her credit, some were useful. I had to ask her to stop bringing home clothes for me. A. -- I hate wearing someone else's clothing and B -- I can go to the second largest mall in the country near me and find absolutely nothing that fits me or my lifestyle. The odds of finding some random item in a throft shop are zero.

My MIL went hog wild at a neighbor's house sale many years ago. She bought a "slipper chair" for our bedroom that had a print fabric on it. She also bought the matching curtains with the idea that I would sew a dust ruffle for our bed and buy a white coverlet. I was dumbstruck when I saw this stuff and it ended up sitting in her basement until she died. Why would anyone presume to decorate our bedroom? It was so strange as she was not pushy at all.

She also bought an enormous metal and faux-wood desk for my husband. He brought it home where it took up about a third of our den and he proceeded to pile crap all over it. Crap he never used at all. The drawers could not be opened because it was pushed smack up against the end of the sofa. When we were divorced (yay) it was the second thing I got rid of. He was the first.

I believe gift receipts and permission to return are essential with every gift!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:27AM
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Kids, husbands, and grandkids gifts aside because they don't count. You must display those kids things for a period of time only you can determine.

Friends, in-laws, outlaws, or others....their gifts should absolutely be considered yours to do with as you please once the gift is given. That said, so as not to hurt feelings, I keep them for a while, and if the friend should come by it is displayed somewhere, then stashed in a bin in the attic. I keep these things for a year or two and then they are donated. Sometimes it might reside in a spare bedroom temporarily until all threat of coming visits are past.

Dedtired, I'm still giggling about your exes (mil and DH).

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:28AM
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"I would put out enough information to allow others to make rational gift decisions regarding your home."

Unfortunately, some people never get the message. My mother is one. She gives me what she loves even though my style is nothing like hers. I think she forgets everything she gives me because I can't remember all of it, but sure as anything, if I have something in the thrift store box, she will recognize it as something she gave me and will take it back rather than have it donated.

I'm with the crowd that says thank the person profusely and then do what you want with it. I used to try to hide stuff away and display it when I knew they were going to visit (remember the wood cutouts of the behind view of a fat woman in a polka dot dress bending over?) but eventually, I had that stuff taking up valuable space in my little house and I couldn't remember to put it out in time, or who gave what. So I got rid of it.

I've still got the guilt heirlooms though.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 12:02PM
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What an interesting thread with an array of responses!

My DH and I had specific decor tastes early on, and our families have been sensitive to this, fortunately. Both sides are frugal, and so we're usually prompted for ideas of what we'd like for holiday and anniversary gifts, and so on. We rarely receive anything that isn't useful.

I have exchanged gifts with friends, though, over the years, and I began to notice a pattern. I was often presented gifts that *they* liked. I would be given a set of dish towels, for example, by a friend, and the next week I'd be visiting her home and see the same set! Does this mean I'm difficult to buy for, or that my friends are careless? It's not the latter--I have a small group of really fantastic friends. So, I decided to start dropping hints about my personal interests.

As timing would have it, this was around the time I started expanding my gardening efforts. So, I made this known in subtle ways... sharing my experiments cooking with fresh herbs, always sharing flowers from my cutting garden, and so on. Now, my friends usually give me potted herbs or lovely plants from local garden centers. Win-win for me and them.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 12:14AM
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Most anyone who would buy me a gift "knows" (because I've told them) that I'm very picky what goes in my house. Not being a snob, I just don't want them to waste their money or time picking it out. However, for my 50th birthday, "the girls" bought me a VERY expensive outdoor planter they knew I had had my eye on-it's very special for that reason, it was a surprise.

I rarely get any home gifts, unless its a dirty Santa, etc. I think the last gift I got like that from a friend, was a Woodwick candle - in pink! No pink in my house anywhere! Needless to say, it went to goodwill.

This goes along with...my friends know not to invite me to any home parties-NOT A FAN!

I really am a nice person IRL! LOL!

This post was edited by olliesmom on Wed, Apr 30, 14 at 9:23

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:18AM
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Lol, Ollie's mom, I am the same about those parties, when anyone invites me ---rarely anymore--- I tell them theatrically I'd rather be boiled in oil at a public execution than attend a party. However, I often ask for the catalogue and will look through it in case there is something I cannot live without or see an appropriate gift for someone else.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 1:05PM
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Oh do not get me on a rant about those stupid parties!

What galls me is that the entire premise of these parties is really to exploit personal relationships for profit. The party hostess may not intend it that way or see it that way at all, but it is a BUSINESS MODEL that says, "hey everyone has a few dozen friends they can guilt into buying overpriced crap, how do we get at that dough"?

I hate them on principal, and I think they exploit women.
I'm sure I have offended someone, so sorry in advance, but my comments stand.

Those parties are one reason I send group emails for the various volunteer organizations I'm in, as well as for my book club, cooking club, PTOs, etc, BCC only. I try not to facilitate mass emails of any kind.

Back to my first post:
I feel a bit better seeing how other people feel about this. I tended to see it as a character flaw that I valued the aesthetics of my home so highly, that having the *perfect* thing was more important than the feelings of friends. I guess if it is a flaw, it's a pretty common one!

Thank goodness my own children and DH are excellent gift givers. My DH did once buy me a red bicycle, which was a miss because of my red aversion (he thought it was "maroonish") but it was otherwise a wonderful gift!

As for children's prodigious "artistic" output, I have a few ideas that worked for us.

1. In elementary school, when output can be quite heavy, and daily, we strung clotheslines on the walls of our garage, and hung their stuff up with clothespins. They loved it, it was easy, and colorful and fun. And a cinch to throw out when it faded!

2. I once visited a friend who had very high panelling in her DR, maybe 5' or 6' up. On the ledge, she rested her children's artwork, in matching plain black frames and glass, all the way around the room. It was charming and even chic IMHO.

I kind of copied that, in a long hallway we have from our master suite area to the indoor pool. They are larger pieces, all framed with glass and simple white matte and black metal frames. I really enjoy them and the kids do too. Artistic or no, most kids produce pleasing/amusing artwork when they are little. Pick through what you like and frame it in a collection. it will work and they can never accuse you of being "Mommie Dearest".

3. As for other children's crafts, our kids each have a good size Sterilite container in the basement. It is called their "memory box". They can put whatever they would like to save in it. It's up to them. I find that they often don't like or don't want to keep some of the worst stuff, either. Or they do, but the next time they go to put something in the box, they edit out some old stuff, too. Works wonders.

PS I don't think anyone is being mean, just honest (oh and funny, KSWL you crack me up!).

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 2:24PM
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Mtn, the next time you're among your group of friends/relatives(the ones who do most of the gift buying for you!), drop a hint about your 'recent trip to your favorite spa.' I don't care if it was 2 years ago, mention the wonderful HOT STONE massage, facial, blah blah blah, or great candles/other products you may have purchased, and *maybe* you'll be heard.

If not a spa, drop hints about other shops where you may buy things like tea, raw honey, jams/jellies, a favorite coffee, etc. If someone does buy you a gift, I wouldn't feel bad about exchanging it for something you like.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 5:32PM
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this is a fun thread.

1) I had a friend that was BIG on the dang parties. I went to 3. When the invitation for the 4th arrived, I declined and she didn't speak to me for a long time.

2) I don't quite understand the big deal about kid art work. My mother NEVER saved mine and I don't think it hurt me in any way. In fact, while I'm not talented, I am crafty and enjoy it as much as when I was 7. Do you think kids really care whether or not you save it?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 10:52PM
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Well, Bossyvossy, I dunno.

I personally tend to think we have gone thru a very harmful self-esteem craze whereby we heaped indiscriminate, undeserved praise on an entire generation and got the most narcissistic, clueless, entitled jerks out of it.

On the other hand, if your child works hard on something and is proud of it, I think you need to get behind that. I also hung up the schoolwork because I wanted them to know that I appreciated and cared about their schoolwork.

Like almost everything in life, it is about moderation.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 11:22PM
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Mtn, I am 57 and losing my conversational filters rapidly but selectively :-)

My kids also have all that stuff in plastic containers in the basement, along with treasured stuffed animals and dolls. I was traumatized when I returned from my first year of boarding school to find my mother had thrown away every memento of my childhood-- which I was still in! --except for a single scrapbook of things like report cards. My reaction to that is this:

Nobody plays the guilt thing like us Southerners.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 6:47AM
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I'm nearly an empty nester and probably more than a little sentimental about kid stuff. I recently moved some kid's pottery from a closet to one portion of a shelf in a new bookcase in my eating area.

My mother, who often buys me "treasures" from Christmas Tree Shop and Big Lots, was appalled that I put the garish collection in my new bookcase. Go figure. I agree that the purple fairy with the demented eyes, the orange polka dot hippo, the green fish decorated with flowers, the neon scarab, etc, do not go with my decor. The display is for me and I smile every time it catches me eye. YMMV :)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 7:51AM
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This thread is too funny. :) I agree about all the kids gifts and art work, and gifts from family. But the ones from friends, eh, I just give it to the goodwill. I don't think another thing about it.

I just must not be as coordinated as y'all to to keep up appearances. "Quick Jane is coming! Change the clock and go get that ugly pink candle from the basement!" Then my DD would come in the room, "Hey, when did the get that new clock?" I couldn't pull it off.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 9:31AM
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Lol, sweet tea!! Kids do keep us honest, don't they?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 9:36AM
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I have never given a home decor type gift to anyone. I can't find stuff for my own home how can I shop for yours!

As for home parties....will someone please invite me to a Tupperware party? During the remodel I lost 4 lids and I need to replace them. I keep forgetting to locate the nearest Tupperware lady and order some.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 3:24PM
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Too funny, sweet-tea! Love your name, btw!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 4:57PM
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natebear zone 10B

I'm surprised none of you have replied that they find it offensive to receive home decor items as gifts. Two family members told me this within a day of each other. Passive agressive hints :)

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 8:12PM
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Some people will take offense at anything. Sounds like they feel entitled to only the most appropriate gifts and everyone should be able to read their minds as to what that is. Prima Donnas perhaps?

A gift is usually given with good intentions and should be accepted gracefully and certainly without offense!

I have a relative by marriage who told me they would prefer *only* money as gifts. Well that went over like the proverbial lead balloon with me so we continued to give both money and gifts as always. If I can deal with their inappropriate gifts they can deal with mine! Even tho I do my best to find nice things they can use.

Many years ago I told my kids that when they receive a gift it is theirs and they can keep it, sell it, give it away, or throw it away - their choice.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 10:10AM
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