Social Question

Your_Majesty's avatar

What do you feel when someone name his/her birthday present?

Asked by Your_Majesty (8212points) March 3rd, 2010

Some people like to name their birthday present when they’re about to have their birthday. Just like my niece,she say she wants a hair dryer for her coming-soon birthday,I don’t like to hear that since I’m kind of person who prefer to give surprises in my present and I like my freedom to choose/decide present,but at the same time I don’t feel like to disappoint her as she expects that present. Some of my friends act like this. Should I full fill their demand or should I buy my own gift and disappoint them?. What will you do/decide if you’re in such situation?.

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29 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It depends on whether I had a specific idea for the gift as to what I do about honoring the recipient’s request.

As to what I think of the new trend of blurting out what one wants with an expectation of getting it, I deplore it.

BoBo1946's avatar

you are the buyer…more things to consider than their wishes!

pearls's avatar

I tend to buy within reason, what the person would like. I wouldn’t want to waste my money and buy something they really wouldn’t enjoy.

Blackberry's avatar

Uhm, it’s their birthday…..why don’t you just get them what they want instead of wasting your money on something they won’t use.

stump's avatar

I usually talk to other friends and family to find out if someone else is giving what was requested. If I have something specific and meaningful in mind already, I will go ahead and get that. But if not, and no one else is giving what was requested, I will give the requested item.

ycc2106's avatar

There are customs in each culture (some places they don’t consider useful things as presents).

This is my opinion:

Receiving:
There’s nothing worse than being obliged to show you’re “happy” when your not satisfied. When some gives you a present worth $$$ and you know that with that amount you could have bought something you really needed.
But it’s always touching to know that someone thought about you.

Giving:
Depends one the person. If it’s a friend which you have sometimes given presents, the person shouldn’t expect one and even less ask for one.

But if it’s someone you have always given a present, where you both know that there will be a present, then might as well give/get what you need/want…
...unless this person asks for something you don’t agree (eg: high heels for a young girl, some gadget you know will just accumulate dust…) or you feel you have something better to give, then go for yours.

john65pennington's avatar

When my nephew was younger, we had this identical delima with him. we asked him what he wanted for his birthday…..bad mistake on our part. he said he wanted a pair of designer blue jeans, cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. according to my cash register, this adds up to about $300.00 dollars. still being a rookie police officer at the time and a new baby on the way, i could not afford the birthday gifts that he had asked for. instead, my wife bought my nephew a pair of blue jeans from KMart. at his birthday party, the look on my newphews face, when he open our gift, was just undescribable. he did not say a word. no thank you…....nothing. he was not a happy person and we knew it. from that day forward, we never asked that question again. instead, he received a birthday card with a $20.00 bill inside. my wife and i learned a valuable lesson: :“to never ask a person what they want for their birthday”. it will backfire in your face.

SophiscatedLady's avatar

Only if I can afford it.

La_Perm's avatar

I need to ask his/her reason first. If it’s rational and I can afford it at the same time,why not?.

Cruiser's avatar

I like surprises for my birthday presents and also like giving gifts I choose. If there is a specific gift they really need I will consider choosing that gift given the need.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

If you listen to them closely enough,you’ll know what their wants and needs are and can them get them that rhino they’;ve always dreamed of if you’re my mother-in-law

shadling21's avatar

@john65pennington How young was your nephew? A kid asking for designer jeans seems odd to me. Then again, I had to wear a uniform to school, and never had to deal with fashion trends.
That’s really horrible, though. I remember being kind of disappointed by clothing gifts as a kid. You feel obligated to wear something you wouldn’t normally buy for yourself. I always appreciated the gesture, though. No “thank you”? Ridiculous.

@lucillelucillelucille A rhino! Haha!

partyparty's avatar

If it was something they really wanted, then I would accede to their wishes.
If I had seen something that I knew they would like, but hadn’t asked for it, then I would surprise them with my choice.
Personally I love receiving surprise gifts, even if it isn’t always what I would have chosen.

Shecky_Johnson's avatar

Give them the exact opposite of what they want. Hair Dryer = Water Gun.

phillis's avatar

I’ve seen this happen a lot. It’s a pragmatic response to an emotional state of mind; a classic, yet predictable mismatch. A little communication between the giver and the receiver can iron things out nicely. A discrepancy between need and want is usually the cause, but it can make the receiver appear ungrateful, which ends up compounding the stress they are already under. I might want a fabulous birthday dinner, but I need to pay my bills instead. See? Need trumps want.

downtide's avatar

I have the opposite problem. When I have a birthday, people (mainly my parents and in-laws) keep asking me what I want and I’m like… “oh, I dunno… I dont really want anything…”

phillis's avatar

Oh, that does suck. We have a whole year to think about it, but the question always catches us off guard. I’m guilty of that, too. I really need to work on that! How about we just turn in a whole list of things about two months before the date :)

snowberry's avatar

@john65pennington That’s true, if the person you are buying for is immature and self absorbed.

At our house, we are on such a budget, if we can put needed items on a birthday list, that’s a plus. When someone asks us what we want, we ask ask what price range, and tell them gift suggestions they can afford.

flo's avatar

People should just accept whatever gift they are given. It is not gracious to indicate, unless you are asked what you want. Even then you may end up overshooting, so it is better to just say, I don’t need any present, I have you in my life. Better to teach young ones from early on not to make much of birthdates. Otherwise they will end up inviting people to their weddings and tell them how much they should contribute for the cost of it. I have heard of such a thing, for real.

kyanblue's avatar

I don’t like it. A friend of a friend apparently assigned presents to her circle of friends so that one person had the option of getting presents A or B, another could get C or D, and another could get E. Her reasons for doing so were presumably to a) get something she actually liked and needed; and b) to save people from giving her nearly the same things.

My reasons for this being in supremely bad taste are that a) it sounds suspiciously like you’re using your birthday as an opportunity for free stuff; b) it’s no fair boxing people in like that if they find something they think would be perfect for you; and c) presents are not a right. Obviously this is an extreme example…but I hate being put in a position where someone expects me to give a certain present, because for me a present is more about “this is something I chose carefully because I think you’d like it” or “this is but a material manifestation of our friendship” type of thing.

I think the ideal solution is a wishlist of things someone would like to have (with the understanding that they’re not binding their loved ones to it) or giving generalized guidelines like “humorous books or scarves”. Some people are terrible at buying presents and will appreciate the guidance. Some people enjoy finding ‘the perfect present’ and need space to choose.

YARNLADY's avatar

I would prefer to have a list of things they want, so I can choose which one to give.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

I actually started a discussion on this for Christmas…which you may want to read.

I am like your niece. In the economy of today, especially the last thing I really want for my birthday or any other holiday-are gifts I will never use. It happened again on my birthday…I got things I will never, ever use. I felt it was a waste of money. I know one person who does this in a very passive-aggresive way…“You want something for your birthday…okay, I will give you…turnips!” (This was someone that I had supplied with a wishlist—-because they asked.) Why don’t people just ask? Most people “think” that they are choosing the right gift and want to surprise someone…but they usually end up buying something they would buy for themselves. Some people I know…have absolutely no taste. What am I going to do with yet another address book that was bought for me at the last minute in the sale bin at the post office?!!

This question really pushes my buttons. I don’t want to be surprised. I would rather have something I can use or really, really desire and cannot get for myself. If your niece asked for a hair dryer for goodness sakes….that’s what? About ten dollars? Give it to her (but first find out if someone else didn’t get it for her.) She is not asking for a car. She is asking for something useful. Keep the receipt, so that if she doesn’t like it, she can return it and get something else.

I am a “good gifter”. I do my research. I ask the person and if that person says “Oh, it’s okay….anything.” I ask the people around him/her…find out what they collect, what they have said they might need. I do ask for wishlists, too.

I agree with @kyanblue…if the gift is with a church group or office group or social group…then…whatever gift is fine. That’s a token gift. But if it is family, your spouse, fiancee/fiance or someone that is a very, very, close friend….then to me, it is really thoughtless to just grab anything and wrap it up. Most people just don’t make an effort. I am sure that this is coloured by the fact that I have always tried to make an effort.

People think that you have to surprise someone…that if they know what you are going to give them….they won’t be as excited.

Are you kidding?!! If someone had asked and given me the Folio Society set of “Mapp and Lucia” by E.F. Benson for my birthday…I would have been over the moon! But instead, I got a very bad perfume I will never use. I wasn’t asking for diamonds.

I ended up buying the books for myself…and feeling guilty as books are a neccesity for me…but in this case, it was a luxury.

Just…please….buy her…and anyone else close to you who will have a party/birthday/holiday…things that they really, really, really want or can use. Or as many have suggested….ask for a wishlist.

babaji's avatar

it “is” her birthday, make her happy.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

In the past, SO’s and family members have usually given hints of several things they’d like… or not which leaves me open to be more creative. The very best is when someone names what they’ve really been wanting far in advance so you can surprise them by acually remembering and procuring the item.

downtide's avatar

@Neizvestnaya the risk with buying something they asked for a long time ago, is that they already got it from someone else, or bought it themselves.

ycc2106's avatar

agree w babaji: make her happy. If she asks something impossible, discuss it. If you say it’s too expensive, or that you could but then there won’t be any holiday trips or whatever they should understand… that is, depending on how you say it.

As I don’t like wasting nor the idea that some kids are just too wasted, I tend to give a home made coupon cards w value ‘to use when you need something’*, this generally works, they seem happy, seem to like having a joker for incase… and they sometimes keep it for ever… ; P

NB: coupon has conditions written in small, it makes it look real. I mention that the request must be in the limits of good sense.

MissA's avatar

If it’s a gift, you have choices.
– Do you wish it to be a surprise?
– Do you want to be safe and fulfill a request?
– Do you want to set a definite amount to spend?
– Are you practical and wish to fulfill a NEED?
– Are you close enough to the receiver that, as
@Neizvestnaya has said, you can tune-in throughout
the year and listen for hints?

Rather than trying to figure out how to gift someone, just
focus on yourself and how you would like to accomplish that.

I would add that, unless you give with a free and open heart,
it is better not to give.

Joybird's avatar

I think it may be something that happens when you don’t like to see money wasted on things you neither really wanted or needed while there are real needs that could be filled. If someone needs something relatively inexpensive and they let me know this prior to some gift giving occasion I don’t take offense to it. They don’t appreciate the gift any less.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Telling others to purchase specific gifts for them is selfish.
It does not teach the kids about giving and receiving gracefully.
It smacks too much of Greed.
The parents or someone else can but that IF they are inclinded to do so some other time.
Birthdays are about surprises and gratefullness in celebrating with your friends and family.

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