Task: Convey Our Values about Stuff and Kids
Details: Construct a five line paragraph that politely and succinctly conveys Our values as it relates to “things” in an appropriate format to accompany baby shower invites, birth announcements, etc.
Necessary Resources: Readers, particularly the motherly kind or folks who attend lot’s of baby showers, basically people with some experience to tell me if what I write will fly or not.
Reference Material: You might recall my first attempt at explaining my values. It’s obviously a little to long, and maybe to in your face.
Rough Draft #1:
Ariah and Mindy have made it a goal in their lives to “live simply.” One way they have carried this out in their lives has been to only take what they can fit in their car each time they’ve moved (3+ times and counting!). Please respect Ariah and Mindy and the values they hold when considering a gift. They are open to suggestions, but please don’t purchase anything for them outside of what they have registered for (they have already received a number of items). Thanks for showing love to the quirky Fine’s we’ve all grown to love for just those reasons!
10 thoughts on “Task: Convey Our Values about Stuff and Kids”
I think the thing that emphasizes most is “just make sure it’s something small that fits in our car.” is that what you wanted to emphasize?
First of all, I commend you on sticking to your guns! It is tempting to acquire too much for sweet new babies. I really like the last sentence–that sums up your feelings in a friendly way. I would delete the sentence “please don’t purchase anything outside the registry.” Even though ALL parents-to-be have the same sentiment (regardless of their value statements), it can sound a little unmannerly.
Perhaps a gentler way to say it would be something like “For specific ways to “give simply”, check the Fine’s registry at xxxxx.com.”
Unfortunately, even with registries, people give whatever they want to, including bulky things they made themselves! Be gracious, and know you can donate any uneeded baby items to the Hope Clinic For Women.
Good luck with that. We tried to have standards but to hell with it. You can’t make other people do what you want. My mother-in-law trolls our cabinets for the stuff she gives us. Yes, sometimes we take the crap back to Walmart and buy groceries. We receive so much stuff that we don’t need or want and we can’t sell for even a fraction of what was paid. I’m literary drowning in all of the junk. My latest idea is to ask people to contribute all of that money that they seem to have flying out of every orifice to the kid’s college funds. It sucks to start out life owing lots of money. I’ve become a little jaded, as you can see.
I think it’s a wonderful thing you’re doing here. 🙂
Hmmm…I do agree with Meredith and Zach. I felt the take only what will fit in the car thing stood out more than all the rest for some reason *shrug* and the please don’t purchase ouside of our registry part sounded a bit rude-ish when reading it from a “mainstream” perspective. Feelings will undoubtedly get hurt, and you’ll want to to take into account any of those people who are “budget shopping” or in a time pinch that can’t really afford or track down your registry items, but do want to buy you SOMETHING. Baby blankets, hooded towels, rattles and things are super cheap and can be easily found by *anyone* just about *anywhere*. KWIM?
So if you’ll take out the part about moving and everything fitting into the car…and then play around with the wording of the latter “registry” bit, it will sound PERFECT.
There’s my two cents!!
Jamie has a good point about what can be found “*anyone* just about *anywhere*.” Some of our relatives send us Walmart (Kmart, etc.) junk because they really don’t have access to much else where they live. These stores have taken over their little hamlets. So one of my strategies has been to browse those stores for acceptable things like sports equipment and let the family members know that those are ok gifts (I’m sure that you don’t want sports equipment for your baby. Just for future reference.)
I disagree with the part about removing the part about only taking what you can fit in your car. This is how you live and your family and friends should understand that and be respectful. Its better for them to know in advance than to show up at your new digs wondering what happened to the giant over sized baby contraption that they bought you.
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I think one thing that I really think is important is that the message comes across clearly. The mention of the fitting in the car, and the mention of only what’s on the registry are the two clear statements about practically what we mean (don’t buy us a bunch of junk, basically).
So, I’m all for taking those out if they don’t sound right, but how are people going to understand the idea that we don’t want, nor need, additional items?
I’d say leave both statements in but tone down the registry one a little. It is rude to demand that people give you certain gifts only. Gently point to the registry as a guide. Then be prepared for the fact that some people simply won’t follow your directions and you will get some junk. When possible take it back and exchange it for something that you do need. Don’t feel bad about exchanging it for groceries or whatever. Mindy is breastfeeding so it all goes to the baby anyway. Then you can honestly say that the baby is really benefiting from their gift. When people give you stuff that you can’t exchange then donate it or try to sell it. Remember that even when people seem to be blatantly ignoring your values, they are usually trying to show you love. So be gentle with them.
Another option is to suggest that people bring you meals instead of gifts. You’re going to need that more anyway.
(I’ve calmed down a little since my first comment. This is an ongoing issue for us so I feel for you.)
Yeah, I like what Indie just said.
I DO think you’ve made your point very well already by saying you and Mindy try to “live simply”. I think that statement is perfect. I just felt like the “fit in our car” part immediately overshadowed the “live simply” statement and made it sound like you only want *small* things or else you’ll leave them behind when you move. *giggle* I know that sounds completely silly, it’s just what my thoughts were at the time.
Jason and I are having the same issue with our wedding. Everyone is pressuring us to register somewhere so they can get us stuff. I hate “stuff”.
So we compromised…sort of. We found a website called greenfeet.com that has environmentally friendly items, and we are registering only for the ones made in first world countries, or designated “responsibly made”. I’m not sure how credible it is (the “responsible made” designation, that is), but I think it’s a good start. That way we don’t end up with junk made in China even though we told people we don’t want it. Also, I’m making all of our dinnerware out of porcelain in the ceramics studio. 🙂
My friend suggested to me to use wording that doesn’t allow an option for giving extra stuff. E.g., “Any gifts that we receive in excess will be lovingly and happily donated to ________”
Rough Draft #2 will be coming soon. Thanks for all the feedback everyone!
Erika, I like the last line “any gifts we receive in excess…” I wonder how that will go over.