Monday, November 23, 2009

Marshall Fields, look what you started

The very first gift registry was created in 1924 by Marshall Fields. A simple way for brides and grooms to share gift ideas and household needs with family and friends.

The in-store registry gained popularity over the next sixty years until Target Corporation created the very first online gift registry for brides and parents-to-be. Multiple online vendors like Amazon then followed suit with wish lists that could be easily updated at any time. I absolutely love the gift registry. Perfect for our wedding, perfect when were expecting, and perfect when we are buying gifts for others.

What do I not like about a gift registry? Well, I have had no cause to dislike the concept. Until now. We received a birthday party invitation a few weeks ago for a 3 year old girl's celebration. We do not know the family that well. But more intriguing is on the invitation the mother included where her daughter is registered for birthday gifts. Like a specialty toy store and a childrens boutique. And I don't think toddlers generate these ideas.

I admit I have never seen such a thing. And once you have a toddler in school, you know you get a birthday invite about every other week. Is it just me? Because seeing it for the first time, well, my initial response was: Wow, you have got to be _________ kidding me.

98 comments:

Jules said...

No F*cking way!

Wait. Does this mean I can put MY birthday gifts in a registry?

I take it back.

Totally Awesome!

My name is PJ. said...

Oh, this really chaps my ass! Of course reasonable parents, such as yourself, won't choose from things on the list. If her parents wants her to have them, they should do the showering of those particular gifts themselves.

Beyond the gall and stupidity, what kind of values are they teaching this girl? I wouldn't want to be living in that house when her hormones kick in...and I wouldn't want to be any of her future suitors either.

af1blog said...

Absolutely! I know it has become customary to "bring gifts" to any party, but I always think that, if I invite someone to my house, dinner party, birthday party, gathering, etc., I do so because I want to have them there and I'm pleased if they come, not in order to receive presents!

If anyone asks, "What should I bring?" I always reply, "Just yourself," and I mean it!

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

You've got to be Effing kidding me? Frankly I like the parties where they say...bring a book or stuffed animal to donate...or don't bring a gift! Teach em young!!

Badass Geek said...

Unbelievable.

I'm stunned.

vanilla said...

Probably not kidding. How crass.

ByDSea said...

No ______ way! That's crazy, a gift registry for a child's birthday?!?!?! I have never heard of that but I'm really not surprised with all of the stupid___ shows on TV like my Super Sweet 16. I don't get it.
Cheers,
C

Sarah said...

I am 32 and have NEVER seen such a thing. I have to say, unless I was REALLY close to the family, I wouldn't go, JUST because of this. No, it's not the three year olds fault but if I DID go I would feel like I was advocating for spoiling. Ugh, no thanks.

mbkatc230 said...

That has got to be the tackiest thing I've seen in a long, long, time. I assume that these people are fairly comfortable. Which just goes to prove that money does not = class. Can't wait to see what this precious asks for when it's time for her first car. Will they register her at the local luxury auto dealer? Unbelievable! Kathy

Mandy said...

?!? You've GOT to be kidding....

mo.stoneskin said...

Absolutely shocking. You need to buy something that isn't on the list, that's for sure.

The Peach Tart said...

That's ridiculous.

Slamdunk said...

That is hilarious!

I need to talk the Mrs. into creating an all "occasion gift registry" for herself. It would help reduce the amount of detective work in finding something that she may like as well as cut down in the number of times she responds to probing questions with "I don't want anything."

the walking man said...

I am so sorry that you and kiddoMac will have to miss the party but sock drawer organizing is already scheduled for that day and time.

Menopausal New Mom said...

I agree, that's ridiculous for a birthday! That's the sort of list that favorite aunts and grandmothers should get, not acquaintances! What next, a registry for a dinner party?!

ellen abbott said...

Pretty soon, they'll just be telling you what your assigned gift is.

Personally, I think I'd be heading to the dollar store for the kid. She's 3, she won't care.

Nyx said...

A gift registry for a three year old.

Are ya shitting me? Jeez.

Gotta say though, those parents...they got balls.

That their daughter will probably castrate when she gets older.

Poindexter said...

Whatev. If you go, take a birthday gift of your choice and be done with it. Just because someone registers for any occasion (brides included) doesn't obligate the gift giver to adhere to the shopping list. Maybe the child's mom is a clueless buffoon, or maybe she just doesn't want to answer 1000 telephone calls asking what does little Mary want for her birthday? No need to agonize over the small stuff.

Jenn@ You know... that blog? said...

No freaking way. The unmitigated gall! What a truly greedy, manipulative woman! Disgusting behaviour. Please tell me you're not going to the party...

Boy you got my gears grinding this morning, Jenny. I need more caffeine to deal with this.

Cindi said...

Well to be honest, at first I did not know what to think?!?! But then, when I thought about it a little bit longer, I was relieved as the Bday party was for a little boy and me having only 1 daughter, well, I had no idea what to get. So, I was greatful for the advice and realized that it would be something that he would like and play with and therefore, worth my money and time investment.

Also, not based on any etiquette, no not me, I would think that you would not have to buy from the registry. But then again, only my opinion. So take it with a grain of salt and a shot of tequila!

Cindi

Sincerely, Jenni said...

That mom pretty much brought "tacky" to a whole new level.

I wouldn't even go to the party.

JennyMac said...

PD: Great point...and unfortunately, after meeting the Mom it really is about selfishness. We have been to about 10 parties in the last six months and not one parent included a gift registry. We have a conflict and don't have to I mean GET TO attend anyway. I am quite glad. LOL.

Simone said...

I agree with everything you have written JennyMac....for weddings, it's a great idea....for a 3 year old, it's totally ridiculous! I have never heard of such a thing....unless this 3 year old is a Prince....which I am guessing he isn't :)

ShellSpann said...

My daughter received an invite like that. I was pissed!!! We ended up getting a gift card to Target and I'm sure the mother of that little girl is probably thinking we are rude for doing that. What she doesn't realize is that registering your CHILD for birthday gifts is RUDE!

Logical Libby said...

My jaw is on the floor, and I usually am not shocked by how rude people can be.

I would be willing to bet that all of the gifts are also above a certain price level...

Erin said...

Wow. Just WOW. That mom is definitely sinking to all-time lows, because you know it's the mom that's behind it all, not the kiddo.

My girls' birthday is coming up. I sent out Evites and was trying to think of a way of saying---donate some $$ to charity instead of bringing them presents. But was trying to think how to do it tactfully and to think of a particularly meaningful charity or something. Thoughts?

Raoulysgirl said...

I have never heard of a parent creating a gift registry for a child's birthday party.

I understand the concept...it may even make a little sense...

But it seems a little (okay, a LOT) tacky.

Lists are for Santa.

Susan said...

I don't get why this is such a big deal. My family and I have been making birthday wishlists for each other for years. We recently started doing this through myregistry.com just because it was easier than sending an email full of links to the things we want. I think the mom was probably trying to be helpful to make shopping for a present easier. You don't have to give the kid something on the registry, or anything at all for that matter! Sometimes people tend to make a mountain out of a molehill when it's really not that big of a deal!

Nonflammable said...

Never received a gift registy for a kids party invite.

My youngest once received (in an invite) a suggested list of gift items including a video for Letters From Iwo Jima....for a seven year old.

Sadly, the kids mother is a whack job.

Emily said...

So, the Tacky Award goes to that mother. Talk about a case of the gimmies. With three kids, two of whom are in school, we go to A LOT of birthday parties. A popular theme among our crowd is a book party where each guest brings the birthday boy/girl a book. I love that idea...you can never have too many books but you can definitely have too many toys!

MommaKiss said...

That is absolutely INSANE! I'm always looking for ways to kindly tell people NOT to bring a gift...or that we'll donate to toys for tots or something.

Big Boops said...

This is exactly the kind of crap my hubby's ex dishes out each year. For the last 3 years she has put together ridiculous parties that come in right around the $400 mark in cost alone, before a gift is even bought! And my poor stepson, is learning very well from it. Saddies.

If I were you I would give a receipt of donation to the Human Fund in name of kid.

FunnyGal KAT said...

Nooooooo! Wedding registries are bad enough (I didn't want one and made my husband create one alone since he wanted one so badly...) but a kid's birthday party? That's the kind of thing where they will be happy to play with their friends and get a couple of toys, not need to make sure they get a bunch of high-end stuff.

This is ridiculous.

Geez Louise♥ said...

Tod is def not going to care what gift she recieves. I think Mom of Tod is pretty ridiculous. Poor kid.

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

Emily Post would be aghast.

I say bring a container of bubbles from the dollar store and call it a day.

JennyMac said...

Susan: I love the idea of myregistry...and we have several friends / family who use Amazon for wish lists too but these are close family/friends and also adults...not lists for tiny tots from people we don't even know. :)

Ms Bibi said...

Somehow it doesn't surprise me...it was coming eventually. It is absolutely ridiculous , but so many kids are getting so spoiled around us lately that it's sickening.

I agree with whatever happened to giving and donations. My kids collect stuff for Food Bank on every birthday since they were 5.

I would be so ashamed to register my little child for a gift.

foxy said...

SHUT UP! I'm embarrassed for the adult that did this. How ridiculous!

Michael Rivers said...

Hmmm. I'd have the same reaction as you did. I don't think I'd register a kid for gifts. Do kids really have a chance of getting duplicate gifts? Or toys that they don't want? I think that is going too far.

Kristin said...

Seriously? That is absurd! I hate to judge but...shame on that parent.

TheDivineMissK said...

This is CRAZY. And I never comment. (Sorry). A child this age doesnt need a registry. Its just not done.

And I think it more crazy someone left a comment that everyone is making a "big deal out of nothing". WTH? I hope its not the Mom you are writing about.

Susanica said...

Gee all these wasted years of putting thought into a gift that would really delight someone. Kind of dismisses the whole notion of "thoughtfulness" now that you think about it.

Maybe you ought to just send the parents a copy of "How Much is Enough" or something similar. Seriously, this is conspicuous consumerism at its worst! -Monica

JennyMac said...

Erin: I LOVE this idea.

What about " This is a present-free party. In lieu of gifts, we ask that any thoughtful gestures be sent to ______ (if you have a charity in mind). Or I love the book idea from Emily too..all those books can be donated to a local shelter.)

Love the Human Fund and Food Bank idea too. Teaching kids about philanthropy is awesome and can not start too soon.

Liza said...

Ugh. Gross. Glad my daughter has outgrown birthday parties. It sure would be great if you could get all these comments in front of the clueless woman who sent the invite. Perhaps it might drive a point home. I feel sad for how her daughter will likely turn out.

Coco said...

You have GOT to be kidding me!!! This is beyond tacky. TACKY!

I hope y'all decide to boycott the party or give her a sack of dog poo and then say, "oh? I could of sworn that was on her registry?"

Dandy said...

Oh my GOD!

Mommy Lisa said...

Actually - Target did not invent Club Wedd. I actually worked for the guy who invented it for Target at The Gift Certificate Center. http://gowishlist.com/about.html

That said, YUCK to the birthday registry.

Laoch of Chicago said...

It was a sad day in Chicago when Marshall Fields was bought by the evil Macy's.

Eva Gallant said...

The ultimate in tackiness!

Summer said...

I'm not opposed to Wedding Registries or Baby Shower Registries, BUT a child's birthday party is 99 kinds of ridiculous. One thought comes to mind... parents who really need to get the ________ over themselves. I believe I've heard it all now. GEEZ.

Janet said...

Oh Lord! Are we to believe this almost 3-year-old child truly picked out each and every gift on the registry? Bull.

I think that IF you decide to go, you absolutely must take either Play Dough, or a bead set. Maybe both. Or drums.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Ugh... that is so tacky!

Mom in High Heels said...

Are you kidding me? What is wrong with people? I can absolutely understand having an online wish list for family members (especially those who live long distance), but just any guest? To a kids birthday? NO!
When Indy turned 7 this past July he asked (of his own accord) that we ask guests to bring food for the local food pantry instead of gifts because he KNEW he'd be getting a lot of stuff anyway (mostly from the grandparents) and wanted to help other people. What is the woman teaching her child?

Kato said...

Wow. That is high child society right there.

I must admit, having never been married, and I have never had a child, I dislike registries. I want to get someone someone something from my heart, not that 100 dollar towel. Yes, just a towel.

shortmama said...

What????!!!! Registry for birthday gifts?

Ashley @ KiwisandCocktails said...

That is just rude.
I got an invitation to a house warming party a few weeks ago. It was the couple's 2nd house in 3 years. I am not close with either of the people. AT ALL. The invitation went on and on about all the stores the couple was registered at; about the money tree that would be set up; AND, then how it was BYOB AND A POTLUCK!
I did not attend.

stepfabulous said...

WOW, wonder what message that child is learning. Sad if you ask me.

Eyeglasses & Endzones said...

I mean honestly...what was that mom thinking? I have called girlfriends before and said what does your child want but I would NEVER just send something out that states...GET THIS...GRRRR people are soo RUDE!

Cee said...

That is seriously effed up.

I get it for weddings...I get it for new babies...but children's birthday parties. No way.

You better get them somthing waaay different then the registry!

Jen said...

Ditto! I can't believe what I am reading. Who does that?

JenJen said...

Good gracious. Ms. Manners would be positively PISSED OFF.

Pricilla said...

The word crass came to my mind....

CRY said...

I ALWAYS FIGURE THAT A BOOK OR GIFT CARD FOR FOOD OR A MOVIE IS GOOD BECAUSE MOST KIDS HAVE SO MANY TOYS ALREADY
I DO THINK THAT IF YOU ARE INVITED TO A PARTY OF ANY KINDTHAT YOU SHOULDNT BE EXPECTED TO GIVE A GIFT AND THAT YOU ARE INVITED BECAUSE YOU ARE WANTED THERE FOR YOU NOT FOR THE GIFT. I USUALLY ALWAYS TAKE A GIFT THOUGH.

Rebecca Knight said...

GREAT ideas in these comments about *good* birthday lessons for kids :). I love the discussion!

Also, the registry in the invite would seriously make me want to buy something for the kid just so I could burn it in front of the parents. Or just not go. Either way ;).

Shorty said...

Wow, what a presumptuous mom. I think a gift card to Wal-Mart is in order. Perhaps in a $10 denomination.... Some people just never cease to amaze me, but not in a good way, if you know what I mean.

brainella said...

Wow. A birthday gift registry for a three year old. Perhaps you could give her this book...

http://www.amazon.com/Crispin-Pig-Who-Had-All/dp/0440417457/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1259006175&sr=1-1

Laura said...

This is becoming the thing in some circles. I refuse to follow suit, it's crazy!

ajm said...

A lot of nerve on that mother's part!

But I do so wish we could reregister for gifts on every 10th anniversary. Just when your toaster no longer works or your coffee maker has gone on strike. Sometimes I've told my hubby that after 10 years, I deserve a hubby upgrade too, but he's not buying it.

quest said...

:-) Things get more creative as you spread out into the world. In some cultures I've been to, or the parties of other cultures I've been to actually indicate the size and weight of the gift with the reason that they (if a married couple) will be traveling soon and therefore need to travel ' light' -- therefore only money gifts or things in small boxes.

With a ps line, even, that if a big huge ass blender is given as a gift, then an adjoining receipt will be appreciated in case they'd like to return it.

amused?

Intense Guy said...

Beyond crass - a total turn off. Makes me want to put on my Bah Humbug Scrooge PJs.

Ju said...

I just want to shout THAT'S INSANE. Just bring home made rag doll or some home made cookies. I'm up for rant now...

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

Wow! I'm almost speechless. Crazy!

Could you respond with something like this:

"I'm sending my regrets that my son will not be attending _____'s birthday party this year because (a) we don't attend children's events that have birthday registries

AND

(b) "Give me a effin' break! Your kid is just going to watch Sesame street, play with clay or stick glue up its nose like every other three year old on the block. Get over yourself!

linlah said...

Your reaction would be my reaction.

blueviolet said...

If I saw that, I would immediately want to RSVP a big fat NO!

J.J. in L.A. said...

I wonder what Miss Manners would have to say about that! Sheesh!

Margo said...

Good heavens! I'm kind of curious to see this registry. Chantilly spoons and wedgewood?

Mrs Montoya said...

That chick is so high. Do NOT let MiniMac spend time with that baby girl - he does not need to learn how hard it is to satisfy a woman before he's even 5!!!! We've done a couple of "no gifts, please" and buy good party gifts in bulk when they're on sale for less than $20. School friends get $20 and under - and my kids get to choose it. That poor little girl is going to have such a hard time with reality when her Mom is committed.

Rowe said...

What? !! Is that little girl's name Suri by any charnce?

Molly said...

honestly, I've been waiting for this to start happening. yikes.

Dumblond said...

Umm...yeah. Not even close.

Matty said...

That is just plain tacky. The gifts are what she wants her child to have from a high end store, and not necessarily what the child wants or needs. If it were me, I would get something from Walmart and be done with it. If she has the guts to insist on a gift from an expensive store, then I have the guts to get the kid something from a discount store.

nifer said...

That's a registry gone wild!

Stephanie said...

That is insanity. Three-year-olds registered, and at multiple places? Heck, I only registered at one when I got married! Absolutely nuts.

leigh said...

I hate that kid!

Leigh

Little Ms Blogger said...

She should have saved herself time registering and just included a slip of paper in the invitation with the name of the gift you were to bring.

Personally, I'd buy off the registry AND I'd buy a loud noise making gift.

AnnQ said...

I'm torn...while I DON'T like the fact parents did that for their child's Birthday party, I DO like things like the Amazon Wish List, which is basically a Registry...but it definitely helps me buy the right stuff for people for Christmas! :-)

Heather said...

That is just crazy! I wouldn't even buy a gift. The invite is for you and your kid, not your money!

Ela said...

Oh my. The nerve. Gosh at that age I was more into the freaking wrapping paper that the gift itself. I say just get her an empty box, with pretty wrapping. And the parents a good talking to.

Baloney said...

That would be my exact response too - right after calling to say that I'm sorry we won't be able to attend.

Little Ms J said...

Mommy is obviously Christmas shopping for her little doll's cousins. At least I hope that is the case or that little girl is going to be snot by 8.

HalfAsstic.com said...

Sweetheart, I'm here in the deep south where social agendas and stereotypes run a bit thick and deep. However, let me reassure you that as far as I know this whole...scheme, is just a ruse to haul in the good loot. I wish I could tell you what to do about it, but alas, Miss Manners' spot is already taken by some thankless hack from Yankee land.
Wish them good luck and flip them the bird as you drive off with your toddler in tow. ;-)

Rebel Mother said...

A register for a 3 year old????

Are they mad?

Or just touting for new business.

We dont have that in England. You get invited to a 'birthday party' and you bring a useless pressie. If you're lucky you get a bit of cake on the way out and a little gift in return. Thats it!

The mind boggles!

Love RMxx

Kate said...

Wow just wow. Words fail me.


Kate x

Corrie Howe said...

Well, I can see pros and cons. I agree, we get birthday invites from people we don't know. However, the school's policy forces this. Kids can't pass out invitations at school unless everyone in the class receives one.

I wouldn't mind a gift registry for my kid's friends. I often can use some ideas. I know I can ask, but a registry at Target or Wal-Mart would be preferred.

Unknown Mami said...

I'm really hoping that is not becoming a trend.

Busy Bee Suz said...

You have got to be ________ kidding me. This is insane...don't fall for it...DON'T!!!

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

Wow. Just wow.

I'd buy her a Walmart gift card instead.

Jen said...

Ok - that's just over the top. AND - doesn't etiquette dictate that you don't advertise your registry, but pass that information along when ASKED by the gift buyer??