5 ways to say no to gifts; without sounding ungrateful

Filed in Blog by on July 22, 2016 0 Comments
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zero waste giftsI had a great query from a reader recently.

She wrote “We do our best to reduce waste, recycle and repair, one of the problems we have is dealing with generous other people who are always buying us new things. For example our son is three months old and his great grandma wants to buy him a high chair, we’ve been offered a second hand one but the family say he must have a new one, sigh, it’s difficult to not come across as ungrateful.”

I put this out to our fantastic Facebook Group and here’s what they said:

Ask for what you want

Ruth said “Can you send them a link to a really nice second hand wooden one, and say – we were really after one like this? ( rather than a plastic one which might not last). Ideally we’d like one that can be used in the family for decades.”

Gemma agrees. She wrote “Is great grandma willing to buy one you suggest? I’d highly recommend one with a removable tray so you can use it well into toddler hood. Ours (concord spin,purchased used )pushes up to the table without the tray and he uses it now at almost 2. You can also get wooden ones that convert to toddler chairs. Even a new chair can be passed on afterwards.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

Pat says “Accept gifts gratefully and make sure than when you have had your use that you also pass it on to someone else. At the end of the day, as much as we like to reuse things, somewhere along the line things do still need to be produced. Don’t beat yourself up about gifts.

The gift of time

Paula suggested “I say thank you but i really like to try and use things up and i prefer old ones, and they really don’t need a new one. Then I suggest if they’d like to do something for them or to help us out, they spend some time with them instead e.g at the park or go for a day out, or put the money in a bank account and give it them when they are older and will appreciate it- like for driving lessons or uni.

Support sustainable brands

Alex said “If possible, I would use it as an opportunity to support ethical, sustainable and local producers. When we know that our toddler is going to need or want something that we can’t get used, we tend to target family at those. One lovely example was the roller-stool from Myriad toys: we have had so much use from it as a ride-on toy and bathroom step, and it will probably stay in use for decades.

Ruth suggested supporting local upcycling people.

Saving for the future

Katherine said “For our little man we tended to sort stuff second hand and then when people offered to buy x,y or z we could say we’ve already got it thanks.
Family generally then have offered to buy the things we didn’t have or put money in a savings account for him.
You can always suggest they pay for the second hand one and put the extra money they would have spent on a new one into a savings account for your little one.

What about you – have you dealt with this scenario; what did you do about it?

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