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Thanks But No Thanks

Green Baby had a birthday recently and on the invitations we asked for “No Gifts Please.” Part of the reason was that we just wanted our friends and family to celebrate with us without the pressure of bringing a gift. Another part was because we are careful about the kinds of toys we want Green Baby to play with. Since the holidays are almost upon us, we will have to face this struggle once again. I’m not sure how to handle receiving gifts that we feel are unsafe, not because of the age requirements, but because of what they are made out of. I know I can donate them, but I have a hard time passing on a toy that I feel is unsafe to another child. I could try and return the toys, but then I have to go through the awkward ritual of asking for the receipt from the giver and many toy stores are getting strict with their return policies. Sometimes I think I should just lighten up, but then get the nagging feeling that what I feel is right for my child’s safety isn’t something I should compromise on. What do you do with gifts that you feel are not quite right for your children?

On a related note, I’ve recently been reminded of a Netflix type of site where you can rent toys. This is a great alternative to buying all of the must-have toys then having to get rid of them when the child outgrows them.


  1. LuluMom November 4, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Thank you! Especially now, when everyone is feeling pinched financially, can we just stop buying stuff?!

  2. Anonymous November 5, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    I think you are unfortunately going to have to make specific lists. Here’s the thing – people LOVE to give gifts. Especially to kids, ESPECIALLY to nieces, nephews, grandchildren, etc… See a child’s eyes light up when you give them something “cool” or having a niece beg you to play the game you bought her for her birthday – those are such wonderful feelings for the giver. If you really are hesistant about what gifts your child gets, consider “registering” for gifts at Toys R Us or While personally, I don’t think it comes across great to register for kids gifts, I do think you can easily explain your challenge to families. They will be much happier to at least have something they can pick out for your child. Or give them a list of “please consider” when buying your child gifts. Your family must know you are a green mom and hopefully will understand.

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