something to ponder

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We got an invitation a few weeks ago to a kid birthday party.  In it I was amazed to find a note indicating where the child was registered for gifts.  I have to admit that I was, well, a little creeped out.  Imagining any kid wandering through a toy store, marking down all the items she will definitely get at her birthday party just seems wrong.  Doesn’t that just take the fun, creativity and surprise out of it?  Doesn’t it seem like it would make the child feel a bit too entitled?  Don’t they need to learn how to smile and pretend that they like a present that actually sucks?

The more I thought about it, though, the more interesting the idea became.  What if I was the one to walk through the store and register?  Wouldn’t that avoid all those toys that the kids say they want just because they think it looks fun at the store?  Would that allow me to be sure they’d get appropriate items and not, say, slutty dolls or BB guns?  Wouldn’t it be helpful for out-of-town grandparents or childless family members who have no idea what kids like?  Or would that make me too much of a control freak?

What do you think?  Is a kid registry a good idea, or just creepy?

8 responses to “something to ponder”

  1. Shannou

    Since birthdays happen so often and weddings and baby showers are much more seldom, it seems appropriate to have registries only for those events that are more rare.

    On the other hand, it’s all just a social construction that for some events, registries are the norm and for some (like a housewarming party which is also something that happens very rarely) they’d be considered awkward.

    Perhaps the commercial engines behind stores that profit from registries are trying to make them the status quo for every event so they can cash in!

  2. Amber

    I think it would be helpful. I never know what to get Davis’ friends for their birthday or what they already have. I would love to just be able to get it and be done with it. But that’s just me.

  3. Kristen

    I will confess to making Christmas wish lists for the kids…but, as you suggested, it is a list I have created – including things I would like them to have. This year the list includes a valence for Drew’s room, a raincoat, 80 piece puzzles, Kids national geographic subscription, and a few toys that they might enjoy. I try to make it practical. AND – I ONLY give this list to the two grandmas! However, if someone asks them what to buy, I secretly hope they’ll make a suggestion from the list.

    Please note: My kids are not registered anywhere…I do think that’s a bit much. And I always welcome gifts outside the list (even from the grandmas)!

  4. Chris

    I think its brilliant if done in a social networking kinda way like a “wish list” that people can get ideas from. If you don’t know what to get a 4 year old kid (like a math game) then look it up.

    But yeah.. registering is a little creepy.

  5. Leah

    I have had a similar conversation with a friend. She has been single for many years and has thought about throwing herself a party and then registering. Why should she give countless shower/wedding gift and never receive anything? just ‘case she is single does not mean she should not get new towels, right?

    Registering for a birthday party I believe is just encouraging materialism in our society. I think if you are not sure what to give someone’s kid call the parent or the kid. I personally like figuring out what to get a kid for their birthday. but if you don’t you can take make a quick call to the family. I have been to many kids birthday parties where they as for no gifts… just come and celebrate.

    When we got married I DID NOT want to register, my mother MADE me. I reluctantly registered (for practical stuff) and felt badly about it the whole time. I felt that if people wanted to write me a card or just attend my wedding that was more than enough.

    encouraging kids to register is creepy. What happens when they turn 16- do they register for a car? do they register when they go off to college? maybe we could all register for christmas then we won’t get the crap grandma gives.when does it end?

    I guess I give kuodos to companys for marketing registries in the way that they have- it’s working.

    a wish list on the other hand is nice and non-intrusive. it gives ideas and let’s you know what the kid might like and can be used year round.

    I guess I had a lot more to say about this than I though!

  6. Cecil

    To this old hippie, it goes beyond ‘creepy’ and proves that our consumerism knows no bounds! The definition of ‘gift’ suggests “somthing voluntarily given or endowed” and lists synonyms like ‘aptitude, talent and knack’. I believe that any gift-giving occasion gives one the golden opportunity to share ones talent, aptitude or knack in a creative way…perhaps with a hand-made card, a promisary note for a fun activity, or the ‘re-gifting’ of a prized possession. Of course this leaves one open to labels like tacky and/or cheap, which I choose to interpret as unique and thrifty!
    p.s. the cake in the picture looks deliciously homemade, Cheris…it would make a wonderful gift!!

  7. Mom

    I have to agree with Cecil…and most of the other comments. A wish list maybe…especially for the grandparents. But registering is really creepy. What happened to cake, ice cream, balloons, and running in the sprinklers with with a bunch of playmates while the Moms and drink wine coolers. Now that’s a party!

  8. Julie

    I have always had a private Amazon.com wishlist for my kids. I send the link only to family, and they often ignore it, but I feel like it gives them ideas. But then again, I come from a family that always tells others what you want for your birthday. This has perhaps impaired me, as I am a pretty bad gift-giver when I have to guess the right the gift. Just ask my husband.
    Also, I like having the wishlist because I can put stuff on there that I’d like to buy the kids when it’s not the right time yet to buy it. I use my Amazon wish list the same way.

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