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To think charity gifts just don't achieve what they set out to and are inappropriate as children's gifts

(48 Posts)
thinkingmakesitso Sun 27-Dec-15 19:35:40

OK, I know this hasd been done before but I need to offload somewhere. Stbex df had got into the habit of giving oxfam goat gifts to the DC. He has them sent to the house where I live with the DC. Stbex spent the big day here so I had to endure him opening them with the DC and reading the message about what they're for in a ridiculous Ott voice. The DC listened politely then got back to their toys. It was pointless. I achieve more by talking to the DC regularly about the news and local charities, involving them with donations to food banks and discussing history etc

If a grown, and realatively wealthy, man wants to do charity at Christmas he should not do it through children. Aibu?

AutumnLeavesArePretty Sun 27-Dec-15 19:40:18

I hate charity gifts, they are designed to make the giver feel like a saint and the receiver like this hmm. What a crap gift for children. The ones for teachers are just as bad.

Charity giving is personal, everyone has their own charities they support.

Twinkie1 Sun 27-Dec-15 19:50:54

I hate them too.

Poor DD who was 2 6 weeks ago received a hat and mittens set which I am assured by BIL was knitted up a Peruvian mountain and is made of unicorn mane and is fair trade you know. DD point blank refuses to wear any hats/scarfs/gloves. In fact it's a struggle to get her to wear a coat most days.

They want money for their 13 years olds birthday in April. I made need your guys help to come up with an equally lentil weaver present and will expect it to be just as graciously received!! hmm

Notimefortossers Sun 27-Dec-15 20:01:03

Someone got one for my DD's last year and I must admit I was a bit :s. Like a 6 and 3 year old were meant to understand that. Knowing her as well I'd agree with this . . .
they are designed to make the giver feel like a saint

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sun 27-Dec-15 20:05:15

I have only given one once. It was a for a very wealthy couple who were both on their second marriages, both owned house and who were getting married and who were emphatic they did not want presents.

DisappointedOne Sun 27-Dec-15 20:08:04

I had a bit of a present mountain stash here which i went through with DD (5) before Xmas. 80% got put in a bag to go to Women's Aid. There were several times the number of presents DD had in her modest stocking. We try to make Xmas/December about kindness rather than consumerism so she understands that not all children are as lucky as her. I suspect she'd rather like an oxfam goat!

Notimefortossers Sun 27-Dec-15 20:37:35

That's a bit different to a 'A donation has been made in your name' though DisappointedOne. As a pp said, charity giving is very personal. You give to Women's Aid because it's important to you.
My children are very aware that not all children are as lucky as them and I talk to them about the different charities their Daddy and I give to and why, and they will often see the 'Give £2 a month' adverts on TV and ask if they can do it. They also have to go through all their toys before xmas and select the ones that will be given to a charity of THEIR choice .
But to get a piece of paper wrapped up at Christmas saying 'Because of you a homeless person will have a bed for a year' is a bit confused. It's not 'because' of the receiver, it's 'because' of the 'giver' and if said giver wants to give they should just go ahead and do that and not trouble themselves getting a gift for the DC at all. It's a weird kind of middle man process.

ButImNotTheOnlyOne Sun 27-Dec-15 20:42:59

Oh this gets my goat (haha) too,
If you want to give to charity use the money you were going to spend on yourself not on someone else.

But then, no-one else would know then.

CurlyhairedAssassin Sun 27-Dec-15 20:59:18

DH has 3 brothers, one of which is a bit wierd about interacting with the rest of the family (think his wife has turned him against everyone after taking a dislike to all of us).

They started off a horrible thing a few years ago where they suggested that we just each buy our own kids something then they sent a gift tag only in the post from them which we are supposed to stick on it as if it's from them. (And vice versa). This is bad enough in my opinion, but one year instead of the gift tags to put on presents WE had bought for our OWN kids (but tag put on as if they have bought and chosen it) came a card saying "a gift of a goat has been given in your name." Problem is, we didn't know which bloody family members this gift was supposed to be from or to because of their wierd gift tag habit and didn't know if we were still meant to send gift tags from us to their kids to stick on an actual present that they'd bought (but supposed to be from us) or whether they had chosen a goat for their own kids or that was a present to our kids or what. It was so incredibly confusing.

To me gift giving is buying something that you think the recipient would like or has asked for. If they ask for a goat donation for themselves then all well and good. But don't get a goat for everyone else as THEIR present unless they have requested it! Instead, let it be known that you do not want presents buy that if people want to buy you something then they should get a goat donated in your name. NOT the other way round. Other way round is rude when you sit back and accept actual gifts from others.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sun 27-Dec-15 22:13:14

Curly that made me laugh. That is the mad Christmas gift story to top all others.

Halfbaked Sun 27-Dec-15 22:50:13

I bought my DB one many years ago, it was a fund a teacher in Africa one. I chose it because he had trained to be a teacher and worked in Africa in the same place the donation was going to.
I thought it was a nice gesture.

He bought me an iPod blush

I went out and got him tickets to a west end show the next day!! I have never given a charity gift since!

theycallmemellojello Sun 27-Dec-15 22:55:02

I think charity gifts are a lovely gesture. When we were teens granny used to give me and my dsis little papier-mâché ornaments from oxfam for christmas and make a donation on our behalf.

OwlinaTree Sun 27-Dec-15 22:56:18

I didn't think you 'did' father Christmas disappointedone?

EssentialHummus Sun 27-Dec-15 23:06:56

I'd never buy these for children, with the exception of the WWF type things that come with an actual toy.

I sometimes buy them for adults instead of chocs/other cheap gifts when I don't know the recipient well. As a 100 mn threads today have demonstrated, the world doesn't need more meaningless tat - whereas goats, sniffer rats and polio vaccines can do wonders.

G1veMeStrength Sun 27-Dec-15 23:07:25

I'd really like one but no one will accept that - 'oh no you must have a treat for yourself' - well I've managed to steer MIL to getting me something I needed to buy which then means I can donate to charity instead of buying the item iyswim.

DisappointedOne Sun 27-Dec-15 23:33:52

I didn't think you 'did' father Christmas disappointedone?

We don't.

xmasseason Mon 28-Dec-15 01:21:13

> If you want to give to charity use the money you were going to spend on yourself not on someone else.

Yes, I agree! Give up something of your own, not someone else's Christmas present. Then the donation is genuinely from you.

Industrialhelicopter Mon 28-Dec-15 02:58:55

Possibly depends on child- if they ask for it thats ok but not as a random gift. When my daughter was about 8 she was obsessed as were most of her class with buying goats- through a local doctor we knew who went to volunteer in Africa each year (where he was born, his children were in her class) and he bought lots of goats whilst there through a local project - they were about £8 each (so you can see the mark up on an Oxfam goat!) . They got to see lots of pictures of their goats with the families and at the local school etc.

We have quite a big family. At Christmas she told anyone who gave her cash that she was buying a goat with it, they of course told her to keep the money for herself and here was some more towards a goat. The more the adults drank- the more goat money she got as they all tried to outdo each other. She bought 14 goats that Christmas and ended up in the local paper which she was delighted about - her class bought 42 goats or something in total.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 28-Dec-15 03:04:56

I was given a number of Oxfam toilets by some lovely friends once.

I spend lots of my leisure travelling around less traveled parts of the world and invariably get horrible stomach issues. I tell my friends stories of the terrible toilets I send much of my time in.

They bought me Oxfam toilets to slightly increase my chances of getting a decent place to have diarrhea. Bless them.

One of my favorite presents ever. Not for children though. FGS.

LarrytheCucumber Mon 28-Dec-15 06:49:09

I know someone whose husband gave her a charity goat for their wedding anniversary. Bet it was interesting in their house that day grin.

BadlyBehavedShoppingTrolley Mon 28-Dec-15 06:59:06

I hate them, HATE THEM. But I think they have their place, and that place is for the people who have everything to ASK for them, when asked what they would like, if they know that the alternative is likely to will be some token bit of tat that they don't want or need, and they can't think of anything within budget that they'd genuinely appreciate.

But to give Oxfam Goats to your own children on Christmas Day shock How smug and self-absorbed is this man? shock

annandale Mon 28-Dec-15 07:03:45

Yes, not sure what you are teaching children by doing this - 'Charity gestures should be as public as possible' 'You should feel grateful for my charitableness' 'Giving is all about not giving what other people might actually want'. Model giving by giving the child an actual present they could like.

KaraokeQueenOfTheNorth Mon 28-Dec-15 07:10:38

I really dislike the charity gifts too. It's just all wrong. Unless previously agreed that you either won't do gifts, or that everyone will give charity gifts, then it is a crap idea! The giver gets to feel all saintly for giving to charity AND gets a proper present from the other person, where the receiver ends up spending money on someone and then ends up with nothing.

I'm all for charity, for Christmas not just being about material gifts, but forcing someone to donate to a charity instead of getting a Christmas present is all manner of wrong. If you want to be charitable at christmas then am people to donate to charity in your name instead!

Charity as someone else said is such a personal thing - my sister only gives to animal charities and I only give to people charities. I'd be annoyed if instead of a present one year someone gave a dog an injection instead...

BadlyBehavedShoppingTrolley Mon 28-Dec-15 07:24:09

The crappest, most annoying thing about these 'gifts' is that the person doing the buying gets to feel smug about themselves without actually spending any more money than usual, because the money they've spent on charity gift was budgeted for in the gift for the recipient. So the person doing the actual giving (ie. going without something themselves) is the poor 'recipient' who never had a choice in the matter.

It's just a double whammy of smug wrongness.

BadlyBehavedShoppingTrolley Mon 28-Dec-15 07:24:52

Sorry Karaoke, just seen I made exactly the same points as you!

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