Thursday, April 30, 2015

Birthday Gift Registries; Yay or Nay?

  There has been much discussion about birthday gift registries over the internet lately.  An episode of The View on March 30th 2015 dedicated their Hot Topics segment to birthday gift registries and a post on exploded a series of both positive and negative comments.

ABC The View March 30th 2015

  I received a registry for a birthday party once.  It was approximately four years ago, I was a first time mom to a 2 year old girl and the registry was for an 8 year old girl.  Initially, I didn't know what to make of it and I definitely had mixed feelings. Part of me felt that it was slightly presumptuous of the parents to send me a list of their daughter's wishes but, upon further reflection, it was clear that I had no clue what to get an 8 year old.  The list provided much better guidance than the alternative of taking a shot in the dark and making sure I got a gift receipt for easy returns. 

  As the founder of, I clearly support and encourage making gift-giving easy on already busy parents.  My main complaint regarding birthday gift registries is where the registry is created.  The gift registry I received four years ago was made at a specialty toy store 30 kms away from my house.  The traveling posed quite the inconvenience for me and was the sole reason why I didn't use the gift registry for this event.

Knowing that there was no way I would be attending the birthday party empty handed, I was grateful to the registry for proving some guidance and a glimpse into the birthday girl's interests.  Although I did not buy off the registry, I used the items registered as a guide to help me choose a gift at a store closer to me and within my budget.

  The main difference between a store registry and is that guests will never be inconvenienced or have to commit to a gift above their budget.  WishGift allows guests to contribute towards the group-gift right from their computer and they are free to contribute any amount they desire.

Why I WishGift:

For Us:

  By trade, I am a teacher and my husband is a technical writer for an aerospace company.  We make decent salaries and purchased a cottage in a beautiful suburban area two years ago.  Despite our middle class lifestyle, life is expensive!  No matter how much we budget, there are always unplanned expenses for our family and repairs to maintain our house and cars.  Over the years, has allowed us to provide experiences and items for our kids that we may not have been able to afford comfortably.  

For Guests: was an unintentional project and came to be following my daughter's second birthday.  Prior to Aliah's birthday, several party guests began asking what they could get her for her party.  Although I had requested "no-gifts", our family members and close friends insisted on getting presents.  My mother-in-law suggested mentioning the swingset we wanted to purchase and offer it as an option our guests could chip-in towards.  I casually began mentioning the swingset as an option and to my surprise, many of our guests chose to contribute in lieu of a wrapped gift.  On the day of her party, the swingset was installed and ready to be played with by all the kids.  What took me back most that day was how many family members and friends thanked ME for offering them an item they could contribute towards.  They expressed how much simpler it was for them to contribute towards the gift, while I was left in awe at the amazing play structure that stood in our yard that was now paid for.

  Final Take:

  Whether you are for traditional wrapped gifts, no gifts, charity donation gifts, store gift registries or group-gift contribution registries, there should never be an expectation from your guests!  A gift is (and should remain) something given willingly to someone without payment or assumption.
  For me, having a group-gift that my event guests can contribute towards makes it easier on them (their words not mine) and allows for our kids to receive unique items or amazing experiences.  I like the idea of giving my guests an option to make gift-giving as simple as possible and always make it clear that the registered gift is a suggestion should they be looking for ideas.   When I am invited to a birthday that has a WishGift, I am thrilled at thought of not having to shop, decide and cross my fingers that I bought something that will be enjoyed.   WishGift and group-gift giving is just my way of taking the stress off of giving gifts altogether.

Like the idea of giving-together?  Follow my blog or join me on my social networking sites to share gift ideas and inspire. 


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