DC2 had another birthday. The in-laws were extremely generous again.
Unfortunately, with DC2, unlike with DC1 (who is the oldest grandkid), they’ve been getting hir (grandkid #5/6) a lot of what we consider to be inappropriate stuff or just stuff zie doesn’t want. When DC1 was younger, there was always too much, but it was generally appreciated.
We think this is because DC2 has a same-gendered cousin who is about a year older whose parents have, without going into detail, very different viewpoints about uh, bringing up children. So DC2 has started getting things that DC2’s cousin loves but that DC2 is either completely uninterested in because zie’s not into that kind of tv show, or that we are not interested in because we teach the opposite of those values.
Initially we were just giving the former to DC2 because we were often wrong about what we perceived to be DC1’s interests, but in DC2’s case, we were right–those toys would be opened and played with once and then never again. The latter we’d send back to Amazon if we could or put in the gift closet for future birthday party gifts if we couldn’t or if it wasn’t worth sending back. Last Christmas they gave DC2 4 different versions of the same toy (all of which were displayed prominently on hir cousin’s amazon list) and all of which we gave to toys for tots because DC2 wasn’t playing with the figure zie already had.
This birthday when MIL asked what DC2 wanted, I made an amazon list. DH told her that DC2 is really into Batman and My Little Pony and Powerpuff Girls and Bubble Guppies. (But did not explicitly say, no, zie is really not into the shows that hir cousin is into.) And some of those items made it into DC2’s haul this year, but so did unwanted items, and this time a couple of really expensive such items.
Since we make a lot more money than we used to, it no longer bothers me to get a $45 toy that is both age inappropriate and our-values inappropriate. It just gets saved up for toys for tots come Christmas time. [It used to get saved for birthday parties (though I’ve always felt a little embarrassed about that since these are things we would never buy for someone), but there’s been a lot fewer of those lately, and when they do happen they’re “no gift” or “give to this charity” parties instead.]
On top of that, when we remove the unwanted items from the gift pile, DC2 is left with a much more reasonable number of gifts. So it’s not like we want replacement stuff instead of the expensive unwanted stuff. Just, you know, less stuff.
We don’t know how to bring this up to the in-laws, so we don’t. Beyond saying what DC2 actually wants, putting together an amazon list, highlighting gifts zie’s enjoyed and not much mentioning the rest, I don’t think additional feedback is really wanted.
How do you deal with extraneous or unwanted gifts?