The Problem: Some people struggle with the concept of asking for what they want. Some people find it rude to be asked for a specific gift, wanting instead to choose something themselves.
My opinion: We don't worry about asking for gifts with a gift registry when we marry. These days it is even acceptable to ask for cash! This was an idea for which I was admonished during the planning of my own wedding, as asking for money was clearly the height of hubris!
So, if we get past the problem of asking and being asked we can quite enjoy the Wishlist Concept.
Here are a few do's and don'ts to make your wishlist experience a positive one.
Do: Keep it Simple. List the top 20 items that you would like to buy and distribute the list to a small number of friends.
Don't: Go Overboard. Resist the temptation to send your list to everyone you work with, or the family overseas! This is not a list of all your hopes and dreams for the future, it is a list possible gift ideas. Pair down your initial list to the realistic stuff.
Do: Consider the Cost. We are all on a budget these days and while we would all like to go shopping and say that money is no object... it certainly is. When making your list, include gifts in a number of price ranges and consider the budget you have for the people who will see your list. If you are going to spend $20 per person and everything on your list is well over $50, then you are definitely off the mark.
Don't: DIY. Instead, ask a friend to distribute your list and keep track of the purchases made by your friends. This way, you still get a surprise and your friends get to feel as though they are making the choices and looking after you.
Do: Be Practical. Consider small and large items that you may need or want, but wouldn't purchase for yourself. Be prepared to receive lots of little things or one big item that a few of your friends have pitched in to buy.
Don't: JOKE! To illustrate this one, I am going to tell a story. Last year my wishlist had a few joke items on it. I had been nagging the BFF for a kitten for a few weeks and so put this on my list. Because I knew it was never going to happen, I also wrote: a puppy, a pony, etc. So the BFF sent my wishlist to friends and family. On my birthday, I receive a lovely little zoo of stuffed animals from my sister. A pony, kitten, puppy etc. You have met the kids!!! I love them dearly, and I liked the extension of the joke, but some people just didn't get it.
Do: Be Specific. If you want a particular brand of something, then say so and give a good reason. Your friends and family will go out of their way to get the best for you and will be disappointed if they discover that it is not what you wanted. So if you want BONDS socks, write that on there.
Don't: Be Greedy. Consider a charity or organisation that could use some help and make this an option on your wishlist. Ask your friends to donate something to the charity on your behalf. People could give you cash/ or non-perishables that you can collect and donate to your chosen charity.
Do: Be Grateful. No matter what you get, say thank you! If someone "missed the memo" appreciate that they have gone to the effort to find something that they thought you would like. If the gift is on the list, but not exactly what you expected, appreciate the gift anyway. You may find that what you are given is way better than anything you imagined.
:D There is heaps more to come on the gift giving gauntlet. Including a sample wishlist so you can see how a pro does it (lol).