Wedding Etiquette Forum
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WWYD

Last year for Christmas, I gave my brother and SIL a $50 gift certificate to Kiva, an organization that makes microloans to people in Third World countries so they can start businesses.  (My B and SIL have plenty of money and can buy anythign they want so I thought this might be a cool thing for them to do with my nieces--provide a loan, see someone do something with that money, etc.)Today, I got an email that they still haven't "used the gift certificate" i.e., given the loan out to anyone.  Should I forward them that email to them as a reminder?  Just make the loan myself?  DH says I should just make the loan myself since they probably didn't read the certificate and just thought I made a donation in their name.

Re: WWYD

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    I would forward them the email.  Does the gift certificate expire?Not to sound mean, but that is an interesting Christmas present.
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    I'd probably forward the email along to him.
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    Yes, it expires.  And, yes, I realize it's an interesting gift.  Not nearly as interesting as the stuff my SIL sends me though.
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    I would make the loan yourself and drop it. Maybe it's me but I'm not really understanding the concept.
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    If it doesn't get used, does Kiva reserve the right to make the loan of its own accord?  It seems like a shame for it to go to no use whatsoever, but at least if the organization did that, you wouldn't have to worry about it.
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    I think thats a really cool gift! I would forward the email and then leave it at that. Its their gift they can use it, frame it or shred it as they please.
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    I have heard of Kiva and think it's pretty cool.  If you find someone to whom you'd like to give the loan, I would maybe fwd the email to B and SIL (or call them) and say that you had something in mind, and if they'd like you can go ahead and take care of it.  I assume you can't get the money back, so you might as well initiate using it if they haven't already.
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    Unless the organization was something that they are truly passionate about, giving gifts to charity in other people's names rubs me the wrong way, regardless of whether or not they "need" a gift.They probably haven't done anything with it because, at best, they don't care; at worst, they thought it was a crappy, judgemental gift.  I would leave it alone. 
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    I'd just assign it, let it be, and pick a Christmas gift for this year that requires less action on their part.Since funding the gift isn't the cool part of it, what about something they might not have access to, like an album of old family pictures or a collection of family recipes?
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    To clarify - when I said "judgemental," I didn't mean that you were being so when giving the gift, only that it may have appeared that way.I don't know the dynamics of your relationship w/ your SIL, since you said she's sent you crazy stuff before, but it could very well have come off as, "I know you guys have more money than you know what to do with, so I thought I would teach you and your children a lesson in spreading the wealth and helping others."
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    Tide, I can understand your view, but for this situation, I feel better about making a donation to charity for them rather than buying them something they'll probably never use. They don't even buy presents for each other on holidays because they buy whatever they want all year round (their words, not mine).  I'll just make the loan and drop it.  Seems like the easiest way to go.  And, from now on, I'll probably just send presents to my nieces only.
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    If I were you, I'd just go in and select someone for them.  Chances are pretty good that they forgot about it and I wouldn't bring it back up.  I have been to a lot of 3rd world countries and I see the value in this type of gift (in fact, I've seen micro loans in use and know that they help people in these countries to have dignity and do more than they would have ever been able to do on their own).  God knows we all have way more than we need here in the U.S.
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    I would call them directly and ask them what they would like for you to do. I would offer t make the loan for them, but since it was a gift to them, they should decide how to handle it. It sounds like the either didn't understand the gift or were not very motivated to do anything with it. Maybe this year a home made pot holder would work better for them:) Joking...
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    I am a huge fan of "buying dinner on me" gift cards. My sister & her husband got Haufbrahause (sp?) gift cards and used it when they went to Vegas last (which is literally every other month or so). My mom & her husband got a McCormick & Schmick's gift card and their cookbook. My dad & his wife got an Amazon.com gift card and used it to buy a digital camera to take pics of their new daughter. This year, Julez, everyone is getting a pic from the wedding framed. And some homemade cookies or something. And that's about it. Because we're broke and on one income right now.
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    Maybe this year you should just make them a tin of cookies... With my brother, and my husbands sister we all just send gifts for the kids.  It is a lot easier then trying to figure out what all of the adults would like.
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    julez - if they don't even give each other gifts, why did you give them one?In our family we just buy gifts for the kids.  Helps avoid situations like this. 
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    Dani - didn't know it at the time.  Tide - yes, I was being judgmental.  Not exactly in the way you described, but I was.  I'm OK with that.  Kids only from now on!  Although I do like BGB's idea of potholders...
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    They probably assumed you've already made a donation, in their names. You should just take care of it, if you can. In the future, if you are going to give this type of gift, make sure it's a charity that the recipient is familiar with and supports.
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    Forward the e-mail. I think it's a pretty cool gift for the circumstances, give them a chance to use it.
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