Registering for your kid’s birthday party presents, WTF???

So something kinda weird just happened. I popped into this store to buy a birthday present and the lady’s like can I help you find anything? So I tell her I’m just looking for a present for someone, and she says who’s it for? I say it’s for an eight-year-old girl. And she says, what’s her name? And I’m like that’s strange, is she going to show me something that’s personalized? I tell her it’s for a girl named Belle and she says oh yeah, Belle McPartypants (FYI, that’s a fake name… thankfully). Random that she knows this, but yes that’s the girl.

So I’m looking at a cute disco ball on the shelf and the lady is like, oh no no nooo, Belle already has that. Hmmmm, okayyyy. So I go over to the arts and crafts section instead and just as I’m about to choose something, the lady comes over holding a few different items.

LADY: These are some of the things Belle really wants.

Wait, what? How does she know this? I don’t come straight out and ask her how she knows but after we chat for a little while, I kind of figure it out.

Belle’s mom (with or without the girl, I’m not sure) came into the store and basically created a “soft” registry for the girl. I say “soft” because it’s not like there’s one of those online computer kiosks or a place where it’s all listed out. Well, maybe there is, but it’s not somewhere I can see it.

Anyways, I point at one of the items the lady’s holding and she brings it to the register so I can pay for it. And now it’s ten minutes later and I’m sitting in my car holding a gift-wrapped nail polish kit that this eight-year-old apparently wanted and I’m like what the heck just happened? I don’t know what to think about this. An eight-year-old basically registered for her birthday gifts.

I mean a tiny part of me is like hmm, I guess it’s good that anyone who picks this store is definitely going to get her something she wants, but another part of me is like hold your horses, registering at EIGHT?!! Is this a joke? What ever happened to kids being surprised by their birthday presents? Unwrapping them and NOT knowing what’s inside? Just being grateful for getting any gift at all. I mean sure grandma and grandpa or auntie might be told what the kid wants for her birthday, but beyond that???

I totally get registering for a wedding or a baby shower. I mean there’s a bunch of shit you NEED (like no one’s gonna buy you nipple shields unless you ask for them) and you’re just starting out in the world, but eight-year-olds don’t NEED specific toys. And this is not a Christmas wish list. I am not Santa Claus. But here I am sitting in my car feeling like I just caved into something super annoying. I mean God forbid little Miss McPartypants opens up a Lego set she didn’t ask for. Awww don’t worry, sweetie pie, we’ll go make sure NO ONE gets you the wrong Barbie doll so you’re not disappointed on your birthday.

Anyways, I’m tempted to walk back into the store and return it and go buy something else from a different place. Is that spiteful? F it. I don’t care, THAT is what I’m going to do. I’m not buying into this messed up new world order. Kids do not register for birthday presents. Or maybe they do. But I can’t. I won’t.

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There are 20 comments for this article
  1. Dolly at 3:30 pm

    Life is full of disappointments. She’ll learn the hard way that life is not always sugar coated. As parents we need to instil in our children the value of appreciating the little things and looking st the whole picture. Personally I think that was ridiculous thing to do but hey who am I to say.

  2. KD at 4:20 pm

    Wow! I was at bday party recently and included the gift receipt for the toy we gave. The boy takes the gift receipt and says, “Oh good. We can use this to upgrade!” No more gifts.

  3. Tamara at 4:36 pm

    That kid would be getting a book.

  4. mardijoy at 5:07 pm

    My daughter opened her presents on her fourth birthday (a long time ago!) and saw that she had two of the same Barbie doll. My friend said that there was a gift receipt in the package so we could exchange the duplicate Barbie. My daughter said no. She was thrilled because now she had TWIN Barbies!

  5. artwork234 at 5:43 pm

    That ridiculous I don’t know anyone who does that for their kids
    I could see doing that if the child has. Special needs and can only use certain toys or play with certain toys further than that no way would I do that that’s just rude
    You teach ya child to say thank you .if the child dosnt like it you can get something else but don’t say anything

  6. Nichole Nero Karver at 6:33 pm

    Toys R Us has a wish list and Amazon does too. I usually go through the websites with my daughters around their birthdays and Christmas to set up little wish lists for family so that when our family, especially the ones that prefer to shop online, ask what they want I can just tell them to check out the wish list. My kids don’t expect the stuff on there. It’s just a way to show what they’re interested in or don’t have. And I don’t expect anyone to particularly buy from there either. It’s an option if they want it. If not no big deal. My kids are happy and grateful for whatever they end up with. I couldn’t imagine anyone pushing the list on anyone. That’s just crazy!

  7. Kristen at 7:50 pm

    My son has a wishlist on Amazon that we keep–mostly for relatives who don’t see him very often, and may not be up to date on what he’s interested in. Especially older relatives who raised kids long ago and don’t know a lot about current toys, they really like having a list they can look at either to buy right off, or to use as a guide to what sorts of interests my son currently has. I think for people who don’t interact with my son very often, but want to send something that he will like, it is a good system.
    However, if my son were having his friends over for a birthday party, I would not use that list. I would hope that his friends and their families, who know him, and know what “kids these days” are interested in, would enjoy going to the store and picking our something that they think my son would appreciate. I like taking my son shopping for gifts for his friends, and talking about his friend, and what sorts of things he might like or dislike. And no, we probably don’t always get the PERFECT gift. But we spend time thinking about his friend, and what would make him happy, and I think that is what is most important.

  8. Joy at 8:02 pm

    Idk seems
    Like good idea, plus wasn’t on invite so probably was for grandparents or family…. one less thing you had to think about …

  9. Lisa Kennedy at 8:33 pm

    Yea, no…. you don’t register for birthday gifts. I don’t care if your 8 or 80. l in fact I don’t think children should expect gifts. Are presents nice to get….absolutely! For me, we have a party with their friends to celebrate… but I still think it should be about the relationships you’ve formed and not about things. Not to mention some families are struggling to put food on the table…. so a toy for my child shouldn’t have to factor into their budget.
    I have 8 year old twins and I still try to avoid opening gifts in front of their guests. In fact this year I’m going to encourage them to opt out of gifts from friends and only accept donations to a charity. Trust me they’ll have plenty of presents to open so please don’t start on how they’re being deprived…. our basement looks like Toys R Us.
    And while we’re on the topic of things that shouldn’t happen at kids parties…we can also do away with party favors….our landfills are full of cheap plastic crap sent home from birthday parties that kids never even looked at. Last year we had a pizza party so I sent home a variety of seed packs so the kids could grown their own pizza garden….this year I may skip it all together.
    I just feel like it’s all gotten out of hand…. who had the better party, who had the nicer presents….how about who made memories with their friends?

  10. Tina at 8:38 pm

    This world is in a very sad state of affairs and it’s going to get worse because of things like this. A generation of children who feel entitled. There is no appreciation, gratitude, or kindness. What about people who may not be able to afford the things on the lists? Did that child’s parent ever think of that? Hurts my heart to know that my granddaughter, along with millions of other children, will grow up in this kind of world.

  11. Kelly at 8:40 pm

    Oh I have a friend who puts a link to an Amazon registry in her Evites for her children’s birthdays. They are usually 2-3 pages long of gift “ideas”. Mind you this is the same person who once had a baby shower at a nice restaurant and while we were all sitting around and eating lunch, her shower host went around collecting money and checking names off a guest list as to who paid and who hadn’t. Yes you heard that right. We not only brought her shower gifts but we also had to pay $40 each for our Chinese chicken salad, iced tea, cake, wait staff and room rental. I call that highly tacky and ballsy.

  12. Sarah at 9:52 pm

    Sadly, my ‘sister-in-law’ made a registry for my nieces 1st birthday… I thought it was absolutely ridiculous and selfish and did not buy off of it

  13. The Mrs. at 10:21 pm

    I had a co-worker who spent a weekend taking her daughter to stores and having said daughter pose with items she would like for her birthday. The co-worker then uploaded the pics onto a facebook event page with feets about the party. There were over 30 photos of her smiling daughter holding up items. Tacky as hell.

    • The Mrs. at 10:23 pm

      *deets, with deets about the party. D**n autocorrect.

  14. seagypsy16 at 2:10 am

    My kids usually make something personal for their friends, but then they are all very artistic and that’s the kind of friends they have. If they want, I will pitch in for a small gift card for Amazon or iTunes. But then, at our house we never make my kids’ parties about the gifts; it’s always about spending time with family. I’ve never thrown lavish parties for them; we never had the money. It’s usually a friend or two for pizza (or their favorite dinner) and then cake and ice cream.

  15. Emme at 6:48 am

    We keep a running list of things our daughters would like on Amazon for our family to see when they go to buy gifts for birthdays/holidays. That way they can see what the girls are in to instead of being disappointed when the girls are not as excited as they think they should be about whatever in thing they think is in this season (usually a doll of some sort) when our kids do not watch cable TV so they have no clue who xyz even is and neither likes dolls…

    Personally I do not care if the kids get the things on the list, I try to teach them to be gracious, but at 3 and almost 1 they’re going to show disappointment/non-interest weather I like it or not. I do not give the list out to party guests (only family and close friends at this point), only when people ask me what the girls are in to or what they would like to receive do I even hand out the link… AND I remind them they are only suggestions from things I have seen them show interest in at school or things like the things they play with frequently.

  16. kay at 11:28 am

    I thought parents were crazy for doing this too, but after two kids of the same gender, we have a lot of toys. Since my youngest was turning one and it’s hard to know what to get for a 1 year old, I created an amazon wish list. Sounds incredibly extra, but I didn’t want a ton of toys because we don’t have space, and he doesn’t need clothes either because he’s the younger sibling. This way people can CHOOSE their gift, but still get things the child will enjoy and the parents will appreciate.

  17. lomagurl at 12:33 pm

    I kinda like this idea.I like that I wouldn’t have to ponder and fret over what to buy.It makes gift buying easier.I don’t think it is tacky at all.Who wants to spend money on something not appreciated.It’s all well and good to teach a child appreciation,and being gracious in receiving,but it does not make the gift any more appealing to the child.The child will not play or wear the gift ,therefore the gifter has wasted money.What is wrong with wanting a gift that you will actually enjoy?Nobody wants to receive a useless gift,child or adult!! What is wrong with buying something you know for certain is wanted?I don’t even think you can teach anyone to appreciate something they really don’t care for.You can only teach them to appreciate the gesture of gifting.Otherwise you are teaching them to lie.
    Further more ,if you don’t like gift registries for kids,you are not forced to use them.You are free however,to buy something that may not be liked or enjoyed by the child.

  18. Gloria P Jacobs at 11:49 am

    I think this is ridiculous, as are the “party favors” some parents feel they have to give to the GUESTS at the party! What ever happened to the little ones being surprised at each gift they receive? If we keep up these two practices, we will have an entire generation of kids who think they will get only things they LIKE in life, that is, a bunch of spoiled brats. And if they get something they are not currently interested in, maybe the gift will spark interest in something new. I recently saw one of these registries – for a THREE year old no less – on which every single chosen gift was over $30! That was getting way out of hand and the parent should be ashamed of him/her self. If people are worried about what to buy their kid’s little friend, a call to the party givers Mom or Dad can be made. But registering for a gift? Totally freaking ridiculous!