Is it OK to Return Gifts from your Kids?

Posted January 5, 2015 by Prairie Wife - 7 comments

One of our favorite traditions around the Prairie is letting the Cowkids pick out their own gifts for people. It allows them to be in charge and forces them to put a little bit of thought into what someone else would enjoy, rather than purchasing something they would like. Over the years we’ve perfected the process and usually take the Cowkids out on a date for some one on one time with a parent to purchase the gift. I bring up the topic a few weeks in advance and have a conversation with the Cowkids about what the person they are purchasing for enjoys, what they already have, what they may want, and what they may need. The results are usually pretty positive, and I’m often both pleased and proud of how much thought they put into their gifts. Especially the ones they pick for each other. Often a gift from a sibling is a way bigger hit than what The Cowboy and I chose!

bad giftThat being said we’ve had some doozies for us parents over the years! Like the massive arrows that Cowboy J insisted on getting The Cowboy for Christmas one year. I swear the sharp titanium heads on those arrows would have pierced a tank…not to mention what it would have done to an Elk! Last year Cowboy W got me a shade of lipstick that resembled Mississippi Mud. Last Mother’s Day I received a flamingo yard statue, as well as a large white, plastic, Goose shaped planter.

Now of course, some of the success of the shopping does depend on where we take the kids. WalMart resulted in the Mississippi Mud Lipstick (as well as a neon green guacamole bowl) and the Garden corner of Menards produced last year’s landscaped themed gifts. I’ve learned my lesson and have tried to stay away from sports stores, unless we have a specific item in mind. Too often we have wound up with ammo that won’t work for any guns that The Cowboy has or a Rambo type knife.

Cowgirl G is actually the best purchaser of all the Cowkids but even she has had a few misses over the years. A coral colored blouse with jewels all over it made in a stiff polyester fabric comes to mind…Last year she was right on trend and bought me a brocade silver and black pencil skirt I can’t wait to fit into again!

So here is my question for you, my readers. You were such a big help with my American Girl Doll problem (we ended up purchasing one for Cowgirl G and she hasn’t stopped brushing her hair or changing her outfits since) that I thought I would see what you felt about this question…

Is it OK to return gifts from your kids? Over the years I have to admit that I have returned gifts from The Cowboy and purchased other items, and on the sly I have done the same thing with a few of the Cowkid’s gifts. The Cowboy never minds (nor do I when he does the same) but as the Cowkids have gotten older it’s been harder to return things without them noticing. This year The Cowboy took them to my favorite boutique and while the gifts they got were lovely, two of them I just can’t see myself wearing. It doesn’t help that I know I can return the gifts and get something I’ve really been craving!

So what do you think? No returning gifts at all? Return them on the sly? Or be honest and even have the Cowkids come help pick out new items?

I can’t wait to hear your advice!

Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

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7 thoughts on "Is it OK to Return Gifts from your Kids?"

  1. College BFF says:

    I think no returning and use or wear at least once. If you make such a deal about buying thoughtful gifts for each other it doesn’t seem right to take it back after all they were probably super excited about it and thought you would love it. Here’s a question for you? Do you allow your kids to say they don’t like something and return it? If so then I think it would be acceptable for you too 😉

  2. Karen says:

    There are times when I returned gifts from the kids and hubby in the past and then felt guilty and missed those gifts because they were so endearing and from the heart…even if I never wore them or they were unsightly, just having them gave me a little piece of my kids and of that special moment they were thinking of me…that being said, your kids’ personalities and your personality might be better equipped to let go, and trade that gift in for something from which you would get more use:)

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      So true! Every time I look at my flamingo and goose planter I smile! I don’t feel bad about returning the jeans that Cowgirl G bought me were size 0 (bless The Cowboy’s heart for thinking that was the right size) and I agree the kids age and personalities do play a part!

  3. Erica says:

    Lol! The pics here are great, too! I say it’s a waste of money, time, and energy to hold onto things that you do not love!

  4. Lizzi says:

    I’m 50/50 on this one, I did return my mother’a day gift last year but because my dear sweet husband let the girls pick out whatever they thought was appropriate and they chose a ring with a $1,700.00 price tag and I felt it just wasn’t financially responsible at the time. I do however often think about it and feel super guilty. So I’m stuck somewhere in the middle of this one!

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