Making a “demand” list…

I am having a rather feisty debate with a very good friend about the concept of “The Wish List”… and I need your help.  Here’s the deal…

My friend gives her husband, her children, her mom and her family a LIST of things that she WISHES for as holiday gifts.  She has been doing this for as long as I’ve known her… oh, about 30 years.  She contends that the Wish List is practical.  It allows gift-givers to know what the recipient needs or wants.  The items on the list range from simple to sometimes extravagant.  She tells me that she has never been disappointed…

I contend that if someone knows you well enough to be purchasing you a gift, he or she should already know what you need or want.  Period.  I believe that a gift should be from the heart… something that the gift-giver thought about.  Perhaps something you’ve never thought of yourself.  I believe, I guess, in that wide-eyed wonder of opening the package containing that beautiful ornament or warm yellow sweater or pink bracelet or salad tongs or set of holiday mugs…  I have always told my dear friend that a Wish List is more of a Demand List.  She thoroughly disagrees!

Give me your thoughts!  Help in this friendly debate!  I told my friend that I’d toss the topic out to the blog world…

Making a “demand” list… was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (17)
  1. I make lists for the kids because my parents won’t stop badgering me until I do.

    But I REFUSE to make them for myself. (Amazon wish list on my blog doesn’t count! LOL)

    Handing out wish list, to me, says “here, let me help you fulfill the obligation you feel to get me a present.”

    Um, no. No, thank you.

  2. We do “wishlists” in my house and I don’t mind it. I live far from my family and don’t see them often and wouldn’t have a clue as to what their needs/wishes were unless I asked. I like knowing that I’m getting them something they will truly enjoy/need. I live in a tiny NY apartment and it also prevents me from getting things I don’t have space for. I am all for the wishlist!

  3. I am of two minds on it. On one hand, a wishlist can be helpful. My husband loves my Amazon wishlist, only because while he often knows what he wants to get me, he wants to make sure it’s not something that I already own. For example, he knows that I love Willow Tree Angels, but as I own 50+ of them, he needs a little guidance in which ones to buy.
    But I would never, ever give anyone my wishlist without first being asked because then I think it becomes a demand list.

  4. There have been so many times when someone gave me something that I never would have requested, but now I don’t know what I would do without it. A wish list interferes with that kind of thought and creativity, even if it does make the actual transaction a little bit easier.

    Love isn’t the easiest or most convenient way to relate to another person, but it’s by far the most wonderful. I try to approach gift giving with that in mind.

  5. I wouldn’t mind someone giving me a list. I actually have a friend who demands a list from from ME lol She wants to know that she is buying something I want.
    So I don’t know. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, just not something I would do

  6. I can definitely see both sides to this, but I agree with you – I would rather get a gift that someone has chosen for me than something I’ve asked them for. I love being surprised by things that people have picked out – as well as spending weeks picking out the perfect gifts for everyone on my list. On the other hand, much of my family hands out wish lists and I can understand that too – since only very specific things will make them happy and there’s no way they’d get them otherwise. 🙂 (Although I, of course, don’t follow these lists, as I’m of the “surprise someone with a gift from the heart” philosophy.)

  7. We do wishlists for the kids because it’s easier. I have an amazon wish list for me – but more to remember what I want to get. My family knows about it (and I have it linked, but more so family can find it)
    I don’t mind wishlists – i think it is easier, no matter how well you know someone, it’s still easier to know –

    hey – Rachel watches Gossip Girl, wonder if she has the dvd – according to her wishlist -she doesn’t – they know what I want and know I don’t have it.

  8. Hello, my lovely!
    First, thanks for the daily doses of sunshine you bring me 🙂 Not to sound cheesy, but you really have been helping me get through these past few weeks with the baby being in the NICU. Thank you!

    As for the idea of “lists”…I can see both view points. We don’t really make lists, but I have friends and family who do. I guess the whole idea behind it is that they never get things that are “useless” to them if they get what they really wanted in the first place.

    On the flip side, I personally don’t think I need anything (except for my baby girl to be out of the hospital so we can begin our life as a family). I prefer gifts that are given from the heart. You’re right…if friends or family know you well enough, they’ll know what you like or want or what is special to you.

    For the kids (nieces, etc) we do wishlists though.

  9. I’m sort of half and half on this one. Sometimes when I’m given a wish list by a family member, I feel like I need to get everything on the list, when these are just ideas to help me out as to what that person is wanting. I do like for my kids to tell me what their child wants or needs. I don’t usually tell people what my wish is, unless they ask me. The day of surprising people with something you picked out, I think might be over. Personally, I would rather give something that I know that person really wanted or needs and it takes pressure off me when I know what their wish is. I know I’m not making too much sense…it’s 3:45 in the morning and I couldn’t sleep, so what do I do? Read one of my favorite blogs….

  10. I TOTALLY agree with you! I love buying gifts for my friends and family that I think they’ll love. Something they wouldn’t get themselves, or something that I see and just think of that person. My family is all the same. We don’t do wish lists. My husband’s family does, and it seems so impersonal and less thoughtful. To me, it’s like the gift giver puts no thought or energy into the gift.

  11. I LOVE wishlists. I hate opening something and knowing I already have it or didn’t want it, and I hate even more when I’ve bought that kind of thing for somebody. If they have a wishlist, I’m definitely buying something from it, or at least looking at it to see what kind of stuff they want. A lot of times I’ll put together a theme basket with one or two things from the list and then some related items I know they would like.

    And it’s not that people have to buy off my list, but my tastes and priorities have changed so much in the last few years that most of them want me to make one- I have a feeling I’m getting hard to buy for. I would never pass out the list to people who didn’t ask to see it though!

    But looking at these comments, it seems I’m in the minority. 🙂

  12. My husband usually begs for a few ideas so I tell him a couple and that’s it. Occasionally, my mom or sisters will ask for ideas but I usually am hesitant to give them these days because there’s so little that I need or want anymore and like you, it just takes the fun out of it!

  13. It’s June, 2009 and I’m catching up on all your blog entries and comments.

    I hate wish lists. Period.
    A gift from the heart, no matter how impractical, is the only one that matters.

Making a “demand” list… was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Sharon Couto