Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ugly baby gifts

As I was rummaging through some of the many boxes of crap in our basement, I came across a couple of gifts from W's baptism. They're both hideous ceramic crosses that will never see the light of day in my home. They both came from relatives, and I truly appreciate the thought behind them, but...well, they're ugly. Hideously so. To the point that I would be embarrassed to have them hanging on a wall. Think old lady knick-knack ugly. They're awful. I figure these will stay in their boxes, safely tucked in a bigger box in the basement until someday I throw them away give them to W when he moves out.

Some ugly gifts are easier to deal with than others. Clothes, for example. There are a couple of outfits W never wore because they were so awful, and now they're in the "Baby Two isn't the right season for these, so I can get rid of them" bag. Other outfits were worn to the sitter's (never in public), with the warning as soon as I walked in the door that it was "ugly baby shower clothes day." She always found that amusing. And she usually agreed with my assessment of the outfit. Fortunately for me, these clothes have also generally found their way to the donation bag, and will soon be out of my life forever.

But then there are the hand-made things. Someone knitted me a blanket for one of my showers that is only slightly bigger than a dishrag and has no practical applications whatsoever. Someone else cross stitched a birth record for W that is not at all my style, and I don't want to display it anywhere. You can't just dispose of handmade gifts. That feels as wrong as throwing away those Gideon's Bibles people hand out on the corner.

And then there are the Precious Moments gift. Sweet Lord, the Precious Moments gifts. I am not, in any way, shape, or form, a Precious Moments fan. Their stuff is much too saccharine for me. Unfortunately, we have a relative that really likes Precious Moments (and B actually likes them some, too. Barf!) and has given us many things with those freakishly-large-headed children on them. Again, these are not things I want on display anywhere in my house. Nor do they have any redeeming qualities - like being useful - that might make me forgive them for being Precious Moments.

Right now, all of these things are packed away in boxes, and I have the convenient excuse that there is currently no shelving or storage space in W's room. But once we've painted and shelved, what do I do about the ugly gifts? What if people start asking questions? How do you tactfully extricate yourself from the "Oh, where's that lovely cross I got W for his baptism?"-type questions.

So, what do you do with ugly, unwanted baby gifts? Is there a rule on how long you have to let them rot in the basement save them before it's appropriate to donate, sell, or throw them away?


Delilah H. said...

OMG I just came across this post I have no idea how... Hilarious!! I have so many ugly baby shower gift outfits for both my son and daughter. How about the ugly every other weekend gifts from out of touch MIL?? LOL!
I am inspired by your post to add a new section to my new website (work in progress) which just so happens to be all about baby shower gifts. I think I may just add a section for people to anonymously upload pictures of their babies in their ugly baby shower clothes. Haha! That would be VERY fun to look at!
Well thanks for that! You have a great blog. :-)

Misty said...

ff them into the closet until I forget about them. By the time I find them and remember them, I throw them out or give them away. My theory is that if I forget they're in my closet, other people will forget they gave them. If someone asks, they got misplaced in a move. Or maybe a family member moves it occasionally (my darling nephews have "lost" so many items I hated... bwahaha) and I'm *sure* we'll find it soon.....

Michelle said...

Maybe it is awful, but there are several things that have gone directly into the Goodwill pile. I'm sorry, but we just don't have the space to hold on to crap we don't want. Incidentally, there is only one hideous Carruth thing we've held onto because it's from D's parents. It sits on the floor of our closet and has for the last 5 years. I repeatedly ask him to pitch it, but he's holding strong even though he hates it too.

Jill said...

This post had me cracking up. My mother in law brought the ugliest clothes to the hospital for the baby, all Elmo, all from Wal Mart, all ugly, all the time. He never wore them, I lied and said he outgrew them. My husband thinks they are packed away, but really, they went to Once Upon a Child. Not to mention some relative of his also gave us baby clothes from the early 90s, ugh, I hate it when people give you their old stuff thinking they are being so great, when really it is all outdated, worn out, junk. We took that stuff to Elder Beerman during the Goodwill sale and got lots of coupons!! This is why I always give gift cards or diapers for gifts when babies are born and why I stick to the registry for the shower.

Jill said...

Hey, I just got some ugly clothes last night from my mother in law. She says to me, "do you like disney clothes?" I said, "well i've never bought clothes at the disney store" She says, "oh no, I bought some from kmart" I knew I was in trouble when she uddered the word kmart, she whips out 2 hideous sweatsuits, both too big and both really awful. Winnie the Pooh I might add, yay!!! because all 18 month old boys like Winnie the Flipping Pooh. Sigh Yeah, he won't be able to wear this until next fall. I'm so screwed, I guess I'll just have him wear them when she comes over.

Swistle said...

Oh, I lovvvvve this. I have a box in the basement marked "Heirlooms," and that's my code for "Ugly Crap I Feel Obligated to Keep." As you say, the ugly clothes are the easiest: I used to dress the baby in the outfit, take a photo, send the photo to the giver, and donate the outfit (sometimes I was even able to leave the tags on to improve the donation, assuming anyone would want it).

Handmade baby blankets were kept folded in the closet until the baby no longer used blankets, and then "given to another child who could use it" (said in sentimental tones, as if we hated to let it go but the blessing MUST be passed on).

Handmade wall stuff is THE WORST. It can't be boxed, really. Or it can, but it's so obvious that it's not up. Bleah.

Knickknacks, wall stuff, and handmade stuff (other than specifically baby stuff such as outfits and blankies) have to be kept until the giver dies. Or at least, that's what you'd assume I thought, based on my Heirloom Box.

Anonymous said...

Oh, just wait until birthdays and Christmas come along. It will never end :)