We had a disastrous, yet hilarious, wishlist incident last year at Christmas. I hope to help anyone avoid the crazy Christmas chaos that we experienced!
I married my wonderful husband two years ago. I love my in-laws, but getting used to the holiday traditions of another family can be a challenge. In my family, we never made wishlists. My family is all about surprises, and making a list of gifts was just not something we did. However, my husband’s family requested a wishlist from me last Christmas. I was uncomfortable with the idea of telling anyone what to buy for me, but because it wasn’t perceived that way by his family, I made one. I made a wishlist on a popular website that has almost everything, and so did my husband and his family. I soon realized I liked the wishlist idea, because it helped me shop for others quite easily.
On Christmas morning, I opened up the first gift from my mother-in-law. It was a DVD of the movie Despicable Me. I appreciated the gift of course, as it is a cute movie and I appreciate any gift that is given to me. However, I did find it odd to get a children’s movie. Next, my husband opened his gift, a huge box of batteries. We always need batteries, of course, but again, a huge box of batteries was quite an odd gift, as well. As the rest of the family went around opening gifts, we all realized that something was definitely a little off.
Finally, my mother-in-law says, “We had a problem with the wishlists. Are these not things that were on your lists?” We admitted that many of the gifts were not on any of our lists. Which was fine of course, but since she asked…
We soon discovered what had happened. My in-laws had gone on this major website where we had all made lists. The website had shown them “suggested gifts” for each of us, which they had mistaken for our actual lists! Therefore, all of our gifts had been automated suggestions from a website. I was terrified that the website had suggested something weird, offensive, or exorbitantly priced, and that my in-laws would believe I had asked for such a thing!
Help for Gift Shopping is Here!
I still appreciated all of my gifts, and the event gave us all a good laugh. We did learn from this incident, however, that using a big website was not the best idea. I am going to stick with old-fashioned paper lists from now on. To help anyone else with gift shopping woes, I created a compromise between the total surprise gift-givers and those who want lists: a “hint list” rather than a “wish list.”
The hint list will help you and your loved ones with gift shopping. Rather than listing exact products, they will list sizes, favorites, etc. to retain the element of surprise, and avoid any computer-generated mishaps! Last year, I made for you a free printable gift shopping organizer that you can still find here: Printable Shopping Organizer.
Click the photo below to download the free printable Hint List! (Once your browser opens the file, you may need to right-click on it and click “save as.”)