How do you feel about wish lists?

From the gift giving thread - and others.

I don’t like them. I don’t like setting them up (I am fortunate enough to have enough disposable income to just buy the things I want - so why make a list?) I don’t like getting things off a list - to me it feels perfunctory. It’s not that I don’t like getting gifts, but I would greatly prefer someone thinking “amarinth would really like this ____.” or “I really want amarinth to have _____.” And even if they’re wrong, it means they thought about me. Clicking a box on an amazon wishlist - so what? There’s also no “surprise!” which, for me, is part of the fun of a gift.

I feel similarly about using them - I tend to avoid them. If I give a gift off of a wishlist - it means that I feel that this is an obligatory gift and I probably don’t like you. Clicking the buy box is a nothing gesture. I do, occasionally, look at people’s lists to see patterns or themes (“John seems to be a brony… got it.”) but then for people I actually care about, I want to spend time finding something that they’ll truly enjoy but maybe didn’t know about or perhaps hadn’t thought about.

I mostly put things on my wish list to keep myself from forgetting them. Of course, then I feel free to forget them.

Couldn’t live without them. I would NEVER have thought that my mom wanted the hedgehog cheese grater. My brother and SIL downsized (3BR, 3 living room, dining room, attached garage, 3 bath with outdoor pool and pool house to a 2 br, 1.5 bath brownstone) this year. They’ve put tons of Kindle books and DVDs on their wish lists.

My mother also puts a lot of books on her wish list. She likes non-fiction and I’ve learned over the years that I absolutely stink at predicting what she wants to read. Or has already read. She’s got three closets full of clothes. She has two necklaces she wears and nothing else in the way of jewelry. She wears Chanel No 5 and no other perfume. Without the wish list, I’d just be getting her another shirt to go in the back of the closet or another pair of house shoes.

Some people are really good at finding gifts for people. Others lack the imagination. I can always find stuff for my brother because we think alike. If my SIL didn’t have a wish list, I would be up a tree trying to find something for her. And it’s hard when you have three cool things for one person sitting on the couch while the person next to him is opening a bath talc set or a necklace they wouldn’t wear on a bet.

Wish lists are guidelines. You can spring off them, give it a little twist or just get what’s on the list. Now the first person who looked up from their gift and said “This isn’t on my list!” would get a big ol’ box of air from me from that day forward. But the list is a life saver.

I don’t love the idea of it. But my family is going to get me birthday/Christmas gifts regardless so I might as well make a list of stuff I want. And I appreciate it from them because left to my own devices I would be clueless.

I love them. I have three that I maintain on Amazon (where I can add items from any website): my private list, for stuff I want to remember to buy myself (or just to hold until I decide I don’t really need it); my public list, for stuff people can give to me; and my giving list, for stuff I can give to other people.

At this point, I would prefer to give up the whole gift process entirely. My family are all adults capable of buying whatever we need, and I spend way too much time worrying about it. But as long as my family wants to continue the tradition, if the wish lists can help smooth the process, I’m all for them. Believe me, there’s nothing I would really like that I don’t already have. And at this point I think the rest of my family is the same.

Better than most other options. (But not as good as good old Amazon gift cards.)

E.g., I like those little wooden/metal take-apart puzzles. Each year I put one that seems interesting on my wish list. Presto, someone gives me a gift I want.

I consider wish lists mandatory for gift exchanges. If you get me something that’s not on my list I very likely won’t be pleased, and if you don’t give me a list of things you want you’ll get nothing from me.

Here’s a reasonably complete list of the objects I like that can be received as gits: Books. DVDs. Computer games. Lego sets. Transformers toys. And, well, certain kinds of candy. And you know what’s a shared property of all these things (except the candy)? If you already have one of a specific item, getting a second one is worthless. This means that if somebody buys me a wonderful copy of the Catwoman movie, that would be awesome, except that I already have a copy of that so thanks for wasting your money buddy.

It’s all well and good to say that a person should know me well enough to know what I’d like, but I’m not going to be happy with any silly thing with a smiley face printed on it. To know what I’d like you’d have to have a comprehensive knowledge of my current possessions, which I certainly don’t expect anybody to know - and that’s not even considering that I’m buying new stuff all the time. If you happen to overhear that I really liked the Barbie in the Nutcracker movie (or whatever), sneak a peek at my shelves and unwatched stacks and storage totes and determine I don’t own it yet, and rush out and buy it - it’s distinctly possible that I will have bought a copy of it myself by the time you give it to me.

A wish list is both a courtesy to let people know what I want and don’t yet have, and a promise that I won’t buy it myself until christmas/my birthday has passed.
As for my refusal to get you something if you don’t give me a list - well for one thing I actually don’t know you that well. I have enough nieces and nephews that I’ve lost count of them, literally. (Two new babies this year!) I interact with precisely one of them with any frequency - I honestly have a hard time remembering the rest of their names. And the adults - I really don’t know what they like. Cooking stuff? Okay sure you say you can always use another colander, but is that really true? Will a random spatula really bring you joy? Or the camping/hunting ones. Yeah. I don’t know a pup tent from a pop gun. Should I just buy a fifty-pack of tent spikes and give you one each year? Of course there’s always the safe approach, buying you a DVD…which you may or may not already have. You do? Sorry!

Giving without lists is great if you know the person well, live in the same house with them, and habitually paw through their possessions, but for the rest of us, lists are basically necessary if you don’t want to give or receive crap.

My wife, God bless her, does most of the gift shopping, Because I cop out and give gift certificates. Our friends, it’s stuff like home-baked cookies or suchlike.

My parents have taken to making donations in my name to charities, which I like. I got too much stuff already.


Exactly this.

Ideally, the people who want to give me gifts would just know what I want, and vice-versa, but reality just doesn’t work that way, so, exchange of lists and everyone gets something that they want (well, maybe, maybe not, but it’s a whole lot more likely).


I have a love/hate relationship with wish lists. But for folks who are far away, it sure saves the day. At least It allows me to get my distant family member something they actually want.

Of course I always add a present of my own choice as a surprise and to let the recipient know that I really like them!

I dislike the “gift-giving” holidays entirely. mostly a money grab by commercial entities pushing us to buy shit based on quasi-religious grounds.

We have set them up for my children (6 and 8) so my parents and inlaws have some idea what to buy and a central list prevents duplicates.

For adults it seems weird.

Well, my post from yesterday has vanished. Just count me among the “if I don’t see you regularly, I’d like some ideas” crowd.

I want to spend my money to give a gift someone would actually use, so I ask them straight up what they want. If I can’t do that, it’s a gift card.