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Anonymous
Anonymous asks:
Q:

What to do about valuable gift of collectible doll received as birthday present from family friend?

Our daughter recently celebrated her birthday and received many wonderful gifts. One in particular, though, has raised some questions from us, and I'd love your feedback.

The gift is a collectible doll that we've learned could be worth $200 or more. The person who gave it to our daughter is a family friend we've known for about 7 years. She's married, with 2 children, and isn't poor but isn't rich either. Though we don't see them often, we have a great relationship with her family. However, she and her husband aren't the 'God parents' to our daughter. So I feel a little uncomfortable accepting such a valuable gift, and our daughter is having a hard time understanding or accepting that she can't take it out of the box and play with it like her other dolls.

At first, I wondered if it was a knock-off (which would make me feel better about the gift and would change the no-play policy). However, it's authentic: she got it at a private school auction fundraiser. While likely bought at a steal of a price, I still suspect she spent far more than our group of friends typically spends on each others' children.

I sent a gushing Thank You note (and thanked in person), but wonder if I should do more? What do you suggest? I'm not in a position to reciprocate by spending hundreds of dollars on her children, but am considering selling the doll, giving half of the money to my daughter and half to our friend. Would that be rude? How else could we handle this?
In Topics: Parenting / Our Family, Friendships and peer relationships, Family fun / holiday celebrations
> 60 days ago

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Expert

MomSOS
Mar 20, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

This is such an interesting question, and I think there could be many choices of how to handle the gift. Your own intention makes a difference. If you are thinking you want to keep the doll as an investment, that would lead to a decision to put it on a shelf, rather than allowing it to be a toy.

 Though I don't think there is a clear right or wrong way to handle this, I do not think I would sell the doll, but you certainly could. It appears that the intent was for your child to have this gift, not for it to be given back in a different form.  You say that the person giving the gift is a family friend whom you have known for years. And that probably her purchase was actually benefiting a school. Some people like giving gifts that give in more than one way.

In this case, I think it would be a reasonable choice to respectfully bring up your concern with your friend. You can mention your discomfort about the gift being so expensive. If she is as good a friend as it sounds like she is, you might be able to express your concerns about her spending a lot of money and your concern about this not becoming a pattern for mutual gift giving.  This could lead to a productive discussion, though some individuals might be insulted. There is not way I can know how it will go. You know her so you can decide based on what you know.

In cases like this, I usually advise being true to ones self.  By that I mean doing what truly feels right to you and what is best for your daughter. The doll has been given.  It belongs to your daughter. You can continue to do what you are doing and not allow your child to play with it, or you could allow her to play with it and enjoy it. It sounds like the giver's heart was in the right place. There is nothing wrong with accepting and appreciating this lovely gift and continuing to give the gifts your family can afford in the future.

Bette J. Freedson, LICSW, LCSW, CGP
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MrsReading
Mar 20, 2010
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Best Answer!

what's this?
from a fellow member
Hey!

I bought a valuable doll (or so I thought) from a doll store a few years ago. I paid $200. I went on ebay to check out what people may be willing to pay for it recently and found it was only worth about $40!

If I were you, I would keep the gift and not feel as if you need to reciprocate when this person's child has a birthday so elaborately. She probably did get it at a very low cost.  At any rate, a gift is a gift, and I say tear that baby open and let your child play with it!

Let us know how it turns out.
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Additional Answers (2)

BelieveJay
BelieveJay writes:
I believe folks today give what they want to give and they don't expect anything in return.  You don't know if the item was a re-gift, purchased on clearance or even something that they didn't like having around.  You really don't know if the item was valuable to them or not.  What's more, I believe that once someone has given you a gift it's yours to do with what you want.  I would do exactly as you have and thank them.  From there on out, I believe it's your perogative to do with the item as you wish - even if that means selling it.
> 60 days ago

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BigSis
BigSis writes:
Sligthly deviating from the topic...

When it's an item that is not age approriate, my mom usually holds onto the gifts until my sister is old enough. For example, when she was a baby, she received jewelry that she was not old enough to wear (choking hazard, etc.) Now that she is older, she is able to enjoy and appreciate her present without the family worrying that she will hurt herself.
> 60 days ago

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