Practical Tips to Creating a Gift Registry

What is the relevance of a Gift Registry?   Isn’t it quite embarrassing to tell your family, friends or guests what you want to receive from them?  Is it just a waste of time because at the end of it all, these items would just pile up in your attic or storage room?

Although a gift registry appears like an attempt to shop on other people’s money, keep in mind that the main purpose of creating one is to make it easy for your family, friends or guests to know what you desire by giving them a list of your wishes.  You relieve them of the burden of thinking of whether you like their gifts or not or will their gifts be simply added to your stock of “recyclable gifts”.  Thing is, you are the one who chose the items so whether you like what you received or not – it is your doing!  Plus, if you register online, you also free them from the trouble of going to the department store to buy you your gifts.  You are actually giving them a convenient option to fulfill that need to give you something on your special day.  So go ahead, create your own Gift Registry and let your wishes come to life.

However, creating and managing a Gift Registry is not really all “trigger-happy-shopping-fun”.   A Gift Registry’s usefulness depends largely on the person who has created it.  If no thought process was made before creating one and the basis of choosing the items is just on “feel” and “instinct”, then most likely, you’ll receive items you really do not have need of.  And remember, there is nobody else who is to blame this time but yourself! Thus, when creating your Gift Registry, keep in mind what somebody once said “Look at the things that you need, treat yourself to things you might not need, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.”  Aside from a thoughtful item selection, it is also important to let your family, friends and guests know about your Gift Registry.  If you do not mention anything about your Gift Registry, then how in the world can your family, friends and guests know about it?  Your Wish List will remain to be wishful thinking.

To make the most out of your Gift Registry, here are some tips when setting-up one:

  • Register Early – Choose and find the shops your want and register in advance.  This will give your family, friends and guests ample time to decide what to buy or pool their monies together for big ticket items.  Your gift registry can be their guide as well for other related pre-event get togethers like Bridal Showers, Baby Showers, Engagement Parties, etc.
  • Register with two or three different registries – Register in both in-store and on-line shops.  This will give your guests the choice of whether to buy from either brick-and-mortar shops or virtual shops, whichever is more convenient to them.  Again, this is about making it easy for those wanting to give you something.
  • Think through your needs and wants – Before clicking it away on an online catalog or strolling along the department store aisles, sit down first and think through what are the things you need, things that you like, what your lifestyle is, or if you have a theme that you’d like to follow.  This will give your proper direction on the items you are going to choose.
  • For Wedding and Baptismal Registries, pick things as a couple – Discuss with your partner what items you need for your home, for your Nursery, etc.
  • Welcome suggestions – Ask for recommendations from family, friends, family, co-workers or the shop where you are registered.  Though in the end, the decision is for you to make, it doesn’t do any harm to find out other peoples’ experiences on a given product or brand.
  • Register items that fit every budget – Remember that you are just making a Wish List and people are not obliged to buy the most expensive ones.  They can pick and choose whatever items fit their budget.  That is why it is important that you have lower priced items.  Then update your Gift Registry every now and then. Don’t be embarrassed to include pricey items as there are times when friends pool their money to buy you that expensive gift.
  • Consider your country or family’s gift-giving culture for a given occasion – It may not be appropriate in your culture to ask for high ticket items during birthdays while it is completely acceptable in other occasions.  So as not to offend the sensibilities of other people, it is best to go with the general culture of your country or family.
  • Create a long list (again covering all the price ranges) – This makes it easier for people to choose items for you at prices that meet their budget.
  • Courtesy goes a long way – Don’t forget to send “Thank You” notes to your gift-givers. This should be sent not more than two weeks after you receive their gifts.
  • Tell your family and friends about your gift registry – Of course, it has to be done in a very subtle and refined way.  Gifts are not the main consideration of any celebration; they are just a way for family and friends to show you that they share in your joy.  When people ask if you are “registered” then mention it to them.  You can also ask close relatives or friends to spread the news to other relatives and friends.

Remember that gifts are just the incidentals in any celebration. So just have fun and stay cool when creating your Gift Registry. Always keep in mind that the most important part of any celebration is not the gifts that you will receive but that you have family and friends to share your joy with.  Ciao!

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