Read Cantaloupe's Amma on the subject of an unwelcome gift and also Noon's comments on gifting.
I have written earlier on this subject. I would not put a blanket ban on gifts, because I would be the first to admit that The Bhablet is dressed, fed and pampered way beyond anything his father and I can afford, and this is done purely through all the gifts that he receives. I hope I'm not jinxing anything by saying this -- but everything almost that I have wished to give him he has received, so blessed has he been. Yet in the midst of all this I also have several shelf-fuls of gifts which he will not use. Clothes that were too small, too repetitive, unsuitable (too many fussy details, synthetic materials, girly); bottle holders he does not need; more sippy cups than one child can use, unless I'm mad enough to wash them all and keep one for each day of the week (well, almost); blankets, an item that he discarded a little way into his third month; knitwear sets that were too big for his first winter but are too small for his second; toiletries that I'm afraid may begin to spoil before he needs them all; more toys than he is interested in -- all he really wants are water bottle, steel plates and glasses, newspapers and magazines he can chew, odd bits of material and pretty much everything you don't want him to play with. You get the idea.
Some of these are still very nice, and we seem to be having a baby-filled year, so I happily repack and re-gift them, keeping in mind the taste and possible wishes and needs of the recipients. This last bit is important. As a recent new-mother, I know what is welcome and what may be redundant. And I carefully keep all such potential gifts packed away neatly and carefully. What I wouldn't give to babies in our circle I know are still welcome among my maids (and maids in my family circles who have babies in the family) so I pass them on. For instance, I do not dress The Bhablet in synthetics much (he sweats a lot) and most mothers I know stay away from them too. But my maid and her neighbours have no such issues and are grateful for these passed on gifts, since they are new and mostly still in the gift-pack. Such sets are expensive sometimes, and would be out of their reach otherwise.
What I am asking all you mothers out there is this: would such a gift bother you? I promise you, you would not know whether I bought it in a shop or it was re-cycled, because whatever I give your child will be every bit as classy as anything I would want my own son to receive.
I see no point in using a receiving blanket once, twice just because it was a gift. The Bhablet does not like blankets and wriggles out of them. It makes more sense to me to save them for the next new-born in my circle. This way, I can welcome the baby with a good, useful gift which may also be more expensive than anything I could have been able to afford in the first place.
Do tell me what you think. I am aware that this generates a lot of mixed feelings.
Note to MM:
I loved the frog though, so I'm afraid he is stuck our little well and not going away anywhere anytime soon.