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Old 01-18-2013, 10:19 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by kimgg
And for the record, I agree with "it's the thought that counts." In my opinion, ordering and putting together goody bags from oriental trading takes some thought ( and expense, depending on what is purchased). While I know many adults cruise without kids, I would hope said adults realize that the majority of gifts on a DISNEY cruise are going to be themed and geared towards KIDS and not expect something more than that. If you get more, great, but I would not expect it to be the norm??

Again, I am open to suggestions!! And I do hope those who are disappointed by non-crafty gifts are not the norm!! I agree if is the norm, that's very sad!
Edited to add- I haven't bought from OT, but with my time, budget, room in luggage, and # of cabins to buy for, it seems anything I come up with is probably not gonna please everyone, despite all the thought I am putting into it. Nothing personal, but while thoughtful FE gifts are awesome, judgmental comments about others' FE gifts here when others may be offended is not so "thoughtful" at all. One persons' thoughtful gift is another's crap - we are all different with different preferences and taste. Kindness to others is much more thoughtful and magical!
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:23 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by kimgg View Post
And for the record, I agree with "it's the thought that counts." In my opinion, ordering and putting together goody bags from oriental trading takes some thought ( and expense, depending on what is purchased). While I know many adults cruise without kids, I would hope said adults realize that the majority of gifts on a DISNEY cruise are going to be themed and geared towards KIDS and not expect something more than that. If you get more, great, but I would not expect it to be the norm??

Again, I am open to suggestions!! And I do hope those who are disappointed by non-crafty gifts are not the norm!! I agree if is the norm, that's very sad!
I have participated in four FE exchanges (no kids, adults only cabin) and have enjoyed each exchange. I don't judge the gifts, I like each and everyone. I definitely agree it is the thought that counts.

I also don't keep track of gifts because I definitely don't want to worry about stolen gifts or worry about getting shorted because there is really nothing I can do to stop that so why worry about it.

As an adult only cabin, I am perfectly happy with kid themed toys. If I personally don't have a use for them, I just save them for my nieces or use them for geocaching swag when I get home.

My fave gift on the cruise was a ziploc baggie. Yeah it may seem cheap to some people but it really saved the day for me (long story, only funny to my husband ;-)). Anyway, it really is the thought that counts and if a person is worried about the money value of the gifts they will get in return, then they probably shouldn't join a FE.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:44 PM   #33
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Holy Smokes! I am in charge of the FE for our upcoming cruise and I have told everyone participating to NOT stress over their gifts. Just to do what is fun and financially feasible for their family. FE is all about fun not trying to be the best gift giver or anything like that.

I sincerely hope no one who is thinking about doing an FE exchange for the first time is not turned off by the OP.

I have photos of my DH being 100% totally silly with some of the small trinkets we got. Those images still bring a smile to my face. DH has a VERY stressful job and seeing him enjoying something that cost a few cents to buy was worth more to me than anything else.

It's about FUN - not stressing yourself out because you are worried about someone elses standards. Life is way to short for that.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:52 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrapbookmomma74
Why I probably won't do another FE:
I remember seeing threads about the cool FE stuff that people have gotten and being so excited to do one. I now realize that those things are not the "norm".
I have participated in 5 Fish Extender exchanges. 2 with just DH & I, 3 with kids. Here is what I have found:

1. I care about my gifts WAY more than other people. I spend weeks working on handmade, very nice things to give out, partially because I love to give gifts and partially because I won't give out "crap".



I know the OP is taking a lot of heat here because of her post. I appreciate her post though and she has a right to make the observations she has and now feels it is best if she doesn't participate again. it probably is best for her.

Personally, I think it comes from the hand-crafted notion of a gift, and the time spent in making something. Yes there is also time spent to purchase and pack items, even if they are from Oriental Trading, etc. I know that my feelings have been hurt in the past by family members even who don't appreciate the time, cost of goods, and energy that is put into something hand made. I have one SIL who will never again receive anything handmade from me ever again.

I don't find that the arts are ever fully appreciated by those who don't understand everything that goes into them. Time she has spent in hand making something is not comparable to a plastic slinky toy from OT...to her. It may be ok to you. In all honesty, it wouldn't to me either. We're getting ready to do our first ever FE, and we're excited..to give, and yes, to receive as well.

We will see how it goes. Our group opted for many small groups, so I'm very encouraged, and hope it will all turn out great. As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure. We will go with the flow and certainly not let it ruin our cruise.


Editing to add: I think 21 cabins is a lot for a FE Group and I would be more comfortable with splitting that in half.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:52 PM   #35
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We've chosen to do them on some cruises and not on others. Sometimes it is just too much to pack it up and haul it down. I've gotten some amazing gifts and some....tattoos and stickers. I've given some gifts that I considered amazing and some that while I didn't consider them "junk," I can see how someone else might. I've done "one gift per cabin," "one per person," and a "one per cabin + additional gift for the kids."

Frankly, one of the highlights of one cruise was to see a little princess walking around the ship clutching the FE gift that I'd given (or she had the same thing from somewhere else). Maybe that's stupid, but it made my day to see that she enjoyed it.

On one cruise, we were without power in February for the week before the cruise (ice storm had taken out trees and power lines). I had been sleeping in a sleeping bag on a church floor and using their internet and packed for my cruise in a FREEZING house while wearing a winter coat. I cannot begin to tell you how thoughtful my FE group and Dis friends were. We got LOTS of notes in our FE about how it must feel good to be warm (heck, it felt good to be warm while sleeping on a floor!) But those FE people made me feel WONDERFUL.

Would I do it again...I usually choose to not participate now. I'm better with kid gifts, and it is a lot of effort....but I love the idea of using what I don't want to take home as a "reward" for good behavior when I see it.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:18 PM   #36
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This makes me sick!!! What is wrong with you all!!! All of you that are complaining are greedy people! It's like the saying "if you don't have Anything nice to say then don't say anything at all!" If your so greedy about the gifts your getting in return don't participate!!! Two weeks ago I gave out wonderful handmade made, time consuming, hand blistering key chains (adults) and necklaces (kids), 70 of them!!! And I don't care what I got back, it made me feel good!! Just because you may be blessed to afford nice FE gifts certainly does not indicate everyone else's financial situation! This is not about money, quality, quantity, or who gives what, its about fun, and your taking a lot of fun out if it right now by these negative comments. Just don't participate, keep negative thoughts to yourself to prevent harming others....
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:20 PM   #37
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Our FE group got too big. There was a tremendous of organizing, purchasing and then hauling all this stuff internationally. I was spending up to 2 hours every day trotting up and down halls depositing gifts. I then then had to pack it up all home and haul it back internationally. All for a bunch of meaningless dollar store crap I will never use. If we did something where we exchanged something homemade (even construction paper cards made by the kids etc.) I might do it again but on a much smaller scale.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:28 PM   #38
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Wow . Isn't the joy in the giving ? In any gift I've ever given , large or small , handmade or store bought its always been given with the thought that the receiver would appreciate the gift .. We have participated in two FE's and would do so again . We made our gifts and also brought Canadian favorite candy for movie night for the kids .. We received great gifts , some handmade some store bought and all were enjoyed..
This thread could totally hurt some people and put off many more who were thinking of participating ...
Don't do it to receive gifts , do it to give a smile to a child or a kid at heart adult and that's it .start comparing gifts and the joy is gone ..
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:48 PM   #39
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We are leaving three weeks from today (SQUEE!!!) for our first cruise and are participating in the FE. I have made a lot of handmade items and find so much joy in crafting. I'm excited to see what we get and will be thrilled with all of it. I've met some awesome people through the DIS that are on this cruise and I'm excited to meet them in person.

To the OP, I understand you frustration, but what I don't understand is the tone of the thread. I'm not sure I get why you posted. If you aren't participating in another FE, cool. Why feel the need to post it and call some of the gifts you've received crap? Surely there are people who have participated in previous exchanges with you that have read this thread and are now wondering if you deemed their gifts crap.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:58 PM   #40
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I participated in an "exchange" where less than half of the cabins in the group followed through. There's no way I'll participate in another one.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:58 PM   #41
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Cripes, my feelings would be so hurt if I got home from a cruise only to find people complaining about how crappy they thought my FE gift was.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:00 AM   #42
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Cripes, my feelings would be so hurt if I got home from a cruise only to find people complaining about how crappy they thought my FE gift was.
the important thing is that you followed through on your commitment.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:11 AM   #43
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My daughter received a "crap" Oriental Trading rubber ducky that she loved so much she slept with it, took it to the princess gathering the next morning and showed it to each princess, and now almost a year later still plays with it. We also received lanyards, despite the list knowing we were repeat cruisers, and we saved them because they were so nice; now we get to offer them to our first-time cruising family along with the story of the thoughtful people from the DIS who gave them to us. We also got homemade things. I certainly did not keep count of how many gifts we received in return.

FWIW, I am not crafty and purchased our gifts from Etsy, Target $1 bins, and Big Lots. I sure hope no one thought they were crap.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:12 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessShmoo

Wow.

I've done the FE on 3 of our 6 cruises (and one of those I was involved in 2 separate ones).

We've always enjoyed the gifts we've given and received.

Our last cruise, I didn't join the FE group. I tried to, but our DISmeet was basically gutted by those who decided to move it over to Facebook. They said they would keep those of us who don't do FB up on what was happening, but it didn't go that way.

If future DISmeets operate the same way, I probably won't be involved in anymore FEs

What is about to join the Facebook group?
Please tell me more.
My current FE group has one.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:28 AM   #45
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We are a military family stationed in Germany, would people think it cool or lame if I gave things like magnets from our military base or German candy?
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