Sunday, June 28, 2009

Immoral? Tacky? Or A-OK?

I'm curious about this, but just so you know--I already did it. My question now is whether I should feel guilty about it.

My (did I mention she is rich?) baby sister gave me a Kindle for my 60th birthday. Along with it, she also gave me a $500 giftcard from Amazon.

Obviously, the intent was for me to use the giftcard to buy books for the Kindle. Which I have, though I tend mostly to download the free books that are offered periodically. I never would have gotten a Kindle for myself but now that I have it, I find it handy for commuter-reading on the bus, and if I can ever afford to travel again, I think it will be great then, too.

But have you noticed that people tend to buy gifts for others that they'd like for themselves? Well, it became apparent to me that my sister would like a Kindle of her own. Given that she travels all the time, she would undoubtedly use it far more than I do.

First, I checked with her husband who was giving her an entirely different gift. Then I sent her a Kindle for her birthday present. It cost $349, which I did not have. So, I used that giftcard.

Hence, the question. Was it tacky to use what was essentially her money to buy her a birthday gift I knew she would like? Or was it the act of a loving sibling who really wanted her sister to have a birthday gift she'd especially enjoy? (Hmmm--Grace votes for the latter!)

I still have money left on the giftcard with which to buy books for my own Kindle. Does that make a difference?

Is there, in fact, any moral issue here at all?


Krista said...

My vote is A-OK! She gave you the gift card so it became your money. How you choose to spend it is up to you. Sure, the intention was that you use it to buy books for your Kindle but look at it this way - now you will use the money you would have spent on her gift, so it all evens out. (Make sense?)

Fede said...

Well done! You should not feel guilty at all. It was yours to do with it as you please! Lucky sister...and you still have left over money to buy books with. It was a win win situation.

Anonymous said...

was your sister happy and surprised? you didn't tell us. does she have to know that you used the $500 towards her gift?

either way, i think what you did was thoughtful and kind and wonderful. it's the same as if a friend gave you a gift certificate to a restaurant and then you invited that very same friend to go out to dinner with you at the very same restaurant.

sharing. peace and love.

i like it.

good show!

DogAteMyFinances said...

I think this is just fine.

You did, however, increase the arms race of gifts. Your sister isn't stupid, and knows you can't afford it. So, expect a more extravagant gift to make up for it, and then you have to either keep up or not.

Grace. said...

Morrison, of course I didn't tell her I used her giftcard! I want all the credit for the gift!

She did love it--in fact, she had decided to get one for herself, but was waiting until after her birthday to see if, maybe, her husband would come through with a Kindle.

Dog--it is utterly impossible for me to match the gifts my sister gives to me; what I try to do is give her what are, for me, expensive but wanted gifts. This was on the outer edge of what she would expect from me.

Florence said...

What loving sisters!! You two are very lucky to have each other!!

frugal zeitgeist said...

Totally A-OK, in my opinion. A gift card is to be used for whatever the recipient wants, not what the giver thinks the recipient should want. It was nice of you to find a gift that she'll really use and appreciate.

MEG said...

What moral code would you be breaking? The one about not using gifts 100% selfishly?

Would you feel guilty for using the gift card to purchase a gift for somebody else? Probably not. Either way once you're given a gift you are free to use it as you please - that's the point! Whether you want to blow it on yourself, give to others, or use it to give back to your sis, it is certainly no moral issue.

How sweet and generous!

Sharon said...

I would LOVE a sister like you! The gift was thoughtful and especially resourceful...she certainly can't fault you for that! $500.00 is a lot of money for books anyway...I vote A-okay!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't think this was a tacky move at all! Your sister is probably really happy that you put so much thought and consideration into a gift that she really wanted.