19 May 2008

How to keep track of baby gifts and their givers

Here's how Megan keeps track of the avalanche of new baby gifts and hand-me-downs:

As a first-time mom, I'm the grateful recipient of lots of baby clothes, books, and toys. Many of these gifts won't be used for months or years down the road, but I'd still like to connect these thoughtful gifts with the original giver. I always appreciate seeing pictures of babies wearing or using gifts I've given, and I'd like to show my friends and relatives that their gifts are truly appreciated. I thought about writing a list of gifts and gift givers, but coming up with unique descriptions for the half-dozen cute pink onesies we've received seemed like too much trouble.

It dawned on me to take digital pictures of each gift, and to include an index card in the photo on which I've written the name of the gift giver. Now I have an inventory of gifts that's simple to update, and easy to skim through and connect with the giver. And, if I pass these gifts along to other babies in a few years, I can avoid any social blunders associated with re-gifting or recycling to the wrong person.

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Thanks for this tip. I know when it comes to birthday parties and such I write on the cards they get.

So, if aunt sue bought 2 blue and red trucks, I would write that on the back of the card she gave as well.

That way I go through the cards again and make the thank you cards that way.

That's a great idea! My shower gifts were pretty easy to remember - I even got the thank yous out the next week - but the gifts that I received in the first weeks after my daughter was born all blurred together. Everyone got a generic "thank you for the fuzzy blanket and sleeper" note, and I'd never remember whose was whose now.

Why generate yet one more baby thing that takes up space? You can keep the photo digital and label the photo with the giver's name.

I have number 2 on the way (due in 3 weeks), and remembering the guilt when I had number one as each day went past without me writing thank you cards...shudder. I also made the mistake of writing letters - so a page of thanks and words for each letter - normally fine - but with a newborn...mmmm not so sensible. So this time I am trying to be more prepared and have already printed out 2 sets of labels from the address book. I have also bought some lovely - but small - notelets. Thus only a small note of thanks can be written, address stuck on - a much quicker job, less guilt and less stress.

I use this tip for remembering who made the lovely handmade blankets and afgans we recieved when my daughter was born. I took the picture with the actual card from the maker, making sure the name was readable in the pic. I put the pictures in ehr baby book so in the future, I wouldn't have to say I had no clue who made which blanket. My daughter got about 7 blankets, two green, two white, etc. so it was rather hard to remember after a while.

For our baby shower one of the guests had a great idea: we set up a chair next to the mom for the giver of the gift to sit in. When she opened the gift, I would get a photo of mom, gift, and gifter: a nice photo op, but also the perfect record to help with later thank you notes (especially for baby clothes, which start to all look alike after a while). Some of the folks were a bit embarrassed about sitting in the hot-seat at first, but they came to appreciate the personal face-time with the mom-to-be.

Alex,
I think that's exactly what she's saying.
She keeps the digital photo. The index card is only for writing down the person's name and then taking a picture of the index card and the item together. I don't think she's keeping a hard copy of anything.

Oops. It appears I am too sleep deprived to fully comprehend many things these days. That picture of the card file confused me. :)

Yep, that's exactly what I mean! And if a card came along with the gift, I do include that in the picture instead of using an index card, as someone else suggested. I'm glad other people think this tip is useful! I have the camera clicking nonstop anyway, I find this is a really easy way to keep prezzies straight.

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