Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Crappy-Day-Present-Receiving Etiquette

In honor of today being the deadline for mailing your CDP Exchange package since I didn't notice that Monday was a no-mail holiday when I picked the date for the mailing deadline, I decided to do another informative Crappy Day Present post!

Please email me when you mail your exchange package and when you receive a package! Also, feel free to post about your package, and I will add a link to your post to my list of CDP example links.
Now that I have told you we have discussed when it is an appropriate time to open a Crappy Day Present (this was a VERY important post, so go read it if you haven't already!), I thought I would tell you we would discuss what is the polite thing to do when one RECEIVES a Crappy Day Present/Package.

I tend to respond to the receipt of a CDP the same way I respond whenever someone does something nice to me: I make sure to thank the person and try to let her know how much I appreciated her efforts on my behalf.

Disclaimer: This can be tricky if a CDP arrives in the midst of Extremely Crappy Circumstances because I might be a little overwhelmed at that particular moment, but I try to do these things at some point. Also, my method of communication varies, according to the kind of relationship I have with the sender and how chaotic life is at that moment, so pick the method of communication (a card, an email, a tweet, a phone call, etc...) that works best for your situation.

When I receive a CDPackage in the mail, as soon as I can, I let the sender know I received her package, (often) what a nice surprise it was, and how happy the package has made me JUST BY ARRIVING. I prefer to do this by writing a nice little card so that I can return the favor of receiving fun mail, but, if life is hectic, I will send an email instead, or sometimes I will send a brief email and, later, a longer, more detailed card.

Then, because I know that *I* enjoy hearing about it when someone opens a CDP I have agonized over given her, whenever I open a CDPresent, I like to write an email or call the person to tell her that I had been having a Crappy Day and remembered the present(s) she had sent me, and so I opened _______, and it was perfect/cheered me up because _______! (Sometimes the Crappiness of the days will make it so that I don't have a chance to email or call until I have opened 3 or 4 CDPs, in which case, I mention each thing I have opened and why I liked it.)

I do not feel OBLIGATED to reciprocate because I KNOW (one of the benefits of being the creator of this idea =)!) that Crappy Day Presents are given freely with no expectations or obligations, but since I ENJOY reciprocating, I will keep in mind that this person must like the CDP idea, or she wouldn't have used it, and, in the days/weeks/months following, I will distract myself from the loud children (and other irritating people) and endless laundry and cooking and cleaning mind-numbing aspects of life by thinking about what fun things I can send this person some day in the future to brighten some of HER Crappy Days.

Swistle brought up a point in a recent post (that isn't applicable in an EXCHANGE situation, but might apply for general CDP giving) that hadn't occurred to me because when I started doing this with my brick-and-mortar friends, we knew each other well enough that it wasn't an issue: that acting on generous impulses (such as sending someone a surprise CDP?) "...seems to set up situations where the recipient feels uncomfortable and/or burdened, and wonders if they should reciprocate, and feels awkward if they don't want to."

After I read that, I realized that *gasp of amazement!* you ladies might not know me well enough, so perhaps I should clarify: I sincerely hope that if I have, or do, send you a CDP, you will not feel uncomfortable or burdened!! I have no expectation of reciprocation; only a hope that it will brighten your day and make a few upcoming Crappy Days a little more bearable!! Think of it as one of those random someone-paid-your-toll-charge or someone-paid-for-your-dinner things (except that I can't be that anonymous because it might be even more worrisome to receive a package and have no idea from whom it came), and pass it on if you'd like to, but don't worry about it if you don't.

Does anyone have any ideas on what we can do with the giving of Crappy Day Presents so that it doesn't make the recipient feel uncomfortable or burdened?

Well, that's all that I could think of concerning CDP-Receiving Etiquette! Did I miss anything?

The Rules For the Opening of Crappy Day Presents


Swistle said...

One of my 2010 resolution was to act on more generous impulses. Some of these set up situations with the potential to be awkward, like buying a shirt for one of Elizabeth's classmates. I found it seemed to make a huge difference if I just mentioned my resolution. I'm not sure I can put a finger on exactly why it seemed to help so much; I think it's because (1) it explains the otherwise potentially-odd action AND (2) it almost makes it seem as if that person HAS to do it, or is doing it separately from one's own receiving-of-generosity self, which makes it less personal and therefore less awkward/obligating ("This is a PROJECT they're doing. I'm one of MANY who happen to be benefiting; it's not Just Me.")

Nowheymama said...

This is so well written and helpful! What a great idea for a follow-up post.

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

I think this is excellent. :-) And I like how up front you say that a CDP does not require reciprocation. Maybe that's all that's necessary: a little note to ride along with the CDP that says part of the gift of the CDP is that it comes with no obligation to return the favor.

Elsha said...

Maybe I'll just write down the link to this blog post in any crappy day presents I send out! Actually, the only person I've sent them to so far is my sister, and she took it as inspiration to "pay it forward" and has started sending them to friends :)


If you sign-up, you do so with the understanding that it is a one way street. Post acknoledgment on your Blog and express your happiness of the gift. The post will allow the sender and other members to join in with the happiness.

That is my two cents.

twisterfish said...

I agree that it's done with the understanding that you are giving to someone who is giving to someone else, and so on and so on. Not a one-to-one exchange.

As someone who worries about packages that never arrive or are damaged before delivery, I always want that initial "got it!" to help me sleep at night, but that's all I expect or ask for.

Thanks again for starting this huge project... I know it's a lot of work for you but please know it's very appreciated!

I just received a CDP this weekend!!!! So excited just to see the box when I walked in the door!

Doing My Best said...

I did put something like "This is a NO OBLIGATION box full of Crappy Day Presents" in the card in some of my recent boxes. I guess I'll keep doing that =)!

twisterfish--I am having SO MUCH FUN being in charge of the exchanges that it's really hard to call it "work" =)!