‘Birthday List’ Email, Allegedly Sent To Family Members, Gives Purchasing Instructions For One-Year-Old’s Gifts

An image of a list that included one couple’s instructions to family members for purchasing birthday gifts for their son and was allegedly sent in an email has been leaked to the public on Facebook. The image is said to have originated from an email sent by a couple whose names have been removed from the image. The birthday boy at the center of the controversial email is said to be turning one-year-old.

The image of the emailed birthday list was posted to Facebook by Karen Morris Corbett. Corbett, a Washington, D.C., resident, claims that the email was forwarded to her by a friend who received the email instructing the birthday boy’s close family members of how to give him presents. A detailed back story is missing, but according to the alleged email, the parents asked one side of their family to choose between four items to give their son for his first birthday.

“We’re asking for gifts only from grandparents and the direct aunt/uncle for [redacted]’s birthday party, and similar to Christmas, would like to restrict it to 2 items per household.”

The first gift that family members were told to choose from was a particular type of water play table from Walmart. At $63.99, the birthday boy’s parents said that they specifically chose the Step2 Tropical Island Resort “because of how it drains.” Other play tables were deemed unacceptable, according to the alleged email, which provided links to the exact presents that were to be purchased for the birthday boy.

Was the birthday list in the email rude or understandable?
The play table from Ikea featured in the email that listed birthday present options.

Next, the family members were told that they could also buy a specific BUSA play tunnel from IKEA which is priced at $14.99.

An alleged birthday list email had this tunnel.
The birthday list from the couple in the alleged email featured this play tunnel.

The parents in the alleged email stated that they were not interested in their son getting any more books except for a Cheerios Play Book from RightStart, which allows toddlers to “fill in the missing Cheerios.”

“We would suggest no more books beyond the one Cheerios cited above. Right now, [redacted] has 32 board books on his shelf, and 25 additional books waiting for him in storage once he is 3+ years of age. (And at this point, he hates when we try reading to him.)”

The last item on the birthday list was a CIRKUSTÄLT Children’s tent from IKEA, which is priced at $19.99.

Play ten on emailed birthday list.
The birthday boy's parents in the alleged email listed this tent as one of the gift options relatives could choose from.

After listing four acceptable items that family members could choose from for birthday gifts and limiting them to two gifts per household, the alleged email further instructed the family members to remember in the future to always provide them with receipts.

“If you choose to get [redacted] something that isn’t on the list, anytime regardless of birthdays or holidays, please be sure to always include a receipt going forward. When we return items without receipts, we only get about 50% of the value, so it is like throwing away money if you don’t include a receipt with the gifts. With formula costing us $80 a week, it is always nice to be able to return items that he doesn’t need to get formula instead.”

Lastly, the birthday boy’s grandparents, aunts, and uncles were told to always refrain from buying personalized items that would be used outside of the house, for safety reasons.

“Please refrain from any personalized gifts that would be used outside of the house. Clothing with names is the #1 thing that leads to kidnapping, so we don’t need to broadcast [redacted]’s name on clothing or toys.”

In addition to listing items that would be allowed for birthday gifts, the couple in the alleged email stated other rules as well.

The alleged email was dated April 12, 2015, and by the next day, it was being shared from Corbett’s public post, which she suggested that people share. Corbett says that she and her husband were horrified by the alleged birthday list email and said it shows “entitlement and a lack of graciousness.” From there, a popular Facebook page for cloth diapering fans, DiaperSwappers, also shared the alleged email, where it was met with much disdain, but also some support.

One parent on the DiaperSwapper’s post said that, while the email seemed rude, people might not be considering the birthday boy’s parents’ side.

“As a mother of children who are the first grandchildren of our families, have three sets of grandparents, and are the first niece and nephew of our families (they have a total of 6 sets of aunts and uncles) I totally can relate to the trying to limit gifts as our house is overflowing with toys. I have to purge anytime it’s a holiday or birthday. I also understand the suggesting things you know your children will like and/or need. This all said, she does come across as very rude and could have went about it in a different way. We have given family members in the past gift lists if they’ve asked what to get our children and have started to request limiting the number they give.”

Other defenders of the alleged email said that it might have been taken out of context.

What do you think of the birthday list that was allegedly emailed from two new parents to their family members and have you ever received instructions like this?

[Photos via Karen Corbett, Ikea, and Walmart]