I think my problem is that I'm trying to solve two separate problems with one solution. And it's not that neat and tidy.
The first problem is the simplest. I don't want Grady to have a lot of stuff that he doesn't need. My options are to either (a) ask people not to give him gifts for his birthday or (b) donate anything he doesn't need to a local charity / shelter.
If I chose (a) I risk offending people or hurting their feelings. I also make a fun celebration (birthday!) an opportunity for fretting (do we bring a gift even though she request no gifts? what if we don't bring a gift and then EVERYBODY else does bring a gift? etc.) Option (a) is not ideal.
Option (b) requires that I be strict and remove my emotions from the equation. Option (b) is harder for me. I grew up in a home where we held onto things. Forever. I have spent the last year focusing on letting go of things and attempting to simplify my life. It's hard for me. I'm nowhere near where I want to be when it comes to letting go of possessions. I'm a bit ... hoardy. It's really hard for me to admit that. I am nostalgic and I place emotions on things and I hold on tight. Option (b) presents an opportunity for me to put into practice what I've been trying to learn (things are not love. They are not contentment or peace or pride or status. They are just things.)
So I've decided to not put anything on the invitation about gifts. I will choose option (b) and I will donate any gifts that Grady doesn't need.
The second problem is messier. I don't want family members who have the means to spoil Grady to make other family members feel like they have to match their spoilyness in order to win Grady's affection. I have been doing a whole lot of hand wringing over this and then someone wise told me to stop giving a fuck and you know what? I have resolved to stop giving a fuck. People are nuts. I will make myself as crazy as they are if I play into this scenario. This is not my battle. If it starts to affect Grady? I will bring out crazy Hillary and I will shut them down so hard but for now - not my problem. (Not my problem not my problem not my problem ... maybe if I say it enough times I will start to believe it.)