Oh my poor heart! It cuts to the core that you all don't want to celebrate Don's visits back to the States while we're on this adventure.
I agree with you all - I DON"T support gifts or special treatment or any other "feel good" benefits to be given based on status tiers, never have and never will! Tying the Reservation Windows and eligibility for certain usage options and benefits to status, which is what's supposed to happen, is okay. Special treatment during stays is not okay.
We all know that there are some who will fabricate special occasions in order to wheedle out special treatment. It bothers me as much as the next guy to think of my dues paying for every third owner and his mother to be given gifts. But in my experience when I've indicated special birthdays (my 50th) or occasions (each of our kids' college graduations) on the pre-arrival forms or during those phone calls, the simple "Congratulations!" we've heard at check-in was enough and was appreciated.
You all know me enough to know if given a chance to chatter I'll take it and run with it.
When she asked if we were celebrating anything of course I said yep, Don and I haven't seen each other for months and we're happy to be able to spend some of the time at Hilton Head. The gift was unexpected - and honestly, I thought the card signed by so many staff members was the best part of the gift because it was so personal. (If it helps any, we weren't given the best unit on property for the stay and we were perfectly happy anyway.)
I can count on one hand the number of times I've read on TUG that actual gifts have been given for special occasions. It doesn't seem to happen often enough to make a big deal of it or to worry about where the funds are coming from, IMO.