(CBS) — Why stop at weddings, baby showers and housewarming parties for gift registries – when you can make a list for holidays and birthdays throughout the year?

Giftster, a Minnesota company is offering free, personal online gift registries all year round – and parents are taking advantage of it for their child’s birthday parties. CBS 2 New York’s Carolyn Gusoff reports.

Cynthia Litman, a mother of two, has put an end to the guesswork of gift giving. When her daughter recently turned nine, she told friends and family exactly what she wanted, and returned the favor.

“I’d rather spend money, and know it’s something the child actually wants, and the mother actually needs,” she said.

Other mothers are going even further replacing good old-fashioned hint dropping with a formal gift registry – some placing them inside children’s birthday party invitations.

“To avoid returns, and kids get what they love, and moms don’t have to worry about getting fifteen of the same toy,” Holly Magelof said.

Giftster gives users gift preferences or can link to an actual store and item.

It’s founder said unwanted gifts waste billions of dollars every year — this is meant to save time and money.

“People find that actually having an idea of what a child needs or wants seems to far beat the idea of settling for a gift card or racking their brains, or buying the wrong size,” Giftster founder Ron Reimann said.

Psychologist Dr. Susan Bartell said ‘ask and you shall receive’ sends the wrong message.

“Getting a gift that you want has nothing to do with people putting thought into it, and caring you. It’s about the convenience, and it’s about your desires being met instantly, with no hard work,” she said.

Etiquette experts said they get the convenience factor, but a kid’s birthday party can be a teaching moment — that gifts are supposed to be about giving, not getting.

Whether you think its tacky or terrific, there is a growing popularity in the service.

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