To be sick and fecking tired of receiving shitty, thoughtless xmas presents

(107 Posts)
justkeeponsmiling Sat 26-Oct-13 16:18:35

DHs family excells at this and it drives me mad!
We don't have a lot of money to spend on family when it comes to xmas as we have 3 DC and DHs family is massive.
So every year I spend weeks racking my brain trying to come up with nice presents for everyone that don't cost the earth but will still be enjoyed - I'm not just saying that, I really try. Partly because I like giving nife presents and also because I really can't bear the thought that the money we have to save up all year gets wasted on crap that nobody wants!
And every year it's blatantly obvious that most of DHs family get us presents that were bought according to the motto "fuck it, that'll do". They are all loaded, without exception, yet end up getting us the cheapest, shittiest crap you can imagine. Btw, how much money they spend is not an issue, as I said we can't afford to spend much either, but their presents are just so thoughtless and useless!
Examples- Size 18 summer pjs (strappy top and shorts) - I'm a size 10/12. An endless selection of costume jewelry, massive ear hoops, big bling necklaces, etc. - I don't ever wear jewelry. A crappy little fajita pan and chicken fajita kit - we are vegetarians, AND SO IS THE PERSON WHO GAVE IT TO US! The list is endless!
I should add that DH have been together over 10 years and al, his family lives locally. We see each other fairly regularly, so they know us quite well.
I have in the past suggested to DH that we should just tell his family not to get us presents anymore and we stop getting them presents too but he was horrified at the thought, as it's just not the "done" thing in his family. I just know this year won'tbe any different and it

timidviper Sat 26-Oct-13 18:50:38

I'm a great believer in smile, say thank you and regift or give to charity shop.

DHs family wind us up as every year they ask us if there is anything we would like. Even if we say yes and specify an item and where it can be bought they then just give us a cheque but at least we can buy something in the sales.

turkeyboots Sat 26-Oct-13 19:02:21

YANBU at all. My step mother in law buys Christmas gift ranges for everyone. The female family members get annual glove and scarf set, smellies and chocolates. I can't eat dairy, can't use scented body lotions and only have 2 hands and 10 years of scarf and glove sets.

I point this out year after year but never makes an impact.

YoniTime Sat 26-Oct-13 19:15:37

Xmas presents exchanged between adults out of politeness and tradition only are often pointless. Better to just give each other something edible/drinkable or wish each other a merry xmas without any presents.

1944girl Sat 26-Oct-13 19:15:44

I gave up buying for the adults in my extended family years ago, DH and I have loads of rellies each. My mother for example had fifteen grandchildren and even more greatgrandchildren so now I just buy for my immediate family and don't expect anything back.
I have just been out in the city centre today and it was seemingly full of people buying presents for the sake of it.
My now long departed MIL was the champion buyer of ''it will do'' presents.Most of her Christmas buying was done in jumble sales.
If you cant think of anything suitable don't buy anything.My now teenage grandchildren get money from DH and I.Boring I know but it seems to work.
I never buy smellies for anyone unless I know what they like.I have been the recipient of alot of smelly stuff which may have been liked by the donor but not me and so I have given it to a grateful recipient or into a charity shop.
My DILs family go over the top at Christmas.I am sad to say that most of what they buy our mutual grandchildren goes into the bin the next week.

Caitlin17 Sat 26-Oct-13 19:17:31

This sort of rubbish is why I hate Christmas. You don't have to buy presents for loads of people, especially people you don't even seem to particularly like. There's no law about it.

Just stop doing it. Tell them you won't be buying presents for them and they shouldn't get any for you.

If their presents are as rubbish as you say you're not missing out and you will spare yourself the annual martyrdom of having to buy perfect presents. Why would you even bother after the first couple of years?

I actually don't have any sympathy for your ( first world) " problem". It's dead easy to fix.

Caitlin17 Sat 26-Oct-13 19:25:15

I'm actually amazed at some of the comments on here; people giving and/or expecting presents from their partner's aunt and uncle and their brother's girlfriend? Why?

sugar4eva Sat 26-Oct-13 19:26:57

A comment up thread suggested that at least they care enough to give gift;,I don't necessarily agree that people care if giving a gift band for some it can be a way of trying to show sustain ir that they don't care in a sort of passive aggressive way so ur are not bu ! My mil has always disliked me and gets others fine stuff and me once a wonky picture of a bird with the eye in the wrong place . It's not bout money a cheap soap wd have been better and cost same ; it was tres ugly! When she went I wrapped it in a towel and jumped up and down on it toddler tantrum style : so in fact I enjoyed the present after all as most therapeutic! Simply keep the gifts by the door and recycle don't give it the energy; unless you can have fun like I did! Another family member does this too but they have a money anxiety illness ; gave even given my D c half coloured in colouring book from charity shop s . Tha tvwas hard as my d c were look mum someone has drawn in them!

Bakingtins Sat 26-Oct-13 19:29:18

I sympathise. i have my side of the family sorted, we do secret Santa for the adults, and everyone goes to the bother of getting one decent present the person will really like. We all buy for all the kids (6) but with a £10 limit.
DH's family are a nightmare, there are loads of them, it's just a frenzy of exchanging pointless gifts, almost always stuff we don't want or need. I would love to just stop doing it. I think it's partly because only one of his siblings has children so there hasn't been the impetus to rethink it, the "kids" in his family are in their thirties!

sugar4eva Sat 26-Oct-13 19:29:27

Sorry on phone d istain not sustain! Also I think the op feels insulted that's not a small thing or a third world issue it's bout relationships as it not the gift but what it represents ?

MrsDavidBowie Sat 26-Oct-13 19:34:11

Just don't give presents.
When MIL was alive she excelled herself in crap presents.
After 2 years of enduring her shitty gifts, and ditto from the rest of his huge (9 sibling) family, I said I was not buying presents as it was ridiculous

Total liberation.

I only buy now for dh and the dcs.
No one else.

I do not want crap Boots/BHS 3 for 2, homemade offerings or naff chocolates.

So Xmas becomes a no brainer in our house.

Caitlin17 Sat 26-Oct-13 19:45:38

Bakingtins , you referred to the "frenzy of exchanging pointless gifts" so why do ?

Sugar4eva,what I was getting from OP had little to do with maintaining relationships and more about her being the perfect , martyred giver.

This thread pretty much sums up what I loathe about Chistmas.

GFS, buy expensive, brilliant presents for your children and very nearest and dearest, including yourself and donate the cash you would have spent on presents for people who neither want, need or deserve them to The Salvation Army, the NSPCC, Barnardos or the NSPCA all of whom do need and deserve the cash. It'd be a helluva lot more in keeping with the meaning of Christmas than whining on here.

Caitlin17 Sat 26-Oct-13 19:48:11

Meant FFS.

MrsDavidBowie, if you weren't spoken for I'd marry you.

Can I make a suggestion - having read the OP, it reads as though they might be re-gifting and you are the 'lucky' recipients. Is this a possibility do you think?

HogFucker Sat 26-Oct-13 19:48:41

I used to do this to certain people - then I learnt not to bother as it just built resentment. I think presents mean more to some people than others - as in the thought that went into them.

Laquitar Sat 26-Oct-13 19:54:10

Some of you sound hard work tbh. How bad can a box of chocolates or earings or boots set be? The fajitas kit is ok in my book and you dont have to use meat.
But the picture with the bird sounds bad i must say.

MrsDavidBowie Sat 26-Oct-13 20:08:39

Caitlin...David has always been very open minded grin

why do people waste so much time and energy, when all they have to do is say "no more".

Tuppenceinred Sat 26-Oct-13 20:18:51

My sibs and in-laws excel in thoughtless gift giving, whereas every year I have carefully selected their presents. I had a "confidential" moan to my mum. Strangely, the family have all started asking what DH and I would like. Brilliant. grin.
However, for the first time ever, I've gone out and purchased tins of boring biccies and bottles of cheap booze for them... very much like the presents they've given us for the last 7-odd years.

We make lovely veggie fajitas in this house. Yum.

Agree with those who advise to go with edible/drink gifts. Then watch out for supermarket specials from October. Tesco 30% off 6 bottles wine comes up every so often. Huge discounts on various spirits from time to time, just check weekly til spirit of choice on offer. Likewise chocolates, tins of biscuits, etc.

I am very hard to buy for. If I want it, I probably bought it for myself already. But a bottle of wine is always welcome in my house. Likewise boxes of sweets or biscuits.

kirjava that sounds like a lovely gift and she sounds very ungrateful. Better than a lot of the crap I've been bought in my time.

Retroformica Sat 26-Oct-13 21:32:54

This was us till 6 years ago we decided to make change. Basically now all children's/adults names are put in a hat and each family draws out a random 5 names. Each person has 30 pounds spent on them and they create a wish list for ideas. often we name the exact thing we want our kids/us to have. It has meant that we all end up with less crap and a better gift.

GobbolinoCat Sat 26-Oct-13 23:01:17

I too have "liberated" myself from the self appointed task of buying for teenagers and aunts and uncles I barely know on DH side with no help, out of embarrassment really to hand something over!

I have stopped now, and we just give out the yearly calender of the children.

They all love it so thats all they get.

Liberate yourselves! Its a credit crunch.

notso Sat 26-Oct-13 23:33:01

Mercifully DH's side of the family agreed to secret Santa, each adult picks a name out of a hat and buys that person a £50 present.
I suggested it after receiving my third Chocolate Fondue in a row from BIL1,
a make up bag with a free gift only not for resale sticker on from BIL,
a novelty tea cosy from SIL,
and Britney Spears perfume (have never expressed an interest in Britney or her perfume) and a Christmas pudding teapot from PIL.

I feel sorry for DH sometimes, he tries hard to think of things they will like and they are always so thoughtless. For his Birthday he got two iTunes vouchers from his brothers even though he has nothing made by Apple and a scratchcard from his sister.

katykuns Sat 26-Oct-13 23:51:17

My family are the same, but think more like used toiletries and books they have been given free with things.
I don't have much money anyway, so I said so, and only would buy for the children. It was so popular we are on the 4th year of it. No shit gifts, no wasting money... sooo much better.

Sexykitten2005 Sun 27-Oct-13 00:43:16

I'm the opposite, I spend months picking thoughtful gifts and see them tossed aside.. Last year I bought my best male friend who is marvel/dc comic obsessed an original Spider-Man comic from the week he was born. Had to ship from USA at ridiculous cost and was so excited to see him open it. He didn't even really look at it before putting it in his girlfriends gift bag. This year he will get a crappy gift set from boots.
OP don't stress about it just save there gifts and regift back to them next year. I'm sure when a member of DHs family tells the others about the crappy fajita kit you gave them the penny will drop...

ZiaMaria Sun 27-Oct-13 11:45:22

Take all their gifts to you with a smile and a thank you. Then re-gift them back to the self same givers next Christmas. If they know you're just going to re-gift them straight back if they are rubbish, they will either buy you something actually nice, or will buy something you hate and they actually like (thereby saving you any moeny you might have spent next year).

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