To be tired of being expected to wrap everyone else's Christmas presents?

(57 Posts)
Libra Tue 10-Dec-13 12:15:56

I probably am. Am prepared for a flaming. It is of course lovely that our relations want to send presents for DS1 and DS2, plus of course DS2's birthday a few days before Christmas. And we are very grateful for this.

The problem is that I am just exhausted by the thought of all the wrapping because all of them are just getting parcels delivered to our house 'and then can you just wrap it up for him please'? To say nothing of the fact that they all seem to have chosen Amazon and so all the boxes look exactly the same. Plus the fact that the presents for me and DH are also being sent this way but 'don't open those whatever you do!' Well how can I avoid doing that when I am surrounded by Amazon boxes of the same shape and size? How do I magically know which one I should open and wrap for the children and which one is for me and so should be left alone?

Oh, and it would be lovely if I could have a nicely wrapped present to open myself rather than just a small pile of Amazon boxes.

I did my present shopping earlier, thought about the fact that it would all need to be posted or carried on an airline, wrapped it all nicely and sent it like that. But it seems that no one is going to do that for me!

Yes, I am BU because it is nice that people are sending presents, but I really would like someone at least to do more than click on a link and put in my address and then expect me to do all the wrapping and writing of an address label and working out whose present is whose (there is some vagueness already about which book has been bought for which son...)

DuchessFanny Tue 10-Dec-13 12:35:14

YANBU and I say this because I HATE wrapping !

I use amazon a lot as we live abroad, but always choose the gift wrap option, if it's not available then I choose something else or send a voucher.

It is lovely to receive presents though, so it's just something I put up with when I have to wrap them myself ( through gritted teeth !)

Libra Tue 10-Dec-13 12:36:48

God yes! THere is a gift wrap option! I had forgotten that - because no one uses it in our family...

Belugagrad Tue 10-Dec-13 12:38:17

This is not normal in my life - I order a present, get it delivered to me, wrap it and then sent it on - yes I'm paying postage twice but that is what comes with shopping online and I don't mind. I would never ask you to wrap a gift for me- just saying :-)

Belugagrad Tue 10-Dec-13 12:38:53

sorry YANBU

DuchessFanny Tue 10-Dec-13 12:42:12

The country I live in automatically wraps gifts for you when you but them too ( long queues at tills this time of year) do I now doubly hate having to wrap anything ... Am starting to already get a stress on at the next lot I have to do ( not bought or wrapped here unfortunately !!)

DidoTheDodo Tue 10-Dec-13 12:43:08

Just give the kids an amazon box with no wrapping. Absolutely not your problem.

Callani Tue 10-Dec-13 12:43:52

I think that's very cheeky of them - you can even pay for items to be gift wrapped.


StickyProblem Tue 10-Dec-13 12:45:46

I wrap 4 or so a day starting end Nov, otherwise I'm up till 3am on Christmas Eve!

I feel your pain re Amazon. I would just open all the boxes and wrap the ones for the DCs, and tell your family "I can't tell which are for the kids so I opened it, you could always use the Amazon gift wrap option for the ones for me".

Libra Tue 10-Dec-13 12:46:56

Well maybe I am not BU!

Dido - I couldn't do that. I like the magic of a Christmas tree in the morning with lots of wrapped presents under it. If I didn't wrap all these parcels it would look more like a sorting office!!

HermioneWeasley Tue 10-Dec-13 12:48:51

I can wrap a conventional shaped gift (box, book, bottle etc) in under a minute. I don't see what the big deal is?

PenelopeChipShop Tue 10-Dec-13 12:49:16

Yanbu! First thing I thought was why don't they use the gift wrap option and address the packages to the right person, then all you have to do is take it out of the box and put under the tree. This is creating extra work you don't need just so they don't have to pay the two quid or whatever it is.

Belugagrad Tue 10-Dec-13 12:49:20

I think wrap ones from you and DH, other ones just check what it is and shove it in an xmas gift bag? then sent the gift bag bill to relatives?! :-D

Libra Tue 10-Dec-13 12:56:08

Well I don't really have that many minutes Hermione!

But I suppose it is more a sense of disappointment that I spend time choosing wrapping paper and writing a nice message on the label and then going to the post office, etc. But they just point and click and expect me to do everything else.

And also a desire for a few surprises on Christmas Day. It would be lovely not to know what was in some of the presents!

Poosnu Tue 10-Dec-13 12:56:22

YANBU - my ILs do this and I really hate it. They should either pay for gift wrap or wrap and post on themselves.

AnnabelleLee Tue 10-Dec-13 12:58:06

YABU. And you really do have enough minutes. nobody is that busy. Really bad form to complain about the way people send presents to your children, when they don't have to at all.

DidoTheDodo Tue 10-Dec-13 13:02:14

If you really want the "pretty Christmas tree" effect than that is your choice. In which case you can't be U about it!

Sorting Office sounds fine to me. I used to love playing at Post Offices when I was a tot!

Alternatively, get your offspring to moan at the ILs after Christmas "shame your presents were all in Amazon boxes. Mum said it spoiled the look of the house for days!"

girlywhirly Tue 10-Dec-13 13:06:20

Why don't you tell the relatives that it is impossible to keep presents a surprise because they are all packed similarly, so unless the rellies get Amazon to gift wrap them before boxing them up to deliver you can't help knowing what the gift is. Plus they presumably address them to you or DH but there is no internal label stating who the gift is for, so mix-ups will be inevitable working out who's is who's. YANBU, they need to know this.

It really sounds as though they see the convenience of the delivery service but have no clue how it works at the recipient's end, the mix-ups, the extra work for you and so on. But I'd go down the route of not being able to keep your gifts a surprise as this seems important to them, and perhaps they will do things a bit differently.

My DH hates wrapping gifts, so to make it easier for him (and a hell of a lot quicker) I have bought an assortment of gift bags all different sizes. He just puts a bit of tissue paper around the item and into the bag. Would this be an option for you? You can re-use the bags next year too, less wasteful than paper.

Libra Tue 10-Dec-13 13:10:10

I am toying with the gift bag idea, and that might be a compromise between a tree with lots of unwrapped parcels underneath it and me having to fight with sellotape for hours (not a good or happy packer at the best of times).

I don't want to moan at family about the situation because obviously we are not ungrateful for the presents.

Alternatively, I could use their approach next year and just Amazon stuff to them - maybe that would make them understand the situation a little better!!!

Vatta Tue 10-Dec-13 13:11:27

Just to mention in my family if we're sending gifts from amazon, we address them as, eg "Mr James Christmas Smith". That way the recipient knows this is a Christmas gift for them and they shouldn't open it until the big day. Alternatively "Mr James FOR YOUR SON Smith" so they know it's for their kid and they can open it in advance if they want to wrap it.

Libra Tue 10-Dec-13 13:13:51

That is a good idea Vatta. I think that my family (and DH's family now I think of it) just sends everything addressed to me.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Tue 10-Dec-13 13:13:51

The amazon gift wrap option is very boring and very expensive though. And wrapping and posting would cost a lot more than direct delivery from Amazon. Probably therefore your kids have had a bit extra spend on their present. The payback for this is that you have to wrap a few more parcels. Or leave them in the Amazon boxes - kids love opening exciting parcels smile

girlywhirly Tue 10-Dec-13 13:50:29

Gift bags look very attractive under the tree, if you want to pick a colour scheme or theme to match your decs, or different ones for each person if you are particular. Call it a perk of having to wrap your own presents.

Procrastreation Tue 10-Dec-13 13:54:09

I order gift bags with my order - so hope my rellies are happier with me!

Otherwise - I've been known to do a Christmas morning bran tub.....

magentastardust Tue 10-Dec-13 14:02:42

YANBU. You are disappointed because you have put in effort to wrapping and labelling the presents that others have not.

Your relatives time isn't more precious than yours -one of the nice bits about giving a receiving is the effort that someone has gone to wrap the gift for you or your children.

Maybe just do the same next year and just post their presents without wrapping and labelling too so that you are all in the same boat-then that way you won't feel miffed that they haven't bothered as much as you have.

CaptainTripps Tue 10-Dec-13 14:10:54

Yanbu. I think this is too cheeky and too big of an ask. Not so bad as a one off but if it's year-in-year-out then it's too much.

Time to swallow that great British reserve and ask them to choose the gift wrap option or wrap it themselves.

specialsubject Tue 10-Dec-13 14:15:49

why bother wrapping them? Stack it all up under the tree as it is, if you really want to you can get a sheet of 'snow effect' (i.e. a white plastic opaque sheet) in Poundland, throw it over them, job done.

save a fortune and a load of waste on gift wrap which goes from plastic-wrapped roll to bin in seconds.

girlywhirly Tue 10-Dec-13 14:44:35

magenta, the OP could send a note with the unwrapped gifts saying that they are saving the planet and have decided not to use wrapping paper any more, and that their rellies may wrap their own if they wish!

Lambzig Tue 10-Dec-13 14:56:32

YA definitely NBU. Both of our families do this and it drives me nuts. The DC now have 27 presents in the bathroom cupboard - all from Amazon, which I will have to wrap along with my own present wrapping. It really does make me feel ungrateful, although I know I should be.

I would rather they spent less on the present and paid for gift wrapping.

And while I am ranting, I would just like one person, in the whole of my family (inc DH) to buy me a SURPRISE present. They have all known me for at least fifteen years, if not all my life. If I say I want a surprise, I get John Lewis vouchers.

Budgiegirlbob Tue 10-Dec-13 15:04:32

While YANBU, I wish my relatives would at least do as much as yours do.
My mum sends me a cheque, and I have to go out and buy presents, wrap and write cards for my DCs. I do appreciate the gifts, but it is extra to do, and sometimes I struggle to think of things to buy, as my kids never put much on their lists!

My inlaws will ask what they can get the DCs for Christmas, then when you tell them, they will look at you blankly and say 'I've no idea where to get that', so you end up doing it for them. This year we got a small bike for them to give to my DD, and took it round to hide in their garage. MIL just looked at it, said it looked a bit boyish (it is in DD's favorite colour blue) and could I just pop out and get some tassels for the handle bars to pretty it up a bit!

I just gritted my teeth, smiled and said yes. Because I do appreciate the gifts for my kids, but it would be nice if they could get them themselves, they are both in their 60's and retired, whereas I have a job, 3 kids and all the Christmas shopping to do.

Gladvent Tue 10-Dec-13 15:08:57

Some people pay a fortune for brown paper packages under their tree... so a pile of Amazon boxes is actually v trendy retro when you think about it. I wouldn't rewrap them. Life is too short and it doesn't matter.

Libra Tue 10-Dec-13 15:12:02

Thanks for all the support. Am determined that this is the last year that I will do this! Will put into action some of the suggestions on the thread and remind myself how nice it is that people want to give us presents in the first place!

BreakingGood Tue 10-Dec-13 15:13:15

I use fabric Christmas bags with drawstrings - you can get them cheaply off eBay and, of course, can be used year after year. Just shove the entire box in!

sandfrog Tue 10-Dec-13 16:56:24


SunshineMMum Tue 10-Dec-13 17:19:51

Definitely NBU, I get a bit niggled at having finished mine, having to think, source, shop and order everyone else'. I am going to give them a deadline of Dec 6th next year grin

NothingMoreScaryThanAHairyMary Tue 10-Dec-13 17:37:14

My family do this but I don't have a problem with it.

I would rather the dc had the money spent on presents than on the postage/ wrapping services (which cost almost half what is spent). It seems like a huge waste for the sake of a couple of hours wrapping (most of my family live away and 3 dc's).

Dh helps and it is now just a tradition.

KatnipEvergreen Tue 10-Dec-13 17:43:12

YANBU. A lot of very lazy relatives on the thread!

PTFO Tue 10-Dec-13 18:00:49


This year I have had to decide on behalf of family and friends what to buy DS (its hard enough as it is as there is nothing cheap on his list, so end up using my good ideas for them!). he is the only child in the family and not one can be bothered to look online or go into a shop.

So I have to choose, wait for things to go on offer keep checking until it does, order, pay for delivery/collect from shop (and pay parking) then gift wrap or drop it off at their house so it look like they could be bothered! Then wait until after Christmas when they can be bothered/afford to pay me.

Oh and my dm who says "I have no idea what to get so and so what are you getting them?" so I say im getting ABC and then she says "oh yes that's a good idea, Ill get them that".....WTF!!

I make an effort buying gifts for other people- what will I get for xmas- money Im too difficult to buy for!!

CallMeNancy Tue 10-Dec-13 18:08:24

You are packing wrong if it's a chore.
Forget paper, Sellotape, & ribbon.
Bags & pillows are the way forwards. Takes seconds.

Ikea has a fantastic range of gift pillows which get heavily reduced after christmas

superram Tue 10-Dec-13 18:19:03

I send parcels without paying £3.50

BsshBossh Tue 10-Dec-13 18:29:02

YANBU. We have a few relatives who used to do this until I told them either please send them using Amazon's gift wrap option or have them delivered to their own house and post on wrapped. I explained I didn't have time to wrap everything myself (which was the truth). Plus I'm an exceptionally lousy wrapper.

BeeBawBabbity Tue 10-Dec-13 18:33:50

I dont see the problem tbh. Think of the extra resourses used in having a parcel sent to a first address, wrapped, taken to a post office, second postage paid for and then transported again (time, money, carbon emissions). The wrapping paper is ripped of in a second then needs recycling.

I think it's unnecessary and wasteful. Ive sent a present to a friends baby before, direct from amazon. They told me to gift wrap it next time. I thought that was rude.

Merrylegs Tue 10-Dec-13 19:22:03

Don't wrap them - that is bonkers. Why not open all the wrapped presents first and save the parcels for a little later in the day? Makes it all less overwhelming and exciting also. You could just stick a bow on each parcel if you think they need festiving up. Amazon charge an extra £3.10 for giftwrapping even a small book - that's a lot to add to a present.

CrispyFB Tue 10-Dec-13 20:08:49

I agree with you. We have three DC (and DC4 on the way) and my side of the family has been doing this for years now and occasionally DH's family although they are a lot better about it. It wasn't so bad when it was just one DC, but a precedent was clearly set.

I understand why, because it is saving them money on postage. And postage can be quite hefty after all. And the odd one or two wouldn't be so bad and each relative only sees it as "just a few, what's the harm?".

However, from our point of view, multiply a few relatives by 3 DC (plus DH, guess who has to wrap his presents from family..) and a few presents for each one and it gets excessive. Having already wrapped the present mountain from us, it is frustrating to have to spend a further half an hour wrapping the rest. It's not the cost, it's the hassle - I'm exhausted after just doing ours and already sick of the sight of presents. Especially as DS (toddler) is not so good at going to bed at a reasonable time so we don't have much spare child-free time to tackle the wrapping anyway. Therefore it usually means a much later bedtime for us staying up doing everyone else's wrapping and we're grumpier the next day.

Of course we're grateful for the presents for the DC but these are immediate relatives - it would be a bit unreasonable of them to send nothing! I mean, we're grateful, we wrap them, but I'd rather they wrapped them. Or paid Amazon to wrap them. Heck, WE will pay Amazon to wrap them if they asked and cost is the issue, I am so sick of it!

I should point out that usually all our presents we give out are shipped to us, wrapped, and sent on.. just sayin'. So no hypocrisy here!

TheDoctrineOfSanta Tue 10-Dec-13 20:14:34

CrispyFB, don't wrap your DH's presents FFS.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Tue 10-Dec-13 20:16:51

I never pay for amacon gift wrap but then I only amacon stuff over to a friend's DD and she does the same - kids just open the boxes.

sandfrog Tue 10-Dec-13 20:33:25

> I spend time choosing wrapping paper and writing a nice message on the label and then going to the post office, etc. But they just point and click and expect me to do everything else.

Agree. Surely part of Christmas giving is making an effort for others.

Jinsei Tue 10-Dec-13 21:07:28

Wow, I'm truly amazed that so many people are saying yanbu. I think you're being ungrateful.

My DSis expects me to wrap stuff for dd every year (I even had to go out and collect it last year!) and it has never occurred to me to mind! I also wrap stuff from various aunts and uncles, family friends etc. I just think it's generous of them to give presents to dd, and I'm grateful for that.

I tend to be more organised about Christmas than others in my family, and the last couple of years, I've ended up helping them out with wrapping their gifts for other members of the family too. It really isn't that big a deal.

CrispyFB Tue 10-Dec-13 22:25:22

TheDoctrineofSanta - If it was just us, I wouldn't - but the DC like to see daddy unwrap stuff too!

Suttonmum1 Tue 10-Dec-13 22:37:11

Some years ago I bought one of those sellotape dispensers you put on your wrists. Hideously expensive way of using sellotape but it really speeds things up. I only use it at Christmas.

Mim78 Tue 10-Dec-13 22:47:09

Why not use Amazon gift wrap option as everyone has suggested? They can't possibly be that tight!

I have sent a few presents directly to people this year (or to other rellies that live nearby) but ONLY IF GIFTWRAPPED FIRST.

whereisshe Tue 10-Dec-13 22:57:46

YANBU, I miss getting properly wrapped presents. At least half the presents I get these days don't even have some kind of gift message in the parcel so I have to guess who it's from!

I always get everything sent to me, wrap it, then post it on. So much more fun and also more personal I think. And I feel I'm doing my bit to keep Royal Mail solvent wink...

TheDoctrineOfSanta Tue 10-Dec-13 22:57:47

Because it's £3.50 or something! Depends what you spend but if it's £10 or less, that's a fair chunk.

OP, I'd just amazon them back!

Jinsei Wed 11-Dec-13 00:12:11

suttonmum, I have one of those too. It definitely makes wrapping easier!

Lutrine Wed 11-Dec-13 00:48:44

Yanbu, its really annoying! My MIL did this with DHs birthday presents this year when I had a 3 week old DD to contend with as well as the extra wrapping. I did it as soon as they arrived in an attempt to be organised, then 2 days later she sent me some wrapping paper she'd like me to use on them, bloody cheek!

Lutrine Wed 11-Dec-13 00:48:48

Yanbu, its really annoying! My MIL did this with DHs birthday presents this year when I had a 3 week old DD to contend with as well as the extra wrapping. I did it as soon as they arrived in an attempt to be organised, then 2 days later she sent me some wrapping paper she'd like me to use on them, bloody cheek!

I am in exactly the same situation op and it drives me nuts. fangry

As some previous posters have suggested I went out and bought some of those huge and very cheap gift sack things and everything unwrapped from relatives is getting shoved in there.

I think that if someone gave you a present for your DCs in RL and they just handed it over unwrapped expecting you to buy tags and paper and to wrap it all up that it would be rude and unreasonable.

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