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What do you and dh/dp do about presents for each other?

(22 Posts)
lilibet Wed 10-Oct-12 12:48:44

Dh and I have been together about 12 years, in the early years we did each other stockings with little bits and pieces in them and bought each other lovely surprises and swore that we would never become one of 'those' couples - the ones that either didn't bother with Christmas presents or who asked each other what they wanted.

Well further down the line we seem to be going down the 'those' couples route and I really don't want to but don't see an alternative. We have a budget of £50, which for us is a LOT of money and seem to be stuck in a rut of buying the same things each year - book, dvd, aftershave, music which we add to our collection of ever growing 'stuff'.

I love us opening presents from each other on Christmas morning after the children have openend theirs, but we really seem to be stuck in a rut and money is very tight - what do you do?

iloveholidays Wed 10-Oct-12 13:11:51

DP and I have been together for 8 years and like you always made a huge effort. We have decided this year to stop stockings for each other for a few reasons, 1) father Christmas does it for the children, 2) I took more interest watching DDs open theirs last year than mine and 3) DD3 due in 4 weeks and chances are I'll be feeding or distracted anyway.

We've said that we'll still buy the odd little thing but we'll just put it under the tree instead. We usually spend around £100 however cutting back to £30 this year as money quite tight and gives us a challenge!!! smile

Emandlu Wed 10-Oct-12 13:15:08

One year we were totally skint and did a "see who can get the best gift for £5" challenge for Christmas. That was good because you couldn't rely on the usual crap. Not that I remember now what he got me, or indeed what I got him.

DinosaurSchool Wed 10-Oct-12 13:19:12

We did 'proper' presents for a few years, then when we bought our flat and got married we stopped as we needed all our cash. We decided instead to have a nice dinner out. Since then we vary a bit, these are some of the things we've done:
Nothing at all
One book only
£20 max
Two presents max
Night away in a hotel.

The last year or two we have bought a bit more (in volume not value) just so the dc's don't think that Christmas doesn't involve us iyswim.

SayHelloToMyLittleFriend Wed 10-Oct-12 13:21:28

This sounds just like us at the moment. We've been together 9 years and have always spoilt each other at christmas time with great gifts and always managed to have lots of surprises and I thought we would always be like that. This year though I have been made redundant and we have two dd's aged 3 and 1 so we just don't have the money for it.

I think I'll ask him what he wants and get him one main present and do a stocking too with little bits in it. We're just going to avoid novelty presents though as they just end up cluttering up the house anyway.

Taffeta Wed 10-Oct-12 13:32:06

DH is absolutely CRAP at presents and I knew this when I married him. Unless I spell out what I want, he gets massively stressed and/or ends up getting me something really, really crap, bless him.

So we kind of compromised and I give him a list of stuff to choose from, he usually gets most of it, or if not at least half. So there is sort of a surprise.

I usually ask him what he's like, he grunts a bit about not needing anything, so I end up buying him something of my choosing, which either goes well ( pocket saw went down well ) or he takes the piss out of for years ( compass ). I get him a few small items as well as otherwise he doesn't have that much to open. Usually chocolates, socks and stuff.

NoillyPrat Wed 10-Oct-12 14:04:54

We go mad and don't budget blush We don't have any dc yet though so when (hopefully) they come along, we'll just spend a little on each other.

DesperatelySeekingPomBears Wed 10-Oct-12 14:28:10

We've decided this year that rather than buy one another the usual stuff that we could buy for ourselves throughout the year, that we'll buy ourselves a joint present in the sales after Christmas instead. This year its going to be a new bed and mattress as ours has just about had it.

We'll still get one another a small gift from DS to open on the day as well.

Some0ne Wed 10-Oct-12 14:49:28

We're economising like mad this year so we're not getting each other anything. Well, he'll probably put a Terry's chocolate Orange in my stocking (the white one with the crackly bits!), and I'll get something similar to put in his. And maybe a book or CD. But we've sort of agreed that we don't really need anything and don't want to clutter the place up with more stuff we don't need.

Plus now that DD will be aware of Christmas for the first time (at 2.6), we'll have enough fun making it nice for her. We won't need big presents of our own!

Annunziata Wed 10-Oct-12 14:55:07

DH is useless, so sends the DDs. He used to ask his mother (seriously).

We only get one present for each other, would much rather spend it on the DC. When they were younger and money was tight for us, we'd go out for dinner and then to the cinema.

KeithLeMonde Wed 10-Oct-12 17:17:20

I think your problem is not lack of money but lack of ideas. £50 is not a bad budget but I'm not surprised you feel a bit flat about CDs, aftershave etc.

How about setting a challenge - the best homemade present, the best present you can get for less than £5 etc. Or write down three words that sum up your perfect present and try to get something unusual for that amount? Or let the other person have an idea of something you would really love to get that will use up part of the budget (say, £20 of the £25 you each spend), then use the remainder to buy little surprises?

I'd like to think that DH and I will always want to get each other something special for christmas and birthdays, no matter how small our budget - it's something that matters to us both. The way we do it now is to give each other a list. We'll each buy some of the things on the list (the leftover items we usually pass on to each others' parents and siblings who are always wanting to know what we want!). We then choose a few things ourselves, usually little novelties but things we know the other will genuinely enjoy rather than novelty tatt.

fuzzpig Wed 10-Oct-12 17:25:42

DH is really easy to buy for as there's loads of geeky stuff he's into, and we both really love DVDs so for us it isn't a crap gift. This year his main present is a season ticket to Bletchley Park as he's never been there and likes Alan Turing. Also got him Sherlock DVDs and Alien
Quadrilogy (the latter he did ask for)

We have quite similar tastes so we also do our own Santa present - Santa gives the DCs (5 and 3) a present to share, so we get one too - like a board game or box set that we both want - and this year we are doing stockings for each other too.

fuzzpig Wed 10-Oct-12 17:27:52

We also do presents from the DCs, just silly things, and this year I've got some crafty things specifically for him to do with the DCs (mechanical robots) which will be labelled for DH and DCs.

ByTheWay1 Wed 10-Oct-12 17:31:02

We tend to buy each othe a half of something - last year we were flush with cash - so I bought him half an iPad - he bought me the other half.... luckily..... grin

agendabender Thu 11-Oct-12 09:50:32

Watching this with interest...my budget is £30, and I wanted to get DH a raspberry pi, but now I think that with all the necessary cables and stuff this would end up costing another £30 after Christmas in order to use. I'm a bit sad about it now, because I was quite pleased with myself for thinking of it, and had been planning it since the spring (obviously not very well!).

curlycat Thu 11-Oct-12 19:36:43

We have been together 21years so have basically done it all present wise. The last couple of years we have bought each other one or two small token gifts so the dc can see us opening pressies then in january or february we use the money we would ha
ve spent on pres
ents to go awayfor a night in a nice hotel

craftynclothy Fri 12-Oct-12 13:17:38

We don't spend a huge amount on each other £20-30. We tend to ask each other if there's anything in particular that we want. Last year he wanted a specific book and no-one else wanted to get him a book iykwim so I bought it for him.

This year I've made a couple of the presents (coaster for his desk at work and amigurumi thing to sit next to it) and bought lots of little things that fit with the same 'theme' and have also got him socks from Next and a t-shirt from Boden cos they sent me a £10 voucher so it cos me £2.75 with free delivery. So far I have 7 things for him and have spent less than £25.

We sort of do stockings but everything I've bought so far will fit in it so I won't have to buy anything for that. We also add to stockings anything small that other people get us and cards with money in.

Theas18 Fri 12-Oct-12 13:21:09

I get my own present and DH does me a stocking of bits to open on Xmas morning- some things are perfect others miss totally! I mean, he got me a much loved kindle for my birthday ( that was a surprise as I really didn't think he would) so why buy me a (gasp! full price from waterstones!) book ??

I MUST get the needles out and make him a sweater.

Ilovemyteddy Fri 12-Oct-12 17:19:01

Last year I got a small desk calendar from Boots and got copies of his favourite family photos and stuck one pic onto each month. It was the cheapest gift I got him and the one he liked best!

kiwigirl42 Fri 12-Oct-12 17:30:02

Our whole family have lists on www.whattogive.com
Really makes things easy and we all get what we want.

attheendoftheday Sun 14-Oct-12 11:04:16

Before we bought a house and had kids we spent a lot more on each other.

We had one year when we had very little money and did homemade presents.

These days we get a couple of presents each, don't have a set budget as such, but we don't spend a lot. Normally a book and a DVD, something like that.

While I'd be disappointed to get nothing, most of my Xmas pleasure comes from giving dd her presents.

OhTheConfusion Mon 15-Oct-12 01:25:46

DH and I take it turn about to book a few (DC free) nights away as our 'present'. This year we are off to London (my turn to book) for two nights in January... I got a bargin room and tickets for a play, just waiting on the train dates being released. We also have a '£10 challenge' so we have something to open on christmas morning.

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