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Mumsnet had infiltrated my soul and now I am sad and a little disappointed in myself.

(23 Posts)
mathanxiety Fri 27-Dec-13 08:04:01

My DCs are aged 12 to 23 now, and since everyone has a little money to spend (youngest from babysitting) they buy gifts for each other that are opened after dinner on Christmas Eve. My mother and sister also send gifts to everyone. I do Santa Claus gifts which are opened on Christmas morning.

Before exH and I divorced, the exILs used to send gifts and a secret Santa gift also from that side of the family to each child, and they would all be kept under the tree and opened on Christmas Eve. Now the ILs send gifts to exH's home and the DCs get them there when they visit exH on Christmas Eve during the day. They also bring a gift for exH and he gives them a gift that day. It's very nice for the DCs to still have our family custom of gift exchanging at home around the tree on Christmas Eve, and it's obvious that they get great pleasure from choosing, wrapping, hiding and then giving their gifts (all reasonably priced). And of course finding out what they have received.

I like to see them giving thoughtful little things to each other. I like to know they are conspiring together in the weeks leading up to Christmas to figure out what DD1 or DD3, etc., might like. It's always a pleasant evening. DD1, DD2 and DS are all away from home now, one graduated and working, and two in university. We really only all get together at Christmas and so it's a precious time for us. Giving gifts is a way to say how much we appreciate each other and the time we get to spend together. It's really important to me that DD3 and DD4 have the experience of their family having a lovely time just as the older ones experienced before the divorce. DD4 was only 6 when exH moved out and 7 when DD1 went off to university, and so her memories of us all together are hazy at best.

I guess my point is that giving and receiving a gift 'just because it's Christmas' are ok things to do.

Golddigger Thu 26-Dec-13 19:39:07

But he doesnt know that your mind has changed does he?
You need to get him up to your speed.

marzipanned Thu 26-Dec-13 19:29:19

We usually do gifts for each other. Some years they are really special things and others they are really simple things.

But this year DH has been working like a madman (all year, but particularly for the past month). I told him not to get me anything as any spare minute that he spent in the shops/shopping online I would much rather just have him at home.

I did wonder whether on Christmas morning I'd be a bit disappointed but I really, really wasn't. We've spent so little time together lately that just having him by my side was the greatest gift I could have had. I love the thread you started Unexpected.

Davros Thu 26-Dec-13 11:12:00

I think it's good that you seem to have worked out what is going on inside you. I suppose you have a year to think about it! I'm in favour of gift giving between partners

SidandAndyssextoy Thu 26-Dec-13 11:11:11

I do think that's sad. We are broker than normal this year because of maternity leave but still wanted to swap presents, so have exchanged second hand books we each wanted. It's about the thought to me.

queryremelatonin Thu 26-Dec-13 10:57:48

You've just been reading the wrong threads OP.

You need this one

Philoslothy Thu 26-Dec-13 10:45:50

I think that if I hadn't 't spoilt everything by buying a gift and then sulking we could have carried on as we were.

Philoslothy Thu 26-Dec-13 10:44:50

My husband does cherish me in lots of ways and we are a very tactile loving family.

I could not bring myself to ask for something for Christmas or have a list , even the children don't do that . Maybe a token surprise though.

kerala Thu 26-Dec-13 08:41:00

We know one couple that don't - they got together as broke students. However now they have high disposable income. My pal went on and on about how sensible they were and daft we all were then had a few drinks and got really upset about how crap and unromantic it was. Also think its nice for kids to see you cherishing each other.

MrsDavidBowie Thu 26-Dec-13 08:21:27

We are lucky because if either of us want anything, we just buy it. No having to check with the other is it's ok to spend £250 on a pair of boots, or new golf clubs.

But we do a gift at Christmas, something the other person has asked for. Surprises are a no-no. Dh got gym membership, I got a phone this year ( have never had aphone before!)
Otherwise I would have no gifts (apart from a small one from the dcs) family who I see at Christmas.

Why don't you suggest to dh that next year you buy for each other..put a price limit on.

kerala Thu 26-Dec-13 08:07:29

I think it is abit sad not to do gifts for your partner. It's not about being materialistic but showing that you have put some thought and love into what to get them.

Philoslothy Wed 25-Dec-13 21:46:52

We are like lots of the posters on those threads, we just don't do gifts for each other . If we want something we just buy it.

This year I have introduced gifts and it appears to have backfired .

LongWayRound Wed 25-Dec-13 21:38:08

More mumsnetters who don't exchange gifts with their partners:

Philoslothy Wed 25-Dec-13 21:23:56

Children range from Reception age to late teens. They usually get a little token that they have made or bought themselves .

EdithWeston Wed 25-Dec-13 21:14:20

How old are the DC? Have they ever got you a present?

Philoslothy Wed 25-Dec-13 21:04:14

I cannot even remember why we don't do gifts , it has been almost 20 years. In the very early days it probably was about money but we are financially very well off so it isn't now .

It isn't about aspiring to be like others , we have more than most and we are both keenly aware of that. We are also, in our own ways, both quite extravagant , just not at Christmas - maybe because we are for the rest of the year. We do throw a number of big parties so we are not afraid to splash the cash as it were - and that is what Christmas had always been to us - about having a house full of well fed and watered people. But it feels different this year , as if I have spoilt it by switching up the volume on present giving.

I am not bothered about the money for the piano. - although i mentioned it, so that is not completely true.

I feel very childish, but people are right I need to talk to DH.

timidviper Wed 25-Dec-13 20:25:06

I think it depends on whether the gifts are seen in purely financial terms and you want your fair share or if you see it as a token of affection and love.
If it is the former then just buy yourself something, if the latter then you need to explain to your DH that you need him to find a way to show his appreciation of you

Coconutty Wed 25-Dec-13 19:38:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 25-Dec-13 19:32:34

Not all Mumsnet are bothered about gifts, link to a thread I started yesterday...

JacqueslePeacock Wed 25-Dec-13 19:26:38

Piano lessons! Could he buy you some of these in the new year? Then it will be a gift for you too (and it's never too late to learn).

ellipsis Wed 25-Dec-13 19:24:35

What do you think prompted you to spend more on the children and buy gifts for your DH? Aspiration based on seeing others buy expensive things? Or a re-evaluation of what you really want to do? If your spending was aspirational and/or you can't really afford it, it's not the best idea to get upset that DH didn't buy you anything this year, the same as he always does.

However, if you have decided that you can afford to spend a bit more at christmas and you'd like to make a change to how you do things, you need to talk to your DH and explain your thinking. Unfortunately, if you've been reading and re-evaluating without sharing this with your DH, it's unsurprising he hasn't had the same change of heart.

The other thing would be if he is in the habit of buying things for himself (like the piano) but you feel you can't do the same, perhaps because you worry about budgeting where DH doesn't, this is a problem. A piano is an expensive item - would you ever feel comfortable spending that kind of money on something that mainly benefited you?

I guess my advice would boil down to talking to your DH about it. Would he listen if you explained your low-level sadness?

Bigbrassband Wed 25-Dec-13 19:19:27

Why is it childish to want a gift? Just to receive a small surprise from your nearest and dearest is a lovely thing. Perhaps you should have a light hearted conversation with your DH and tell him you'd quite like to buy each other a gift next Christmas.
Out of interest, when and why did you decide to "not do presents"?

Philoslothy Wed 25-Dec-13 19:13:42

DH and I don't really do gifts, we buy simple gifts for the children.

Reading constant threads on here prompted me to spend little more on each child than we normally would do . I also bought DH a present, nothing huge - some artists materials .

As usual DH bought me nothing which I never object to, more than that I am usually happy with that arrangement .

He did buy the family a piano - not officially a Christmas gift but it came yesterday. I don 't play the piano so again it is something for everyone else - mainly him tbh.

I feel sad that I didn't get anything , not a huge sense of sadness but it is there. I am so annoyed with myself for being bothered about gifts. I know this is because I have allowed myself to be influenced by threads on here . I felt sad just now reading about other people's gifts.

I could slap myself for being so childish.

Feel free to tell me to get a grip, I needed to "tell" someone and am too embarrassed to tell my family .

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