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How can we persuade people NOT to buy us any Christmas presents?

(15 Posts)
WhisperingPea Mon 17-Nov-14 18:25:17

I'm 50, I have everything I want - so does my DH. How do we get through to family and friends that we don't want them to buy us ANYTHING for Christmas? I don't need anything, I don't want to add more stuff to the house, I probably won't use it and it seems such a waste of money.

For the last 7 years we've repeatedly said it and suggested instead a gift to charity or a meal togther. We do meet up but everyone still buy us presents!!! I give presents back because it seems heartless not to......

Any suggestions?

curiousgeorgie Mon 17-Nov-14 18:28:00

If people really want to buy you presents, maybe think outside the box and ask for a taste card / cinema vouchers / spa - something like that.

Probably not helpful sorry but my parents and grandparents always say they don't want anything, but there's no way I'd show up empty handed! wink

FairyPenguin Mon 17-Nov-14 18:29:12

Or ask for something you like that is consumable, eg wine?

DoTheStrand Mon 17-Nov-14 18:33:05

You could try a different approach and make it clear (nicely!) that you won't be giving presents this year? Present giving between adults is usually reciprocal so this might work if you can phrase it in the right way.

Or admit defeat and ask for vouchers for places you already shop (eg John Lewis / Waitrose / Boots) or somewhere for a treat, eg Space NK?

We stopped doing presents between adult siblings a few years ago after my brother suggested it - so much easier now! (And I love Christmas).

BettyFocker Mon 17-Nov-14 18:41:02

I don't think anything should be said. Unless they're buying you great big presents that you haven't any room for, then I don't get the big deal about just accepting the presents gratefully and that's that. If they want to buy you presents then so be it. I don't think there needs to be a discussion at all.

Leeds2 Mon 17-Nov-14 18:48:25

I would email them all and say that this year, you will not be buying adults Christmas presents and will be making a donation to your charity of choice in lieu. A bit like people do with Christmas cards.

I think if people are coming to your house for a meal, drinks etc they will probably bring something anyway, as a thank you. Just hope you can eat it or drink it!

pluCaChange Mon 17-Nov-14 19:05:45

If you ask for, for example, JL vouchers, you could always donate those...

domesticslattern Mon 17-Nov-14 19:09:40

I have tried. It is impossible.
The only person I know who managed it did it by being incredibly firm and saying she would be very cross if anyone ignored her wishes. She really laid down the law! In writing as well so no-one could claim not to get it.
Every year I tell people I don't want anything but I am obviously too nice as they always ignore me!

SkaterGrrrrl Tue 18-Nov-14 14:00:43

I work for a charity and think its lovely when people ask family to make donations to a good cause. Can you not make it easier for them, set up a JustGiving page and email everyone the link?

On the Just Giving page you can explain why you chose that charity and tell a little story about how their money will change lives, eg wheelchair for a disabled child, water for an African village.

Makes it more concrete. If you are asking them to come up with a charity its too nebulous.

iwantgin Tue 18-Nov-14 14:24:53

Well I have suggested it for this year. No gifts for adults.

I simply phrased it honestly- and said that me and DH don't want anything, don't need anything - and if we did we would go out and buy it ourselves.

There are 5 teenagers and 2 children to buy for. The youngest will get a gift, the oldest cash.

I am so much less stressed out about the whole thing now knowing that I don't have to go hunting for items that the recipient neither needs nor wants.

I am hosting Xmas dinner- so in effect that is my gift to them all. It'd be nice if the guests brought a little something along, some champagne, deserts or chocs??

temporaryusername Tue 18-Nov-14 15:12:06

I think you have to be careful with this one. If people want to show love by giving a gift, then it could be quite hurtful to be knocked back with practical objections. I do think that a charity gift should be ok though, you could suggest a few causes that send a card with a note in saying what you have bought (eg. school supplies, food packs) and say that you know they like to hand something over and you'll be delighted to get the card with the details of the donation. Hopefully they will take the hint and even if they add anything, it will just be small/consumable. You could even ask for something like that as they then won't expect to see it in use. Or for people to club together and get tickets for something you want to go to. Make it clear you really want a specific alternative rather than just saying 'a donation'. Anything you get and don't want you can ebay or donate after Christmas.

I also think that while some people feel they have everything they want or would buy it themselves (lucky them!) others may not, or may nevertheless value exchanging gifts. That shouldn't mean you feel pressured into giving things or spending much, but it does mean they might feel a bit rejected if you announce that since you don't want anything, you won't be receiving or even giving token gifts. You may not attach any emotional significance to the process of exchanging gifts and that is fair enough, but other people do, so tread gently and try to be gracious about it.

tess73 Tue 18-Nov-14 18:04:35

In my family we each just buy for one adult couple, a kind of secret santa although it's fairly obvious! That works well... and we just buy small presents for the kids.

Otherwise I suggest restaurant vouchers, family ticket to something (we've had harry potter, the London Castles, National Trust) or if smaller how about a bottle of wine, cheese, foodie presents. They are usually less wasteful than more candles, vases, throws. I can't bear the wasted expense!

TheRealMaryMillington Tue 18-Nov-14 18:11:14

Tell them you are not buying them any?

Davros Tue 18-Nov-14 21:14:27

Have you looked at the You could choose something specific

WhisperingPea Sun 23-Nov-14 16:00:51

Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I will set up a Just Giving page and telling people in writing next year.

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