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Are presents important to you? Why/why not?

(13 Posts)
NowBringUsSomeFuzzpiggyPudding Sat 20-Dec-14 07:50:38

There seems to be such a range of importance placed on giving presents, some people not being remotely fussed (or hating the whole thing) and others putting a lot of meaning on them, some people who spend months planning them and others who put no thought in, and everything in between. I've seen references on here to gifts being one of the 7(?) ways of showing love.

For me, it's pretty important. It wouldn't be my main way of showing love (am very physically affectionate etc) but I absolutely love choosing presents and go a bit overboard at Xmas. It makes me really happy and I look forward to seeing my DCs'/DSCs'/DH's faces when I've got it just right. It's not about getting the glory or thanks, just about knowing I've made them happy and that they'll get lots of pleasure out of something. Especially when I've found something (which could be really small/cheap, we don't have a lot of money) that they never would've thought to ask for or didn't know existed. OTOH I get a bit panicky if it's a friend who is difficult to buy for because I totally overthink it, so there's a definite disadvantage to my feelings!

I hated Xmas/my birthday as a child and some of that was down to presents. My mum never bothered really. Occasionally she would hand over a scarf or something (unwrapped obviously) with the words "if you don't like it, I'll keep it". Or she'd say "you get things during the year so there's no presents". It sounds materialistic I guess but I did find it hurtful knowing that it wasn't the way my friends experienced it (it wasn't due to money difficulties). It really wasn't about not having the latest stuff - I just felt like my mum didn't think of me at all.

DH has always spoiled me a bit at Xmas as it made him sad when I told him all that. Again, not huge things, but he puts so much thought into them. Last year he searched high and low for a particular virtually unknown song - emailing people all over the world etc.

My dad is different from my mum. I was never bothered by the fact he didn't give presents - actually to this day I don't think he's ever given me a birthday or Xmas present! But every now and again, he would give me a little something for no reason whatsoever, and it would be absolutely perfect. Like the cat encyclopedia he picked up in a discount bookshop that I read constantly for years until it fell apart, or more recently the CD of my favourite music that he bought me after the birth of DS - I'd told him it was playing on the radio when DS was being born. These little things would remind me that despite the fact we don't speak much (we have a 'comfortable silence' type relationship!) he really knows me.

So to me I guess presents really do show love, or represent lack of it, and that's why they've become elevated in importance to me. Sometimes I worry I go OTT because of it!

Apologies for the waffle, I just find it interesting (and therapeutic to talk about) smile

isitsnowingyet Sat 20-Dec-14 08:02:19

Lovely post OP.

Need to get Christmas shopping for better gifts for DH now...

neme Sat 20-Dec-14 08:05:55

It's pretty important to me too, from DH and my family. Not important at all from other people or extended family. Like you say, it needn't be expensive, but to show a bit of planning and effort to those closest to you is one way of respecting and yes, loving, so I get what you're saying.

MegBusset Sat 20-Dec-14 08:17:36

I love giving presents - planning, choosing, buying and wrapping. And seeing the DC and DH unwrapping and enjoying them. We weren't well off when I was growing up but my mum always managed a good pile of stuff on Christmas day so it wouldn't feel like Christmas to me without them.

Otoh I'm not really fussed about receiving presents, which is just as well because DH is terrible at shopping!

chanie44 Sat 20-Dec-14 08:19:59

I do like buying presents for people, but only if I know what they like, otherwise I find it a chore. I struggle with MIL as she is really fussy.

Years ago, I bought OH a playstation 3 (pre-children and mortgage, so I was loaded then). He was over the moon and even his mates thought it was the 'best present in the world'. That was really nice to give.

nocutsnobuttsnococonuts Sat 20-Dec-14 08:37:55

I agree op I love giving presents and have spent lots of time trying to get the children's and dp's gifts right. dp will love his as he wanted it at comic con earlier this year but was too expensive. got to love buying straight from hong kong grin

im panicking slightly as dd1 has only asked for one thing and I can't find it anywhere, apart from a ridiculous price on amazon/ebay sad I know she will love what we have got her but im worried she will be upset she didn't get it as it is only a small gift that should be around £5-10 except sellers take advantage when shops no longer sell things.

annabanana19 Sat 20-Dec-14 09:14:33

I love giving presents. But not receiving them. Im careful in what i buy and I know what people use as smellies/cosmetic wise and what wine people drink.

I ask my brother what his kids are into so they get something useful.

But I prefer buying my own stuff. My BIL always buys me that awful Bayliss and Harding stuff. Plays havoc with my skin. Told him 4 yrs ago it does not agree with me and he still buys it. Straight to a raffle it goes. Same as his aunt. Buys talc. Im 40. Not 90. So hence I tell people I dont want stuff cos is not required. The only 2 listening are DH and my dad. I get nothing cos I dont want anything.

Its not rocket science....but obviously to some it is. Why waste money on people? If you buy something try find out what they want

lilttlemarvel Sat 20-Dec-14 12:16:45

My feelings about presents (apart from those to my own DC) have changed over the years - I've given it a lot of thought this morning since seeing this thread but have decided that it is too long-winded to go into it all! There has been significant changes over the years!

Like many others - I much prefer to give rather than receive and it that I am conscious that in many cases when we give we also take as well. I really don't like the whole obligatory nature of it all - finding the time, money and mental space to buy so many presents at the same time can be very stressful for many people at points during their lives...so can dealing with all the clutter, unwanted gifts and thank you notes.

I think my ideal situation would be to just give and receive gifts from my immediate family - DH and the kids. That's not because I don't love other people but because it just gets too much - too much stuff! Would rather spend the time and effort celebrating and spending time with others instead.

Ragwort Sat 20-Dec-14 12:34:06

No, I am not at all bothered about presents - I think I have become more like this as I got older and really have everything I could possibly need/want ....... and I don't like the excess spending at Christmas (or birthdays), I would genuinely rather receive a 'charity' gift than anything else for myself (sorry, I know that makes me sound like a do gooder grin).

As little says, there is just too much 'stuff' being exchanged and ending up in charity shops. Despite being married over 25 years my DH and I have never been great at getting exactly the right present for each other so now we buy something joint for the home. Electric toothbrush this year. grin.

I never really get the 'magic' about seeing my DS's face when he opens his presents, and he does get some nice ones, but for me Christmas is about so much more than 'the presents'. I do love Christmas - but just not mad on the whole present scenario. smile.

Damnautocorrect Sat 20-Dec-14 12:54:47

I'm not bothered by cost of a present, but I do want one that shows abit of thought. I spend all day, everyday doing things for the family, going without stuff for me. So come Christmas I bust a gut to get everyone what they want and spend all year saving / shopping to achieve that.
So I want just one day a year, a little thought into something for me, not a five minute sainsburys dash! I don't expect the same effort back but just a bit of thought

AbbyCadabby Sat 20-Dec-14 13:04:30

I think this is what you are referring to, OP: www.5lovelanguages.com/

I love love love finding gifts for little DS. DH and I are both particular, and know our exact requirements better than anyone else can (e.g. he is very tech - computer stuff, and a keen cyclist - stuff I can't know better than he himself what he needs) so it's much easier to buy for ourselves. We even took this approach to my engagement ring, for example - I gave him two to choose from! smile
We now buy for new nephew, but that's really it as far as anyone else goes (and his mother gives me ideas, as I do her for DS). We are of an age/stage in life where we can buy what we like ourselves (within reason) and if I am getting a new hat, for example, I'd really rather choose a hat I like, that I have tried on, than one someone else guesses at.
We have too much stuff as it is, and I'd rather empty the house of clutter than accumulate more. I don't like getting stuff for the mere sake of being given something. For Xmas, DH and I both think of something we need or want, so we have something to open and DS doesn't think Santa neglected us. But as a child, it was lovely receiving things. Sorry your mother failed here - I hope she showed you her love for you in other ways.

Notmeagain1 Sat 20-Dec-14 13:13:53

Its more about giving for me. I don't want anything or expect anything, but I get pleasure out of giving iyswim.

Its my gift when I get a picture of a surprised face when they open the box to find something they really wanted and didn't think would receive.

I put much thought into everything given and DH/DCs always appreciate what they receive.

OneLittleLady Sat 20-Dec-14 13:37:04

Giving presents is important to me. I spend months choosing and buying just the right things. receiving is nothing to me though tbh, I didn't have a single present for birthdays or xmas until I was almost 7. it's a long story but there just weren't gifts of any kind, my nanan used to send gifts but my father used to hide them and refuse to give them to us, after he was gone, my mum found them all stuffed under the floorboards and we got them then, they were still wrapped in the xmas or birthday paper they arrived in along with cards. So now, I get embarrassed and flustered if anyone gives me anything. i prefer to open gifts in private if i can, i hate to be looked at when opening. it feels me with massive anxiety fsad

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