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(17 Posts)

i knwo this probably sounds really pathetic but how do you manage other people's expectations around gifts? I don't mean children, i mean adults who seem to keep asking for really pricey things and it's just getting ridiculous now. I cannot afford the things that they keep either asking or hinting about. I love to give and i will go without plenty to make sure other people have nice things but it's just getting too much now. I feel awful saying it and i don't feel like i can talk to the people who are doing this because the turn it round and make it so it seems i don't want them to have nice things or that i think they don't deserve to be treated. all it ends up doing is guilt tripping em and while i don't get into debt or anything liek that to provide what they want, it does mean i end up going without a lot of things for myself int he run up to christmas so they have the things they expect. I don't know how to make this stop without exploding at them which is far from ideal. I feel so small and pathetic to be hear asking but please, how do i manage this and make them understand it's not that i am mean, it's a question of finances not being infinite sad

argh, HERE not hear. embarrassing blush

EttaJ Wed 21-Sep-16 02:41:51

Who are these selfish ,unreasonable people OP?

family for the most part. I feel so shit and my heart sinks every time they mention the things they want, i feel like i get asked for far more than i ought to be giving to them really. they are adults with full time jobs and I don't, i won't go into specifics but i'm not able to work even part time.

They make me feel like i'm being unreasonable when i try to get them to lower their expectations of me and that i'm denying them for shits and giggles and it really is a case of the money doesn't match what they want sad

girlywhirly Wed 21-Sep-16 09:34:33

I really hate grabby people, fortunately I haven't had to deal with any in my family. They clearly aren't listening to you when you say you can't afford what they ask for, and the worst thing is that they think they deserve them. has your wider family always had this attitude that the bigger and more expensive the gift, the more the giver loves the recipient?

How about saying that you are unhappy about the present situation, so from this Christmas on, you will not be giving gifts and expect none in return which you think is only fair. If anyone argues, you simply state that you cannot afford it, you've told them repeatedly but it seems none of them are prepared to listen to what you are saying. No adult should expect expensive presents unless all the givers are wealthy, and even then they should have the manners to be grateful for what they get. They are acting like 5 yr olds.

Veggiemomma Wed 21-Sep-16 09:45:06

Even though it may be hard, you need to stand your ground and just say you can't afford it. If they get huffy and upset then that says a lot about them not you. I hate how Christmas is ow all about things,when the focus should be on family and quality time.
Good luck, stay strong!

i think they do equate expense with love girly and i fidn that really sad. I don't, at all, i'm grateful for anything be it from a charity shop or a pack of funky post it notes if i know the person has thought about me and what I like.

it's just getting increasingly harder to get them to back off about expensive gifts and all the expectation around it. I would LOVE to shower everyone i know with beautiful gifts and lovely things i know they will get pleasure from but money is short especially as i'm moving after christmas. I also keep telling them my dc come before any of them and they will always be forefront when it comes to gifts but they just don't listen. it doesn't help either that there are lots of family birthdays in the run up as well and the lists i get given for that, for the children of the family, are quite frankly just so grabby. I get things like a list of 8 £30-£40 gifts and asked to pick TWO from the list from one family member and then told i'm tight when i say i just can't afford that, i could do one but not two. It isn't event he children themselves asking em for it either, it's the parents makign the demands on behalf of the kids and i soemtimes feel like im being asked to subsidise their gift buying if that makes sense

girlywhirly Wed 21-Sep-16 11:38:09

Ignore the lists and buy something for the nieces and nephews that you think they will like and within your budget. Tell their parents in advance that this is what you will do. To be honest, if you are doing this the DC don't miss out. Perhaps the parents need to understand that what they are asking really is unreasonable, and if they want their DC to have all the things they ask others for, perhaps they should buy them for them. Obviously if they equate expense with love, they should do this! As you will provide for your own DC.

girlywhirly Wed 21-Sep-16 11:50:05

They can't make you buy anything you don't want to, just ignore the lists and spend what you can afford. Treat the adults like spoilt brats, there's nothing they can do about it.

I always buy soemthing for my nieces and nephews, i never miss a birthday or christmas for them but the demands are just getting beyond funny now. I feel terrible that they keep pushing and demanding and hinting and asking and i keep having to say no because they make me feel like i'm not proving i love them or my other family members and it's getting me so down. They don't reciprocate either which makes it all the worse, one year one of them bought my ds a pack of cheap pens and a pad of plain paper for christmas and expected to be applauded for thinking of him and i was so sad on his behalf that hadn't even considered what he might like and had just thrown any old crap at him sad it wouldnt be so hard to swallow if it went both ways but it just doesnt and im fed up of it

HelloConfidenceAreYouThere Wed 21-Sep-16 14:39:45

Just buy what you want to / can afford to. When you're presented with a list, lie and say it's too late, you've already bought the present.

Only a very rude person would than carry on and complain. If they do, state very clearly and simply "I have already bought a present." Repeat over and over. Don't get drawn in to explaining that you can't afford more, that just opens you up for being guilt tripped.

Or (depending on the person) you could make a joke of their requests to show how ridiculous their requests are. I have started doing this to my mum (white gold diamond earrings AND a ring requested for her birthday)! I just laughed as though she was joking and told her of course, I'll just jump on my private jet to Tiffanys and get her 2. She was suitably embarrassed (until next time).

What they're doing is unfair OP, and you need to handle that head on or you're always going to feel bad.

MTWTFSS Wed 21-Sep-16 16:35:26

In our family only children get gifts smile

girlywhirly Wed 21-Sep-16 17:09:19

If they expect lavish gifts for their DC, yet give yours cheap thoughtless gifts, do not give their stupid lists a second glance. And as Hello says, state that you have already bought a gift.

When the subject of Christmas gifts come up, you have the perfect excuse to say that you are so glad 'Aunt A' gave DS an inexpensive gift for his birthday, as you will follow suit and give a gift of equal value to her DC for Christmas. How glad you are that at last people are being sensible and not spending stupid amounts of money. All the better if you do this in front of the others and show her up.

1AngelicFruitCake Thu 22-Sep-16 03:59:47

That's so selfish! I'd do as previous poster said - start by reminding them what they have your children and say you think it's a good idea to do presents like that from now on. I think you are going to have to be firm and when they try and give you a list for birthday or Christmas just remind them of that they got and say you are following their lead with presents now, think they've got the right idea etc. They're using you and you shouldn't be going without when they don't even buy for your children.

NotCitrus Thu 22-Sep-16 04:45:31

Assuming they are thoughtless rather than pure greedy, tell them you can't afford more than X, but if they put some money in your account you'd be delighted to send the nieces/nephews the requested present 'from Aunty Menace'.

If they are just greedy, point out that they are in a much better position to buy it themselves while you need to ensure the kids have what they need. If they end up not chasing you for contact, at least it takes the pressure off.

its even worse when i consider the fact that i have one ds and they have multiple children each!

thanks all, for letting me talk out in a safe space. just getting it off my chest is making me feel better about it all.

they definitely play on the fact that im a generous person in general and im very easily guilt tripped and whoever said it up thread is right, they are using me and it has to stop. I've got a big move coming which they all know about, it's no secret so ugh, i have tot ell them no. it has to stop

NotAMammy Thu 22-Sep-16 22:09:01

I thought from your first post that it was your own grown dc that were being grabby and rude, which would be harder to say no to. But for other people - fuck that! I give my sisters a budget and ask them to tell me what their child would like within that price range. Sometimes I'll spend a bit more if I see something cheap and cheerful but that I think the kid would like.

In this case though, the parents seem like twats so I'd buy their children the cheapest, tackiest, nosiest toys possible and give it to them directly. Preferably things that make noise without batteries. Hype them up with some enumbers, make sure they know how to make them make noise and then leave the house without a backwards glance.

Yes, this is my favourite way to get back at people although should be used with caution.

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