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Present ideas for extended family

(23 Posts)

The dc's are done, and afaic Christmas is about them, so if I'm honest it's with a heavy heart I turn my attention to everyone else (with a few exceptions, close family etc) a lot of whom a) don't say thank you b) have in the past made eyes at each other and sarcastic remarks about what I've given them, they're c) hard to buy for and d) I don't know them very well so it's always a bit of a stab in the dark.

I always get stressed trying to find things that are useful or thoughtful and under a tenner, but then my lovely friend said she doesn't worry about Christmas at all, she just goes to Boots and buys a load of 3 for 2. Is this what you do? It sounds deceptively easy! Any other easy or one size fits all present ideas, please? Tia.

2014newme Mon 21-Nov-16 11:36:19

Nobody wants a boots gift set for xmas. Why are you buying presents for people you don't know well? And people who make rude comments? I wouldn't to be honest it sounds like a waste of money

I have to, it's family, we'll be staying at their house, they'll have gifts for us.

2014newme Mon 21-Nov-16 11:41:22

Why are you spending Xmas with people you hardly know I dont get it

No, I mean I know them but I don't know their interests that well. It's dh's family.

Fueledwithfairydustandgin Mon 21-Nov-16 11:51:07

For me I can't stand thoughtless gifts like a boots set. I know lots of others may love it but I feel if you can't be chewed to get something thoughtful then don't buy for me. I adore spending time finding things people will love. I think if they are hosting you then you need to give a good thoughtful gift. This is all genuinely meant in a non bitchy way but it's something that drives me mad. If you give us ideas we could help?

I've spent years finding what I think are thoughtful, appropriate gifts but it's just a lot of effort for something I won't even get a thank you for, and as I said, often it doesn't seem to hit the mark anyway (the smart cardigan which elicited a cats bum mouth, the presents which the recipient doesn't even bother to open or take home with them but having been given it, leaves the gift bag by the settee, even after a reminder that they haven't opened it)

But like I said, it's not optional given that we have to go and stay in their house and they'll have gifts for us. I supposed I'm just cheesed off.

traviata Mon 21-Nov-16 12:08:15

I'd 100% get gift sets or booze for them all. You've spent your years trying hard to find something special, now just make the gesture and don't worry any more.

traviata Mon 21-Nov-16 12:09:53

under £10 apiece? get a discounted crate of fizz from one of the supermarkets on 25% off and wrap them a bottle each.

PJBanana Mon 21-Nov-16 12:10:46

If they're your DH's family then can't he be in charge of buying their gifts?

If it's up to you, I would go with vouchers or just a bottle of something and some chocolates. Easy, nice to receive and hopefully won't result in snide comments/pulled faces.

I'm with PP though, if it were me I'd think twice about bothering if that's how they treat you!

Indiaplain Mon 21-Nov-16 12:12:50

Can just get edibles that you know they will eat or drink? Biscuits in a nice tin/bottles of wine/mustard tree etc?! Or another one I often do is some generic kitcheny thing- a nice roasting dish? Wine glasses? Fruit bowl?!

MissPatty Mon 21-Nov-16 12:15:53

If people were rude about presents I'd bought for them, I simply wouldn't buy for them ever again. I understand you feel obligated because they're your hosts, but I would hand over all responsibility to my DH on this one and worry about it no longer

Dh, to put it lightly, doesn't do buying presents. The only ones he ever has to buy is mine and even then it's like he's being asked to give a kidney. It's not worth the hassle of trying to involve him.

Vouchers aren't ideal, I'd end up spending twice as much as I would on actual presents. But booze/chocs could work I spose.

2014newme Mon 21-Nov-16 12:24:19

Dh should get the presents. Doesn't make sense for you to do it.

2014newme Mon 21-Nov-16 12:25:59

"dh, you need to get presents for your dad, mum, sister, aunt Edna. Budget is £10 each"

Spam88 Mon 21-Nov-16 12:45:00

I've totally given up this year on thinking up really thoughtful gifts that sometimes don't even get a thank you, so I just spent a day trawling amazon and will be picking up some chocolates to bump up all the gifts. I'd stick with edible/drinkable things if you don't have any other immediate ideas. I do sometimes stick in some bath stuff as well because gift sets are generally big and cheap. Could you put together little food hampers with some homemade foods? Jams and chutneys are easy enough to make, as are flavoured vodkas or limoncello. Or maybe a bottle of mulled wine and some nice glass mugs (Asda sell them fairly cheap).

MissPatty Mon 21-Nov-16 12:48:16

My DH doesn't "do" presents either. He got me nothing for my 30th birthday, has no input in the DC's Christmas or birthday presents etc. I said last year I'd had enough of the time and effort I spent on his ungrateful mother and sister, so he had to buy for them. He didn't bother, and I let them know exactly why they had nothing to open. Pretty sure he won't do that again this year.

That would never happen. My dh is a lovely man but he just hasn't got a clue when it comes to presents and in the end, it'd be viewed as my fault if people got shit or absent presents, for putting all the responsibility on the shoulders of a poor man, so i can't win either way. (Trust me, I'm eye rolling with you!)

I'm thinking of my own stress levels, pick your battles etc. It's just not worth it, seeing the time up to Christmas ticking away, nothing bought. I'd end up having to do an emergency whizz round Asda on the 23rd grabbing whatever shit was left on the shelves, knocking elbows with 1000 other pissed off people, I just know it. Sod that.

AmyAmoeba Mon 21-Nov-16 12:50:53

My rule of thumb is if in doubt buy consumables such as booze, edibles, flowers, candles etc. that way everyone can be polite and whether the gift is liked or hated there is no evidence left.
But your ILs don't sound polite to begin with. And I think your friend is right- if you stop putting the effort in, their ingratitude and rudeness won't hurt you as much.

My DH doesn't buy presents either- he does lots of other things and I'm happy with the division of labour. I have a few awkward people to buy for too and I just don't sweat it anymore. If they like the present they get, well, that's a bonus, but if they don't, I just don't really care. At the end of the day I just fulfill my social obligation to give a wrapped object on Christmas Day. I will always put in some effort to pick something nice because I like doing that and I can be content that I've made a reasonable effort. But I don't throw money at the problem anymore or put myself out on their behalf and I've learned that their bad manners and lack of grace and gratitude reflect only on them at the end of the day.

It helps that I don't like the presents I get from them either even if I never show it fgrin

Wow Miss Patty, can I borrow your balls next time I have to deal with my dh/inlaws? lol

MissPatty Mon 21-Nov-16 12:56:12

It has taken a loooong time to get to this point! But I just couldn't take it anymore; DH is 40 fgs, he should be able to buy 2 presents at Christmas time. Then if they don't like them, it's not my fault or problem!

I get the whole pick your battles feeling. In your case, with them being hosts, I would probably go for standard guest behaviour of bringing booze and food but go a bit more over board with the quantity and not bother with individual gifts. A big hamper, maybe?

Great ideas spam. I did do homemade gifts one year a long time ago when we were absolutely skint. I made gingerbread, mince pies, chocolatey things. It didn't go down well, they were underwhelmed and made a big deal about getting out smart price apple pies and swiss rolls etc and remarking many (many) times how the cakes/pies they had bought were going down so well, with smirks at the boxes I'd brought. I think it was less about slighting me and more about patting themselves on the back, but it was pretty hurtful either way. I know they tasted good, I'm a good baker. I wouldn't have attempted it otherwise. I certainly won't be bothering making anything again though.

AmyAmoeba I like your style :D "Here, take your wrapped gift. I'm done"

That's pretty much how I feel too, at this point.

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