Does anyone else get tired of the spend, spend, spend?

(81 Posts)
MrsGrinchesHumblePie Fri 03-Dec-21 15:50:36

We have a huge family to buy for on DHs side. Then there are relatives on my side. We don’t spend lots per person but as there’s so many babies, children , tweens, teens etc it really adds up. We don’t buy for adults other than a small gift for parents and grandparents.

We then have 2 DC of our own to buy for. On top of that , there’s school raffles , school parties which require nice clothes , school tombolas and family days out to be paid for .

I have finally completed my Christmas shopping but as we are on a low income , it’s taken 12 weeks to do. I’ve just looked at our bank balance and I’m a bit deflated.

We will manage through to the next pay day at the end of December with and we will also be ok through January with conscious spending, but I’m so pleased the spend , spend , spend is over . Does anyone else feel the same?

OP’s posts: |
Pickles89 Fri 03-Dec-21 15:53:31

Are you actually close with these people? Do you keep in touch throughout the year, and have a bond with the children? If not just don't bother doing it! There's no point spending money on stuff they might not even want when you don't really care about each other, it's just that you're related!

faithfulbird20 Fri 03-Dec-21 16:01:33

I do and I'm grateful for threads like yours to know we're not alone feeling this way.

batmanladybird Fri 03-Dec-21 16:02:22

I also have December birthdays
Just feel like that gif of the little girl dumping the money out of the window

qualitygirl Fri 03-Dec-21 16:04:26

I wouldn't be buying for all the children in the family...there is no need at all. You buy for yours and let them buy for theirs! I would suggest it for next year for sure!!

LawnFever Fri 03-Dec-21 16:05:11

I’d put a stop to it all, I buy for very few people now, I just said a few years ago let’s just call it quits on wider family.

It’s too expensive, most of the stuff isn’t really wanted or needed and the actual shopping is stressful and time consuming.

CanIPleaseHaveOne Fri 03-Dec-21 16:08:34


I have paired it right down. I have gone back to my youth and centered the whole thing on time together and seasonal food.

I give boxes of biscuits, chocolates, and a nice bottle of something for the families rather than individual gifts for everybody. The grandparents buy for the kids, from mum it is always pjs, chocolates and a little money. Every year. It is a much loved running joke _ "I wonder what is in here.....".But aunties and uncles I have let off the hook!

I hated the gluttony of it. It is now much easier and more enjoyable. Better for the bank balance too.


Holidaytan Fri 03-Dec-21 16:10:38

I only buy for a very few people. Certainly not all the children and adults in extended family. No one cares or even notices. Most gifts will be regifted or forgotten about if not consumable. It’s ridiculous buying presents that leave you short of money to pay your bill.

Prettypennies Fri 03-Dec-21 16:15:18

Maybe prepare for next year by planning in advance who you really need to buy for. Keep it close and simple.

This year I asked my family if we could spend for each other within a small budget and everyone happily agreed. Next year we are doing a secret Santa with a £20 budget. Makes buying much more pleasurable!

mam0918 Fri 03-Dec-21 16:41:31

but you CHOSE to spend all of that.

I bought my pre-schooler a Xmas T-shirt for the pre-school Xmas party for £2, it will do for BOTH parties he's going to (school and special ed) and can be paired with his jeans - in reality, no one would really care or notice if he wore a non-Xmas t-shirt though.

My oldest (now a teen) and youngest (not in school/nursery) don't need anything, they aren't going to parties and if they were neither would remotely care about it being dressed Xmas-y and would just wear their all year round party clothes.

I haven't given to any tombolas or raffles or been asked (but if I was I would give either spare stuff I have or not give anything, you don't HAVE to donate to things).

I choose to take my kids on days out and I choose the price, we are going to a panto cost £28 for 5 of us and we will be going to a breakfast with Santa that just costs the price of breakfast this year - I don't have too book them though and often don't many years we do free things.

No one if forcing you to spend, spend, spend anything.

Nidan2Sandan Fri 03-Dec-21 16:44:19

I made the decision to only buy for my DH and my kids this year, in fed up with paying out loads of money to people i wont see and probably will never hear from them until the next time they want me to spend money

ArabellaScott Fri 03-Dec-21 16:57:14


I’d put a stop to it all, I buy for very few people now, I just said a few years ago let’s just call it quits on wider family.

It’s too expensive, most of the stuff isn’t really wanted or needed and the actual shopping is stressful and time consuming.

This. I've actually asked people to stop buying presents for the kids - they all have too much crap and there's no point spending money for the sake of it.

LalalalalalaLand123 Fri 03-Dec-21 16:57:44

How many family members do you have to buy gifts for, ie the babies/kids and parents/grandparents? We have 9 nieces/nephews in total. Perhaps cut down the amount you spend per person?
We stopped buying for ALL adults years ago - it was just getting silly, buying things that no one needs or probably wants, with money that we could not afford. Try that?

I think you need to pare down. Fewer presents. Lower budget. Maybe one family gift where there are a few children, eg a board game. Look for really good deals, eg The Works.

I am not familiar with school parties that require nice clothes! That seems weird!

And this year we've explained to our DC that we are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a family and society as a whole, so we need be keep to a restricted budget this xmas and probably going forward. They seem understanding.

Aside from that, start saving in January, put some aside each month for xmas, to offset the impact in Dec.

MrsGrinchesHumblePie Fri 03-Dec-21 17:08:58

We are a close family so we see each other regularly . It’s nieces, nephews and godchildren we are buying for.

@mam0918 I never said anybody was forcing us to spend it confused I’m just having a general groan about the cost and expectations at Christmas time . I’m clearly not alone in feeling this way.

OP’s posts: |
dottiedodah Fri 03-Dec-21 17:13:13

I would( next year anyway ) say to everyone that Gifts will be small(for young DC) and over that age say 10 or 11 No presents .It is so expensive and time consuming .As far as School parties /Raffles etc go just give what you can .Some celebrations /Roses whatevers on offer for that . Wear a smart skirt or trousers with a blouse from a charity shop .I dont think a School party has a dress code! Family days out maybe choose one or two ,say Santa on the Steam train or Cinema visit .One or two carefully chosen paid for events are fine .Just drive round the area looking at "Ho Ho Houses" as my DD used to call them ,or take some sandwiches /picnic to the beach wrapped up .collect shells and have some hot chocolate to drink .All free and good fun ! Happy Christmas xx

Totorosfluffytummy Fri 03-Dec-21 17:17:54

In our family we all agreed to stop exchanging Christmas presents a few years ago. So I just buy for my children & something small for my parents.
When you visit family you can turn up with drinks, chocolates, biscuits etc (if you want to) and all play a board game (or PlayStation/Xbox etc) together instead of opening presents.
It wasn't my idea and I was not convinced when it was first suggested but it has worked out really well.

ahagwearsapointybonnet Fri 03-Dec-21 17:18:56

Secret Santa? We started doing this for the adults on each side of the family a while ago, and now the kids are getting older we do it for them too - each kid "buys" (with help from the adults) ONE present, for ONE of their cousins, and gets one themselves. Grandparents still buy for the grandkids as well (by choice), other than that we only buy for our own kids/spouses and for the one adult secret santa on each side. It's a bit of a pain waiting for present suggestions (as they're only getting one present we ask for ideas so they will definitely get something they like!), but much better than having to find something for every single person, and saves ending up with mounds of tat and things they might not even want!

CommanderBurnham Fri 03-Dec-21 17:27:47

I'm sick of it tbh. Especially this past year where I myself have been happier living a simpler less cluttered life. The idea of buying buying buying leaves me feeling a little bit disgusted with myself. I don't judge anyone who has a splurge at Christmas but I am on the same page. A lot of the things are so unnecessary too. Im buying everyone nice consumables this year

lightisnotwhite Fri 03-Dec-21 17:43:03

Absolutely. I know it’s not a requirement to spend but all the bits add up.

I have my DH, SIL and my BF birthday in December. I have to spend/get a proper present because no one else bothers this close to Christmas.

I have scaled back gifts to nieces and nephews (4) my DS and DSD and a favourite aunt. DH and my parents get a pstocking to open. .That’s still loads. So every week it’s another gift or two because I only buy on sale or secondhand.

I’ve also spent the last month buying wine, Baileys and chocolates on offer. Last weekend I bought an inexpensive Christmas tree. Not bought any proper food yet.
It just really is lots of stuff to get.

Ellen888 Fri 03-Dec-21 17:46:29

I also have 3 friends who have Dec b'days.

I day of celebration ie; Christmas Day, is enough for me.

I get sick of hearing Carols in shops in Oct.

woodhill Fri 03-Dec-21 17:55:13

I buy for my dns and will stop at 18, I buy for ds but not bil. Buy for my dps and their spouses, for dh and my dc & their partners and my Dgc, one df

DNS will have cash

The older I get the less time I want to spend shopping

GiveYourHeadAWobble Fri 03-Dec-21 17:58:31

Yes! I buy for about six people. DH has a large family and they all buy gifts for each other. I suggested to him that there’s a secret Santa or something, but he said it would go down very badly as they all take Christmas really seriously and it’s just a huge deal for them all (especially the children of course).
I thought buying for six people was bad enough.

Cattipuss Fri 03-Dec-21 18:03:50

We tend to buy board games or stuff for the family to use rather than separate presents now there are so many children in the family!

lazylinguist Fri 03-Dec-21 18:28:53

I think how people feel about this depends on a range of things - not only their income and the number of people they buy for, but also the present-buying 'policy' between them and the people they're exchanging gifts with.

I buy for 9 people (dh buys for his side of the family). My lot are very good at giving ideas about what kind of thing they/their dc might like, so we all get things we genuinely like and want (and which we might otherwise have bought ourselves eventually anyway). So it doesn't feel like wasted money or money being spent just for the sake of having something to give. Dh's family are a bit more random with their presents and never ask for ideas!

ThatNameAgainItsMrPlow Fri 03-Dec-21 18:30:31

I buy for my dh and dc. Dh buys for me and his parents.
That’s it. We used to buy for sil and nieces and nephews but they didn’t give us anything last year so fuck ‘em.
I’d hate to spend spend spend every year.
Just buy one gift per family, something they can all use like a board game. Babies don’t need presents.

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