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So a friend let me know the other day that she's bought my DS1 a present...

(23 Posts)
JustKeepSwimming Mon 20-Oct-08 09:07:55

and she is looking for a present for ds2.

It hadn't even crossed my mind to buy her DCs presents, we are friends (work together though I'm on mat leave) but don't really see the DCs that often.

We went round for lunch the other day and I was just asking if she's starting getting organised for Christmas when she said 'oh, I found a good Peppa Pig DVD for DS1', i must have looked slightly horrified and said 'you really didn't need to', 'oh but it was only 3.99'!

(Dh said to give her the 3.99 and not accept the present and stop her buying ds2 anything but he's a bloke!)

So, now i feel that i HAVE to get her DCs presents. I don't really know them all that well either:
Boy - 5yrs
Girl - 3.5yrs
Girl - 1 by Christmas

Argh, don't want to just get them cr*p that they don't need or want, but really don't feel like being *rsed to trawl around town for presents for them! Esp when i've been really trying to keep costs down with my own children (Ebay, charity shops, etc. but don't feel i can give second-hand things for presents blush).

So, ideas of under £5 presents would be great, or advice on how to deal with this as i don't want this to come up every year!
She even said before this that she has discussed with her friends this year that they aren't buying for each others children this year!

Argh, just needed to get it out really!

Tortington Mon 20-Oct-08 09:11:34

nip it in the bud now

this could go on for the next 10 years.

simply say that you and dh have a rule you only buy family.

sorry but becuase dh's family is so large ( lie or not) that you just couldn't afford it

NotQuiteCockney Mon 20-Oct-08 09:12:34

Oh, she means well, maybe she wants to be closer friends with you?

I strongly recommend art supplies - play dough, nice paper, pens, crayons, whatever. Easy, practical, and not crap.

PortAndDemon Mon 20-Oct-08 09:13:44


Or just don't get them anything.

QuintessentialShadow Mon 20-Oct-08 09:16:47

Tell her you dont really swap Christmas presents outside your family, you are trying to keep costs down, and you feel really bad about her unexpectedly buying gifts for your children as you wont be able to reciprocate.

I once gave a gift to a friend and she was really flustered saying she really did not want it as she could not afford to be swapping Christmas presents with friends, only family.

Another time I got some presents for a friends sons, and she thanked me very much and said "but can we please agree that we dont exchange gifts, as the kids get too many gifts from us and our families, and I dont agree with spending so much on presents outside family."

NatalieJaneIsPregnantAgain Mon 20-Oct-08 09:17:02

Agree with the others, but if you feel you have to buy them something now, if up to a fiver each is too much, how about getting them something all together? The art supplies mentioned would be good for this.

Or Wilkinsons do 'paint your own' model kits for about £3 each (some are even cheaper I think) I get them for my boys for rainy days!

JustKeepSwimming Mon 20-Oct-08 09:17:32

I think it could go on for years too!!

Think i could be really boring and give them each £5 (voucher or cash).

Thing is she kind of works for my dh so knows about his family, and part of me thinks this isn't about the children anyway but about her buying for her boss' children to make her look good hmm she's not like that normally but i don't get it otherwise when she says she isn't buying for her (real) friend's children as she normally does.

stroppyknickers Mon 20-Oct-08 09:17:34

what about a joint present to the children? a nice board gane like candyland or something suitable for them? You could easily get something for a tenner?

JustKeepSwimming Mon 20-Oct-08 09:19:16

sorry, slow typing - that was in response to custy!

i like the book links thanks!
and the idea of a joint present.

maybe i could get a joint present this year and say when i give it to her that we won't do it again?

QuintessentialShadow Mon 20-Oct-08 09:23:39

I wouldnt give her anyting, to be honest. She has told you months in advance that she is buying your kids presents (I know you asked about Christmas, but it is a far question to ask.) giving you plenty of time to buy her kids presents.

I would call her up and nip it in the bud. As for the present she already bought, can she donate it to her Church? I am sure they are doing a scheme gathering Christmas presents for deserving kids in the neighbourhood.

JustKeepSwimming Mon 20-Oct-08 09:41:49

Yes Quint I would prefer not to buy them anything if i'm honest, i don't know them, they don't know me. The only non-family i'm buying for are my god-daughters (and i wavered about that!) and only a small gift anyway.

Part of me is a bit hmm that she told me so early, is it so i have time to get hers something??? but really she's not like that, more what you see is what you get grin!

Then i think, what if she'd given me the presents on Christmas Eve and i had nothing for hers...actually i would have coped better because i would then have said straight away that i hadn't any for hers as we weren't buying for non-family.

will think about it some more, maybe when i go back to work (2 weeks today, argh!) i will say something.

thanks for all the replies

TwoFoggyToSee Mon 20-Oct-08 11:02:53

what about a token box of biscuits for the whole family, then it wont get out of hand with lots of things, but you still get the pleasure of giving them something. Tesco had 241 on shortbread not so long ago

JustKeepSwimming Mon 20-Oct-08 11:19:12

That's a good idea - will keep an eye out, thanks

anniebear Mon 20-Oct-08 11:53:06

either get some books off The Book People, you can usually get a code for free postage off Hotdeals uk

Or hold an Usborne party and get free books lol lol

anniebear Mon 20-Oct-08 11:54:29

think TwoFoggyToSee's idea was good...think thats what I would do....get a nice tin of biscuits . M&S always do nice tins for around £5

then next October, mention to hear could you leave presents as you have so much family to buy for

JustKeepSwimming Mon 20-Oct-08 12:22:49

Anniebear - yes, have to go into town (again) this week so will go there for a nice tin. Must remember maybe Sept next year to head her off at the pass

Tortington Mon 20-Oct-08 12:25:03

if its to do with could give the old " we can't recieve gifts, could be seen as bribery" routine

in fact we raffle our gifts at work

you could say that thats what they are thinking of doing - money to charity -0 so not to bother

Tortington Mon 20-Oct-08 12:25:32

if its to do with could give the old " we can't recieve gifts, could be seen as bribery" routine

in fact we raffle our gifts at work

you could say that thats what they are thinking of doing - money to charity -0 so not to bother

JustKeepSwimming Mon 20-Oct-08 14:31:40

That would work if the presents are for us (god hope she's not buying us presents too!) but i think it's different for the DCs.
Will stick with biscuits unless dh has a better idea - better than giving her the 3.99 back that is!

Leslaki Tue 21-Oct-08 16:06:12

Send her an email saying you feel a bit embarassed but you've always stuck to the 'no gifts except for family' thing that if you were to start exchanging gifts with her, you're worried you may offend some of your best mates who you don'y swap gifts with. She can use the dvd for one of ehr own children.

JustKeepSwimming Tue 21-Oct-08 16:21:20

If some of my closer friends knew you are right, they would be perfectly reasonable to be offended!
I will check with DH as i don't want to cause problems at work, then go with the family posh biscuits i think!

JustKeepSwimming Thu 23-Oct-08 17:19:53

DH says he will mention something at work tomorrow - he is still of the mind not to get them anything....
Feel bad but relieved

Smithagain Thu 23-Oct-08 17:27:26

One of my friends buys presents for absolutely everyone under the sun. I just don't buy presents for non family members. Have had to be upfront about saying so, and she doesn't appear to have taken any offence. And has stopped buying the DDs things after a couple of years, which is fine by me. We are still friends!

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