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skint, stoney broke, potless etc etc, So can I...

(17 Posts)
bratnav Mon 26-Oct-09 21:16:50

only spend:

£40-50 on each of the DDs
£20ish on DS (who will be 4 months)
a token gift from/to DH and I
£10 on nephew (15 months)
homemade cakes/pies/biscuits for parents/PIL/B&SIL/DSis

without offending anyone? This is about a third of what we normally spend on DDs, and we usually spend around £50 per couple for the adults.

DH was made redundant and is trying to launch his own business, but as you can imagine, it isn't easy at the moment. As long as we warn everyone whom we would normally buy for that it isn't happening this year so they don't buy us anything it should be acceptable to everyone shouldn't it?

I hate to disappoint anyone, but TBH as we are so hard up against it, the DCs come first. Is that wrong? PIL are so incredibly generous and I know it will be mortifying, they spend a fortune on the DCs and us and BIL and SIL are still high earning and child free and even on a normal basis they spend way more on us than we do on them.

BTW I LOVE Christmas and even when DH and I have had loads of cash in the past, the most important part of it all for me is spending time with family and friends and watching the DCs enjoy the magic of it all.

I'll shut up now blush

choosyfloosy Mon 26-Oct-09 21:19:34

Of course not. But why £20 for DS? £3 - 5 surely ample - book, balloon?

We gave up giving to adults in the family 3 years ago. I occasionally feel a tiny twinge of sadness (usually when looking at my own tiny pile of 1 present from dh) but the stress reduction has been unbelievable and the expense reduction huge.

have a lovely Christmas smile

4GHASTLYGHOULSandnotout Mon 26-Oct-09 21:20:12

I think you have got it completely right, i think handmade gifts which have been thought about are worth more than £££££ gifts smile

I don't think anyone will be disappointed or offended in any way.

bratnav Mon 26-Oct-09 22:05:35

True choosy, I am sure we can just buy him a couple of tiny things, so max £10.

tigerbear Mon 26-Oct-09 22:14:59

bratnav - all sounds lovely, I wouldn't be worried about it at all. I'm the same - I used to be the same as you, and LOVE spending loads on all of my family and DH - loved going shopping for tons of stuff and seeing everyone with piles of gifts. But as we've all got older it just seemed a bit obscene and over the top. Now we all have an arrangement to spend £10 per adult, maybe slightly more for kids (for kids of cousins, etc, as DH and I don't have DC's yet, nor does my brother and his partner).
DH and I make presents for each other, with a budget of £10 each. It makes for some really memorable and personal gifts.

Any reasonable person won't mind if you spend less than usual, especially as they know your circumstances.

TBH, they will probably breath a sigh of relief when you tell them you won't be spending as much this year - everyone is probably going to be spending slightly less this year, even if they've been big spenders in previous years.

lilysam Tue 27-Oct-09 08:23:18

Apart from the home-made bit - thats about what we spend on people anyway (although have a ton of nephew and nieces so £10-15 each soon adds up)

Me and DH often do a token gift, especially as we've been doing the house up so have been having 'joint gifts'for the house.

I think if any of your family were to be offended then they are out of order. Despite your circumstances, surely its the gift and the thought not the cash value.

You'll be fine - have a great xmas

TheLionesss Tue 27-Oct-09 08:29:05

choosyfloosy summed it up perfectly. We also stopped buying for adults last year (PIL were very upset about this), we had no choice as we had no money. It is a bit woeful receiving just one present from dh Christmas morning. But then I think of the rubbish I would recieved anyway and i TRY TO concentrate on dd's presents and the rest of the day.

BikeRunSki Tue 27-Oct-09 08:31:03

What you've said is what we'd spend normally in not tight years! DS is 13 months old - he's getting a toy JCB workstand from a car boot sale = £5! Token gifts to DH, Mum coming for Christmas will be happy with GrandDS time. Materialist, designer-freak sister and her brood may be a different matter.........!

FlamingoBingo Tue 27-Oct-09 08:35:26

Oh for heaven's sake! Christmas isn't about how much you spend, it's about what you spend it on.

Sorry, but your post has really rankled me - that's the absolute limit of what we spend every year, and you're asking if it's 'ok' to do? Your baby would enjoy a cardboard box! Why are you spending money on him if you're short?

And last year myself and the DDs made a whole load of yummy foodstuffs to put in big boot-box hampers for my parents and DH's parents and they said it was the best Christmas present they'd ever had.

BudaBones Tue 27-Oct-09 08:36:43

Not a problem I wouldn't have thought.

We started doing a ChrisKinder/Kingle thing with the adults in the family a few years ago and it worked very well. But last year we stopped even that and my sisters and I just bought for all the children and our parents. Financially we are very comfortable but the others aren't and I hated the idea that they were all struggling to pay for Xmas and buying us presents we didn't need. And the pile of children to buy for is growing by the year!

There are always great threads on here with fab ideas for cutting costs at Xmas so keep and eye out or do a search if you get a chance.

One idea I saw yesterday was that someone mentioned that for their baby they were going to wrap up nappies and bibs and socks and things that you would buy anyway. Great idea if you have older children who would question why a baby didn't get much. Oh - for DS's first Xmas he was also 4 months and he got 2 books and a rattle thingie!

tobago04 Tue 27-Oct-09 08:39:04

We don't buy for adults either,just the dc in the family,we are also cutting back on our dc's presents too as they never end up playing with half of it,we also make cakes,biscuits or get one of those calendars from tesco that you can put photos of dc in to give to grandarents etc

SpookyScattyKatty Tue 27-Oct-09 08:47:44

Everyone says about babies and boxes but last year my DS was 11 months and could not have cared LESS about paper or boxes. He wanted the toys! He wanted to press button and spin wheels and hear sounds. A few wrapped up boxes would have done nothing for him at all.

I think if the baby is getting close to a year at Xmas you should at least get them one toy, doesn't need to be expensive just something they can play with.

bratnav Tue 27-Oct-09 12:08:05

Thanks for all the replies, I was feeling so much better about reducing everything down until I called MIL, have just got off the phone with her.

"Don't worry about it at all, we thought that might be the situation and we'd love to get biccies etc from the DCs, and so will BIL and SIL. We've already bought all the presents for you and the girls though, you mentioned that they had outgrown their bikes, and we thought they might like a Wii between them, we thought you and DH could give them the Wii as well as whatever you are buying for them". blushblushblush

I get on exceptionally well with PIL and they are always extraordinarily generous, DH insists they love doing it, but what will it be like on Christmas morning when we hand over a box of biscuits/jars of chutney etc and they give us the usual beautiful and expensive gifts. I am going to be mortified.

bran Tue 27-Oct-09 12:21:22

It's not about the money, it's about the joy your MIL will feel seeing her grandchildren playing with their presents and the pleasure she will get from eating biscuits that they have made for her. Have your kids primed to tell her all about how they made it and how they chose special labels/cookie shapes/icing just for her.

We have always been very comfortably off and when I was a child presents to my grandparents from me and my cousins were usually home-made as they didn't need anything but appreciated the effort made.

I can't imagine ever spending more than about £50 per child unless there is something that they need, eg one birthday I bought DS a bike. TBH I find it a real effort to keep the volume of toys down so sometimes I don't even buy a present, I don't think I did for DS's last birthday and I'm sure he didn't notice.

BudaBones Tue 27-Oct-09 18:20:11

I am sure you will feel awkward but please don't. Just make sure that your DCs make some lovely pictures for their grandparents with "World's Best Grandma" or whatever written prominently etc. There are lots of great ideas around for nice things for your DCs to make especially for their grandparents.

But to be honest I think I would ask your DH to call his Mum and say that one or the other of the bikes or Wii but not both. They don't NEED both. Both items are BIG presents in my book. We are financially OK and there is no way I would get my DS both a bike and a Wii for Xmas.

bratnav Tue 27-Oct-09 20:02:57

I have asked DH to call and say it is too much, I was too stunned to do it myself this morning. I agree that even if we were flush, we would never do both, so GP shouldn't either.

I am on the case with the homemade pressies, I have ordered wax etc for Lauriefairycakes teacup candles and lovely boxes for cookies. DDs will be set to work in November making cards grin

TheHAUNTEDHouseofMirth Sun 01-Nov-09 13:13:48

Bratnav your PIL sound lovely and I don't think there's nothing wrong with generosity if you can afford it. Fastforward 30 years - won't you do the same for your DCs and DGCs if they are in a similar position? Not sure Marx was actually thinking about Christmas when he said it but I think "to each according to his needs and from each according to his ability" is not a bad thing at Christmas.

We're in exactly the same position as you financially and my MIL spoils us terribly at Christmas but I know how much enjoyment she gets from it. Before we had children and before she got a small inheritance the shoe was on the other foot and I loved treating her to things she couldn't afford for herself. Now she can afford to buy herself anything she wants I just try my hardest to give her gifts filled with thought and love.

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