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Oxfam Unwrapped - yeah yeah but it's still a joyless slap in the face to actually receive one, isn't it?

(97 Posts)
OhGiveUsAPruniPudding Fri 28-Dec-07 15:29:35

A couple in DH's family this year decided to give Oxfam Unwrapped to everyone: apparently "Because we have so much stuff" hmm . Well I would happily have lightened their present load by one if I had known they weren't giving presents and didn't want stuff. They are not popular in the family for a myriad reasons, and they know it, so it felt like quite a point being made to all of us.
There have to be ground rules for this, don't there, for it to be done with any grace? I don't want anything from them really, it's not about the stuff; but then, nor do I want to give them anything, so I am happy to agree that we do this (or, do nothing at all).
I think the number one thing about it is that people know they are getting it so can temper their gift-giving as they wish - these are people I dislike and would have been glad of the chance not to give their gift any thought.
Is that me being a bitter old cow, or do you agree?
(I have to admit, I was tempted to send them an Oxfam bag of shit, just to make the point in return. [juvenile])

WanderingHolly Fri 28-Dec-07 16:35:54

Agree with irish.

Very bad form to hand out Oxfam Unwrapped gifts unless the recipient has specifically asked for one. If you want to give to charity, do so. But please take the funds from your beer budget, not your gift giving budget.

I think Oxfam Unwrapped is great, I really do. But it is a bit like saying, "I didn't buy you a birthday present, I gave the money to save the wittle fwuffly penguins instead."

Fuck the fwuffly penguins I want sparkly presents!


For the record, I would only give an Oxfam Unwrapped present if the recipient had asked for it, as I would with a Same Difference cd. You wouldn't want one of those without warning either.

yajorome Fri 28-Dec-07 16:54:20

Ooh, I was just trying to remember how we stopped giving gifts with my in-laws and realised that it was the opposite of this! We asked for charity gifts to x,y or z one year instead of doing their standard Christmas list which had entries like: pink cardigan size 8 from Brora, item number 1233455 on page 57 of the November catalogue. I kid you not! We still bought people presents as normal but for some reason the next year lists were discarded and everyone decided just to buy small gifts for the kids.

Hee hee. I had a rough time when I was first with dh with the concept of lists and the fact that people returned gifts chosen for them! Not sure I care so much anymore smile

JoyeuxNoelBiggy Fri 28-Dec-07 16:57:31

There are some in my family who persist in buying duff presents. Of course we are obliged to buy for them too. We don't know or like each other enough to spend a decent amount, or buy anything thoughtful. Gifts from them are usually what was on offer in Tesco the week before (maybe a packet of brown envelopes, or a single plastic box). While all suggestions that we give it a rest are rebuffed, receiving a fridge magnet while their attentions are focussed on the needy elsewhere would be quite a relief.

Hulababy Fri 28-Dec-07 16:57:56

Agree with those saying that you should only send these out as (a) the Christmas card to accompany a present, (b) when you don't normally send them a present at all or (c) if they have requested one.

TBH I only use them as (a) - for people like teachers/work.

I don't need these as gifts from other people. I do my own charity donations and don't need someone else to do them on my behalf. If you wish to give to charity - do it for yourself, not under the guise as a gift. (Doing it as a way of giving a card is fine I think though)

I am happy to be shallow when it comes to presents. I persoanlly prefer a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates, or even some smellies for my own gift.

NomDePlume Fri 28-Dec-07 18:02:51

Pruni, I bought an Oxfam Unwrapped gift for DD's teaching team this year (teacher training in Africa). They don't come with any extras like chocs etc. I sencerely hope that DD's teachers didn't think I was being a c*nt for buying it

NomDePlume Fri 28-Dec-07 18:03:10

sincerely hmm

Hekate Fri 28-Dec-07 18:10:10

What you do now is get together with every member of the family that got one of these and agree that this couple will get oxfam unwrapped gifts from you all for their birthdays, anniversary and for christmas from now on.

lilolilbethlehem Fri 28-Dec-07 18:10:35

Whenever I buy Oxfam Unwrapped presents, I actually end up spending quite a lot more than I would have done otherwise, tho will admit i sometimes add in a box of chocs or something. You do pay (quite a lot) extra for the additional gifts, so your family haven't just kept the additional gifts. Luckily, the people I buy for "get it" and appreciate the sentiment.

NorthernLurkerwithastarontop Fri 28-Dec-07 18:12:21

dd1's teachers (job-share) bought the whole class a goat this year - which I thought was very cool and they all thought was rather brill too - better than 30 bags of chocolate coins or Harry Potter pencils. But if I was given one unexpectedly - I would be vexed - more so if I had to watch a lovingly chosen and wrapped gift disappearing off into the blue yonder well I digest the information that somewhere in Africa there's a goat without my name on it!

lilolilbethlehem Fri 28-Dec-07 18:15:07

I suppose Oxfam unwrapped etc gifts are no different than any other: you should buy what you think the recipient will appreciate. For those who appreciate charity gifts, these go down really well. If people find it offensive not to receive a gift they can use personally, then i guess the buyer has made the wrong choice for that person.

MummyDoItUnderTheMistletoe Fri 28-Dec-07 18:21:07

I think this type of charity giving is entirely the wrong way round. People should ask to receive it, not decide to give it. The couple in the OP may have 'too much stuff' so they should have asked to be given Oxfam Unwrapped - how does giving it to other people reduce the amount of 'stuff' that they receive? Personally, I wouldn't do it. If I feel strongly enough about a charity, I will (and do) support it myself. It has nothing to do with Christmas when I want to treat the people I love to something I think will give them pleasure.

PeachyHasAFiggyPudInTheOven Fri 28-Dec-07 18:21:55

It would make me smile but everyone asumes I don't want one of these gifts

but I do

tried to nomnate a specific charity once, was ignored

used yto work in the charity sector- you think they'd catch on!

PeachyHasAFiggyPudInTheOven Fri 28-Dec-07 18:24:58

(I did give my MIL a pile of dung last eyar. It was deserved and mroe than I received in eturn LOL)

Do give them to teachers, normally add chocs or as a supplemntary- eg head was retiring, we can't stick her but we gave her the standard Chrostmas gift- scented candle this year- and a Christian Aid gift as well.

pinetreedog Fri 28-Dec-07 18:28:51

"A couple in DH's family this year decided to give Oxfam Unwrapped to everyone: apparently "Because we have so much stuff""

Fuck me. Are you related to my sister? However, she told me at great length via email that they weren't giving anything. I didn't see any improvement in that method.

pinetreedog Fri 28-Dec-07 18:30:06

Frankly, I would rather deal with my own charitable giving.

pinetreedog Fri 28-Dec-07 18:31:59

There is no place for presents in our society. Outmoded custom struggling to survive.

TheGoatofChristmasPast Fri 28-Dec-07 18:34:48

my family do this but we agreed to stop buying each other pointless piles of shite, so we buy our parents something (thank you for dinner etc) and obviously the kids get something. i think if it is not an agreed thing it can appear sanctimonious. you should have taken the present you bought them back and told them you would donate to a charity for the 'unrelentingly smug and hateful'.

Blandmum Fri 28-Dec-07 18:48:22

I was given one a little while ago and I was quite chuffed.

But then sil and I know each other very well and agree on lots of stuff, choice of charities being one of them.

Like all gifts, you have to know the recipient, I think.

PontipineFinderGeneral Fri 28-Dec-07 18:59:42

There is a big difference between an Oxfam Unwrapped gift which is a genuine charitable gesture, and an Oxfam Unwrapped gift which is used to make a 'statement.'

Can you contact them and ask if you can have your gifts back, so that you can return them to the shops and give the money to charity?

PontipineFinderGeneral Fri 28-Dec-07 19:03:23

Apologies, I have just used my husband's mumsnet name by mistake, this should have read as a message from justabout. My husband's views on Oxfam Unwrapped are entirely his own and I do not presume to speak for him (well, not about this) grin

onebatmotherofgoditschilly Fri 28-Dec-07 21:29:25

But why? Why is everyone pissed off at not getting a crappy £10 gift, but instead giving someone else something they really need?

(Can I at this point confirm that I AM NOT a weaver of my own mooncup?)

I don't think we should be any spending money on any grownup who isn't totally brilliant at Christmas. Best friends, someone who's really helped you out etc etc.

I quite badly don't want a Boots Aromatherapy Candle Luxury Gift. Also, don't want to (therefore don't) spend money on same for other people.

At the mo am broke so spend all those £10s (which add up to about £100) on living.

When things improve (in approx 2032) I'll up my charity dd's to 2000 spacegilders or whatever it'll be by then.

And Pruni, surely, if they're utterly loathsome (which sounds likely), you have an even better reason not to buy shite for them?

sfxmum Fri 28-Dec-07 21:32:21

we have received and have given a few since it started, no problem with it hope it really works

PaulaYatesbiggestfan Fri 28-Dec-07 21:36:52

sorry only read op but i did send one to dc4 nursery school when he left and would be more than happy to recieve one! horses for courses

margoandjerry Fri 28-Dec-07 21:39:19

onebat, you are funny grin

I also sincerely do not want a Boots aromatherapy candle whatnot. Candles are the new Body Shop basket.

mamhaf Fri 28-Dec-07 21:42:15

We received a goat and two penguins...and were thrilled.

But, unknown to the gift-giver, I'd already had a conversation with dh about how I'd rather not have any more 'stuff' in the wrong size/colour/style and would prefer a donation to charity.

The penguins for dcs were quite sweet - the cards also came with a knitting pattern to knit a jacket for penguins rescued from oil slicks/melting ice.

The gift-giver also presented us with a few small token presents too - so best of all worlds, and she 'read' us very well.

But when dcs were small, we suggested to some friends that we donate to charity instead - and it went down like a lead balloon - clearly doesn't suit everyone.

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