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I'm cross - a Christmas one.

(40 Posts)
KeepServingTheDrinks Sun 19-Nov-17 01:24:39

When we meet at Christmas, all the kids get presents. The adults don't.

My cousin, who has 2 under 5s has responded to an email from me (which was asking what the kids would like this year) to say that her kids get far too much, and a plea for no presents (for all).

She's about to move house, which I totally get is busy and stressful, so adding a load of christmas present tat into the mix is (I do understand) pretty horrible for her. Plus I do understand that present buying isn't high on her list of priorities right now.

She has also sent a further email saying her kids get shed loads, and this isn't teaching them that it's better to give than receive (etc).

1. I think that her kids wouldn't agree with her!!!! And they're only little.
2. She never complained when SHE was the one receiving the presents (which she did until she became a mum).
3. I've ASKED her what to buy for her kids.... she could ask for something disposable (eg fun bubble bath) or utterly useful (cute pjs) which her kids could enjoy and be done with, or be genuinely handy. I wouldn't knowingly buy her kids junk or clutter.
4. I don't see her kids that often, and will them even less after they move. I'm their family and I want to keep that connection. Buying them a christmas present is part of that (isn't it?)
5. If she wants to teach her kids about not being too materialistic or it being better to give rather than recieve, why shoudl that mean I can't buy them a present? Isn't that the parents job? (incidentally, her DBro and SIL's child, who is younger than both their kids "made" everyone some christmas toffee last year)
6. My cousin has rich parents and her DH is part of a mahoosvie family, so I do understand there are presents galore. However, my DD (who is much older, almost 16) has only 1 grandparent, no family on DH's side and the ones who are still alive are mostly NC. If my cousin's wish is taken on board, my DD will get no presents from outside her immediate family. DD will get plenty of presents from us, and she probably won't much like the presents she'd get from her extended family. But I feel she SHOULD get presents at Christmas from her relatives, and it's crap for her if she doesn't.

I feel very cross wtih my cousin (who I'm very fond of, btw)

AvoidingDM Sun 19-Nov-17 01:42:10

I think you should respect that few people buy for cousin's kids. She maybe can't afford to keep buying for other kids (your 16 yo).
Maybe suggest meeting up for a family day out once a year rather than exchanging gifts.

dinosaurkisses Sun 19-Nov-17 01:50:27

I don't think she's being unreasonable- there was a thread the other day where users were commenting on how intense their young children found opening piles of presents at Christmas and how some of them got really overwhelmed and upset.

I think you should respect your cousin's opinion/ reasonable request- if she's suggesting that you save your money, that's something I can relate to. Anytime I look at an unused gift for dd that someone has taken time to consider and spent their money on, I feel so guilty that we/ dd has no use for it. I admire your cousin taking the bull by the horns and putting a stop to unescessaey gifts.

lackingimagination Sun 19-Nov-17 01:54:44


Elllicam Sun 19-Nov-17 01:56:05

I would get them an experience gift, vouchers for an outing or something. That way you aren’t adding to the clutter and you’ll get a nice outing with them before they move.

Rainbowqueeen Sun 19-Nov-17 05:04:00

Ellicam had a good idea. A family day out once a year to celebrate Christmas is also an awesome idea. We do this with friends instead of exchanging gifts, basically for the same reason -our kids get way too much.

She probably thinks that presents from extended family is too much.

Mummyoflittledragon Sun 19-Nov-17 05:44:33

Perhaps the best gift to give them this year would be to take the children out for the day around the time when they move. Then you could buy them a token gift such as a photograph key ring or fridge magnet.

When I was little, my aunt used to take my brother and me every year in a taxi from her house to see a show in London. Lovely memory.

DancesWithOtters Sun 19-Nov-17 06:35:32


x2boys Sun 19-Nov-17 06:36:00

You buy for your cousins kidsshock i just buy for my kids my parents and my two nephews and dh daughter I never understand this long list of randoms to buy for each to their own I guess.

Exokey Sun 19-Nov-17 06:41:20


DD will get plenty of presents from us, and she probably won't much like the presents she'd get from her extended family. But I feel she SHOULD get presents at Christmas from her relatives, and it's crap for her if she doesn't.
Also your saying she won't like the presents (so presumably hasn't in the past) so she probably won't be bothered, she's 16, will she really care that your cousin hasn't got her a gift that she wouldn't like!

Italiangreyhound Sun 19-Nov-17 07:00:03

I'd talk to your cousin and ask to keep gifts going until your dd is 18 then after that, if she wants to stop, you can stop.

If her kids get to much offer a charity gift.

SuperBeagle Sun 19-Nov-17 07:14:06

You're being ridiculous.

Bowerbird5 Sun 19-Nov-17 07:19:45

I can see cousins point especially as moving. Why don't you get some vouchers for a favourite cafe. She can tak time out from stressful moving, shopping and take everyone to the cafe for hot chocolate etc and cake. Bet she would appreciate that as a present.

Ohffsmalcom Sun 19-Nov-17 07:23:10

She’s being entirely reasonable

Your last point I think is the crux and that you want a present from her for your Dd and yet acknowledge your DD wouldn’t like it anyway and gets loads of stuff from you!

Stop being ridiculous.

dudsville Sun 19-Nov-17 07:24:24

I would find this unbearable and would choose something as you suggest, bubble bath or pj's. I couldn't have kids over, some of whom get presents and others don't. Parents have dominion in the home, not out of it. You can respect he wishes by doing something minimal.

Ragwort Sun 19-Nov-17 07:26:23

This must be a wind up hmm.

You feel your DD, at nearly 16, SHOULD get presents from distant relatives - why?

Perhaps you need to think about the true meaning of Christmas.

Catalufa Sun 19-Nov-17 07:30:30

I agree with you, OP.

It sounds like you meet up for Christmas, which makes a difference I think. I wouldn’t buy presents for my cousins’ children generally but if we were seeing them on Christmas Day (or another day very close to it) then I definitely would, and would be sad to be asked not to.

If the OP wants to and the cousin doesn’t, why does the cousin get to unilaterally decide?

OP, I'd reply and say that it’s important to you to keep up the tradition of present giving, but suggest some possible compromises (eg giving an experience rather than plastic tat, having a £10 max budget).

LookImAHooman Sun 19-Nov-17 07:38:56

DD will get plenty of presents from us, and she probably won't much like the presents she'd get from her extended family. But I feel she SHOULD get presents at Christmas from her relatives, and it's crap for her if she doesn't.


So your DD probably won’t like or use her present but your cousin should buy it anyway? It’s not just buying for the sake of buying; it’s a ridiculous lack of respect for your cousin’s time and money plus the environment with the wastage.

There may be an underlying element here. Moving is hardly cheap and you say there are a lot of presents on her family’s side. Maybe money is tight for them this year as well as their kids getting too much? I have s

rcat Sun 19-Nov-17 07:39:33

I’d be relieved!We are scaling back on our gifts this year,we can’t afford it.Just bake some cookies or give them a photo gift like a photo bauble to hang on their tree.Something thoughtful will be appreciated.

Ragwort Sun 19-Nov-17 07:39:38

Why would you be sad not to buy a present for a child? hmm

I think it is incredibly disrespectful to ignore the parents' wishes, msot children have far, far too many presents and particularly if the cousin is moving home why should she be obliged to find room for yet more 'stuff'.

Our DS used to be overwhelmed with gifts when he was younger, quite honestly I found it obscene that he was given so much, 90% of which was donated to charity after Christmas.

Please respect your cousin's POV, I think it is quite refreshing when someone actually says 'please, no more presents'.

Headofthehive55 Sun 19-Nov-17 07:39:53

Most people I know don't exchange presents with extended family.
My children don't get presents from extended family.
They aren't upset about it!

Catalufa Sun 19-Nov-17 07:41:08

But why doesn’t the cousin have to respect the OP’s point of view?

rcat Sun 19-Nov-17 07:41:53

Also please don’t expect people to buy for your children,they could be worried about finances and it’s hard for them.Whatever the reason,respect it.If you buy them a gift they will feel they have to reciprocate.

NoSquirrels Sun 19-Nov-17 07:42:29

If it's a gathering, and other people are buying presents for the kids, then I'd reply to ask if we could keep up the "tradition" this year, but maybe phase it out for next year.

But the entire point of presents - which seems to get forgotten! - is that they are a gift, a voluntary expression- you cannot demand one, and it's pretty rude to refuse one. So you can't make your cousin buy your 16 year old a gift, and she can't stop you from buying fur her DC. If all the points in your post are important then you've listed a lot, so buy the presents (but make them small & useful). If it's really just the last point bugging you, bad luck, that's life, and your DD has presumably had 16 year's worth of gifts she's not even that keen on ( & perhaps has shown this in the past?) so time to stop now.

hidinginthenightgarden Sun 19-Nov-17 07:42:35

I think yabu. They don't want to exchange gifts. They are likely skint from moving just before xmas and don't want to add more stuff to the mix. Your DD is 16. Will she even notice that your cousin hasn't bought her a gift?

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