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To think this is a nice present?

(116 Posts)
ClareNasir Wed 15-Dec-10 04:42:53

OK, so a bit of background... my SIL lives in a different country to us. She hasn't had a job in ages and lives very hand-to-mouth. I know that she is flat broke and doesn't have any money for Christmas. She's single and lives on her own. She also suffers from depression which seems to be as a result of her circumstances.

Compared to her, we are quite well-off.

I was going to get her a hamper for Christmas, with lots of Christmas goodies in it. Unfortunately, the shop that I was ordering the hamper through cancelled our order as they are too busy. I have had a look on other sites, but couldn't find anything that I thought suitable (I want to include a few bottles of wine).

Anyway, one of the major supermarkets does this 'create your own hamper' thing, so I chose the hamper and all the things to go with it, and only at that point did I realise that they don't build the hamper for you, they basically send you all the stuff and you do it yourself. Obviously it's going straight to her, so we can't do this.

So, basically, if I order from this shop, all she is going to get is 3 or 4 bags of shopping. Is this really patronising? I don't want her to feel bad, it's just that she doesn't have a lot of money and I thought it would be nice to send her some nice wine and treats, chocolates, cheese board, etc.

My DH thinks it's a horrible idea and that it is a bit like 'feeding the homeless'. What does everyone here think? I really do not want to upset her.


mamaloco Wed 15-Dec-10 05:08:59

If I were your SIL I would be happy with it. The hamper is not a necessity (it almost always end up in the bin).
Is she a bit precious?
Can you warn her in advance? make a joke about the hamper being missing?

ClareNasir Wed 15-Dec-10 05:20:00

Thanks mamaloco. No, she's not precious. That's a good idea to make a joke of it.

onceamai Wed 15-Dec-10 05:39:52

IMO four bags of shopping arriving isn't very treat like and how are they going to miraculously appear from overseas - you make it sound like four plastic bags overspilling. Wouldn't it be better to transfer the equivalent amount of money so she can spend it on what she choses, especially if she hasn't got any money.

For the record, I don't quite get what stops a single, presumably not very old woman, getting a job and standing on her own two feet. If she's from the UK in the first place why can't she come home and sort herself out. I have a SIL rather like this who went from these circs. to three children!The tragedy was no-one ever told her to sort herself out.

ClareNasir Wed 15-Dec-10 05:43:33

I was going to buy them online from the supermarket local to her. No, she's not from the UK. She hasn't had much luck on the job front. She has only ever done non-skilled jobs, and nothing she takes on seems to turn into anything permanent.

I did think of sending her some money via Western Union, but DH vetoed this.

VFemme Wed 15-Dec-10 05:49:25

onceamai - the OP isn't asking for advice on her SIL's situation and I'm not sure it's your place to offer it hmm and sure the online shop in question delivers to the country in question else the OP wouldn't be using them.

ClareNasir - is there any way the online shop can make the delivery more Christamssy?

ClareNasir Wed 15-Dec-10 05:51:58

Thanks VFemme. No, not really, they just deliver what you ordered in plastic carrier bags!

However, I have tried to make it a bit Christmassy by including a poinsettia and mince pies and stuff.

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 15-Dec-10 08:03:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fayc84 Wed 15-Dec-10 08:09:20

I think it's a nice idea. I did this for my grandparents (fairly local so done up myself in a nice basket with red and green tissue paper to look Christmassy) and my Grampa thanked me for "the food parcel"! Hehe Only you know how she will take it, if she'd feel offended at perceived 'charity' or love your thoughtfulness.

kreecherlivesupstairs Wed 15-Dec-10 08:10:55

I agree it sounds very nice. Oneamai, you are very rude.
OP, could you send her a plane ticket? I don't know where she is but maybe you could afford that rather than some groceries.

ShoppingDays Wed 15-Dec-10 09:04:27

To be honest, yes I would feel patronised to receive bags of shopping. I'd find something else - there must be places that do send things with a hamper.

BertieBottlesOfMulledWine Wed 15-Dec-10 09:07:09

I think it sounds lovely - I would warn her/send a message making a joke of it though.

I wouldn't send money as if she is skint it won't get used to buy anything nice but for necessities.

TotorosOcarnina Wed 15-Dec-10 09:11:57

Christmas hamper - lovely.

4 bags of shopping, not so.

Can'yt you just nip to tesco buy all the stuff, put it in a hamper then post that to her?

ClareNasir Wed 15-Dec-10 09:13:54

No, I can't "nip to Tesco and post it to her" as I am in Dubai and she is in Australia.

Maybe I need a re-think...

kreecherlivesupstairs Wed 15-Dec-10 09:21:40

Ask some Aussie MNers for shops that deliver. I can only think of Safeway and a greenish coloured shop from our visits down under.

justaboutmaintainingorder Wed 15-Dec-10 09:24:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Weta Wed 15-Dec-10 09:26:41

I think it's fine - would just send her a message explaining what you wrote in your OP - that you had a hamper lined up but it fell through, then you have ordered this but only discovered at the end that it doesn't actually come in a hamper.

If she lives in Australia she's probably more relaxed than some of the uptight people in the UK

tattycoram Wed 15-Dec-10 09:29:02

Actually I think it is a really thoughtful present and hte lack of a hamper wouldn't bother me at all. I do think you need to warn her in a jokey way though

mamatomany Wed 15-Dec-10 09:30:20

God i would have been delighted with this when I was young and single, good food was often the lowest priority.

lifeinagoldfishbowl Wed 15-Dec-10 09:31:03

I did this when a friend had a baby - she got 4 bags of Tesco's shopping with yummy chocolates, cheese, magazines, bubble bath, tasty ready meals etc.

mustdash Wed 15-Dec-10 09:34:59

I think it is a lovely idea, especially if you can ensure that it is full of things she couldn't/wouldn't buy herself, and really thoughtful.

Happy Christmas smile

HarkTheTragicalyHipHeraldAngel Wed 15-Dec-10 09:36:12

Sounds like a lovely idea and I'm sure she will appreciate it!

Have you tried the department stores like Meyer and David Jones? Not sure if they do hampers but worth a look.

ROFL at nipping to Tesco's. I think the postage would cost double what the hamper cost!

NigellaPleaseComeDineWithMe Wed 15-Dec-10 09:37:56

Sounds a nice idea as mustdash said too.

MaybeTomorrow Wed 15-Dec-10 09:38:01

I think OP, you are a very thoughtful and lovely person and clearly care very much about her to be worried about how she will feel.

I think it is a lovely idea and one that will definitely be appreciated. Just make sure you do forewarn as others have said but other than that a fab thing to do!

You have a lovely Christmas too!

CamperFan Wed 15-Dec-10 09:38:12

I don't think the presentation really matters when you can't give it to them in person. I use Amazon loads for gifts and never use the gift wrapping service (would rather put the money towards a bigger gift!), so it just arrives in a brown box. I would love to receive Xmas goodies, however they were presented, and I can afford to buy them myself so I am sure your SIL will be thrilled.

onceamail, wow do you always respond like that when someone asks for some really simple advice? hmm

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