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to think that gifts should be a surprise?

(54 Posts)
Laquitar Wed 05-Oct-11 12:29:31

It seems like many people 'request' gifts and couples send links to each other for the christmas present. What is the point of that?

If i'm going to ask dh to buy me a specific scarf that i have seen and him for a specific shirt, then i can buy my scarf and he can buy his shirt.

Do you tell your dh -or others- what to buy you? Does your dh/dp ask for specific presents?

Trills Wed 05-Oct-11 12:31:08

YABU to think gifts between other people should be anything if they are happy with the arrangement.

worraliberty Wed 05-Oct-11 12:31:16

No, we ask each other for ideas though but never anything specific.

As you say, if we wanted certain specific things, we could buy them ourselves.

BaronessOrczy Wed 05-Oct-11 12:32:01

Sometimes, sometimes not. Depends what it is.

But when it does drive me nuts is when he tells me he has a surprise for me. And then practically tells me what it is. That drives me up the proverbial wall and around the ceiling as it takes the joy out of it.

If its something you really want and wouldn't normally buy yourself, then the example you give is BU. If it's an everyday item then YANBU.

<sits on fence>

TheTenantOfWildfellHall Wed 05-Oct-11 12:32:26

I would rather get something I really, really want than either something I'm a bit meh about or something I actually dislike.

Uglymush Wed 05-Oct-11 12:32:26

My DH has a hobby I don't understand, so he gives me a long list of stuff that he needs for it and then I select what I want from that list. I also buy him lots of little surprises. That way he doesn't totally know what he is getting but I know I am getting the right kind of thing.

Paschaelina Wed 05-Oct-11 12:32:31

No surprises for me please. I would do away with the whole gift thing completely if I had my way.

I understand I could be in the minority here.

I think it is rude to not be grateful for a gift, no matter what it is. Someone cared enough to buy you something - there are no circumstances under which it is ok to throw that back in their face.

However. There is also nothing wrong with forcing your husband to go to the shops with you, where you then stroking a huuuuuuge make up box - beautiful, wooden, lots of compartments, contains everything under the sun and then putting it down and wandering off down the aisle singing "happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me..."

grin

He laughed.

I am looking forward to December 9th grin

Ragwort Wed 05-Oct-11 12:36:29

DH and I aren't really into giving each other presents - we tend to choose something together for the house or tickets to an event. Even after 23 years of marriage my DH really doesn't 'get' my taste and I have had to pretend to be pleased on so many occasions that I would far rather be more specific - if he is going to waste spend money on me I want to be sure it is something I like grin. Even now he will bring me back totally obscure things from overseas business trips.

Totally agree with Paschaelina.

jeee Wed 05-Oct-11 12:37:54

You do realise Hecate, that he will have failed to get your broad hint, and on your birthday he'll present you with an all-singing all-dancing.... iron.

I stood by an Etch-a-Sketch saying loudly 'Wouldn't it be nice if I got this for Christmas?' DH smiled, agreed.... and didn't deliver.

I had to ask Mum for it in the end.

fatlazymummy Wed 05-Oct-11 12:39:11

I like to know exactly what people want. My children give me lists and I give them a few suggestions of what to buy me. That is more or less all the pressies I buy now, in the past I had to buy for quite a few people and I found the whole process quite stressful. I never really knew if they liked what I bought them or if they were just being polite.
The same thing goes for wedding presents. If they don't have a wedding list then I will give cash or vouchers. That was I don't waste my money and they can choose something they really like.

betterwhenthesunshines Wed 05-Oct-11 12:40:59

My Dad is 74 this year. His birthday is in December and every year he issues a list grin It's actually quite helpful as it has all sorts of things he'd like from small items to large and you can pick something and know he'll like it / use it. Ok it's not a massive surprise, but he doesn;t know what he's going to get ,or not, so it works quite well.

ginmakesitallok Wed 05-Oct-11 12:41:04

My MIL usually takes my DC with her to choose their gifts and then takes them home with her to wrap them up and keep til birthday/Xmas whenever so that they "have something to open". I understand why - so that the kids get something they like. But it does mean that they aren't surprised. She'll also tell me what she's bought everyone, or show me (not mine though!)

TheSecondComing Wed 05-Oct-11 12:45:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MarginallyNarkyPuffin Wed 05-Oct-11 12:48:08

'It seems like many people 'request' gifts and couples send links to each other for the christmas present. What is the point of that?'

That you get things you actually want and/or need rather than wasting (often a lot of) money on stuff.

If you always have enough money to spend then it's probably not an issue. For a lot of people Christmas and birthday presents are the time they get something that they've wanted/needed but felt was unjustified expense.

RoyalWelsh Wed 05-Oct-11 12:55:08

I would love to have the kind of DP that could surprise me with things I would love. Unfortunately, h doesn't really understand my taste and to be fair I don't really understand his. I learnt my lesson on my 21st birthday where I said that I'd quite like something special like jewellry. He said "but you bake, wouldn't you like a mixer?" and I said no thank you, and explained that I font actually bake that much and when I do I enjoy the physical act of it as much as anything.

Come my birthday I get a mixer. And a tumble dryer.

AMumInScotland Wed 05-Oct-11 12:57:54

If you can afford to buy anything you fancy, then I guess asking for specifics as a present doesn't have much point. But I don't go out and buy myself much just because I fancy it - money is tight. So we make sure any nice-to-have things end up on a list somewhere, then when birthdays and Christmas are coming up we each know what the other would like but can't justify buying and can consider buying something off that list as presents.

Surprises are nice, but I'd rather have something I actually want, when we're not in a position to just buy them any time.

Laquitar Wed 05-Oct-11 13:03:18

You see, i prefer to buy the tumble dryer cassually and then excange small surprise gifts. Even £3 ones.

Laquitar Wed 05-Oct-11 13:06:58

But you do buy it AMum. You ask him to buy it. It is the same cost. Or do you have completely seperate money? confused

MarginallyNarkyPuffin Wed 05-Oct-11 13:16:58

Surprises are for children.

AMumInScotland Wed 05-Oct-11 13:21:27

Yes I buy it - I buy something I know he wants instead of him buying it and then me buying him a different present. Half the cost!

Scholes34 Wed 05-Oct-11 13:22:57

Narky has it spot on.

Shodan Wed 05-Oct-11 13:35:11

We have always had lists in my family (six siblings and now all their offspring as well). I much prefer it this way, especially since I met DH and have been obliged to make the 'ooh how lovely!' face far too often whilst privately wondering what the devil he as thinking...

I found that 'hints' along the lines of 'Isn't this great? I'd love this for Christmas/my birthday' didn't work, since DH needs telling something at least five times before it sinks in. So now he gets a list from which he can choose- I don't exactly what I'll get, but I know I'll like it.

He, on the other hand, makes no list and is incredibly difficult to buy for, since his hobby is golf and he buys all the stuff he wants anyway. (grr)

HappyAsIAm Wed 05-Oct-11 13:49:31

I completely understand the direct suggestions route, and really encourage it!

After the year that he bought me a blender for Christmas, DH now asks me what I would like, and then goes out and gets it. Easier for him, very pleasing for me. My mantra is now "no kitchen appliances, and nothing with a plug unless I've specifically requested it, like GHDs".

I also really encourage family members to say if they would like something in particular (including colour, make model etc), as it just makes life so much easier for me when I'm shopping, and I know that they'll get something they really want or need. I don't tend to spend a lot of money on myself (prefer to spend it on the house, DH or DS) so anything for myself is a bit of a treat.

They're always full of suggestions of things that they want, but they never return the favour. So they will buy me surprises, which are rarely suitable eg pyjamas that are 2 sizes too small, a distinctive handbag that I would never use is not to my taste, skin products that just aren't for my skin type etc. It does make me a little bit cross, especially when I've bought for them what they declare to be the perfect present, and I know that they really mean it!

Direct suggestions all the way as far as I'm concerned!

shesparkles Wed 05-Oct-11 13:51:37

I think it depends on the giver-my dh is spectacularly crap at present buying so it's less of a waste of money if I buy whatever it is, get him to wrap it and look surprised when I open it!grin

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