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about this present buying ritual (it's a Christmas thread!)

(19 Posts)
PrincessOfWails Fri 26-Oct-12 12:29:46

It's DH - and indeed his entire family.
When it comes to Christmas, there is this weird thing where around about now, the whole family start asking each other if they have heard any 'hints' - i.e. what the others would like to get. It's all very cloak-and-dagger, done in secret.
I don't really play along with this (and have been Told That) because I have an amazon wishlist, but that doesn't count as being in 'the hints'. Also, being bloody minded, I want to say something like 'a sports car'. (I would really like a hob, actually, not an expensive one; or a small hand held vacuum, but both have been vetoed as 'not hints' and 'not presents' - but I thought having a list is a list of things someone actually wants!
But also, I told DH of something lovely I thought his mum would like - I've known her a good few years and it is something she really would enjoy and use, it's luxury so not something she would buy for herself, and would give her much pleasure. But apparently no, her 'hints' have been a boxed set of DVDs so my surprise gift is vetoed! Gah!
I thought Christmas is all about thinking 'what would X like', and putting a bit of thought into it etc. But maybe that's just my weird family... grin

DeWe Fri 26-Oct-12 13:30:02

So do they all "hint" deliberately too then? That must get irritating.

But I prefer it to dh's family, who, a few years ago decided they would do secret santa and only buy 1 present each (we opted out so that's 3 of them doing that). They then tell each other exactly what they want and buy that and only that.
Personally I wonder that they don't just say, "lets all buy ourselves one present and not get any others".

I like to watch and think, much like you. Occasionally you get it very wrong, but not often. And it can be very funny when it's wrong anyway.

VladIIIDracula Fri 26-Oct-12 13:41:48

Everyone's family does it differently. DH's family do what you do, think 'what would X like', and buy something accordingly - but it often results in unwanted gifts.

My family just ask "what would you like for christmas" and you give them an option of 2 or 3 things you'd like. Or you point them in the direction of your amazon wish-list. It's so much easier and you get what you actually want and need. But of course there are less surprises...

crypes Fri 26-Oct-12 13:50:00

I think you should just buy them what you think would be nice presents. Its your call too to be eccentric or cloak and dagger about present buying. Its your Christmas too. My dh and his family always exchange gifts at xmas sometimes their well thought out and sometimes not.sometimes cheap sometimes fabulous but it makes Christmas and its exciting. Especially for all the kids. I dont buy for my siblings and their agreement .miserable fckers

Pincushion2 Fri 26-Oct-12 15:36:28

Oh I get so fed up of the Christmas present buying for family members. I don't mind buying for the children (although even that is getting me down a bit considering there is rarely a thank you) but a few years ago DH and I decided to opt out of buying for the adults. This was mainly due to cost and having to send everything by post (doubling the cost of the present). I used to get so offended by being given a list of things people wanted!! Quite often these things were expensive items and I just didn't get the point. Surely it is the though that counts?

So YANBU op - sorry for my rant!!

Pincushion2 Fri 26-Oct-12 15:37:29

'thought' that counts!

PuppyMonkey Fri 26-Oct-12 15:42:09

Crikey, what a faff. My family (sisters/brothers) and inlaws get a token gift between them, nice box of chocs or something. That's all. Mind you we're Irish and there are about a million of us. Only buy prezzies for DP and the kids.

Hint my arse.grin

Pincushion2 Fri 26-Oct-12 15:44:39

What a fab idea Puppy - I should have suggested that a few years ago when we opted out of adult pressie buying. My suggestion of not buying for the adults and only for the children caused major offence. Stuck to my guns though smile

Wingedharpy Fri 26-Oct-12 15:49:43

We buy nothing for anyone - not even ourselves.
I belong to the Bah Humbug school of Christmas celebrations.
I loathe all the tat and over-priced rubbish in the shops at this time of year and find it very sad that people actually get themselves into serious debt as they become pressurised into joining in with this charade.
Get to Church for the carols and stop shopping.

catseverywhere Fri 26-Oct-12 15:59:02

My sister (aged 42) and my mother do this thing where they each issue a list of what they would like. How it works in essence is that they then each say to me what they will be buying each other from The List, with the remainder being left to me to buy.

There is pleasure in buying for them, because you know you will be buying stuff you know they want, but, but, but where is the surprise for them in opening something that someone has taken the time and trouble to choose for them?

But then I suppose everyone is different and maybe some people like getting stuff other people have chosen for them and other people don't? Boring world if we were all the same.

PrincessOfWails Fri 26-Oct-12 16:44:19

Thank you! I was beginning to wonder whether it was just me. Well, it is in this setup!! But it's the strange ritual aspect- DH has to phone FIL for MIL's hints, and so on. I get called about DH and I don't play along. But DH gets sniffy about me getting his relatives presents I think they would like... I'm actually getting a bit wound up about DN...argh, it's not even November!

Sazzle41 Fri 26-Oct-12 16:46:09

Hmmm... I would buy what someone has hinted they want myself then no potential for disapointment. Its a bit controlling to only want to buy something you think they would like ..whats wrong with giving people hints/ideas, i would rather that than guess wrongly ...

Someone bought me something they 'thought i would like' once and they knew me very well. But i didn't like or want it and wondered what on earth they were thinking ....

Hassled Fri 26-Oct-12 16:47:49

That is the craziest, barkingest thing I've ever heard. Your DH's family is officially nuts grin.

MrsCantSayAnything Fri 26-Oct-12 16:48:10

God that sounds maddening. I'm glad the adults in our family don't buy each other gifts!

80sMum Fri 26-Oct-12 16:57:07

I'm the same as wingedharpy. I don't buy Christmas presents for adults. I think it's all a huge con and I can't abide the sense of entitlement that some people seem to have regarding what are supposed to be spontaneous gifts. I also dislike receiving Christmas presents,because I hate to think of anyone buying me something because they felt they had to just because it's Christmas.

Feckbox Fri 26-Oct-12 17:12:08

Same as wingedharpy.
I hate the ridiculous charade of exchanging gifts with adults who already have everything they want , and if there is anything they don't want, could buy it themselves.

I'd love to reduce the whole faff down to church, and get togethers for food and drink. Hang the shopping and gifts

quirkychick Fri 26-Oct-12 17:16:52

Dp's family phone up in high dudgeon with "you haven't told me what you want" hmm as it's my fault they have no imagination. I have an amazon wishlist as do dcs, but they don't like that, or they could choose something I might like. We've only been together 11yrs they should know me by now... They also get very upset rude about presents they don't like. Weird.

My family it's either a surprise or something you said you wanted specifically. Are they like that about other things op with all the cloak and dagger?

OnwardBound Fri 26-Oct-12 17:26:11

I agree that it's stupid a faff to buy Christmas presents for adults especially if they can afford their own treats and could go out themselves and purchase whatever it is that they want.

I still think it's nice to buy for my DNieces and Nephew though.

But I get to use my own imagination re presents and don't get issued with a list of demands requests Thank God!

diddl Fri 26-Oct-12 17:32:15

Thank goodness we´re "no presents for adults" people.

We live abroad.

If we see you Christmas Day-that´s your present!!

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