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Etiquette - sending presents through the post / pre-printed cards

(41 Posts)
PresentWrapper Wed 30-Jan-13 20:54:09

This is a very trivial AIBU, but I am really curious as to what is acceptable in these circumstances.

My DH had his 40th birthday at the weekend. The week before his birthday, a parcel arrived from his brother (who lives at the other side of the country). Not wrapped up - simply a jiffy bag directly from the seller addressed to BIL at our address. Luckily I guessed what it was, opened it, and wrapped it up for DH. I had to do the same MIL's present, but she lives abroad so it's understandable.

Today (4 days late), a card arrived from BIL for DH. But it was one of those cards you order online to be sent directly to the recipient - i.e. no-one actually signed the card.

DH and BIL have a fairly volatile relationship, not terribly friendly at the moment but at least on speaking terms.

I'm mildly irritated by this. Unlike MIL, BIL didn't contact me to tell me present was on the way, and would I mind wrapping it. He had plenty of time to wrap the gift (it arrived a week early), and it was very light so would not have broken the bank in postage costs.

When I send people presents by post, I either pay for Amazon gift wrapping or have the present delivered to me first, to wrap and then go to the post office. I am just creating work for myself?

MsVestibule Wed 30-Jan-13 21:03:06

YABU. I would normally wrap and post a present too, but it honestly wouldn't bother me in the slightest if somebody sent me a card and present in the way you've described! Was your DH bothered about the card?

MrsMushroom Wed 30-Jan-13 21:07:07

Yabu your BIL probably doesn't care if it's wrapped and never thought to ask as he would not assume you'd do it.

Minshu Wed 30-Jan-13 21:07:17

DP is 40? Or for a 4 year old child? I think YABU but I may have misunderstood the OP...

HollyBerryBush Wed 30-Jan-13 21:11:23

My DH is having an affair with Moonpig .... need I say more ..... every bugger is getting birthday cards with pictures from 40 years ago at primary school with some cryptic verse ...the plus side is: I dont have to remember to buy anyone a card now smile

YABU to open parcels to your Dh and decide to wrap them though. His relationship with his brother and waht is tollerable is absolutely none of your business.

FredFredGeorge Wed 30-Jan-13 21:21:04

The etiquette is not to send adults presents at all I thought? If you're going to, I don't see any problem with not wrapping etc.

PresentWrapper Wed 30-Jan-13 21:23:11


Would you wrap presents for children before posting? Or is it generally ok to send to their parents by post for them to wrap up?

PresentWrapper Wed 30-Jan-13 21:25:56

HollyBerry - it wasn't a parcel addressed to DH. It was a parcel addressed to BIL who doesn't live here. Surely it is nicer to open a wrapped present than a jiffy bag with the invoice inside?

HollyBerryBush Wed 30-Jan-13 21:27:08

It was a parcel addressed to BIL who doesn't live here.

Did you phone him first or just open his mail willy-nilly?

PresentWrapper Wed 30-Jan-13 21:29:27

Of course I didn't phone him! What a strange thing to ask. Why else would he be having something delivered to our house, across the country, a week before DH's birthday? He hasn't visited for over a year!

MrsMushroom Wed 30-Jan-13 22:21:29

Good point though Holly I don't think it's a strange thing to ask present you assumed a lot by opening the parcel.

Adamit Wed 30-Jan-13 22:26:25

oh for the love of god what its with GROWN adults all boo hoo over brithdays. your BIL made an effort get over yourself.

PresentWrapper Wed 30-Jan-13 22:27:21

What other possible explanation could there have been?! If BIL was ordering something for himself, he would have had it delivered to his own house!

This thread is getting slightly waylaid.

MsVestibule Wed 30-Jan-13 22:29:58

Surely it is nicer to open a wrapped present than a jiffy bag with the invoice inside? Probably yes, but it's not something I would expect a 40 year old to think about for more than a nano second.

And I'm 41, so I know what I'm talking about.


mrsstewpot Wed 30-Jan-13 22:30:42

Did BIL ask you to wrap it?

Adamit Wed 30-Jan-13 22:34:10

and then pay FURTHER costs to have it shipped over again? it was bought online and delivered all inclusive in the price. am surprised as a grown man he even went to that effort especially if you say their relationship isnt good. i hope you havent aired this silly rant with your DH ruining your BIL's effort and surprise?

PresentWrapper Wed 30-Jan-13 22:34:31

Thanks all for your comments.

The overwhelming consensus seems to be that it's absolutely fine to send unwrapped presents addressed directly to the recipient. That will save me a bit of time at the post office when I'm busy!

HollyBerryBush Wed 30-Jan-13 22:35:02

It's all a bit pathetic really - opening someone elses mail assuming its for A N Other adult in the house and prettying it up with bows and shit?

ChippyMinton Wed 30-Jan-13 22:36:19

The whole point of Moonpig etc is that you don't have to sign them confused You get the whole stupid card-sending charade over and done with with a click of the mouse and your credit card.

And YABU to open a parcel addressed to your BIL when it obviously was a gift for your DH. If he'd been bothered about wrapping, he would've done something about it.

And finally, Amazon gift-wrapping is a rip-off, YABU to pay for postage twice by wrapping it yourself.

The world has moved on...

JustAHolyFool Wed 30-Jan-13 22:37:29


this is the type of thing my mother worries about and it drives me mad. Who CARES?

Adamit Wed 30-Jan-13 22:38:50

why post in AIBU if your not willing to accept you even MAY be unreasonable. got a i hate passive aggresiveness.

anyways i think moonpig is wonderful ... it can make it even more personal. i have used it for my parents with pics of ds for mothers/fathers day etc. so he DID make an effort.

what did you get him? and more importantly what colour was the bow? was it big? did you curl then ends of the ribbons with a scissors?

Poosnu Wed 30-Jan-13 22:40:29

I think the OP has had a bit of a hard time here. I think YAB a bit U as your BIL made an effort. But I know my DH likes to have a pile of presents to open in bed on his birthday. There is something quite special about it.

MsVestibule Wed 30-Jan-13 22:42:03

But PresentWrapper, it doesn't matter in the slightest what we think about something like this!

If you think the right/nice thing to do is wrap presents before you post them, then carry on doing it. On balance, yes, I would prefer to receive a nicely wrapped present through the post; it just wouldn't bother me if it didn't happen, IYSWIM.

Adamit Wed 30-Jan-13 22:42:35

but not everyone celebrates birthdayslike that and her BIL DID make an effort but it wasnt good enough for her. she should have left things be. it wasnt her place to fluff up the present.

Floggingmolly Wed 30-Jan-13 22:43:49

Was the birthday boy as "mildly irritated" by this as you are? (why are you?)
I doubt it. If you knew it was a present for your dh, why did you decide to open it????

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