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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?

PresentWrapper Thu 31-Jan-13 13:36:21

Floggingmolly - I didn't open the package to inspect the contents. What would be the point in that? I opened the package to wrap the contents because I know my DH would prefer to open a proper present than a jiffy bag with the receipt inside. He is a bit like a small child around his birthday and gets very excited about it. I simply wanted to make his 40th birthday morning as lovely as I could.

DeWe Thu 31-Jan-13 12:53:21

At least he bothered. One of dh's brothers very rarely sends a card. Hasn't given a present in over 10 years. After anouncing he had decided he wasn't giving his brothers presents for birthdays now-while accepting his birthday present.
We'd given presents for 3 years without him saying anything about why he wasn't giving, if we hadn't asked he'd probably have continued to accept presents with out saying anything.

Floggingmolly Thu 31-Jan-13 12:26:02

The fact remains, op, that despite knowing the parcel contained a present for your DH, why did you think it was your job to inspect it's contents before passing it over? We're you worried he couldn't cope with the trauma of possibly finding an unwrapped gift inside?

DontEvenThinkAboutIt Wed 30-Jan-13 23:57:03

Oh, hmm good point OP. I didn't think of the cards being sent to the buyers to be signed so I don't know what the percentage of cards that are sent direct is. I did assume that it was normal forMoonpig to send the cards direct to the recipient but I have no basis for it blush

PresentWrapper Wed 30-Jan-13 23:39:19

Oldnewmummy - Your DH is very lucky! As I said in my OP, MIL lives abroad and does the same, which is understandable.

oldnewmummy Wed 30-Jan-13 23:36:48

I live abroad and so send all my cards to UK people via Moonpig. No-one has ever complained, and the photo cards I do for my parents take a bit of effort.

I also buy most presents from Amazon. Since most people have more than 1 item in their gift and its £2.95 (I think) to wrap each item, I never bother. I'd rather spend the money on the present.

Conversely, I've just bought my husband a (second-hand) convertible for his 50th birthday,which I'll be giving him later today. And I'll be attempting to gift-wrap that a bit!

PresentWrapper Wed 30-Jan-13 23:34:33

Don'tEvenThink - those stats are really interesting. I have used Moonpig in the past (and the personalised cards are great), however I get them delivered to me to sign and then post on.

From what you seem to be saying it is normal to have Moonpig deliver the card directly to the recipient? (For clarity I am not being sarcastic, just genuinely curious as to what is normal).

DontEvenThinkAboutIt Wed 30-Jan-13 23:31:00

FairPlay to OP for acknowledging that she may have been BU. I agree withthe majority and also think YABU

Here is a quote from Moonpig's corporate website

" shipped in excess of 12 million cards to nearly three million customers in the past 12 months. Moonpig turnover was £38m in its fiscal year ending April 2011."

I don't know if this is just in the UK or not, but even so, it shows that there are a lot of people who think this type of card is OK.

PresentWrapper Wed 30-Jan-13 23:26:56

Quilty - I think you've nailed why I'm feeling upset about this. I couldn't hide it from DH as he knows the wrapping paper we had in the house.

Quilty Wed 30-Jan-13 23:20:21

YANBU to be annoyed by the unwrapped present from the BIL however it sounds like the way he sent the present is a reflection of his bad relationship with your husband. It's as though he saying "I'll buy you something for your birthday but I'm doing it with as little effort as possible"

Am quite shocked at how many people seem to think posting a present in this way is ok, just seems so impersonal!

Just out of interest, did you tell your husband how the present was originally sent or did you wrap it up and not mention it?

Cherriesarelovely Wed 30-Jan-13 23:16:33

Your DH was lucky, my DBs (that I am on very good terms with) never give me a birthday present, wrapped or otherwise!

fluffypillow Wed 30-Jan-13 23:10:49

YANBU op. I think it's a very lazy and impersonal way of doing things.

wannabedreams Wed 30-Jan-13 23:02:09

My mum and dad live abroad and do this, I do find it a little bit 'impersonal' tbh but feel that makes me ungrateful.

Whitewineformeplease Wed 30-Jan-13 22:57:21

I don't think you're being unreasonable at all. I think a lot of people giving you a hard time are being defensive, probably because they've done the same thing in the past! It is a bit crap to give someone a present in plastic bag, and a card 4 days late as well. What a knob. For his birthday, send him a photo of you and your DH. In a plastic frame. Wrapped in tin foil.wink

Adamit Wed 30-Jan-13 22:52:13

my apologies then i thought you were being sarcastic.

at the end of the day i hope your DH had a wonderful birthday and the present and card were appreciated and brought him and his brother closer.

PresentWrapper Wed 30-Jan-13 22:43:51

Err - I did accept I was unreasonable...

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????

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.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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...

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?

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!

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