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To be a bit miffed by what my best friend got DS for his Christening?

(113 Posts)
PaperandNuts Tue 23-Jul-13 12:36:53

She gave him 2 x £1 toys from Poundland.

Now I know it's not about the money, it's the thought that counts - but that's the problem, there doesnt appear to have been any thought!
The toys are cheap tack and one is definitely more a girls toy.
It just seems she has gone for the cheapest, easy option, not thought about what DS might actual want/need/like, they weren't even wrapped and there was no card.
And just for the record, she could afford to spend more on him if she wanted - she is in a very good full time permanent job, pays very little rent on her own pad, owns a house which she rents out, and has no other responsibilities (no partner, children, pets, car, etc.).
She could have also put more time / thought into his gifts - I would rather her have made him something which would have been more personal or quite frankly not even bothered as what she did give just seems a bit pointless / pathetic (sorry, I know I sound ungrateful but I just know she could - and maybe should - have tried a bit harder as she knows it means a lot to me).

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not materialistic or a snob (there is nothing wrong with Poundland - I shop there myself occassionally and that's how I know the gifts were from there!!). I'm by no means loaded either, I do like a bargain, am sensible when it comes to money, come from a working class background etc etc. but this has just upset me a little.

She has been my best friend for years and I have helped her out in many ways in the past including financially (I have lent her money when she really needed it), practically (ie. when she moved house), emotionally (when her relationship broke down), etc etc. - all of which I of course don't mind doing, that's what friends are for.

I just feel a bit miffed about this, plus she didnt even come to the Christening in the end saying she had family stuff to do instead (even though the date had been in her diary for weeks).


VenusSurprising Tue 23-Jul-13 13:29:27

Defineme I think that she has issues herself.

starfishmummy Tue 23-Jul-13 13:30:07

Is she a godparent? Imo only parents should give presents.

Angelico Tue 23-Jul-13 13:32:18

I think there is an etiquette with christenings that can be unfamiliar to people. I know that when my friends had their first baby I got a card but didn't get a christening gift as I wasn't really familiar with christenings and the expectations around them. Once I got married I was at christenings of nieces and nephews and I could see that people got gifts and also the kinds of gifts (although in DH's family a lot of the gifts are just money).

So is it possible that she just doesn't 'get' the whole christening thing? And that she realised (belatedly) that she should get a gift and just bought whatever was to hand?

Angelico Tue 23-Jul-13 13:33:49

Actually tbh reading your OP again more carefully it does seem that your lives are veering in different directions unfortunately sad It does happen sometimes.

missesjellybean Tue 23-Jul-13 13:35:22

yikes op you seem to be getting such a hard might as well really offend everyone now and say you sent a poem asking for money for the christening so they can finish you off grin.
what's wrong with inviting lots of people to a christening a new baby has been born and its s chance for the whole family to celebrate if people don't want to go don't go.....

Primrose123 Tue 23-Jul-13 13:36:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Tue 23-Jul-13 13:38:39

How bizarre.
Are guests at Christenings supposed to buy presents for the baby?
I thought it was just Godparents?

RiceBurner Tue 23-Jul-13 13:41:34

YANBU, (re the gift from your friend), as I think NO gift is better than a rubbish one, even if you know that your friend can afford to give a good gift and she doesn't give anything.

I really don't understand the phrase "but it's the thought that counts" re gift buying as you cannot know what the thought actually was?! It seems to imply than any gift is better than none ... which IMO it plainly often isn't!

I dislike/approve of gift giving in general though, both getting and buying for others. It is a PITA for me, (to choose, when buying), as I worry about it a lot and get sad if I end up buying a gift which doesnt please or is inappropriate. I also end up feeling sad/angry if I get a gift I don't like/can't use/think is silly.

So, (to me), gift buying in general is freq a waste of gift giver's time and money and an embarassment/burden to the receiver, unless you know exactly what someone wants/needs/likes.

In your situation, I would have avoided the awkward situation in the 1st place, (if inviting ppl to a Christening), by saying "no gifts please".

But I don't understand why ppl have Christenings at all, unless actively Christian/religious where it is ALL about faith. So maybe YABU to have one? (And to want ppl to come/give gifts?)

pigletmania Tue 23-Jul-13 13:43:19

Yanbu at all. It doesnot sound as though she cares much, I would expect a bit more effort from a close friend in her position.

WhispersOfWickedness Tue 23-Jul-13 13:52:09

I am still intrigued as to what the 'girl's' present is? I get that it is probably pink, but does that stop him using it? Male and female babies like the same toys, so apart from the colour, surely it can't be that gender specific? confused

MiaowTheCat Tue 23-Jul-13 13:54:11

You sound VERY materialistic and grabby in your nice little financial appraisal of her entire lifestyle and calculation in how much available income she should have to shower your christening with gifts.

And as for the toy he might catch GIRL from... ridiculous.

Perhaps she just doesn't like the person you've become since you had a baby? Perhaps she doesn't have a clue what to buy a child? Perhaps there's stuff going on in the background you don't know about in terms of available time and money? Perhaps she thinks you're being very grabby over christening gifts and wanted to passive aggressively make a point? Perhaps she just hates your guts?

You ain't going to get any answers on here - but you don't sound a very nice person yourself really.

pussycatwillum Tue 23-Jul-13 13:54:45

Our youngest had a big dedication service, with everyone from the Church, and some of our other friends, invited to a lunch afterwards. I was actually surprised at how many presents he got. I hadn't even considered that anyone except the Godparents would give him a gift. The purpose of the service was for us to promise to bring him up in the Christian faith and the friends and family were there to witness this.The gifts were secondary to the event.
I think I would have been a bit upset that a friend was unable to attend, but not upset about the gift.

Beastofburden Tue 23-Jul-13 14:03:15

Um.. this may be me showing my age, quite probably it is. If I had a friend who was having a baby christened (most unlikely as we are all in our 50s) then I would not expect to bring a present unless I was a godparent.

Nobody is actually going to ask me to be a godparent, as I am known not to be a christian. And, as I am uncomfortable in churches, I would expect to be allowed to skip the service and celebrate the arrival some other way.

But I would be quite likely to buy a nice little welcome pressie for the baby, I just wouldnt link it to the christening.

So maybe what is normal in your church isnt so usual everywhere, and she just didnt know? Tatty toys sound like an afterthought, I would suspecd judgement and see if she thinks of a nice little Christmas present. But only if she has genuinely got to know the child and has been invited round for family lunches or something. You dont have to give presents to all the kids that your friends have. Actually, I stopped giving my friends' kids presents when they got too old to have birthday parties.

Locketjuice Tue 23-Jul-13 14:05:07


Locketjuice Tue 23-Jul-13 14:05:10


pussycatwillum Tue 23-Jul-13 14:10:14

beastofburden I agree that a present when the baby is born is nice. We had loads of those too, and as DS2 was only 7 weeks old at his dedication we didn't expect even more gifts.
OP doesn't say how old her child was though. I have known people have all their children Christened at once when they are already at school. In which case the birth presents would be a long way in the past.

PaperandNuts Tue 23-Jul-13 17:35:41

Thanks for all the repsonses so far - esp. mrsKeithRichards wink
A lot of you have been lovely and I know I'm not being totally unreasonable!!

Just to clarify a few things:
- We had a Christening because we are Christians who attend church.

- We did not expect or ask for gifts.

- We had 2 sets of Godparents - one from each side of the family, all relatives. I dont think my friend was expecting to be Godparent at all.

- My DS is nearly 1 years old.

- I dont entertain the idea that just because you don't have children yourself, means you are incapable of buying a decent present if you so choose. Besides, my friend has many nieces and nephews, young cousins, and friends with babies - in fact she is around children quite a lot! Anyhow, even though it isn't rocket science, if you really didnt have a clue, you could ask someone (the assistant in Mothercare for example?).

- I dont understand why people think it is odd to invite close friends to a Christening?? It is a very special, meaningful occasion; a once in a lifetime event (for my DS); a celebration - why on earth would you not want to share this with close family and friends?
Besides, it is just an invite which you can choose to decline if you so wish. Only one set of friends did not make it and that was because they have just had a baby themselves (2 months ago) and I think the 100 miles trip might have been a bit too much! Though they did let me know they unfortunately were unable to attend - unlike my 'best' friend who didnt even tell me, she just didnt turn up!
Obviously I understand that if she did have family stuff on then her family is much more important to her than mine, but she could have at least let me know!!

- Maybe the point about the 'girls' toy is irrelevant. I guess I just wanted to reiterate how thoughtless it seemed. I know DS is only a baby and can and does play with most things but whether you like it or not, whether you think it's stereotyping etc., there are toys on the market that are aimed specifically with boys or girls in mind (some both of course). A pink rattle with a picture of a pink doll on it suggests this particular toy was more aimed for girls. Yes, DS doesnt know and it is doesnt really matter, but the majority of you know where I'm coming from!!

- To reiterate, it is NOT about the money - it is the thought, time and effort put in (or lack of). A week or so after the Christening she apologised for not making it on the day and told me she had bought DS something and that she 'wanted to make it up to him'. I told her we did not expect anything (as we told others) but she said she wanted to and that it was 'tradition.
I guess this also suggests she bought them after the Christening maybe?

- In response to MiaowTheCat (sounds like an appropriate name for you by the way!) - I am not materialistic; I know my best friend very well and we are very open about anything & everything so I do know her state of affairs whether it be financial, emotional or whatever (do you not have a best friend you tell everything to?); see point above re 'girls' toy; see point above re 'asking for gifts'; and see point above about 'not having a clue what to buy'. Oh and I don't think she'd be my best friend if she hated my guts - do you not know how these things work? confused

And for the record, I am a nice person who is just upset about my friend's behaviour which a lot of you agree is not really on.

VianneFox Tue 23-Jul-13 18:10:13

Honestly, this place is so predictable sometimes.

No OP, YANBU. I haven't personally experienced anyone buying a toy that is very obviously aimed at a girl for a boy. Gender stereotype, yes, but I don't think many of us would actively go and buy a pink rattle with a picture of a doll as a present for a boy. I can understand why you feel it shows little thought- I don't think this makes you 'grabby'.

I don't understand why there is often so much fuss is made over weddings, yet many people feel that a christening isn't important? Even if I wasn't religious, I would like to think I would still make the effort for my friend and their child

CitrusSunshine Tue 23-Jul-13 18:24:05

Great well articulated last post OP. Have a brew.

FannyMcNally Tue 23-Jul-13 18:25:41

I wonder if she even remembered whether it was a boy or a girl so hedged her bets with those toys! Seems slightly odd.

Xihha Tue 23-Jul-13 18:31:59

YANBU for being upset about your friend not making an effort, although i maybe wouldnt of mentioned what shop they were from, a thoughtless gift from a posh shop is just as bad.

And in my parish everyone invites people to their babies baptism/christening, after all its meant to bw about welcoming the child to the world and the church!

wilkos Tue 23-Jul-13 18:35:55

YABU. To speculate on how much money she may or may not have and compare it unfavourably to yourself, and the honest working class, careful with money sort you claim to be, is also judgemental and really distasteful.

TiredFeet Tue 23-Jul-13 18:42:24

I suspect, if you are as close as you say, that she probably is /was hurting at not being asked to be godmother

Xmasbaby11 Tue 23-Jul-13 18:44:46

YANBU - that is disappointing. I think for a close friend, it's normal to expect more (in terms of thoughtfulness).

PlateSpinningAtAllTimes Tue 23-Jul-13 19:15:30

Wow, OP you are very much a marmite poster!
FWIW in your position I'd feel a little upset/disappointed. And then wonder if I should be feeling upset/disappointed. So, pretty much the same as you.

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