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To be sick and fecking tired of receiving shitty, thoughtless xmas presents

(107 Posts)
justkeeponsmiling Sat 26-Oct-13 16:18:35

DHs family excells at this and it drives me mad!
We don't have a lot of money to spend on family when it comes to xmas as we have 3 DC and DHs family is massive.
So every year I spend weeks racking my brain trying to come up with nice presents for everyone that don't cost the earth but will still be enjoyed - I'm not just saying that, I really try. Partly because I like giving nife presents and also because I really can't bear the thought that the money we have to save up all year gets wasted on crap that nobody wants!
And every year it's blatantly obvious that most of DHs family get us presents that were bought according to the motto "fuck it, that'll do". They are all loaded, without exception, yet end up getting us the cheapest, shittiest crap you can imagine. Btw, how much money they spend is not an issue, as I said we can't afford to spend much either, but their presents are just so thoughtless and useless!
Examples- Size 18 summer pjs (strappy top and shorts) - I'm a size 10/12. An endless selection of costume jewelry, massive ear hoops, big bling necklaces, etc. - I don't ever wear jewelry. A crappy little fajita pan and chicken fajita kit - we are vegetarians, AND SO IS THE PERSON WHO GAVE IT TO US! The list is endless!
I should add that DH have been together over 10 years and al, his family lives locally. We see each other fairly regularly, so they know us quite well.
I have in the past suggested to DH that we should just tell his family not to get us presents anymore and we stop getting them presents too but he was horrified at the thought, as it's just not the "done" thing in his family. I just know this year won'tbe any different and it

IslaValargeone Sat 26-Oct-13 16:49:56

We bit the bullet last year and told everyone we were not buying presents so please do not buy for us.
It came to a head after everyone in dh's family asked his mum to do their Christmas shopping for them. We ended up receiving only i-tunes vouchers. We have no i-anything.
We simply couldn't afford to stretch ourselves to get people presents and then or it to smart even more that people gave our presents so little thought.

TooManyDicksOnTheDancefloor Sat 26-Oct-13 16:53:07

We had this problem with my SIL. She would specify exactly what she wanted for her, her partner and her kids for Xmas and birthdays, but would buy us a load of crap! If we tried to ask for something in particular back she would say she'd already bought our presents. I went shopping with her once in January and discovered that she buys all of her presents for the following year in the January sales. She then gives them to whoever, no thought goes into it at all. We then said we'd only buy for kids from then on. She still buys us crap for our birthdays, but I put extra thought into buying her weird/ old granny presents just to piss her off.

EBearhug Sat 26-Oct-13 16:54:55

You are being a bit unreasonable - at least you have people who care enough to give presents, even if they're rubbish ones. But I agree that a chicken fajita kit for a vegetarian is a bizarre choice.

My German boyfriend, his mother gave me some gifts that were fascinating in their way (she was trying to turn me into a proper German housewife in her own mould. Even if he and I had stayed together, she was on a loser there.) I was really pleased when he finally persuaded her to use my amazon wishlist (I even had a German one, and I really still love the art book she got me from it.) These days I count myself lucky if I get any present from anyone.

chibi Sat 26-Oct-13 16:56:29

my mil was ace at this- jewelery boxes (i have a wedding ring. which i wear.), car seat covers (don't drive/have a car), size 18clothes (i am size 12), always as least one bag to put clothespegs in...

i knew she didnt like me though, so i was under no illusions that she was doing her best hmm

i recieved all gifts graciously in public, and then to myself laughed at the idea of anyone spending money to try and piss me off- ridiculous grin

PAsSweetOrangeLurve Sat 26-Oct-13 17:02:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I'm really not getting the outrage over the fajita kit. Surely it was just a pan and some spices, in which case it could just as easily be used for veggie fajitas. I don't imagine for a second that it actually included a chicken!

bearleftmonkeyright Sat 26-Oct-13 17:03:22

Yanbu, every year my brothers girlfriend has got really really crap presents dc. I am shocked by some of the stuff she gets. I'd rather she didn't bother. They are very well off. I think a knock off postman pat DVD five year old topped the list in crapness one year. I know I sound like a complete bitch but I also think its a case of fuck it that will do also. I really try hard to get something that my niece will want even if I dont spend an awful lot.

girlywhirly Sat 26-Oct-13 17:03:52

Buy all the adults wine. You can get decent bottles on special offer at most supermarkets, making them less than a fiver each. At least if the recipients don't like them, they can use them for guests or to take to a party, or even in a coq au vin.

I think the time has come to stop worrying about getting gifts that are perfect and if you can get them at a supermarket you can get something back on your purchases, clubcard points or nectar points etc. And I'd be thinking about ebay or a car boot sale to make a bit of money from the presents that you get but cannot use.

Tinlegs Sat 26-Oct-13 17:04:55

I think the issue is that some people buy whatever shit they can find in sales / charity shops / on eBay and then give it whoever. My MiL gets about a dozen, small, thoughtful presents from us so she has plenty of things to open. She gives us things like a 30 year old book about Vancouver with coffee rings on the cover, a second hand handbag or jumper and old pastic toys for teenaged children. She is just getting rid of stuff or doing it to give us something. She doesn't even really care if we like it or not. It is like buying (or grabbing from her attic / shelves) is a chore. I enjoy giving and buying gifts.

In the end, I compromise by buying things for her which look expensive but are not. I just feel that deep down she knows and I have the high ground and can feel happy that I, at least, have tried.

I think you have to either be very specific about what you want (things you can sell on / only books / chocolates etc) or give up or just stop buying presents.

Why not give everyone the same thing - homemade jam or pot pourri or something? No effort, no hassle and job done!

QuintsHollow Sat 26-Oct-13 17:07:13

Let dh do it.

The year I told do to get present for his own family, is the year we stopped buying presents.

bearleftmonkeyright Sat 26-Oct-13 17:09:48

On the other hand, my dps mum bought me a radley bag for Xmas last year which was a massive surprise. Some people really are super thoughtful.

usualsuspect Sat 26-Oct-13 17:10:15

Bottle of wine for adults,selection box for kids.

Get it all at the supermarket.

Asda usually do 3 bottles of wine for a tenner. Stick it in a fancy bottle bag.

Everyone's happy.

zipzap Sat 26-Oct-13 17:21:59

For every single thing you receive, say it's lovely but I can't use it as it's the wrong size/ I'm veggie/ or if all else fails then just say you have already got one and know it wont be used so please could you have the receipt to take it back and exchange it for something useful as you are on a mission to declutter your lives and get rid of things you can't use.

If they waffle and say they haven't got it anymore because they never had it as they are regifting it then say that they might as well have it as a gift for themselves as they obviously like it as you know they wouldn't have bought it as you're sure they'd never buy things that they didn't like themselves...

Ok so you don't get a present this year but you've had a lot of fun kicking up merry hell with the presents, you might get nicer presents next year and you might get your nice biscuits/choc/tea/etc back if they feel guilty!

Alternatively if you can think of something you do like could you ask for it in advance - so say you're inspired by bake off and want stuff to make cakes. Or that you want to spruce up your garden so garden vouchers, pots, plants, etc. But something where they can't go too far wrong and the stuff can be easily hidden or broken or passed on to the school jumble sale afterwards!

jellybeans Sat 26-Oct-13 17:44:37


The person may think they are great.. dif people have dif ideas about what is a good present

I know what it is like, I am Coeliac yet get biscuits off close family (wtf!) but still am grateful they got something. I don't expect a gift of my choosing or taste although it is nice when that happens.

Thought that counts and all that.

defineme Sat 26-Oct-13 17:44:43

Or you could get them all oxfam gift cards -they start at around £5?
Then you couldn't feel upset about the thought you'd put into to it because they'd be benefitting others? You could even get the little add on gifts they do like chocolate goats if you daren't get them just cards?

fatlazymummy Sat 26-Oct-13 17:50:33

jellybeans but where is the thought in buying a person with coeliac disease biscuits? They obviously haven't thought for very long.
It's really just buying something for the sake of it.

Ragwort Sat 26-Oct-13 17:55:06

We all like to think that the presents we give are 'really special etc etc' but perhaps other people don't like them. I have a friend who says exactly the same as the OP but really her presents to me and my DC are just rubbish not to our taste. The whole present giving thing is a minefield, fortunately we have got it down to absolute minimum now - no adults exchange gifts and just cash for under 18s. Sorted smile.

Rufus44 Sat 26-Oct-13 18:08:47

I feel your pain. I usually get nice presents from my relatives bu one yea I nearly cried as they were all pants! Felt like no one had thought about me at all...very pathetic!

remus completely agree with you. I am a veggie and would have no problem with a fajita set, I would just use veg or at a push quorn

teacherandguideleader Sat 26-Oct-13 18:20:39

There are a few people I spend ages over - DP, mum, DP's parents. For my two best friends I normally get a selection of their favourite 'luxury' toiletry brand. Everyone else gets wine (unless I know they don't drink, in which case it is socks/winter woolies).

I got fed up of spending ages over perfect presents to get absolute crap back. My dad is the worst - he barely knows me. He always asks me what I would like, so I send a list that adds up to about £30 - I never ask for much as we barely know each other. He gets what is on the list than a sack full of crap - think racing grandads and novelty cushions. I always end up thinking I should just ask for something expensive so that he doesn't buy all the rubbish. It all ends up in the charity shop by the 27th.

MrsDarylDixon Sat 26-Oct-13 18:23:05

DP's aunt and uncle always used to give us 'fuck it that'll do' presents or stuff that was blatantly regifted. So we started getting them the creepiest ornaments/ most useless tat we could find in tk maxx or charity shops. Actually made shopping for them much more fun!

Dubjackeen Sat 26-Oct-13 18:23:31

She still buys us crap for our birthdays, but I put extra thought into buying her weird/ old granny presents just to piss her off.
Love it! grin go on, tell us what kind of things do you buy for her?

fuzzpig Sat 26-Oct-13 18:28:17

Stop buying for adults in the family and ask them to stop buying for you. Money is enough reason to do this.

BobLeEponge Sat 26-Oct-13 18:30:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LaurieFairyCake Sat 26-Oct-13 18:36:11

Unless people actually hate you then all gifts are intended as thoughtful presents and should be accepted with good grace and a cheerful smile.

And even for those that loathe you the good grace and a cheerful smile will still be better for you than anything else.

Unless you're going to call them out for a fight over a poorly chosen tea towel wink

KirjavaTheCorpse Sat 26-Oct-13 18:46:56


Although I hand make my Christmas presents, they're usually edible. Didn't think twice about before SIL made a fuss about the the shitty body spray set she'd bought me, compared to the gift that I'd knocked up out of my cupboard.

Last year I made lovely, luxury jars of homemade instant hot chocolate, all layered up with cocoa and marshmallows and whatnot. Cost about £25 for all the ingredients and jars and bits of ribbon and mini whisks etc. Saved me a fortune on buying individually for everyone, plus who doesn't like hot chocolate??

Well, SIL, apparently. At least I put thought and effort into my gifts! angry

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