Advanced search


(87 Posts)
AlexaChelsea Sun 03-Nov-13 10:08:57

Say you have a couple of relatives who you are particularly friendly with. You buy each other, and each other's children, gifts on birthdays and Christmas. Have done for years.

You have a birthday within a week of one another. You are all meeting to go out for a meal. You turn up for said meal, with card and gift for birthday person.

They have only a card in return. They say 'we are skint and can't afford gifts this year'.

AIBU to think they should say that to you in advance of the meet up, so you don't spend £40 on their gift when they've decided not to do gifts?

Weeantwee Sun 03-Nov-13 10:12:36

But surely you buy that person a gift because you want to and you know they will appreciate it. Not because you expect to get something on return?

WhoNickedMyName Sun 03-Nov-13 10:12:44

I would have said beforehand that we couldn't afford gifts this year, and I'd be embarrassed to accept a gift under the circumstances you've described.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 03-Nov-13 10:16:18

You don't give to receive. Perhaps some sympathy over their financial problems as opposed to moaning about spending money on them?

If u couldn't afford it y did u spend it.

AlexaChelsea Sun 03-Nov-13 10:16:36

Well, yeah maybe you buy a gift because they'll want and appreciate it, but also you do it because you know you are meeting up and there will be a gift exchange.

I'd be embarrassed to turn up empty handed, yet still accept gifts?

They might be skint but they are financially a lot better off than us, generally.

Sirzy Sun 03-Nov-13 10:17:57

How do you know they weren't embarrassed?

YABU. You give gifts for the pleasure of giving not so you get one back in return.

AlexaChelsea Sun 03-Nov-13 10:18:43

We can't really afford it. But we will, because we love them and care and giving a gift is nice.

I wouldn't have dreamt of just turning up and saying 'no gift, we are skint' when I know they are skint too, but then accept their gift.

Sirzy Sun 03-Nov-13 10:20:04

well if you can't afford yet spend £40 on a present then more fool you.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 03-Nov-13 10:20:33

So now you know he ins and outs of their finances? Maybe the car swallows up a large sum, the boiler needed replacing the kids had a residential school trip? Do they need to tell you why???

If I spent £40 on a gift that's my stupid fault and whether the other couple are in a financial state to reciprocate is nine of my business

AlexaChelsea Sun 03-Nov-13 10:23:02

I do have sympathy for their financial issues, but without getting into too much (it's not really relevant), they earn a lot more than us, and their outgoings are lower.

Don't ask me how I know, I know. I'm not explaining how as it's TMI. They are having a rough few months because they just bought a second property to rent out and DSis works freelance and took a month off. So they've had a no pay month.

I understand and sympathise. Sure.

But I think they should have said 'let's not do gifts' rather than allow us (in a much poorer situation - relatively low earners, we don't own any homes and are expecting a baby) to still spend on them?

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 03-Nov-13 10:24:24

Perhaps they expected you to have the sense to spend what you could afford??? Rather than £40 you don't have so you can then moan about it.

AlexaChelsea Sun 03-Nov-13 10:24:46

Sorry - they didn't have a 'no pay month' - Dbil works FT too, they had a low pay month.

But it's not about finances.

Maybe IABU then, and this is a perfectly reasonable way to behave.

DH and I were a bit hmm, is all

Sirzy Sun 03-Nov-13 10:24:56

I understand and sympathise. Sure.

You obviously don't or you wouldn't be complaining.

Unless someone held a gun to your head and forced you to spend £40 why did you? Sounds like they are much more sensible than you!

MidniteScribbler Sun 03-Nov-13 10:26:11

I didn't realise that you only gave gifts if you get something in return?

AlexaChelsea Sun 03-Nov-13 10:26:55

The sense to spend what we could afford? hmm

We could afford £40, because the gift we bought cost £40. It's about what we both normally spend on each other.

It's not about the money. It's about, would you turn up to a shared birthday meal, without buying the other birthday person a gift when that's what you've done for the past 6 years? I wouldn't. I'd say 'let's not do gifts'.

Nanny0gg Sun 03-Nov-13 10:27:23

You haven't answered the posters who have pointed out that you shouldn't give to receive.

Presumably, because you do.

AlexaChelsea Sun 03-Nov-13 10:28:03

Actually, I went out for my birthday a few months ago and it was another guys birthday the day after. He got me a card, I didn't get him one. I felt awful. It's embarrassing.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 03-Nov-13 10:28:58

If it's not about finances then what's it about?

Given that you don't give to receive

Relationships shouldn't be values on how much u spend

And the fact that adults should be able to accept that others can't afford things not posting about someone else's financial situation cos I was stupid enough to over spend.

Sirzy Sun 03-Nov-13 10:29:04

You are the one who said "we can't really afford it" so stupidly posters assumed that ermm you couldn't really afford it.

You just sound very self centred IMO.

AlexaChelsea Sun 03-Nov-13 10:29:23

I have.

I don't give to receive. But I think it is off to accept gifts on a mutual birthday and not bother getting one for the other birthday person.

They should have text a few days before, let's not do gifts as we all all skint.

Prforone Sun 03-Nov-13 10:30:19

YABU - you buy gifts because you WANT to, not because you expect the gesture to be reciprocated.

AlexaChelsea Sun 03-Nov-13 10:31:18

Okay, wow I have obviously got this total wrong.

Me and DH felt a bit weird about it; we always exchange gifts as they have birthdays a week apart. But okay, I shall accept that this is totally reasonable behaviour.

I'm not self centred, at all, honestly! I just thought this was an odd way to behave but obviously I am wrong.

Nanny0gg Sun 03-Nov-13 10:31:41

This is another one...



'No, I'm not.'

Nanny0gg Sun 03-Nov-13 10:32:20

Cross post

Well done, OP!

AlexaChelsea Sun 03-Nov-13 10:32:51

It just felt really awkward when we had a gift for her and she didn't have one for him.

It felt really weird. It's never happened before, and it was awkward.

But obviously IABU, I guess it's just because it's not happened to me before. In the past people have always said 'let's not do gifts' but maybe this isn't the norm.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now