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(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?

Heartbrokenmum73 Sun 03-Nov-13 12:10:15

This is amazing.


MN: Yes

OP: No, I'm not

MN: Yes, you are

OP: OK, I am

More of MN: no, you're not

OP: <bit fat U turn> I knew I wasn't!

DIYapprentice Sun 03-Nov-13 12:10:39

This thread started off weird!

OP YANBU at all! It's a very odd thing to do.

Friendships and relationships are about giving AND taking (or receiving). It's a two way street. Many times you do things out of obligation because of the type of relationship you have. Like it or not, that's how the world works, and it makes friendships work too.

If they couldn't afford it, then they should have let you know in advance, that's what FRIENDS DO! That's what people who are close to you DO!!!

shewhowines Sun 03-Nov-13 12:14:13

Ah that's it then. We gave presents for years for relatives children. When ours came along, it was mooted that we stopped doing the gifts. Great in that it saved us money, but ironic that we had been spending for years and all of a sudden, they thought it was a good idea to stop when it became expensive for them. me bitter? Oh no...

BlueStones Sun 03-Nov-13 12:22:23

Can't believe some replies here! Of course you tell your friend in advance if you don't want to do gifts. To say nothing, and let your friend feel awkward, is bloody rude. OP I'm with you here!

ENormaSnob Sun 03-Nov-13 12:25:04


Tanfastic Sun 03-Nov-13 12:31:24

I don't think yanu op. I would have been embarrassed turning up without a gift if it had been the done thing for years. I'd have mentioned weeks in advance that I couldn't afford it and could we either just do token gifts or not at all. But that's me.

With regard to people's finances sometimes people think I'm lying when I say we are skint but we have huge debts that we ran up before we were married and both single that we are desperately trying to pay off. Not even my best friend knows this. I get a bit annoyed when people do a quick calculation of our incomes and then assume we are rich.

AaDB Sun 03-Nov-13 12:35:03

Yanbu. They were grabby.

BatPenguin Sun 03-Nov-13 12:35:49

That annoys me too Tanfastic, we have debt that only my parents know about. If a friend wants to go somewhere and I say I'm skint they don't believe me as they just see us as 2 full time earners. It's amazing how quickly our money disapears each month.

MrsOsbourne Sun 03-Nov-13 12:38:36

There are some odd people here - would you really carry on giving gifts to someone who doesn't reciprocate?--for whatever reason--
I would cheerfully cross them off my ever dwindling list buy a nice card and enjoy the meal.

SwishAndFlick Sun 03-Nov-13 12:58:34

yanbu. I would feel very uncomfortable too and if it was me I would have said before hand that I was skint or stretched for a nice cheap bottle of wine or some chocolates at least.

invisible84 Sun 03-Nov-13 14:05:34

I think they should have mentioned it which would give you the choice of whether to spend money on them. If it were me, I would still have bought something small as its nice to do things for people when they are suffering hard times.

A few years ago, the office I was in did a collection for birthdays, but stipulated a minimum amount. My partner had just left me and I was footing all of the bills alone, leaving me £50 a month to live on. My boss said I didn't have to contribute as I was skint - one month had 3 birthdays which was £30 and it was all or nothing with regards to the collections so I wasn't allowed to just put what I could afford in. Birthdays were a big thing with banners, cake, presents etc. It then came to my birthday and not even the already purchased banners went up. I was so upset as I was having an awful time and I kind of expected a bit of fuss - because that is what I would have done if it had been the other way around.

SugarHut Sun 03-Nov-13 14:18:29

OP, you are sooooooooo NBU. Can't believe some of the ridiculous stick you've been getting!!

I know amongst my friends and family, say for Christmas, we always agree beforehand where to draw the line, ie we buy for each other, unless we have DCs then we buy for the DCs, but now some of the DCs have had DCs....and we are deciding that yes we will buy for everyone again. It saves very awkward moments where I might be handed a present and I hadn't bought one for them. I'd feel embarrassed and awful. It's nothing to do with give to receive, which is clearly not what you do either. I know this is the sort of reverse of your situation, but you are totally right....if you're not doing presents, you notify the other parties to avoid awkward situations, and you notify in advance so one party doesn't spend a lot of time and care looking for a present that they then feel awkward about giving.

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