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AIBU to want to downsize my regular gift giving to close friend's children?

(11 Posts)
mameulah Sun 23-Mar-14 12:05:15

Okay, I sound really mean. I know I do. And I already feel bad about it but don't want to end up resenting spending heaps of money, over the years, on gifts.

So...the back story.

Our good friends have two kids and we have always given them £12 - £15 per head birthday and Christmas gifts.

Two years ago our baby was born. They very kindly gave us lots of their old (nearly ten years old) and no longer needed baby equipment. (We will look after it, use it and when the times comes either give it back or sell it and give them the money.) So we gave very generous Christmas and birthday presents and a gift to the family to say thank you.

Now, here is the mean bit. They never our baby anything for Christmas and a very small birthday gift (The year after he was born). Now, I am totally not bothered about that. But AIBU to want to cut down what we are doing in return?

And if I am how do I go about it?

TheSmallClanger Sun 23-Mar-14 12:08:33

It's your choice.

However, they had already given you all the baby stuff, and a 1yo doesn't really appreciate Christmas, or presents.

Once children reach a certain age, it is normal to scale down on presents, but making it all very transactional is potentially setting up for a row.

Are you actually fond of the children? That is my usual way of deciding what/whether to give at birthdays or Christmas.

mameulah Sun 23-Mar-14 12:31:57

I am really fond of their children. I just don't want to look like a fool.

Also, when we were little my brother and I were given VERY generous gifts by a family friend. My brother in particular was always very excited to see her, but it was because of the gifts rather than her company. And if I am honest I felt like that too.

I don't want that to be how they relate to us.

greenfolder Sun 23-Mar-14 12:45:24

its a question of perspective. £12-£15 each twice a year sounds reasonable and modest to me. you chose to be generous re christmas but i wouldnt take that as any kind of precedent. maybe they have a different view on gift giving? maybe circumstances dictate otherwise.

examples; my oldest friend always sent my eldest dds something in the post for their birthdays. it might only be a bag of sweets but it was the effort that meant everything. their dd was born at the same time as my dd3- i gave them some generousish mothercare vouchers because i could and it would help them. never wanted or expected anything in return.

if you like the children, give them presents.

blanchedeveraux Sun 23-Mar-14 12:50:14

I was close friends with a couple who had 2 boys aged 6 and 3 by the time I had my DD. All those years we had given them very decent gifts at birthdays and Christmas only for my DDs first Christmas gift to be a pram toy which cost about £1.99. I was quite hurt by it and began to scale back my gifts to her boys as a result. I eventually said that we should stop it altogether as her presents to my DD got progressively crapper and crapper.

MostWicked Sun 23-Mar-14 13:52:26

I don't think you should give or expect gifts, based on what you have given or received in the past.

If you want to cut down what you give to these children, then please do so, that is your choice, but don't do it because you think their parents are not giving equivalent gifts in return.

phantomnamechanger Sun 23-Mar-14 14:00:12

wow blanche, you do know that you should not give just to receive in return? maybe your friends can't afford what you can, and would rather you spent less but too proud to say. I do not "get" the comparing prices thing at all - sometimes a £2 gift is just perfect- no one should feel obliged to buy anything or spend a set amount - giving is a choice, your price limit is also a choice.

MoreSnowPlease Sun 23-Mar-14 14:01:29

Why does it need to be equal?! Surely gifts are given because you want to make the recipient happy not because you want an equal present in return? To be honest, I used to get kids generous gifts because I thought they would like them but they usually arr large if they are for small kuds and since having children I have changed to get things like books or small toys. Not because of the cost but because as a parent having lots of toys around is a nightmare! I expect the kids will enjoy them just as much so don't think it matters. Maybe your friend wants you to cut down on the larger gifts because they don't have the room for them?!

blanchedeveraux Sun 23-Mar-14 14:03:55

Money wasn't an issue with these people, they could have bought and sold us several times over. And she often ASKED for specific items for her sons which were always expensive and from shops like "The White Company". Don't give me a lecture on "not giving to receive" thanks, I'm well aware of that but some people take the piss and they did.

Moonfacesmother Sun 23-Mar-14 14:11:32

I always worry that if I give a very expensive gift and someone else gives my ds a smaller one they might feel bad.
I would. If someone gave ds something that was a lot if money and I'd only bought a token I would feel bad about it, rightly or wrongly.

I try and get gifts of a similar value or size to the ones ds is given mainly for that reason really.

AdventColander Sun 23-Mar-14 15:21:21

Cut back very gradually so they don't notice? So this year spend £11, next year £10 and so on?

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