Advanced search not buy Christmas presents on behalf of family this year

(36 Posts)
Stonechat Thu 20-Nov-14 08:52:38

Every year I end get asked to buy presents on behalf of close relatives for the dc. It's stressful coming up with extra presents and they don't always pay us back. It also feels a bit dishonest to pretend that the presents are from family when I've done it all. They do love our kids and want to give them something at Christmas, but if I didn't do it, some would probably not get around to doing it themselves.

I think it would be reasonable to say that I'm not able to shop for everyone this year. BUT would it be reasonable to do this to the kids? I wouldn't tolerate them expecting big gifts, but they will definitely be hurt and confused if many of their relatives completely forget them in contrast to other years. Honestly, a pack of chocolate buttons in a card would be appreciated. Or should I just suck it up and continue as usual? Wish I'd never started with the shopping on behalf of others.

Stonechat Thu 20-Nov-14 08:55:41

Every year I get asked

sooperdooper Thu 20-Nov-14 08:58:33

Perfectly reasonable, just tell them now so they've got plenty of time to do it themselves! Are these elderly relatives who find shopping difficult of just lazy ones?

FluffyRedSocks Thu 20-Nov-14 08:58:47

I don't think your being ur, although yabu to have started buying on behalf of others in the first place!
I've got a list of stuff I think my (2yo dd) would like, if someone asks what she wants I send the list over and they let me know what they are getting so it's crossed off. If they ask me to buy it and they will give me the money I always say I have cash flow problems and would be easier for everyone if they bought it, but that they could put down my address as the delivery address if that's easier for them, then I just wrap it..

ScrambledEggAndToast Thu 20-Nov-14 09:06:19

If you're feeling very generous set up an Amazon wishlist although that probably defeats the object but at least they have to do some of the work. If not, suggest that they get vouchers for your DCs favourite shop. No worries about paying you back then either.

fuzzpig Thu 20-Nov-14 09:07:20

Hmm. I'm torn on this one.

Obviously YANBU about the paying back! You have a valid reason right there - "I can't afford to pay out first so I will need the money in advance".

None of my relatives ever choose presents for my DCs (except once when mum wanted to get DD her first doll, and chose it herself... I still wrapped it though I think!). I have felt a bit sad about it in the past. It would be nice to be surprised myself and for them to make the effort of choosing something.

BUT I now see only the good side. TBH I absolutely love choosing presents for my DCs - and we have very small budgets ourselves and get virtually nothing throughout the year for them, so it's a real treat being able to pick more things off my wishlist that we couldn't afford ourselves. Basically I just choose more of the things I wanted to get them and then allocate them after. So for me it's no extra effort really, and I therefore don't mind it.

Also I've read heaps of threads about relatives buying heaps of plastic tat or inappropriate gifts, so at least it removes that possibility.

Anyway although I feel differently, I don't think YABU to feel that way, but if you look at the bright side it may feel more tolerable?

wheresthelight Thu 20-Nov-14 09:24:51

yanbu about the money side and has as been suggested please ask for it up front

on the buying of presents I think yab a little bit u I am afraid. at least by you buying or at the very least giving a list of wanted items you are ensuring that the kids get things they will like.

SaucyJack Thu 20-Nov-14 09:35:39

Amazon wish lists are your friend.

They can have it gift wrapped and sent straight to your house.

No excuses.

TeenAndTween Thu 20-Nov-14 09:37:59

We buy presents on behalf of family. They are all far away and mainly elderly, and they don't really know what the girls have/want/need.

They send money in advance and we turn it into presents.

We started doing this when the girls were youngers as otherwise they'd have had a load of vouchers which just isn't as fun as unwrapping presents.

Why not say to relatives that you will buy but they must send by 1st December: Money/cheque, label for present?

GerbilsAteMyCat Thu 20-Nov-14 09:43:03

Another vote for amazon wishlist, otherwise be prepared for a festival of rubbish xmas stuff!

hellsbellsmelons Thu 20-Nov-14 09:45:41

Great idea SaucyJack

All the kids in my family are older now so it's just money.

How old are your kids?
Could you ask for money and then they can choose what they want?

girlywhirly Thu 20-Nov-14 09:47:08

Or you could suggest not exchanging gifts at all if they find it such a chore, and use the money you would have spent on their gifts on your own family. At least you won't be out of pocket because they haven't reimbursed you, and you know the DC will like the gifts. Plus you have a wider choice of how to spend the money, if you didn't want 'things' you could spend it on Christmas days out or put towards a week-end away or a panto. You could present the idea to the DC as instead of buying each other presents each family is going to have a treat instead. You will not be drowning in 'stuff' either which a lot of people try to avoid.

I know it sounds harsh, but they are really taking advantage here, especially if there are no good reasons why they can't or won't do their own shopping. Maybe just the suggestion that they will not be getting any presents from you will kick start them into getting their acts together if they are just being lazy.

PurpleCrazyHorse Thu 20-Nov-14 11:06:52

I use an Amazon wish list for DD, it gets sent to whoever asks about it. They don't have to buy from Amazon and it's just an ideas list, so it's got lego on it, but they could buy any type of lego set. Likewise I've put a nice doll on there but there's a range in the same style, and also Brio. Dad often buys something similar from the supermarket for example. I don't mind, tat tends to get weeded out and go in the charity bag in January blush

Personally I wouldn't buy on behalf of other people, unless they were exceptionally elderly. If you don't want to have a big difference this year to last, then only do it this year for those that have historically paid you. But make it clear this is the last year you're doing it as you don't have the time/money.

HappyAgainOneDay Thu 20-Nov-14 11:52:45

I have never had to buy presents from others for my DC. If they were to ask me to, I'd ask if they were feeling lazy this year. I wouldn't do it. I won't give vouchers either because I think that just shows a lack of thought or not wanting the recipient to know how much one has spent.

I think that giving cash flow problems, as others have suggested, would be a good reason for not doing it. It would show who really wanted your DC to have presents from them, wouldn't it?

upduffedsecret Thu 20-Nov-14 12:21:11

I confess, when I get sent a cheque for the kids (usually from my mother for a birthday) I either forget to pay it in, or just spend it on the next gifting occasion... they aren't literate yet, so we don't bother with gift tags etc anyway. They don't know any different, and she never asks what they got with the money.

Teawaster Thu 20-Nov-14 12:45:10

I used to do the same when mine were younger. They used to get money from various people and there was no way I was going shopping and buying presents for both from each person. It just went into the pot . Come xmas day they didn't know or care who gave them what. Now they are older they plan what they will do with the money but to be honest there is still a pot as they forget who gave them what

SnowInWinter Thu 20-Nov-14 14:26:42

YANBU, i hate this, we never got paid back for some of last years presents so wont be doing it again this year.

What usually happens is they start asking for ideas, so will allocate something that i was going to buy myself anyway, but then they request my help in searching online/in shops for something suitable (which i ultimately end up doing all the slog).
Then the request comes in "Can you buy it and i'll give you the money?".

I then have to take it round to their house, only for them to hand over Christmas day and take all the bloody credit!

I will give ideas this year but if i cant think of anything specific will let them go it alone this year as i have enough to do. I wouldn't mind if they even tried to put in a little bit of thought and effort when it comes to present buying but if they cant be bothered then neither can i!

I'd much prefer if they gave money in a card, but no they insist on buying a bloody present!

<<Can you tell this is a bugbear of mine!!>> grin

The only exception i make is for my Dad, he doesn't drive and has mobility issues. So we go out shopping for the day and i can help him choose what to buy/carry his bags and it means he can rest anytime he needs to if i have the car.
Also means i can spend the day just the 2 of us which doesn't happen very often smile

upduffedsecret Thu 20-Nov-14 14:31:55

Then the request comes in "Can you buy it and i'll give you the money?".

that's when you say "hey, isn't this supposed to be from you? I suggested what you get, I've suggested places you can get it from... if I do any more than that it'll be a present from me!"

ladymariner Thu 20-Nov-14 14:34:40

No problem with it but then I do it for elderly relatives who are banging on the door to pay me back, wouldn't do it if I didn't get the money back.

Do think it's a bit mean to not do it just to stop someone else 'getting the credit' for the gift though!

SnowInWinter Thu 20-Nov-14 14:44:56

that's when you say "hey, isn't this supposed to be from you? I suggested what you get, I've suggested places you can get it from... if I do any more than that it'll be a present from me!"

Haha! will keep that up my sleeve for this year.....the requests will be starting in approx.... 3 weeks!! grin

quietbatperson Thu 20-Nov-14 14:54:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MizK Thu 20-Nov-14 15:02:02

I feel for you! I end up doing this for my gran and because she is very generous, when she forgets to pay me for things I've got on her behalf it does sting a little financially. Plus it's always last minute in December when I've usually made sure I've pretty much finished by the first week. But she does appreciate it and I hate the thought of her having to trek through endless shops.

A younger relative though? I would tell them you can't, seems a bit unfair to you really.

frignorant Thu 20-Nov-14 15:03:48

I do it for both mil and dm, they both hate Christmas and would just bung money in a card if I didn't offer.
We have a really small family and if I didn't bother then the dc wouldn't have many presents. It's a bind doing all the extra shopping but at least I can get stuff that they really want.

youareallbonkers Thu 20-Nov-14 15:09:30

I'm astonished people ask for and expect gifts for their children. I would never say to someone "go and buy thus for x, page xxx in Argos catalogue" how mercenary

SnowInWinter Thu 20-Nov-14 15:15:29

Do think it's a bit mean to not do it just to stop someone else 'getting the credit' for the gift though!

If they actually bothered to come up with a few idea's or asked for opinions on stuff they had seen. if they'd actually gone to look in the shops and/or searched online to see what's out there then you may have a point.

but the fact is that none of this is being done beforehand and i am expected to do all the donkey work at a time of year that is hectic for me as i am usually hosting Christmas for said family members.....all they need to do is turn up on the day. They don't have to lift a finger or contribute (i don't expect them to) I also have a ton of people to buy for myself (which might i add i put a lot of time and effort into)
I'll be buggered if i am doing their bloody shopping for them as well, as upduffed has already stated its not really a present from them is it??

They don't turn round and tell the gift receiver oh it wasn't my doing, Snow thought of, looked for and bought the gift, i just gave her the money (or not!) really wasn't anything to do with me!

They will bow down in receivership of the gratitude being given and silently pat themselves on the back that they got it right!! hmm

I know it sound's like i am on a rant, (well i suppose i am grin) but if the person genuinely put a bit of effort in and was totally stumped or wasn't physically able to go out a buy a present i wouldn't think twice about helping them out....i am not totally heartless.

But the ones i am talking about are more than able to do it without much help.....they just choose the laziest and easiest!!

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