Advanced search

To think Secret Santa for family Xmas is just cheap?

(143 Posts)
kellyandthecat Mon 01-Dec-14 13:20:43

My SIL has suggested that we do Secret Santa for the family Christmas. There are usually about twenty people or so at family Christmas and it is their turn to host this year. I would like to get proper presents for my nieces and nephews, but now I feel like I have to go along with this Secret Santa or get in a fight with my SIL. She texted everyone and I feel like everyones agreed rather then deal with her! We do have more money than them & I feel like Christmas is the time for generosity and would like to buy my nieces and nephews at least proper presents anyway. My DC are older and dont really care as the presents from my SIL and her family are never very thoughtful or good anyway. AIBU to think she's come up with this just because she's cheap and can't be bothered? Could I get presents for the kids as well as my secret santa or would that cause a problem? I think the whole thing is naff and should be left for the office!

LuisSuarezTeeth Mon 01-Dec-14 13:23:21

Sounds like she's come up with it to make things fairer for everyone and then people like you can't flaunt their wealth in everyone's face.

FrazzledFandango Mon 01-Dec-14 13:23:35

I think that buying 20 presents each is ridiculous and I don't blame your SiL for broaching the subject.

It's fine if you want to buy her kids presents too though. Just drop her an email/call back to say that you're happy to do secret santa but you'd like to buy seperate presents for the kids too.

She probably didn't want to suggest keeping her DC seperate as she'd feel cheeky.

Fallingovercliffs Mon 01-Dec-14 13:25:56

Twenty presents is a lot, both financially and time/stress wise. I'd be suggesting Secret Santa under those circumstances. I think the idea is that you spend a fairly decent amount on the person you get but you're not tearing around trying to find loads of presents and wasting money on stuff people don't even want.

Whatsthewhatsthebody Mon 01-Dec-14 13:26:03

Do you think it's ok to force your sil to pay for presents she can't afford?

You say you are better off than them and they are having to host 20 for Christmas which sounds bloody mad anyway. You also say her presents are not thoughtful and it's cheap and naff!

You do know Christmas is about peace and love don't you?

Your sil had my deepest sympathies.

drbonnieblossman Mon 01-Dec-14 13:27:08

Be sensitive to those family members who aren't in as strong a financial position as you. They're probably so relieved to have time and money pressure off. Maybe it'll focus the mind on the real spirit of Christmas.

Smoorikins Mon 01-Dec-14 13:27:49


Secret santa for a big family is a great idea.

You have said they don't have as much money than you. This way everyone should get a decent gift and they don't have to try and think of low cost things to suit everyone.

It saves time and money.

Christmas is too consumerist anyway.

Summerisle1 Mon 01-Dec-14 13:28:16

Sounds like a really sensible idea to me. Doing a Secret Santa means that nobody can rock up with expensive presents and make everyone else feel like the poor relations.

Back when our dcs (we have 5 between us who are all in the same age range) were teenagers they'd always do a Secret Santa at Christmas teatime. That way everyone got an affordable present and the fun of buying them.

If you want to buy your SIL's dcs a present then arrange that separately.

5Foot5 Mon 01-Dec-14 13:28:27

Couldn't you suggest a compromise where you did Secret Santa for the adults but continue to get the kids something each

Fallingovercliffs Mon 01-Dec-14 13:28:31

Also, maybe the reason your SILs presents aren't particularly thoughtful or 'good' is because she can't afford to buy 20 'good' presents and hasn't time to think of 20 'thoughtful' ones.
I think you could be a little bit more understanding, even if you're disappointed that the arrangement has changed this year.

MrsHathaway Mon 01-Dec-14 13:31:05

Secret Santa is great for adults - because on the whole it's bonkers to swap money - but I appreciate your reservations re children.

Say you've already bought for the children but will happily do an adult secret Santa if that is the plan.

Chippednailvarnish Mon 01-Dec-14 13:31:48

We do have more money than them

You've answered your own question, YABVU.

operaha Mon 01-Dec-14 13:32:18

We do secret santa as so many adults in family and none of us well off.
We agree a limit and each buy ONE lovely gift for ONE member of the family.
We still buy the kids presents so I dont think yabu to ask that - its different.
Spending the day as family is WAY more important to us and the secret santa is just a bit of fun and a way to not feel like we have to buy X amount of cheaper gifts.

EveDallasRetd Mon 01-Dec-14 13:32:20

I think buying for 20 'extra' people every Christmas is way beyond some people's pockets.

If I bought a gift for every member of my family that would be 27 extra presents on top of 4 in my home and 4 parents. We are not 'poor' but even if I only spend a tenner on crap, then that's nearly £300 extra, on top of the £400 or so I already spend.

To that end we only buy for children under 18 - only 10 'extra' gifts. I'd be very happy if someone suggested a secret Santa.

It's great that you can afford it, maybe SIL can't. Rather than possibly embarass her, just go with it. How do you know that other members of your family aren't going "thank God for that, secret Santa is a GREAT idea"

RoundRobinSparkles Mon 01-Dec-14 13:34:48

Tabu! Not everyone can afford to buy lots of presents and not everyone can be bothered. Why should they have to?

Christmas isn't just about presents, it's about being with people you love and having a nice celebration.

If your SIL is hosting maybe they can't afford food AND presents. Even if they can afford both maybe they can't be arsed, maybe they'd rather spend it on their own children.

DeadCert Mon 01-Dec-14 13:35:15

You sound delightful OP.

Your children are ungrateful for their cheap and thoughtful presents.

You have more money than them but aren't offering to host.

She hasn't got as much money as you.

Maybe she doesn't want to spend the money she does have spending it on ungrateful brats like your children.

Merry Christmas.

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 01-Dec-14 13:37:40


your SIL actually sounds considerate of others and would rather people didn't she'll out on 20 odd presents. This way people just need to get one and everyone gets a gift.

brilliant idea.

RoundRobinSparkles Mon 01-Dec-14 13:37:47

My DC are older and dont really care as the presents from my SIL and her family are never very thoughtful or good anyway.

They might think the same about your gifts hence she has decided Secret Santa.

NeedsAsockamnesty Mon 01-Dec-14 13:38:04


What an unpleasant ghastly attitude.

however Mon 01-Dec-14 13:39:11

I love secret santa.

RoundRobinSparkles Mon 01-Dec-14 13:39:12

And it's probably not that "everyone has agreed rather than deal with her", everyone else is probably thinking, "Yes! Thank God for that!"

TapDancingPimp Mon 01-Dec-14 13:41:46

Your SIL has my deepest sympathy, hosting a real delight like you with your disgusting, stuck-up attitude.

Merry Christmas, Hyacinth.

kellyandthecat Mon 01-Dec-14 13:42:09

It is mainly about the children, and her family are not at all in that bad a way financially my SIL just makes a big deal out of it (like I said, she is cheap!) I understand what people have said about being understanding and I know the family is big. It is definitely a group effort at whoever's house Christmas is at so it's not like my SIL is doing all of Xmas by herself.

I promise I'm not a total harpy, but surely it's not unreasonable to want to buy my own mother a Christmas present and not have to worry about the feelings of my SIL??? hmm

WhatWouldTheDoctorDo Mon 01-Dec-14 13:42:15

YABU. I think you're being a bit insensitive - even if they spent £10 on each person, that's £200 worth of gifts and maybe they just can't afford it (or perhaps they know someone else in the family is struggling and are being sensitive to that).

Don't just turn up with presents for your DNs as well as the secret santa - you might look like you're showing off or make others embarrassed or uncomfortable. You can always treat them another time, or alternatively, suggest to her that it feels unfair that she's bought your DC presents all these years (whatever you or they might think of them) and that you'd at least like to return the favour for a few more years yet.

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 01-Dec-14 13:43:27

And it's probably not that "everyone has agreed rather than deal with her", everyone else is probably thinking, "Yes! Thank God for that!"

I certainly would be thinking thank god for that.

But he'll I'm clearly odd because if I had family or friends who were struggling I'd tell them.not to bother at all.

I care more about people being there than showing off how much money I have to all the family and friends.

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