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Grabby family members demanding presents

(88 Posts)
MrsFogi Tue 09-Dec-14 21:17:07

So every year we buy a present for all the members (adult) of DH's family - they all put their orders in which are invariably money towards this and money towards that so we spend Boxing Day writing cheques to various people. And every year MIL buys something nice for each of DH and me and DH's sister puts her name on that present (she does not contribute). From other family members DH gets a variety of books on a subject he said he was interested in in about 1982 and I usually get a selection of things like tea towels - all of which goes straight to the charity shop. This year I said "Why don't we just buy presents for the children?" but DH's sister has said no (apparently she's the one who gets to decide) and has repeatedly sent me a list of presents or contributions she'd like for her and her husband's presents (starting price £35). Would it be unreasonable of me to simply say that this year we don't fancy getting involved in writing lots of cheques to other family members and that I've already got small gifts for everyone? I don't really want to fall out with them but every year I feel like I am being treated like a mug as everyone walks away with cheques from us and we have a pile of tat and one nice present from MIL. It ruins every Christmas morning as I just end up feeling very resentful.

raltheraffe Tue 09-Dec-14 21:19:43

Fucking hell that is unbelievable!

No-one buys presents in our family, we just do cards and MIL may buy DH some socks, but that is it.

We just spoil ds and leave it at that.

SoonToBeMrsB Tue 09-Dec-14 21:20:16

No, YANBU. Your SIL is being very spoiled and grabby, you need to put your foot down and say that you're not able or willing to take part this year.

DoubleValiumLattePlease Tue 09-Dec-14 21:20:18

So this is your DH's family yes? Firstly - what does he say about it or has he opted out of decision making so you can be the bad guy? And....and NO -no no no YANBU to desist from writing cheques - what are you - some kind of cash cow? Is everyone scared of this sister? Someone needs to stand up to people like that and if that someone is you then you'll have to - this needs stopping now -don't you think?

yellowdinosauragain Tue 09-Dec-14 21:20:59

No yanbu. Either do as you've said or just repeat that you're no longer doing adults presents as you think writing cheques defeats the object and it's up to them what they do (or leave out the last bit about the cheques if you're feeling less confrontational)

rollonthesummer Tue 09-Dec-14 21:22:30

Utterly unacceptable-what a complete bitch!

lemisscared Tue 09-Dec-14 21:23:13

Wow are you incredibly rich or something? Because i am flabbergasted by their bare faced cheek.

DeeCayed Tue 09-Dec-14 21:23:30


Even if sil says no I'd just not give them anything and say you'll only be buying for any dc (and maybe mil?) now as its too expensive. She can decide whatever she likes for everyone but you'll do whatever you like and that doesn't mean letting her dictate what and who you buy for.

lemisscared Tue 09-Dec-14 21:24:33

Id be tempted to do one of those "ive sponsored a goat your behalf" presents for the amount they asked for.

MerryMarigold Tue 09-Dec-14 21:25:53

I think if the SIL gets your kids presents, something small/ token from them to her (home made) would be appropriate. Otherwise no gifts.

CaptainAnkles Tue 09-Dec-14 21:27:14

'We're only buying for children this year.' End of story. Unless you actually want to tell them that they'll need to find another person to spit cash out at them like a broken ATM.

bozo14 Tue 09-Dec-14 21:27:56

YANBU your DH needs to reiterate to his sister no adult present exchange this year

DancingDinosaur Tue 09-Dec-14 21:30:59

Yep, either say no sorry, you're not joining in this year, or sponsor the goat as lem says.

Marmiteandjamislush Tue 09-Dec-14 21:32:49

Do you bake or cook OP? If I were you. I would knock up some nice biscuits, sweets, chutney ect. Wrap and say nothing more! Cheeky.

LittleRedRidingHoodie Tue 09-Dec-14 21:34:20

Not unreasonable at all. She sounds vile. If you bite the bullet this year you've solved it for all years to come.

fieldfare Tue 09-Dec-14 21:35:51

Yanbu at all! How grabby and entitled.
Your dh needs to reiterate that you'll only be doing presents for the children this year.

lavenderhoney Tue 09-Dec-14 21:37:16

Writing cheques! Do they all sit round waiting and eating your food? How on earth did that start? They sound very entitled.

You could do any of the following

1. Tell your dh you won't be writing cheques like lady bountiful this year.
2. Presents only for relative dc, NO SPECIAL LISTS shock and a max spend of say £15 per child ( same for yours)
3. Go to your family instead
4. Head for the sun and send postcards.
5. Carry on as normal but without the cheques and say you are saving for dc education, uni.

I had a dreadful year once and told my Dsis I could only afford to buy for her dc, not her and her dh as well. She said " that's fine. We won't get you anything though" merry Christmas!

AliceinWinterWonderland Tue 09-Dec-14 21:39:24

Simply tell them "I'm sorry, you must have misunderstood. I was not asking your opinion. WE decide who we buy gifts for, nobody else decides that for us."

Topseyt Tue 09-Dec-14 21:40:23


Our rule of thumb is to concentrate mainly on the children just as you suggested.

That is breathtaking audacity from your SIL. For that alone she would get nothing from me.

I would want to knock all of the cheque writing business on the head too. It is ridiculous and must work out very expensive.

handcream Tue 09-Dec-14 21:40:41

We put a rule in a few yrs ago. Presents only for the kids, as opposed to SIL sending out lists of what she and her husband were expecting.

Much much easier....

skylark2 Tue 09-Dec-14 21:43:09

Why don't you buy a nice present for MIL and ask everyone else to write you a cheque?

Then on Boxing Day you can say "this is silly, no point us writing each other cheques" and just not do it.

JenniferGovernment Tue 09-Dec-14 21:43:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hatespiders Tue 09-Dec-14 21:44:36

What a bunch of greedy vultures! Just say, "By the way, we're not doing presents for any adults this year, just the children." Don't apologise and don't explain. Just say it. After the shit hits the fan, things will go quiet and forever after the problem will be solved.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 09-Dec-14 21:49:34

Buy tea towels back, for everyone.

Preferably ugly ones from some truly hideous tourist attraction that's neither touristy or attractiony.

Perhaps "The London Dungeon", a random pie shop tea towel?

Why would you give 35 to people who give you a tea towel?

Is there any chance they all think you're much richer than them and think they're entitled to your dough?

amicissimma Tue 09-Dec-14 21:59:06

Tell them that this year you are giving them something more valuable than money: your love.

Or the goat thing.

Or a dictionary so that they can look up the word gift: "A thing given willingly to someone without payment" (Oxford dictionaries)

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