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to feel upset family don't "do" Christmas pressies?

(34 Posts)
BurbGirl2013 Tue 16-Dec-14 11:38:39

OK so I have a rather frivolous attitude to money, I admit I love having it, spending it (not into debt) enjoy lovely things in life and get excited by treats and even more so- buying gifts for others.
I love Christmas. my mum and younger brother on other hand are totally opposite- question cost of everything, constantly talking about things being rip off's/over priced/saving £2 off something/ not buying anything new and my brother ruins restaurants looking at menu saying it's all overpiced & he could cook cheaper at home etc..... realise none of these is perfect but some way in middle.

A few years ago my mum decided, with my younger brother (naturally) and my uncle & aunt who join us at Christmas to have a “no present policy”… My mum still gets us a little something and we her- but that’s it. Complete. For all gust. I feels sad hearing everyone else excitedly talking about buying their gifts/what they want and sit there feeling our family is just really sad and odd in this formal, set no pressie policy!!

Its part of Christmas and pressies don’t even need to be expensive? I had a DS last year and really don’t want him ever hearing about this weird boring policy and feeling Christmas in our house is different because of it. Gifts under tree/ everyone ripping open wrapping paper open and excitedly looking at new gifts is now a distant but much loved memory of my younger Christmases.
What do you think?

divingoffthebalcony Tue 16-Dec-14 11:43:28

There was a big thread recently about how meanness (and not through being poor either) really sucks the joy out of life and blights childhoods. I would feel sad in your shoes, too.

Starlightbright1 Tue 16-Dec-14 11:44:11

Are they not buying for children either...The no adult policy I get to be honest I end up struggling to think of something I might want in the right budget. I would sooner buy what I want myself and not struggle what to buy anyone else.

My DS doesn't have a lot of people to buy for him but he gets loads.. He knows no differnt to other kids

Fallingovercliffs Tue 16-Dec-14 11:44:37

Well I'm sure they'll buy your son presents and you can also make sure he has several parcels from Santa.

The small gifts between adults makes sense, to be honest. You're still buying presents, just not spending mad amounts of money.

Fudgeface123 Tue 16-Dec-14 11:50:49

If there's young kids in the family then I see why you'd be upset, but if it's just adults then YABU. Nothing bugs me more than grown adults making lists for presents, moaning that people aren't spending what they are spending etc. etc. Everyone should be grateful for what they get, there's a lot of people out there who get nothing

BoomBoomsCousin Tue 16-Dec-14 11:50:49

If they extend that to your children then I agree it's mean. But otherwise I tend to prefer adult gift giving to be on the homemade/token side. Still, you don't have to stick to the policy. It's not law. If you love giving presents then give them.

BurbGirl2013 Tue 16-Dec-14 11:54:16

thanks they have no extended to my DS, they shower him in gifts which is main thing! I've suggested a Secret Santa as a compromise spending no more than £15 on the 1 you think that sounds do-able?

Crinkle77 Tue 16-Dec-14 11:54:48

Are they being stingy or is it that they can't really afford it? Once my nieces came along me and my sisters stopped bothering buying for each other. We are not particularly close to my aunty and uncle so we don't buy for each other. I am glad in a way cos I hate present buying. I always find it really difficult to think of imaginative presents and spend ages agonising about what to get me so it suits me down to the ground.

HeraldAngelSinging Tue 16-Dec-14 11:57:35

BoomBoom Yes, I like to give even if I do not see the expressions on the recipients faces because I'm elsewhere on Christmas Day. Friends and neighbours receive something costing between £5 and £10. I don't always get a Christmas present back but they have given of themselves during the year.

Christmas apart, there's a Big Issue seller whom I pass whenever I'm in town. I usually take him a clementine or (if I remember to make it) a sandwich. Once, I was cross with myself for not making a sandwich so bought one in Marks & Spencer.

I don't expect anything in return but it's nice if it comes.

hiddenhome Tue 16-Dec-14 11:57:40

It's lovely for you to enjoy spending money, but have you ever considered that they can't actually afford it? hmm

GoodKingQuintless Tue 16-Dec-14 11:58:57

In my family, and this includes aunts, uncles, cousins etc on my mums side, the policy is presents for children until the age of 18. Some times, if the adults are on especially friendly terms, they may exchange gifts. Like me and my cousin are friends, so we exchange presents.

I think that is fair.

CheeseBuster Tue 16-Dec-14 12:02:41

Do you feel upset that you don't get to buy them or you do to receive them? You can still by people gifts and just say you don't want anything in return.

comeagainforbigfudge Tue 16-Dec-14 12:04:17

burbgirl my family does secret Santa. Started when most of us were in uni skint and have kept in up. We have £30 limit (cut down from £40) but we all buy for the various sprigs.

Can be whatever limit u want obviously but that works for our family.

TheRealMaryMillington Tue 16-Dec-14 12:06:49

You could still buy for them or would they be embarrassed?

TBH I think if they are so very frugal (and if they are skint, fair enough, but it does seem to be more of a mindset thing) then no presents if deffo the best policy - who wants presents from people who begrudge buying them?

Make your own traditions with your own new little family; buy some gifts for the local toy appeal; and treat your mum.

marne2 Tue 16-Dec-14 12:09:58

My family doesn't really bother either, my mum buys for the dd's but only a small gift or £10 cash, my dad and his partner buy the dd's a few gifts but other than that no one bothers, they get cash from their other grandad. I feel kind of sad about it, my mum can afford to spend a bit more but she feels we buy enough for the dd's so she doesn't need too, she buys me a small gift but not much thought goes into it ( she doesn't enjoy shopping so just grabs the first thing she see's ). I love buying presents for people, I havn't got loads of money but my presents are well thought out and I spend time looking for the right thing for the right person. I feel sad when family members say they are not bothering this year.

HollyJollyXmas Tue 16-Dec-14 12:13:31

We dont do adult presents in our family, either. We are far from tight, but its just all such a rigmarole of buying, shopping, spending and half the time, the gifts arent even that great...we just decided mutually about 10 yrs ago to stop the madness and enjoy the spirit of Christmas instead.

Honestly, try to embrace it! it has really made me focus more on enjoying the day and spending time with my family. There are still treats - all the lovely food and drink and the odd outing etc. the presents dont make Christmas.

nikki1978 Tue 16-Dec-14 12:15:40

We don't do presents in our family either except for the kids. I prefer it to be honest. My family have a lot of money so it isn't stingyness but my parents can buy what they like when they like so it is hard to buy for them and they prefer that we spend our money on ourselves. They often give us money for xmas and birthdays. They own a business and work over xmas but we spend 2 days as a family between xmas and new year and it is great fun. I don't see presents as a big deal now I am older and never expect to get anything to be honest (although MIL and DH buy me a few bits). It doesn't take the joy out of xmas for me as the best part is spending time together tbh. The kids happiness when opening their presents is enough for me.

Fallingovercliffs Tue 16-Dec-14 12:19:09

I think there's a happy medium really. No gifts at all sounds a tiny bit bleak. But all the overspending, stressing, collapsing under the weight of carrier bags, feeling annoyed because you spent £50 on someone and they only spent £3o on you etc etc etc that goes on this time of the year is also very far away from the spirit of Christmas.
I think there would be no harm in returning to the days of thoughtful presents that don't break the bank.

zzzzz Tue 16-Dec-14 12:20:08

Just go ahead and buy them presents. Life's to short, make it how you want it.

MarjorieMelon Tue 16-Dec-14 12:27:04

Are we talking presents for adults or children?

We don't buy presents once children reach 18. I have a huge family -over 20 nieces and nephews, I don't buy for all my great nieces and nephews either only the ones I will be seeing at Christmas. Getting into debt buying presents also sucks the joy out of Christmas.

I think you are being unreasonable. You can ensure your children have a wonderful Christmas it truly isn't about the number of presents under the tree.

Lucyandpoppy Tue 16-Dec-14 12:29:56

Could you do something like a secret santa with the adults even if like a £10 limit? Lots of ither ways to feel christmassy tho - mulled wine, carol services, long country walks, decoratig the house and the like smile

Boomtownsurprise Tue 16-Dec-14 12:35:28

So £15 per head.... Four people each... £60 per person on 3 for 2 in Boots or tesco and ms....

Can't say that floats my boat either.

Why not bake biscuits? Make a chutney for the cheese? Make a centre price decoration? A wreath? Pesto? That's really easy!

Use your imagination a bit. Give something that is token but doesn't put others under pressure.

I agree with everyone saying presents for lots of adults tend to be very wasteful on all sorts of levels - just buying random toiletry sets or chocolates or bad bottles of wine or (worst) "joke" presents or ornaments or dust gatherers for the sake of handing over a parcel, or agonising for ages over how to get lots of adults things they'd be delighted with for £10 a head...

Presents for kids at Christmas, and something personal (grandchildren themed now you have ds) for your parents is how Christmas should be IMO. I think lots of people do it like that, otherwise the consumerism justgets so far out of hand iit's crazy. I do buy for my childless sister though because she goes to trouble and expense picking the right things for my 3 and doesn't have a child for me to reciprocate via.

Ragwort Tue 16-Dec-14 12:42:36

I agree that buying for adults is just a waste of money/time etc. If you enjoy buying presents why don't you buy for your local womens' refuge or other worthwhile cause? I had great fun making up a Christmas hamper which will be given to a local family who are struggling financially.

I don't want or need anything myself - so I really, really don't want people to buy me anything.

mommy2ash Tue 16-Dec-14 13:12:34

I don't see anything wrong with no gifts for adults. if you buy to receive what's the point when you know that isn't their kind of thing

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