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AIBU and a spoilt bitch about Xmas present?

(37 Posts)
IcecreamBus Wed 11-Nov-15 23:39:53

I just want to start off saying that while my DH is lovely in every other respect, every single Christmas apart from last, he's suggested either not buying for each other or getting us both a joint present that we could do with. (Last year he only got me something for me because I moaned about feeling unappreciated.)

To put it in context, I've had a day where I felt low. I'm a SAHM by choice, but sometimes - like today - where the weather is poop and it's hard to get out and do anything fun, it's easy to start bemoaning my life and feeling like all I do is cook, clean and look after everyone else. I have one or two friends. We moved halfway across the country a couple of years ago, so all my close friends and family are miles away, so most of the time I feel pretty isolated too, all of which I know is contributing to me feeling a bit poop and possibly overreacting.

Anyway, to get back to the point, tonight DH asked whether we should get ourselves some built-in wardrobes rather than presents this year. One the one hand, it would save me time and money thinking about what to get him, but on the other, I couldn't help but think oh thanks...so I'm going to be working my butt off making everyone else's day special (as well as the rest of the year) and you can't even buy me something just for me? It's not like I get ANY other gifts to look forward to. I could understand it when we were struggling financially and more than accepting.

Even though I know I'm being really ungrateful about it, I can't help but think a household purchase that we'd need to buy anyway is a bit like giving someone an iron for Christmas and expecting them to be happy...am I being a bitch?

GiddyOnZackHunt Wed 11-Nov-15 23:45:53

You say yes let's do wardrobes. That's really sensible and a great idea. But I'd really like to have something to make me feel romantic and not just 'housey'. Not hugely expensive but something frivolous and just for me smile Big smile and have a budget and possibly a few ideas to make sure the budget is spent wisely

WorraLiberty Wed 11-Nov-15 23:47:48

You're not being a bitch but imo you're focussing on the wrong thing entirely.

I was a SAHM for donkey's years, yet my DH got very much involved in helping to make everyone's day special.

He didn't/doesn't see it as just 'my job' and would do everything he could to help...despite working 3 different shift patterns.

It seems to me that you need help/support, not Christmas presents.

We've only ever got each other a token gift...mostly just so the kids could see us open something, but mucking in together was what made Christmas more enjoyable.

Could you sit down together and work something out to lighten your load?

DelphiniumBlue Wed 11-Nov-15 23:48:14

Yanbu.
Has he any idea what you might like? I've created a Pinterest page with links to stocking type things I'd like, nail polish, bath oil, that sort of thing.
Does he just have a different idea of what Christmas should be like, rather than actually being mean? Does he expect that if you get a cupboard as a joint present to yourselves, that he won't be getting anything else, or does he assume that you'll sort him stockings present s anyway? Maybe he's really not bothered. He won't know that you're bothered unless you tell him. And you might need to spell out that that some thing from the dc would be appreciated too.

Leavingsosoon Wed 11-Nov-15 23:49:26

I don't know, I don't understand the gift thing at all.

IcecreamBus Thu 12-Nov-15 00:01:39

Thank you, all your advice is great!
Worra I think maybe I should discuss how I feel more. I'm terrible for making out everything is fine when it's not. Gifts never bothered me much when I worked too, but since I'm reliant on DH until DD goes to pre-school, those little tokens of appreciation mean a lot these days.

Delphinium, no, he's really not mean or stingy, I think he just thinks practically and the same as he used to as whilst he's a very devoted dad, his life hasn't changed that much whereas mine has.

Giddy I think I might just say that! It's feeling like I'm being ungrateful that stops me...though I'd be happy with say, a book that he knows I'd love.

shadowfax07 Thu 12-Nov-15 00:02:25

Ice cream I can empathise, it's not about how much he spends, it's more about a token of lova and appreciation, isn't it? I was quite upset at my last birthday, when my DP got me a bottle of wine from the dog, and a bunch of flowers, because he didn't know what to get me.

I've since updated my Amazon wish list, and sent him the link. There's a lot of cashmere on it! grin

madwomanbackintheattic Thu 12-Nov-15 00:06:52

I don't particularly get the gift thing. I love to buy stuff for other people (kids, rellies etc, and usually try to think of something special for dh) but tbh I would in some ways prefer to agree not to switch gifts with dh - I don't need a gift as some sort of external marker that I am valued - and there are a ton of things that could be done unromantically in the house with the money. We plan everyone else's gifts together etc, so he is very much involved. I actually don't like receiving gifts much... probably some deep psych issue!
Dh and his family are also 'what do you want for Christmas?' types. I find it so hard to come up with ideas, and so bizarre as I think it takes the surprise element out of the whole thing. I quite like wish lists for kids, as they do grow so fast and it's easy to get it wrong, but on the whole I find the Christmas list thing a bit soul destroying...
But anyway - say 'great idea, let's do that, but let's set a small limit and buy each other something to unwrap as well - £50? Then we get a little surprise and wardrobes! Bonus!'

WorraLiberty Thu 12-Nov-15 00:10:18

I understand how you feel OP, although I'm very different in that respect.

My ex husband would buy me loads of presents but would hardly lift a finger when it came to planning/shopping/wrapping/cooking etc. So I was worn out every year.

My DH now (together 14+ years) is all about the mucking in together, rather than the gifts and it makes for a lovely relaxed Christmas.

Whatever it is you want from Christmas, I think you need to sit down and talk it out, rather than hide your feelings about it.

IcecreamBus Thu 12-Nov-15 00:14:20

Wow, I love the Amazon wish list idea! You are a genius Shadow!

Madwoman I used to hate all the gift list 'I want' stuff too, but since all I get are cards from people these days, something that DH has thought about at Christmas and birthdays mean quite a bit to me. Sad, I know.

Fatmomma99 Thu 12-Nov-15 00:22:35

I don't think this is about christmas.

Hope this waffle is helpful.

About 7 years ago, we had a big lifestyle change, and instead of both of us going out to work, I changed roles and worked from home part time. As part of that, we got a dog (who we all love, but who I walked) and I did ALL the housey-stuff. That was the deal.
No one ever noticed or appreciated a thing. HOW I used to bristle about hte mud being walked over the floor I'd just cleaned and no one noticing.

About 4 years ago we had another big change. DH took early retirement, and has a part time (15hr per week) job, and I now do 25 hours outside the home. So now HE does all the housey stuff (although, I do do more than my fair share. I'll be the one to write all the christmas cards, for example. But that's another thread). We share the dog walks. He cleans. (sooo badly. But that's another thread too!)

I ALWAYS notice and make a point of thanking him. Because I wasn't ever noticed or thanked.

And the amazing thing is, he notices and thanks me for stuff I do too. And this appreciate that I now get - that I never used to - has made a MASSIVE difference to how I feel about everything.

You get what you give.

Hope this is useful!

IcecreamBus Thu 12-Nov-15 00:23:21

Sage advice Worra, I will talk to him about it, as well as what he can do to help me out.

IcecreamBus Thu 12-Nov-15 00:33:31

Fatmomma I love this. I used to make a point of acknowledging kind things he did for me all the time, and maybe it's changed somewhat lately to being all about 'poor me' in my mind because I miss my old lifestyle and my old friends. But then I traded that when DH got a great job here, meaning I didn't have to work or worry about anything. Though it was a massive upheaval and I'm still trying to make a life for myself here...so I get too wrapped up in how I don't have the familial support that my friends have, or close friendships, however much I try.

What you say is right, I know from experience that when I show appreciation and pull my finger out, it gets returned. I need to pull my head out of my bum!

Senpai Thu 12-Nov-15 04:05:42

Yeah, it's probably not about the gifts per say, but feeling like you're being taken for granted or unappreciated.

I work from home part time with DD, so also do the house stuff. I told DH I needed a day to sleep in, so he got up with DD, did all the dishes and prepped the coffee maker for me for when I got up. Basically my entire morning routine for me. Felt special and it didn't cost him a dime.

He also pitches in with holiday planning. He does all the cooking because I'm shit at it and helps wrap presents. I do the holiday card designs, but I personally enjoy it.

HeteronormativeHaybales Thu 12-Nov-15 07:05:21

YANBU.
My dh is brilliant at pulling his weight but (was once) beyond rubbish at gifts. He dislikes celebrating his own birthday and isn't fussed about Christmas, and does not like getting gifts himself, so it's not out of selfishness, but for me thoughtful gifts are important, especially as I have no family, so it was very hurtful when he would stand there with nothing on birthdays, due simply to lack of thought. The final straw was one birthday when he presented me with a little box and inside it was a houshold implement as a joke present. I was so upset that I think he finally got it and he has been a lot better - with guidance from me - since then. In return, I sometimes give him his dearest wish by giving him nothing smile - although he had a big birthday recently and I felt it would be inappropriate to do nothing so I got him a first edition of a book from a field he's geeky about (and I think he was truly glad of a present for the first time ever).
he would also do the household-item thing, because that's what his mother always did (and wanted) as gifts. It took him a while to understand that I really hated it. (But he still insisted on having kitchen bins for one birthday).

On these kinds of threads there is often the message that if the dh pitches in appropriately gifts don't, or shouldn't, matter. Whiloe of course daily support and care is a lot more important than presents, I don't entirely agree - if a thoughtful gift is a) practically possible and b) important to someone, I think that importance should be honoured.

WyrdByrd Thu 12-Nov-15 07:45:47

Amazon wishlist is a good one - just make sure he looks at it in advance!!!

How about suggesting you get the wardrobes but each do the other a stocking of say half a dozen items of no more that a tenner each?

Would that work?

YANBU btw!

TheLesserSpottedBee Thu 12-Nov-15 07:54:37

I am a SAHM and Dh and I have been married 16 years.

Dh buys me small stuff but it means a lot to me, one was a boot jack to take my wellies/walking boots off, a birdcage umbrella which I mentioned I wanted and another is always foot cream and he provides the foot rub that goes with it grin

It has now become a family thing where me, Ds1 12 and Ds2 9 lie in a row on the bed and he works his way through all 3 of us for foot rubs!

We wrap the children's presents together, we do all the food together. I always thank him for everything he does, he always thanks me for everything I do.

Years ago Boots did a sticker with their Christmas catalogue that said "I really wish someone noticed that I liked this" with a little arrow on and you stuck it in the catalogue.

Maybe your Dh struggles to think of gifts for you and so needs a little help.

Preciousxbane Thu 12-Nov-15 08:04:18

I am also a SAHM now but due to ill health and have a teenager so its easier as no tiddly people Though the health issues make it harder and DH has to assist with stuff.

We sometimes get each other bugger all and sometimes expensive gifts and it changes each year but by agreement. The thing DH does that I love is make me a Christmas card each year that is my favourite thing to receive, he also paints one for DS.

I'm quite hard to buy for and my fave present of all time was a Swiss army knife.

HortonWho Thu 12-Nov-15 08:07:09

How about you make a Christmas family schedule for this year.... You include in it jobs you want him to do on weekends to the run up, so you're not doing everything yourself (like get decorations from loft, untangle lights, replace bulbs, out up tree, Hoover house after you put up tree...you still participate, but he leads & cleans up), include fun trips out as family, include him taking out all the kids shopping (and you have afternoon to relax), and announce since this year you're getting a practical gift, you're also doing a thoughtful gift with an X limit - 10? 20? - and you have to get each other something that has a meaning to you each. Give the kids pocket money so they can also buy you and your DH a present each. If they're old enough, they need to ideally choose together.

If it's the memories and feeling appreciated you want, you can orchestrate it with activities :-)

scarlets Thu 12-Nov-15 08:08:20

I haven't read all the replies but I'd urge you not to be a domestic martyr on Christmas Day. Your OH needs to pull his weight, both on the day and in the run-up. The children can set and clear the table if they're old enough. Guests can bring a course, and help themselves to drinks etc etc. Don't do it all.

As for the presents- yes to the wardrobe (sounds great!) but yes also to a small surprise, maybe with a spending limit?

Anotherusername1 Thu 12-Nov-15 08:31:39

My husband and I have expensive tastes in holidays so this year we have said that we are not going to go overboard with Christmas presents as we've already booked trips for Easter and May half term and want to go away in the summer holidays as well, but we will definitely get each other things to open on Christmas Day! The stocking idea sounds like a great one, I might suggest that to OH as well.

Bimblywibble Thu 12-Nov-15 08:34:25

I suggested similar to DH this year. He said no thanks, so we're not doing it.

I suggest you either say no or suggest doing that plus say a £20 limit splurge item.

Agree too that you shouldn't martyr yourself. I'm the main day to day cook so for us it's only logical that DH takes over on highdays and holidays. No better way of appreciating theother person'scontribution than walking the odd mile in their shoes.

contrary13 Thu 12-Nov-15 08:35:08

YANBU. At all.

If it's any consolation, my dad is renowned in the family for having once gifted my mother a wheelbarrow at Christmas. This was before I was born, but DB1 remembers the argument raging that year. It's still brought up now as a thoughtless, not really for DM gift and she has spent years banging on about how gifts are meant to be for the person as an individual in their own right...

I turned 40 this year.

My mother... bought me a new shed. Which, yes; I am grateful for (the old one is literally falling apart). But this new shed is currently sitting in pieces on my patio, because I have literally no idea what, or even how to start putting it together (not to mention that I'm a lone parent who cannot afford to pay someone to put it together! Both DB1 and DB2 live at the opposite end of the country to me, otherwise I'd rope them in to help). I also loathe gardening. I'm not even sure what the old shed contains other than the DC's bikes and a deflated paddling pool which DS stopped using 8 years ago... Plus, when everyone else in the family turned 40, they were gifted things that were meaningful to them, or experiences which they'd always wanted to do (when DM turned 40, my DBs and I saved up to send her and DF to Paris for a weekend, for example).

At least built-in wardrobes are something that you could actually appreciate, but I do understand the wanting something that means you as an individual are appreciated. Even something small, something that hasn't cost anything at all like a letter telling you how much he appreciates you, to go alongside those wardrobes might help you to feel like you're important in your own right. Which, of course, you are.

firesidechat Thu 12-Nov-15 08:44:46

I'm with you op.

Wardrobes are something you buy when you need them and when you can afford them. They are NOT a gift.

It's not materialistic to want something to open on Christmas day that has been thought about and taken some effort. Even a £2 gift is worth it's weight in gold if it's something you love.

Your husband's plans sound like a bit of a cope out. Just tell him that the wardrobes would be great, but something to unwrap would be lovely too. It doesn't have to be one or the other.

munkisocks Thu 12-Nov-15 08:45:35

Tbh I think YABU if you've always done it this way except for last year. How is he to know?

However YANBU that you should get something from him to show he appreciates you. BUT you need to tell him lol. Don't rely on him figuring it out. I never ask for anything for Xmas but since my dh insists, I put some money in his separate bank account from the joint and tell him to surprise me. He doesn't buy tat or last minute saves from petrol station thankfully grin I prefer buying for him though tbh.

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