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WIBU/ patronising to give DB money under these circumstances?

(33 Posts)
Probablyunreasonable Wed 25-Nov-15 17:33:16

DB and DSIL are having their first baby just after Christmas. They both work really hard but as they both have vocational careers, their jobs don't pay an enormous amount. They have over the last few years mentioned that they have some financial worries and having a baby can obviously be an expensive time. If they want them, they can obviously have our buggy/cot/moses basket/baby bath etc but there will presumably be other things that they'll need. We are in a slightly more secure financial position and I would like to give them a Christmas present which might help them out a little bit but don't know how to avoid it coming across as patronising. Would a largish John Lewis/Mothercare voucher fall the right side of the line (as opposed to an actual cheque)? Alternatively, could anyone suggest anything that they received as a baby present which helped them financially but which didn't cause offence? I also suspect that a John Lewis voucher might be the dullest present they'll ever receive and if there were anything else that sounded a bit more exciting/looked like an actual present whilst doing a similar job, that would be fantastic. Thanks in advance.

SweetAdeline Wed 25-Nov-15 17:38:11

I gave JL vouchers in a similar situation.
Personally I wanted to choose my own baby stuff so I assumed that they would too, especially the big stuff like cots/prams etc.

Purplehonesty Wed 25-Nov-15 17:47:27

That's so kind. John Lewis vouchers are a lovely idea

Branleuse Wed 25-Nov-15 18:03:24

I dont think a cheque is patronising

Speederman Wed 25-Nov-15 18:17:29

I think vouchers is lovely. We all chipped in and bought various things DSis chose.

I also give to DN's savings account every birthday and Christmas as I know DSis and BIL can't save.

flustercuck Wed 25-Nov-15 18:22:34

Give them a cheque for the baby. Not patronising at all. Explain you want to do it before baby is here while they get ready for his/her arrival.

I personally wouldn't give John Lewis vouchers as cash/cheque would give them more choices and probably better bargains.

MrsBojingles Wed 25-Nov-15 18:25:22

Vouchers are a fab idea. My parents bought us a new fridge freezer when DD was born. I don't think of it much, but was an awesome gift. Box of napisan from SIL was probably the most useful!

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Wed 25-Nov-15 18:28:29

I would give a "token " Christmas present if you are attending a family get together. And take them aside and give a cheque for the baby. Where nobody else has to see!

I would also offer them your baby things. A friend of mine offered me 'a few baby things' when I had dd. two estate-cars full later... It was a great help.

Tell them you would like to make a fuss of your niece/nephew. And when s/he gets a bit bigger, offer a sport thing. My sister has paid for swim lessons for ds throughout his school time. There is no way I could afford these. She loves swimming. He can now swim over a mile.

averythinline Wed 25-Nov-15 18:28:31

I think vouchers are fab as gives them a choice- JL stuff is lovely but they'd get a lot more for their money if it was ASDA/Tesco/Sainsburys (other shops exist smile) voucher.... although a cheque means more flexibility could just get swallowed by an overdraft ...

my family never did vouchers/cash as always wanted to give 'presents' (with receipts so you could take back but thats a pain) but dh family just give vouchers or cash - makes things so much easier esp when finances are tight.....

You sound lovely I'm sure they'd appreciate the choice

zzzzz Wed 25-Nov-15 18:29:09

Talk to them about it.

RJnomore1 Wed 25-Nov-15 18:28:50

I think a cheque for the baby would work. Tell them you're so excited and wanted to buy a "big" item but didn't want to take the choice away from them. You sound lovely op.

BooOzMoo Wed 25-Nov-15 18:32:43

I would do the voucher!!!! Hate giving money!!!

expatinscotland Wed 25-Nov-15 18:36:52

I think a cheque would be fine.

OhPillocks Wed 25-Nov-15 18:39:06

I would give money to the baby - for 'whatever'
I wouldn't give vouchers

StellaAlpina Wed 25-Nov-15 18:43:00

I wouldn't be patronised in those circumstances. A cheque might be better than JL vouchers as then they'd get more choice. Having said that, I'm looking at big baby things now and there isn't that much variety in prices between shops for things like prams and cots.

Families help each other out...both DH and I are the older siblings so have brothers that are still studying/recent grads and we do regularly buy them train tickets or slip them the odd £20.

We've just moved and are expecting DC1 and my parents gave us money towards furniture and PILs are buying us a bed for the spare/baby's room. No one asked for anything...it was more 'you are going through a big life experience let us help you out'.

MrsPear Wed 25-Nov-15 18:44:26

Ds1 was a surprise and yes we should have been more careful but hey ho plus he was early by a couple of months so we lost money we would have saved. People gave us a money and although embarrassed we were internally very grateful - it even helped with bills.
So what I am trying to say is what is wrong with the cheque?

holeinmyheart Wed 25-Nov-15 18:45:22

I would first of all discuss it with your brother and then go ahead, depending on his advice. Family members can possibly sort out problems easier and tell it how it is. Partners might take offence.
I would offer them the second hand stuff but don't take offence if they refuse.
In my family one of my DDs husband will not enter a second hand shop. One of the wives will make use of second hand stuff, and one won't. I think cash is preferable as well.

bigTillyMint Wed 25-Nov-15 19:00:05

Whilst JL is my favourite shop, a cheque would allow for greater flexibility in terms of choosing what they need/want. I can't see a problem with either, but then I like to choose my own stuff!

KatyN Wed 25-Nov-15 19:19:56

My sister gave us a BIG cheque when I was pregnant with our first and has just given us the same amount for our second. It was several hundred pounds. (Well nearer a grand if I'm not being coy) At first I was a bit shocked (we had ft good jobs) and then I realised how expensive everything was. She bought all the furtniture for my son.
She did it very casually (so I opened it before my husband saw it) a fee months before I was due. I expressed surprise at the size. She pointed out she wouldn't have given if she couldn't afford it.
We left it at that!! I told our mum who was amazed, I'm not sure my sister would have told anyone And she definitely wouldn't have told our parents how much she gave.
I would say a cheque rather than vouchers, and not to do it in front of anyone else.

scarlets Wed 25-Nov-15 19:26:46

You sound fab.

For me, honestly, a cheque would seem like a "handout" whilst vouchers would seem like a "gift". Your brother and SiL might feel differently though.

Hand-me-downs are a sensible way of recycling unwanted stuff. Everyone I know does it. Who buys a new pram these days lol.

jusdepamplemousse Wed 25-Nov-15 19:28:08

Honestly just give a cheque - nothing patronising about it. A few relatives have given me sizeable amounts of money at various times and I've never felt patronised - just overwhelmingly grateful!

Vouchers are a bit restrictive - even for department stores - and I think actually there's a small chance they are more patronising in a kind of 'we wanted to give you money but didn't trust you with cash' way? But that's probably serious overthink.

Either way you are going to make their Christmas - what a lovely sibling!

Junosmum Wed 25-Nov-15 19:47:15

I'd personally prefer the cheque, I could make £100 go much further than £100 in vouchers, iyswim, buying things second hand etc but I would be very very grateful and not at all patronised.

MagicMojito Wed 25-Nov-15 19:50:36

Yes a cheque is much more helpful if they are struggling financially, that way they could always use it towards gas/electric/foodshop as well as shopping around for baby bargains.

HackerFucker22 Wed 25-Nov-15 19:57:08

Don't limit them to JL. Very expensive overpriced in my experience.

Jengnr Wed 25-Nov-15 21:10:14

If you give vouchers make sure you give enough to cover the cost of what they want/need. Otherwise they'll end up buying loads of shit they don't want to use the vouchers up.

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