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To want to (partly) choose what to buy her myself

(46 Posts)
WhitePhantom Sat 28-Nov-15 08:51:07

Hi all, I know the gift is about the recipient, but isn't it a bit about the giver too?

My dsis emailed me to ask what my dc would like for Christmas so I gave her some suggestions. I'd rather pick out my own pressies for her dc but said I'd check in case there was something specific. So she said very specific pressies including just vouchers for her eldest.

I replied to say I'd do that but also wanted to pick out something myself and that I love picking out pressies. So she replied to say no, just vouchers for eldest.

AIBU to be a bit pissed off? I feel that it takes some of the enjoyment out of giving if I'm being dictated to like this.

Sirzy Sat 28-Nov-15 08:54:21

Well why ask if your not willing to listen? You don't have to buy from the list though, just buy what you wanted anyway.

Whenwillwe3meetagain Sat 28-Nov-15 09:01:53

I hate being told what to buy too OP. Some pointers can be useful but it can feel so transactional.

WhitePhantom Sat 28-Nov-15 09:05:59

That's exactly it, When. I was asking for useful pointers, not looking to be dictated to. And I was only asking out of courtesy because she had asked me - I'd much rather pick out my own presents, but I know I might not pick out what they'd really want so was planning a mix of her suggestions and my own ideas.

Boozena Sat 28-Nov-15 09:06:08

I too hate how transactional Christmas can feel- DH family ask for specific things and I almost cba wrapping them up- it's hardly a surprise.
That said, maybe your DSis is on a budget so being specific so presents are equally matched? Maybe eldest has a room full of stuff and she doesn't want any more? I agree re not liking to be told what to do but I think on this occasion I'd follow advice from sis. Maybe you could add an edible- cheap and doesn't hang around?

ThreeRuddyTubs Sat 28-Nov-15 09:07:57

Maybe her kids don't think you're much cop at present buying. Some people aren't. I would rather buy someone something they actually want personally

superram Sat 28-Nov-15 09:08:50

I can see her point of view as I have a house full of both expensive toys tat that no one plays with-is such a waste, we have suggested money for dance lessons to the in laws but just get more rubbish to clutter.

Thunderblunder Sat 28-Nov-15 09:10:26

My DC always ask for specific things usually vouchers. They don't get much bought for them the rest of the year so it's the on,y chance for them to get things that they really want.
They always ask GPs for vouchers which my Dad didn't like giving them until I pointed out that DC love going out to the sales and getting what they want at reduced prices.

Yika Sat 28-Nov-15 09:13:46

I'm with you - I think the whole point of present buying is to take the trouble to think about the person, what they might like, and then the surprise!

Of course, I ask my family too if there is anything specific... but not to have any discretion at all defeats the whole purpose!!

If people don't like their gift they can regift/pass it along to charity in my view.

Vouchers are nice for children but I'd hate not to give something that can be used immediately on unwrapping too!

Lightbulbon Sat 28-Nov-15 09:13:40

It depends if you know the recipient well enough to know exactly what they'd like.

I think it's such a disgusting waste of money the expensive gifts others have given which just gather dust in a cupboard because they just aren't dc's 'thing'.

Better to ask and follow the parents lead.

PurpleWithRed Sat 28-Nov-15 09:14:58

If you ask what the kids want and she tells you what they want then why give them something they don't want? The older one may be saving for something special and anything you give them will just be an irritating waste of money.

If you want to do something thoughtful then choose a card or a tiny cheap gift that you know they will really like but that doesn't soak up your budget.

timelytess Sat 28-Nov-15 09:14:49

I hate choosing presents for other people - its impossible to know what they would want and like. Far better to ask!

Bunbaker Sat 28-Nov-15 09:15:32

"AIBU to be a bit pissed off?"

In a word, yes.

DD is 15 and has specifically asked for Amazon vouchers because the joy for her is picking what she wants.

I don't know how old your nephew/niece is, but believe me, they get very choosy about gifts when they are teenagers, and there is no point in sending any old crap as a present as it will simply not be appreciated. And where is the joy in giving if you know it isn't what they want?

I've been there and got the T-shirt.

This seems to be more abut you than the recipient and IMO this isn't what the spirit of giving is all about.

Oh, and I don't want more useless clutter in my house.

Enjolrass Sat 28-Nov-15 09:16:03

You said but said I'd check in case there was something specific

there was something specific!


Moomintroll85 Sat 28-Nov-15 09:17:48

I see why you don't like it and feel that it takes some of the joy out of it but we often specify for ourselves and our DS because we simply can't go on receiving tonnes of stuff we don't want/need/like, there's no room for it in our tiny house and it's so wasteful.

Sighing Sat 28-Nov-15 09:19:33

My mum is against vouchers/ money - so she takes them shopping for what they actually want ... she and the girls actually enjoy shopping, so it's a gift for me as well.

Bunbaker Sat 28-Nov-15 09:20:17

"I think the whole point of present buying is to take the trouble to think about the person, what they might like, and then the surprise! "

Not everyone knows the people they are buying for as well as you do, maybe they don't see them very often or maybe they don't know whether the recipient doesn't already have it. And in my case I just have no idea what to buy most family members so I ask. But I don't just go and buy something else then.

And some of us don't actually enjoy Christmas shopping anyway.

I have bought far too many unappreciated surprises for MIL over the years that I know better not to any more.

JumpingJack56 Sat 28-Nov-15 09:20:39

I have an in-law that always asks dp and myself what our children would like. I'm always careful to suggest two or three gifts from lower end of his budget to top end and I always suggest things that the children are interested in, what they do want and what I know they would really appreciate getting.

Every year it's ignored and he chooses something himself-all well and good, his money, his choice and all that. But he is crap at choosing gifts and most importantly he doesn't have the first idea of what the Dc are interested in which results in them getting gifts that they end up not using and it's frustrating, a waste of his money but also my time in gathering a list of what they want and checking that I'm varying the prices etc.

I don't understand why people ask for ideas if they are then going to get offended at 'being dictated' too (in-law has also accused us of this despite him asking us for ideas). For me personally I would rather buy a gift that I know someone will love so if I ask for ideas I ask for them knowing I will take them on board but if choosing yourself is important to you then do that but to ask for ideas and be offended when given them seems quite pointless to me.

WhitePhantom Sat 28-Nov-15 09:24:44

Thanks for all the replies - an interesting mix! I was planning on getting mostly vouchers but I also saw something small that I thought she'd like so was going to get that too. Maybe I'm wrong and she wouldn't like it.

Bunbaker Sat 28-Nov-15 09:27:18

How well do you know your niece? Could you ask your sister whether she would like the token gift before you buy it? You would at least know whether she already has one or whether she would appreciate it or not.

scrappydappydoo Sat 28-Nov-15 09:29:26

Yab a bit u - I get the buying a gift - I love that too.
But every Christmas and birthday I have same argument with my family. I love to read and have a kindle so Amazon vouchers are my most wanted present followed by iTunes vouchers for music and apps but people want to buy me some'thing' as apparently vouchers are a cop out despite being exactly what I want iyswim. Most people seem to get me vouchers and then a small token present of bubble bath or chocolate - could you do that?

scrappydappydoo Sat 28-Nov-15 09:30:03

Ah cross post!

gamerwidow Sat 28-Nov-15 09:31:41

I think if you're getting mostly vouchers then the extra gift will be fine and I think she'll like the surprise. Teens like something to open as well as money/vouchers in my experience.
It would be different if you completely ignoring the voucher request.
I think the joy in gift giving for children is seeing them open something they really want not the fun of me choosing something.

bluebolt Sat 28-Nov-15 09:35:50

DD I could give you loads of pointers, DS1 I need pointers myself buying for teenagers is so much more difficult and DS1 would much rather have money/ vouchers to spend with his mates than most of the gifts that he will be given but has mastered the perfect thank you face. Both teenagers

MatildaTheCat Sat 28-Nov-15 09:38:39

So you have your solution, vouchers as requested plus the small gift you want to chose. No problem at all, then? smile

Out of interest, are your D Sis's DC older than yours? She probably has the bitter experience of seeing her own carefully chosen gifts being snubbed by her teenagers. It really does hurt and the make one more pragmatic. If they want vouchers and you want them to get something they will like then heed the advice.

If you are close perhaps you could offer to take her to the sales for shopping, otherwise settle on the small gift and breathe.

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