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To ask how many of you would rather not do 'token' presents for relatives?

(159 Posts)
Bearbehind Mon 30-Nov-15 09:10:43

I'm a bit preoccupied with Christmas shopping at the moment and have seen several threads on here and had a couple of conversations IRL where people are stressing about finding a 'token' gift for relatives.

In some instances, there's about 8 - 10 people to buy for which adds up, even for a small gift. It's very difficult to buy something worth having for even £10.

Personally I think this means you end up buying about £80- £100 of not so great stuff and receiving the same in return.

I know it can be a difficult conversation but if the Christmas Fairy could magic away that awkward bit, how many of you would prefer to stop buying for adult relatives altogether rather than continuing the token gift route or just do a 1 gift a Secret Santa?

Birdsgottafly Mon 30-Nov-15 09:13:40

I have stopped.

When I was with my ex, only a BF, I was forced into buying for his Mum and Sister, I told people in advance that I wasn't buying for wider family.

Every year I was given stuff and it was clear that they expected stuff back, I wasn't being bullied into spending time and money on stuff.

I visit people, go out for drinks/meals etc, but I don't do, or want presents.

Arfarfanarf Mon 30-Nov-15 09:17:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsjanedoe Mon 30-Nov-15 09:25:48

I agree.

I don't understand this obligation to buy gifts for everybody, it wasn't a thing when I grew up, it seems very recent.

gabsdot Mon 30-Nov-15 09:28:27

I agree with you. We have to buy token presents for Dh's family and in return we get token presents back. I usually get smellies in Boots and that's what I get in return. I've suggested doing an Kris Kringle but that didn't go down well at all. They love giving and receiving presents in a way that I just don't really get.
We do a KK between the adults in my family and it's much better. There are loads of us and it would just be too much.

Sighing Mon 30-Nov-15 09:30:30

I don't for adults anymore. Children. Yes, but it does mean remembering which of my 25 odd cousins/ their children (bulk of the children I know friends are few) are still "children" and hoping siblings who are older understand!

Enjolrass Mon 30-Nov-15 09:31:23

Me and dbro have eachother money for years on birthdays. The realised we should stop, because we were just passing the same twenty pound back and forth.

I only buy for dh, our kids, my nephews, my mum and dad.

Dh buys for me, our kids, his niece and his parents.

I do get a box of chocolates or flowers for 2 of my aunties. But they are really lovely and always think of the kids.

But I do things like that for them throughout the year too.

Queenbean Mon 30-Nov-15 09:32:00

gabsdot what is a kris kringle?

lilydaisyrose Mon 30-Nov-15 09:32:50

A friend of mine has a large family where the adults did SS for £5 pp every year. They were all fed up of getting tat so last year they ran a draw where they each picked one adult to buy a gift for (budget £50-£60 which is less than they would have spent on all the smaller gifts in total) and just bought a larger gift for that one person. I thought it was quite a good idea.

Bearbehind Mon 30-Nov-15 09:34:45

No, it's not for me, it is general nosiness pondering.

I buy presents for just a few close family members and truly don't understand why people would want to give and receive a load of cheaper, token gifts tat just for the sake of giving an adult something to open.

I'd far rather use the saved £100 or so for my immediate family gifts buy myself something from Santa

SleepyForest Mon 30-Nov-15 09:34:57

I buy ten tins of biscuits from Lidl. Everybody likes a nice tin of biccies and they are easy to wrap nicely. It's a token.

descalina Mon 30-Nov-15 09:42:49

I like it. But to me a token is something costing under a fiver, not £10. Maybe a chocolate orange or a pack of fudge or a bottle or two of nice beer. Just something nice to open and share in the giving.

I really dislike the idea of family secret santa - luckily noone in my family has suggested it!

PrimalLass Mon 30-Nov-15 09:44:04

We stopped. There was absolutely no point giving token gifts and it just added tons of stress and expense.

Savagebeauty Mon 30-Nov-15 09:44:38

Pointless exercise. I don't want masses of chocolate, wine or God forbid 3 for 2 gifts.

iwantgin Mon 30-Nov-15 09:47:25

I'm with you OP.

I don't want 'token' gifts. They usually end up being toiletries, chocolates or booze - which aren't to my taste.

Then have to do a fake thank you.

We have cut out all adult gifting - much easier and more pleasant all around.

foragogo Mon 30-Nov-15 09:47:37


Figgygal Mon 30-Nov-15 09:48:54

I don't I'm literally buying for my parents, my dh, niece and nephew (and our ds obviously) makes it a lot easier!!!

BarbaraofSeville Mon 30-Nov-15 09:50:36

I would rather do without token presents too. As you say OP, it can add up to a lot of money, and time and effort and most token presents are crap like boots gift sets, chocolates you don't like or hats/scarfs/gloves in styles and colours that you normally wouldn't choose. People just end up spending a lot of money on crap no-one wants but feel obliged to participate in. Half of what I receive is usually in a charity shop before new year because I know I will never use it.

If people want this sort of stuff, they should just buy their own. Otherwise it's just so wasteful. Considering that we now have the 5p bag charge and there are laws against unnecessary packaging, it is ridiculous that we live in a world where it is common to wrap a cheap mass market shower gel and deoderant in a load of wasteful plastic, triple the price, include it in a rip off 3 for 2 deal and call it a Christmas gift. Take the stuff out of the packaging and what do you have? About 2 quids worth of basic toiletries that people normally pick up in the supermarket with the shopping.

I buy for DP, 2 of my nephews (am non contact with all the others and also have a niece who is in her 20s so don't buy for now an adult) and my parents, no-one else. All these are usually of the token wine/chocolates variety.

DP buys for me and his DM if he remembers he usually doesn't so grabs a bottle of fizz and box of chocs out of our christmas stash and throws it in a gift bag on the way out to see her.

I have a colleague who is single and childfree and she mentioned the other day that she had 40! presents to buy in total. shock

mrsmeerkat Mon 30-Nov-15 09:50:37

I hear you.

I have quite a lot of people to buy for but I have cut out all except one- a work friend who is good to me. I managed to get a l out of Yankees on a deal and I keep spares incase of emergency.

A few tokens can be nice but not if they add up to a hundred quid. Ok would rather but myself a jacket.

mrsmeerkat Mon 30-Nov-15 09:50:45

I do buy for all immediate family

BaronessSamedi Mon 30-Nov-15 09:51:20

me and other sibling want to stop.
third sibling is bossy and insists we continue.
none of us will ever see 40 again and its just daft that we're still passing £40 around between each other.

Bupcake Mon 30-Nov-15 09:52:22

I agree. DSis and I got to the point where we would each buy ourselves something from the other person. Then it became "I want something that's £20 over budget, so I'll buy it and put the £20 to it myself". It was just getting silly, so we stopped, and just buy for DCs now. Much less hassle! We'd rather go out for a meal together after Christmas. Same with parents and friends - we'll do a meal out in December or January.

DH's lot still buy each other presents, but it seems like a lot of hassle to me!

Snowglobe18 Mon 30-Nov-15 09:55:14

I would love to stop buying for anyone except immediate family.

Tuiles Mon 30-Nov-15 10:00:52

I hate the whole token gift thing, exorcist when it meant getting several smelly gift sets that I never used.

Some years ago we started Secret Santa for the adults. Initially the idea was getting one person a gift of reasonable value e.g. £80. However it quickly descended into a farce as people only wanted to receive specific things or vouchers, there was absolutely no thought or freedom allowed in the gift giving. For us it came to a head the year we bought presents for our giftees and our own presents (wrapped and taken on the day to have some else stick a gift tag on) - so we were down to the tune of £320 (4 gifts) and it took until June to get the money back for our own Xmas presents!!!

What works better now is that everyone brings along a token £10 unisex present. They are put in a sack and everyone picks one out. There's a bit of judicious swapping but nobody minds. All the gifts are wine/chocolate/funny games etc. everyone is happy and the world had a lot less tat in it.

Tuiles Mon 30-Nov-15 10:02:25

Ha where did that exorcist come from - I meant especially!

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