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AIBU to ask about Xmas lists?

(24 Posts)
Helpme9 Sun 13-Nov-16 11:19:03

So every year SIL asks for Xmas lists. We are very very tight on money. So my husband has said we can't do adults too. Another SIL said that one year when they were tight on money but they've started asking for lists again (that's for kids and adults). We always get the kids presents. I know Christmas isn't just for kids but we are finding things tough. It's embarrassing as it's on a messenger group so if we say we're not doing adults it looks bad as they all share Xmas lists. I've already bought things for the kids (without a list) as I used the Sainsbury's half price sale. They usually mention gifts around the £30 spend mark. I will probably end up giving gifts to their children more than this value as I've bought things half price. It's totally taking the joy out of Xmas and I'm so anxious. So it's a more WWYD should we save and give adults presents too. I feel so sad

Lazyafternoon Sun 13-Nov-16 11:45:52


I think it's fair enough to say you're not doing presents for adults. Adults don't need it. Also buying another grown up something they could easily afford themselves, but for you is a real stretch just doesn't seem fair.

Over the years with my brother and sister in laws it's varied who is skint. Sometimes its been awkward when one of them 'forgot' and bought us stuff anyway when we didnt get them anything. Tried a £5 present limit but then ended up spending more than that anyway! So now we only do presents for the other adults we are actually spending Christmas day with and have a £10 per couple joint present. Generally we say something edible like chocolates or a silly game we can all play on the day.

Outfoxed Sun 13-Nov-16 11:50:33

I'd just be honest? But I have that kind of relationship with my siblings where I sent the following message on our sibling/in-laws group chat "just FYI I ain't buying any of you fools presents this year" and all the responses I got were thumbs up emojis, I get that your family might not be so easy going, in which case I have no advice :/

halcyondays Sun 13-Nov-16 11:53:33

yanbu, as lots of adults don't do presents or if they do it would be a very small token gift, not £30 worth.

Helpme9 Sun 13-Nov-16 14:57:44

No my SIL who asked for the lists knows we are struggling I've told her before. So there is no sympathy. It's cruel really of her to be the one to ask when she knows.

Helpme9 Sun 13-Nov-16 14:59:47

PS SIL who has asked is husband's sister so I might just get him to text his sis and let her know. Older SIL is husband's brother'a wife. They've struggled in the past but now are well off

Ratbagratty Sun 13-Nov-16 15:08:42

Try a secret santander with a price list like £10 per adult that way everyone gets to open a present and each couple spend a set amount. When putting names in the pot, you can add a small ideas list.

Allthewaves Sun 13-Nov-16 15:15:45

Perhaps she wants a list so she can give you a nice gift as she knows your struggling and doesn't expect anything in return?

Just email her and say you can't afford to buy adults this year due to money being tight. Give her a theme to work on for your kids so she can spend what she likes rather than a list

Mummytogg Sun 13-Nov-16 16:04:06

I would be honest. We told my sister and her partner not to buy for us this year as we know money is tight and we really don't need anything. I know she has already brought a present for our ds and we have brought for them. I said we would stop buying for the. When they have children. Most adults I know won't mind not getting a present.

If you have any skills you could do homemade gifts. Somethings are fairly cheap like biscuits

LovingLola Sun 13-Nov-16 16:21:46

There have been no present exchanges between the adults in both of our families for years. It was getting completely out of hand. As more kids arrived a decision was reached that only godchildren would get a present.
And it's been fine and the world has not ended and the children who don't get a present take it in their stride.
Mind you all the adults (and the older children) are reasonable, sane adults who don't try to score points off each other.

Ilovenannyplum Sun 13-Nov-16 17:02:49

This year apart from our parents (who have helped us a lot this year) we won't be buying for adults. DP and I aren't even doing gifts for each other.

We've just bought a house and we're getting married 3 days after Christmas plus we have a 2yr old and DP has 4 children from his previous relationship to buy for which is pricey as you can imagine.

So it's a bit tight, we're not on the breadline but I don't want to put ourselves in debt buying presents just for the sake of it, our families are completely on board with this and understand our reason why

Sugarlightly Sun 13-Nov-16 17:20:34

Secret Santander has tickled me grin

Ratbagratty Sun 13-Nov-16 18:38:08


Carbonaralunch Sun 13-Nov-16 18:51:54

Secret Santander!!!!

ViewBasket Sun 13-Nov-16 19:03:36

Just say you're not doing lists this year. Can you reply to her individually instead of via the group?

Yoarchie Sun 13-Nov-16 19:03:55

Two separate issues.

A) you can't afford to buy for adults. Therefore you absolutely must not buy for adults. I'd message the group saying things are very tight this year and sorry but you cannot buy for any adults and you don't expect people to buy for you.

B) knowing that these people produce lists every year, I am confused as to why you bought things prior to knowing what's on them. Whilst I understand the Sainsbury's toy sale was on, it would be better to give the child(ren) £5-£10 presents (non sale) they actually want rather than a £30/£40+ (Sale) gift that runs the risk of being duplicated or unwanted.

Boysnme Sun 13-Nov-16 19:07:58

We do secret santa for kids and adults. We set a price limit and then tell everyone what we/kids want. It's a bit harsh saying what we want but it's the only present we get from my side of the family so we'd all rather get something we wanted! It seems to work fine for us. Weve often reduced the amount when someone is skint.

Astley Sun 13-Nov-16 19:10:49

Why would you buy presents already of you always do lists?

That's the sort of thing SIL does, and the stuff is always wasted. Either not anything the children like or duplicates.

NotLadyPrickshit Sun 13-Nov-16 19:18:30

You're not being unreasonable.

Reply with something along the lines of:

Unfortunately we are unable to give gifts to the adults this year and have already purchased gifts for the children.

You may then be asked what you have bought so that others can remove these items from the lists (if they are on them)

FarAwayHills Sun 13-Nov-16 19:23:41

This drives me nuts I really don't get it. Why do grown ups send shopping lists to each other? It's like ordering from a catalogue but just getting someone else to shop, gift wrap and pay for it. Let's be honest most adults have everything they want. Wouldn't it be nicer to just spend time together rather than rushing about shopping and being stressed spending money we haven't got.

I come from a large family and the adults in the family have been at such varying ages and stages of life that we have thankfully never done presents. Now that kids have come along we do buy for them because really Christmas is all about this.

Just be honest with your SIL OP, make no apologies. If these people are your family they should be understanding and shouldn't expect gifts.

TheDuckSaysMoo Sun 13-Nov-16 20:49:36

Don't be embarrassed by saying no presents for adults. My family and friends don't do adult pressies as it just seems daft when we can buy something whenever we want. When it got to the point where we were shaping £50 gift cards we called it a day.

Helpme9 Tue 15-Nov-16 19:10:38

Reason I already bought was even though they ask for lists (i.e. Last year) they then go and buy my kids something off list! Blatantly their kids left over shit!

Helpme9 Tue 15-Nov-16 19:11:07

So I've actually bought their kids very decent presents and if they want to recycle then go ahead

Helpme9 Tue 15-Nov-16 19:14:07

My SIL husband's sister is very spoilt and entitled. She is the only girl and always had it her own way. My husband said its always been like that. Put it this way in their house she had (still has when visits) the largest bedroom with a big F off en suite and yes I'm bitter but fuck it I'll get over it one day. Massive back story but me and my husband struggle alone while
My inlaws run around after my SIL and her kids. If i ask for any help (e.g.) don't really want to take my toddler to my cervical smear it's generally met by massive diarising around her kids activities of street dance ballet tap piano tennis football etc etc etc

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