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To say that I really don't want this kind of Christmas gift again?

(144 Posts)
blueberryporridge Tue 03-Jan-17 00:24:56

SIL has, for the second time, given DH and me a charity donation to well-known charity (overseas aid) as our Christmas gift.

We gave her a very nice (and quite expensive) gift which she has said she loves.

I actually support this particular charity - I have made regular monthly donations to them for 20+ years plus I support their emergency appeals whenever I can.

But the fact is that she didn't ask us whether we wanted this donation as our gift. She doesn't know which charities we support (or that we support any, in fact).

As I see it, she is getting two gifts by doing this - she gets one actual gift from us and another from herself in the form of her feeling good about giving money to a charity of her choice.

I am sure if I was a better person I would be delighted at making this donation to charity but it actually makes me feel kind of worthless - as if she thinks that we obviously don't deserve/don't need a personal gift and/or that she thinks that we don't do enough for good causes and therefore need to be made by her to donate to charity.

It would be totally different if she had asked us if we wanted her to do this. We would probably have agreed and suggested that we did the same for her.

Have just had a gushing thank you in from her re the gift we sent her.

There is a slight complication in that she also sends our DCs small gifts. (She doesn't have any DC.)

I didn't say anything the first time and I think I either speak up now or accept that this is going to keep happening. So, AIBU to wonder whether to respond:

1 thanks for the donation to charity you made on our behalf . We'll be doing the same for you for birthdays and Christmases from now on, and let us know if you would prefer a charitable donation or personal gift from the DC.

2 let's forget about Christmas and birthday presents between us adults from now on. Let us know if you would prefer a charitable donation or personal gift from the DC.

3 say nothing, continue to buy her personal gifts for birthdays and Christmas, and have the same kind of resentful feelings every time she unilaterally donates to charity on our behalf?


NoFucksImAQueen Tue 03-Jan-17 00:26:41

I'd go with 1 then see what she says

DailyFail1 Tue 03-Jan-17 00:27:50

No 1 definitely.

Grilledaubergines Tue 03-Jan-17 00:29:46

I'd go with 2.

Someone bought me the donation of a goat once. It's not a gift in my opinion. It's a feel-good for the giver, a bit self-serving. If it had been my choice it would have been a donation to BHF or MND but I didn't he a say obviously.

Lilacpink40 Tue 03-Jan-17 00:30:21

No1, but written in a slightly more friendly tone.

stonecircle Tue 03-Jan-17 00:30:57

Why don't you give her a charity gift too? I'd do that for a couple of years and then just suggest you stop and each donate to your own charity.

AtSea1979 Tue 03-Jan-17 00:31:46

I would reply with a your welcome and thanks for your gift too. I was wondering if we should do same and donate to a charity of your choice for Xmas or would you like a gift? And see what she replies. Then say lovely, I think next year me and DH would like a gift for a change.

QueenMortificado Tue 03-Jan-17 00:33:59

This is like that episode in friends "a donation has been made in your name to the New York City ballet...."

I know it's not very charitable but this would fuck me right off. It's not up to someone else to decide whether or not you do your bit for charity - they should do it with their own money and stick to buying you a case of wine or a hideous jumper like a normal person!

I'd go with option 2

Huldra Tue 03-Jan-17 00:34:42

I would send them charity gifts back for a couple of years.

Huldra Tue 03-Jan-17 00:36:37

This one
I wonder if they will understand,

Simonneilsbeard Tue 03-Jan-17 00:36:44

So she buys your dc a small gift each and makes a donation on your behalf and you just buy her a present?
I think it evens out since she's thoughtful enough to think of your children. Personally I wouldn't say anything..I'd let it go and perhaps not spend quite as much money on her gift next year if it was very expensive.

celtiethree Tue 03-Jan-17 00:37:13

4. Say nothing and buy her a charitable gift. She will be delighted as you are buying into her ethos.

multivac Tue 03-Jan-17 00:37:38

How did you respond the first time? I quite often receive this kind of gift (e.g. in Secret Santa rounds) - and whilst a little part of me is, I confess, crestfallen at not actually being given something for me, I am always convinced that it has been chosen with serious care and consideration to what the giver thinks would make me happy. And, once I've got over my (minor) disappointment, they're generally right wink.

Did you thank her enthusiastically last year? Could she think she's hit on the magic formula?

KoalaDownUnder Tue 03-Jan-17 00:45:09

I think it evens out since she's thoughtful enough to think of your children. Personally I wouldn't say anything..I'd let it go and perhaps not spend quite as much money on her gift next year if it was very expensive.

I agree.

Personally, I can't stand all this angst over the equivalency of gifts, or hidden meanings, or whatever. It sucks the joy out of everything.

I wouldn't send a text negotiating things. Just buy her what you want to buy her. If you'll feel less resentful buying her a charity goat, do that.

cakedup Tue 03-Jan-17 00:50:07

I think YABU, you don't give to receive. I often find the exchange of presents over Christmas a bit cringey, I prefer birthdays or spontaneous gifts where the present goes one way. Just get her a less expensive present if you can't afford it. And if you can...then why does it matter what she gets you?

happygelfling Tue 03-Jan-17 00:50:33

I gave my BIL & SIL charity gifts this Xmas because I didn't really know what to get them. We asked them for gift ideas, but didn't get any response. DH and I gave them something small to unwrap, plus a charity donation. We're not particularly close (geographically or emotionally) so we don't know what they have already or would like. They're also very high earners and have expensive tastes that I always fear we wouldn't satisfy.

To be honest, I would be delighted if they reciprocated with charity gifts. They always give me something that is lovely, but that I have no interest in (e.g. bottle of expensive wine which is rather wasted on me as I don't know anything about wine). I would prefer that the money was spent on something useful.

Perhaps I should just have that conversation with them...

TheThingsWeAdmitOnMN Tue 03-Jan-17 00:58:01

Unless asked for, charity gifts are rubbish gifts. They're a total non gift. I make quite a few donations to various charities of my choice. If others want to do the same, feel free, but don't pretend it's a gift for me, because it's not.

allybally73 Tue 03-Jan-17 01:00:05

I presume if you're buying her expensive gifts you''re doing okay financially ? Have you considered that maybe she thinks you already have everything you could possibly need and she's struggling to think of something to buy you.

isshoes Tue 03-Jan-17 01:00:23

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say none of the above. I can understand you feeling a bit disappointed by not receiving a tangible gift for yourselves, but I think it would be appalling manners to let SIL know that that's how you feel, not to mention grabby. Options 1 and 2 would both sound like a dig in response your 'resentful feelings' and option 3 is just bitter. I know you say you already give to charity but that doesn't negate how materialistic you would sound if SIL got wind of how you feel about this gift. Add in the 'small complication' that she also buys presents for your DC, and you get a big fat YABU from me.

S1lentAllTheseYears Tue 03-Jan-17 01:02:01

She might actually think the charity gift is a lovely gift.

They were quite the rage in our family for a few years when they first became popular - we would try and outdo each other with the most obscure ones!

The novelty wore off after a while and we went back to hankies and bath salts for a while before deciding to call a halt!

I wouldn't mind being given one though not if I'd bought an expensive gift for the other person (I don't spend a lot on anyone so it wouldn't happen anyway!) Perhaps, like others have said, she does feel you don't need anything and wouldn't know what to buy for you.

Give her a charity gift next year and perhaps a small token thing to open next year and see what she says - she might be genuinely pleased.

dowhatnow Tue 03-Jan-17 01:02:32

4. Give her a charity gift next year, then discuss the way forward from then on

minipie Tue 03-Jan-17 01:07:14

I think she's trying to tell you she'd rather you gave her a charity gift maybe she hates what you give her

So I'd suggest you do that but without the snotty text message

I do think she should have discussed it with you first however and asked to make it reciprocal.

38cody Tue 03-Jan-17 01:09:19

Option 3.
You buy for her, she buys for your children. Then as an extra bonus she gifts to a charity on your behalf - this may well be to save you the embarrassment of her giving gifts for you, DH, and your children whilst you only have the adults to buy for.
I think you are being rather ungrateful and she sounds fairly lovely.

puddingbunny Tue 03-Jan-17 01:11:35

I am also with option 4. She obviously likes charity gifts and doesn't think presents need to be discussed with the recipient beforehand so why not just do what she's doing? At least that way you can choose the charity for yourself.

MrsMcMoo Tue 03-Jan-17 01:12:40

This is a bit off topic, but people have mentioned the ubiquitous Christmas goat. I'd be fucking furious if anyone bought a goat in my name or any other livestock, because I don't want to support animal agriculture. I'd have to politely ask them to get a refund and either keep the money of give it to one of the many charities I do support. I think this illustrates the wider point that you have no right to make a charitable donation on someone else's behalf - if you give to charity, you do it for yourself.

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