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Christmas gift boasting on social media and in person

(86 Posts)
Openup41 Fri 01-Dec-17 09:41:40

I am unsure if social media enhances the boasting or if it has increased with Christmas approaching. I have listened to people (family, colleagues) give lists of what they are buying for their children along with statements of "they have more than enough already", shared photographs of what their dh/partner is buying for them with prices or name dropping the designer stores.

As it happens we are on a tight budget this year (thanks to high childcare fees) and can only buy our dc three presents off of their list. Listening to people going on about the huge amounts they are spending makes me feel like crap. I am even contemplating not attending our department lunch to free up £30 for my dcs gifts.

Perhaps I am a little envious which is why I have put this in AIBU.

WorraLiberty Fri 01-Dec-17 09:44:59

It's always been the same on social media tbh

There's no point in letting it affect you, as this sort of thing won't be going away. Just concentrate on having a brilliant Christmas as a family.

Looking back at my childhood, I can hardly remember any of the gifts I got, but I remember we always had a lovely Christmas.

Caprinihahahaha Fri 01-Dec-17 09:46:26

You might want to cull your social media. I haven't seen any of that

dancinfeet Fri 01-Dec-17 10:27:04

I know it's really hard and I think that some people use FB/social media as a platform for bragging. Are your children quite young? Three chosen things off their list is fine, can you bulk it out with a few extra stocking fillers from somewhere like Poundland? Some chocolate, sweets, colouring/stationary stuff, they even sell books if you can find something age appropriate for them in there. If you have a Home Bargains near you, they get some good bits and bobs in too. I had a few very lean Christmases a few years ago (things are a little better, but money is still tight) and I did the whole bulking out the presents with very cheap little things. I also tried to buy things that were useful, such as T-Shirts, socks etc (Primark is your friend here!). The other day I asked my soon to be 18 year old what her favourite christmas presents were from years gone by, and the ones she remembered best were mostly things that cost less than £10.

In years to come, your kids won't remember if the toy that you bought them this Christmas cost £10 or £100, but they will remember that you played with them, or that you all sat and watched a film later in the evening snuggled under a blanket with some chocolates . I have a distinct memory from when I was five. I don't have a clue what toys I received that Christmas, but I do remember that I refused to open any of my presents until my big sister arrived at my parents' house as she was in her late teens and had just moved out into her own flat. Hope you have a lovely time with your family this Christmas, ignore those bragging about spending ££££ it's ridiculous and the amount some people spend just seems have got out of hand

Killerfiller Fri 01-Dec-17 10:30:44

I think you are being unreasonable.

People are proud they are able to buy or receive nice things and you resent them for that.

I'm sorry things are tight for you but your aware of your own situation so you know it's not feasible for you to be able to do the same.

If it bothers you that much either unfollow them or look at how you can improve your own situation.

Let other people enjoy Christmas and their gifts.

I hope things pick up for you somehow. I mean that genuinely.

IsItThursdayYet Fri 01-Dec-17 10:47:30

If it makes you feel better, my kids are only getting one thing each and the stocking will be filled with essentials like toothbrushes! I'm not bothered, I don't mind that we won't get them lots, it doesn't mean they can't enjoy it or enter into the spirit of Christmas.

I think you need to focus on the ways you can make it special for your kids that doesn't involve presents. Crafts, making decorations, baking, carol singing (if that's your thing). All the great Christmas movies out there!

You can choose to make it about more than presents.

coddiwomple Fri 01-Dec-17 10:47:32

I wouldn't let it bother me, but you should unfollow if it makes you feel bad.

There's always going to be someone proudly showing off something, because they are happy, or because they have worked bloody hard to get it so they are ecstatic: presents, a luxury holiday for their family (everybody seems to be going to Disneyworld at some point, and that costs a bomb!)

Some people are just happy, others are trying to show off which is a bit sad.

Don't feel bad, everybody has a different version of Christmas presents. Some people buy loads, but don't buy anything else until birthdays. Others buy loads, but it's tat. Others finally have loads, but that include clothes, toothbrush and other useful items. Some families give a few presents, but the kids get things all year round.

Nothing wrong with 3 presents each. You could add a board game for the whole family and everybody will have a fab time. If you make Christmas Day a huge party (music, dancing, silly things and games), the kids will have the best time!

I know families whose kids have a fortune for Christmas, but are left watching videos all day whilst the grown-ups drink and eat and basically don't give them much time. They still have a good time, but your can have a much nicer day.

I seem to be one of the few who stays away from the Elves, the Christmas Eve box and I am sure there's more. My kids are not suffering the slightest!

IsItThursdayYet Fri 01-Dec-17 10:50:19

Also, I fully get being jealous when you see other people's photos. I went through the same over the summer when I saw loads of holiday photos, we haven't had a holiday for years! But I decided it wasn't healthy, so I stopped looking at Instagram for a while. I got through it by telling myself that things won't always be like this and my kids will have plenty of holidays to enjoy in years to come.

I hope things pick up for you soon.

easyReader Fri 01-Dec-17 10:50:33

Don't feel like crap. Be a good mother.

I feel sorry for the parents who think spending money is the key to #makingmemories. It can be with experiences but not toys.

I also think there's a distinct negative correlation between %age of income spent on things like Christmas and weddings and actual income. People with less income will save for 9 months to spend a stupid amount on their children whilst those with massive salaries spend relatively and non-relatively (?) less.

Openup41 Fri 01-Dec-17 10:50:38

Thanks for your responses. My dc are not toddlers but in primary school. They will have three gifts and stockings - £130/£140 all in. They are grateful for what they have which is in my opinion enough but not nearly as much as their peers (if that makes sense).

A lot of the boasting is being done in person so I cannot unfollow. For example amongst colleagues and acquaintances whilst sitting with them.

Allthebestnamesareused Fri 01-Dec-17 10:54:02

don't feel like crap. Our family income would allow us to buy the way some people boast they do but we chose not to!

Openup41 Fri 01-Dec-17 10:55:53

Thank you for your kind words. I was reluctant to post expecting to be berated for being jealous/envious of what others have.

I guess I would not dream of telling people what I have/how much it costs unless they asked (even then I would feel uncomfortable). I would not dream of sharing photographs of expensive gifts in person or on social media. This does not make me a better person. I just share less.

confused123456 Fri 01-Dec-17 11:01:01

Personally I don't see the need to do what you describe op.
Buy your children whatever you want, but there's no need to boast about it (as you say).
Things are tight for us this year as we've literally just moved house last weekend, and had to buy all our furniture as old place was furnished.
We will get our ds what we can, but it won't be that much. But we know in Xmas morning we can watch him opening what he does have, and that he will be happy with anything. All we will share on social media is a happy 2 year old playing with his new toys and paper all over the floor, the way it should be with young children.

easyReader Fri 01-Dec-17 11:01:23


You sound like you need more confidence in your parenting and nothing.

'Unfollowing' in person ranges from asking why they feel the need to spend an obscene amount to walking away.

Parents I know (and you'd know the name of the company they own) have bought their 12 year old a Penny Skateboard and an Argos' cheapest breadmaker. It isn't about the value of the gifts!

ScipioAfricanus Fri 01-Dec-17 11:04:41

I don’t understand people who want to tell you how much everything costs or tell you about expensive purchases. They must be doing it to make themselves feel good but I don’t get how it works. Social media is one thing (like you might have an expensive fift which is something you really wanted so would put a picture of it up) but actually telling colleagues numbers and details is odd and a generation ago would have been seen as tacky and unusual.

I have a very dear friend who is like this, though, and if I ever say ‘I like your dress’ she will immediately tell me it’s designer and goodness, cost such a lot, even sometimes the actual amount. I love her so I just listen politely now and say ‘how nice!’.

Also your gift amount sounds fine (and sensible) and your children will have a great Christmas because of their family and the day itself, as PP have said.

Openup41 Fri 01-Dec-17 11:41:03

Thanks for your comments.

I have a lot to be thankful for and need to remind myself of this.

I find boasting about the cost of gifts you/your family have received is a little crass. People generally only tell all when they have spent hundreds/thousands. Name dropping shops also reveals how much you have spent without people having to look online.

AJPTaylor Fri 01-Dec-17 11:48:37

They will prob have massive cc bills in january and will moan about living off beans.
You have good kids. I worked with a colleague same age as my youngest. Genuinely shocked at how much she spent. But i was comfortable in my own skin about what i spent on mine.

Wishingandwaiting Fri 01-Dec-17 11:52:49

I live in a very affluent part of the UK.

Very comfortably off myself and all friends and family very comfortably off (mainly sahms, partners well in to six figure salaries)

No one talks about how much they’re spending. Not because it’s a big secret but because no one gives a damn what anyone else is spending on their children. I have not had one conversation about this with another parent in 7 years of being a parent at Christmas time.

Those who are talking about how much they’re spending etc are doing so because it’s a big deal for them, either they’ve made sacrifices to afford it or they didn’t have much as a child and want to go ott with their own children or they’re being boastful because they’re proud they can manage to do it.

Either way, let it slide off you.

FreshHerbs Fri 01-Dec-17 12:46:20

People like to brag on Facebook a lot. How come ppl don't post when their eating beans on toast for dinner or when their on their last pound in the electricity meter. Do not believe all that you read....... most people can't even post a natural pic of themselves without a filter to hide their imperfections or flaws. Millions of people out their will take out loans or stick it on plastic just to keep up with what the latest must have is.....
Christmas is all about spending time with your loved ones. Yes fancy presents are nice and all the trimmings on top, the Xmas ads will continue with their crap telling you that you need a b and c but just remember it's one day. Make it what it is, have fun, eat till you get fat and create some nice memories.

FreshHerbs Fri 01-Dec-17 12:47:49

Most well off people don't tend to brag either..... just saying

AdoraBell Fri 01-Dec-17 12:50:45

I don’t give a flying fuck what other people are buying.

I suggest you take the same approach OP grin

VinoTime Fri 01-Dec-17 13:14:30

Social media has bred a bragging 'look at me, look at me' culture in which everybody feels the need to compete, keep up and advertise. It's a way for people to make their normal, mundane, everyday shit appear all glittery and sparkling, and the 'like' function leads to a sense of importance and recognition. 60 likes becomes the equivalent of a big 'well done, aren't you fabulous!' pat of the back. It can make people preen and think of themselves as interesting and enviable. It's a world of overshare, overkill and over exaggeration.

It isn't real, OP.

I say 'everyone', but of course, not EVERYONE uses social media in this way. There's just an overwhelming element of it present, and it seems to be getting worse. If something makes you feel shit, take a step back from it. If you're struggling financially and your Facebook page is already filled with people boasting about everything they're buying their children for Christmas, then continuing to read and look is not going to make you feel any better. There's not much you can really do about the vulgar person-to-person boasting, except smile and nod or walk away. But social media? You don't have to see it.

Your family Christmas will be special to you and your family. Your children will love whatever they get. Realistically, who gives a flying fuck how other families do theirs? It doesn't impact your family or your day today. Focus on you and yours, and ignore the rest flowers

Openup41 Fri 01-Dec-17 17:31:58

I think it is time to step away from reading Newsfeed on Facebook and stick to notifications only. This way I do not miss posts from several groups I am in, anything else does not matter.

Agustarella Fri 01-Dec-17 17:42:10

Definitely unfollow the boasters and save that £30 for your kids if you don't care about the lunch.

Council Fri 01-Dec-17 17:55:50

I don't see this on my feed. I have about 200 "friends" from very varied backgrounds, school friends from a sink comp in the 1980s, ex colleagues from banking, then schools, running friends ages 18-80 male and female from all works of life and mutual fans of the local football club. I honestly never see this, the huge piles of presents and bragging about what you've spent just doesn't happen.

Occasionally people post about events they're at which might make you feels a bit envious but nothing else. I wonder why this might be? Possibly because I unfollow anyone who's annoying or posts too much. grin

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