Advanced search

AIBU to no longer buy Christmas presents for these relations

(97 Posts)
ChocoPoppy Fri 19-Oct-18 11:16:01

First time posting a question so will try to be clear and please forgive any cock-up's! I am an aunt to six nieces and nephews and have bought gifts for them every year since the first came along, oldest is 15, youngest is 6. Every year I spend the same amount on each child and try to suss out with parents what they would enjoy. The spending is now in the hundreds every Christmas and it takes a bit of legwork to find stuff to suit everyone.

For context I live pretty far away from them all and make it home a couple of times a year, try to deliver the presents in person where possible and check in with all the kids. So far so normal, so the issue is I never get a Christmas card back, a thank you text or even a thank you in person when I hand over the gifts, just grunts and comments of how they would prefer the cash or something more expensive, bear in mind I spend hundreds every Christmas on them. I have had a tough two years with health issues (not major but draining physically and emotionally all the same) and my family have made the effort to only visit twice in the past five years, it is a very one way family relationship, I am to travel to them, I am to spend on them, I am the one to stay in contact. The feeling in general is that as I don;t have children my time is not as important as theirs and I should always be doing and spending more for them.

Would I be the biggest Christmas grinch if this year I just did not bother at all? I am thinking of getting a box of biscuits, a box of sweets and small Christmas decoration for each household with kids and no longer get individual presents and leave it at that. I know it is not the kids fault, it is up to the parents to nudge them to say thanks for gifts, but I am just really fed up of being the one that always "gives" with no thanks. So tear me a new one Mumsnet and tell me I am a big, old meanie!

Stripyhoglets1 Fri 19-Oct-18 11:22:41

I'd put them a tenner each in a card and a bag of Christmas sweets each - will cost you apptox £70, not hundreds. No effort to you - but they still get a gift and if they complain about the amount then give them nothing next year!!

ListenLinda Fri 19-Oct-18 11:24:20


I wouldn't be buying anymore either OP, how rude and ungrateful to not even say thank you!

itbemay Fri 19-Oct-18 11:24:42

I agree with PP, perfect solution and so much less hassle plus the kids will love you for it :-)

Cautionsharpblade Fri 19-Oct-18 11:25:20

Send them a Christmas card saying you don’t know what to buy them so this year you’re enclosing money instead. Do not enclose the money. You’ll definitely hear from them wink

Ignoramusgiganticus Fri 19-Oct-18 11:27:32

I'd buy a board game for each family this year so it becomes the norm to buy a family gift then I'd reduce that next year to a box of biscuits. It's a bit less drastic and will lead to hopefully less fall out.

Pebblesandfriends Fri 19-Oct-18 11:29:42

Yes YABU, Christmas is about giving and they are your neice's and nephews. It doesn't have to be much, it's just about the thought. If they are ungrateful stop trying to get them what they want, a book each would do. It is rude of them to grumble but I would call them out 'did you mean to be so rude?' and be all cheery and ' Christmas is for giving'. I would tell your sibling they were coming across ungrateful and ask them to have a word.

Returnofthesmileybar Fri 19-Oct-18 11:32:49

Definitely stop! Don't even tell them, rock up with your chocolates, forget the decorations, maybe get a board game per family. So chocs & board game for kids and one bottle of wine for adults. If anyone has to cheek to say anything just say "Honestly there's never so much as a Christmas card or a thank you so as nobody seemed pushed it's token presents from now on"

Aprilislonggone Fri 19-Oct-18 11:33:13

Tbh am empty bloody card would be all I would be.sending.
Nobody should send to receive but a thank you text /email is free ffs!

Knittedfairies Fri 19-Oct-18 11:33:42

I think I’d go with £10 for the older niblings, but continue to buy a (smaller than usual) gift for the younger children, for this year at least. Maybe a softer transition to nothing at all next year...

GreatDuckCookery6211 Fri 19-Oct-18 11:36:28

Yeah isn't about giving to receive and all that put these lot are taking the piss! No thank you? No card? Sod that.

You could put £10 in a card I guess if you really wanted to but I don't know whether I could be bothered doing that OP.

SixToEightInchesOfSnow Fri 19-Oct-18 11:36:34

I wouldn’t even bother with biscuits or chocolates, if they don’t appreciate gifts, they won’t appreciate those...

NorthernSpirit Fri 19-Oct-18 11:39:25

They sound rude and ungrateful.

I would donate the money to charity and tell them that you’ve done so as you never received a thanks so presumed the gifts were unappreciated.

I’d be embarrassed if they were my children. Manners don’t cost anything.

ChocoPoppy Fri 19-Oct-18 11:42:36

Thank you all for you replies, I like the idea of wine, choccies and board game for each family. It is just tiring every year and I thought I may have been a bit too sensitive about it all.

SaucyJack Fri 19-Oct-18 11:44:56

Just put a tenner in a card.

They’ll prefer it- and so will you.

ginghamstarfish Fri 19-Oct-18 11:45:32

If I were you OP I wouldn't buy the kids anything, as they have never thanked you for your gifts and have the cheek to grumble and complain. Agree with maybe box of chocs/booze etc for each household if you still want to give something -although to be honest I wouldn't bother... do you receive anything at all from your family? I've had this kind of one-way relationship with family members - now I don't see them and I'm better off for it.

ManILurveCake Fri 19-Oct-18 11:50:13

We've been in a similar situation. Sending gifts/cards to family without any acknowledgement to say they've arrived safely or a Thankyou. After years of feeling resentful we decided to stop sending anything & it was such a relief. Not having the pressure of buying thoughtful gifts, spending hard earned money knowing full well we wouldn't get a Thankyou.

I was once told, if you don't say Thankyou don't expect people to buy you things. I remember that when the guilt creeps in.

In your situation I'd send nothing. Forget sending chocolates & biscuits. If expensive thoughtful gifts are unappreciated then these gifts will definitely not be received warmly.

I agree you shouldn't give to receive but it costs nothing to say Thankyou & show some gratitude.

hellojim Fri 19-Oct-18 11:51:44

Do the parents of the your nieces and nephews acknowledge what you do? If not I wouldn't bother sending them anything.

I love Cautionsharpblade'sadvice grin

HarrySinger Fri 19-Oct-18 11:55:20

I wouldn't send them anything. These kids don't appreciate your gifts because they already get plenty.

ChocoPoppy Fri 19-Oct-18 11:55:34

No the parents don't acknowledge and one in particular is right there with the kids going "is that all?" he is the worst of the bunch. Would try what Cautionsharpblades but they might just show up looking for the cash!

BagelGoesWalking Fri 19-Oct-18 12:02:22

Agree with everyone. Send cards with a £10 at the most. I'd be very, very tempted to send nothing, particularly considering the attitude of the adults involved. It's extremely rude not to ever say thank you and to comment on the size/type of present is outrageous!

Are you spending Christmas with them?

You are allowed to feel saddened and annoyed by their treatment. It's very easy to feel we have to do these things year after year, but there comes a time when you can just say stop!

hellojim Fri 19-Oct-18 12:02:51

In that case, why bother at all? You get no acknowledgment, no thanks, no manners. You say that you spend hundreds of pounds on them, it is outrageous. Why not give that money to a charity of your choice and them pop a note in the Christmas card saying "This year I have decided to make donations to charity X instead of giving traditional presents. Why not take a look at their website to see the fantastic work they do. Seasons Greetings, Aunt ChocoPoppy"

Or spend the money on yourself and have a lovely time without them!

Roussette Fri 19-Oct-18 12:05:30

ChocoPuppy Stop doing it! It will be so freeing, I promise you.

How dare they pick at what you have done. Do they give you generous presents? Nope, they don't bother you.

I would do the box of chocolates for the whole family and a bottle of prosecco. End of. And that is being lucky and I'd phase that out if they get arsey.

If they moan, just say 'and my christmas present and card is where....?'

Seriously just stop. Family is not about how much you spend, it is about being in touch and caring. Your rellies don't even do that, and that is free!

You will be a liberated woman, I promise you!

Roussette Fri 19-Oct-18 12:06:14

*They don't both with you, is what I meant

Roussette Fri 19-Oct-18 12:08:28

Arghhhh bother with you.

3rd time lucky

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »