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To resent buying the children presents?

(142 Posts)
NovemberScrooge Mon 11-Nov-19 20:38:55

We have quite a lot of people to buy for at Christmas, and we are on a low income. A close relative has four children, and every year she will message me by mid November, informing me what the children want for Christmas that year. This is never less than £20-30 a head, so I'm usually spending £80 minimum.

There is a bit of a weird dynamic in the family. These children are, frankly, spoiled, but combined with a minimalist/cleaning obsessed mother means that they basically have a moving line of toys coming through the house all year round. What happens is the child decides he or she is "into something", every related toy is bought, big fanfare is made, a few months later child is said to be bored of that character/toy and everything goes into the attic, charity shop or dump. Relative is quite open about this, it's all very "what can you do, that bores them now". For example, her youngest child was bought a huge expensive train set last year- it was in the attic by the end of February and on FB marketplace by April. They aren't allowed toys out on shelves or on the floor, their rooms are spotlessly clean but there are no pictures, shelves--it's literally a bed, chest of drawers, curtains and under bed storage for toys. I bought them special limited edition books for each christening--she sent them to the charity shop as they were old fashioned and cluttered up the rooms. She encourages them to watch TV or go on their ipads so as not to mess up the house. Yet every year we're sent the list

Relative, however, never returns the favour for my two children. One of mine for example has a specific hobby and they prefer to be bought things relating to that - nothing overly expensive - relative says she'll get XYZ and then gets some piece of tat which is totally different. I suspect some of the things have been unopened regifts from her own children, which I wouldn't have a problem with only they generally an inappropriate age/some total crap from poundland/a character which my children haven't the least interest in. If she spends a tenner each I'd be shocked.

I know I may sound grabby, but I'm spending the guts of £100 on her children, money which to be quite honest I'd rather spend on nicer things for my own kids,who are often told they can't have an item due to expense.

Our presents to these children aren't appreciated or wanted past a few months - AIBU to think this is shit, and to stick a fiver in a card per child along with a box of sweets to share?

Stompythedinosaur Mon 11-Nov-19 20:41:31

Fuck that for a game of tennis! Either suggest no longer exchanging gifts, or ignore her requests and stick a tenner in a card.

MyNewBearTotoro Mon 11-Nov-19 20:41:36

YANBU - just set yourself a £ limit and stick to it, you definitely don’t have to buy off the wish list or spend huge amounts of money and especially not if she doesn’t reciprocate with your DC.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Mon 11-Nov-19 20:42:39

When she messages just say

"Hi X, we are planning on cutting back on gifts moving forward, save the planet and all, so have arranged a little family gift for you all. Look forward to seeing you all at Christmas"

Then just get either a family board game or a cinema voucher (Vue cinemas is 5.99 per head) for them all to see a movie together.

Gustavo1 Mon 11-Nov-19 20:42:45

I think she is modelling the ideal for you. Tell her thanks for the tip then buy whatever you want to give them. What happens to the toys isn’t the children’s fault and they shouldn’t get nothing but I completely support not going by the list!

Advicewel Mon 11-Nov-19 20:42:52

I get for my sisters kids every year-a selection box. That's it

Christmas is expensive enough with your own kids without having to spend on other people's children too.

get what you can afford, ie a selection box and she can like it or lump it

PurpleFlower1983 Mon 11-Nov-19 20:42:56

A fiver in a card and sweets sounds like a great idea! I would tell her you’re cutting down this year and no tat will be necessary back!

SallyLovesCheese Mon 11-Nov-19 20:43:14

Definitely a fiver each in a card.

Undies1990 Mon 11-Nov-19 20:44:16

What Bernadette said ^^

formerbabe Mon 11-Nov-19 20:45:22

When she sends you the list of gifts they want, just say that you've already bought them something. Then give them a selection box and a sticker book each.

MrOnionsBumperRoller Mon 11-Nov-19 20:46:15

Well you are quite the mug OP. Why on earth don't you retaliate like for like with poundland shite?

midnightmisssuki Mon 11-Nov-19 20:47:06

I agree - £5-£10 in a card. That’s it. Spend the money on your children

GrumpyHoonMain Mon 11-Nov-19 20:47:55

Ignore the list and get them something more appropriate to what you want to spendz

Sewrainbow Mon 11-Nov-19 20:48:18

Just because she sends a list doesn't mean you have to buy off it, especially as the favour isn't returned for your own children's interests confused

CalmdownJanet Mon 11-Nov-19 20:50:38

Nip this is the bud now "Hi x, hope you are well, just giving you the heads up that we aren't doing big gifts this year but we will get the kids some selection boxes. Please don't buy for us either. Hope to see you soon"

AndromedaPerseus Mon 11-Nov-19 20:52:34

A tenner and sweets sounds fine especially if she responds with something similar. Tell her it’s much better for the environment if she kicks off

Kungfupanda67 Mon 11-Nov-19 20:54:19

When I was little my mum was a bit skint, I was an only child and my auntie had 5 kids. She used to buy them a family gift, so she’d get them a board game, or a dvd, popcorn and some sweets, or some baking stuff and a recipe book or something like that. £20 budget for the whole family, no plastic tat being chucked 2 weeks later, no more clutter in the minimalistic mum’s house!

Drum2018 Mon 11-Nov-19 20:54:28

One card between them with a voucher for £20 for the local cinema/soft play centre/petting farm, whatever. They won't appreciate it anyway so why give a shit? Do not buy anything from her list, the cheeky bitch. And if it gets back to you that they complained then you need never buy them anything again - result!

fartingrainbows Mon 11-Nov-19 20:58:59

Just say you're cutting right down on presents this year, so let's agree not to get each other anything. Present buying gets quite silly in my opinion.

Parttimewasteoftime Mon 11-Nov-19 21:01:00

Mine are spoiled all year round a family board game or cinema voucher sounds great may suggest this to my family instead of buying plastic (wanted) tat.

SquashedOrange Mon 11-Nov-19 21:02:14

Thing is, she doesn't do it for you so why on earth are you even questioning yourself? And even if she did, she doesn't get to dictate what you buy.

If this thread had been full of people telling you YABU would you have kept on buying?? You're the boss of your own life.

Gruzinkerbell1 Mon 11-Nov-19 21:06:15

Regift her kids with the same tat she sent to your kids last year.

FlamingoQueen Mon 11-Nov-19 21:06:30

One thing I did when we were broke one year was to buy 4 chocolate items from Tesco’s (choc snowman etc). Wrap them up and stick a label on. Then in another bag I had matching labels and whoever drew out that particular label got the matching present (ie a lucky dip).
I think this would be a good idea for the children. It makes it fun and you’re making a point of not spending a lot of money. I don’t think buying presents for these children is a good idea. If their Mum mentions it just say there’s no point in spending money for the present to end up in a charity shop. It’s so rude.

Babybel90 Mon 11-Nov-19 21:11:11

I’m sorry but I can’t believe anyone would spend that kind of money on someone else’s children when they can’t afford everything for their own children, especially when she’s giving your kids crap.

Just tell her that this present buying relationship isn’t working for you anymore so instead you’ll buy your kids something they like and stick a tag on “from her” and she can do the same with her kids.

Janaih Mon 11-Nov-19 21:11:30

agree fiver each in a card. or a lump of coal grin

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