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I am having a clutter-free Christmas AIBU?

(116 Posts)
lilypoppet Wed 13-Nov-19 02:36:21

I have just thrown out loaďs of stuff in my house and l don't want the clutter coming back via Christmas so l have told my 3 daughters (ages 25, 19 & 13) they can have one gift and no stocking or any other gifts. They are fine with this. However, youngest DD wants a phone that costs £200. How much do you spend per child each Christmas and AIBU thinking this is too much money?

nachthexe Wed 13-Nov-19 02:40:32

Well. If you are only allowed one gift it makes sense to ask for what you want. Only you know if you can afford it. It sounds a bit joyless though. Not all gifts create clutter.

CharityConundrum Wed 13-Nov-19 02:41:14

Could her older sisters contribute to the phone as their present to her? Or give her a contribution to it and see if it's any cheaper in the new year sales?
My kids are younger and I don't tot up how much I spend, but there are definitely times when I feel like a clutter free house would be worth almost anything so I appreciate your dilemma!

Marshmallow91 Wed 13-Nov-19 02:42:54

Agree with @nachthexe

WagtailRobin Wed 13-Nov-19 02:47:13

Is there a financial issue motivating not wanting to buy the £200 phone? I ask because if it's the case you can't afford to spend that much, then no you are not being unreasonable but if you can afford it, I do think you're being very hard on her, she's only 13.

Are you honestly going to buy just one present for each of your 3 daughters? Again I stress if it's due to lack of money, then you are completely spot-on to do this but for any other reason I think you're being unkind, especially to the youngest, she is still a child.

It doesn't sound much fun in your house to be honest, lack of money aside what other reason do you have for telling the kids they can only have one gift? There are plenty of things you could buy that doesn't constitute "tat" or "clutter" etc.

JingsMahBucket Wed 13-Nov-19 02:52:26

... lack of money aside what other reason do you have for telling the kids they can only have one gift?

The OP said right in her post that she’s trying to avoid clutter. Her daughters may already have loads of stuff in the house. The OP has already thrown out loads of stuff. Just because people don’t want to buy their children multiple presents doesn’t mean their house is sad.

CaptainCautious Wed 13-Nov-19 02:54:46

I suppose if you can afford it then she should have it.

TriangularRatbag Wed 13-Nov-19 03:25:37

I'm not really seeing the connection. One phone which will presumably be extremely useful and in constant use can hardly be said to be clutter.

Honeybee85 Wed 13-Nov-19 03:31:28

I think it’s a good idea, then they’ll get something they really want instead of many potentially useless small things. I did the same last year and got a new IPhone I wanted but couldnt afford as a Christmas present. I am still really happy with it and prefer such gift anytime over another handcream, pair of socks, home decoration item etc (dont mean to sound ungrateful but I think less stuff but better quality and something you really want makes life easier).

vivacian Wed 13-Nov-19 03:40:42

You can either afford the phone or not. I’m not sure how reasonable comes into it.

What are you going to do about the clutter that other people buy for you all?

WagtailRobin Wed 13-Nov-19 03:41:26

@JingsMahBucket Correct, the OP did say she didn't want lots of clutter, but I said in my post "there are plenty of things you could buy that doesn't constitute "tat" or "clutter" etc.", therefore I was clearly trying to establish why she had decided to limit the kids to just one gift each if there was not a financial reason and pointing out there were other ways to gift without it creating clutter.

The OP asked for opinions, I was giving mine!

BlackCatSleeping Wed 13-Nov-19 03:45:44

Hard to say based on such little information. We don’t have a huge amount of space, so each child gets 3-4 presents plus a stocking full of sweets. They are very happy with this. They sometimes get slightly more expensive things, such as DD1 wants a Switch. I don’t spend the same amount on each child. It works for us, but we’ve always done it this way.

melj1213 Wed 13-Nov-19 03:46:29

YABU - you have told your daughters that they can only have one gift at Christmas, of course they are going to ask for a big ticket item like a phone/tablet/console. Were you expecting them to just ask for a selection box?

I do think that it's a bit mean to only buy them one thing full stop, unless it's for budgeting reasons and the children know that money is tight. Even if you are trying to prevent clutter, there are ways to gift that don't involve clutter but arent an extreme of only allowing each child one item.

There are plenty of ways to give your kids something to open on Christmas day without it having to be wasteful/tat. My parents still buy my siblings and I a selection box; a stocking -the same one we've had since we were kids - stuffed with an orange in the toe and things like socks, favourite shower gels, bath bomb etc (and now we're adults a few booze miniatures); a book or CD and some cash/vouchers. The "main present" is usually the cash/vouchers but they still like to buy us a few small things to open on the day (especially for me on years my DD is with her dad as they are often the only presents I will receive) but ensure that it is something consumable or essentials (chocolate/socks/smellies) and something we genuinely want (they usually ask for book/CD suggestions in early December).

AwkwardFucker Wed 13-Nov-19 04:20:07

A phone is hardly clutter, so it just depends on your budget I guess?

We have a budget of $350 per kid. Oldest just wants makeup, so that’s easy, clutter free, all can be kept in a makeup bag in her room etc. Youngest wants a Nintendo switch, but they’re $429 and that’s without any games, so I dunno what to do about him yet.

We are going clutter free too.

Caspianberg Wed 13-Nov-19 06:00:29

I don't think £200 is too much money if you can afford it for a practical item.

I do think its a bit mean to go down the literal one gift route if they have never done that before and your reason is clutter not money.

I don't like clutter either. But for say the 13 year old i would be happy to get the phone as main gift, then would still do a little stocking with satsuma, chocolate santa, nail varnish, some new cosy socks, small book/ kindle £5 book voucher, some nice pens for school etc.. All practical items that will get eaten, used up or you need to buy anyway

myself2020 Wed 13-Nov-19 06:10:32

I disagree with all the people who meassure the joy of christmas on the number of gifts. One gift sounds perfectly fine, and if you can afford it i

myself2020 Wed 13-Nov-19 06:11:14

Pressed send to early: get the phone if you can’t affird it. better one useful gift than a ton of crap

VirtualHamster Wed 13-Nov-19 06:20:59

How much do you normally spend? Surely that should be your guide. Reducing how much you spend on the basis of clutter would seem a little unfair on your youngest when the others have reached adulthood without this restriction.

Wildorchidz Wed 13-Nov-19 06:23:39

When your 25 year old was 13, how many presents did she get? I think your 13 year old is being hard done by if your sudden ‘one present’ rule is applied to her.

delivereeee Wed 13-Nov-19 06:24:38

I couldn't buy a 13 year old just one gift. And if I did I'd make sure she got what she wanted, by cutting down the adult children's budget.

The 25 year old doesn't need much spending on her, she's an adult. I'd still do the 13 year old a stocking though

Cloverbeauty Wed 13-Nov-19 06:30:49

So you're going to get 3 presents and your daughters get 1 each? Assuming they don't buy for each other, although really what could a 13 year old afford?

Yabu. Your house sounds boring. Christmas doesn't need to be clutter and tat, you can get people useful presents they will enjoy. Not just stuff that has Christmas on it. hmm

OhioOhioOhio Wed 13-Nov-19 06:31:26

Yes. Your 13 year old shouldn't miss out. She's only had 12 Christmases.

fruitypancake Wed 13-Nov-19 06:33:46

I agree with others.. got to have some other small pressies. Doesn't need to be clutter. Nice smellies, choc, p.j's etc

AwkwardFucker Wed 13-Nov-19 06:35:57

I can’t believe the amount of people saying it’s mean to give one gift. confused Mean?! Boring?! Joyless?! Seriously?!

Just because it’s not how you spend your Christmas does not make it in any way mean or boring or joyless! You know there’s kids out there that get nothing, right?

Ever thought that maybe there’s some parents reading this who can only afford one gift and now feel like shit? Get your heads out of your asses.

ItStartedWithAKiss241 Wed 13-Nov-19 06:38:16

Definitely get her the phone, and then a nice box of chocolates, bath bombs etc that get used up? Make up? A magazine she can read and then bin? She’s 13 not 30! She deserves to feel special x

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