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To wonder is this normal re gifts?

(27 Posts)
CrotchBurn Sat 05-Dec-20 23:47:04

Saw another thread where the OP told her DP exactly what she wanted for christmas and offered to send him links. In that couple they also have a budget.

This just made me wonder if I've been doing it wrong 😂 I totally get that it's better to not waste money on something someone doesnt actually want, and also that christmas and birthdays can be a good time to be gifted something maybe you couldn't otherwise afford.

But last time I explicitly told or asked someone about gifts was when I was a kid!

Now with all my past partners and present, we just give the other person something we think they'd love, maybe something they've alluded to, or something we know they need or want. That way it's a surprise and also...I dont know, I just cant imagine flat out saying: "I want this bag, it costs this much, heres a link".

I guess it just feels to me like it takes all the fun out of being surprised and surprising. It's a great feeling to open something without knowing what it will be. And also nice to have found the perfect thing, and knowing you're going to surprise someone with it.

I've also never had a "gift budget talk" with someone.

So what do you do?
YABU = Specifics and budget talks
YANBU = Surprise factor

OP’s posts: |
Haggisfish Sat 05-Dec-20 23:48:39

Haha-split vote!😂 me and dh sometimes do specific gift requests with links and usually also get each other a few small surprises. Some years we don’t do specific requests.

GlummyMcGlummerson Sat 05-Dec-20 23:51:13

When I was married we did this. And threw in a low cost surprise or two.

I really don't see the point of being all "ooh, I could tell my actual life partner what I want seeing as he's spending money anyway, but it would be terribly impolite to do so, so I'll say nothing and hope they guess exactly". I mean this is a person you share bodily fluids with FFS just tell him what you want for Christmas!

Mind you I'm very up front and email family links to what the kids have asked for 🤷‍♀️ I also, now I'm single, get presents from me to me grin

HeddaGarbled Sat 05-Dec-20 23:52:26

specific gift requests with links and usually also get each other a few small surprises

This is exactly what we do. We have been married for a long time and this is what works best for us.

sofiaaaaaa Sat 05-Dec-20 23:53:08

Depends on the relationship.

But tbh I always told my parents exactly what I wanted when I was younger, so I still do to this day. I wouldn’t request something specific from a friend or colleague though, I would just be over the moon they wanted to get me something!

Sparklesocks Sat 05-Dec-20 23:53:56

Everyone does their own thing. It’s not about what’s ‘normal’ for others, just what works for you and your relationship. Some people prefer surprises, some like specific choices.

CrotchBurn Sat 05-Dec-20 23:56:37

So if you're ones who tell people what you want, do you still wrap the presents then? Because when you're a kid and you do a list for father christmas or give your parents ideas, theres always that nervous excitement when you're ripping off the paper thinking....OMG I wonder if its....I hope I got....YES!!!!

But if you've specifically told your partner and that's how you do things then obviously you know what it is. So if you wrap it, do you then go through the whole charade of raised eyebrows and cautiously peeling off the paper? 😂

OP’s posts: |
GlummyMcGlummerson Sat 05-Dec-20 23:58:11

So if you're ones who tell people what you want, do you still wrap the presents then?

Well of course because then you can play the game of "guess which present this is wrapped up" and the little internal victory you have when you get it right is a gift in itself 😂

planningaheadtoday Sat 05-Dec-20 23:59:20

We now send links but also enjoy choosing a few things as a surprise.

Our budget is around £500 each so I really want him to get it right. The last time I wasn't clear I ended up with some amazing lingerie. But this really wasn't what I needed.

This year I've suggested an Apple Watch grin

NoBloodyHolly Sat 05-Dec-20 23:59:36

I send him a long list of things I like and he picks a few from there. I still get the surprise factor because I don’t know which gifts he’ll pick, but he knows I’ll definitely like them.

He does add a few small things of his own choosing too, but they’re just little stocking filler type gifts.

HeddaGarbled Sun 06-Dec-20 00:03:01

Yes to wrapping, so they look pretty under the tree. No to raised eyebrows and cautious peeling, though I don’t know anyone who’s ever done that, surprise or not.

didireallysaythat Sun 06-Dec-20 00:05:36

I've found if I don't come up with a list of one or two things, I don't get anything i.e. if I can't think of something I'd want, nor can DH. But we don't spend as much as MN I think so we're talking £25-50, so I'm not missing out on £500+ of presents. My kids can't think of anything they want either (we've never done Santa lists) but I can usually come up with something (£50-150). But stockings - really struggling this year

DramaAlpaca Sun 06-Dec-20 00:10:11

DH & I are very practical. We agree a budget and tell each other what we want. If we have something very specific in mind we buy it ourselves then give it to the other to wrap and put under the tree. We'll do surprise stocking fillers too.

Lilmzsnowflake Sun 06-Dec-20 00:13:25

I just buy my own and tell dh. He’s good with that. We’ve been together 25 years, we know each other’s strengths.
I hate surprises. HATE them. He knows this. I’m sure other people are the same.
There’s nothing more disappointing than getting the much wanted gift wrong, even if the gift you get is expensive and lovely. It’s not what was wanted. My parents did this every year as a child and it’s clearly damaged me inside.
I buy my own. I tell dh. He cares not anyway, other than that I am happy.
I fake the excitement. If I didn’t get myself anything I would get nothing, because my kids are small and my dh is kind but unobservant.
Unexpected gifts bother me.
I realise this is my problem.

User415373 Sun 06-Dec-20 00:15:54

I think it depends what you like. If you love perfume, wear jewellery, love x brand of clothing, have specific hobbies etc then it's easier to 'surprise' them knowing they're probably going to love it. Some people really don't want or need anything and a random gift would be a total stab in the dark (me trying to by DH gifts in the early years inc aftershave, watches, trainers etc that he never used! ) My DH has no interest in material things but I got bored of getting him 'experiences' so I just ask him what he wants. It's still lovely as he'd never buy it for himself (like a specific pair of running trainers he's been eyeing rather than me guessing).

CrazyCatLazy Sun 06-Dec-20 00:42:42

For my nearest and dearest, eg DP, DM, DD and DSIS we do a list that we can all access amongst us so we don’t know who’s getting us what but also the list can be vast of random things so we all cherry pick (not everything is bought from the lists).
Works really well as we also but buy little bits we see

sergeilavrov Sun 06-Dec-20 00:56:14

Amazon gift list from me to DH, as per his request, also shared with a few friends because they think I'm 'difficult' to buy for. The list gets pounced on every year, and as a result my DH (king of last minute purchases) has to get me to look for more things to put on it mid-December. I ask if there is anything they want specifically, and if so, get that plus a few surprises. All nicely wrapped under the tree. Ordinarily, our stockings contain things we thought of ourselves, and bigger gifts are from lists/requests.

Best of both worlds: I get things I actually like, with some element of surprise -- less work for everyone else grin

Pembsgirl Sun 06-Dec-20 00:58:50

I just send DH a list of links to things I like, some expensive and other small items, so he can spend what he wants. He then makes his choice and knows he's getting me something I would like. That way it's still a nice surprise on Christmas morning, but he knows he won't see that momentary look of disappointment, or worse still a request for the receipt so that it can be changed.

tolerable Sun 06-Dec-20 01:19:57

mention what youd like when dp on facebook-ads will appear=sorted

notangelinajolie Sun 06-Dec-20 01:34:05

For gifts from DH specifics are necessary or else his imagination will run amok. And even then, I have to get my DD's to keep him on track - he has history for going totally off grid. I don't drive and asked for a bike with a basket (and a bell grin ) so I could go shopping for bits and bobs in the nearby village. He bought me a man's racer complete with dropped handle bars and water bottle on the crossbow.

Snugglepumpkin Sun 06-Dec-20 01:35:52


I give a list of specifics in the approx price range that has been agreed - so there will be a list of several things for that amount or less which I guarantee I won't then buy for myself before Christmas.

Then at Christmas I get one of them, or sometimes two.

I don't know which thing they will have picked, but I know it will be something I like.

user1471453601 Sun 06-Dec-20 01:48:08

We do lists of things we would like ( me, DD and her partner) ranging from somewhat expensive, to not expensive at all. There is no expectation that we get everything on our list ( although, if I don't get a bag of Thorntons coffee creams, there will be trouble) and the lists are shared amongst wider family so they can choose an item in their preferred price range.

It seems sensible to us. We are all old ( me) to middle aged (DD and her partner) and are lucky enough to be able to buy things we need, and most of the things we want.

Margo34 Sun 06-Dec-20 02:08:27

If I don't give DH a list of ideas, I'll end up with something he wants for himself in disguise as something for me. Last year it was a fermenting kit!

I give him a list of lots of suggestions, things I need things I'd like etc...he'll choose from that as much or as little as he wants to buy. And yes we wrap them too.
Except this year he got excited and gave me my gift already 🙈

chatwoo Sun 06-Dec-20 03:04:44

Not all partners are good at picking up things you've talked about or alluded to. Or maybe they just can't remember what the thing was. Or there are multiple colours/finishes etc, and you said brown but they get tan, And so on.

I think you've probably been lucky so far OP grin.

Slightlyunhinged Sun 06-Dec-20 03:05:21

I give DH a list of a few things that I'd like, he gets some of them and adds to it with surprises of his own. If there's an item on the list that I definitely want, then I'd tell him. We didn't have a set budget until we both retired a couple of years ago and didn't have quite so much cash to splash!

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