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Three pounds on a Christmas present. Is this tight or ok?

(107 Posts)
RockBird Tue 17-Nov-09 08:16:30

SIL happened to comment at the weekend that she has done her Christmas shopping and spent £8 on brothers and sisters, £5 on other halves and £3 on children (there are three under 6 in the family of which DD is one)

Background: Both her and her fiance are very high earners, the highest earners in the family and they do not have children or a huge mortgage. Both sets of parents are paying for their wedding. Only mentioning this to clarfiy that lack of money is not the issue.

I also should make it clear that I do not expect any presents IYSWIM. If she had said sorry I'm not giving presents this year it absolutely wouldn't bother me. But I think £3 is odd. I would rather she had spent the whole amount for our part of the family on DD or got nothing at all. For DD's first birthday earlier this year she didn't buy her a card, she got a very dark, grown up notelet and wrote a one on it. That really annoyed me and is possibly clouding my judgement over this but it all just seems stingy and I'd rather she hadn't bothered.

So go on, let me have it. I'm B very U aren't I?

bubblagirl Tue 17-Nov-09 08:21:05

no i spend 3 pound on children and less if i can find a bargain it becomes expensive and people tend to focus on the amount spent rather than thought behind it and children get so many toys my own son i spend minimal amount if i can get something for a pound i will

i have friends that buy my ds toys from 99p store i truly am not bothered if its the thought that counts

whether there high earners or not maybe they are not as well off as you think with the whole credit crunch etc maybe they too have to watch what they spend its the thought not the amount spent most children get more enjoyment out of the box than the present anyway lol even cheaper lol

bubblagirl Tue 17-Nov-09 08:22:12

i have got disney cars paint your own posters from 99p store for some of the boys in family its disney its cars its painting and its cheap lol

ssd Tue 17-Nov-09 08:22:49


£3 is fine if you r skint, but they aren't

LibrasBiscuitsOfFortune Tue 17-Nov-09 08:24:01

No you are not being unreasonable at all, if they are high earners, don't have a big mortgage and not paying for their own wedding then I would expect at least a Marc Jacobs handbag for my DDs and somthing like a quad bike for my DS. I recommend you do the only thing possible and blank them whenever possible in future that will teach them that friendship is based on material goods.

bubblagirl Tue 17-Nov-09 08:24:27

i just wonder why no present you would be happy with but a 3 pound present you think is odd its the thought that counts

StripeyKnickersSpottySocks Tue 17-Nov-09 08:25:37

Maybe she's found something really good that only cost £3. Though from what else you say about her maybe thats not the case.

I do think its true though that presents should be about thought not money. I've only spent £12 on DH's xmas this year. I'm not skint and normally spend over £100. But this year I happen to have found a perfect present for him which is only £8.

brimfull Tue 17-Nov-09 08:27:18

she's being stingy
surprised she told you how much she was spending though

StealthPolarBear Tue 17-Nov-09 08:31:48

oooh Stripey, share?
I'd be quite pleased I have to say, the presents are likely to be edible/consumable in some way, not plastic tat that I'll need to buy another toy box for!

Seona1973 Tue 17-Nov-09 08:33:41

I would have done it the other way round e.g. £8 on the kids, £5 on brothers/sisters and £3 on other halves. Well actually I would have spent more on the kids and got nothing for brothers/sisters and their other halves. We dont buy for adults as christmas is for the kids.

EndangeredSpecies Tue 17-Nov-09 08:34:53

I guess that's why your sil doesn't have a huge mortgage!! If I spent £3 on my nephew, I'm pretty sure my sister would never speak to me again.

RockBird Tue 17-Nov-09 08:37:30

OK, I think I've nailed what it is that bothers me really. I suppose I've always thought the whole tinsel, Santa, pressie thing was for children. Aside from any religious aspect that there may or may not be, Christmas is really for children and therefore I would put them at the top of the priority list and not the bottom.

I do take your point about things not necessarily costing heaps of money and although I realise I'm not coming across like that, I'm not totalling up the cost of everything. If she was the sort of person who would put any thought into it then it wouldn't be an issue but I know that her Christmas shopping would have been done in one hit in Tescos so it's not necessarily the thought that counts in this case. If she hadn't done what she did with the birthday card it possibly wouldn't grate so much.

OK fair enough, I'm getting that I'm BU

mummygirl Tue 17-Nov-09 08:37:56

I can't make my mind up if you're being unreasonable or not.

What is really odd though is the fact that she has already decided how much (exactly) she'll be spending on people depending on relationship and age. Last year my SIL gave my DD a second-hand gift, I can imagine she didn't spend much on it, but it didn't bother me because it was lovely and thoughtful. She saw it and thought of DD. As it was a bargain, so much the better. But to have decided you'll spend 3 ounds on each child, even if they end up with crappy presents is weird. Just give them chocolate.

And I also find bizzare the "8 for siblings, 5 for OHs" rule.

I can't decide if she's being stingy, but hse definitily has a very strange way with money and people

RockBird Tue 17-Nov-09 08:39:25

Libra that's not fair, that's not what I'm saying at all and you know it. Like Seona says I just would have flipped it the other way round and made children the priority or ditched the adults altogether.

mummygirl Tue 17-Nov-09 08:39:33

"pounds", not "ounds". Stupid keyboard without a pound sign!

skihorse Tue 17-Nov-09 08:44:02

YABU - nobody, but nobody has the "right" to a gift of a certain monetary value.

CommonNortherner Tue 17-Nov-09 08:51:20


She is not you and will therefore not act like you would in a similar situation! You can dislike her for it if you wish, but that way lies misery.

itsmeolord Tue 17-Nov-09 08:57:39

YANBU to be pissed off if there is a total lack of thought.
YABU to be hmm about how much money is spent.
Children are not divine beings who deserve expensive gifts.

BellaBonJovi Tue 17-Nov-09 08:59:19

YABU - Bubblagirl has put it very well, IMO.

It is the thought that counts.

Your SIL probably knows you think like this and has made a point of telling you how much she's spent wink

pigletmania Tue 17-Nov-09 08:59:59

YANBU to think that she is stingy, she should not really have revealed how much she has spent on presents, however YABU to critise how much she has spent as its really not your business.

StarExpat Tue 17-Nov-09 09:05:38

YABU. I just don't like threads like this. who cares how much someone spends on a present in comparison to what they earn? People can choose to spend £1 or £1000 no matter what they earn. They can also choose not to give a present at all. This kind of stuff always makes me so hmm about people. and

RockBird Tue 17-Nov-09 09:10:28

OK I get it, I'm grasping and mercenary.

Her wedding list is about to open in John Lewis though. That'll be interesting wink

diddl Tue 17-Nov-09 09:13:40

Of course YABU.
It doesn´t matter what she earns or how much she spends.
It´s that she bothers!

I also would have spent more on the children & less on the adults.

But I guess she´s "prioritised" it as siblings, spouses, nephews/nieces.

Maybe that do have some financial probs that you don´t know about?

diddl Tue 17-Nov-09 09:14:50

that=they, of course!

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 17-Nov-09 09:16:56

YABU a bit....
I have 'budgets' for different 'types' of people. 15 for family, 30 for DH, 5 for friends and 5 for kids (but usually find things for less). But then I am skint. Since she isn't you might expect something a bit nicer...but then maybe she's just tight - some people are. At least you get presents.

And.....really - you care what sort of birthday card she did or didn't get for your DD's 1st birthday?

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