Advanced search

What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10

Find out more

reducing gifting - advice request from the wise ladies of mumsnet

(9 Posts)
Xmas2014SantaC9957 Fri 23-Jan-15 20:56:42

Excuse the nickname. Probably not the best for this post but I can't work out how to change it on my phone.

I am still in touch with a couple of girlfriends from back home from school days.

Whilst we are not that close at the moment, in large part to busy jobs and small children, these ladies will be in my lift forever. So far so good.

We continued to give each other birthday and Christmas gifts which I always enjoyed, both giving and receiving. When children came along we included them. Before I had my daughter(in the days of plenty of time and money) buying for my friends children was an exciting and enjoyable.

The problem now is that as more children have come along it has got out of control and I find organising and buying all the presents really stressful, as well as expensive. Also, now my daughter is at school, and has a birthday party, she gets way to much stuff on her birthday anyway (I realise Btw I am very fortunate and this is a first world problem, but I also dislike waste and clutter

I've decided i don't want to stop altogether. The problem is the amount of people and children involved - 9 at the last count and another on the way.

I thought about suggesting a round Robin for Christmas, but this would mean someone organising it and everyone agreeing to a system, which due to the range of children (one woman has 4) could be a bit tricky.

So, has anyone come across any ways of cutting down without stopping? Any suggestions, ideas and experiences appreciated.
Thanks Katy

SavoyCabbage Fri 23-Jan-15 21:02:02

My friend and I have gone back to just buying something for each other and not the dc. It is us who are friends, although the dc obviously play together and what not when we see each other. The dc get enough stuff as it is.

Another friend and I just do books. I like that too as we tend to choose books we wouldn't necessarily buy for our own dc. We buy only one book per dc.

3isthemajicnumber Fri 23-Jan-15 21:07:35

We did secret Santa this year with my lot as there is now 9 children.
We created a fb group with ideas etc. we set a price limit of £20 per child. Took a lot of the hassle out of it.

mynameissecret Fri 23-Jan-15 21:13:37

What about buying family gifts at Xmas a board game or the like?

NormHonal Fri 23-Jan-15 21:22:08

I would just be straight, say to your friends that it's time to cut down (somehow) or stop altogether.

I've experienced a few scenarios:
1) friend 1 suggested it to me and my reaction was "thank God!"
2) I suggested it to friend 2 and she was relieved
3) friend 3 suggested it to me and I thought "what a shame" at first, then agreed
4) friend 4 just stopped sending gifts for my DCs. Which was confusing, but message received, and I stopped sending for hers too. I would rather she had said something.
5) I suggested it to friend 5 and she disagreed and said she would still send presents for my DCs. I have two, she has four, hers are all older and I have no idea what to get them. This is as yet unresolved. confused

So my advice from experience would be to be straight with your friends, suggest an alternative, and you may well find they agree!

Xmas2014SantaC9957 Fri 23-Jan-15 21:31:38

Thanks everyone for your thoughts, there are some really good ideas here. I'm torn between trying to arrange something as a group, which needs everyone's agreement to work, or dealing with it on a case by case basis. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has decided to tackle this though.
The problem with adults only is I know(she has said directly) that one child free friend loves buying for my daughter. One of the others has my daughters tastes nailed - but has a tendency to be a bit hit and miss for me these days.
I had wondered about suggesting adults at birthdays and children at Christmas?
Please keep the ideas coming.

SweepTheHalls Fri 23-Jan-15 21:35:11

We have gone down the route of a family board game

avocadogreen Fri 23-Jan-15 21:41:46

we started just doing birthdays not christmas... it worked well for a while then they all just kept having more and more children and it was seriously stressful keeping up with them! Luckily after I forgot a few birthdays people kind of got the message smile Now we pretty much stick to the same rule as we do at school- you take a present if you're invited to the party, that's all.

dancingwitch Fri 23-Jan-15 21:50:31

Where we have got to with my group of friends is:
- one suggested we no longer both giving gifts to each other's children but we have reverted to giving each other presents;
- as a result, another mutual friend and I had a chat about it but decided that, as we see each other with the children regularly and both tend to have an idea what to buy, we will continue to buy for each other's children
- with another who has moved further afield (4 hours away) we now make a real effort to meet up once a year somewhere between us and have a day out. This has worked really well so far. We always take a cake & candles & sing "happy birthday to everyone" at some point
- with two child free friends, they like buying for the DC but have stopped buying for me but I still buy for them
- with a friend with much older children whose birth I acknowledged with a card & a present and then promptly forgot and it's now got to the stage where asking when their birthdays actually are would be embarrassing, I send them a craft kit or a voucher for Hobbycraft or similar at the beginning of the summer holidays which always seems to be appreciated.

Join the discussion

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

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: