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Family and ‘we’re only buying for the children now’

334 replies

NemophilistRebel · 18/11/2019 17:57

Am I the only one who thinks you skinflint?

Family member who has 3 children which we have always bought for along with the parents decides as soon as we have first baby that now we have children (1) we can buy for children only at Christmas and birthdays.

So that’s years worth of buying for their 3 and them not having an issue, and now they just buy for one.

Is this typical with CF family members ?

OP posts:
SchrodingersKitty · 18/11/2019 18:36

I've been trying to get my family to accept this or something similar for the last few years, but with limited success. My parents are in their 80s and really don't want or need more stuff. I have two sisters and we all have children (now between 10 and 20). We all - adults - have more stuff than we need, but we've always made a big deal out of Christmas, and my middle sister in particular is a bit touchy about doing it 'right'. We tried having a secret santa for sisters and partners last year, but it didn't quite work. In other years we've done 'consumable only' presents, but it still turned into much more than we intended. The issue is that we all (including my parents) don't want stuff for ourselves, but we want to be allowed to get it for other people.

DH's family does it very differently - their presents were always much more token. His late mother was apt to hand presents back if she didn't want them. Presents are very much not the 'love-language' for him, and he is not good at them. Before we got together his presents for his older children were pretty perfunctory (in my opinion) so I took over buying for them and still do now they are in their late 30s/early 40s. They are very generous in their own present-giving - sometimes too much so.

There are now at least 25 people in the 'immediate' family, including one grandchild for DH. It is all a bit much but I still can't find a way to get a balance.

RuggerHug · 18/11/2019 18:37

OP did you mean they said they're only buying for their DCs and no one else?

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll · 18/11/2019 18:37

All the chat about "fair"... missing the point of a gift (something for nothing in return)

But are these gifts being bought spontaneously because you happen to see something in the shop, think "Ooh, X would love that" and then buy it and give it the next time you see them?

Or is it because you're thinking "Christmas is approaching - we'll need to get presents for X, Y & Z" ?

Not saying you don't put any thought into it, but for almost everybody, the driving force for getting somebody a present is 'because it's Christmas and they're on the present list'.

Disfordarkchocolate · 18/11/2019 18:37

I was so glad we went to children only, I honestly don't need any presents.

icannotremember · 18/11/2019 18:40

I just don't care. This is the sort of thing my family are twisting themselves up over in the annual drama filled run up to xmas and I want to scream. I don't care. I will buy gifts for people I want to buy gifts for. I've saved up to spoil the DC. I don't care if I get a gift or not. It is such needless angst.

Genevieva · 18/11/2019 18:41

We struggle to come up with anything we want for ourselves, let alone ideas for other adults. None of us like receiving cliché presents. Having nieces and nephews to buy for is a relief because it means we can all ditch the adult present thing.

NemophilistRebel · 18/11/2019 18:41

@CherryPavlova exactly

I don’t like to be dictated to who to buy for

It’s meant that DH who loves buying gifts for his brothers is now only able to buy for one brother (the one without children) and can’t buy for his brother with children as they’ve said children only.

Neither myself or my DH want or expect gifts.

It’s the forced upon decision that as soon as we had a child we no longer get to choose and I say that’s cfery.

We’ve always loved buying for everyone, and the budget has unfortunately not increased so the price per gift just got spread a bit thinner.
It’s partly laziness too.
Like those with more children don’t want to be wasting time thinking of the brothers, sisters, aunts or uncles anymore.

OP posts:
Genevieva · 18/11/2019 18:41

I always buy for my spinster aunt though, as she gets presents for our kids and I think she deserves something in return.

tiggerandpoohtoo · 18/11/2019 18:42

I didn't realise Christmas had become about giving to receive? I always thought it was about family and spending time with the ones we love regardless of how much we have to spend on them. Silly me.

KittenLedWeaning · 18/11/2019 18:43

I don’t like to be dictated to who to buy for

I can understand that. So would it be an option to say amongst the family that everyone can buy for whom they like, as long as none of the children are left out?

NemophilistRebel · 18/11/2019 18:43

Very much this too - The issue is that we all (including my parents) don't want stuff for ourselves, but we want to be allowed to get it for other people.

OP posts:
NemophilistRebel · 18/11/2019 18:43

@tiggerandpoohtoo it’s not and not what I said

OP posts:
NemophilistRebel · 18/11/2019 18:45

@Genevieva - we do the same. There’s still so many of my siblings and DH’s siblings who are unmarried or without children that it would seem really unfair to leave them out when they are buying countless presents for the nieces and nephews

OP posts:
HideYourBabiesAndYourBeadwork · 18/11/2019 18:45

I’d find this a blessed relief tbh- not just in cost but effort of choosing presents for more people- often stuff they don’t really want anyway. Maybe they’ve chosen to do it this way because you’re basically equal as you are parents too? To make it fairer to you?

SecondaryBurnzzz · 18/11/2019 18:46

to add to the other scrooges on this thread, I also really hate xmas presents now. Wasting money on tat that no-one needs, just for something to open. A gift for me, would be not having to buy a present! Obvs we buy for DD, DH and our parents and our DD, but having to find something nice and reasonably priced for DD's 18 cousins is a complete PITA.
I'd rather have a nice lunch, walk and time to do a jigsaw puzzle, that would be good xmas for me.

Quartz2208 · 18/11/2019 18:47

Then buy for them if you don’t want a gift but want to buy do it
They are telling you now that you have a child they are happy for you not to buy for them but just for the children and they will do the same

You do what you ssnt

GrumpyHoonMain · 18/11/2019 18:47

My brother did this, so it was decided that we would have two gift givings. One for the kids, and the others for the adults that want to give presents to each other. He had right face on him when only he and sil were missed out in the adult gift giving; funnily enough they were fine to be included the following year. Play hardball with them.

PrincessHoneysuckle · 18/11/2019 18:48

Dh family only buy for people under 18,resulting in us buying for 3 and sil buying for one.

troutknickers · 18/11/2019 18:48

"Like those with more children don’t want to be wasting time thinking of the brothers, sisters, aunts or uncles anymore"

That's exactly what it's like for me. My mental load is so fucking huge that thinking of bloody gifts for adults I don't live with or see that much is a bloody pain the arse, and I don't have the money to which means I can't get the kids as much as I'd like to as the money has to come out of their budget. Also means we have to have a fairly basic food budget too.

We're the only ones with kids on both sides of the family so still buy for every fucker and it drives me bloody mad. I cannot wait to say let's just buy for each other's kids, and I guarantee when they all start popping them out that's what will happen. But because they won't understand yet as don't have kids and all work full time we will look like skin flints saying it now. Sorry but it fucks me off.

aibutohavethisusername · 18/11/2019 18:51

As a family we decided to only buy for under 18s a couple of years ago. So apart from immediate family the adults don’t get much. Which is better money wise but can see a bit sad come Christmas Day.

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll · 18/11/2019 18:51

In theory this would balance itself out because the OP's child would continue to receive presents after the others have all turned 18.

How can it, though? If we accept that a family's child(ren) come in one block whether an only child or 10 siblings and leave them aside, it would only balance out if the relatives gave presents to OP as well as her child(ren) for as long as she also gave to them whilst they had at least one child.

AugustRose · 18/11/2019 18:51

I have told my Dsis that I am only buying for her grandchildren this year, we both have 4 kids and all of hers are adults now (and some have partners) except the 17 yr old but he has just joined the RAF. My youngest are 17, 12 and 8 but I don't expect her to buy for them anymore (she probably will but I can't stop her).

She has 3 grandchildren with a 4th due at christmas and that is enough for us to buy for as money is very tight this year, it will remove the worry of buying for 6 adults,

It might be seen as awkward if there is an inbalance of children, my brother has none but has routinely bought for all 8 nieces and nephews even though I ask him not to, he says he enjoys it as he doesn't have any of his own to buy for Sad but I feel awful that he spends so much money.

haverhill · 18/11/2019 18:51

We do this in our family and it's bloody great. I don't want or need anything else in my house, but DS is still young enough to love getting presents. Cuts down on the appalling waste created by Christmas too.
I can't really understand adults getting snarky about presents, tbh.

ThirstyGhost · 18/11/2019 18:51

I think they sound sensible. Money is probably a bit tight. Is it for them? You haven't said. I think that makes a difference. My family none of us have much money so we buy for kids only.

neveradullmoment99 · 18/11/2019 18:52

We do this and have for years. Its a relief tbh. The bonus too is we save the money we would have spent to more things for our own kids or treat each other! Its better. We used to get gifts and never use them!

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