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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:
username35932 · 19/11/2019 09:30

YABU since having children money has become a lot tighter for us. I would prefer an arrangement like this. Hate how materialistic Christmas has become.

NewNameIsNew · 19/11/2019 11:27

This is super common. They waited until you had kids so I don't see the issue? It's not like they are doing it when you may never have kids?

We do this. We buy for nephews and nieces until they hit 18. SILs kids are younger so we'll be buying still once they stop.

Honestly I really don't understand the issue. Both families are purchasing 2 fewer adult gifts. It's equal.

charm8ed · 19/11/2019 11:30

They should have started it when they had children.

RowenaMud · 19/11/2019 13:19

They should have started it when they had children.

The problem with this is I have one friend who isn't in a relationship and doesn't have children. Three of her four siblings are married. they decided to do a secret santa among the family but continue buying for all the children

My friend buys for all her nieces and nephews (five in total). It doesn't sound like a lot of money but she earns very little. She is by far the least well off in her family. The result is she buys her secret santa gift for a sibling (maximum total 70 pounds) and also buys for the five children in the family. She has a lot of contact with the children and they ask for quite expensive toys that are easily 50 pounds each so she now spends 320 pounds on gifts and receives 70 pounds back. The 'system' just doesn't work and she is very reluctant to tell everyone that she can't afford it. Her family have to be well aware of it as she lives by herself and has a low earning job yet at Christmas, they seem to forget her position

In situations like the above, I don't think there is a solution other than stop all gift buying as if they drastically reduce the amount spent, people end up buying tat that nobody wants which is another waste of money. However if nobody bought a gift, she wouldn't receive any gifts herself either as she doesn't have anyone else who would buy for her.

charm8ed · 19/11/2019 13:24

Sorry I meant to say they should have started it when they had children and all adults that don’t have DC get a present. That’s a fairer way.

LolaSmiles · 19/11/2019 13:29

She has a lot of contact with the children and they ask for quite expensive toys that are easily 50 pounds each so she now spends 320 pounds on gifts and receives 70 pounds back
Why keep monetary score cards for who gets what?
The issue is she's buying gifts beyond what she can afford, not the fact people buy for children.
I know many people who save up all year because they're on lower incomes. They have a much more extravagant Christmas than we do. It would be unusual for wider family to speculate or ask about her financial situation.

I'm afraid I've got limited sympathy for people who routinely spend more than they can afford to, won't change that behaviour, won't communicate with people and then complain about how unfair things are.

I'm still surprised how many people on here keep tabs on whether they get their money's worth back at Christmas. Fair enough if parents are treating kids/siblings very differently, but to keep track of price points because Phil has 2 kids aged 11 and 14 but Sarah had 4 primary aged kids and I have 1 so I'm hard done to seems to miss the spirit of Christmas.

RowenaMud · 19/11/2019 13:33

Sorry I meant to say they should have started it when they had children and all adults that don’t have DC get a present. That’s a fairer way.

Yes I agree. My friend says she would be happy not to receive anything but likes to give a gift to the children. Personally I think it would be difficult to watch everyone opening gifts and sit there without having anything at all to open and I think, over time, it might really make her sad.

RowenaMud · 19/11/2019 13:40

I know many people who save up all year because they're on lower incomes

So this is your suggestion for her?

She already sold her car because she can't afford to run it. She doesn't buy clothes. She doesn't go on holidays. Yet she should put money aside for Christmas. She is aware of the cost of Christmas because she struggles financially to cope with it.

She feels she is caught in a circle where this 'agreement' was made by her family and she is the only one who can't afford it. So she opts in or out of Christmas.

Your solution is what though? That she spends Christmas on her own? Tell her family that she can't afford any Christmas presents? That is easier said than done to be fair esp. because she can afford them just not the quantity of them.

Proseccoinamug · 19/11/2019 13:41

You’ve always had the option of doing the same. You didn’t have to buy for them and the children, that was your choice.

When you have children, they’re your priority. I’m not going to get into debt to exchange hampers with other adults.

Proseccoinamug · 19/11/2019 13:43

I don’t buy for adults. I don’t receive any Christmas presents. That is more than ok by me.

MitchellMummy · 19/11/2019 13:52

It is so much easier not buying presents for adults! It works even for people who can afford it ... lots of time saved ... shopping, wrapping, taking unwanted presents back to exchange. We stopped years ago. Never looked back. Yes, we also have some childless some with DC.

Peanutbutterforever · 19/11/2019 13:57

Look, the people changing the 'rules' are being a bit unreasonable BUT so are you!!!

If you are not happy, quietly, politely, firmly, stand up for your opinion!! Tell them it's a good idea and that you are happy not to be bought for by them, but you love giving presents and will continue to give to whom you choose. People only get away with this because other people let them.

NC4this123 · 19/11/2019 14:28

The positive if this is that your child will still be getting presents for 16 years or so but there’s will feel adults and not eligible sooner @Leflic

wow that’s the Christmas spirit.. 🤔

I can see from this thread a lot of people’s views on buying for children is it’s an obligation as oppose to wanting to. I absolutely love to treat my nephew, it’s a joy. Why would you not enjoy bringing a moment of happiness to your nieces/nephews? It’s not quite the same with adults is it 🤔

RowenaMud · 19/11/2019 16:31

I absolutely love to treat my nephew, it’s a joy. Why would you not enjoy bringing a moment of happiness to your nieces/nephews?

This is lovely if you have one or two DN. I know some families with over ten nieces and nephews and some with even more. I’d hazard a guess buying gifts it isn’t so joyful then!

HuggedTrees · 19/11/2019 17:37

You sound like my DB. Expected when they had 2 kids to spend the same amount on him and SIL and then extra for the kids. Didn’t understand when people wanted to spend less on them to spend on the kids. They were happy with this arrangement whilst we had no kids.

But anyone else having kids and it soon became “kids only”.

So no the OP isn’t being unreasonable or greedy as they’ve been expected to pay for adults and kids all this time.

Mammajay · 19/11/2019 17:44

Why a skinflint? You have been buying 5 and getting 2. Now you buy 3 and get 1. Why do adults want Christmas gifts anyway?

Localocal · 19/11/2019 17:44

No, they are not being unreasonable, because they will probably keep giving gifts to your kids after theirs are grown, so that will even out, and you are both stopping grownup gifts at the same time.

VickyEadieofThigh · 19/11/2019 17:47

Try being childless and suddenly told by your own mother that she's only buying for the grandchildren in future - this after you've already bought nice presents for your parents.

To be fair, when I told her how that made me feel, she retrenched.

lindyloo57 · 19/11/2019 17:51

We did this a long time ago, I have three siblings, one has four children, two have two, I have two, we are all
Grandparents, and great grandparents,Families just to big to buy for everyone, we also stop presents and just buy cards after 18.

LolaSmiles · 19/11/2019 17:51

So this is your suggestion for her?
No it's not my suggestion for her.

My point was I know of people who have lower incomes than me who have more lavish Christmas celebrations and consequently I wouldn't dream of speculating about someone else's finances or how they afford to do Christmas.

Your friend can't keep paying and paying for lots of expensive presents if she can't afford them, but nor can she also refuse to buy more affordable presents and then complain about the cost of the expensive ones.
She can't keep buying expensive presents because she can't afford them but then complain to friends that people haven't dived into questioning her financial situation before Christmas before making gift suggestions.

She could communicate with her family.
She could buy more affordable presents.
Both are entirely sensible and valid options.

Either people adjust their actions or the communicate, but the right of complaint is lost if someone refuses to adjust their actions, refuses to communicate and then continues in the same pattern of behaviour. People aren't psychic.

SpiderCharlotte · 19/11/2019 17:51

I can't be arsed with nonsense like this. When SIL suggested it I was relieved not to have to buy for the adults. I've never counted out how many gifts people have given me and my children or I've given them, I didn't realise people did to be honest.

CockysGirl · 19/11/2019 17:52

YANBU - We have now been told that this year it is buying for children only - i have one DS, SIL's have 5, 3 and 2 kids respectively - costs us a fortune anyway and now we will just get presents for our one DS and nothing for us yet we have to buy 10 presents! I know it's all about the kids and not giving to receive but i know they won't spend anymore on my one DS and yet the ones with 5 kids always send us links on Amazon of what to buy their kids yet never ask what we or DS want! Hmm

Daisydrum · 19/11/2019 17:56

Hi OP, this was suggested in my family (same number of children on both sides so fair) but I said NO! As I still wanted to buy for this person as they mean a lot to me! I appreciated that money is tight so we set a Very modest budget for the gift and honestly it’s usually the best gift I get!
Something really useful that has to be thought about to keep within the budget!

I would buy for whoever you wanted to and tell people that’s what you are doing!
If someone says otherwise, just say, I never agreed to that. Smile

WagtailRobin · 19/11/2019 17:57

The only time I have come across this buying for children not adults concept is here on Mumsnet, it just isn't a thing in my family/friends etc.

I buy for all of my siblings, all of my nieces/nephews including the now 20 something ones and my siblings all still buy for me and each other; I can safely say it will always be that way, it's just what we do. My mum still buys for everyone.

In your situation OP, could it be a financial reason as in they are struggling? If that is not the case, then yeah I think they sound like miserable fuckers but if it is down to money matters I would be very understanding of their situation because let's be honest Christmas is bloody expensive, it's great but it isn't cheap!

NewName73 · 19/11/2019 18:05

Nope. We have started doing this for environmental reasons.

No one needs any more crap. We are all consuming too much for the planet.

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