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to not want to continue buying presents for everyone in DH's family, when they only give the cheapest nastiest things in return.

42 replies

littleboo · 20/11/2007 13:17

This argument raises its head ever year in our house. After 13 years of marriage I get really fed up having to buy presents for everyone in dh's family (adults and children.
I don't like to just give something crappy, don't spend a huge amount but like to choose something I think they might actually like. Ever year in return we all(kids as well) get the most rubbishy presents (I have to say not from all of them) in return.
I know its "the thought that counts and all that", but I keep trying to say why don't we just buy for the children, and not the adults. It falls on deaf ears every year. i'm not sure if anyone else in the family feel the same, perhaps they do, but it s bugging me more and more each year. we don't have a huge unneeded pot of money, and with 3 children of our own to buy for, it seems to me such a waste.
Please don't think i am being a "bah Humbug" i love christmas, just find this kind of irritating.

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Maidamess · 20/11/2007 13:20

Sounds like you need to make a family announcement "We have no money!!" So only children to get presents.And just be really firm. They would probably all be grateful!

Or you could say, please don't buy for us (you and dh) this year, as we can't afford to reciprocate.

In my family, no adults get presents. And nephews and nieces, only a £5 present each. So I'm more bah humbug than youi!


RustyBear · 20/11/2007 13:23

Buy them a toilet!


KaySamuels · 20/11/2007 13:25

We only buy for kids on both sides, DP parents presents always err on the crappy side. I agree just announce no more adultsd presents due to short of cash - but that means on both sides not just your dps!!


dustystar · 20/11/2007 13:26

In dh's family we just buy pressies for the kids as its got so expensive. my family are big kids themselves and haven't been able to give up pressies yet

Be firm with them and say you can only afford to buy for the children.


littleboo · 20/11/2007 13:30

Don't buy for my side anyway, kind of just came to that agreement.
sounds like i'm going to have to be the one to make a stand, which feels hard
Toilets a good idea rusty, but can just see it escalating year on year.
Unfortunately 2 of the families aren't short of a bob or two " my mum would say" they always buy the worst things anyway, but of course it doesn't matter to them. you know they still phone up dh and remind him that its the childrens birthdays (the children are 22 and 26 years!!!!!
Its drives me mad

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nametaken · 20/11/2007 13:56

littleboo I used to have just the same problem as you and in the end if told DH if he wanted his family to have presents he would have to buy them. It's really liberating not having to worry about it and of course my DH never puts much thought or effort into it (oh dear what a shame).

Of course we get crap presents back and I have 3 kids too.

Why anyone would think that I would like to receive a crap plastic "3 for 2" present made by a child slave in China and then flown across to world to make global warming even worse is beyond me. Give me an Oxfam toilet any day of the week.

Seriously, just stop doing it - there's no law that says you have to do DH's xmas shopping.


bubblepop · 20/11/2007 14:06

hello! tell them you are not doing it anymore and stick to it! you might find the first year they ignore you and you feel slightly embarrassed that you hav'nt bought them anything in return. say again next year that your not doing it and i guarrentee they won't either, they are probably glad you made the first move


littleboo · 20/11/2007 14:06

Yes thanks nametaken. he doesn't of course make me do it, buts its like "WE NEED to get pressies for so and so" and i'm just think what a load of ......p.
What probably irritates me even more is that they even buy the children rubbishy plastic things that they wouldn't even like. i'd rather a book voucher or something like that for them.

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perpetualworrier · 20/11/2007 14:54

I have this with my SIL. It sometimes seems like we're playing who can but the cheapest present - but I always lose, as I really can't bring myself to buy absolute tatt.

This year I've decided they're having a year's membership to the local wildlife trust. It's a cause close to my heart - no idea if they're interested or not, but it's a lot more than they will spend on us, so they can't say I'm tight, I get to support the charity, no-one can say I didn't bother and if I'm really lucky, I can post it so I won't even have to see them


fireflyfairy2 · 20/11/2007 15:03

We don't buy to my side of the family anymore. None of us do!! I have 4 sisters & 3 brothers & 15 nieces & nephews!! far far too expensive, even if it was only £5 per person!!

We go to town on the birthdays though, that's easier as they are all spread throughout the year!!


3andnomore · 20/11/2007 15:03

We have this agreement in our of my sil does still buy for everyone, but they have lots of money (and well earned I may say) and they love to spoil us all, bless them....they are really lovely.
Because I don't like to not give anything at all, I usually make biscuits and give those, nicely boxed, to family....!
It's a shame really that X-mas nowadays seems to get it's value by how much is spend on it


GrapefruitMoon · 20/11/2007 15:06

And if you do decide to make a stand and not buy for the adults - you can include the grown-up "children" in that too - so two less presents to buy!


ConnorTraceptive · 20/11/2007 15:07

I've often wondered when you go into BHS and see Olive oil stuffed with lemons, twigs and pebbles on a handy rack "who the hell buys this shit?"

Personally I can't wait to recieve the customary bottle of miniture asti with a cross eyed teddy wrapped round it!

My friend has a natural talent for finding me the most hideous bloody candles every year. I think I'd disapointed though now if I didn't get one!


ConnorTraceptive · 20/11/2007 15:10

I would like to point out that this type of tat isn't even cheap! That's what bothers me most. A five pound book voucher would be more than welcome or a lets save our money and have a family meal out together.


Blu · 20/11/2007 15:14

Do they buy crap rubbishy presents because they are intentionally trying to soend as little as possible and are mean-sprited and couldn't care less what they give you? Or are they generous-hearted, but just have less 'taste' than you.

DH's family are the latter. We come home from his very generous but 'different taste' family with frilly nylon nighties, badly executed mock Constable paintings in plastic-moulded mock antique frames, elaborately patterned viscose knitwear (for DH) etc etc. And even if I said 'no presents for adults', they would still give us these presents because they want to give them to us. (I did draw the line at some of DP's unused wedding gifts from his former marriage that his Mum tried to give me....but that's diffrent! And anyway, they were model glass ships. Which is why DP had never taken them home in the first place).

Some people realy do get pleasure from giving, and if it is so with your ILs then be gracious and let them have that pleasure.


Minum · 20/11/2007 15:14

Do say no, and stick to it, its not the end of the world if you dont buy for people, and they buy for you - if they want to do it, fine. 90% of our family have bought into the no-presents-for-adults, the other 10% still buy for us, they obviously love shopping, so thats there perogative.


juliewoolie · 20/11/2007 15:17

I couldnt be bothered with recieving the same old tat this year invariably a dodgy smelly set . So told DP's family we are buying for the kids only this year and not to buy for us etc etc. Dont think it went down very well but ho hum. I also sent my sil a selection of links to pressies that I wanted for my DS (on her request)


sparklyjen · 20/11/2007 15:20

I think it's sad that lots of people aren't giving presents to grown-ups, I've really enjoyed searching out lovely things for all my relatives and I'm really excited and impatient to give them their presents! Particularly my parents who I owe so much, it's nice to be able to say thank you in a different way.


lailasmum · 20/11/2007 15:21

My friend has a similar problem to this. Her MIL seems to have a the art of buying peculiar and very tacky presents down to a fine art, its almost like they go to a car boot and buy a box of something (decorated candles, novelty pens etc..) each year to give, so everyone gets the same dodgy thing. Its not like they are short of money but even so it would just be nice for them to give something inexpensive but with a bit of thought put into it.

My friend goes out of her way to buy something individual for the MIL and they invariably end up on ebay a few months later for reasons she can't fathom, she has long put it down to the fact that her MIL doesn't like her and doesn't want to receive anything she gives her no matter how nice it is


pyjamagirl · 20/11/2007 15:25

My poor old mum goes through this every year with my dads sister,She buys them all presents then delivers them and without fail my auntie will hand a bottle of good whisky to my dad and say I'll fetch everyone else's up next week I've still got to wrap them
she never ever turns up with them though. You can also see her on my sisters wedding DVD going through the line up and saying to my sister she had forgot to fetch the gift with her lol!!!!


LadyOfWaffle · 20/11/2007 15:27

I spend hours choosing gifts for every Tom Dick and Harry on DHs side and get such tat, not even any thought, in return so this year they are getting Oxfam toilets and goats. I am only buying for the 2 children and my mum.


LadyOfWaffle · 20/11/2007 15:29

BILs 2 children, I only have one


Katiekin · 20/11/2007 15:31

We only buy for children and the aged grandparents who wouldn't get a present otherwise in spite of spending a fortune themselves. Anyone with children gets nothing


Carmenere · 20/11/2007 15:36

We have loads of grown ups and very few kids in our family so this year we are doing a secret santa(there are 15 adults in all) and spending £50 each so that each person will get a decent gift instead of buying an impossible amount of expensive tat. I think it is a great idea because you still get the pleasure of giving without the stress of shopping for 15.


littleboo · 20/11/2007 18:20

Carmenere that sounds like a better idea if we have to continue, just wish it would stop altogether though.
Blu - i think there are tight and just spend as little as poss, appears to be out of the bargain buckets every year. Don't think it has anything to do with taste.

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