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rubbish presents

(46 Posts)
sonearsofar Sun 26-Aug-12 17:23:08

after starting a recent thread about my mum, I'm afraid I'm having another moan..I'm not really this negative in real life, it's just that I need to hear what others think.
Is anybody else's husband rubbish at buying presents, and is it worthwhile saying anything about it? This year, the day before my birthday, my husband trawled our local (tiny) town and got me some bath bombs (which I don't like - I'm sure I've told him), a vile-smelling scented candle. He's already got me a book of postcards (i.e. you tear the pictures out of the book and use them as postcards). I feel upset that he couldn't think of something nicer (it didn't help that 2 of my 3 children totally forgot as well). He's always been rubbish at getting presents and I can't understand why he doesn't make more of an effort.

gracesmum Sun 26-Aug-12 17:28:32

He tries, but fails. I have given up on hoping for perfect surprises, I'm afraid I now say near enough the time - "I have always fancied a ..... "(last Christmas it was my Kindle) . He was happy, I was happy and deal done.
My mother used to be impossible to buy for until Dad got me to find out what she wanted to be "surprised" by and really the only way is to enlist one of the "children" (or all 3- so they have no excuse for forgetting!) If you, like me, take a lot of pleasure in choosing special presents it is hard not to be on the receiving end, but alas, that is life!

Anagram Sun 26-Aug-12 17:53:24

Mine's the same. Last Christmas I pointed him in the direction of a lovely little shop in a local town which sells all sorts of knick-knacks and silver jewellery, a shop I love browsing in, and said that I'd be happy with anything he chose for me.
I had to pretend to be, of course, but how he could have thought after all these years that I'd be thrilled by a bright green trinket box and a novelty egg-timer I really don't know....confused

janeainsworth Sun 26-Aug-12 18:00:07

I usually just buy something nice for myself and then tell him what he's given mesmile
I got a lovely second-hand ring from John Lewis with little diamonds and a little ruby for our ruby wedding anniversary.
I think he's relieved not to have to go shopping, and suffer the pain of spending money, himselfsmile

Greatnan Sun 26-Aug-12 18:00:16

My sister and one daughter are brilliant present buyers and always get me just what I need or want. The other daughter tried but always got me something I couldn't use. One year she bought me a huge cup which would hold about a pint, and a packet of loose tea, which I don't use. Still, the cup is now in use as a soup bowl. I have to confess I am not very good myself - once the grandchildren get to abou 11 I start giving them money which they seem to prefer! I send money for my great-grand-daughters to their mums, but they send me photos of what I have 'bought' and the little ones know that Nannynoo has bought it. I would be hard pressed to choose anything for them as both houses are crammed with every possible toy and book.

Soupy Sun 26-Aug-12 18:04:04

I've already mentioned to the DC that it would be nice to have 4 more champagne flutes - cheap ones of course!

One is still a student so I hope he takes the hint for Christmas!

DH and I don't tend to do major presents now that he has retired but in the past he has had a couple of funny moments, buying me a cream chunky sweater, which made me look huge and then one year bought me a purple paisley patterned blouse, which made me feel ancient; it really wasn't me.
Nowadays I also drop hints or mention things to the children and it usually gets sorted out.

Nanadogsbody Sun 26-Aug-12 18:15:35

My daughter brought me a huge bags of over-ripe greengages last year for our wedding anniversary in the misguided but happy belief that I would enjoy making jam from them. And because I didn't want them to go to waste I did jut that, on my anniversary, on a boiling hot day in August.

[boiling or steaming emoticon]

annodomini Sun 26-Aug-12 18:42:24

My ex, on our first Christmas together, must have trawled the tacky shops in Nairobi because he bought a completely blunt ornamental carving set which went to a charity shop as soon as he left for good. His idea of clothes was also bizarre - two sweatshirts with shoulder pads that made me look like an American footballer also ended up in a charity shop. And as for the slippery black nightie... words fail me...! sometimes I wonder what he buys for his second missus, not that I really care wink.

gracesmum Sun 26-Aug-12 18:55:17

I know they say it is the thought that counts.........but I burst into tears when I opened our fifth teapot wedding present! My future MIL was very unsympathetic - "It is given with love" she said but I had made a list (modest, but we were starting with nothing) and who needs more than 1 teapot anyway?
My sister in Canada also gives rubbish presents (I question her taste and maybe our parentage?) honestly cross stitch kits and calendars of remote parts of Canada are not me, so I gave up sending anything and bought her "virtual" Oxfam presents instead - goats etc. At least she could feel virtuous!

annodomini Sun 26-Aug-12 19:23:13

Today I discovered what absolutely awful shape I'm in. Some years ago, I was asked to take part in a research project called UK Biobank ( in which a selection of the population of all ages underwent tests and had stats recorded with a view to using these in future research relating to various conditions we might suffer from in future. Today was a follow-up. I discovered, to my great embarrassment, but not surprise, that I'd gained 15 kilos in the past year (I can blame steroids for some, but by no means all, of this gain), and also that I've shrunk an inch since they first measured me. However, the bone scan showed no osteoporosis which can be a result of long term steroid therapy. They filled seven vials with my precious blood and asked me to leave a sample of saliva - I couldn't summon up much spit - and, of course, urine. I don't think they left any stone unturned and I got a print-out telling me, basically, that I'm fat. blush

annodomini Sun 26-Aug-12 19:24:26

I put that on the wrong thread. For goodness sake, what was I thinking of?

Annika Sun 26-Aug-12 19:30:21

I have had far to many 'rubbish ' presents from DH. One christmas he gave a powder blue cable knitted round necked jumper that he had brought from Littlewoods the shop that used to be on every high street. Now I was only 29 at the time and far too young for that sort of thing , this was the sort of thing MiL would have worn and loved it (she had terrible taste in clothes). She used to think my uniform I had to wear at work was lovely. It was navy and white spots. Every one at work looked like a Hattie Jacques tribute act !,
But to get back to the topic in hand I know its the thought that counts but how much thought went into a lot of the presents he chose I dread to think.
I once had a saucy black undies set off him blush , the problem with that was the bra was a 38c at the time I was a 32b !!!!!! Who was he thinking of I wonder hmm
To save any more disappointment and waste of money I now order what I want from Amazon and tell him thats my present off him . In fact my birthday present arrived the other day all he has to do is wrap it and give it me on the day. A surprise would be nice but on current form its not worth it.
Good heavens this makes me sound so ungrateful but I am not ....honest smile

Annika Sun 26-Aug-12 19:37:09

annodomini Pop it on the 'A senior moment' thread grin wink

Notsogrand Sun 26-Aug-12 19:57:51

One year when I was quite heavily pregnant DH bought me a special lightweight ladies lawnmower, so it was easier for me to mow the lawn.

Another time, he bought me a set of red, lightweight, polysomething sewer rods.

For our first wedding anniversary he booked surprise tickets for a meal and show at a strip club in London.

The whole 'lightweight' thing was a regular feature. One of the last presents he ever bought me was a lightweight Black & Decker Workmate so I didn't have to struggle with his heavy old one.

Marelli Sun 26-Aug-12 20:10:11

Other 'arf once bought me a lovely watch, but that WAS the first year we were together (1970). Didn't get much over the following years, but I did mention that I could do with a nice dressing gown for Christmas. I got a bright-green foam-backed (remember?) thing which had wide lapels trimmed with white lace. The design on the material was orange roses, which looked like large snails. The kids had bought me big bright-pink fluffy slippers. I did look stunning on Christmas morning....grin

Annika Sun 26-Aug-12 20:20:10

I used to have a pink foam backed dressing gown with what can only be described as having 'Alladin' type sleeves, you know the sort , big and droopy, well the dam things used to keep catching on door handles as I went in and out , they drove me mad grin

nanaej Sun 26-Aug-12 20:47:24

My DH gifts are hit and miss. I have had some lovely gifts from him and some disasters! For our Ruby anniversary last year it was a miss! He bought a pretty but traditional (& quite expensive) necklace..ruby droplet on a gold chain. I never wear that kind of jewellery and I had to hide my disappointment but I have worn it. However I was going to wear it earlier this month on our anniversary and I cannot find it anywhere. I am mortified! Can't decide if i should tell him or not confused

yogagran Sun 26-Aug-12 20:47:35

Love it not so! Sounds very much like my DH too. One year, before we started living together, he had forgotten my birthday and I casually mentioned it late into the evening. As I was leaving to go home he gave me a bottle of Scotch. One of those lovely, really good ones in its own cardboard tube. Only problem was, when I got it out later it was nearly empty!
We don't give each other anything these days, if he wants something he won't wait for birthday or Christmas but just gets it anyway and also we are really trying to cut down on "stuff" and clutter

nanaej Sun 26-Aug-12 20:58:57

yoga I am slowly persuading my DH that we should stop buying presents for Christmas and birthdays and spend the money on a special day out, event or weekend away we do not need any 'stuff' and if things need replacing..clothes etc then we can each afford to buy what we like ourselves! For Christmas and his birthday (early Jan) I booked us into a boutique hotel in Soho for 2 nights and got tickets for a show and arranged an itinerary of exhibitions we had said we wanted to see. Friends met us for a meal in Soho on his birthday. I might do similar again this year! For my birthday he got tickets for a steam train journey to Swanage with breakfast on the outward journey and dinner on the way home. Shame it rained for the afternoon in Swanage..but a fun day!

Charlotta Sun 26-Aug-12 22:01:37

I've trained mine -and my children to buy me flowers. Not plants to last, but flowers, particularly roses -not from ALDI- and I love getting them and on my birthday I have flowers all over the house.
I buy my jewellery myself and everything else myself. I know best what I like.

annodomini Sun 26-Aug-12 22:36:33

My family bought me a balloon flight for Christmas one year. It was cancelled so often because of bad weather that I finally got it in October! Another time, when they knew I was going to Venice with my sister, they bought me a gondola trip and a guided historical walk - shared by my sister of course. And for my 70th, they gave me a wonderful party complete with a magician and a bagpiper - and a cake in the shape of a VW Beetle.

Hunt Sun 26-Aug-12 23:03:51

my husband and I have never bought each other birthday presents. Unbirthday presents are so much nicer as there could possibly be 364 of them!

kittylester Mon 27-Aug-12 08:49:53

My birthday is in early January [sad] so an ex once bought me a box of chocolates for Christmas as my birthday was too soon to have two "big presents". I was really excited opening my birthday present which turned out to be bath cubes with soap and talc.shock

Barrow Mon 27-Aug-12 09:08:44

My husband usually went down the jewellery route which most of the time was lovely - but it used to annoy me that he would always leave it to the last minute. He would go out Christmas Eve afternoon which to me meant he didn't have long enough to search for something really special. Gosh that does sound ungrateful!

annodomini Mon 27-Aug-12 09:25:31

kitty, that 'ex' was very rightly 'ex'! grin
My ex also had a birthday early in January and I was always meticulous about giving him separate presents. [virtuous emoticon]