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AIBU

To hate buying, giving and receiving gifts

(31 Posts)
Tennisnan Mon 26-Dec-16 16:23:58

Increasingly I'm finding I hate anything to do with gift giving and receiving. I get paralysed with indecision when choosing - have they got one already, will it have a hidden message, is it too cheap, too expensive. Even worse is being given a wrapped present and expected to open in front of the giver - oh no, they've spent so much on something I won't use, don't like, already have, or its so inappropriate, are they sending a hidden message, or why are they buying something so tacky that I know they would never have it in their own home. Do my "oohs and aahs, it's lovely" comments sound genuine? Oh I wish I could just stop it all except where small children are concerned. Then, the more handmade (to receive) and exactly matching mum's instructions (to give) - the better.

tanith Mon 26-Dec-16 16:47:35

I can't say I feel as strongly as you Tennisnan but our family decided this year to not buy endless gifts for everyone, the smaller children were bought for normally but not the adults. Instead we did a Secret Santa with a limit on spending, everyone did a wish list of 3/4 gifts they would like and we each bought for someone else.
It worked really well and everyone was really pleased with their gift and it certainly reduced all the stress and strain of choosing for a dozen grownups and then shopping for all those gifts and wrapping them.
We will certainly do it again in the future.

granjura Mon 26-Dec-16 17:36:11

I just love giving and receiving gifts- but not when it is 'expected' like at Christmas and birthday. It's lovely to get gifts when people thought 'ah I'llget that, or make that- because it is just perfect for Jura' - and do the same for others.

Just hate the commercialisation of Christmas and the high expectations, etc, and buying/receiving for the sake off.
No more 'stuff' for me and if I can, from me, either.

We only buy gifts for the GCs, and otherwise for anyone we actually spend Christmas day with, either as hosts or guests.
Just gone too far imho.

Charleygirl Mon 26-Dec-16 17:36:11

I gave up years ago choosing for friends who have everything. I said I was no longer going to buy presents so for me that was a load of stress gone. I may come across to others as being mean but I really do not care.

Christinefrance Mon 26-Dec-16 17:39:02

Oh dear tennisnan you are over thinking this and stressing. If it's becoming difficult for you just tell everyone not to buy for you next year and you will make a donation to charity in lieu of buying gifts. You can still buy gifts for the small children who love all things wrapped in bright paper. Don't spoil your Christmas by worrying about this.

Ana Mon 26-Dec-16 17:41:05

We don't buy for the adults in the family at Christmas, but I have to say DD and I do cheat a bit - I bought her a new coat a month or so ago because she needed one and she gave me a lovely scarf as a 'no occasion' present a couple of weeks ago! smile

Luckygirl Mon 26-Dec-16 18:39:01

We give presents to our children and GC (valued from ยฃ20 to ยฃ50 - just depends what we see that we think they would like) ;our children tend to club together with either me or my OH to by a present for each of us or both jointly - because we feel we have quite enough "stuff" thank you. This year OH was given a VR headset and I have a lovely leather satchel - just the one present each, although DD bought us a lovely calendar and gave us a photo of the DGC.

We send my siblings a plant or some eatable goodies to enhance their Christmas celebrations, but no individual presents.

We all seem very happy with this arrangement.

I am sorry Tennisnan that it all seems to be so stressful for you - that does rather defeat the object of the joy of giving and receiving! If I were you I would rethink it all for next year and perhaps agree on cheaper fun presents.

I have to say that some of the threads on Mumsnet made my hair stand on end - children making lists of 15 or 16 presents and parents buying them ALL at vast expense!! - and then adding another when the child came up with something else! - mad as can be! What message does it send to the children?

rosesarered Mon 26-Dec-16 19:13:44

I do enjoy buying presents, and receiving them, come to that. My advice is to start early and get it all wrapped early as well.Saves a lot of stress.
We buy for DC and DGC, but not for extended family, and only a small present for a couple of good friends.

Iam64 Tue 27-Dec-16 09:40:01

I'm surprised that people who have no interest or belief in anything to do with Jesus Christ complain that the period is over commercialised. Everything is over commercialised these days, that's life and this particular Christian celebration is perfect for retailers etc to make merry with. If we don't like it, we don't need to commit to it or to critics those who both practice or feel a commitment to the Christian faith, or to those who simply like a mid winter festival of over indulgence.

Having said that, I do empathise with the OP - if I felt that way I'd talk with my family and friends about it. One of my close friends is in the not sending Christmas cards but donating to charity group, she doesn't give gifts unless they are home made or involve sponsoring goats etc. Each to our own and OP, I don't mean to be critical of you in any way, find a way to do Christmas the way you want to do it.

goldengirl Tue 27-Dec-16 11:42:51

I agree to some extent. There is so much pressure at Christmas and so many to buy for - and cook for. I don't like receiving presents much as I don't like the focus to be on me even on my birthday. Goodness knows why - perhaps something happened in my youth that I can't recall. Luckily the presents this year were well received all round - or the family was being polite - and everyone seemed to have had a good time. Phew! It's over for another year. Should I start collecting ideas now I wonder............?

M0nica Tue 27-Dec-16 12:12:20

I love giving and receiving presents, but to make the buying easier, within the family, we ask for wish lists at the beginning of November. There is no guarantee that you will get all or anything on the wish list nor do you know until you open your presents what if anything you have from your list, but it does mean that we are generally surprised and delighted when we do open our presents. It saves a lot of wasted time spent trying to think what to give people.

Money isn't an issue, I do not mean by that we buy lots of expensive presents, quite the opposite, we do not give expensive presents, but the aim is to give each individual something they will be pleased with, and none of us even thinks to price our own gift or the comparative price of other peoples. Among my most appreciated gifts yesterday were two pairs of really beautiful cosy tights from M&S. The donor has my taste to a T, and knows I suffer from cold feet, isn't that more important than money?

GrandmaMoira Tue 27-Dec-16 13:19:06

I like getting presents. I don't get very many and just the fact that someone's made the effort to buy me something and wrap it is appreciated, even if I don't specially want that item.
In fact, although I know it's not really important, it's bugging me that my son's girlfriend who spent Christmas Day here for the first time didn't buy me anything. I think it's just polite when you go to someone's house for Christmas to buy a gift, even chocolates or wine.

GrandmaMoira Tue 27-Dec-16 13:19:08

I like getting presents. I don't get very many and just the fact that someone's made the effort to buy me something and wrap it is appreciated, even if I don't specially want that item.
In fact, although I know it's not really important, it's bugging me that my son's girlfriend who spent Christmas Day here for the first time didn't buy me anything. I think it's just polite when you go to someone's house for Christmas to buy a gift, even chocolates or wine.

GrandmaMoira Tue 27-Dec-16 13:19:09

I like getting presents. I don't get very many and just the fact that someone's made the effort to buy me something and wrap it is appreciated, even if I don't specially want that item.
In fact, although I know it's not really important, it's bugging me that my son's girlfriend who spent Christmas Day here for the first time didn't buy me anything. I think it's just polite when you go to someone's house for Christmas to buy a gift, even chocolates or wine.

Anya Tue 27-Dec-16 13:47:01

tennisnan stop trying to overthink this and don't allow your anxiety to take over. That way lies madness.

Elrel Tue 27-Dec-16 14:27:36

Irritated to see in the Gransnet Christmas section a choice between binning and regifting an unwanted toiletries regift. Well no, hostels for young people would be pleased with them as would most charity shops.
Grandjura - yes, you see the perfect present, just buy and give it, no need for a special date and certainly no reciprocation expected. I once sent an old friend a little known PG Wodehouse school story and a tee shirt with a medals print, both from the charity shop. Turns out the book was one he wanted for his PGW collection and he liked the too small tee which was happily seized and worn by his teenage son!
This year he posted on social media that he understands not getting many Christmas presents as he mainly would like military medals, photographs of the recipients wearing them, very specific (and costly) books and a specific whisky!

Elrel Tue 27-Dec-16 14:40:31

Tennisnan, many families have a children's presents only agreement nowadays. It often comes as a relief when someone suggests it! A 'each person buys one gift only', with or without a price limit just needs someone to be brace enough to suggest it!
I was stressing about not being physically able to do much shopping when it dawned on me that my much loved GC would be getting plenty of good things from their parents!
As Anya says, try not to overthink - your first idea is probably fine ๐Ÿ˜‰

rubylady Wed 28-Dec-16 01:00:22

I still have presents I need to give out. I had a chest infection so stayed put and didn't go to see who I intended to so as not to pass it on. I will get round to it, sometime soon, probably, maybe. grin

I got nothing off no one. Not even a card. Apart from a guy on ebay who I bought a couple of magnets off, he sent two cards, business Christmas cards. Yippee! grin Oh well.

absent Wed 28-Dec-16 06:51:05

How sad! Giving presents at any time of year โ€“ whether large or small, expensive or cheap and cheerful โ€“ always gives me pleasure. Receiving presents โ€“ from my imaginative and loving daughter or sweet things from my grandchildren โ€“ also gives me infinite joy. Sometimes it can be a bit of a hassle sorting out who gets what at Christmas when I try to ensure that everyone โ€“ I have a lot of grandchildren โ€“ gets a fair share but it's no big deal. But then, I am a Friday's child.

Mumsy Wed 28-Dec-16 07:53:47

I love giving presents, Ive not recieved a present in years so forgotten what that feels like.

carerof123 Wed 28-Dec-16 08:23:25

I have received a couple of items which i know i will never ever use. Do i just keep them, or take back to the shop and get a refund or voucher. I feel awful to sound so ungrateful but i know the people who bought them are not rolling in money and i just wish they hadn't spent so much on me.

Anya Wed 28-Dec-16 08:33:42

How terribly sad ruby & mumsy

Takingthemick Wed 28-Dec-16 08:59:26

Years ago had to stop the presie buying due to ill health and unable to work. Would never dream of getting into debt. Told everyone my position and was happy not to receive any presents. Thankfully my circumstances are better now but still keep to a very small circle of precious people. Have also started to trim the Xmas card list, money to charity instead.

Greyduster Wed 28-Dec-16 09:18:21

I know that the children would now prefer that we didn't exchange adult presents at Christmas, except for GS and the two step GS's, but DH cannot resist the urge to be very generous with everybody at Christmas and of course that in turn puts the pressure on everyone else to buy things for us, even though we have said that they shouldn't. I would sooner they didn't spend their money on us. We had a heated discussion about it yesterday. Left to himself, he would buy things that were totally inappropriate as he has absolutely no idea what people like or might want - he has a budget shaped hole for each person into which he would just pour "stuff"! I despair.

Auntieflo Wed 28-Dec-16 10:05:24

Ruby, just for you๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿน๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿท