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Birthday gift for adult chilren who have everything!

(68 Posts)
Peonyrose Wed 19-Jun-19 15:58:10

A dilemma, my much loved grown up children say there is nothing they want or need for birthdays..The are fortunate to have a good standard of living, better than me. Everything I have bought the last few years, has not been what they want. They don't want, gift vouchers, books, clothes, toiletries etc etc. They say don't bother, offered to take them for a meal, they have no time. Am I mean just sending a card. I feel sad it's come to this sad we have all become distant. It's just how it is and despite trying, I now let them be. Always made a thing of birthdays and Christmas, as they do to with their partners. I must admit I don't want or need anything happy with a visit and a card, perhaps done flowers, but I can't take my son flowers? He would not be impressed.

Tansy Wed 19-Jun-19 16:05:16

Ask them to do an Amazon wishlist? It works well for us. They don't know exactly what they're getting, but it will be something they like.

wildswan16 Wed 19-Jun-19 16:12:57

Listen to them. I know it feels a bit mean not to send a present, but I expect they really don't want you to spend money on them when they know they are better off than you, and yes - they do seem to have everything don't they?

Why not put a fiver aside for each birthday or Christmas present and donate it to a charity of your choice once a year. Last year I did this and donated to Mary's Meals, and just added a note in their Christmas card to say that they had helped to feed lots of children. Everyone was happy.

MawBroonsback Wed 19-Jun-19 16:18:13

I bought SIL a fruit tree for his birthday. The year before I made him a very large bottle of sloe gin, and other SIL who is a keen gardener, I bought him a Wormery. I also bought one of them a boot jack (to get your wellies off) as he didn’t have one. Practical, that’s me.
Have a look at “Not on the high street” (probably .com) for quirky but acceptable gifts.
I do like the suggestion of a gift/donation to a charity in their name though.

gransal Wed 19-Jun-19 16:20:00

DH and I have been on 3 overnight stays at some lovely hotels since Christmas, dinner and breakfast included. These have been gifts in the form of a voucher from some of our AC as we told them there is nothing we need nowadays. You can choose a time that suits you. We have started doing the same with vouchers for meals, theatre tickets, and an overnight stay for DSD for a special birthday.So far it seems to be appreciated.Just a thought, may be of some help.

FlexibleFriend Wed 19-Jun-19 16:22:19

I told mine years ago not to bother with presents because if I do want anything I buy it myself and now my sons do the same to me. Although this year the youngest did ask if I'd buy him a beard trimmer, a specific one that he'd picked and I was happy to do so. Just do as they ask otherwise stuff gets shoved in a cupboard out of sight and eventually binned so what's the point?

Doodle Wed 19-Jun-19 16:49:05

What about a nice bottle of something if they drink.
DH and I have asked kids not to spend money on us as we are lucky to buy what we want ourselves. However, they do take time to buy a special bottle of wine or some nice chocs. We always keep a note of who bought which wine and when and then when we drink it we always have their bottles with a special meal and tell them what we thought of the wine after.

sodapop Wed 19-Jun-19 16:59:33

I think you should respect their wishes Peonyrose they clearly want you to save your money for yourself and enjoy it. We just get into a habit of sending gifts because we think its expected but its not always the best thing to do.
Wildswan had a good idea about supporting a charity your family are interested in. I would stop worrying about this and enjoy a treat or two for yourself.

Greenfinch Wed 19-Jun-19 17:12:32

One of my sons has always been anti birthdays: "why celebrate getting a year older?" He thinks cards are a waste of money although we always send him one and he sends us one but we don't usually bother with presents.

love0c Wed 19-Jun-19 17:22:33

Sorry to say this but I feel it is more a case of the sad times we now live in. 'Offered to take them out for a meal, they have no time'. AC having no time to give/spend with their parents. So sad after all the time we have spent with them. Yet we are still happy to spend our time helping them when needed. Not all AC are like his but reading of all the unhappy posts on this site there are certainly a lot like this!

Gonegirl Wed 19-Jun-19 17:57:59

I can't understand it. What happened to love? Has there always been so little of it around? confused

leyla Wed 19-Jun-19 18:07:09

I have the same trouble buying for my parents! Booze is always good and chocolates.
Find out what their fave perfume/aftershave is and stake a claim that you will be replenishing that from now on.
A friend always sends the most recent Booker prize book (if that still exists).
If you know they are travelling, maybe some local currency.
Hope these ideas help.

Humbertbear Wed 19-Jun-19 18:31:01

I give my DiL a gift package of her favourite face creams from Clarins. My DS got an Amazon voucher. How about a theatre voucher? Look on Not on the High Street. I found a company that prints tea towels with the song of your choice. Their next anniversary gift is said tea towel with the words of their first dance on it.

If they really don’t want presents, give the money to charity and tell them that’s what you have done. The smaller charities are really short of money.
I don’t think your family mean to be ungrateful. Maybe they are trying to save your money for you?

MawBroonsback Wed 19-Jun-19 19:19:58

If they have children write them a “cheque” for however many hours babysitting or granny duty!

annodomini Wed 19-Jun-19 19:34:02

Tickets for a show by a favourite stand-up comedian would suit either of my DSs.
Grandson will be 15 in two weeks. Help! I suppose he will be very happy with hard cash and a 'wee minding' as my mother would have said.

Lucylastic Wed 19-Jun-19 20:51:53

Have you ever considered adopting a donkey as a gift?
We make an annual visit to a wonderful donkey sanctuary in the Scottish Borders and, for around £25, adopt a donkey for a year. Our grown up sons are real softies at heart and love visiting their birthday donkeys and making a contribution to their care.
Check out

mumofmadboys Wed 19-Jun-19 21:09:59

Could you make them a birthday cake?

paddyann Wed 19-Jun-19 22:53:47

My SIL and her husband are like this I always buy a case of wine for Christmas ,birthdays and anniversaries,They say its the best present they get and I mix it up with sparkling and champagne now and again and all decent reds another time.Anybody else that has "everything"gets the same or a vintage port or Malt Whisky .Now with Gin being the in thing there are hundreds of different ones to choose from and a nice bottle of a flavoured gin would always be acceptable .Try joining a wine club for good deals and Virgin has a club you can pay into monthly and they add some interest to it.

BradfordLass72 Thu 20-Jun-19 05:41:10

I bought my children and theirs a tree each.

This replanting is taking place to re-arbour the countryside where trees have been cut down over the past 200 years.

I am agin 'things' - they clutter the place - but trees last forever - we hope smile

crystaltipps Thu 20-Jun-19 05:53:32

I agree that donating to a charity is the way to go - an environmental charity maybe to help save the planet for the future. ( e.g. friends of the earth, greenpeace, world wildlife fund). If you have to give a “thing”, then it’s got to be something to eat or drink or something to plant in the garden.

Esspee Thu 20-Jun-19 07:16:36

We all have everything we need these days because (compared to the "old days") we are wealthy.
It is sad to receive things you don't need/want/like to add to the clutter or to give to the charity shop so if you have been told not to buy anything please listen. If you persist then clearly you are doing it for your benefit, not the recipients.

Maggiemaybe Thu 20-Jun-19 08:23:54

I agree with Esspee, please listen to them. Though I think it’s sad that they can’t find time for the meals you suggest - is there any way round this (having a special meal at your house, perhaps next time they visit)? Time spent together is so much more important than “stuff”.

M0nica Thu 20-Jun-19 08:47:01

In our family we just send a card and take them out for a nice meal, which is what they do for us as well.

jojo34 Thu 20-Jun-19 09:31:26

For birthdays etc my grown up children and I buy each other tickets for theatre, art exhibitions, plays, sport, concerts, Shakespeare etc and go together. This means we can spend time and have an experience together which is much more valuable than stuff.

vickya Thu 20-Jun-19 09:35:47

I like the idea of charity gifts. #2 daughter and I gave each other an adoption of a primate from Moneyworld one year. We each went to visit too.

I support guide dogs too