Gransnet forums


I want to stop

(73 Posts)
ninathenana Fri 09-Nov-18 06:55:33

Having just read another thread about buying Christmas presents I'm once again thinking about our family situation.
Years ago we agreed not to buy for adults. We bought for our 4 nephews until they were adults and when they started families we bought for their children (great nieces/nephews). We never see any of these children and my brother has never bought for my grand children so we stopped. DH's sister however always buys for our GC. Her GC are now 10 and 7 we have never seen them but feel obliged to reciprocate. We have no idea what they are "into" so ask SiL who always says Next vouchers. This isn't a gift for the children IMO
I have hinted to SiL that it's time to stop. My GC have no idea who SiL is and g nephews don't know us either.
Opinions please.

Willow10 Fri 09-Nov-18 07:07:40

I've had this sort of dilemma with a large extended family, as I'm sure have lots of people. Try to just speak up and say you think it's a bit silly to keep buying for children that you don't know and suggest that your sister in law stops too. Someone has to take the bull by the horns otherwise nothing changes. It's surprising how many people are relieved that you have brought the subject up and it relieves a lot of pressure.

kittylester Fri 09-Nov-18 07:09:51

I'm interested in this thread so thanks for starting it nina.

crystaltipps Fri 09-Nov-18 07:10:55

No it’s ridiculous to buy presents for children you never see. Next vouchers sounds like. A present for SIL! Just tell them no presents this year thank you.

Dontaskme Fri 09-Nov-18 07:19:51

Back in around August we told family that we wouldn't be buying Christmas presents anymore. We don't know what anyone wants or would like and tbh like you, ninathenana, we don't even see most of them.

I have to admit that it IS a relief for me at least (DH never got involved so it makes no difference to him) as it used to be sooooo hard trying to work out what to buy. I think the adult family members were relieved too, and the children don't know and they get enough anyway.

I wonder how I'll feel on Christmas morning when I don't have anything to open though hmm sad

cornergran Fri 09-Nov-18 07:23:46

Once a pattern is in place change is hard but I do think it’s time to stop nina. It would be different if you had a relationship with the children. I think I would try for a straightforward conversation with your sister in law, saying you’d like to rationalise and have the same pattern throughout the extended family. Nothing to feel bad about in my view.

PECS Fri 09-Nov-18 07:59:18

Set up a Secret all adults get one gift. Set a spend limit..which could be a bit higher than before as you only buy one gift.

Apricity Fri 09-Nov-18 08:04:01

Why send presents to people you rarely or never see? The presents are unlikely to be valued or useful because you barely know them so basically a total waste of time, money and effort.

If you really do want to send gifts to people for family reasons why not send a Christmas food hamper, a wine order or an Oxfam Gift card instead? At least the food will (probably) be eaten, the wine will be drunk or a water well, chickens or a goat will help support people in very deprived parts of the world.

This is much better than a lot of unwanted "stuff" ending up in landfill, regifted as per recent threads, the back cupboard or the overwhelmed charity shops that don't know what to do with the post Christmas deluge of unwanted gifts.

tanith Fri 09-Nov-18 08:04:51

We now do secret Santa for grownups with a nice £50 limit it’s so nice that everyone gets a nice gift without all the angst of buying for all and sundry. Still buy for the little ones but it makes the run up to Christmas so much less stressful, everyone was so happy/relieved when it was decided.

mcem Fri 09-Nov-18 08:14:34

One sister lives some distance away and l rarely see her GCs so we've agreed that we'll make token charity donations for the whole family (Mary's Meals plates on the Christmas table).

Locally, I often see my other sister's GCs and she sees mine so we do buy for them.

At 21, birthday and Christmas presents to adult nieces and nephews cease but this year we we had some 40th birthdays so that was a card containing £40.

For my own ACs I buy new pj's for Christmas Eve and pop some cash in a card.

jusnoneed Fri 09-Nov-18 08:28:02

We came the agreement years ago that once anyone other than immediate family reached 18 all present giving stopped. I never started giving to great nieces/nephews and my in laws never gave to my grandkids etc.
We do see my nieces two little ones on their birthdays so they have a small gift then.
We don't give to each other so now all I have to do is make up a hamper for my Dad and find something for my youngest son.

oldbatty Fri 09-Nov-18 08:43:21

Send a polite friendly card telling them you won't be doing gifts but that you are donating to a charity instead. They will probably be relieved.

PamelaJ1 Fri 09-Nov-18 08:55:30

We only buy for immediate family and a small gift if we are spending Christmas with any of the others £5 max.

EllanVannin Fri 09-Nov-18 08:58:50

Don't forget a small gift to put into the in-store charity box for those poor families/children who are unlikely to enjoy Christmas as most of us do.

GrandmaMoira Fri 09-Nov-18 09:03:50

I stopped buying for nieces and nephews once they were 18 and have never bought for their children. I do buy a small present for my DB and SIL, usually something like M&S plants that can be delivered directly and is not expensive.

NannyJan53 Fri 09-Nov-18 09:12:07

Our family have decided this year to only buy for the children this Christmas, such a relief as I never knew what to buy, usually gave money, and I got either money or vouchers back...madness!

My Mum (88) used to put money in the birthday cards of her two sisters grandchildren. She never sees them and they do not know who she is. When the eldest was 21 she sent her a card with money, and she said to her Nan (Mums sister) thank her for me!! She works as a Receptionist in Mums Doctors, and when Mum introduced herself she was surprised as she did not know who she was.

After those two episodes it is just cards for great nieces and nephews now.

Apricity Fri 09-Nov-18 09:24:50

EllanVannin, don't waste your money and good intentions on an instore charity box or "giving tree". It's just a clever marketing ploy to get you to spend money in that store. If you want to give money or gifts to those in need then give it to a charity of your choice so gifts can be tailored to the person, animal or a particular need.

Izabella Fri 09-Nov-18 09:28:12

We do exactly the same as Oldbatty, We stopped cards too as the cards and postage added up to a lot of money. We give a fixed sum to a charity that is relevant to many of our family members - Cancer Research. When we originally made the decision so many people said they wished they had the courage to do the same, and in fact several have now followed suit.

watermeadow Fri 09-Nov-18 09:45:36

I don’t send cards to anyone I’ll see at Xmas and give presents only to my children and partners and their children. We’re a big family and nobody else gives or gets presents.
It’s ridiculous to keep sending presents to children you don’t even know.

EllanVannin Fri 09-Nov-18 09:46:11

Apricity thankyou for that advice. Because I've done this every year I've never stopped to think about anything apart from the struggling families. I wonder if social services have anything like this as there are offices not very far away from where I live. So long as I feel that it goes towards helping someone in a small way, I'm happy.

Delibes Fri 09-Nov-18 09:47:17

Cards! I have lived in my home for 35 years. The previous owners kept in touch with my next door neighbours but both (the former) are now dead. I still get Christmas cards for them. The senders clearly never knew that they had moved house let alone that they died. 35 years! It's ridiculous.

I stopped giving gifts several years ago and donate to crisis charities instead. I told people what I intended to do and asked them not to give me gifts. It took quite a long time for people to stop and some simply won't. "We have to give you something!" "I feel bad not getting you anything!" Why? When I have specifically asked not to? I would much rather receive a small spontaneous gift at some another time of year than this enforced Christmas spendathon that leaves so many people in debt. Next month, if I hear one more person saying, "I don't know what to get <him> or <her>" I fear shall scream.

ninathenana Fri 09-Nov-18 15:04:49

Apricity the adults in our family don't exchange gifts. I'm talking about great nieces n nephews, 10 yr old and 7 yr old. I don't think they would appreciate a food hamper or wine

MiniMoon Fri 09-Nov-18 15:10:16

We don't buy for great nephew and nieces. As the family had grown, there are just too many of them. The only children we buy for are our own DGC.

BBbevan Fri 09-Nov-18 15:13:26

Many years ago ,my sister and I decided to buy Christmas presents only for children
. We now have 2 GCs each. My sister is very quick to tell me if my GCs are slow to say thank you for their presents. Yet I have never had a thank you or an acknowledgement from either the parents of her GCs, when they were small or now when they are older.
It is beginning to rankle, what to do?

sodapop Fri 09-Nov-18 17:44:01

I think you just have to be up front nina and let them know you have decided to discontinue the gift giving. The charity donation in lieu of gifts is a good idea. Maybe you could discuss which charity you would like to support.
I do have to say I love getting Christmas cards and would be very disappointed if I didn't get any. Younger family members don't send them to each other but they do send to their old mother !! E-cards are not the same.