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(59 Posts)
Nansypansy Thu 20-Feb-20 07:04:42

Before last Christmas my brother texted me to say that they were only going to do presents for their family and hoped I understood. I just replied saying Ok (but felt somewhat miffed that I wasn’t classed as family). Now their birthdays are coming up and I don’t know whether the same applies but don’t want to ask. What shall I do?

Sark Thu 20-Feb-20 07:19:30

Hi Nansypansy
Please don't be miffed. My brother sent a similar text a couple of years ago and we agreed to stop buying Christmas presents. I then realised they were having money troubles and I was very happy that I had stopped adding to their stress.
How about a nice birthday card and a happy chatty phone call on the day?smile

Dancinjay Thu 20-Feb-20 07:31:03

I agree with Sark, but if you are 'crafty' how about a small hand made gift. If you paint, paint the card, if you sew make a phone case etc etc. The idea is that it is something small, but allows you to show your love without pressure.

Dancinjay Thu 20-Feb-20 07:31:03

I agree with Sark, but if you are 'crafty' how about a small hand made gift. If you paint, paint the card, if you sew make a phone case etc etc. The idea is that it is something small, but allows you to show your love without pressure.

Riverwalk Thu 20-Feb-20 07:48:38

I think many people have cut back on Xmas presents and restricted it to their own children, grandchildren, etc., as there are so many to buy all at once.

I would continue to buy birthday presents until your brother indicates otherwise.

mumofmadboys Thu 20-Feb-20 08:19:09

Could you phone and ask him? I'm sure he won't mind.

Lancslass1 Thu 20-Feb-20 10:13:45

What a sensible fellow.
I agree with other posters.
Assume he means birthday as well as Christmas and just send a card.
A friend does what I think is a great idea.
She pops a £1 lottery? lucky dip ticket in with a card.

Sue500 Thu 20-Feb-20 10:14:27

My SIL did the same two years ago, only wish she’d said before I’d bought the present but was able to take it back for a refund. I felt more sad than miffed as we only exchanged consumables and as we are a small family I didn’t see it made a lot of difference. But agreed to her decision.

grandtanteJE65 Thu 20-Feb-20 10:16:22

I would phone and ask.

It is increasingly common for families to restrict presents to children only, or to a very small circle.

It would perhaps have been nicer if your brother had discussed it with you rather than just telling you what he had decided, but please try not to be miffed.

It is difficult to find anything worth giving that isn't expensive and to be honest, do you want something that is just a token present?

I personally don't, but we are all different after all.

Kim19 Thu 20-Feb-20 10:24:28

Your brother decided what was right for him and rightly so. This does not surely mean that you have to conform? Just carry on giving if that's your desire. Do whatever you really want to do.

Aepgirl Thu 20-Feb-20 10:24:42

I think the problem is that most people now buy everything they want during the year, which means they end up receiving lots of things they don’t want.
We now buy just for the children in the ‘family’ - up to the age of 18.

Phloembundle Thu 20-Feb-20 10:24:50

It is a sensible idea. Half the time we give gifts that aren't really wanted. I think the lottery is a good idea or a donation to your local hospice in lieu, which is what I do. Tell your brother his idea is a good one and you will donate instead of giving gifts

Theoddbird Thu 20-Feb-20 10:27:09

Presents are only bought for children at Christmas in my family.

PJN1952 Thu 20-Feb-20 10:36:16

I understand how you feel. Two years after I was widowed at 53 my sister in law made a declaration that only ‘family’ could visit them at Xmas in their holiday house not too far from me. When I asked when I could drive over my poor brother had to tell me that I was not ‘family’ so I couldn’t visit. People can be very insensitive but we have to live in the real world. My motto ‘It is what it is’ needs to be in my mind on many occasions.

Buffybee Thu 20-Feb-20 10:51:21

Our family decided to only buy Christmas presents for children last year.
What a relief!
I find buying gifts for adults hard work as you’re never quite sure if you have it right.
We have only ever bought for close family anyway, which we think is our children and spouses and Grandchildren.
After saying that, I always give money in the card for Birthdays.

NotANana Thu 20-Feb-20 10:52:53

I would just send a card with your love/good wishes, and spend the money you would have spent on a present on something nice for yourself instead! (The gifts you buy yourself are the best, receive exactly what you want and never have to exchange them because the size or colour isn't right or you already have a copy of the book/DVD etc, or you are allergic to the potion or lotion...)

I am in the situation where I buy a gift for a close member of my family every Christmas and birthday, and the gift is never acknowledged - I don't even know if the parcel arrived at its destination, never mind whether it was received with joy or horror. Only the thought of the hysterics that would certainly ensue if I suggested not sending gifts prevents me from making the suggestion. (It's very complicated...)
I have long since stopped sending presents to a niece and nephew who apparently cannot write, email, telephone or text to say thank you.

NotANana Thu 20-Feb-20 10:53:56

...Sorry for double post, forget to say that perhaps the brother has financial stress and present-buying is one more thing to worry about?

Chris0 Thu 20-Feb-20 10:57:25

We stopped buying years ago and only bought birthday/Christmas presents for sisters children until they turned 18. It was a relief for all concerned as money was tight.

polnan Thu 20-Feb-20 11:02:44

oh years back, when my brother and I had our young children, we agreed not to keep buying for each other and the children,,

very practical unless of course, you have the funds to do so.. buy presents for whomsoever you wish and can afford..
do we really buy presents on the basis we get one back!!! I ask you!

paperbackbutterfly Thu 20-Feb-20 11:03:29

We stopped a few years ago and just send a nice card instead

jusnoneed Thu 20-Feb-20 11:04:53

We only bought for nieces/nephews up until they were 18, and only adults I gave to were our parents and my sons.
If this is the first birthday since the Christmas stoppage I would take the chance to stop giving presents to anyone other than your own hubby/children (if you have any). Just send a nice card to let them know you are thinking of them.

Nanny27 Thu 20-Feb-20 11:08:12

Please could someone help me out with this? If you have decided to buy for children only at Christmas, say under 18,what do you do about siblings? I ask because I will never ever forget the look of hurt on my daughter's face when, one Christmas Day she was the only grandchild not to receive a gift from her grandparents.

Newatthis Thu 20-Feb-20 11:10:19

Ask him. Just ring up and say " you mentioned we weren't buying presents at Christmas anymore, does this apply to birthdays as well as ..... birthday is coming soon and I'm not sure what to do". You might find he is relieved not to continue that tradition also. If you get joy out of giving presents then redirect the money you would spend to a charity or buy some toys/ books etc for your local children's hospice.

midsummermadness Thu 20-Feb-20 11:15:13

This Christmas just gone my sons (now all adult) all agreed that they didn't need anything, but asked for something small from a charity shop or car boot sale. We found several board and card games which were such fun to play... and probably only spent less than £10 in total. We spent the rest on nice food and a f̶e̶w̶ couple of bottles of wine. There is no need to enter the terrifying rat race of more and more gifts that people don't need.

shandi6570 Thu 20-Feb-20 11:15:28

Lots of good suggestions here, however I wouldn't send a birthday gift without checking with your brother first. He may have only meant Christmas, but if he did also mean birthdays too, it would be embarrassing for him to receive something from you.

After all, the gift is meant to be for the recipient, not the giver so even if you do want to give him something it maybe contrary to his wishes and even if it gives you pleasure to give, it may give him the opposite feeling which I am sure you would not want.

Sorry about all the 'gives', can't think of a better word!