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Present for friend at Christmas (or birthday).

(36 Posts)
suzette1613 Thu 10-Dec-20 07:06:23

I have a very kind friend who always buys me presents for my birthday and for Christmas. She obviously puts a lot of thought into these.
As a family we don’t really do presents, even my husband and l generally just buy one small thing for each other.

It sounds silly but l always feel stressed trying to think of something to get my friend, l have told her that we don’t need presents from each other, but she still goes ahead, saying that it doesn’t matter if l don’t reciprocate. Makes me feel mean though.

Another Christmas is nearly here and l am getting worried about it all already.

Calendargirl Thu 10-Dec-20 07:13:05

I can imagine how you feel. It’s difficult thinking of something different, often for people who have all they want or need, and just seems like swapping gifts for the sake of it.

I’m sure you will get lots of suggestions from others.
Flowers, plants, chocs, toiletries, magazine subscription, theatre tickets, charity donation,......

Bit pointless, but as you say, you feel mean if she keeps insisting on doing it.

Newquay Thu 10-Dec-20 08:31:04

We knew a (younger) couple who kept giving us Christmas gifts even though we had little to do with them so I just brazened it out and didn’t buy anything-they are v comfortable btw-and after a few years it stopped. Listen to Martin Lewis last year on unnecessary gift giving-I felt v emotional listening to him saying we must stop this nonsense of buying gifts for folk especially by people who can’t afford to, to buy things people don’t want/need either! We stopped buying adult gifts in our family years ago and amongst our close group of adult friends too!

Gingster Thu 10-Dec-20 08:40:40

Our newish neighbour buys us presents for all occasions. Makes cakes for birthdays, even an Easter egg left in the doorstep (from the Easter Bunny) . I have reciprocated but feel it’s unecessary . I really don’t want to continue with this . They ask us In for morning coffee afternoon tea and even evening meals. It’s all getting too much!

MrsThreadgoode Thu 10-Dec-20 08:43:20

Maybe I’ll be brave this year and just drop off some homemade cakes and pastries to an elderly couple on a drive by next week.
I always end up buying them chocolates and wine and they usually dig out something that someone has given them 50 years ago and they have forgotten to dust, so it doesn’t seem as though either of us enjoys the experience.

Daisymae Thu 10-Dec-20 08:59:27

A small gift, sent with love is sufficient. A house plant, pointsetta or a bottle of wine. It really is just being kind.

Newquay Thu 10-Dec-20 18:53:03

Ooh Ginsberg-bordering on stalking! Time to back off I think!

BlueBelle Thu 10-Dec-20 19:06:09

I am the other woman (well not completely) but I love giving presents always have, get so much pleasure out of choosing, thinking about the person getting it, opening it and being happy, however my very best friend told me a few years ago not to get her anything as she didn’t need anything, I took that on board and the following year got her a plant (she loves plants and gardening etc) thinking it wasn’t bits and bobs so she’d be happy however I got a lighthearted telling off again the next year I just gave her an inexpensive bunch of flowers thinking they re not really a present and no one objects to flowers, however I got told off again I ve definitly got the hint the rather large capital letter hint now .....but I might have the last laugh as when she called at mine the other week to use the toilet she told me how she loved the wrights coal tar soap I had for her hand wash, how the smell took her back to her childhood and how she hadn’t seen it around for ages . So I m going to do a bar up it multi layer Christmas paper and wait for her to ‘get cross’

PollyDolly Thu 10-Dec-20 19:09:46

I've sent you a PM Suzette 1613

Patticake123 Sun 13-Dec-20 09:13:06

I have a friend for whom I always buy a present and definitely do not expect to receive anything back. The pleasure I get from thinking about her and choosing something I know she will like, that doesn’t cost a fortune and is light enough to post is the gift for me. I just wish I lived nearby so I could see her pleasure when she opens it!

PamelaJ1 Sun 13-Dec-20 09:26:32

Put it in a big box with lots of recyclable paper packaging.

I have a friend who buys me inappropriate presents. I mean she spends too much. This year we have a £10 limit and the gift has to be eco friendly. I’ve bought her half a dozen second hand, rusty plant supports. I’m sooo pleased with myself. Even if she doesn’t like them I’ve had a great time wrapping them up. Must tell her not to unwrap on her sitting room carpet.

Gingergirl Sun 13-Dec-20 09:38:09

I would just give a small gift, as others have said, a plant, chocolates or bottle of wine is very acceptable. I don’t agree that it’s pointless but no need to get stressed. (I’d be very happy if someone gave me a box of chocolates!). We have neighbours who have gone from exchanging small token gifts, which I think is rather nice, to giving increasingly expensive items. Last year was two rather expensive and personal glasses...I still just give the token gifts...

Davida1968 Sun 13-Dec-20 09:50:07

Some years ago I suggested to friends that we stop buying Christmas gifts and give to charities (of our own choice) instead. (We still do birthdays.) This has been a much better arrangement and I've been glad to donate to the charities I support.

travelsafar Sun 13-Dec-20 09:52:19

My oldest friend usually makes me an xmas pud as my gift and i usually buy her some item relating to xmas as she sets great store about decorating her home with things that hold memories for her and from her childhood even. This way i know what i buy will be used and it will always remind her of our friendship for over 35 years. It may just be a decoration for her tree, but a special one. This year i have found a beautiful cut glass candle holder decorated with a christmas scene and i have put a lovely red candle inside. I also knitted her a christmas teapot cosy in red white and green. She is the only person i know who still uses a teapot!!! smile

V3ra Sun 13-Dec-20 09:57:23

Gingster I have a theory that some people are natural hosts and some people are natural guests.
Maybe they just love cooking and enjoy having people to cook for?
Your neighbours obviously really enjoy your company and if you enjoy theirs could you just accept their invitations without feeling obliged to reciprocate?
Take a bottle of wine or a box of after dinner mints and they'd probably be happy with that.

rugbymumcumbria Sun 13-Dec-20 10:00:13

One of the beat presents we’ve ever been given was a teacosy made by my DIL. She even appliquéd a Labrador on the side (our dog at the time). We use it every day and I think of her and the dog, every time.

Soozikinzi Sun 13-Dec-20 10:24:30

We’ve done the sponsorship of a hearing dog this year instead of sending cards and having the pup dates sent to our grandchildren which I’m sure they’ll enjoy. If you find our her favourite perfume that always goes down well even if it’s just travel size ? Also I noticed m and s have lovely plant arrangements this year quite reasonable too !

Moggycuddler Sun 13-Dec-20 10:28:11

The only pressies we give or receive are between us and our daughter, and one old friend. And we ask each other what we'd like and don't spend very much. The joy of Christmas is spending time together, lovely meals, tv etc.

hilz Sun 13-Dec-20 10:28:45

I love getting thoughtful gifts but stress about what to give to others. This year has made me rethink why i give to those i do. Some are off the list. My gift to those closest includes friendly phone calls, a distanced walk, the odd homemade cake or biscuits throughout the year. friendship has no price and a gift so easily given. Merry Christmas x,

inishowen Sun 13-Dec-20 10:31:31

I love the idea of setting a limit, say £5. You can have fun finding something good in a charity shop or if you can't be bothered buy a box of sweets.

Gwenisgreat1 Sun 13-Dec-20 10:58:52

If your friend is local, find a shop you like and buy a voucher for her to get what she wants and to support a local business!!

grandtanteJE65 Sun 13-Dec-20 11:01:04

I like buying and giving presents too, but nowadays, I ask people I get to know whether they want to exchange gifts or not.

Having been not very well-off for most of my adult life, I have come to realise that gift-giving can put the recipient in the difficult position of not really be able to afford to give a return gift.

Also, you don't know whether a casual acquaintance or really anyone except a very close friend might have reasons not to want to be given chocolates or wine.

Diabetics may be willing to say they can't eat chocolates, but most alcoholics are embarrassed to admit that they don't dare accept a bottle of anything alcoholic, because they know what it will lead to.

polnan Sun 13-Dec-20 11:17:06

suzette, I know exactly what you mean, I am just no good at presents....

travelsofar,, I use a teapot! green tea... every morning!

Phloembundle Sun 13-Dec-20 11:17:49

Make a donation to your local, hospice on her behalf, then maybe dhe will take the hint.

jaylucy Sun 13-Dec-20 11:24:22

When I was working full time (and could afford to) I used to spend hours buying presents for friends and family - not just Christmas but little impromptu gifts such as a bar of chocolate, bunch of flowers from the weekly market, a mug for their tea break at work etc all meant just to cheer someone up on a bad day. I just hope that they were all appreciated and enjoyed.
Just a small gift such as some flowers, a book that you think she would like , a calendar, a mini hamper of cheese and biscuits(if she likes cheese of course) , most of which can be bought ready made from many of the supermarkets or made up yourself. Doesn't have to cost a lot.
Just be thankful that she likes you enough to give you a gift in the first place!