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Giving money instead of gift/gift card.

(66 Posts)
abbey Wed 14-Dec-16 07:07:29

This is a difficult one for me. My OH has two sisters and a brother. I never see them. I am not even sure they like me. My OH is estranged from them and has been "banned" from the house of one following a heated argument.The other lives in London but comes down to her sisters for Christmas. So, we dont see them.

I have in the past racked my brains for suitable gifts. I dont know them so I have little to go on. Then I got gift tokens/ cards but they are not a favourite of mine. I saw the TV. They actually suggested money. So I have got three nice money wallets and have put money in them - the amount I would have spent on a probably naff) gift .... or actually slightly more than I might have spent.

I dont want to offend so I thought I would pout a note in explaining that I have decided to give money this year as I think it is more versatile and they can put it to what they want where they want. However, I dont know how to word this nicely.

Can someone good with words suggest?


( PS I have always given my own family money to spend how they want unless they specify a gift. But these are not my family).

janeainsworth Wed 14-Dec-16 07:44:00

Why don't you ask your OH, as they are his relatives?
In the circumstances you describe I wouldn't give them anything.
We give money to the DCs and as wedding presents, but otherwise it seems a bit pointless to just exchange money.

janeainsworth Wed 14-Dec-16 07:48:04

Here's a word suggestion:
"As OH is estranged from you, I am no longer sending Christmas gifts and am donating the money to charity instead."

kittylester Wed 14-Dec-16 07:58:06

What jane said! grin

FarNorth Wed 14-Dec-16 08:26:30


J52 Wed 14-Dec-16 08:29:08

I'm with Jane and Kitty.

In a similar situation, I organised beautiful gifts to be sent BILs family, in order to keep the lines of communication open. ( despite DH not being bothered). I had a light bulb moment, nothing was ever going to change!

Now I don't send anything, we still get the usual card!

Christinefrance Wed 14-Dec-16 08:33:02

Exactly, Jane hit the nail on the head.

abbey Wed 14-Dec-16 08:36:17

OH does not know what to get. I am sure though he would be unhappy if we didn't give something. He has a strong sense of "family" and responsibility to them strangely, even when his doesn't care about him.

I am left to take care of all the gifts.

FarNorth Wed 14-Dec-16 08:47:05

Tell him to do it.

FarNorth Wed 14-Dec-16 08:47:55

Do they give you anything?

Auntieflo Wed 14-Dec-16 09:27:41

My feelings exactly, if you are estranged and don't see them, why bother with presents? Then saw that several posters had got there before me. Janeainsworth put it very nicely, but if your DH feels strongly, surely he should do the present buying?

abbey Wed 14-Dec-16 10:01:05

FarNorth - what they send us varies. In the past I have had gift tokens for PizzaHut. I have no interest in Pizza, eating out or anything else. I dislike it, as does my DH. I dont know if his family know that. Another year we got a subscription to the National Trust. Didnt use it. Last year we just got diaries as I recall.The best we got was gift tokens for Argos.

They do not know us any better than we know them I am afraid. Hence the useless gifts. Unless of course its deliberate, I know they are selfish thoughtless people but I wouldnt have thought they were malicious that way.

A lot of wasted money goes between us really.

I dont like to be rude and send nothing. I would send WWF gifts/ subscriptions to save the leopard or something (I did once send these to children who loved them) but I do think those are rather too expensive (I am sending them £25 each).

abbey Wed 14-Dec-16 10:05:59

By the way, my DH does not go out of the house since he was un voluntarily retired. Getting him to even wash and shave is often an effort. When he was freinds with his sister at least he did go there and see them! Then they banned him. Thats why I tend to take the easy way and give them gift tokens - this year money.

Even them phoning now often leads to him being angry afterwards. I warn him not to say anything controversial to them ( like about his mothers death/ fathers death/ aunts death and family generally). They dont realise this. It gets taken out on me. But thats another issue.

I think I might just send them a note saying " Fresh out of gift ideas and time this year. Too stressed to make any effort. Sorry. Please accept this with my apologies"

tanith Wed 14-Dec-16 10:10:48

I agree with the others why bother if you don't see them or even know them. Tell your husband how you feel and if he still wants to send them a present tell him to take care of it. Sounds like they care even less about you than you do about them and its time to stop shillyshallying around and call a halt to a pointless excercise.

Everthankful Wed 14-Dec-16 10:22:17

Sorry, but if he wants them to receive presents, he should make the effort, after all, it's his family, whether it's money, voucher or a present. Do you receive presents from them?

Rosina Wed 14-Dec-16 10:25:30

I sent gifts for some years to a relative who was so difficult and hateful. No acknowledgement, no thanks, and in the end I decided not to bother. I have also this year stopped sending presents to a god child who has never once in around thirty years thanked us or acknowledged gifts, some of which, for 'special birthdays, have been expensive and carefully chosen. I don't feel a pang about either! Why buy presents for people you never see and who seemingly don't want to know you? Far better to give the money to charity.

cc Wed 14-Dec-16 10:34:03

I agree with janeainsworth and everybody else who wonders why you are still sending these people presents even thouogh you have no real contact with them.
I no longer send presents to my DH's sister's adult daughters as they never acknowledged them and we have very little contact. Really I only give presents to my own close family and my sister and her family - though I've given her children money rather than gifts for years and years. Everybody else has to make do with a Christmas card!

Gagagran Wed 14-Dec-16 10:34:47

We have started giving gift tokens or cash to our DGC and I usually just put on the card:

"We hope you enjoy choosing something nice with this."
I prefer them to be able to do that instead of me wasting money on something they may not like or want.

FarNorth Wed 14-Dec-16 10:36:42

There are lots of charity donation type gifts for around £25. Here is a link to oxfam unwrapped but there are many others :

Barmyoldbat Wed 14-Dec-16 10:37:27

I Would just say to DH you are not doing the gifts due to circumstances and if he wants to send them something, then It over to him to sort it. Don't give it another thought, you probably you have enough to do thinking about food over the Christmas period. Far more important.

Janet14 Wed 14-Dec-16 10:40:48

Sounds like OH may have depression which is making him even more crotchety, perhaps trip to Dr's and explanation to estranged family with pleasure for truce? Depends on desired outcome.
Agree with Rosina and have done that this year without a second thought......why was I wasting my time and effort for such an ungrateful bunch?

ajanela Wed 14-Dec-16 10:53:22

I agree with Janet. OH needs a trip to the doctors. This problem may be due to his depression and his behaviour towards them as a result causing the rift.

Presents are a minor problem compared to your husband's unhappiness and finding help for him.

grandMattie Wed 14-Dec-16 11:05:38

I agree with FarNorth. Give to charity, but in the form of a goat, sheep, books or whatever. That way, you feel you have done something towards your SiLs but you don't actually give them anything.
You don't say what sort of thing you get from them, if nothing, I would return the compliment!!! tchwink

Tudorrose Wed 14-Dec-16 11:07:12

Some people don't have enough to worry about if this the burning question of the day! Tell him to do it himself

FarNorth Wed 14-Dec-16 11:08:46

Abbey has said, vouchers for things they often don't want.