MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Do you break the no Christmas present pact?

Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:

Do you break the no Christmas present pact?

All your friends agreed a no adults Christmas presents pact for this year. Then two days before Christmas you receive a bottle of champagne from your best mate, who had been in on the pact, with a note "Wishing you a wonderful Christmas". Do you break the pact and get them something or stick to your guns?
Click reply to have your say

Previous MMDs:

Would you give a car park attendant a back hander?
Should the twins get the same value presents?

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  • I'd remind them of the agreement and tell them off, and insist on at least sharing the champagne with them, but I wouldn't buy them anything. Two wrongs don't make a right, even if they're both "nice" wrongs!
    (I don't like champagne anyway!)
  • mum2onemum2one Forumite
    16.3K Posts
    Xmas Saver!
    Id feel really guilty and would have to break the pact and buy them a present.
    xx rip dad... we had our ups and downs but we’re always be family xx
  • Each year we buy presents but say that thankfully, there's nothing that we need, so please don't buy us anything in return. Nevertheless, we still receive presents and they end up being left at the bottom of cupboards.
    This year we have said that WE aren't buying gifts, except for children, or those in need of Christmas cheer.
    We do intend to buy a token gift for everyone, but we genuinely do not want anything for ourselves. The last thing we want is for people to feel that they have to buy us gifts in return.
  • jenniewbjenniewb Forumite
    12.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    well lets start by asking the gift giver where he got the champagne from- for all you know, it could have been a freebie- he paid nothing, he loses nothing as it may have been in a case of 12 or his partner is an alcoholic/they have already bought up m&s on the 20% off day for champagne, you don't know.

    Then, remind yourself why you have the agreement- its because there are financial difficulties atm with everyone- personally, this same thing happened to me this weekend. I went to see my (step) grandparents who had said "no presents this year. I went with my mother, her partner/husband(my step father) and my sister. Everyone had bought presents. Except me.
    Did I run out and buy something? NO. Do I feel bad? No, I had no money, them buying me something does not give me more money to run out and buy something. (I really don't have anything- I have £20 for food this week and thats it!) and so I am sticking to the fact they said no presents. Though slightly annoyed at my mother/sister for going against that.
  • My SIL, MIL and my parents have bought us stuff this year (well actually only SIL BOUGHT us stuff MIL and my parents gave us cash), we are not sending anything to them as both myself and Dr Dragon are not working and cannot afford to - we are a little annoyed with SIL as she had agreed to a no pressies rule - but if they want to give a gift then fine! They are not expecting anything back, so with the situation stated here I would say thank you and not feel guilty.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for thou art crunchy and good with catsup :D
    NSD 15/20, OS WL 21-6 (4) :(C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z #44 Twisted Firestarter, VSP #57 - £39.43
    :p Every Penny's a Prisoner :p
  • I never agree. Irrespective of any suggestions of such a pact other family members always buy for my children. Since (one in particular) has no children of their own I feel this to be unfair to them, and end up getting them a gift anyway.
    Last year, all Christmas gifts were bought by the end of September and I only needed to do the food shopping.
    This year I was not so organised and am still running around.
    Try saying "I have under-a-pound in my wallet" and listen to people react!
  • I'd stick with the agreement but would ask my best friend why they bought something and ignored the pact.
  • Gifts are not supposed to have strings attached. In theory we give someone a gift because we would like to give them a gift...end of story!
    However gift giving is a pleasure for the giver. It's only human nature that a recipient can feel embarassed because they can't indulge in the pleasure of gift giving.
    I think you should accept the gift graciously as it comes from your best mate but let them know that not being in a position to buy gifts makes you uncomfortable and inadequate and that you would have felt more equal if everyone had kept to the pact.
    It's great to be ALIVE!
  • bec28bec28 Forumite
    332 Posts
    I would say something along the lines of 'you are naughty, I thought we'd agreed not to buy presents this year, now I feel bad that I haven't got you anything'. I'd then crack open the bubbly so we could toast each other a happy christmas.
    Registered Childminder and mum of three.

    Aiming to have money in our saving account by the end of the year and be in control of our debts.
  • I would say 'thank you' but remind him of the pact.

    I would not buy a present in return and then he may remember the pact next year.
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