MSE News: Christmas present buying 'should be curbed'

This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"More than three quarters of MoneySavers think we should stop giving Christmas present to friends and colleagues ..."



  • ceebeeby
    ceebeeby Posts: 4,357 Forumite
    Definitely agree!!
  • milliemonster
    Do you know, I do feel a bit dismayed at what christmas has turned into, I have always loved xmas, I love the time spent with my family, the decorations, frosty mornings, and making things to give to people who mean a lot to me, but in my family (and I'm sure I'm not the only one!) its turned into a materialistic, stressful occasion. Everyone has lists of what they want and if someone dares to buy them something or make them something that's not on the lists then they all get fed up and I hear tales of 'I wish they'd just bought me something that I wanted rather than this gift that I'll never use'

    It just makes me so sad, I've just been looking at Sally's towel cakes and they are gorgeous and I would love to have a go at them, but sadly most of my family/friends would turn their noses up at something like that.
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  • kjmtidea
    kjmtidea Posts: 1,372 Forumite
    I agree, when I hear people moaning that they don't know what to get their sisters boyfriends nans dog, I just think if they don't know them that well then don't buy for them! Presents is not what Christmas is about, as a family we spend the whole of December enjoying Christmas, all the events, nativities, food, christmas lights etc.
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  • Confuzzled
    Confuzzled Posts: 2,323 Forumite
    whilst i would never want to give up gift giving to my core family members i would love the ability to buy less or make more and i def think that feeling pressured to buy for everyone and their brother is obscence!

    what i really miss are the traditions... i remember there being soooo many with my (rather disfunctional for most of the year) family even when we were very poor.

    a lot of the things i did as a child just arent around or aren't 'popular' anymore and i'm finding it difficult to create my own traditions with my own daughter now.

    one tradition i have made a point to keep is taking her to the huge christmas village/faire in edinburgh. i honestly think that the money we spend to have that annual trip will be far better spent than on ton of presents. our time to laugh and smile and enjoy something magical bonds us tightly together and even physically so as we cuddle together for warmth in the brisk december air. i know that she will remember those outings for the rest of her life, when she may not even remember next year some of the gifts she was given this christmas!

    and i think that's what's missing really, that time to bond physically and emotionally. too much stress is put on the perfect gifts, the perfect dinner and then many familiers bicker then drink themselves silly (fun some times but how much of that is brought on by the sheer stress of expectations!) i think it's the little things over the course of the season that should mean more, those things should be the big thing about christmas.

    my family is agnostic so it's not about religion for us but christmas is a wonderful time to take stock and learn to be grateful for what you have, the year you've shared with family and friends and learning to find a soft spot in your heart to make room to be charitable to others and that can be quite spiritual if not religious. regardless, less commercialism and more contemplation, bonding and finding a sense of joy even in a bleak winter should definitely be encouraged.
  • nikki2804
    nikki2804 Posts: 2,670 Forumite
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    I agree and disagree with this. I have bought presents for my baby, my 4 neices and nephews (after all Xmas it about the kids) and my parents. Both myself and OH have bought presents for each other but we have set a budget and stuck to it.

    However people I haven't spoke to in ages have all decided that they are going to buy the wee one a present, which now means I have to buy them something. One of them is a "fair weather friend". She does have a wee one too but I haven't seen her in at least 2 years.

    Its crazy!
  • ceebeeby
    ceebeeby Posts: 4,357 Forumite
    Can you ask her not too Nikki as you'll feel obliged to buy one for hers back. Just say "can't afford it"?
  • mambury
    mambury Posts: 2,168 Forumite
    I do agree with the overall sentiment that xmas isn't what it used to be. For example my inlaw have to spend the exact same amount of each person eg adults get £20 and kids get £50, I don't want to sound ungrateful but they buy tat to make up the money! If MIL goes over budget on one by £5 then she has to buy something else for the other three (my DS, DD and two nieces) which makes no sense to me at all. My DS (5 1/2) and my DD (nearly 3) don't fully understand money so they don't care if the gift costs 20p or £20 or even if it is second hand (neither do I by the way!) but they insist that it's only fair that they all get the same.
    I feel they are more worried about the money side of it than they are the actual giving. I have decided this year that I buy the present from the inlaws to DD and DS (and they give me the money) so I can make sure that the kids get what they would like ( not always the exact peice of rubbish they want!!) and will actually play with.

    I have agreed that other than buying for the MIL and FIL I am not buying for any other adults. I did try to get them to agre to a secret santa between the adults only to save some money but they didn't like the idea!
    MY priority is my kids and then friends kids (max £5 each, most presents are less than that!) then after that come the adults.
    For really close friends and neighbours that have helped us throughout the year I have made individual xmas cakes as a gift, costs pennies but I feel shows that I care and appreciate their time and help by actaly taking time to make something for them.

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  • mary-op
    mary-op Posts: 3,605 Forumite
    It does seem that nowadays Christmas has lost a lot of its meaning and a lot of people expect a present with 'designer' or 'price tag' status.
    I do give my teenage grandchildren some money amid their box of my odds and ends of home made bits and pieces..........they have to open every one and find it. They reckon its a lot of fun and the only presents that have a 'surprise' element to them. I do the same for their dad and my other son and respective girlfriends. They enjoy it, it costs not a lot (most of it home made or charity shop finds) and the amount of cash I give them is limited to what I decide I can afford.
    That way everyone is happy.
    My brother and I long ago decided to forgo buying christmas and birthday presents for each other and the kids. I have friends I buy or make bits and pieces for and a foster daughter and her husband............they're more than happy with what they get.
    It's a season of 'giving' and not ''taking' which sadly in many cases its turned into being.:rolleyes:
    I would be unstoppable if only I could get started !

    (previously known as mary43)
  • jetty
    jetty Posts: 3,011 Forumite
    I love buying people gifts and will carry on buying them gifts, lol. We haven't forgotten what xmas is all about and we spend lots of family time together over xmas eve and xmas day (eldest 2 go to their dads boxing day!!) But i don't buy people 'tat' or worry about how much i should spend. I think about what they might like and in some cases, i have made homemade gifts etc. I think if people want to buy gifts, they should and if people don't, then they shouldn't have to or feel like they have to (I buy adults but they don't buy for me, and i am really happy with this arrangement, after all, they buy my kids gifts..)

    Live and let live :confused:
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  • peetzil39
    I agree that the emphasis at xmas should be about getting together with family and friends, and enjoying some special time, however this said, my bottom lip would be going if I didn't have any pressie to open on xmas morn! I sadly do find myself being sucked into the commercialism of the festive season, and never manage to stick to my budget. Any tips experienced moneysavers have to help me avoid this trap would be welcome:confused:
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