# Time to stop Christmas presents? Poll Discussion

Former MSE Posts: 1,903 Forumite
edited 23 November 2010 at 4:55PM
Poll started 16 November 2010 (closed 23 Nov):

Time to stop Christmas presents?

Christmas has become a retail festival, celebrated by spending and shopping.

Is it time to stop the sending of presents to reduce the pressure and obligation on others who can’t afford to spend on you? (For a full discussion see Martin’s Time to Ban Presents? six-point moneyfesto).

Which of these is closest to your view

A. Stop present giving to EVERYONE - 718 votes (7 %)
B. Limit present giving to parents/grandparents to children - 3,169 votes (30 %)
C. Limit present giving to immediate family - not friends or colleagues - 4,826 votes (46 %)
D. Small gifts to a wider circle is fine - 1,286 votes (12 %)
E. Giving as many and as big gifts as we can afford - 522 votes (5 %)

Please vote here, or click 'post reply' to discuss below. Thanks
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• Forumite Posts: 3,808 Forumite
I voted C but it's a slightly bigger circle - I buy presents for my parents, sisters, brothers-in-law, nephew, grandparents, best mate and boyfriend. Boyfriend's family and the office get chocolates.
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Married my best friend 1st November 2014
Loose = the opposite of tight (eg "These trousers feel a little loose")
Lose = the opposite of find/gain (eg "I'm going to lose weight this year")
• Forumite Posts: 4,530
Forumite
A. Stop present giving to EVERYONE
B. Limit present giving to parents/grandparents to children
C. Limit present giving to immediate family - not friends or colleagues
D. Small gifts to a wider circle is fine
E. Giving as many and as big gifts as we can afford

I voted C, but it is a combination of a few.
We only buy for each other, our adult daughter, her partner and my husbands Mum (my mum asked to stop buying many years ago).
I spend loads on daughter and my husband and have spent about £40 on her partner.

Part of the enjoyment of Christmas is giving the gifts.
Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.
• Forumite Posts: 41 Forumite
We all feel backed off from seeking a plastic bag when we shop; why not a similar shame when deciding on giving presents.

Giving is good for the giver, but puts the recipient in an uncomfortable situation. For a child with no income it is even worse as they cannot balence out the gift with a similar response. They feel more and more out-of-exchange, with each gift, until they get quite unpleasant.

Don't spoil the kids. Keep very good exchange with them! (No presents over £1, I say)
• Forumite Posts: 4,530
Forumite
I should imagine large family groups on tight budgets discuss in advance who they are buying for and the amount that will be spent.
Where there are many children and not a lot of money better to buy for just the children, or a gift for all the family.
Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.
• Forumite Posts: 136 Forumite
What we should do and what we actually do are rarely the same.

OH family suddenly stopped giving one year without saying a thing .
I felt quite hurt and a bit embarressed that we had bought as usual.
Eventually my elderly MIL said that they had decided amongst themselves to only give to the kids.
Nice of them to tell us - but they obviously didn't include our children in that as they got nothing!

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I've got nothing against reducing the expectation of gift buying ,in fact I would welcome it,but it needs to be done with sensitivity.
• Forumite Posts: 7,847 Forumite
I should imagine large family groups on tight budgets discuss in advance who they are buying for and the amount that will be spent.

The best way to " save face" if you are harder up than the rest of the family is to say that you want everyone to chip in and give you money towards one large item.
Then, instead of buying it, use the cash to buy their presents with instead.
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• Forumite Posts: 1,666 Forumite
I always end up with a pile of stuff that I don't need.
Should be kids only but donation to charity on behalf of adults would be nice.

Perhaps premium christmas cards to family & friends including a certificate that makes a significant donation to children's/homeless charities (and 99% of that donation should actually end up with the charity, not the card manufacturer!).
Apparently I'm 10 years old on MSE. Happy birthday to me...etc
• Forumite Posts: 105 Forumite
Being generous is a good thing. Each day we enjoy a sunrise it's a generous gift. Christmas is the time we celebrate God coming into human history on a rescue mission. It's an exciting time, not to impress people with our affluence, creative imagination or moral standing but to share the news that we have a Father who rules and reigns beyond time, history, scientific theories and man's demonic and false religions. He loves us with the love of a true Father; protector, provider, and comforter in times a struggle, pain and fear.

The point is that because we are first loved we get to love others. We receive gifts to steward and enjoy and within our means we get to share. Wealth is not a bad thing, we need wealth to create wealth. Being impoverished is not a bad thing, it doesn't prevent you serving others in non-material ways. It's how we steward what we have that counts. However, if as the world would have, you reject Jesus as God, this all undoubtedly seems ludicrous, wouldn't it be best if you kept your money for another day? Why not share your truth claim with your children that there is no God, Jesus is not who he claimed to be, He was a liar and fraud and Christmas is a cruel joke?

Alternatively you could share the historical record from the Bible that report we have a king who was not born into privilege but poverty. He came to love and serve, to heal and bless. Not a capricious, disconnected God, but a connected loving father who can empathize with suffering, pain and loss. The people welcomed Him but then abandoned Him, the religious crowd hated him because He pointed out they were a bunch of foolish hypocrites. In love Jesus Christ shared the truth about who He was and what He had come to do and for that the paid religious professionals had him tortured and nailed to a tree where he painfully and slowly died of asphyxiation.

The thing about Christmas is that we don't have good advice about how to live a better life but good news that three days later the tomb was empty, and Jesus Christ spent time with his friends and preached to hundreds of people, showing us that He had conquered death! Jesus Christ is the man who claimed to be God. For more information there is stacks of free video and listening material at marshillchurch.org

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
• Forumite Posts: 1,666 Forumite
Here we go again. Christians trying to hijack Christmas
Apparently I'm 10 years old on MSE. Happy birthday to me...etc
• Forumite Posts: 115
Forumite
We buy gifts for immediate family only.

However, I have a pact with close friends that we pretend that we have swapped gifts. That means that if I see something I'd like, that I wouldn't normally buy for myself, I can get it and thank my friend for her gift. In her turn, she sees a treat she'd like, gets it and thanks me. It avoids all the hassle of choosing for someone else, wrapping, and the costs of sending (some friends are abroad). Everyone ends up with something they like/will use. Everyone can choose the value of their own gift to suit their pockets - it doesn't matter if I buy a bar of chocolate, and they treat themselves to a bottle of Baileys. Have done this for several years, and it works a treat.
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