Would you consider a 'no-presents pact' this year?

MSE_Laura_F Community Admin Posts: 1,554
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Community Admin
edited 15 December 2021 at 11:45AM in Marriage, relationships & families
Martin Lewis's blog Is it time to ban Christmas presents? was first published in 2009 but has just been updated. It examines the benefits of forgoing presents altogether.

Would you and your family consider it? Perhaps you do this already?



  • ceh209
    ceh209 Forumite Posts: 876
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper
    OH's family are not doing presents between adults, I'm happy with this. I tried to instil this on my side of the family aswell, but they're having none of it. I have been essentially bullied into paying half of a membership gift for my parents, by my sister. My sister won't be receiving anything from me. When asked for present ideas, I've told them I don't want anything - so I fully expect to end up with some completely unwanted gifts on Christmas Day. Maybe next year they'll get the hint?
    Excuse any mis-spelt replies, there's probably a cat sat on the keyboard
  • 74jax
    74jax Forumite Posts: 7,908
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    No we wouldn't consider this. 
    Forty and fabulous, well that's what my cards say....
  • Ramouth
    Ramouth Forumite Posts: 642
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper
    I have suggested this to my family in the past but they were not keen.  I enjoy gift giving but do feel guilty about the amount of wasted resources so this year have really focussed on buying local and useful.  
  • tealady
    tealady Forumite Posts: 3,724
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Mortgage-free Glee! Debt-free and Proud!
    Already do this (with 1 exception).
    The relief from not exchanging unwanted items is immense.
    We each buy what we want using the money saved by not buying stuff.
    Works well for us.
    Find out who you are and do that on purpose (thanks to Owain Wyn Jones quoting Dolly Parton)
  • mandy47
    mandy47 Forumite Posts: 287
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    My side of the family just give a token gift. A bottle of favourite wine or a box of biscuits.
    The in-laws won't even contemplate it. I wish they would because we are not that close. They don't really know us that well  so we never get anything we like or use.I don't think much thought goes into it. For example, huge cheese selection and I'm intolerant .  Infact we've received some really odd gifts in the past. They are usually donated after xmas to charity or the local food bank. 
    I would rather they make a donation in my name or have a tree planted by the woodland trust.
  • maisie_cat
    maisie_cat Forumite Posts: 2,020
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Academoney Grad
    Hubby and I only buy for each other token presents, £50 budget. 
    My siblings and I stopped presents for adults 30 years ago, Mum's idea, then as the children became adults that stopped.
    It's more fun buying for kids than adults anyway, I used to love going to toysRus to get presents for 20 kids, although it did mean the childless of us received no presents at all.
    I do send cards, but most of the family don't bother, in fact I have 3 brothers and have never received a Christmas Card from any of them.

  • powerspowers
    powerspowers Forumite Posts: 1,069
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    My dads side of the family do secret Santa so buying 1 gift instead of 9. My mum equates gifts with love so I spoil her! I’ve stopped buying for friends and work colleagues, I usually make a charity donation instead. 
    MFW 2021 #76 £5,145
    MFW 2022 #27 £5,300 
    MFW 2023 #27 £2,070/ £2,023 target

  • middlewife
    middlewife Forumite Posts: 82
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    I have a birthday in early December so gor the last two years have asked people to buy me one gift and donate to mind, shelter, macmillan or fare share for the other. You wouldn't believe the fuss! So far only my sister and sister in law have done it, my hubby and 4 kids seem to think its ungrateful, or maybe it will mean I don't buy them something. I figure at 59 I have all I need, but many don't....
  • We have considered it many times but not gone completely to this. We all buy for our parents & children but as there's 4 siblings all with partners and with children, it's a lot to buy for so we have moved to Secret Santa for anyone who wants to be involved and then no one feels pressured. We put on a £50 budget and just get one nice gift each but still feel like we are participating. We have used Elfster website this year which has worked brilliantly as it does it all for us of who has got who and you can also add a wishlist of ideas so no one is stuck but you don't know exactly what you will get. This has felt like the right compromise for us. And one 'wanted' present and not lots of useless junk.
    One sibling wanted to go down the 'token gift' of a bottle of something etc for each person but it felt pointless - everyone is just essentially swapping the same thing and you end up spending as much money as one nice present for someone with secret santa.
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