Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    Former MSE Lee
    Real Life MMD: Should I continue buying my god-daughter presents?
    • #1
    • 28th Jan 11, 4:28 PM
    Real Life MMD: Should I continue buying my god-daughter presents? 28th Jan 11 at 4:28 PM
    Please give this MoneySaver the benefit of your advice...

    Should I continue buying my god-daughter presents?

    I've bought my 10-year-old god-daughter a present every birthday and Christmas since she was born, with never a thank you from her or her parents. I was brought up to write thank you letters or to phone and thank anyone who kindly bought me gifts. My other friends send thank-yous on their childrens' behalf, and when the children are old enough they send me lovely notes or drawings. I usually spend about £20 on my god-daughters' presents (which I can't always afford). I don't have children myself so the gifts aren't reciprocated. Should I risk upsetting my friend by telling her I'm offended she doesn't acknowledge my gifts? Should I stop buying her daughter presents even though it's not her fault? Or do I just spend less?

    Click reply to have your say

    Previous MMDs: View All



    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers

    Last edited by Former MSE Lee; 28-01-2011 at 5:36 PM.
Page 1
  • mayling03
    • #2
    • 1st Feb 11, 8:53 PM
    • #2
    • 1st Feb 11, 8:53 PM
    I think you should definitely mention it to your friend (let's hope she's not overly-sensitive). Her Daughter has probbaly not been taught manners by your friend so it is her fault! Or you can just stop altogether and if she brings it up - then say 'o I didn't think you got them as there was no acknowledgement'. Personall I think this is damn rude and £40 on presents for someone with no manners is a watse. Do you see her often? Do you do things together?
    • currantbun
    • By currantbun 1st Feb 11, 8:55 PM
    • 143 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    currantbun
    • #3
    • 1st Feb 11, 8:55 PM
    • #3
    • 1st Feb 11, 8:55 PM
    I would buy a small token pressie for a few quid, you can pick stuff up in the dregs of the sales which look much more than they cost. For example, I got a top in Gap for £2 reduced from £12, my neice got it for Christmas and loves it.
  • mayling03
    • #4
    • 1st Feb 11, 8:56 PM
    • #4
    • 1st Feb 11, 8:56 PM
    I don't think it's the money she is too concerned about, it's about saying thank you really be it a phone call or a small note. It's only manners to do so, and I would just stop buying her presents just to punish her.
    • starjumper
    • By starjumper 1st Feb 11, 8:56 PM
    • 355 Posts
    • 1,772 Thanks
    starjumper
    • #5
    • 1st Feb 11, 8:56 PM
    • #5
    • 1st Feb 11, 8:56 PM
    I'd stop. If she's and her parents are not polite enough to say thank you then don't bother. I'd maybe put a few quid aside each year for her 21st and maybe a wedding present later on (I know she's only 10) but other than that I'd not bother.

    If the lack of gifts is questioned I'd just be blunt and say "I wasn't sure if she really appreciated the presents as she never said thank you."

    Either that or your next present should be a stationery set complete with a pack of thank you cards!
  • caroline78
    • #6
    • 1st Feb 11, 8:58 PM
    • #6
    • 1st Feb 11, 8:58 PM
    I wasn't brought up to send Thank You cards, but always had to say Thank you when the present was handed over. My niece is the same as me, and I am pregnant with my first and will probably take the same route...the only exception would have been (and will be with my child too) if the pressie arrived through the post then we had to make a Thank you phone call.
    I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY
    • sarah*a
    • By sarah*a 1st Feb 11, 10:50 PM
    • 2,733 Posts
    • 13,155 Thanks
    sarah*a
    • #7
    • 1st Feb 11, 10:50 PM
    • #7
    • 1st Feb 11, 10:50 PM
    Either that or your next present should be a stationery set complete with a pack of thank you cards!
    Originally posted by starjumper
    This was my first thought. And if you don't get a thank you (in any form) after that - stop.

    Do you see them often? Could you have some of the thank you notes/drawings out on display next time they visit? and subtly drawn attention to them?



    Arrgh - I hate these MMD's as you don't get a final outcome or response
    "Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it can not be conquered by it" Ayn Rand
    • tabaira
    • By tabaira 1st Feb 11, 11:31 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    tabaira
    • #8
    • 1st Feb 11, 11:31 PM
    • #8
    • 1st Feb 11, 11:31 PM
    it is a simple matter to let the child and the parents know that you'd like an acknowledgement and a thank you for your gift. if this is not forthcoming then you don't send another present. if you send me a gift I shall immediately acknowledge receipt and send you a hand-made thank you card
  • palorx
    • #9
    • 2nd Feb 11, 12:03 AM
    • #9
    • 2nd Feb 11, 12:03 AM
    I'd just stop, however, if you are close friends and see them a lot then you might want to consider just reducing the amount you spend on her over time. The god daughter is 10 and therefore I think old enough to understand a little note written in a card.
  • DoogieH
    I can't empathise with this situation at all. If you want to give someone a gift, do so freely without expectation of anything in return. In my book anything else isn't really a gift.

    Oh, and if you can't afford to give a gift, then don't!

    Gifts given out of duty, or grudgingly, or in expectation of reciprocation, would be better not given at all in my opinion.
  • pipadeepip
    DoogieH. I couldn't have put it better myself DoogieH.
    I give for the pleasure it gives me not for any reciprocation.
    If you can't afford to buy dont make out you can.
    • WhyIsSavingSoHard
    • By WhyIsSavingSoHard 2nd Feb 11, 1:20 AM
    • 60 Posts
    • 68 Thanks
    WhyIsSavingSoHard
    This is such a tough one, but I've had the same happen with gifts I've given to children. I always have a thank you sent by my Goddaughter's mum, but used to buy for four other youngsters in my family too without a thank you even when I handed the presents over. And money's really tight here too. In the end, I explained that I can't afford to buy for everyone so am only buying for immediate family now and they understood without me having to say about the thank you's.

    If you still want to get your Goddaughter something, why not tell her Mum that you can't afford to spend as much now and get a token gift (sales are always great for saving pennies while buying something that was a substantial price). I would buy a pretty writing set and pen as part of the present which might encourage her to write her own thank you's out. You can get some lovely ones in pretty storage boxes so she'll have the box to keep afterwards. I always got notelets for Christmas when I was a child and Boxing Day was our day for writing them out.
    I'm not supposed to be normal, I'm supposed to be me
    Quidco cash back since May 2010 ~ more than £83.13
    Must remember to use it more, but every little helps
  • purplerose
    To be honest I think a lot of people consider cards to be old fashioned and it doesn't cross their mind to buy one. I've never written one nor received one in my life. The god daughter would probably thank you for the gift if you were there to give it in person . I buy my best friends wee boy clothes and toys and have never really gotten much of a thank you, more a show of appreciation for the item than anything else e.g. "ooh what's this, aww that's so cute isn't it!" in response to whatevers been pulled from the gift bag and I only see that because I'm there when it's opened. However, I give it because I take pleasure in choosing the item and knowing that it will be used by the wee guy, I'm not really looking for a thanks and it's never really crossed my mind to look for one either.

    Personally I wouldn't say anything as it could create awkwardness between you and the friend. Maybe you could prompt for a thank you? Like if you called them after it was received for a chat then ask to speak to the goddaughter and ask if she liked whatever it was you bought her or ask the mum if she liked it. Also, if you can't afford what you've been buying then only buy what you can afford. It's not worth getting into debt of any kind, especially if you think the item isn't being appreciated as it'll only deepen the grudge.
    Debt: Started at £4780, now at £4190
    Comp Wins 2014: None yet

    • jenniewb
    • By jenniewb 2nd Feb 11, 3:41 AM
    • 12,553 Posts
    • 11,735 Thanks
    jenniewb
    My sister was like this. SHe never so much as bought me a card yet even as a student I would folk out £20 for a gift for her birthday and for Christmas. She had a partner who worked as a physio and a locum, they were well off.

    I just stopped. I never got anything back so I just stopped. You know what? she didn't even notice until a few years later when I shot back at her "I thought you didn't want anything as you never bought me anything/never got me a card" the whole argument died down, she said nothing more then the thing flared up again recently when she was upset she would be spending her birthday alone (maybe if she took better care of others birthdays....)

    I think this sort of arguement/disagreement only works if both sides of the fence 1. Realise there is a problem, 2. Can admit their part in it and 3. Want it to change/want to do something about it.
  • anna grant
    Kids don't send cards anymore - my grandkids say 'thank you' through Facebook!
    żAlguien ha visto a mi nave espacial?

    Biting is excellent. It's like kissing, only there's a winner.
    • JulieGeorgiana
    • By JulieGeorgiana 2nd Feb 11, 6:32 AM
    • 2,467 Posts
    • 12,987 Thanks
    JulieGeorgiana
    My son sends out Thank You cards for both Birthday and Christmas Presents and Any other gifts that come into the house.

    On top of that we Homemake our thank you Notes/Cards!

    I think if you don't get a thank you, then you should stop buying... no matter what medium the thank you is sent (facebook/mail) it's just plain rude to not say thank you.

    If she's a good friend then talk to her and tell her, if not then a card is more then enough.
    We spend money we don't have, on things that we don't need, to impress people we don't like. I don't and I'm happy!

    Mortgage Free Wannabe
    Overpayments Made: £5400 - Interest Saved: £11,550 - Months Saved: 24
  • susie1
    I think a prompt 'thank you' is worth encouraging. Say it, email, telephone or in a letter, but why not let someone know you appreciate their efforts? I would treat your God daughter to a day out instead of a gift so you get to enjoy her company and then drop her a little note to say you enjoyed being with her and the fun day you had together. Maybe you could send her regular little letters and notes and hope in time that she replies, 'thank you's' may then become a two way process, as you could thank her for her news, etc. The most valuable thing you can give this young girl is your time and interest and for her to know you care about her, a material gift is not always needed.
    • debt_free_soon
    • By debt_free_soon 2nd Feb 11, 7:57 AM
    • 56 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    debt_free_soon
    I was brought up to write Thank You letters as well and I consider not saying Thank You to be incredibly rude, it doesn't mater whether the gift is handed over in person or sent in the mail.

    It's a good life-lesson for kids to learn that things don't grow on trees and that saying Thanks isn't wrong.

    Given that you've not had a Thank You for ten years, I'm surprised that you're still buying.

    That said, the other side of the debate is that if the parents have never instilled the value of saying Thank You into the child, then it does seem a little harsh to punish her for their useless parenting.

    My God Daughter is 7 and that's the way I'm looking at it at the moment, that said, at Ten she should know better and I certainly would no longer be buying presents if no Thank You was received.
    Working through my debts one company at a time
    • purpleweasel
    • By purpleweasel 2nd Feb 11, 8:32 AM
    • 115 Posts
    • 202 Thanks
    purpleweasel
    I was brought up to beleive that "politeness costs nothing" (OK maybe the cost of a stamp, but there are free ways to say thank you!). If you see them often, make sure you hand over gifts personally, as surely most well-brought up kids will say "thank you" when given something. If you send them, perhaps there is some way to hint how much you appreciate the thank you cards/emails/phone calls you get from x other child?
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 2nd Feb 11, 8:38 AM
    • 8,235 Posts
    • 12,365 Thanks
    jackieblack
    I can't empathise with this situation at all. If you want to give someone a gift, do so freely without expectation of anything in return. In my book anything else isn't really a gift.

    Oh, and if you can't afford to give a gift, then don't!

    Gifts given out of duty, or grudgingly, or in expectation of reciprocation, would be better not given at all in my opinion.
    Originally posted by DoogieH
    DoogieH. I couldn't have put it better myself DoogieH.
    I give for the pleasure it gives me not for any reciprocation.
    If you can't afford to buy dont make out you can.
    Originally posted by pipadeepip
    I agree with you both.

    Having said that, it is plain bad manners for the child not to say thank you in some way shape or form, be it by telephone call, letter or whatever.
    Last edited by jackieblack; 02-02-2011 at 9:24 AM.
    2.22kWp Solar PV system installed Oct 2010, Fronius IG20 Inverter,
    south facing (-5 deg), 30 degree pitch, no shading

    Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
    (Revera linguam latinam vix cognovi )
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,547Posts Today

9,571Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Just sent a text about postgrad loans. My Swype text auto-corrected it to pothead loans. Does it know something I don't?

  • Are you an overdraft prisoner? How to escape it! My new blog on ways to get rid of your overdraft... https://t.co/KbJwbWLFQI

  • RT @bbc5live: .@MartinSLewis joins @annaefoster from midday to answer your money saving questions. ???? 08085 909 693 ???? 85058 Or post your q?

  • Follow Martin