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Disappointing gifts…


Christmas '09

I know, we’re not supposed to talk about them, we hide our disappointment behind a huge smile and gush ‘Thank you”s very very convincingly but the minute you’re alone and you think about it. You’re gutted. It’s horrible. What the hell are you going to do with it? You can’t chuck it in the bin with disgust as that person will be round to see you sometime or will expect you *shudder* to actually wear it. Despair, despair, despair.

How could that person possibly ever have thought you might like that? What in the heck were they thinking? Or hold on a minute, was it a bargain scooped up at a jumble sale/dodgy market stall/their passed away grandma’s wardrobe passed on to you as ‘vintage’?

Oh please! *rolls eyes*

You see I have probably received a fair few disappointing gifts over the years, where I thought the doner had much better taste and at least knew me better than that. I won’t name anyone as that would just be rude and if anyone asks me after reading this I shall reply, ‘Heavens no, not you! I love your gifts, I adore your good taste.’

I don’t want to come across as inconsiderate, pretentious or just damn right obnoxious but I feel I have to shed a light on this problem. It is happening time after time after time, up and down the country and it’s ruining the party folks. It has to stop!

I have begrudgingly noticed that as my life journey stretches more into the distance, ironically the gifts become rarer, fewer and far between (WTF? Does anyone know why?) admittedly some are more expensive and consequently… small … but as a child I remember the excitement of the Christmas stocking opened in the deep of night whilst the adults were still comatose from their Christmas Eve celebrations, too tired to even tell us to shut up and get back to bed. My brothers would have devoured their Selection packs before the sun was anywhere near the horizon and would already be pestering me for mine (which incidentally used to last me through to the end of January at least, much to their contempt). Not only the secret stocking opening in the dead of night but hanging around forEVER for the family to arrive so we could attack the masses under the tree. I cannot remember getting a dud pressie back then, oh actually I can, great Aunts and never met distant cousins come to mind.

Moving swiftly on, you may agree that this has led us all to writing out Present Lists these days. Maybe a bit presumptious but hey you can only hide your increduality ( I’ve just invented that word I believe) so many times before it becomes pure anger. Occasionally your list may be frowned upon. Some people genuinely like to think about you as a person and try and buy you something they believe will delight your soul. Sometimes it works fabulously and you wait eagerly to receive said persons gift praying the joy it’s reciprocate but on the other hand other times it’s horrendous and you want nothing but to throw it back at them. Were they just getting you something to shut you up because they had to?

Mmmm, possibly. I have heard, whilst in a queue at various stores, ‘Oh she/he’ll have to like it and lump it. They can always change it can’t they?’

There you go, it’s a bit of a downer isn’t it? Why are we buying and spending our hard earned cash because we ‘must’.

There’s a recession on guys! Let’s redimension our Christmases. They reckon we’ll spend circa £60,000,000 between us all from now to the Big Day (UK stats alone). I can’t afford that!

We have taken a new stance this Christmas, I have phoned the brother who will be hosting Crimbo this year. He has two kids, I have two kids (the older two don’t count,  they’ll be in Italy and their presents from us will be posted – hopefully on time) and we have mutually decided that we won’t bother with gifts for the adults, we’ll concentrate on the children (after all that’s what Christmas is all about, right?), we will both as couples save at least £50 and put it to Champagne/other booze to drink on the day! Sounds like a brilliant idea to me. (after all that’s what Christmas is all about right?)

Cross off the superfluous – You don’t have to! I emailed my circle of girly friends and suggested we dropped the presents me to you, her, her, her and her to me, me , me, me etc and all went out for a meal instead, maybe in the new year when the calendar is slow. It’s being done, maybe a tiny bit begrudgingly as their present pile dwindles too but it does make sense.

Do we really have to buy because we ‘have to’? Or can we be strong enough to bring Christmas back to a more normal dimension where gifts are given for pleasure?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 30/10/2010 9:27 am

    I am completely with you on all this Mari. I often think I am a miserable sod when it comes to pressies as the kids get stuff and I think what a waste of money, that cost at least £30 and could of gone on something they needed/ wanted to play with, or gone in the bank for the future – not this tat!

    I have set £5 spending limits with friends for our kids this year, stopped most adult pressies years ago, with go out with friends for a meal and dh and I will find some other way to celebrate too!!

    I have spoken to a few bloggers who spoke of using the rule of – something to read, eat, wear, play with and there might have been soemthing else too! So this year my kids will get their stocking, some sweets, an outfit, some PJs and socks, a couple of books and 1 or 2 small toy presents. There is no big £100 gifts in our house this year, as frankly no one needs anything!

    Mich x

    • 30/10/2010 12:57 pm

      Sounds like a good plan to me. Paul and I won’t be giving each other massive presents either, after all we did buy a new house this year and have spent more doing it up with lots more still to do. I’m happy with that. x

  2. 30/10/2010 9:39 am

    I’m a Christmas Carol so when I was little and times were hard I got one present with the message “Here’s your birthday present Hope you have a nice Christmas ” or “Here’s your Christmas present. Did you have a nice birthday?” So now in my dotage I would like to be spoilt/ indulged. No crap presents thanks .

    • 30/10/2010 12:58 pm

      Good for you, put your foot down and be spoilt rotten. My brother also has a birthday just after Christmas but we always make the effort to observe it and make his day special for him. this year he’s 40 so there’s no getting out of it! 🙂


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