Buying gifts for people who don't buy you a gift

Discussion in Gifts & Flowers started by milyjohnson • Jan 1, 2015.

  1. milyjohnson

    milyjohnsonActive Member

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    I hope this is in the right section. I was just wondering how everyone feels about this issue. I admit that I spent a lot of money buying Christmas gifts this year. I bought gifts for people, but I didn't get that many gifts in return. I was just wondering how you all feel when you buy gifts and don't receive any in return even from close friends. I know the season is more about giving than receiving. It has happened to me a few times so I am used to it now.
     
  2. Lushlala

    LushlalaWell-Known Member

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    This is something my husband and I have a long term debate on. We have certain members of our family who love receiving high end gifts, and will even have the audacity to indicate what they want for their kids, yet are not so good with reciprocating. Most of the time we don't even receive a birthday message or birthday card, let alone a gift. At Christams, we receive very half hearted not very well thought out gifts. One year my husband received a 5 GBP t-shirt that he needed to swap as it was too big. Imagine our shock to find out the price tag!

    Now, bear mind that these're people whose combined income is way higher than ours (also combined). We buy them very generous Christmas gifts each year, as well as gifts we know they'll appreciate (they are lable bashers!) as well as birthday gifts if it's a milestone birthday. My stance is very clear; Christmas is a time to give, but it's a two way street. It may sound horrible, but I feel that if someone doesn't like to spend money on gifts, they shouldn't expect nice gifts. We're all struggling in these hard times, and let's face it; in as much as this is a Christian holiday and it's all about giving, we ALL like to receive something nice :)
     
  3. Feneth

    FenethActive Member

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    I am not a big gift giver beyond my immediate family and I try to make that clear to others around me so they know I don't expect gifts either. The winter holidays don't mean much to me at all. Birthdays are sometimes different, as are random "I saw it and thought about you" gifts. When I buy those things, it's because I want to give and have no thought of reciprocation. The pressure of winter holidays and the push to buy gifts really bugs me. I personally think that if reciprocation is part of your expectations and your joy in the holiday dims significantly when you feel unappreciated, you should talk about that with the people involved at a time when the holidays aren't close, like in September or October. Are you exchanging gifts and what $ amount?

    Our gaming group (12 people total) and I do a secret santa type thing with a $budget of $90-120 for the one person we buy for, which is enough to get something nice or several somethings but less or the same amount or less than we'd spend trying to buy small token things for everyone in our rather large group. The adults in my extended family also do this. Each person writes their own name and gift suggestions on a piece of paper (keeping in mind the limit we agree on, which varies from year to year) and we draw at the family reunion in September. Then when everyone gets together at Christmas Eve, we each know there will be a nice gift waiting but not a bunch of gifts. It works well for us. We allow teens to opt into the adult exchange or continue to receive a child's stocking. Each child in the extended family has a stocking and each child brings small items for each others stockings; so they get small toys and token little treasures but nothing major or expensive is expected or bought for the extended family christmas celebration.

    If you feel like that kind of discussion won't be taken well and you're really done with gifts that aren't reciprocated, you can simply announce well ahead of time that you have decided to focus more on the joy of the season than presents and will not be buying for anyone except your own kids and spouse this year so you will not participate in the exchange with others in the family. The ones who are used to taking advantage of your generosity might be upset but those like me who genuinely don't like to shop/buy gifts on demand will probably be grateful to be off of the hook. You will probably feel better that they will not be taking advantage of you anymore (even if it wasn't their intent to take advantage, and they might even feel embarrassed about it, they have still done it long enough for you to be used to poor treatment). Then if the mood strikes you to buy something for someone outside of that, you do it with the expectation that it won't be an exchange.
     
    #3Jan 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
  4. Treighsie

    TreighsieActive Member

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    I'm changing my gift giving practices next year, for this reason.
    I know the season is all about giving. And I do enjoy buying gifts, picking out just the right thing, and seeing the recipient's joy! However... there are people who are not like that.
    Next year I am making a list early of who I want to buy gifts for. And I'm not doing it out of obligation like I did this year. It's not right.
     
  5. Lushlala

    LushlalaWell-Known Member

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    Thanks for your response, Feneth. I used to actually hold the same opinion as you; i.e give whole heartedly from the bottom of your heart without expecting anything back. This all changed when certain members of the family who are way better off, started making demands and expecting a certain standard and quality of gifts from us the lesser earning people. I'm sure even you'll see something wrong with this picture. These people're are well aware of what they're doing. Each time one of their children has a birthday, they send ahead a list of what they WANT bought for them...I mean who does that? Very poor etiquette. Yet they're not big on giving back, which to me is very much a two way street.


    I like your idea of proposing no more gifts, but luckily that awkward conversation doesn't have to be had as we live in a different country now :) I also like the idea of the secret Santa, I may steal it. I've always believed in focusing in eating and being merry with family and just enjoying the spirit of Christmas, perhaps with a little token gift here and there. I'd very much like to see that again in my family :)
     
  6. DreekLass

    DreekLassWell-Known Member

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    I am also not someone who gives to receive. I never have been. If I don't want a person to have whatever I am giving them, or whatever I have purchased for them, then I wouldn't purchase it or give it to them in the first place. Them having that gift is not contingent upon them having to return a gift to me - or them having to return a gift of the same magnitude as what I had given them. Of course, it depends on how the whole things goes down.
     
  7. Denis Hard

    Denis HardWell-Known Member

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    I don't buy gifts for ANY adults [friends/family/close relatives]. But I get their kids gifts. So normally I never expect to get any gifts in return since those I get them for can't afford to repay me.

    For those of you who aren't as selective as I am then I think that it's just fair that the person who you get a gift for should do the same for you. Heck, they don't even have to spend any money, hand-made gifts can be OK too if they don't have the money to buy a gift.
     
  8. Dora M

    Dora MWell-Known Member

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    To be honest, I just like to give something special and not worry about whether I get anything in return. I don't buy gifts, I think of something special, such as a picnic or visiting certain places and spending quality time with a person, rather than offering some material present. I like exchanging things with my friends and family that are invaluable, such as being there for them when they really need or want me.
     
  9. tulosai

    tulosaiActive Member

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    Honestly, a lot of you seem to be better people than me! If I get someone something 2 years in a row and they don't get me anything either year, they just don't get anything the next year. If I get someone something and what they get me is absolutely and obviously worth a lot less, I adjust how much I spend on them the next year (there are some exceptions i.e. if I know that person is doing a lot worse financially than me, but this is a rare situation- compared to most of my family, I'm who is struggling). While it's true that the season should be about giving, I think it is flatly rude not to reciprocate, especially if you don't give the person anything at all, and it rubs me the wrong way when people don't reciprocate.
     
  10. hellavu

    hellavuActive Member

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    Well. Some people are just bad at giving gifts. The Secret Santa thing is a thing I really like -- I think then, you only have to buy one gift and you can make sure to get a good one! But others, like my SO, don't like it because, even though some people get a list of suggestions and a limit of 20$, they still find ways to be cheap and give you a crappy gift... And he does not like the idea that the only gift a person get for Christmas should be some old crap that does not correspond to taste.

    Some people do tell us they don't want gifts though. But we choose to give them some anyway. But if they ask for gifts and don't give anything back, that just strikes me as very, very rude. And they shall be from now on on the Naughty List! They can make it up next year.
     
  11. DrRipley

    DrRipleyExpert

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    Unless I have that much extra money I personally wouldn't bother. I'd much rather just save my money for personal purchases instead even though I know that sounds too selfish for the seasons. It's just that I think it's he most practical way to go about it since the people I'm giving it to might feel pressured to give me one just out of obligation anyway and I'd rather not get into that cycle.
     
  12. 003

    003Well-Known Member

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    I don't care if people would give me a gift or not, that wouldn't affect my decision and my action of giving my gifts to them as long as there's something that I would give them, as long as there's something especial that I want them to have. I don't depend my own actions on others, but I depend it on how they are going to feel.
     
  13. isabbbela

    isabbbelaWell-Known Member

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    That is actually a pet peeve for me... It's fine to give for example my brother a gift and not get one back from him because he's still very young and does not even have a job yet as he still in college. However, it does make me really upset when you give people that used to give you a gift and they don't give one back. Of course, one shouldn't give a present expecting one in return, because this is not the objective of giving a gift. However, for example I gave my grandmother a present and she always gave really expensive presents to all of her grandchildren and she said she didn't get anybody anything this year. She has the money to buy them, so I wonder why she would just not give her grandchildren and gifts! I was upset that I bought her something and she didn't buy one for me when actually the grandma is usually the one who buys the gift for their grandchildren... if she couldn't buy the gift I would totally understand, however she can so I don't understand why she didn
     
  14. Lucylee

    LucyleeNew Member

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    I'm very generous when giving gifts and yes,
    I have given without receiving which I didn't mind for people less fortunate than me in the past.
    saying that, I have been taken advantage of in the past by family members Who I don't bother with in terms of gifts anymore, neither do they. And I got rid of of the despicable moochers who I once called friends. Who never paid for meals and drinks out, i used to pay the bill.
    These friends I eventually cut off, and it was the most wonderful feeling a weight off my shoulders.
    I met new friends last year who are all in good jobs, I bought them really expensive designer goods, three presents each, between £350 to £600 each.. but, no thought had gone into what they had bought me, I would understand if they were in low paid jobs, but these are managing directors of their own companies. I was quite disappointed, and felt silly for spending so much money on them. One of them gave me A box of celebrations chocolate's, not even good chocolates, I've decided I'm not going to bother anymore, I think I shall look forward to Christmas sales in the future, and spend my hard earned cash on myself. I apologise if I come across mean, but I'm not... I'm a kind generous lady. And I'm also aware that I have to change my ways.
     
  15. Lushlala

    LushlalaWell-Known Member

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    I'm exactly of the same opinion as you, @tulosai@tulosai. In fact, we seem to be in exactly the same boat. Out of everyone in my family, I'm the one who has the most struggles as far as money is concerned. I just don't have as much as everybody does. But I'm a very generous person, and so is my husband. However, if people don't reciprocate, then our gravy train stops. Everyone is right, the festive season is a time for giving and giving wholeheartedly. So if some people don't do it, and I do all the while having to watch the pennies, sorry I just won't continue to be taken for a mug :)
     
  16. DreekLass

    DreekLassWell-Known Member

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    If I want to buy someone something, then it is because I want to buy them something. They are not required to get me something in return!! If they would like to, then they are welcome to. I have had issues in the past with being able to receive things and feeling comfortable with it. But I have learned to take as much as I give.
     
  17. Corzhens

    CorzhensWell-Known Member

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    Count me in with this thread. I buy hundreds of gifts according to my Christmas list - family, relatives, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and some others like market vendors. But how many gifts I get in return? Less than half the number that I give away. Sometimes I get to think that some people are just contented in receiving gifts, they do not bother to exert effort to give and their reason is that they have nothing to give.
     
  18. Pat

    PatWell-Known Member

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    I give gifts from the heart not the holiday. When most people are giving high end gifts for Christmas mine are not the costly because I have given gifts all year, gifts that I wanted to give to the person. I feel that if you do not want to give a gift that cost a lot then don't give it even if they do not give you a gift in return it is from your heart.
     
  19. DreekLass

    DreekLassWell-Known Member

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    It is always nice to receive gifts, I admit. But if you truly are not content in giving people a gift, and letting that be your 'payment' then you probably should not be giving gifts to certain people. Only give gifts to those whose presence in your life is gift enough in exchange for the gift that you are buying and giving to them. And if they give you gifts back in return, then that is a bonus.
     
  20. Denis Hard

    Denis HardWell-Known Member

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    I think the reason some people may not buy gifts for everyone who gets them a gift is because they can't afford to. Should tell them you intend to buy them a gift maybe they'll save some money so they too, can buy you a gift.

    I think lots of people who expect everyone who gets their gift to reciprocate in kind set themselves up for disappointment.