The Politics of Buying Presents.

We are hurtling through the months and with each day we are nearing to Christmas. Yes I said it, CHRISTMAS. Some will fully embrace Christmas in all its glory, some will roll their eyes at such a mention in September.

I stand apathetically in the middle, knowing full well the presents need to be bought in advance to ensure enough time has been given for research, yet also realising it would be a little premature to add All I want for Christmas is You to my playlist. Readers do not fret, I have not become overly joyous at the prospect of celebrating a made up day (yes, even if you do consider Jesus’ birth), I am still my skeptical self.

I wrote my Christmas list over the weekend, including a column of potential gifts/ideas and one for gifts I had already purchased for particular people. I like to be super ready for the following year by purchasing gifts, wrapping paper and cards in the January sale; not just Christmas cards, but I mentally(!) add up all the birthdays over the year and buy the most fitting cards. I like to think coupling my OCD organisation skills with my love for shopping means I am onto a winner.

My list has become slightly biased with DS’ column vastly overpopulated, whilst others are looking, well, a little bare. Of course by Christmas day everyone on the list will have a present, just some family members require a little more thought. There are always considerations to be made; whether the person will actually like the gift, the financial set back, how the gift will bode with their siblings. And with children, there is the difficulty of remembering their age. My cousins are now in their teens, but for some unknown reason, they are still below the age of ten in my head. I need to keep reminding myself that Barbies are not appropriate.

But of course before all that, you need to get back to basics; who is on the list? In my family we only buy for the children and my Grandma. I use to be the one who received gifts, but since the arrival of DS I have become present-less in some kind of hierarchal pass down. This does not bother me, my baby boy can have it all. We have since adopted the same approach to present buying, only including ourselves, children and grandparents on the list. Adults can purchase anything they wish all year round, children are the ones who must wait for treats on special occasions. However, it is always nice to give a little something from DS to certain people, like grandparents. DH and I also tend to buy each other gifts from DS, as well as presents to one another.

Although we have our own ideas for gifts and who to buy them for, there is always the politics of the reciprocator’s own rules to buying presents. Some buy for all regardless, some expect more from you and some will expect nothing at all.

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9 thoughts on “The Politics of Buying Presents.

  1. I use an iPhone app for Christmas present buying. I wish my inlaws would adopt a children only policy as hubby is one of four and his siblings are impossible to buy for. Thanks for this post and the reminder that I need to get organised

    • My husband is one of four too! He’s got lots of aunts and uncles, as do I, so if we bought for everyone it would cost a fortune! Definitely stick to the kids; children are what Christmas is about.
      iPhone app sounds like a good idea! I think I would need to handwrite ‘iPhone’ on my list first….

  2. oh no, xmas, dreading it slightly this year.
    my reasons are:
    1. havent bought anything yet…totally skint
    2. just started college, costing lots in bus fare, materials and trips
    3. my partners bro is having a stag weekend in 2 weeks…costing us alot
    4. numerous birthdays coming up
    5. wedding of partners bro in december, we have to travel from cornwall to bristol and stay 2 days
    6. what on earth do u buy for two kids who seem to have everything yet moan and dont play with loads of their toys?

    i may hide from xmas and pretend it isnt coming!

    • Oh dear! It sounds like you’ve got a busy few months ahead!

      I empathise with you on the birthday front, we’ve got our son’s birthday, two of his cousins birthdays and his grandma all in December!

      3 for 2 in Boots is good for bulk buying lots of gifts, the range has improved over the years. Or maybe try online, usually cheaper if delivery is free. How old are the kids? If they’ve got everything already you’re probably best not trying to buy something spectacular, just some vouchers perhaps? Books are a good one.

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