Post # 1
so Christmas is just around the corner and since my family does not celebrate, we will be spending it with his family, just as we have done for the last five years. Typically, I am asked to make a list of things I want, which is then passed around and I usually end up with a few items on that list. Well, this year, I honestly cannot think of a single thing I really want. Yes, I can reach and add this or that — but nothing I truly, truly want. Everything would be listed for the sake of listing something which, to me, is a waste of money. I was thinking that, instead of gifts, I’d like for everyone to make a donation (any amount) to a charity.
Well, I told my husband this idea and he was a little taken aback. He thinks that it makes me seem spoiled, like I don’t care about Christmas, like there’s nothing that they could have purchased that is good enough for me. It’s one thing if I had done this from the start, or if I had some kind of “revelation” which inspired this behaviour, but since there has been nothing of the sort, it just makes me seem ungrateful for their gifts.
Really? Is this how it comes across? I guess I can kind of see his point, and I really, really do not want to upset his family. But I can’t imagine that anything I get this year will make me as happy as knowing that an underprivileged family getting some things they really need.
Post # 3
I’m shocked by his response. You wanting to give up your present for charity is selfless to me not selfish and definitely not spoiled. In fact it seems reversed that other people don’t want to give up their gifts for charity.
In my FI’s family we have started giving to charity rather than getting gifts. Because really once you reach a certain age you really don’t need gifts so if you can help others instead it just makes sense.
Maybe I would just try explaining it to your FI again. That its not that you don’t appreciate gifts from his family but you really just think money could be better spent helping others.
Post # 4
That is incredibly back asswards and totally NOT the point of donating to charity =. I don’t see how he doesn’t get it…
Post # 5
I wouldn’t ask other people to donate to a charity. Some people don’t like to be told to donate to a charity.
If I were you I would just come up with something. I mean, they could take it well or they could think like your husband. I wouldn’t take the risk. Ask for mittens and a scarf or something. ^_^ Good luck!
Post # 6
I tried to do this as well and my family had none of it. They all said they knew we were cutting back ourselves, and that we should let them buy stuff for us. Some also took it to mean we wanted money, and didn’t want to give gift cards… so I spent the last week shopping for myself to get a list together, it was exhausting and annoying.
Post # 7
I don’t think is should reflect poorly on you, but I could see how his family might take offense that you don’t want any gifts. I understand what you mean by not having anything you truly want, but maybe you could come up with a few things you need? Like a nice scented candle for your home, a good book someone has read and liked, a scarf, anything?
Post # 8
i don’t know, i can kind of see where he’s coming from. maybe it’s different for you because you didn’t grow up with christmas, but i know in my family, the whole point of christmas is to give each other gifts (save the snark – i know a lot of people believe the point of christmas is religious). he was a little harsh probably because he was blindsighted by this, but i get his point.
Post # 9
Er, what? I mean, I can sorta kinda maybe see where he came up with that interpretation, but it involves doing the mental equivalent of a backbend.
If his family just really, really wants to give gifts, then I say the polite thing to do is let them. You can always ask for gift cards to places like Target or other stores at which you frequently shop for necessities to ensure that they money spent isn’t wasted on a random piece of fluff you’ll never use.
Post # 10
Maybe you could add some things to the list with the charity’s as well and leave the choice up to them. You could also put on things like Tom’s shoes which gives a pair to people in need for everyone bought or this not for profit which helps people in need http://krochetkids.org/.
Post # 11
@wavyhair: If YOU want to donate to a charity, by all means, do so. You could even ask for gifts like clothes, blankets or shoes that you could (quietly!) donate to a shelter after Christmas. But directing others to give to charity is off-putting.
Post # 12
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
Huh? You could let the word get out that there isn’t anything you need this year because everyone was so generous at the wedding or something. :-/ Maybe ask for giftcards if it will offend people less, so you can save them for when you do need something? I can’t imagine how people would think you were spoiled for asking for a charitable donation instead of a gift!
Post # 13
I think asking people to give to charity is a great idea! I think that Christmas is way out of hand on the materialistic scale, and it sounds like your husband doesn’t like being reminded of that. I think you’ve got the right idea and a big heart!
Post # 14
I LOVE presents, especially surprise Christmas presents, but I usually have trouble thinking of something I want. My husband is the type of person who wants to purchase a specific gift for me that I *need* right now. This year we can’t figure out what to get each other, so I suggested donating to charities in each other’s name. My rationale was the same as yours, why spend money on gifts just to spend the money? My husband thought it was a great idea, and we’re still thinking about it.
Maybe you could talk to your MIL and explain your idea to her. That way the family doesn’t think you’re telling them to donate to charity in a pretentious way. If they want to buy you a present, then they will. If they want to donate, then they will.
Post # 15
Reflect poorly on you? I don’t think so, and am kind of surprised at his reaction too.
If the point of the celebration is to give each other gifts as his family does, and you’re asking for what you really WANT, why would they not honor that? It’s different (it’s what you want), it’s something they may have never done before (it’s what you want), and that is the whole point…TO GET YOU WHAT YOU WANT,right? Sheesh…I wouldn’t add a bunch of junk to make them happy. Get what you want!!!
Post # 16
I can understand that people might not get it if you asked something like that for Christmas. What you can do is give gifts to charity in the name of your family and friends, and set the precedent for future years. 🙂