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Unread 2 Dec 19, 09:35 AM  
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jdybnsn
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Appropriate Response ? Xmas Gifting

Just wondered if I could get some views here...

My sister (who has been mentally unwell this year) phoned me to say she wasn't going to be doing any Xmas shopping this year and she was offering me a choice of gift vouchers or donation to charity - with a clear inference that I should be following my other sister's choice (when she was asked) of donating to charity.
She stated that her and her partner wanted no gifts and we were to donate any money we were going to spend to a good cause.

I didn't give her an answer there & then as I was feeling quite pressured by her assertive tone.

Well, I had thought about it since, and the more I've thought & discussed it with DH, the more sort of in two minds I've become that she seems to be imposing her way of doing Xmas on to me with an added guilt trip if I don't goo along with it.

Whilst I have every respect that she might like a donation to charity instead of a present - I'm entirely happy to do this - its her wish and her choice. I'm fine with that. But whilst I do not expect her to go out shopping if she is not mentally well enough to cope with it, I'm rather that her kind of Xmas shouldn't be seen as superior to the traditional Xmas of gifting our family always enjoy... and I know she will give me the guilt trip if I don't go along entirely with 'her' gifting plans and agree to donate my present money too.

Whilst I have to balance her mental wellness as a factor in all this, DH and I do regularly donate both time, and money, to charity through out the year , so I don't think we need the 'excuse' of Xmas to donate at Xmas Also I know full well our mother will be getting a present from her. So its not like she will be doing NO Xmas shopping.

Part of me is wanting to not do this mutual charity gifting on principle... part of me is thinking its part of her mental condition and I should just go along with it... I'd like some Dibb views to get some clarity on the best way forward here without creating a family rift.

DH says he feels it like a vegetarian/ vegan telling us that they don't eat meat, so we must not either ! ?
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Unread 2 Dec 19, 09:44 AM  
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parisdisneyfan
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My opinion is that, yes it is fine for her to not get you presents and if she wants to donate to charity in your name fine. However you like buying a present for her and that is part of your Christmas, so perhaps just something small but thoughtfully chosen, favourite chocolates, socks type of thing. I agree with your dh - my daughter is veggie and while I make her veggie food which we occasionally have too, we like meat! However if she started saying we shouldn't eat meat as well, unfortunately I think we would see less of her

Finally if there are young/small children on either side I think it is actually not a good idea at all, cut down yes to avoid the need for crowds and shopping but can't do it entirely.

BTW I have a love/hate relationship with christmas due to losing my mum a few days before but I try to join in and would never try to stop it being a big highlight of winter.
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Unread 2 Dec 19, 09:58 AM  
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soraia
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I take a slightly different view on this.
If she has said she doesn't want a physical present from you then I would respect her wishes and donate what you would have spent to charity (or whatever else she said she'd like)
However, that doesn't mean you have to change your way of thinking or doing Christmas. I would still do my own thing, get presents for everyone else in the family/friends, decorate how I like, eat what I like etc.
I don't see it any different as asking a family member what they'd like for Christmas and them saying "would love some pyjamas" or "amazon gift card" and then getting them that.
It's a 2 way street - you can be happy to respect her wishes and donate to charity for her gift but she will also need to respect your wishes that you have your own way of enjoying Christmas.
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Unread 2 Dec 19, 10:04 AM  
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Claudette
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I would not be happy to be guilted into asking for my Christmas present to be a charitable donation. It is for me to decide when to donate.

So I would tell her no need to get me anything or do anything on my behalf at Christmas.
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Unread 2 Dec 19, 10:07 AM  
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magickate
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I would just politely say neither are necessary thank you and ask if she'd like to meet up for a nice meal together in the New Year instead. If her health allows.
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Unread 2 Dec 19, 10:11 AM  
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I take the simplistic view - as I do in most things

Remove from the equation the things that are swirling around such as mental health etc.

Then you are left with her wishes v your views

To that end I would tell her to write this Xmas off and neither of you to do anything and revisit the situation next year. Job done.
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Unread 2 Dec 19, 10:12 AM  
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Chair1519
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I am unclear as a psychiatric nurse for over 30 years why you have mentioned on three occassion in your post that your sister has had "issues" this year. Wanting to opt out of the present giving roundabout is not a mental illness its being seen as a postive step.

Like him or not Matin Lewis did a big thing on this last year which has resonated for many people. Its a message he is repeating this year. If her part of the family is opting out and not wishing to exchange presents then that is their choice to make.

Worth having a read here

moneysavingexpert/nupp/

People are free to do what they want of course. While you feel that she is imposing what she wishes on your side of the family you could equally look at it the opposite way from her side.
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Unread 2 Dec 19, 10:14 AM  
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catherinesian
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Every year my family buy each other presents that nobody wants, and I personally have had enough of buying and receiving things 'just for the sake of it'. So I can totally see where your sister is coming from, to be honest. If I could cancel all the present giving I would do at the drop of a hat, but my family won't agree to it

Last year mum bought me a whole sack full of presents as normal. Including an Echo and Dot that I had told her I didn't want and have sat unused all year. Such a waste
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