Internet backs mom asking people not to get her kids presents: “Awkward”

A worried mom-of-three has taken to social media to detail the drastic action she is planning to help curb the cost of Christmas this year.

Families are bracing themselves for a difficult winter with the price of basic necessities like food, energy and housing skyrocketing in recent months. For many, the annual festivities around Christmas could be where the change is most keenly felt.

Last year, a Gallup poll found Americans were planning to spend an average of $886 on Christmas gifts alone. It’s difficult to know whether that kind of expenditure will be maintained this year, but some families are already considering extreme measures to try and reduce the costs traditionally associated with the festive season.

Stock image of a woman rejecting gifts. A worried mom-of-three has taken to social media to detail the drastic action she is planning to help curb the cost of Christmas this year.
golubovy/Getty

One such example came to the fore on Mumsnet, where a concerned mom of three young children outlined her plan to save money this year by asking friends and family to abstain from sending her kids any gifts.

Posting under the handle hymnulop, the worried mom explained that a combination of rising prices and the fact she has been on maternity leave has meant their savings are “dwindling” so she has come up with a plan.

“I want to write a message to friends and family who usually buy for our 3 kids to say we basically can’t afford to exchange gifts this year at all and would like for you to not buy for our children as we can’t afford to reciprocate,” she explained.

However, when she suggested the idea to her husband he was vehemently opposed, describing it as “rude” and urging her not to move forward with it.

The mom said many members of her family “start buying early” so if she does make the request, she needs to do it soon. Though she stressed she was happy for friends and family to buy their kids gifts, she felt they “need to know we can’t afford to reciprocate this year.”

While on face value the idea of ​​stopping kids from receiving Christmas presents may have seemed straight out of the Ebenezer Scrooge playbook, for many following along with the thread, the mom’s plan of action made perfect sense in the current economic climate.

C****McB******s said: “I don’t think it’s rude to let people know that you can’t afford to buy presents. If you don’t say anything you’ll feel obligated to spend money that you can’t afford, and where’s the sense in that?”

StillHereChoosing thought it was the right thing to do. “I think as long as you make it clear that you want it to be reciprocal then it’s a good idea,” they wrote.

Tonicwaters, meanwhile, was one step ahead, writing: “I decided on this tactic many years ago. Believe me everyone was quite relieved and were glad I was the first to say it!”

Mochatatts had also gone through similar, replying: “I had to send a message to family and friends, reluctantly, a few years ago to say we wouldn’t be buying gifts. It was mid Covid, money was really tight and we could just afford our own kids’ gifts. Most people were totally understanding.”

MzHz that despite her husband’s protests, it sounded like they didn’t have much choice. “It will be excruciating to watch your kids get presents and you know you won’t be able to reciprocate,” they warned. “Adding that guilt on yourselves at Christmas is just too much to do to yourselves.”

SunnyD44 was also in favor of blunt honest truth. “If you have no money, you have no money,” they said. “I would just be completely honest and say you know it’s still quite early but you keep worrying about it as due to your circumstances you cannot afford to buy anyone presents.”

Newsweek was not able to verify the details of the case.

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

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