Author Topic: Cancelling Christmas  (Read 1342 times)

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Offline x0Kiss0fDeath

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Cancelling Christmas
« on: December 15, 2017, 09:50:32 PM »
Literally losing the will to live over the topic of Christmas with my husband. I'm just over it at this point. I've asked him for a list so I can buy for him SO many times and he's just so unhelpful. He's constantly saying "I don't need anything" to which I respond "it's not about need" and he says "I don't want anything though...everything I want is expensive." (I.E. new car/new house/new bathroom/trip to Japan/etc.). My mom is asking me for Christmas lists (she wants us to set up a list on Amazon so that she can buy from that) so I try to do that with him tonight. Literally all he can give me is "dash cam for the car" (he already has one for his car so it'd just end up in my car so not really a present for him as much as a present for "us" but mostly for me (and it's not even something I really care about having one way or another).

Now I pretty much am not expecting to get anything from him and that's fine. He hates the idea of Christmas being about presents and he hates clutter (and anything he's giving to me will just be clutter in the house). Like I'm over it, it's fine...but I enjoy buying presents and wrapping them and doing all that. I enjoy filling stockings. I don't do it because I think I have to or even that lots of money has to be spent or that you should only buy useful things you absoutely need. His response was to me prying about present ideas etc. was to just save our money as we want to go to Japan next year. To be totally honest, a buying a few presents is NOT going to make or break out trip to Japan. Like Japan is expensive, but I am more concerned with Christmas next year when we go back to the US vs this year where we are staying at home. spending a bit isn't going to make or break a trip to Japan, it was just his bullshit way to get out of the present talk. Which is fine. I basically just lost it a bit in him and was like "that's fine we might as well just take down the decorations because there's no point of having a tree when there won't be anything under it and there's no point of stockings that won't get filled". We've just stopped discussing it for now but I am just so irritated at the moment. Told my mom in the end that we wouldn't be making a prime list as there's nothing we need/want so she should save her money. Normally I would just try to figure out on my own what to buy for him and be creative but I am honestly, 100% just done. Never thought I'd say this, but we truly won't be celebrating Christmas this year (we are dog-sitting 5 dogs so will have 6 including ours, we'll be alone basically while his family go on their skiing holiday, andddd we won't even spend christmas morning opening up thoughtfully picked out presents because we don't actually "need" anything). Needless to say, I truly didn't think this is where I saw myself as an adult in terms of how I celebrated Christmas. I know that probably sounds immature or like I'm getting upset over something stupid (and it is/I am) but I'm just sill a bit upset over it. I should be happy we aren't making a fuss over it but sometimes I wish he cared more about doing something as stupid as doing my stocking for me with stupid stuff that he knew I would like (regardless of how cheap it might be - it's not about money, it's about the thought).

Sorry, rant over. Just needed to rant somewhere that I knew I could do so...

Offline margo

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Re: Cancelling Christmas
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2017, 12:48:25 AM »
*hugs*

I would be thoroughly irritated with that too. My husband is also very practical but I do try to find things he doesn't realize he needed, or forgot about, or will need soon. I'm glad there isn't a big "to do" in his family, because it was hell on my checkbook with my step family for many years when they rarely remembered me (I was buying for their kids and something small for them). I enjoy giving gifts but only when they're actually appreciated!

Maybe take a step back and figure out what you need from the holiday?  Then talk to your husband about it as calmly as you can, even though it's upsetting. Christmas with more than a small stocking/little gifts seems to be a mostly North American thing but our traditions matter too. Maybe if he realizes giving gifts is partially cultural he'll stop being such a stick in the mud about it. Good luck!!


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Re: Cancelling Christmas
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2017, 12:58:49 AM »
You're right, it is about the thought.

Are there treats that each of you like that are a bit too indulgent to just buy in a normal Sunday shop?  Like really nice chocolates or cheese or wine etc?  Could you suggest picking out a couple for each other to wrap up?  It isn't clutter, and it needn't be expensive, but it's a nice way to put thought into treating each other for the holiday.
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Online larrabee

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Re: Cancelling Christmas
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2017, 03:34:04 AM »
Literally losing the will to live over the topic of Christmas with my husband. I'm just over it at this point. I've asked him for a list so I can buy for him SO many times and he's just so unhelpful. He's constantly saying "I don't need anything" to which I respond "it's not about need" and he says "I don't want anything though...everything I want is expensive." (I.E. new car/new house/new bathroom/trip to Japan/etc.). My mom is asking me for Christmas lists (she wants us to set up a list on Amazon so that she can buy from that) so I try to do that with him tonight. Literally all he can give me is "dash cam for the car" (he already has one for his car so it'd just end up in my car so not really a present for him as much as a present for "us" but mostly for me (and it's not even something I really care about having one way or another).

Now I pretty much am not expecting to get anything from him and that's fine. He hates the idea of Christmas being about presents and he hates clutter (and anything he's giving to me will just be clutter in the house). Like I'm over it, it's fine...but I enjoy buying presents and wrapping them and doing all that. I enjoy filling stockings. I don't do it because I think I have to or even that lots of money has to be spent or that you should only buy useful things you absoutely need. His response was to me prying about present ideas etc. was to just save our money as we want to go to Japan next year. To be totally honest, a buying a few presents is NOT going to make or break out trip to Japan. Like Japan is expensive, but I am more concerned with Christmas next year when we go back to the US vs this year where we are staying at home. spending a bit isn't going to make or break a trip to Japan, it was just his bullshit way to get out of the present talk. Which is fine. I basically just lost it a bit in him and was like "that's fine we might as well just take down the decorations because there's no point of having a tree when there won't be anything under it and there's no point of stockings that won't get filled". We've just stopped discussing it for now but I am just so irritated at the moment. Told my mom in the end that we wouldn't be making a prime list as there's nothing we need/want so she should save her money. Normally I would just try to figure out on my own what to buy for him and be creative but I am honestly, 100% just done. Never thought I'd say this, but we truly won't be celebrating Christmas this year (we are dog-sitting 5 dogs so will have 6 including ours, we'll be alone basically while his family go on their skiing holiday, andddd we won't even spend christmas morning opening up thoughtfully picked out presents because we don't actually "need" anything). Needless to say, I truly didn't think this is where I saw myself as an adult in terms of how I celebrated Christmas. I know that probably sounds immature or like I'm getting upset over something stupid (and it is/I am) but I'm just sill a bit upset over it. I should be happy we aren't making a fuss over it but sometimes I wish he cared more about doing something as stupid as doing my stocking for me with stupid stuff that he knew I would like (regardless of how cheap it might be - it's not about money, it's about the thought).

Sorry, rant over. Just needed to rant somewhere that I knew I could do so...

Really sorry you're so upset.  [smiley=hug.gif] . But PLEASE don't let this spoil your Christmas!

Why don't you make him some "coupons" for things you know he likes. Dinner at your favourite restaurant or a day trip to your favourite place for example, and put them in a beautifully wrapped box? That way there won't be the physical clutter that he objects to, or any expense right now, but you can exercise your desire to give him something nice and put something under the tree.

And definitely don't take down the decorations! Put more up, maybe that'll help with his Christmas spirit!  [smiley=antlers.gif] [smiley=elf.gif]  [smiley=love.gif]

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Offline Eh127929

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Re: Cancelling Christmas
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2017, 08:30:46 AM »
I'm so sorry! :( don't cancel Christmas . My OH is a bit like that.. last year he didn't even get me a gift. Talk about fun. He's a bit more into it this yea now that we have his daughter full time but it still took some convincing.

Has he spoken about any thing he'd like to physically do? I was struggling with gift ideas, and mine like yours requested a dash cam. Why? As I was browsing I came across a clay pigeons shooting experience and remembered he has always wanted to go to the shooting range when we go home. It may be way off but I thought I tried, and you can get experience vouchers off grouping and such. And they cause no clutter :D

Don't take the decorations down, they're Important to you. It's a hard time of year being so far from home, and sometimes I feel like they try to understand but they often forget we're not native and have different traditions.  Big hugs I hope it gets better xxxx


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Online KFdancer

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Re: Cancelling Christmas
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2017, 08:56:37 AM »
Men!

On the opposite end of the spectrum my husband has WAY too many ideas this year! 

I'd recommend finding tickets for something you'd enjoy.  A comedian or band.

But yeah, bah humbug to him.

You are always welcome to come to ours in the afternoon.  We are going to play a board game (game to be determined, would welcome suggestions).

Offline Blossom

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Re: Cancelling Christmas
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2017, 09:08:07 AM »
This might be one of those things you will have to learn to love about your hubby.  You could embrace it and make it your own.  Keeping it positive, you know he loves you and if he understood etc etc.  So make up for it by buying yourself stuff that you like and will enjoy, wrapping them all up, and opening them on Christmas morn.  You can buy him some silly stuff as well and if it has to be practical, then make sure you wrap those undies in the most spectacular way for him.  Then have a fabulous, indulgent, breakfast. 

No one is going to touch your Christmas!  Go for it!  Grab Christmas by the ears and give it a big kiss.  He will be steamrollered by your attitude.  He will soon catch on.

Offline Albatross

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Re: Cancelling Christmas
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2017, 10:02:56 AM »
Then have a fabulous, indulgent, breakfast. 


Great idea!!

I was also thinking, get him excited about your Japan trip by getting him some sort of a travel guide book about Japan, and maybe get him some Japanese currency and wrap it up in a nice box with fancy paper & bow?

My OH is going to Munich for new year, and I'm staying home (long story), so a few euros will definitely be one of his stocking stuffers.  He doesn't really 'get' the whole stocking thing, but I always do one for him, full of stuff he needs... a pair of socks, a new toothbrush, disposable razors, dental floss, soap (he does love scented soaps!)... plus sweets, chewing gum, a bag of pistachios, etc.

Offline Blossom

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Re: Cancelling Christmas
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2017, 10:37:24 AM »
Fantastic, Albatross!  No point in missing out on the enjoyment, is there?  And how could he not be touched by the thought you have put into his prezzies?  Isn't that what it is all about?

Sometimes we have to give our spouses the opportunity to learn about such things.  No better way to teach than by example. It may take a few years, but they should get the hang of it eventually.

My advice is, every time he says "Bah humbug" you ram a mince pie in his mouth, whilst humming your favourite Christmas song. 




Offline x0Kiss0fDeath

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Re: Cancelling Christmas
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2017, 11:32:29 AM »
Firstly, apologies everybody (and thank you for letting me vent). I was just SO stressed out as I've been trying to get a list from him since the beginning of November and he was being super evasive and it was stressful as I only have 1 shopping week left and I just needed to get that frustration out.

My husband is also very practical but I do try to find things he doesn't realize he needed, or forgot about, or will need soon. I'm glad there isn't a big "to do" in his family, because it was hell on my checkbook with my step family for many years when they rarely remembered me (I was buying for their kids and something small for them). I enjoy giving gifts but only when they're actually appreciated!


I think my problem is that I have no idea finding things that he doesn't realise he needs/wants or will need/want later or use, but I know how he is and I would rather have an active list of things that he wants but isn't prepared to buy for himself. He can just be so difficult with complaining about clutter/having things we don't need that I just would rather he tell me ideas of what he wants so I can go based off that.


Maybe take a step back and figure out what you need from the holiday?  Then talk to your husband about it as calmly as you can, even though it's upsetting. Christmas with more than a small stocking/little gifts seems to be a mostly North American thing but our traditions matter too. Maybe if he realizes giving gifts is partially cultural he'll stop being such a stick in the mud about it. Good luck!!


I think we totally just need to have a calm and clear-headed discussion about it. It seems like the fact that he lost his mom back in October is just putting him off all things Christmas...which I get...but I wish he would tell me THAT as opposed to being told that "Christmas is too materialised" and that "nobody likes having to buy presents" (I personally don't agree as I enjoy buying presents for people). I now think these are just the things he's saying to avoid dealing with the loss of his mum at the holidays because he's barely had to buy ANY Christmas presents (he bought one present each for 2 of his nieces based off the specific item they gave him and it took less than 10 mins total). I personally don't see Christmas (for us) as being materialistic because it's not about buying EXPENSIVE gifts or loads of them, it's about getting somebody something you know they'd enjoy because it makes you feel good to make them happy. I feel like that makes me sound like a massive b*tch but I honestly understand not being into Christmas when your parent has just died (we are ALL sad about it) but if he were direct about it, we could actually have a productive conversation. Instead he is blaming it on everything else that it only dawned on me this morning what the problem really was. I know it's not a cultural thing this will be our 4th Christmas together and this is the first one where he's been difficult (but again, that'll be because of his mum, I'm sure). I did expect it to be difficult especially as it's just us at Christmas this year but I didn't expect the Christmas shopping to be the stressful part.

You're right, it is about the thought.

Are there treats that each of you like that are a bit too indulgent to just buy in a normal Sunday shop?  Like really nice chocolates or cheese or wine etc?  Could you suggest picking out a couple for each other to wrap up?  It isn't clutter, and it needn't be expensive, but it's a nice way to put thought into treating each other for the holiday.

There aren't too many things that we would be too indulgent for us to buy when we are wanting them on the regular but it's even worse as of late as he's been on a "we're so lazy, we don't need chocolate" kick so even buying him any types of sweets would be a waste. We don't drink much at home unless we have company over so booze wouldn't even be something that would be useful for him as we already have a backlog we haven't used yet.

It might sound like I'm being difficult but I just hate the idea of wrapping and unwrapping things that I already know what they are because I feel like it's a waste of material and there's no element of surprise.

Really sorry you're so upset.  [smiley=hug.gif] . But PLEASE don't let this spoil your Christmas!

Why don't you make him some "coupons" for things you know he likes. Dinner at your favourite restaurant or a day trip to your favourite place for example, and put them in a beautifully wrapped box? That way there won't be the physical clutter that he objects to


While the coupons aren't a bad idea in the slightest, the problem is that he'd never use them! They'd end up lost most likely as we don't go out to eat much (lately it's either been because he thinks it's a waste of money or because it's much healthier to eat at home - you can take your pick. We only really go out for special occasions like birthdays) and we don't really go many places as we spend the majority of our free time on the weekend sorting things out at our house. Knowing the way he's been as of late, he'd probably complain at the wasted paper as we already have enough paper cluttering up our surfaces lol


Has he spoken about any thing he'd like to physically do? I was struggling with gift ideas, and mine like yours requested a dash cam. Why? As I was browsing I came across a clay pigeons shooting experience and remembered he has always wanted to go to the shooting range when we go home. It may be way off but I thought I tried, and you can get experience vouchers off grouping and such. And they cause no clutter :D

Don't take the decorations down, they're Important to you. It's a hard time of year being so far from home, and sometimes I feel like they try to understand but they often forget we're not native and have different traditions.  Big hugs I hope it gets better xxxx


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Things he wants to physically do is go to Japan (which we will be doing in the second half of next year) and he wants to move house. That's about it. We've been very lucky and have lots of fun experiences here and in the US and gone to lots of the local places we can day-trip to. I don't honestly think there's much left that I can think of that he would be interested in doing but I do 100% thing experience vouchers are the way to go for people as presents! Might just pop on wowcher and see if there's any good deals I might not have thought of.

RE the forgetting we aren't native, I think that's the hardest part for me with this. If I were new to living over here and I thought it was just a matter of him not understanding how Christmas works with me, it'd be one thing...but the fact that we've had 4 other christmases together (2 here and 2 there) before this one where it's all been fine for the most part is what makes it frustrating. I give him a free pass on things like the stocking stuffers because it's not something he had done as an adult before marrying me, but there are other things it's a lot more difficult to give him a free pass on because I know he knows and that it's not some foreign concept to him...but it's more that he thinks of things in one way (this year) and it's expected that it's how we should all feel - if that makes sense?

Men!

On the opposite end of the spectrum my husband has WAY too many ideas this year! 

I'd recommend finding tickets for something you'd enjoy.  A comedian or band.

But yeah, bah humbug to him.

You are always welcome to come to ours in the afternoon.  We are going to play a board game (game to be determined, would welcome suggestions).

hah i would loveee a massive list as it would at least give me something to work with! While normally I would give him tickets to something, there's honestly not much happening that I think he'd want to go to just now. We pretty much just buy tickets to bands/shows we like when we see them and I think we have tickets to everything we like already! hah


This might be one of those things you will have to learn to love about your hubby.  You could embrace it and make it your own.  Keeping it positive, you know he loves you and if he understood etc etc.  So make up for it by buying yourself stuff that you like and will enjoy, wrapping them all up, and opening them on Christmas morn.  You can buy him some silly stuff as well and if it has to be practical, then make sure you wrap those undies in the most spectacular way for him.  Then have a fabulous, indulgent, breakfast. 

No one is going to touch your Christmas!  Go for it!  Grab Christmas by the ears and give it a big kiss.  He will be steamrollered by your attitude.  He will soon catch on.

I do know he loves me for sure. He's not being difficult for lack of love - which is good. I totally thing he's just being difficult because he doesn't want to deal with the loss of his mum (especially because his other siblings are all away and this is the year we are staying in the UK vs going to the US)...it's just the fact that he's making it about everything else except his mum wasn't making it easy to identify the real issue until this morning so it came across like he was just being difficult and it was just frustrating as hell. Hah In fairness, I always give him practical stuff. He loves funky socks so I usually get him one pair of fun socks and a pair of undies for inside his stocking so it's not like I've never given him practical gifts, but for some reason he just likes to forget that. I'm at a point where I'm ready to just forgo shopping for either of us at this point as it's just stressing me out (thus upsetting me) way more than I feel it should. I definitely intend on making an indulgent breakfast even if it's just for me (he will likely complain about us being lazy fatties or something but I genuinely don't care LOL).

I keep trying to tell him when he says it won't feel like Christmas as it'll just be us anyways that Christmas is what you make of it and it will obviously suck if you go into it with a negative attitude. All you can do is make the best with what you have.

Great idea!!

He doesn't really 'get' the whole stocking thing, but I always do one for him, full of stuff he needs... a pair of socks, a new toothbrush, disposable razors, dental floss, soap (he does love scented soaps!)... plus sweets, chewing gum, a bag of pistachios, etc.

Literally same exact boat here haha He tries, he just doesn't totally get it...Makes me wish my mom would fly over here and just fill mine for me :) I've tried to explain to him he can literally go to poundland and get me hair elastics/clips and some razors and stuff as in our family, stockings were always about things you *needed* on the regular (like bits of makeup/eyeliner or hair accessories or basic hygiene products, etc.) but he still is a bit clueless, bless LOL.


Thanks for all the replies, everybody :) You're all wonderful people and I feel better just getting it out of my system. Sorry this is so long, I just wanted to reply to everybody. Will have a chat with him today and see how it goes :)

Online KFdancer

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Re: Cancelling Christmas
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2017, 12:52:17 PM »
I'm afraid I forgot that he just lost his mom.  I'm certain that is affecting him more than even HE realises.  Big hugs!  A good conversation is exactly what you two need.

Offline physicskate

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Re: Cancelling Christmas
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2017, 01:33:27 PM »
Donation to charity in his name??

I'm doing this for my parents this year. The Thomas Fire is in their neck of the woods, so planning on donating to Direct Relief or similar...

Perhaps you might consider something similar? Perhaps a charity that is near and dear to you both? Or a cause that might have meant something to his mum?? That's quite thoughtful...
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Offline Blossom

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Re: Cancelling Christmas
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2017, 01:52:56 PM »
Try and take a step back from this and sit down with a mug of hot chockie.  Christmas is stressful - how many times have you heard that?  And usually stress is a culmination of things rather than one thing.  You know the cause (the death of your mother in law) of why he isn't getting it this year.  Expecting him to talk about things - well, that would be lovely, wouldn't it but probably the stuff of fantasies.  You also have your own situation being without family etc.

Sometimes we can get so upset that no matter what real options there are, we can't see them.  Hot chockie is always good in these situations.

Worst case scenario - you don't exchange prezzies.  Does the world end? No.
Now that is out the way, what could you do?  Fabulous suggestions have already been made, but I understand that you want him to do something (anything) for you.

Would it be possible (keep drinking the hot chockie so you don't get wound up and say no straight away) for someone to talk to him and explain how important it is to you, in a sensitive way?  Family/close friend?

If there is no one, and he won't talk to you, then could you put an email/note together expressing your concern and love and explaining how important it is for you, perhaps making some suggestions of what he could get for you.

As for time running out in buying presents - the internet is a wonderful thing whether it is delivery or click and collect.

My hubby and I met and married later than most people.  He had been married before - two weeks after hubby and first wife settled into their new home, she was diagnosed with cancer and was gone within a couple of months. Such events put things into perspective and we don't have as much time as a young couple would rightfully expect to have.

I can feel your anxiety coming through your words.  And you have always been a very bright and positive person, so you must be feeling very upset and stressed.  It isn't as bad as it seems. 

I'm sending you a hug. x


Offline lorenausuk

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Re: Cancelling Christmas
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2017, 02:02:14 PM »
Just a little food for thought...

In August of this year, my city suffered historic flooding due to a hurricane. 50+ inches of rain fell on us in three days and devastated entire communities. Since August, many, many people including my family have been clearing our homes of unused items to help those in need. It's now close to Christmas and in my suburb, there's still a very large amount of people who are still displaced and many families won't have much to put under the tree. Many of us in the community have adopted families this Christmas. I know that as a family, we have spent time with a charity collecting funds from businesses, getting ideas for practical and some fun items for the kids, gift wrapping, etc...

I also agree with physicskate in that you may find a charity that your mother-in-law supported and volunteer your time together or donate gifts for their charity.




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Online larrabee

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Re: Cancelling Christmas
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2017, 02:10:13 PM »

While the coupons aren't a bad idea in the slightest, the problem is that he'd never use them! They'd end up lost most likely as we don't go out to eat much (lately it's either been because he thinks it's a waste of money or because it's much healthier to eat at home - you can take your pick. We only really go out for special occasions like birthdays) and we don't really go many places as we spend the majority of our free time on the weekend sorting things out at our house. Knowing the way he's been as of late, he'd probably complain at the wasted paper as we already have enough paper cluttering up our surfaces lol

It doesn't matter a bit if he never uses them!  :). This isn't really about him at all, it's about you feeling that you are not being allowed to feel good about giving him presents at Christmastime.
That's why I suggested something that would cost nothing but that you can put a great deal of effort into creating and making look pretty. I tried to think of what would annoy him the least but give you the best "value" (making/wrapping/putting the box under the tree) for gift giving!
You would be doing it for yourself really because it makes you happy, not for him.  :D 

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