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Woman Irate After Husband Suggests Cutting Back On Xmas Presents For Her Family To Save Money

Christmas is a magical time.

When people deck the halls, sing carols, make hot chocolate, and above all else, celebrate the joy of giving with those they love the most.

Of course, what no one really likes to admit is Christmas can also be extremely expensive.

As the “joy of giving” entails buying your loved ones presents.

The financial situation or Redditor notagrinchaita resulted in his becoming less than excited for Christmas.

Primarily buying presents for his wife’s sizable family.

As a result, the original poster (OP) came up with a solution to ease their financial burden.

A solution his wife didn’t appreciate one bit.

Worried he was out of line for his suggestion, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA For telling my wife we can’t fully participate in her family Xmas traditions.”

The OP explained how his cost-cutting measures for Christmas did not fly with his wife one bit.

“My wife (36 F[emale]) and I (38 M[ale]) have been married for 10 years and have 3 kids (8, 5, & 3).”

“We both work full-time and live fairly comfortably.”

“I work in sales and have had somewhat of a down year commission wise.”

“At least compared to the last couple years.”

“Coupled with inflation this year and the cost of raising 3 growing kids, our budget has definitely tightened a bit.”

“Nothing serious, we just aren’t saving as much as we have been able to in years past.”

“But also enough of a change to warrant a careful look into our spending, at least in my opinion.”

“My wife’s family is large.”

“She has 5 siblings and they all have kids.”

“They also LOVE Xmas.”

“They make a huge deal about it.”

“One of their traditions is that each sibling and their family buy a gift for each and every one of the nieces and nephews.”

“We are also expected to buy gifts for each of her siblings and their parents.”

“They at least say not to spend more than $20 on a gift, but that’s still hundreds of dollars.”

“And let’s be honest, a $20 gift for a kid is going to either be ignored within a month, destroyed, or completely disregarded.”

“In my opinion, I would rather draw names for 1-2 people and get them a gift that is actually thoughtful and worthwhile.”

“After buying school supplies for our older kids and both of them wanting to participate in fall activities this year, I looked at our budget and saw that we are actually spending more than we have the past few years.”

“I had a talk with my wife about where we can curb some of our spending.”

“I suggested that maybe we have a talk with her family about their Xmas tradition of buying literally everyone a gift.”

“In my eyes, that’s the easiest way to cut out hundreds of dollars of spending in one swoop.”

“She took great offense to this and told me that her family has been doing this tradition for years before I came into the family and she’s not going to be the one who tries to stop it.”

“She said that we are just going to have to find ways to cut spending elsewhere.”

“She told me I was a jerk for even suggesting such a thing when I know how important Xmas is to her family.”

“She suggested we just don’t buy gifts for each other this year instead.”

“But that’s only a fraction of what we are spending on gifts.”

“When I asked her for other suggestions, she didn’t have any because she likes our quality of life and thinks we are doing fine.”

“I showed her the numbers and she still didn’t think it is that big of a deal.”

“I mean, yes, it’s not like we are going to lose the house, but I don’t think she is taking this as seriously as she should be, especially if I have another down year next year.”

“I suggested we cut way back on things like Starbucks , she gets it EVERY DAY, and she got pissed saying that I spend money on golfing.”

“I golfed 3 times this year.”

“She’s mad because she thinks I am trying to cut spending on things that she cares more about.”

“I just think her family Xmas tradition is the easiest way to cut back.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community was in agreement that the OP was not the a**hole for wanting to scale back on their Christmas spending.

Everyone agreed that the OP was just being financially responsible, and that no one should feel obligated to buy presents for his wife’s large family.

“I think what folks are forgetting here is that you have made a lot less money but are expected to spend the same.”

“That’s not really fair to you.”

“I don’t think you’re an a**hole at all and I think buying gifts for 19 nephews and nieces is insane.”

“I have 7 siblings and just as many nieces and nephews and everyone pretty much understands that it’s just not feasible to do that.”

“I alternate years though and get some gifts one year and others gifts another year.”

“Some people have a problem with your approach, but ultimately, you’re the one making less money, so it’s totally fine imo for you to say you’re contributing less to things your wife wants because you actually have made less money.”- Sokapi84


“A lot of families, especially large families, have stopped giving gifts to everyone in the family because frankly it is an absurd amount of wasted money to get relatively inexpensive crap that the recipients don’t particularly want or need.”

“Lots of families stop exchanging gifts among adults and either pick a kid to gift OR give a kid to the family that all the kids would theoretically like although that is obviously more difficult.”

“On the larger issue of your finances in general, you might consider booking an appointment with a financial planner so that both of you can get on the same page in terms of how you want to spend your money.”

“What your important goals are so that it is more of a financial partnership.”- Jujulabee


“I would bet that almost EVERYONE in her family would appreciate someone saying the ‘the emperor has no clothes’, but really that it is time to modify the family tradition.”

“Buying things for everyone just gets way too expensive.”

“Maybe it is time for those that married into the family to have a meeting and present a unified approach and proposal?”- Smitty_80013

“Sometimes you have a bad year and have to adjust spending, suggesting he gets a second job seems crazy.”

“The tradition would also really annoy me, your spending huge amounts of money to buy gifts no one will really like, and in return you get loads of gifts that you don’t really want either.”

“NTA.”- thejackalreborn


“Your wife spends money on unnecessary things like Starbucks every single day and completely ignores your attempts to try to save money so that you aren’t tight on funds and can still live comfortably.”

“Buying hundreds of dollars worth of gifts to uphold a tradition that may cause you both to put yourselves in the hole is not worth it imo.”

“If she wants to buy everyone a gift this year, you can still follow a budget and buy everyone something cheap from a dollar store.”

“Your wife is being completely irrational and isn’t thinking about how throwing away all of your money on Christmas gifts for everyone in her family is going to affect you both, and it’s extremely screwed up that she suggested you don’t buy each other gifts instead.”

“NTA.”- CyclonicHavoc


“She can cut out the Starbucks asap.”

“That right there will save at least a couple of hundred dollars before Christmas.”

“She can also find a seaonal part time job to pay for her family.”

“Not sure how much your golfing.”

“I guessing around a hundred a day, so $300 total.”

“She’s probably spending at least $100 a month on Starbucks.”

“That’s $1,200 a year.”

“Or $25 a week.”

“Show her this.”

“She’s an a**hole for thinking her wants/needs are more important than actually saving money.”

“If her traditions are so important, then she needs to cut back, her spending.”

“Also save money by you not wasting money for her a gift this year.”

“It can towards her family’s gifts.”- Any_Cheesecake9510

“Halve the dollar amount.”

“Then for children under 3 halve it again.”

“That’ll save a significant amount already.”

“Buy one gift per couple for her siblings.”

“Or, suggest a secret Santa this year?”

“That way everyone gets a present and everyone saves money.”- unofficialShadeDueli

One can at least sympathize with the OP’s wife in that she clearly wants to show her family how much she loves them.

Hopefully she might realize that there are ways of doing so without putting one’s family under an even bigger financial strain.

After all, love is a much better present than anything that can be found in a stocking or under a tree.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.