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Mom Only Given $100 To Plan Family Christmas While Husband Vacations Overseas

Woman stressed while creating a financial budget
Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Shopping is becoming increasingly expensive, it seems especially since the pandemic, and holidays are no exception.

It must be extra difficult on stay-at-home parents and partners who have to rely on their partner to give them money to create that holiday magic, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

But Redditor NoChristmas2022 was in a uniquely tough spot, as her husband had traveled to Qatar with friends to enjoy the FIFA World Cup.

But when he gave her an incredibly small amount of money to spend, the Original Poster (OP) didn’t know what she could possibly do for their children.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for not doing anything for Christmas this year and making my husband livid?”

The OP’s husband treated himself to tickets to the FIFA World Cup.

“I’m a stay-at-home mom with 3 kids. My husband works full-time and gets an okay salary BUT he’s tightened the grip on spending for the past 4 months to be able to save up to go watch the football (soccer) event overseas, [the FIFA World Cup].”

“He’s literally obsessed with anything to do with football. He said he rarely ever gets to do what he wants, and so I didn’t want to judge him since it’s his money eventually.”

But the OP didn’t think her husband allotted enough money for Christmas.

“We discussed plans for Christmas and he told me to handle everything since he won’t be back until December 20th.”

“He told me he had put aside money for Christmas decorations, food, gifts, kids’ needs, etc. The money in total was 100 dollars.”

“I was completely shocked. I told him 100 dollars for an entire family’s Christmas celebration was ridiculously not enough.”

“He shrugged, saying it’s all he’s got.”

“I pointed out how he’s paying for his friend’s and his girlfriend’s travel expenses.”

“He told me to just ‘take it,’ but I said that if he decided to leave me with just 100 bucks, then I won’t be doing anything for Christmas.”

“We had lots of arguments and couldn’t get this resolved.”

The argument turned into an international one.

“He’s in Qatar now (he left days ago). Yesterday, while I was cleaning, I found an envelope with the same 100 dollars and a note from him telling me ‘to make it work.'”

“I sent him a message that I’d decided that I won’t be doing anything for Christmas with this little money, period.”

“He was livid. He just kept sending an angry message after another, calling me ‘spoiled,’ and telling me to stop expecting to live like I was still living in my parents’ house and to stop trying to ‘rob’ the kids of enjoying the holidays like the other kids.”

“I haven’t replied, but he’s livid, saying I’m punishing him for going and trying to guilt him for using his own money.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some urged the OP to do the opposite of her husband’s texts and go to her parents’ house.

“Anyone noticed how he threw in about sucking it up and she’s not at her parents? Girl. Your parents love you and he needs to go. You have an amazing opportunity to leave and let him see how terrible he is.”

“I’m ashamed to write this, but when I first met my wife, I was a drunk, riddled with trauma. Man, the s**t I said to her, I still am amazed and blessed she decided to marry me. Her parents were the opposite of what I was raised with.”

“My god, I was this guy. I would give her 20 bucks and spend 600 bucks at the bar and hanging with my friends and they weren’t even my friends, for f**k’s sake!”

“Oh, I’m self-aware now, but maybe this is a way for you to gain some insight. This was at least 3-4 times a week. It was not a good look on me. Please. Find a way to leave. My wife was tired of being the brunt of my s**t. She gave me an ultimatum and things just laid out for me. I quit drinking. I tackled the issues I had.”

“This guy isn’t going to change unless something drastic happens. Like I don’t know, communicate with your friends and family. Get out. You don’t deserve this and neither do the kids! Gahhh. I’ll help you if need be.” – DeLuca9

“OP needs to take that $100 and head to her parents’ house. Oh and for some extra cash, I’m sure an AH like her husband has items that she can pawn to make sure her babies are taken care of.”

“Seriously, he’s gone for a month and left her $100 for Christmas? A woman has to do what she has to do. That’s long enough to pack their stuff and go to her parents. Also, there are public assistance programs that can help her.”

“Screw that dude.” – JudgyRandomWebizen

“Right before my sister divorced her ex, he went on a beach trip with his ‘buddies.’ He went with another woman that he’d apparently been cheating on my sister with for months.”

“That woman became his new wife after the divorce was finalized, but my sister had the last laugh. She spoke to the other woman and informed her what he’d done to her would end up being done to her too.”

“True to her word, a month later new wife divorced him for the same reasons. She was horrified to learn my sister wasn’t crazy like she’d been told, and that she’d actually been the other woman while he’d still been married (he’d obviously told her he was single).”

“I’d be very surprised if he didn’t go with his buddy, buddy’s girlfriend, and a second woman. OP needs to leave.” – Waterbaby8182

“OP wrote she might be the AH for ‘making him become upset with me.’ A huge red flag of abuse.”

“OP, I fear you may be too beaten down to heed the advice in the comments, but if he’s left you even one tiny flickering flame of self-respect, get the f**k out of this marriage. NOW.”

“And stop going along with his a**hole ‘HIS money’ bulls**t. If he wanted to think of his income as ‘HIS money,’ he shouldn’t have gotten married and had kids. It’s the family’s money now.”

“The absolute bare f**king minimum you should do is:”

“To start charging him hourly for all the unpaid house and child care work you do. At average local rates. He doesn’t pay it, stop doing it.”

“And NO it won’t be YOU causing the resulting ‘harm’ to your kids. It’ll be him. You’ve GOT to stop letting him frame EVERYTHING as YOUR fault when YOU’RE the victim here.”

“Repeat after me: Whenever he accuses you of something, reply, ‘no, YOU [did the thing].’ Example: ‘No, motherf**ker, YOU ruined Christmas for the kids.'” – ComunqueS

“I want to add another term to OP’s vocabulary: dissipation. Your husband spending thousands of dollars outside the marriage, on another couple, to the detriment of the children, is called dissipation of marital assets.”

“Financial abuse doesn’t have a legal definition and rarely is relevant in a divorce. Dissipation of marital assets is.”

“Start tallying up how much he’s taken from you and the kids, OP.”

“I just looked up prices and it’s a few hundred per match + $1-2k per match on the final round. If they’re there all month, watching every match they can, then tickets and hotel for 3 adults is tens of thousands of dollars, maybe even close to six figures. Insane.”

“Dissipation can be hard to prove but my lawyer said $20k or more that just disappears overseas is a pretty blatant case of dissipation. The husband can’t argue that in any way benefitted the family.” – newbeginingshey

Others were appalled by the small amount the husband left her for the holidays.

“She will be lucky to get one present for each kid with that amount! And certainly nothing super great.”

“But I am also wondering how much he left for things like groceries and gas while he is away.” – Corduroycat1

“My thoughts exactly, I did one kid on 100 bucks (though 80 pounds because I’m in the UK but the same thing) at a stretch.”

“I feel a toy some chocolates, and a book, or coloring for each of the three children is possible on 100 if they have budget shops nearby.”

“But for the food the decorations and any other experience around Christmas, she’s really going to have to find somebody’s house to go to.” – Too_Tired_Too_Old

“I understand him wanting to go on this trip. But not him paying for his buddy and his buddy’s girlfriend at the cost of his family.”

“That said, OP, do what can you do for your kids who are the ones suffering from their father’s incredibly selfish decision.” – Dlraetz1

“Where I am, a turkey is around 59 to 99 cents a pound, so you could make Christmas dinner for 100, but that is it.”

“A Christmas tree is usually at least 60-80 on its own. There is no way to do a fully decorated, presents given, dinner cooked Christmas for 100 dollars, especially not with inflation!”

“NTA.” – Revnorthwest

“It’s enough (depending on the age of the kids) for one or two modest presents apiece. The end.”

“Pull out the emergency canned goods for dinner (if you are fortunate enough to have that kind of pantry).”

“And maybe make some paper snowflakes with the kids out of junk mail… Too bad you couldn’t paper snowflake his tickets, what an a**hat.” – nitwtblbberoddmnttwk

The subReddit was heartbroken not only on the behalf of the OP and the situation she found herself in this holiday season, but for her children who would be more impacted by this than even she would be.

Clearly, the husband had different priorities than his wife, so the subReddit reasoned that it would only make sense for the OP to do things differently than he suggested, like going to spend time with her parents to give her children the Christmas they deserved to remember.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit