Finding the right gift for someone is nearly impossible. So, when someone gives you a list you should just follow it.
Redditor farandawayanon encountered this very issue with her husband. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
AITA for making my husband use a Secret Santa list?
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I got an email from my son’s teacher reminding us that tomorrow is their Secret Santa exchange at school so to make sure we have our gifts.”
“My son is shopping for a girl ‘Holly’ who wrote down that she likes ‘chocolate, skittles, and lemonade.’”
“I’ve got a bug right now so I asked my husband to take him and my husband goes ‘Let’s go to the dollar store and get her the new Lemonheads gum.'”
“Now this is where I may be the a**hole and may have been projecting.”
“My husband notoriously refuses to shop off my Amazon/other online wishlists. Every occasion he asks me what I want, I say ‘what’s on my wish list’ and then he gets something else because he ‘doesn’t feel right using the list’ and it ‘takes away the surprise’ even though I literally shop off his lists every year and he is always thrilled, while I am always stuck with a ‘nice gift.’”
“So I said, ‘Ehhh you’re doing that thing you do where you think you know what she wants better than she does… she said she likes chocolate, skittles, and lemonade. I think he should get her one of those things.’”
OP’s husband did not agree.
“He immediately got annoyed with me and rolled his eyes and said, ‘Maybe she doesn’t know that there is lemonade bubble gum and she might want to try something new…’”
“To which I said, ‘Or maybe she knows what she wants and wrote down what she wants… if I wrote down chocolate, skittles and lemonade and I got gum I’d be like, what the heck. Did my shopper lose my list?’”
“He got super pissy at this point and left real quick saying to our son very sarcastically, ‘I guess we will get ONLY chocolates, skittles and lemonade and not do anything creative or exciting.’”
“Tbh, I think Holly will thank me later. But I’m curious to hear what others think of the idea of shopping off of lists versus giving gifts your own creative twist.”
“Was I TA for making him use the list, or is there room for interpretation?”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. And only give him things not on his list for Christmas this year. When he complains tell him you thought he might not know these things exist and thought he might want to try something new.” ~ cloudbank
“Just get him a crate full of Lemonheads gum (and nothing else).” ~ MeanderingDuck
“The issue with this as an attempt to get back at it is he may prefer this. It’s funny to me that this is a punishment since I’d be happy it someone did this for me. I prefer people pick things out for me, it makes me feel good.”
“Some people like surprises and feeling like the giver thought about them and tried to come up with what they would like. Especially when you share money, or otherwise aren’t spending an amount that is a big deal to you, a lot of what makes gifts special is that the other person thought about you and picked it out for you. I like feeling like they made an effort for me, it’s a way of showing caring, and it matters more to me then getting exactly what I like.”
“Now sure this isn’t true for large purchases like a car. But for smaller things, yes I’d prefer they pick something for me. If I put I liked lemonade on my secret Santa questionnaire (we call it secret pals where I work) and someone got me lemon gum I’d really appreciate it since it would show they were coming up with an idea for me but based also on thinking about what they know I like.”
“So for example, I said I liked toffee chocolates on my questionnaire and my secret pal got me a caramel hot chocolate tin. I found this to be a thoughtful since they were clearly considering a flavor profile I said I liked and coming up with an idea. I also was given something not from my question answer at all, and no I didn’t think ‘did my shopper lose my list?’ or feel upset about it.” ~ TheHatOnTheCat
Where is this list aversion coming from?
“I’m the opposite. I provide very specify suggestions on my list because I’m sick of people going “I’ve seen her drinking tea, I’m gonna to get her this tea thing with 50 weird-ass flavors” when I don’t like flavored teabags, or ‘she likes pens, I’m gonna get her this box of kilometricos in neon colors’ when I only use fountain pens.”
“You might think it’s a shitty boring idea but I would actually be thrilled to get that ream of 100GSM copy paper from Officeworks that I put on the list because that’s a whole year of calligraphy practice.” ~ nonono_notagain
“If I am given a list, I will stick with it. This is something the person put time and effort into making, to make sure they get exactly what they want. If two of us bought the same item, hey, they have a spare now.”
“If they don’t give me a list, I will shop for that one item that screams their name to me. I know. I’m weird. Sometimes that means the person gets a gift that’s totally out of left field, but it usually works.” ~ Catri
“I guess to me that feels like just giving/getting money. Which is fine I suppose, but a bit different than getting a non-money gift someone picked out for you in some way.”
“In my family no one every lists exact things (I want this model of this) for the holidays. I’ve only ever seen people do that for weddings or baby shower registries. Sometimes my dad will ask me what I generally want, or what would be something for my young kids, or etc. But always at least the gift giver is researching and picking out exactly which one to give, since them choosing the gift for the person is just a big part of how I was raised gift giving is done.”
“I’m not saying it’s bad people do things differently, it’s just funny to me that this poster was suggesting the petty revenge to show him how much it sucks of . . . doing what we do every year and all prefer. It’s very possible he acts this way since it’s preference and how he was raised.” ~ TheHatOnTheCat
The kid will love the gift no matter what.