Man who doesn’t want to participate “fully” in the family’s Christmas tradition is supportive

The internet has supported a man for not “fully participating” in his in-laws’ Christmas gift tradition this year.

Posted on Reddit’s r/AmITeA**hole forum, a man under the anonymous username u/notthegrinchaita shared his story to get feedback from the “AITA” community. The viral post has over 10,000 upvotes and 3,000 comments.

The original poster (OP) began his post by explaining that he has been married to his wife for 10 years and they have three children. They both work full-time jobs and “live pretty comfortably”.

Unfortunately, he had a “falling year” at work in terms of commissions. With rising inflation and raising three children, her budget has “shrunk”. He confirmed it was nothing serious but said they weren’t saving much and he thought they needed to take a look at their spending.

He explained that his wife has a large family as she has five siblings, all with children who love Christmas. In their family tradition, each sibling and their family buys gifts for each niece, nephew, and parent. However, they typically spend less than $20 per person.

“Let’s face it, a $20 gift for a child is either ignored, destroyed, or totally disregarded within a month. In my opinion, I’d rather draw names for 1-2 people and give them a gift that’s really thoughtful and worthwhile,” the OP wrote.

Do not want "fully" participate in the tradition
Above, a man stresses about finances. The internet has supported a man for not wanting to participate “fully” in his in-laws’ Christmas tradition this year.
fizkes/iStock/Getty Images Plus

When he looked at their budget, he saw that they were spending more than in previous years. He discussed it with his wife and where they could “cut” some of their spending. He told her to talk to her family and talk about the tradition. It could be the easiest way to save hundreds of dollars by not “fully” participating.

His wife refused, arguing she wasn’t the first sibling to try to end the tradition and urged him to find another way to cut spending.

He said: “She told me I was an idiot for even suggesting such a thing, knowing how important Christmas is to her family. She suggested that we just don’t buy each other gifts this year instead. But that’s only a fraction of what we spend on gifts.”

She believed they were “fine” financially and didn’t think anything needed to change. When he showed her the numbers, she didn’t think it was a bad thing. He wrote that she doesn’t take it as seriously as she should.

He also thought that she could avoid going to Starbucks every day. She argued that the OP spends money on golf, although he said he’s only played three times this year. She thinks he’s trying to cut back on spending on things that are important to her, but thinks cutting back on tradition would be a good way to save money.

news week asked u/notagrinchaita for a comment. We have not been able to verify the details of the case.

news week has published several articles on relationship conflicts, including a man who took five calls from his mother while on a date, a woman who paid for every meal in their relationship, and a man who took his partner’s credit card and refused to return it .

Save for the coming holiday season

Leslie Tayne, financial attorney and credit and debt expert, narrates news week that it is important to start planning a vacation budget in advance to avoid debt problems in the future, and the sooner the better.

Tayne shared some household tips to help you this holiday season: “Make a spending plan, shop as early as possible, give gifts together if that’s an option, redeem credit card points if you have any, and do.” you handmade gifts . Some credit card companies offer budgeting tools/rewards for purchases that can help you earn rewards and stay on budget without incurring further debt.”

“Last minute gifts mean going to the store where you can’t compare prices or use promo codes. The longer you wait, the more expensive it can be to get your gifts in time for the holidays,” she added.

Redditor reactions

“Sometimes you have a bad year and you have to adjust spending… The tradition would annoy me a lot too, you spend tons of money to buy gifts that no one is really going to like and in return you get tons of gifts that you don’t really want to either. [Not the a**hole]’ wrote u/thejackalreborn and received the top comment from over 20,000 upvotes.

“Your wife is completely irrational and doesn’t think about how throwing away all your money on Christmas gifts for everyone in her family will affect both of you and it’s extremely screwed up that she suggested you don’t buy each other gifts instead of. [Not the a**hole]said u/CyclonicHavoc.

U/Any_Cheesecake9510 added: “She is [an] a hole for thinking her wants/needs are more important than actually saving money. If her traditions are that important, she needs to cut back on her spending.”

“[Not the a**hole]. Their finances appear to be mutual, commented u/FargoHat.

Do you have a similar monetary dilemma? Let us know at We can ask experts for advice and your story could be featured there news week. Man who doesn’t want to participate “fully” in the family’s Christmas tradition is supportive

Rick Schindler

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