Couple clashes over husband's excessive gift pile for kids: 'Father Christmas, Mother Scrooge'

Picture: Getty Images
Picture: Getty Images 

When it comes to Christmas presents, the pile is often too big, sometimes too little and never just right. 

But for one frustrated mum, her husband's excessive gift-buying for their kids is beginning to dampen her Christmas spirit, saying it's 'more presents than they can handle'. 

Writing to Slate's Care and Feeding advice colum under the pseudonym 'Father Christmas, Mother Scrooge', the mum explains she is frustrated by his lavish spending spree, noting it will be her who will be left to pick up the excess of toys through the year.

"My husband and I have different ideas about how many gifts to buy for our kids for Christmas. I'd prefer to keep things small; he wants to go big," the mum begins.

The mum went on to explain that her husband's extended family, including his aunts and uncles, would give their kids 'a ton of presents'.

"We just don't have the room in our small house for so much stuff. Since I can't really ask the relatives to scale back, I think we need to be more conservative."

Despite buying less presents herself knowing her husband would inevitably add to the pile, they still ended up with an excessive amount, she said.

"He has implied that he sees the gifts that I bought in the attic and imagines how disappointing that little pile is going to look under the tree on Christmas," she writes.

"I see a big pile of presents and imagine how much time I'm going to spend picking them up off the floor every day after Christmas.

"I know there's no 'correct' number of gifts, but that's the problem. We both have strong, conflicting feelings and no objective measure to look to. How do we compromise on this?"

Joking that her husband was giving her the gift of picking up 'an excess of tiny toy parts' for the year, C&F cautioned it may not be easy to change her husband's view.


"His need to create a lavish pile under the tree seems like a deeply ingrained part of his family's traditions and their way of showing love," she advised.

"While I do think you need to be upfront with him about how his refusal to budget, plan, and collaborate with you on gift-giving makes you feel, I don't know if he's going to be able to stop himself."

One solution, she said, may be to 'redirect' his generosity towards donating gifts to families who weren't as well off, saying to let him 'shop his heart out' for local charities.

"If the size of your own pile on Christmas morning still bothers him, it's the opposite of Scrooge-like for you to remind him that many children have no pile at all."