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Sunday Confessional: My Boyfriend Skimped on Christmas

Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend and I met over the Summer, and this was our first Christmas together. I wanted it to be really special and memorable. It's one of my favorite holidays, and I really get into the gift giving spirit, so I went all out for him. I got him a dress shirt and a tie (he needed them for his new job), an iPod Nano, and a gift certificate for dinner to the restaurant he took me to on our first date. I was so excited to give him his presents on Christmas morning, and he had one weird-looking package for me. I was so excited to find out what it was, but I made him open his presents first.

He was really psyched with all the gifts, and then he handed me my present and said, "I got you this because you don't have one." I opened it up and was shocked. It was an ice scraper for my car. Wow. How romantic. I started to cry, not because he didn't spend as much money as I did, but because he didn't put as much care and thought into his gift. My feelings were just hurt and it made me question our relationship.

I know Christmas isn't at all about the presents, but I guess I was just expecting him to choose a more meaningful present. Should he be forgiven for getting me such an unthoughtful gift, or is this something worth being upset about?


ali321 ali321 7 years
starinajar, chocolate and bath bombs would be an awesome gift for me. Throw a candle in there and that's a perfect evening. lol.
ali321 ali321 7 years
I agree that you're both sort of in the wrong. You went really overboard. Maybe just the shirt and tie would have been good for only a 6 month relationship. But I also think that he was really cheap. And even though Christmas is not about presents I think you can get an ice scraper at the gas station for like $5. Maybe he did put thought into it and got a nice one. I just feel like it would be disappointing no matter what. I don't know, my dad got me an ice scraper because I needed it. But he didn't give it to me for Christmas. If all else fails get a gift certificate to a fav restaurant. At least you'd be excited. Overall it was a first Christmas. Don't go so crazy next time and maybe drop a few slight hints about what you would want.
KCLea KCLea 8 years
Wow, that's cold. I would be so ashamed to get ANYONE an ice scraper for Christmas, much less the guy in my life. I feel for you. If this is the only thing he's done that was crappy like that, I think you should forgive him. BUT if he continues to act like that I don't think I would stick around for too long if I were you.
starinajar starinajar 9 years
I've been through this exact situation. My boyfriend of 5 months gave me chocolate and 4 bath bombs for Christmas; I got him a decent but not overly expensive watch (his present wasn't nearly as bad as an ice scraper though, yikes!). I was disappointed because of my expectations and did a lot of crying, but I chose to forgive him. However, I'm kind of undecided on this. I definitely think that even if he didn't have enough money, he could have done or came up with something that was IN THE LEAST BIT thoughtful. What he did wasn't. It's not necessarily shallow... I mean, it's not as if you directly asked him for very expensive jewelry (I hope...), but he could have done something thoughtful like make a scrapbook, write you a love letter, or something of the sort. If he proves to you that he can be more thoughtful though, it might be in your best interest to forgive him.
Marci Marci 9 years
I'd be disappointed with an ice scraper, too. The ice scraper that you apparently needed would've been fine as a second gift but it doesn't cut it as *the* gift, from where I'm sitting. ANYthing else coupled with it would've given the ice scraper more respectability - a DVD or a book or some perfume. Sooooo.............I understand your reaction and feelings and don't think you should feel bad about having them. But you should have a talk with your boyfriend about this because you don't want have disappointments every birthday and holiday if you stay with him if in his world an ice scraper a great idea! :)
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
I feel like most couples kind of talk about how much they will spend on each other or at least the girl gives the guy hints about what she is interested in so he has a clue. I know I had a relationship in which I compared the money that I spent in contrast with him and if you always do that, you're just staying selfish and immature. In all honesty, anything he wants or anything you want are things that you probably can afford by yourselves. I think that getting you an ice scraper is a little strange and doesn't seem very heartfelt, but if you didn't really give him an indication of what you were expecting then it isn't that wrong. Also, if you had any special events before, did he get you nice presents? That could have been a precursor to what you could expect from Christmas. In any case, you haven't really been dating that long if you started dating in the summer, which often means you didn't get serious until Fall. If you are upset with what you got you then that likely shows that you bought him what you did in order to receive the same amount back...and gifts shouldn't be given just for the sake of getting back.
emalove emalove 9 years
My first thoughts were exactly what Lilxmissxmolly wrote: "it sounds like the day before Christmas, he still didn't have something so he picked it up at a gas station on his way home." I don't think ANY woman would be happy with this as a Christmas gift from her boyfriend of 6 months. Even if the relationship is not super-serious, someone you like enough to keep seeing for that amount of time deserves a gift that requires more thought and effort. Even if he didn't have a lot of money to spend, there are many many MANY other inexpensive gifts that he could have chosen that would have been better received and showed that he cared about her. And I don't think most women would say to themselves, "Oh gee, well, he must have thought of me because he remembered that I needed an ice scraper" and been okay with it. I think most women would be very hurt and disappointed to get such a gift from someone they care about. I agree that maybe she spent too much money and had too high expectations, but I don't think it's crazy or ridiculous to be upset about this gift.
sass317 sass317 9 years
I would have been upset- I just dont think that was a thoughtful gift at all- what girl would want an ice scraper for Christmas? The first Christmas I was with my husband when we were dating (and it had only been about 6 months) he got me sapphire earrings. Im not saying he should have felt like he also had to get her jewelry as well, but geez- be a little more creative than an ice scraper
watereatsrock watereatsrock 9 years
I wouldn't be to mad at him. Men don't know how to give gifts, and you really went all out. It was my boyfriend and I's first Christmas also. He told me that he didn't know what to get me so he searched my apartment one day for his gift, then bought something equal priced(I couldn't believe he confessed to this ugh) anyway The point is that at least he gave you something, and something he thought you needed, apparently he did put some (if very little) thought into it. It could be much worse: I have a friend who has been with her boyfriend for 2 years and he has never given her a gift for any holiday, and he is not a Jehovah's witness.
remedios remedios 9 years
An ice scraper? That would be fine as a stocking stuffer or a joke but as the only present? That's pretty shitty. It's not a good sign, but maybe he meant it to be a good present and just screwed up.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
If you don't want the ice scraper I'll take it. Yeah, I agree maybe not the best gift to receive but on the the other hand you went really overboard almost like you were trying to buy his affection. You both should have discussed and set a price limit on the gift giving come on you have been dating 4-6 months were you expecting diamond earrings? Forgive him, move on, and plan better for Valentines Day.
Lurgeegirl Lurgeegirl 9 years
i think I would have cried too. An ice scraper has to be one of the lamest gifts ever, especially for your girlfriend. I always go overboard at christmas time for my boyfriend but he always gets me something that he at least put some romantic thought into. An ice scraper is something you buy for yourself... this is like giving kitty litter as a gift because "you needed it".
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 9 years
i completely agree with asia84 and candy apple
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 9 years
an ice scraper? an ICE scraper?! I don't understand how anyone here is saying THATS forgiveable. I mean, yes, its a practical thing that if he had wanted her to have, he could have bought any old day for 99 cents and brought it home to you for no reason. It doesn't sound to me like he was being thoughtful about her needs: it sounds like day before christmas he still didn't have something so he picked it up at a gas station on his way home. I mean, seriously. An ice scraper? I would have broken up with him on the spot. I mean, yes, your gifts were WAY over board. I could see MAYBE just the ipod or just the other stuff, but all together it was a LOT. However, your tiny mistake is completely overshadows by his MASSIVE one. I still can't get over it: an ICE SCRAPER?! seriously, how could anyone in their right mind think that this was an even mildly acceptable gift? For six months, its not even thoughtful. If he were really short on $$, he could just make a mix CD, buy a DVD of the first movie you saw together ($20 max), written you a sweet note even, anything. The fact that he noticed your car didn't have an ice scraper does NOT mean hes paying attention. I hope he is BEGGING for your forgiveness right now!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
I think there are some good comments on both sides of this. One line of thought is that perhaps this is his first girlfriend, or his family didn't celebrate Christmas much etc, and Christmas isn't about material things for some. The other line of thought is that he spent 5 seconds thinking about you and bought you something crappy because you aren't important to him. I personally think that both are possibilities, and without knowing him or you, it's hard to say which it is. BUT, it should be pretty easy for you to figure it out. Forgetting material gifts, does he show you he loves you in other ways? Or are you constantly feeling like he's in the relationship 50%? In the end, if you realize your man is wonderful and loves you, but just let you down with a "bad" gift, then you should talk to him about your expectations. Tell him that it's not the cost that matters, it's the toughtfulness, and suggest things that you would have been happier with. Also, you should set spending limits so you don't feel such a disparity in what you get for eachother. As much as Christmas shouldn't be about stuff like this, sadly it is. I remember similar posts from women disappointed about their Valentine's Days. Finally, I do agree with wiciltd that buying someone an expensive gift (like an iPod) doesn't mean that it's thoughtful. That's one of those expensive catch all gifts that anyone would like. So be careful equating money spent with the amount someone cares about you.
candy-apple candy-apple 9 years
I completely agree with Asia84.. And for the rest of the posters, it's incredible how easy it is for women to side with men and try to find excuses for them. I just got out of a relationship with one such guy: he WAS thoughtful, occasionally, but the rest of the time he treated me like crap. For his birthday, because we were alone without our families and friends and he was homesick, I went all out: planned the whole day for him with activities I knew he would enjoy like surfing, beer-tasting, casino, even strip-club in the evening! For my birthday, we spent the day hanging out with his sister and her boyfriend showing them the city, and went to have burgers for dinner. Oh and my present was the harry potter book he just finished reading. And at the time I sided with most of the posters here thinking "oh, he's just a guy, we've only been together for 8 months.. blabla.." There is NO EXCUSE. In the end it's not about who is right or wrong, it's about what makes YOU happy. Are you happy with this man and the way he treats you? Gift-giving and the way you spend holidays together is a major part of "how he treats you". I mean come on. Women should stop making excuses for guys' crappy behavior. Its some kind of subconscious 1950's complex of "oooh, he's a man. you have to forgive him. just be grateful he's with you. at least he doesn't drink/cheat/lie/beat you up.." Btw- that was actually an argument in one of the comments here! Why on earth should he accept the cool presents and she be happy with one that obviously isn't up to her standards for the lame reason: "he didn't lie/cheat on you" And let's be honest here. An ice-scraper is just as thoughtful as toilet-seat covers or one of the smelly carboard trees you put in cars. It is NOT a present. The fact he's a man (whatever that means) is no excuse: he's not from Mars, you're not from Venus. You both grew up on Earth, had mothers to educate you, watched Xmas specials on TV. You both know what is an appropriate present and what isn't. Something he bought at a gas-station ten minutes before isn't.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
Asia84 - everything you said was so so so true! My parents married after 3 months (and have been together for 32 years now!) You are right - no one can put a stamp on how much time it takes to get to 'know someone'.
Jeng112 Jeng112 9 years
Women need to say what they mean and stop expecting guys to read our minds. He didn't know how much you were spending. I'm sure he felt bad and overwhelmed after seeing how much he got. He got you something practical that you needed; why is that bad? We are such a huge mystery to guys and chances are he wasn't expecting that he had to make a huge statment or be romantic for a Christmas gift. He thought of you, and he has been a good boyfriend up until now, you just need to review your expectations of each other. Set a spending limit or minimum for Vanlentines' day, or plan something together for the both of you. Don't feel like this is some sort of bad omen for the rest of your relationship. Many guys make this mistake and it is no reflection on how he feels for you. I got a rolling pin one year for Christmas, my friend got a humidifier. Lame gifts, yes, but we had both mentioned them and boyfriends listen at odd times. Just talk to him about why you cried (because to guys a girl crying is about the scariest thing ever) and move on.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
An ICE SRAPPER?! I;m sorry, this is just funny . . . that's something you buy on a random day, and you're like, "here, babe . ." and you're like, "thanks, throw it in my trunk!"
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
You got hosed my friend. By the way . . .a practical gift is a SWEATER!!! NOT an ICE Scrapper!!!!!!! He could've bought her a beanie from Walmart (not knockin Walmart). An Ice Scrapper??!!!!! What do you say after opening a gift like that? WHat did he wrap it in???
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
I don't care if she made him a macaroni xmas card. How the hell you gonna give somebody an ice scrapper?!!!??? ALl the women siding with the guy obviously allow ppl to treat them like some grease moneky girlfriend . . .PLEASE. And to say that because they have only been together for 6 months is overboard for her to buy those gifts is BS. There are ppl who get married after 6 months of dating; meaning, you can't put a time frame on when you are "allowed" to be overboard with a xmas gift. Talking about he doesn't know you well enough to buy you something meaningful?? I bet he knows her welll enough to get some nookie! I HOPE you didn't give him no Christmas nookie after that. And who would accept a gift after knowing you just got a ice scrapper??!!! You better reconsider, my friend. and since the realationship is so fresh and unimportant (according to the majority of readers), I would dump his a*s. It wouldn't be about the price of the gift for me. I would just want him to take time and THINK about it. Dump him, or else you're gonna get a cup-holder for Valentine's.
yes-jess yes-jess 9 years
I consulted with my boyfriend about this because it was really bugging me for some reason that there were some who said "at least he put some thought into it" and his response was along the lines of "Is this his first girlfriend ever? jeez, at least get her a dvd of some movie she likes...what a crappy gift!" To be honest, I would have been upset too. Your first Christmas together should be special and frankly after 6 months he should know better. Unless, you know, you're his first girlfriend ever. I still say forgive though.
princess_eab princess_eab 9 years
My boyfriend and I have always agreed ahead of time (even our 1st Xmas) on a monetary or quantity amount for gifts. Neither of us is wealthy, but we're happy with this system. It may not seem romantic, but just like anything else, sometimes you need boundaries!
cretinhop cretinhop 9 years
I do think you went a little overboard, but still, what a lame gift. Even if he didn't want to spend that much money, there are still so many things that he could have got you that would have meant more and been so much more thoughtful. He could have still given you an ice scrapper, but he should have got you a few more little things that were sentimental. I would be pissed if I were you.
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