CONFESSION: My boyfriend is great at presents and now I have post-Christmas "gift guilt."



WARNING: This is the definition of a first world problem. But help.

My boyfriend is great at gifts. Like really great. He also spends way more money than I do on presents.

Woe is me right? Wait, hear me out.

I actually….hate it. It really stresses me out. He is so generous and thoughtful at the whole gifting thing it makes me feel super anxious about birthdays/Christmases/anniversaries, because I can’t compete. My presents are just never as good, no matter how much thought and time I give myself to plan them.

I know I know, you’re shaking your head. But listen.

Speaking of gift etiquette. Is it okay to regift? Post continues after video.

Video by Mamamia

I’m sure I’m not the only one that suffers from gift guilt, and this relationship is not even the first time I have experienced it.

I also have a best friend who is an over-gifter. She always gives me lavish lovely presents and I am left standing there handing over something that I thought was nice, until I open hers.


So this Christmas I opened up three amazing presents from my partner – they were all things I’d dropped hints about, really wanted and were exactly my size. God dammit. 

I got him one nice gift. I thought I’d nailed it but once again I looked guiltily at the presents he’d given me after we’d both torn off our wrapping and I internally cringed. I once again had this urge to dash to the post-Christmas sales and buy something extra.

We earn around the same amount of money, our families are of the same social class, we’ve grown up with similar values and we both enjoy the actual act of giving presents to each other. We even go for similar style presents – but his are always better. While I know it is not a competition, I kinda want to…win… just once, y’know?

But I also have this thing, (instilled in me by my parents) where I don’t like spending a hell of a lot on presents. I am not stingy, I would say I am pretty average (if I compare myself to our Mamamia readers.)

A quick squiz on socials and I know I am not the only one that’s been overshadowed this year in the gifting department.

Model and entrepreneur Steph Claire Miller (nee Smith) had agreed to no presents with her husband Josh this year, and yet he still broke the rules surprising her with some lovely ‘S’ earrings, which she posted about on her Instagram on Christmas Day.



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Merry Christmas everyone ????????????

A post shared by Stephanie Miller (@stephclairesmith) on

A member of our Mamamia Facebook community is in the same boat as me – considering a dash to the shops after receiving a $500 voucher from a visiting uncle.

“We bought him a fancy tin of liquorice all-sorts…how on earth do we respond to this? [his gift]. I thought maybe we could buy him a travel related gift and give it to him when he goes home?” she wrote.


The replies on her post assured her that there was no need to “gift match” and to just say thank you.

“This is why gift giving has gotten weird – the need to respond ‘evenly.’ Just accept his lovely gift with an open heart,” wrote one commenter.

“Gift giving isn’t a tit-for-tat situation. The joy is in the giving. Just thank him dearly and enjoy,” wrote another.

But I am telling you from experience here, that’s all well and good but it doesn’t remove the guilt.

I’ve tried to put a price limit in place with my best friend and my boyfriend but they both just…ignore it because, “I just love giving gifts okay.” Sigh.

Even when I try to trump with sentimental value I lose in comparison. I’ve gone from being a confident and excited-to-gift gifter to finding the whole act really bloody stressful.

So now two days post Christmas, I am stuck with a dilemma. I am once again the under-gifter in every sense of the word and I am feeling crap about it.

Do I just accept my fate as an inferior gift giver and enjoy my presents? Or do I drop some more cash to ensure I “match” my loved ones even though they really don’t expect me to?

Do you have an over-gifter in your family? Let us know your experiences in the comments below.

Feature image: Getty.