Some people love buying Christmas presents for their family, but it’s  unlikely to be much fun if you have a horrid parent.  

Here are some hints from website that could  make your life a little easier.

Remember your horrid parent might openly criticise your choice of present and perhaps even make a sarcastic remark like “that would have been lovely if I didn’t have six already”.    They may tell you openly that their favourite member of the family bought them something much more useful/attractive. Don’t let it upset you.  Instead prepare yourself in advance for their behaviour and how you can deal with their rudeness.  See the Coping page on our website. 


If you have lots of relatives organise a Secret Santa.  Find out who would like to take part and agree on a price limit.  Write the names of everyone participating into a hat and then each person takes a name and buys that  person a gift.  The good thing is that the Secret Santa giver is anonymous. It will of course only work if all the family can meet up in advance. 

If that wouldn’t work for your extended family try to get your siblings on board so you can buy a combined present.  Or agree on a set sum that  none of you will exceed. The Queen likes to keep spending very low for her family and encourages everyone to choose something that is fun and amusing.   The Duchess of Cambridge gave her some home-made chutney one year. 

We don’t recommend you make anything yourself as it will increase your risk of being hurt if your horrid parent chooses to be critical.  

Donate the money you would spend on a present for your difficult parent to a good cause for example their favourite charity.  Or make a monthly payment towards the care of a wild animal or a child from a poverty-stricken country. 

Don’t waste your time trying to find clothing that might suit your horrid parent.  It’s far too risky.  Don’t buy a book unless it is one they have mentioned they want to read.    

In fact it’s a good idea to ask your difficult parent what they would like.  They may hate surprises and prefer to control what they are given. 

Overall try not to get too emotionally involved in what you buy.  It doesn’t have to be perfect and is most unlikely to change their attitude to you.