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Friends plan a $250 Secret Santa exchange, 'my gift was all handmade items.' AITA?

Friends plan a $250 Secret Santa exchange, 'my gift was all handmade items.' AITA?


'AITA for not being happy to receive a handmade gift?'

Me and my friends got together for a late Xmas gathering and we did secret Santa with a budget of $250. Well it was a not so secret secret Santa, where we knew who each person got but it was so we would only buy one person gifts so no one would go ott.

EDIT for info: the budget was $250 as in expectation was each person spend that amount. It wasn’t a max $250 budget where you can spend within your means. Plus this person has a higher paying job than me and is better off financially as well and the whole friendship group agreed to this amount months before. I also saw gifts she gave to her own family when she posted on insta, all branded items.

I spent the $250 and bought my secret Santa a dior silk scarf (DIOR OBLIQUE MITZAH SCARF to be precise) which I know she had been eyeing up for a while. I was excited to receive my gift since $250 is quite a lot so should be enough to get a good gift.

Everyone else got some sort of branded item whether it be skincare, makeup, accessories etc. However when I opened my gift it was all handmade items.

It was two resin coasters (which weren’t made very well I could see the bubbles), some bracelets made out of yarn (those friendship bracelets you have when you’re younger- we’re all in our 40s!!), a crocheted turtle and a painting she did (it’s watercolor I think?).

I jokingly asked her how this costs $250 and she dead seriously responded that the kits cost money and crocheted animals are sold for quite a lot of sites like Etsy, and a bespoke commissioned painting is priceless?

Now I understand that it’s the thought that counts, and if she couldn’t afford the $250 I would have understood. But it’s not that she couldn’t afford it, she just decided to give me these items because she wanted to ‘try making them’. It’s like oh you didn’t want this junk so gifted it to me?

AITA for not appreciating these gifts? Apparently I’ve really upset her by not being happy about what I received, but honestly if she had even added a $50 Starbucks card I would have been happier.

Everyone else said I was overreacting and that it’s a decent gift, but that’s because they all got good branded items? I would happily trade my gifts for the dior scarf back, but obviously she said no.

EDIT for info: no she’s not a crafty person, she was just bored and watched too many crafty YouTube shorts/Instagram reels so was just passing the time by buying cheap kits off amazon And the painting she did was more like follow a YouTube tutorial and hope for the best - I also wont be hanging it anywhere in the house, she knows my daughter loves art and we have her pieces dotted around our house/

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Worth-Season3645 said:

NTA…I love making handmade items and I could see maybe one thing handmade, but all that? Nope. That person cheaped out. For all those others saying you are overreacting, do they want to trade their gifts? Hmmm…what would they say when you “re gift” those same items?

“Oh, friend, you were right, I overreacted, but, alas, gift just wasn’t my style. Since you loved it so much, I decided to gift it to you!” Bet their tune changes. You either participate if you can afford to do so, or you opt out. Or you discuss lowering the cost. A yarn friendship bracelet?

The only person I would appreciate that from is my grandchild. Or my bestie. But when everyone else got a name brand item and you did not? And is she an artist? What exactly is a bespoke commissioned painting? Is her art priceless?

suziespends said:

NTA when the dollar amount is $250 you expect a nice gift because you presumably bought a nice gift. She could have gotten you a gift card and maybe one or two homemade things but not the whole gift. I understand people saying it’s the thought that counts but when people make a dollar amount for the gift everyone should stick to it.

No_Peach_2660 said:

NTA. For everyone screaming about how it's the thought that counts, there wasn't much thought put into the gift. For $250, OP received a gift that was essentially the giver's pet projects. Giver didn't even bother to find out if OP even liked crafts. Gifting 101. Where's the thought in that?

stxrmchaser said:

NTA. Handmade gifts are not appropriate for a Secret Santa with a $250 budget. Period.

Lisascape said:

NTA. She wanted to try those kits for her own benefit, not for yours. Unless you're a kid, you don't give a handmade gift unless it's as high a quality as what someone would spend good money on. You were expecting a quality gift that you could enjoy, instead you got the outcome of her experiments.

halster123 said:

NTA; not because of the handmade, but because the gift wasn't personal. I assume if she'd crocheted you a scarf or made you a dress in colors/styles you like, you would have appreciated that as unique and taking into account your taste. This seems more like she just didn't think about what you like

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for these friends?

Sources: Reddit
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