Ideally, when you're sending people a Christmas gift list - it should only include gifts within a financial range that everyone can afford. Asking people for $600 gifts when they're only asking you for $50 gifts can create quite a lot of tension in the group chat, particularly if you're earnest about what you expect to receive.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for refusing to adhere to her SIL's Christmas gift list due to the price range included. She wrote:
For Christmas, my (30f) husband (30m) and I are hosting my parents, my brother Chris (34m), his wife Amy (33f), their two sons (6&4), my sister Lucia (27m), and her boyfriend Alex (30m). The background to all this is that Amy complains about every gift she is given by any of us.
Every Christmas she makes faces and snide remarks about the things she’s gifted. For example, last year we (me and my husband) gifted Amy and Chris a joint present of an expensive coffee maker, which is the same one we have at home that Chris loved when they visited.
Amy’s only remark - not even a thank you - was “oh well this isn’t really for me is it,” and then to make a great show of being annoyed that she didn’t get a separate gift. A few days ago, Amy included the whole family on a group email with a Christmas list for her and the kids, saying that she would only accept gifts from this list.
On her list was expensive perfumes, links to expensive clothing items, and designer handbags. I was livid. My parents were offended as well but didn’t want to say anything to Amy but I wasn’t going to hold back in the face of what I felt was grossly entitled behaviour.
I replied to Amy’s email saying I wouldn’t be purchasing anything on that list and that if she wanted to shop for a Louis Vuitton wallet I was happy to put her in touch with my saleswoman. I also said that if she didn’t like what she received for Christmas she was welcome to just leave it at my house.
Chris blew up at me saying Amy was just trying to make everything easier for everyone by giving suggestions. I disagreed and told him I think Amy was just trying to find a sneaky way to get a few things she normally can’t afford for free, which in my opinion is not in the spirit of Christmas and I think she’s being extremely childish.
My parents think I shouldn’t have said anything but Lucia says I absolutely should have because she wasn’t going to be spending hundreds on Amy’s Christmas list either. Was I the AH for not going along with it?
NTA but I have to ask: what kind of gifts do they give the rest of the family? Does she give dollar store gifts and ask for Louis Vuitton in exchange? I just want to know how much of an AH your SIL is lol
NTA. I would be sending out a message to say let’s not do presents for the adults this year - or organise a secret Santa where everyone buys one person a gift with a financial limit.
Honestly, Christmas is way OTT and getting presents that won’t be used is a waste of money and resources. Tell everyone you’d rather people brought their favourite expensive edible gift to share if necessary. If you want designer items you need to buy them yourself!
NTA. Your sister-in-law is an entitled, whiny AH. Tell your brother that his wife needs to behave like an adult or she’ll no longer be welcome in your home. I wouldn’t buy her anything, and would simply tell her since nothing is ever to your liking, it’s best if we forgo exchanging gifts with you.
NTA. When people get to a point where they practically demand a specific gift, they completely lost the plot. when you get a gift, you say "thank you" and move on, even if it was a joint gift. No one is entitled to gifts. Someone did a lousy job raising her and your brother doesn't sound much better for taking her side.
ESH. How often do you buy gifts for your brother and call it a joint gift for the two of them. I'm guessing a lot. You know when people say it's not the gift, but the thought that counts? That is far too often used to excuse thoughtless gifts. In one of your responses, you mention how you know she uses the coffee maker. Well of course she uses it. I doubt they kept the old one.
That doesn't mean she likes it or even notices a difference. You opted to buy a more expensive gift for your brother at the cost of not getting her anything. Thoughtful for your brother, thoughtless for her. She's obnoxious for the email, and rude for her behavior in general, but it seems her behavior is somewhat warranted. And it doesn't sound like you couldn't afford to buy her something nice, so what's the problem?
Imagine if you actually bought her what she asked for. Imagine how thrilled she would be. Imagine the fires you could put out on all those bridges before you burn them down. And not for nothing, but does she buy nice gifts for you and the rest of the family? Is this as one-sided as it sounds?
EDIT: 1. For everyone asking, yes Amy drinks coffee and uses the coffee machine.
2. No, she and Chris do not gift anyone anything of the value of the items on her list. Chris does the Christmas shopping and our family isn't big on adult gifting, we buy big things for the kids but we tend to get each other things like Christmas hampers (for couples), jumpers, I bought my mum a teapot one year, things like that. Certainly, nothing in the price range Amy put on her list.
OP is NTA here, and frankly - it sounds like an all-around stressful family dynamic.