Ethical dilemma for Christmas

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by MegaMatt3, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. MegaMatt3 macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2011
    So my wife and I agreed to not go over $300 each for each other for Christmas. But I know she would like an iMac. And one could rationalize that it would be good for her because she plans to change fields into event planning, which is more creative.

    If I did the 12 month no interest, my first payment would be $150 or so, still under the $300 max. But I'm also wondering how she might react ("I got you a shirt and some other small stuff, and you got me an iMac?! Not fair.")

    Ethical dilemma. I know how much she'd like it, but I feel like I'm stretching the rules here a bit. And please no responses about how if we have limits we can't afford it anyway. We're not wealthy, but it's within reach.

  2. SDColorado macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2011
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    I have been in a similar situation in the past, particularly the past 3 years as my wife went back to school.

    I think if it were me, I might phrase it along the lines of "The first payment is your Christmas gift, the remaining payments are an investment toward your new career" :)
  3. greganpace macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2011
    I would just tell your wife that you were planning on spending more than the budget (don't give an amount, so you still can surprise her) and see how she reacts. I think it would be going a little too far to just do it when you had agreed on a limit, but my wife and I last year had a limit and we both ended up going over it by a lot and we had a rough month trying to make it up. But it was because we both had big items that we wanted and decided it would be a good surprise. So this year, my wife said she has something big planned and told me how much I was allowed to spend and I am ok with it. Really, money shouldn't be the cause of any problems, especially with a christmas gift.
  4. Aristor, Nov 28, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2011

    Aristor macrumors member

    This person has a great idea! You could also either:
    a) Call it a "family computer" and just never use it yourself, so the end result is the same as if you gave it to her.
    b) Say something cheesy like "You're a more valuable gift to me than that computer will ever be."

    I don't think she would get mad at you for splurging on her, so I would not worry. I bought my fiancee a $900 purse last year for christmas, when we had a $400 limit. Best extremely overpriced piece of cheaply made fabric I ever bought. She was so happy and exited, she did not care that I went over at all, or that her gift was far less than mine (I got an itouch 8GB) IMO: If it makes her happy and you can afford it, go for it!
  5. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2011
    Go for it if it won't cause you any financial burden!

    I ordered an iPhone for my wife without telling her immediately after her iPhone was stolen. When she got to know it, she was really happy and I got a bunch of kisses!
  6. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Oct 14, 2010
    get the iMac for her ... as the saying goes ... Happy Wife = Happy Life :cool:
  7. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Yeah, buy this iMac to her as "family computer" .. means you both can use it together, not exclusively hers.

    One more great family item and I'm sure your wife won't complain about you're "not actually give something" for her Christmas, iMac is a great and good looking PC, I'm sure it has a high WAF.

    But if I were you, I'd buy her something cute and exclusively for her as a gift, if it has to be something from :apple:, a nice iPod Touch/Classic/Nano will do just fine, relatively cheap and one time payment only. Get iMac later as real family item and pay it together, sounds more fair to me and no need to worry if she only get you simple "nice t-shirt".
  8. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    Event planning is a tough field. I know you say it's "within reach", but if you plan on financing it you might not want to take on the extra debt burden until you know how the income from her new job will work out. I'm not trying to rain on your parade, but just giving some honest feedback. The last thing you want is for a Christmas gift to cause financial stress if things don't work out as you hoped they would.

    Surely there are plenty of other gifts that she would be very happy with that are within your stated budget. I just think it's always a risk to make large purchases as a surprise without your spouse knowing about it. Now, if you've got the cash laying around and the job change is guaranteed not to cause financial stress, then by all means go for it.
  9. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    #9 then why did you agree on that particular limit in the first place? or any limit for that matter? Is it possible she might not agree with your assessment of whether you can afford it? Even if you can afford it, keep in mind that disagreements about spending are often a major source of trouble in a relationship.

    Maybe you should float a trial balloon; "oh sweety pookums.....I've got a GREAT idea for your gift, not gonna tell ya what, but it might maybe mean I would go a tad over our gift limit"......just to see how she reacts
  10. MegaMatt3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2011

    Awesome responses everyone. Thanks very much. Another thing playing into this is that I'm at a loss on her for Christmas otherwise. So if I'm being completely honest, this is an "easy way out" gift.

    I like the response I got that I should wait to buy it until we can do it together, and find some nice things for her within budget. There's no risk there, and we can still end up with the iMac after Christmas, especially if we stay on budget.

    Still very tempting, but I think I'm going to bite the bullet, be a good husband, and put some more thought into Christmas.
  11. puma1552 macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    Personally I wouldn't have agreed to the limits if you were thinking of buying the computer to begin with.

    It's your call, if she gets all sassy about it then she doesn't deserve it and I'd take it back pronto. At the same time, it can get old when you buy someone something ultra nice and they buy you something meh.
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Tell her that you're spending over the budget by a considerable amount. It's not worth fighting over something like Christmas gifts, pre- or post-purchase. ;)

    mscriv is right. If this gift becomes a financial burden later on, nobody is going to see it as a great gift. It's going to be a regret.

    That, or like someone else suggested, buy her a small gift well under $150, and then buy the iMac for both of you.
  13. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    Sorry, I just wanted to quote this so I could show it to my wife later.

    See honey, sometimes.... :D ;)
  14. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Despite the fact that you've already got your answers, I would think a laptop would be prudent for such a career path. Just sayin'.

    As for budgets, I've never been in a situation like that; not because I don't have budget constraints either. :eek: If someone were willing to say that $300 is the max "we'd" both spend on each other I would probably fall over at the sight of such generosity from a loved one. :D
  15. ericrwalker macrumors 68030


    Oct 8, 2008
    Albany, NY
    $300 Apple gift card for purchase towards and iMac? :confused:

  16. likemyorbs macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2008
    You get laid a lot don't you?
  17. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Yes, I hope you can reconsidering about the idea of getting iMac later. Just between us, man .. You really dont want end up in a situation "I bought my wife an iMac for Christmas and all I get is this lousy t-shirt (and a kiss)."

    Good luck, mate :D
  18. toolbox macrumors 68020


    Oct 6, 2007
    Australia (WA)
    HA OMG that is awesome. Yes get her the iMac the look on her face christmas morning will be priceless and worth it :)
  19. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    Good approach.

    To me, the agreement to limit gifts to $300 each is more about respecting each other's right to have a say in the household budget than it is about just 'not splurging'.

    Although an iMac would be an awesome present, by getting that you're denying her the ability to influence decisions about your home finances over the next year (while the financing pays off). It may be that she'd prefer to have more cash for savings in order to feel comfortable in case something bad happened.
  20. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Event planning is more creative? :rolleyes:
  21. gramirez2012 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    Chicago, USA
  22. MegaMatt3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I think we're on the same page.

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