Christmas, for many, means presents under the heavily-decorated tree, a few surprises from your nearest and dearest, and some much-needed spoiling from your partner.
But not for poor Suzy Monty, who has to put up with one charity shop-bought gift a year.
The 66-year-old has opened up on how her ‘Scrooge-like’ husband John, 70, refuses to spend more than “a tenner” on her during the festive season, and even bans her from decorating their house.
The couple, from Cornwall in England, have been married for 44 years, and in that time Suzy has only ever been treated to one Christmas tree from her husband – which cost him just $7.
Christmas lights, advent calendars, and even tinsel are deemed “too extravagant” by John however, and Suzy revealed she often stares longingly at neighbours’ lit-up homes, dreaming of having her own.
“I know it sounds silly, but I feel let down. I would love it if just one year our house was decorated with a sparkling light display,” she told The Sun.
“But John just says no. The bank balance wins every time!”
Suzy revealed her partner had been stingy from the very start of their marriage and would often scour restaurant menus before deciding if they could afford to eat there.
While she makes do with her one gift a year at Christmas, Suzy never gets anything for birthdays or anniversaries.
She explained that John would use the excuse of being too busy while he worked as a central heating engineer, but now he’s retired, he says he doesn’t know what to buy her.
“Nowadays I’ll spend £30 ($53) on him and John ‘splashes out’ a tenner ($17) on me,” she added.
“He will do a last minute shop in the charity shops. I usually get some smelly soap and a few bits and pieces from him.”
John’s money-saving ways have got so bad, the couple even recycle old gifts to give to their friends each year, while Suzy is given a budget of around $88 for Christmas dinner to last them several days.
But asked his views on his Scrooge-like antics, John insisted he isn’t ashamed, and believes the amount of presents children receive these days is “shocking”.
It comes after a study by Galaxy Research, commissioned by Gumtree, found that 77 per cent of Australians would consider buying someone a secondhand or vintage item as a Christmas present.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Those surveyed said they would consider buying secondhand if they found the perfect gift, such as something unique or vintage, if the item was still in its original packaging or if it was at least half the price of the an equivalent new item.
That said, only 39 per cent of those surveyed had actually bought secondhand gifts, and then usually only once or twice.