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Old 11-14-2018, 03:12 PM
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Christmas: I don't feel comfortable doing the whole gift giving thing anymore.

I apologize if this comes across a pretentious.

Seriously, we're all middle class income earners. If any of us "needs" something, we can just go buy it on our own. It brings me no joy to have my family members spend this money on me when I'm probably never gonna wear that thing they bought me or use whatever else.

I'd rather we just pool our money together and donate it to a charity or something.


I want to say something, but I know I'll be a total Debbie Downer if I do. (Mom and sis like shopping).

So what's the best move here?

Just suck it up and don't say anything? Or politely ask them to leave me out of the gift giving? (Which I know they won't like)
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:20 PM
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I am married with children. In my extended family, including my siblings and parents, we don't exchange gifts any more. We only buy gifts for the nieces/nephews/grandchildren under the age of 18. My mother will occasionally (in some years) plan some sort of white elephant exchange. We decided this together as a family, where as adults, we can talk about such things.
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:21 PM
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Quite awhile back when my family members asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I told them (in a nice way): I want to not have to buy you guys anything, so why don't we call a truce and just get presents for the kids, leaving the adults out of it. After all, we end up giving each other pretty much the same things anyway-- some article of clothing. They all seemed to think it was a fine idea, and we've been not exchanging gifts between the grown-ups for over a decade.

It's kind of silly for 40, 50 or 60-year old siblings to be buying each other Christmas gifts. There are still plenty of kids to take care of, so we just concentrate our effort on that. It's better to give than to receive anyway!
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:24 PM
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I WISH I had the kids angle. But alas, all the kiddos are grown.
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:25 PM
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I mean, you just talk about it. If you're close enough to give gifts, you're close enough to discuss how to do it one would think.

For our family, single adult siblings get presents and the kids of married sibs. I'm sure if we had a childless sibling that was married, they'd get a present, but that bridge is not yet here to be crossed. We have also done name drawing in the past, but my brother completely slacks on presents, so whomever he got would get gypped, so we stopped that. We also all get presents for Mom and she gets them for us.
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:26 PM
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My family made that decision years ago. Presents only are given to kids under 18 so.
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:44 PM
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I agree that the only thing to be done is to say how you feel, in the kindest, most lighthearted way you can find. If they ask you want you want / could use, just chuckle and say "Let's not do that;I don't need anything. I'd rather we just get together and have a meal / hang out or whatever.". If you have to bring it up yourself, say something like, "hey, you're not planning on getting me anything are you? I kind of feel like maybe we don't need to do the whole gift exchange thing anymore".

You've given perfectly valid reasons that most people here so far agree with. If you're kind about it and they're still miffed, that's on them.
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Grrr! View Post
I WISH I had the kids angle. But alas, all the kiddos are grown.
You can't control their behavior. You can only control your own. With that in mind, here's how I handled the situation in my family (also no kids):

I told them the best gift they could give me was to permit me to "drop out" of the whole holiday debacle, that although I appreciate their intentions, their gifts simply leave me with the dilemma of keeping something I don't want or need, v. giving away something cherished solely on the basis that they gave it to me.

I told them that if they simply couldn't resist giving me something, please make it a consumable: A nice candle, bottle of wine, cookies, preserves or candy, something like that. And that's all I give them. Every year I send boxes of favored goodies that are homemade and consumable. Either given or received, if it's something unwanted it can always be passed along to someone else.

Lastly, I told them that if they disregarded my wish, I would consider it a gesture of disrespect. Which frankly, it is. Don't ask unless you want the honest answer!

It took them a couple years to accept I was completely serious, but now they do and have for years. In fact, they expressed appreciation that to no longer have to run around town trying to find something for the person who, like you, just goes and buys what she needs when she needs it.

I do try to do things for them during the holidays that contribute to special memories, even if it's not something I would ordinarily do. I'll go to Midnight Mass with my stepmom though I'm not religious, make a special pie for my dad even if I don't eat it. And if I do happen across something I am certain is a gift they would love, I send it -- at any time of year.

Good luck. These old family traditions are fraught with peril when we choose to change them.
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:53 PM
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I just push for only handmade items for gift giving--that or nothing. Almost everyone chooses nothing rather than putting even the most minimal effort into making gifts. Problem solved! Me, I crochet things for the ones who don't opt out.
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:56 PM
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I apologize if this comes across a pretentious.

Seriously, we're all middle class income earners. If any of us "needs" something, we can just go buy it on our own. It brings me no joy to have my family members spend this money on me when I'm probably never gonna wear that thing they bought me or use whatever else.

I'd rather we just pool our money together and donate it to a charity or something.


I want to say something, but I know I'll be a total Debbie Downer if I do. (Mom and sis like shopping).

So what's the best move here?

Just suck it up and don't say anything? Or politely ask them to leave me out of the gift giving? (Which I know they won't like)
Preach on! My wife and I feel exactly the same. We've gone to children only on my side of the family but we cannot get my wife's family to stop this goofy practice.
  #11  
Old 11-14-2018, 03:57 PM
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I'm totally in this same boat, with my in-laws. We wouldn't have an issue with continuing to buy gifts for the kids (the nieces are 13, the nephew is 18), but when my wife and I have broached the idea of "no gifts between the adults," my mother-in-law has gotten positively petulant about it.

Part of this, I'm sure, is that she does love shopping. But, I think, a bigger part is that she has always seemed to me to be still, in many ways, emotionally a kid, and for as long as I've known her, she's demanded (to greater or lesser levels) demonstrations from her family members of their love for her, through actions, as well as through gifts, and making a big deal about events like her birthday.

It doesn't help that, for most of the adults in the family, there's a lot of "I really don't need anything" and "I don't know what I'd want for a gift," so there's way too much useless stuff that gets bought and given.

Ugggh.
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Old 11-14-2018, 04:00 PM
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Yeah you're just going to have to speak up and tell everyone how you feel. And let everyone know you're not giving gifts to them (and stick to it).

It helps to offer an alternative - do a cookie exchange, for example. One year, instead of the stupid $10 white elephant game thing we were doing, I made everyone put $10 cash into a pot and whoever won the game we played got to donate the whole pot to their charity of choice.

My mom still insists on buying my brother and I something small, like pajamas or slippers. I give her that.

I also make sure I spend as much time as possible with everyone for the holidays, instead of blowing off presents AND people.
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Old 11-14-2018, 04:00 PM
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Perhaps you could reverse the shopping. Each person takes the money they would have spent on others and buys a gift for them self. Wrap it up and bring it to the family event, where you open it and thank your family for the gift, while they learn what "they" got for you.

If done correctly (i.e. set some ground rules) this could be a great way to learn about each other's interests and could be a great conversation starter.

We did this with my mother-in-law in her later years. She would give us money which we would spend on our own gift and then bring it to show her at the family dinner. She would always ask questions like "tell me why you like Game of Thrones" or "is this your favorite author", which would develop into a great discussion.
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Old 11-14-2018, 04:05 PM
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I stopped participating in gift exchanges of any kind more than 20 years ago.

I highly recommend it.
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Old 11-14-2018, 04:28 PM
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I just take people out to a decent dinner and call it a Christmas done. If they insist on buying me presents, I can't stop them.
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Old 11-14-2018, 04:37 PM
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I just take people out to a decent dinner and call it a Christmas done. If they insist on buying me presents, I can't stop them.
This year, it was that we paid for hockey tickets for the family to go to a game together. Go Pens!
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Old 11-14-2018, 04:41 PM
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My family made that decision years ago. Presents only are given to kids under 18 so.
Same. I have always felt that adults buying adults presents (with the exception of spouses/significant others, I guess) is sheer silliness for the reasons the OP outlined.
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Old 11-14-2018, 04:47 PM
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My wife and I don’t give gifts at Cmas and we’ve asked others not to. Her mom will still give us a small thing that I chuck up in the attic, she can’t help herself.
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Old 11-14-2018, 05:21 PM
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My wife and I stopped exchanging gifts on ALL occasions about 15 years ago. I send some smoked salmon to my kids at Christmas, but that's it.
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Old 11-14-2018, 05:29 PM
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Seriously, we're all middle class income earners.
Part of the point of the gift is to show that you care. A gift doesn't need to be expensive, just thoughtful and well-chosen. And maybe even useful.

For instance, one of my brother's teachers had a set of rubber stamps with words like BULLSHIT and RUBBISH on them which helped immensely with his marking.

One year I was given some cufflinks in the shape of corkscrews, referring to my enjoyment of wine. I still have them and wear them. They were less than a tenner, but much appreciated.
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Old 11-14-2018, 05:36 PM
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Our family has a number of fun traditions that help.

We give charitable gifts in each other's names. I even do this with my grandchildren - who have absolutely no needs for presents that are not already met. We sit down with a gift catalog for World Vision or Samaritan's Purse and pick out what they want to give - baby chicks, or goats, or a well, or feeding a baby for a week. Then we cut out the pictures and make a display that goes under the tree. They look forward to this. We've done it since they were 3 or 4. The oldest is now 12.

We give practical gifts - like paper towels, zip lock bags, band aids, windshield washer solvent, fly swatters, etc. - these are fun to unwrap, totally practical and cheap. We did this because some of us missed opening stuff.

Then we get together and watch "bad" holiday movies...
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  #22  
Old 11-14-2018, 05:47 PM
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Agree wholeheartedly with the OP.

Mrs. C and I have arrangements similar to the OP's with family and friends, for the same reasons. Christmas and Birthdays. Hasn't been a problem for anybody yet.

Exceptions are young children, and those rare occasions when you come across some object/event that would obviously surprise and please the recipient. "Suprise" meaning something they wouldn't know they wanted until after it had been given to them.
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Old 11-14-2018, 05:53 PM
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I, too, got irritated with unwanted "things" given to me, and then having to pretend gratefulness. "No, I do not want a George Foreman grill." "No, I do not want a Keurig." "No, I do not want that tool set." My In-Laws make no effort to know or understand me or my kids and instead give stuff no one wants or needs that THEY think they would want or like. It creates a burden for the receiver of such gifts to either dispose of them or give them away. My family wont change.

My new strategy is to start talking about the things I do want and/or need - EARLY, like after Halloween. Start dropping hints or just coming out and telling people the things you want them to give you. "Yeah, I need a new pair of cycling shorts." "That light jacket in the catalog looks nice!" "REI is having a sale on winter socks this week."

My wife does not like this approach, but after almost 25 years of marriage, we don't need to surprise each other any more - she hates surprises anyway. I just come out and ask her what she wants, so she has something to open under then tree.
  #24  
Old 11-14-2018, 06:01 PM
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My wife and I stopped exchanging gifts on ALL occasions about 15 years ago. I send some smoked salmon to my kids at Christmas, but that's it.
If you have to give a gift, consumables like food or wine are the way to go. And if you don' know someone well enough to know what kind of food or wine they like, then you probably shouldn't be giving them gifts anyway.

Last edited by John Mace; 11-14-2018 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 11-14-2018, 06:19 PM
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I WISH I had the kids angle. But alas, all the kiddos are grown.
I don't get that. If anything, no kids makes this easier. Adults aren't all awake Christmas Eve dreaming of presents.

The way we got out of it was slowly. After much discussion, we switched to Secret Santa. After a few years we switched to "cadeau voleur", which is game where everyone brings a present and you take turns either selecting or stealing a present. Nowadays, no presents at the big family gathering.

Last edited by CarnalK; 11-14-2018 at 06:20 PM.
  #26  
Old 11-14-2018, 06:24 PM
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Part of the point of the gift is to show that you care. A gift doesn't need to be expensive, just thoughtful and well-chosen. And maybe even useful.

For instance, one of my brother's teachers had a set of rubber stamps with words like BULLSHIT and RUBBISH on them which helped immensely with his marking.

One year I was given some cufflinks in the shape of corkscrews, referring to my enjoyment of wine. I still have them and wear them. They were less than a tenner, but much appreciated.
Sure, it's great when you chance upon that perfect gift, like those cufflinks were for you. But what if the recipient doesn't wear shirts with French cuffs (or whatever you call the type of shirt that requires cufflinks)? Then it's still a thoughtful gift but not one that will be useful. And if it just gets stuck in a drawer somewhere, it's still a waste of money, even if it was less than a tenner. And of course it's rare that you chance upon the perfect gift.

So I'm with those who prefer no gifts. As said, most of us are able to afford the stuff we need and I in particular am really choosy in what I want to buy. Like I'm thinking about a Roomba or equivalent robotic vacuum cleaner for my apartment but will probably do some research and carefully choose the one I want, rather than just whichever one the gifter choose.

Last edited by Dewey Finn; 11-14-2018 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 11-14-2018, 06:28 PM
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My family (all middle aged or older, no children) has pretty much given up on the gift giving. There were a couple of half hearted attempts at "Secret Santa" type things, but they failed (having one or two people slack and someone else try to pick up the slack behind them is uncomfortable at best).

It is both a relief and kind of sad. I don't miss trying to find the right present for everyone (or even for 1 person which is actually more pressure). But there's something kind of nice about the idea of Christmas presents, even if they kind of stop living up to their promise once you hit a certain age.

You should talk to your family and throw the idea out there. Or possibly throw out the idea of spending money on charity if all of you are in the financial position to give money. Also - come up with an alternative activity. Christmas present exchanges take more time than you think. If you're not doing that, you need to plan on doing something else for the chunk of time you'd all be unwrapping gifts, showing them off, and thanking each other.
  #28  
Old 11-14-2018, 06:31 PM
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My wife and I just give each other presents whenever the mood hits us, or when we see something we think they would like. It seems more personal that way.
  #29  
Old 11-14-2018, 06:50 PM
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I really like getting gifts, because I'm absolutely shallow and materialistic and like possessions a lot. I'm a collector of multiple types of things and when people get me something I want it makes me happy because it shows that they care I exist and they respect me enough to want to get me something I want.

Presuming, of course, that they go to the minimal effort to get me something off of my christmas list.

I have a sister that doesn't believe in wish lists - not having one, not buying things based off of them. She thinks that reading a wish list is like being ordered around, and prefers to pick up things that she finds on her own, that she decides on her own initiative would be good gifts.

Which is a nifty idea in theory but in practice she would give people cheap crap they didn't want.

After the pattern became clear there was open mockery when gifts from her were opened - which she wasn't aware of, since she lived in a different state from everyone else and would mail things. My mom tried to get us to stop the mocking since it was mean, but the consistent awfulness of the gifts wasn't to be denied.

I wasn't amused, though, since (as noted) I consider respecting my wishes to be a sign of respect - and disrespecting my wishes is (thus) an insult. After a certain point I revealed my dissatisfaction to her, hoping she would get with the program and look at the damn lists I was sending her (like everyone else did). She refused. Things got heated. It got ugly. After a certain point we agreed to just stop exchanging gifts entirely.

Which is great! She now, finally, is giving me exactly what I'm asking of her: Nothing.

I do feel a little bad for her kids though - I'm a great gift-giver, and they're deprived of that due to the family-level gift embargo. But there's no way I'm going to poke that beehive again.

With everybody else, though, it all works great: I give them all lists, and they all give me a list - if they want to get anything, anyway. (If you don't give me a list I'll get you exactly what you asked for: nothing.) Piles of gifts exchanged, everybody enjoys opening them, fun is had by all, adults and kids alike.

(Okay, there are some hiccups - all my dad wants are Regal Cinema gift cards, so he gets a pile of Regal Cinema gift cards. Laaaaame. But whatever; at least he's participating, which for him is saying something.)
  #30  
Old 11-14-2018, 06:54 PM
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Can't do it. I didn't give gifts most of my childhood, since I didn't have money. Now that I do have a little bit, I enjoy the hell out of finding stuff. And I myself enjoy things given to me much more than if I just bought them myself. Even when it's obvious what I'm going to get, since it's the only thing anyone knows I want.

Maybe when I get older, I'll feel differently. Or maybe I'll actually have some kids around to give gifts to.
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Old 11-14-2018, 07:14 PM
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I like to channel my holiday shopping into charities. The local women's shelter, the "giving tree" at the grocery store, etc. Give to people who really need stuff and will appreciate it. Spirit of the season and all that.
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Old 11-14-2018, 07:15 PM
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In our family the grandparents buy gifts for the parents and grandkids.

But the parents only buy gifts for the grandkids and grandparents. We don't buy for each other.
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 11-14-2018 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 11-14-2018, 08:00 PM
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My family made that decision years ago. Presents only are given to kids under 18 so.
I sort of forced this on my family, and now it's fine. I give gifts to my young nieces and that's it.

Glad to see this thread because I thought I was sort of alone in this preference. Upon reaching adulthood, I've always found it embarrassing to receive gifts. I'll gladly take a friend or relative out to dinner or on an outing of some kind for whatever occasion, but I don't do gifts anymore.
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Old 11-14-2018, 08:49 PM
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actually in my family if my aunt didn't buy all the adults clothes they wouldn't have any since they never bother buying them themselves ….. but she overdoes it and we have 50 million gadgets and doo-dads lying around that never get opened …….
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:59 PM
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Just suck it up and don't say anything? Or politely ask them to leave me out of the gift giving? (Which I know they won't like)
Talk to them about it. We got to that point some years back as the people we cared about got older or passed away and made the decision to back a couple local toy drives instead. And we let the people know it and why. So instead of some silly exchange they got a Christmas card with a picture of a bike and some toys provided in their honor. Its also helped as others have died and we've continued the giving in their honor as well. A few other relatives have adopted the same thing and I hope it grows; it just feels better to us come December 25th.
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Old 11-15-2018, 12:19 AM
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Fortunately for me/us, my side of the family has a long-standing agreement that gifts are only for the kids. (Traditional college students still count, but they get things like gas station or grocery gift cards, or high-quality engravings from the US Mint.)

My in-laws like the ritual of gift exchange, so they get pictures of the kids or photo calendars of the kids every Christmas. (I outdid myself about 4 years ago, with a 12-month calendar of "stupid places your grandchildren fell asleep this past year.") We only accept consumables and family heirlooms and socks from them.

Between us, I solved the husband/wife gift issue a few years ago. Tony and I asked one another what we wanted, and couldn't come up with anything we could realistically afford that we didn't already have. So we chose recipients from the local mission, and spent what we'd have budgeted for bullshit gifts for one another. It was a lot more satisfying to find useful, meaningful gifts for a couple of homeless teenagers than it would have been to buy my husband another shirt or flashlight.

I still fill our Christmas stockings, because the daughters are little and Santa is real, but it's a lot more fun to wrap up a good jacket or a job/college interview outfit for a kid who needs it than to choose yet another sweater or golf shirt for a middle aged person who already owns a lifetime supply of shirts and sweaters. (And the wish lists from the homeless kids are so heartbreakingly basic: a pair of jeans. A jacket. Body lotion. Shoes. No, compared to that, I don't think I want the latest kitchen gadget or another sweater.)
  #37  
Old 11-15-2018, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by madmonk28 View Post
My wife and I just give each other presents whenever the mood hits us, or when we see something we think they would like. It seems more personal that way.
I'd like to add this statement to my own (#22). Less frequently, we do the same with a couple of particularly close friends/family members, and it's explicitly understood there is to be NO keeping score.
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Old 11-15-2018, 05:18 AM
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I'm a woodworker and I can make some pretty cool, one of a kind items, that go over pretty well. Besides, I LIKE making them and I have to get rid of my work somehow. So thats the only thing I "gift".

Now if someone sees something unique and is a truly "I thought of you" type item like a book or shirt, I like that.
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Old 11-15-2018, 07:23 AM
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My husband's side of the family long ago quit exchanging gifts - largely because of the costs. Instead, we'd all get a $10 gift and someone would invent a game involving trading, stealing, hoarding, whatever till everyone had a silly something to open. It was a lot of fun and not stressful at all. My husband and I quit giving each other gifts on any occasion ages ago.

I tried to get my sibs to agree to the same, but with less luck. I have one sister who insists on buying gifts for everyone - she finished her shopping in October. This is going to sound snotty, but she mostly shops at dollar stores, so not only are the gifts unwanted, but they're crap. One year it was yet another mug, but filled with candy that turned out to be inedible. She also gives dollar store ornaments, even tho I've told her repeatedly that we don't decorate - haven't had a tree in 14 years.

This year things might be a bit different - we've got two new babies in the mix, and while they're way too young to know what's going on, indulgent aunts and uncles will shower them with all sorts of things. I'm fine with that. I'll just be glad when January gets here.
  #40  
Old 11-15-2018, 07:23 AM
DummyGladHands DummyGladHands is offline
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I apologize if this comes across a pretentious.

Seriously, we're all middle class income earners. If any of us "needs" something, we can just go buy it on our own. It brings me no joy to have my family members spend this money on me when I'm probably never gonna wear that thing they bought me or use whatever else.

I'd rather we just pool our money together and donate it to a charity or something.


I want to say something, but I know I'll be a total Debbie Downer if I do. (Mom and sis like shopping).

So what's the best move here?

Just suck it up and don't say anything? Or politely ask them to leave me out of the gift giving? (Which I know they won't like)
Had this talk with family a few years ago. No little kids left and the nieces and nephews have better cars, shoes and phones than I do. Even $50 ain't gonna make a difference to them. We're done.
  #41  
Old 11-15-2018, 07:30 AM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is online now
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Originally Posted by TreacherousCretin View Post
I'd like to add this statement to my own (#22). Less frequently, we do the same with a couple of particularly close friends/family members, and it's explicitly understood there is to be NO keeping score.
Do you do the thing where you just leave it somewhere in the house for the other to find? I love that. I’ll get a Skype at work “what’s this in the dining room table?” Open it and see. Much more meaningful to us.
  #42  
Old 11-15-2018, 07:57 AM
Maastricht Maastricht is offline
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https://www.mannersmentor.com/social...giving-manners
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"There's a support group for that, it's called everybody and they meet at the bar."
  #43  
Old 11-15-2018, 09:36 AM
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PoppaSan PoppaSan is offline
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Originally Posted by Grrr! View Post
I apologize if this comes across a pretentious.

Seriously, we're all middle class income earners. If any of us "needs" something, we can just go buy it on our own. It brings me no joy to have my family members spend this money on me when I'm probably never gonna wear that thing they bought me or use whatever else.

I'd rather we just pool our money together and donate it to a charity or something.


I want to say something, but I know I'll be a total Debbie Downer if I do. (Mom and sis like shopping).

So what's the best move here?

Just suck it up and don't say anything? Or politely ask them to leave me out of the gift giving? (Which I know they won't like)
Visit a local care agency for say domestic abuse survivors or rehab, vets, or whatever trips your interests. See what they need. Send list to mom and sis. Let them shop for 15 cases of various sized disposable diapers, 47 preschooler outfits or 30 travel pack oral hygiene packages along with assorted other toiletries. Tell them that is what you really want the most. Thank, take, and deliver. Tell them whatever you receive will go to the selected agency or another that could better use what you get. No false pretenses, no throwing something in the closet for 6 months before you regift it.
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Sometimes when I'm here I just need to step back and visualize my happy space.
  #44  
Old 11-15-2018, 10:32 AM
TRC4941 TRC4941 is offline
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My family is still in the gift-giving business. I have 3 sisters - 3 of us are married with kids. I also have grandkids. And we still have our mom. For years everyone would buy for everybody, but as the family grew it became too expensive. We still enjoy gift-giving and receiving, so for the last 20+ years we draw names. Everyone makes a wish list and puts it in an envelope and then we draw envelopes. It makes shopping so much easier and we get what we need/want. This includes kids. So instead of each of us buying 20 gifts, we each have an adult and a kid to buy for. We finally talked our mom into getting in on the drawing. She was still buying for everyone and everyone would get her something too.

As of now, everyone is happy with this plan and it works. I'm sure it will morph into something else as kids grow up.
  #45  
Old 11-15-2018, 10:45 AM
Marlonius Marlonius is offline
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My wife and I gave it up a few years ago, too. It came in steps. First I opted out of gift exchange with my snarky sister-in-law and my brother, her husband. That left my wife and I and my parents. After a couple more years, we decided to stop gift giving to each other. We're lucky enough to be able to afford to buy what we want when we want it, and the gift exchange just felt like outsourcing our shopping to one another and delaying it until Christmas day.

I have to admit, I do miss a bit the fun of present opening on the morning of the 25th, but that's a small thing and it's overall been very positive. The stress of Christmas is very low now. We still put a few treats in each other's stockings from Santa, and give gifts to our young niece and nephew.

Highly recommend, will do again this year!
  #46  
Old 11-15-2018, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by TRC4941 View Post
My family is still in the gift-giving business. I have 3 sisters - 3 of us are married with kids. I also have grandkids. And we still have our mom. For years everyone would buy for everybody, but as the family grew it became too expensive. We still enjoy gift-giving and receiving, so for the last 20+ years we draw names. Everyone makes a wish list and puts it in an envelope and then we draw envelopes. It makes shopping so much easier and we get what we need/want. This includes kids. So instead of each of us buying 20 gifts, we each have an adult and a kid to buy for. We finally talked our mom into getting in on the drawing. She was still buying for everyone and everyone would get her something too.

As of now, everyone is happy with this plan and it works. I'm sure it will morph into something else as kids grow up.
There's a bunch of online ways to do the Secret Santa thing now if getting everyone together to draw envelopes before Christmas is difficult.

I remember a couple of early Christmases at my wife's family. 10-12 people each buying a present for everyone. That's a 100+ damn presents to open! So glad we stopped the insanity.
  #47  
Old 11-15-2018, 11:36 AM
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Stuntman Mike Stuntman Mike is offline
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Originally Posted by Grrr! View Post
Seriously, we're all middle class income earners. If any of us "needs" something, we can just go buy it on our own. It brings me no joy to have my family members spend this money on me when I'm probably never gonna wear that thing they bought me or use whatever else.
If you hadn't, I would've started the same thread.

I exchange no gifts with anyone for Christmas. The last holdouts were my parents who for years insisted that they buy me a gift. I finally broke them last year. Now... I'm free. (Exception... kids. I spoil my niece and nephew who are both under 10... because that's what uncles do. )

I still enjoy the season, and everything else it has to offer... I just don't like being told what to do with my money. If you think about it, every month we're expected to open our wallets for some bullshit holiday or event. It's just one method by which the commies keep the masses broke and dependent.
  #48  
Old 11-15-2018, 01:39 PM
amarinth amarinth is offline
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Originally Posted by Stuntman Mike View Post
It's just one method by which the commies keep the masses broke and dependent.
That's a very peculiar definition of "communism."

Started a thread about wish lists so that I wouldn't derail this one.
  #49  
Old 11-15-2018, 01:54 PM
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TreacherousCretin TreacherousCretin is online now
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Originally Posted by madmonk28 View Post
Do you do the thing where you just leave it somewhere in the house for the other to find? I love that. I’ll get a Skype at work “what’s this in the dining room table?” Open it and see. Much more meaningful to us.
Yes. And "meaningful" is the perfect word.
  #50  
Old 11-15-2018, 01:59 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is online now
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I married into a family that does Yankee Swap for the adults at an annual Christmas party. Everybody buys one $10-20 gift and wraps it. All the gifts are piled on a table and the adults sit in a circle. The first person chooses a gift and unwraps it. They can either keep it, or put it back on the table. The next person can choose a wrapped present, or take the present from the first person, or from the table if it was returned. This continues around the room, until all the presents are gone and everybody has one. Nobody knows what they will end up with until the very end. Some people buy gag gifts like a Chia pet, others buy cool stuff that everybody wants. One year we did a theme of "As Seen On TV" gifts like the pocket hose or the Snuggy. It is a fun inexpensive way to do gift giving for adults.
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