Do you buy xmas presents for those that haven't given in the past?

Young kids aside, this question is geared with the intention of older teens and adults that show up for the gift exchanges.
Do you guys buy for family that you either don’t really like or have never given you any xmas presents in the past? What about those that don’t have job or the youths that have recently entered late teens/adulthood? Do you not think twice if that’s the case?

I have the extended family including the single ones that for some reason like to invite their g/f’s or b/f’s with them where they don’t just show up for dinner but also the gift exchange which to me is a bit odd. As a host, I don’t mind dates coming for dinner but gift exchanges?.. However my personal feeling is that the spirit of giving works both ways (kids are exempt because it’s more for them imo) but even a deadbeat off the streets should be able to either raise enough to buy something from the Dollar Tree or even create a xmas card using a crayon at the very least for someone that has given something to them each year in the past. Or they shouldn’t show up for the gift exchange and celebrate with whoever it is they exchange with.

However that brings us to another point, if you buy a xmas gift for someone for the first time, they may feel obligated to get you something in return and no one really likes to engage in a new circle jerk of having to buy for more and more people each year.

So what’s the thought on this?

  1. Just never feel any slight return is necessary yet always give to everyone that shows up for the exchange because it’s all about giving except for the people that don’t which makes it ok?
  2. Stop giving to such people and watch them sit there watching everyone else opening presents.
  3. Make them a Xmas card using construction paper and a crayon so you don’t feel so bad in the event they got you something this year as well as not feel you wasted any thought into your gift if they don’t bother.
  4. Tell them to get the hell off your property because the free food is for the gift exchangers and kids only.

I make it very clear I’m not interested in getting or giving gifts with friends, family and associates. Some people still get me gifts, I feel no obligation to return this. I don’t like the whole balancing gifts competition so would rather not participate.

Kids are an exception from that they get presents on holidays and birthdays.

My family does a Yankee gift swap at Christmas each year, $20 dollar gift of whatever theme my sister in law chooses. Rule on that is simple if you want to participate you must provide a gift. I do get a gift for that.

For food my SIL hosts and does provide the bulk of the food. Her and my brother are significantly more wealthy than the rest of the family so this doesn’t bother me so much, the SIL likes hosting overall. I just ask what she is lacking and bring appropriate food/drinks, I’m better off than I was in the past so I’d kinda like to contribute more on that end but she seems to have everything worked out so my contributions there are limited

We stopped exchanging gifts years ago, and it’s been great. We’ll give my mom an assortment of wines and we usually give my husband’s folks something to get them out of the house (last year, restaurant gift cards, this year, tickets to a local theater.) And we always give our daughter something. But nothing among the sibs (altho one sister still buys crap at the dollar store for everyone) and since the niece/nephews are adults, nothing for them either. There are no more little kids in the family.

We do a $10 goofy gift exchange game and our contribution to that usually comes from Think Geek. And this year, we’re providing the turkey and ribs since my mother-in-law had knee surgery and she’s still not up to spending all day in the kitchen. My daughter, sister-in-law, and I will cover kitchen duty.

Frankly, I’m just as happy to ignore the whole season. I’m looking forward to Dec 26… ho ho ho.

We give gifts only to grandchildren and clearly expect nothing from them in return. There are three people we send Guy Ottewell’s astronomical calendar to, but we expect nothing in return and this is, in any case, the last year it will be made.

My family isn’t really big on the gift giving deal - and, frankly, our gift-giving philosophy was always that one doesn’t give a gift in the expectation of receiving a return gift. To give a gift with the expectation of a return isn’t gifting, it’s commerce.

The bulk of my gift-giving has been to my nieces and nephews, who are really not of an age where they have independent gift-giving capacity. That being said, I’ll probably continue to give each of them something as long as I think the gift is appreciated. Which means they have to let me know they got it and say thanks* - otherwise I’m going to assume they didn’t appreciate the present and save myself the hassle next year. They’re aware of this - as are their parents :slight_smile: Because we discussed it - their parents are all for it as a method of reinforcing good manners. It was, in fact, the idea of my oldest sibling (and first to produce offspring).

There’s also a category of presents that are basically courtesy gifts - certain professional contacts, office presents and the like. Those folks get a home-baked seasonal cookie assortment (I’m an excellent baker, and enjoy it).

The only other presents I buy are for the family I intend to spend the holiday with - and that’s mostly because my mom likes to have presents under the tree and then hand them around. Her holidays haven’t been any goddamn fun for several years now (my dad has advanced Alzheimers), so there are remarkably few things I won’t do to cheer her up - and if my husband and I buying some gifts for each other (which we would not otherwise do) and wrapping them to stick under the tree makes her happy, then I’ll do it. Also, we must obtain and present her with the Annual Inappropriate Garden Statuary offering.
*They’re all plenty old enough for this.

I’ve got a big excel spreadsheet to keep track of everyone who’s given me a gift each year and my ranking of the gift from 1-10, and apply a coefficient based on our relationship

I use my gift algorithm to determine to whom to give gifts and the quality of each gift

If someone wants to give me a gift, I’ll graciously accept it, and try to remember to either get them something soon for a late gift or give them something next year. But I don’t want someone to just get me some random thing from the Dollar Store or to make a weird Christmas card out of construction paper just to give me something. A gift from someone who wants to give me a gift is nice, but a gift from someone who just feels obligated to give me a gift for whatever reason can be weird, or make me feel guilty, and I’d be happier in those occasions for us to just wish each other Merry Christmas, and catch up on what’s going on in our lives.

For Christmas gift exchanges, if it’s a planned event, like Christmas morning, and you know in advance who’s going to be there, then it would be a little weird if for example Karen’s boyfriend John was on the sideline watching everyone open presents, and I would think that someone would plan and have at least one or two little things for John to open. But if it’s a more casual thing, some Christmas dinner party that’s a week or two before Christmas, and people might be stopping by or not, and just you have presents to exchange, then I wouldn’t think it would be a problem for John to just be on the sidelines watching things and drinking eggnog and admiring the presents Karen receives.

Like others have done, in both sides of my family we’ve stopped exchanging gifts mainly for the extended family. It makes things easier on everyone. I buy presents for my parents and brother and his wife and kids, but not for aunts and uncles and cousins.

I give gifts when I feel like giving gifts. Past age 18, my family isn’t a stickler for gift-giving. Oh, they always say “you don’t have to get me anything” but most of us tend to get something small for someone else if we see something that says, “Oh, they would like that”. It also means I don’t feel bad about not getting them something for a couple years and then getting them something bigger than usual later because “it’s been a few years and I knew you would really like this”.

I’m not a fan of getting someone a gift out of obligation. It almost always ends up being something they wouldn’t really like anyway.

Also, PSXer, I like your style (even if it was just a joke). Because I have never received a thank you card from my nieces or nephews (I only see them on Christmas every other year, so I have shipped them gifts on the off years), I have downgraded to just giving them gift cards as opposed to trying to find something they would like. I’m sure we’re all happier now that I have lowered their “relationship algorithm” to this new level.

I think what bothers me most is the younger single guys/girls in the family that just invite whoever they are dating with them to the gift exchange and they show up as if they have no family of their own. I’m sure they come for the dinner later on but still it’s weird to me. We know beforehand but I really don’t want to buy for them too nor want to watch them sit there watching me open gifts…I want out of Xmas completely but not sure how to downgrade myself away from that obligation or everyones expectation for me to participate. Not that everyone expects a gift from me, but most probably do…my stepson for example has yet to actually seek out a gift for me, he has his mommy get me something then pays her back later…really? I just think people like that are sad sacks.

When my nieces and nephews were children I adored buying them gifts and sending them off. My siblings had young families and their hnds full. The thought of getting a thank you, acknowledgement or gift in return never entered into it, to be perfectly honest. It was all about the fun of getting them something creative or awesome, for me. I was childless and unmarried and had disposable income to indulge myself. And it was simply oodles of fun for me. I developed something of a reputation for getting them cool things that was hard to keep pace with as they matured. It got a lot harder.

Costly but cool t shirts carried me along for a few years, gift cards for odd things etc. By now several of them were out earning me, by a long shot and in no time they had kids of their own, and lived in distant places.

No more than a handful of times, in all those years, did I ever receive a gift in return, but I didn’t care, because I was doing it for me, to be honest. I enjoyed it and it was great fun!

But eventually it became silly. I was spending a lot of money to ship silly stuff long distances to grown ass adults who could afford to buy my house with their yearly salary. But old habits die hard. And try as I did I just couldn’t help myself.

Case in point, last year I decided to buy varieties of candies they likely hadn’t ever tried. (mostly from, but not exclusively, Asian markets) I would try them and if they were yummy they went into the mix. But, of course, it didn’t seem enough so soon I was all about funky containers to fill with said candy assortments. Sigh, in the end I paid a fortune to send not expensive candies and containers to each end of the country!

And thus began the ‘every other year we go travelling over Christmas’ plan. This has helped me to break with this habit/need. I know, that they know, I’m out of the country having adventure, so they won’t think I’ve forsaken them! Of course I send them postcards!

It seems to be working. On the years I’m home I still get to send them tiny trinkets or something silly if I feel too, but don’t quite feel like I must. And have learned (the hard way) it must be something light enough to send through the mail easily.

It was always all about the giving for me, in a somewhat selfish fashion, to be honest. I’ve never quite understood people who expect reciprocity in gifting. I’m happy to just give. Even to someone I barely know. I’m just okay with it.

Some people don’t give gifts because they don’t want any gifts in return. They’re trying to end a wasteful cycle. If people say they don’t want to exchange gifts, please respect that.
My wife and I have too much stuff, we don’t need any more stuff. Every year we agree with her parents not to exchange gifts and every year her mom ignores the agreement and gives us stuff we don’t need, don’t want and won’t use. So then what happens is I end up feeling like I have to give gifts.

This year I’m going trout fishing on Christmas and then I’ll have Chinese at my favorite place. It is going to be awesome.

My wife’s nephew (25 yrs old,has no job, no car, lives with mommy and a pregnant g/f) actually had the nerve to complain about a $10 gift card to AMC theaters, saying he can only buy one ticket. It was given to him by my stepdaughter that works at Wendy’s, has a kid and doesn’t make much money having to give out presents to so many people…so he’s definitely without a doubt off my xmas list permanently without guilt.:mad:
How can a jobless man complain about $10??:confused:

That’s what would happen if I stopped buying gifts but my biggest fear is that they would actually get me a nice gift which would probably really make me feel guilty.