I don’t really like it. I’m an adult, I make decent enough money, if I want something I can get it, or put it off and budget for it. If it’s an expensive splurge that I can’t justify, then no one I know should be buying that for me. For the family I buy gifts for, I live far enough away that I don’t know if they already have a certain something, or if they’re still interested in some topic they used to like.
Plus, I have a lot of stuff. Enough to make my house mildly cluttered due to too much stuff and issues with organizing it. I have a dust allergy so knick-knacks are not my thing. Don’t like jewelry, rarely wear perfume, can and do make my own lotions and soaps and scrubs.
My sister has had a good idea about our exchange but I find out that there are often issues in carrying it to fruition. She tends to ask for general, consumable things like “a fruity liqueur” or “a big canister of cocoa-powdered almonds” or “a container of mixed dried fruit”. Only problem is that the cocoa-powdered almonds in a big canister seem to be an Emerald brand product carried exclusively (around here) by Sam’s Club, which I don’t have a membership to. I got two smaller containers from Trader Joe’s instead. Or last year, trying to find a variety of coffee that she’d never had before (to open up new possibilities for her) that was whole bean, very dark roast, and was fair-trade. Or dried fruit coated in very dark chocolate. :smack: She’s got the right idea but some of her picks are really tough to find once you try!
I shouldn’t complain too much. At least my inlaws reined in the insane overconsumption spending spree that Christmas had become on that side. It was crazy. My husband has several siblings, and there are 4 nieces/nephews involved as well as my father-in-law and mother-in-law. We would draw names for “Secret Santa” but that just ended up meaning that your choice would get an even bigger present than everyone else. :smack: You’d have to bring all your presents in using multiple shopping bags, and then haul out a ton of received presents in those same bags. Meanwhile we all spent way too much money, and times got really tough. Fortunately a couple of years ago, right after the gift exchange, a couple of the siblings started taking their other siblings aside, and everyone agreed that enough was enough. We do Secret Santa with a decent maximum cost limit (and people act like “little elves” and let the giver know of some good ideas for the recipient), and people can give what they want to nieces/nephews and the FIL/MIL. Any other gifts should be handmade and worth $5 or less - cookies, homemade bath scrubs, whatever.
This year I started adding donations in my name to a charity among other things on the requested wish list, especially the Greater Chicago Ferret Association (they run a ferret-only shelter, and foster out sick ferrets with the provision that they will pay for vet bills, so they always need money). Last year among other gifts I knit a bear in my mother’s name for the Mother Bear Project and let her see the teddy bear, and gave her a pamphlet talking about the good they do, before shipping it out. I told her that I wanted an orphan somewhere to experience some of her love. This year I’m trying to compile a big collection of family tree pages into some kind of sensible book for her - she never knew much about her family’s family tree as her father, especially, said he didn’t know/remember much, but I’m kind of at a standstill and need to kickstart myself again.