Do you send birthday cards or gifts to your adult siblings?

I was brought up to buy a gift and card for my brothers on their birthday, and this didn’t stop when we were adults. As we got older, it became mostly just a card, and now it is usually a phone call. Sometimes I feel bad about that, but gifts just became impractical as we don’t live near each other and it usually ended up beig something they didn’t need anyway. I do love my brothers, but I would rather see them than trade meaningless chachkies on our birthdays. I feel bad if I can’t even be bothered to pick up a card though, but I think that is my mother echoing in my head.

How to you observe your sibling’s birthday?


If I remember, I’ll send an ecard or pick up the phone. But then birthdays were never a big deal in my family. With 5 kids, three of them having birthdays within a 2-week period, my folks flat-out couldn’t afford it.

And really, you deserve a present just for living another year? Who came up with that rule? As long as my mom calls and my husband remembers with a hug, I’m good. I enjoy funny ecards, but don’t shell out $3 for a hunk of paper that I’m ready to throw away as soon as I read it.

I realize I’m not representative of the norm, tho.

My mother. She came up with a lot of rules.

"Send״? No. I * give* them their gifts in person when the family gets together to celebrate.

I would like nothing better than to celebrate with my brothers on their birthdays. Unfortunately, I live 2000 miles away, and I am lucky to see them once a year. I did fly out to the coast for my mother’s 90th birthday last year though.

I understand that - but it should have been an option in the poll, ot at least you should have written “send or give”.

My bad.

I send a card and let his thank-you call go to voicemail.

We generally get everyone together for a meal, usually at home. Now that we’re all in our forties, this often gets lumped together with the nearest other birthday that’s within a few weeks, this nephew and that sibling, or this parent and the other sibling. We still do cake and ice cream, cards and gifts as we look at birthdays as a way to say ‘Hey, this is the anniversary of you and we like you and we’re glad you’re here on this planet and part of our lives!’

I usually drop an email, or do a quick gmail chat. I’ll send a gift if I see something that I think he would really like (but no matter if its a bit early or late for the actual birthday). My brother just sent me an early birthday present – my birthday is in June. it probably cost him at most $5-$10 but I loved it (its an “Underdog” collector’s glass – our favorite cartoon as kids). However I don’t “expect” a gift nor do I feel “obligated” to send one every year.

I have eight siblings and one sister-in-law, and two individuals that are practically in-laws. We are scattered over the country and occasionally out of the country. Those of us in town with each other celebrate on the day, but mostly we communicate through phone calls. I can’t imagine buying eleven gifts each year just for my siblings’ birthdays. I also don’t want to be crowded with stuff on my birthday.

Where is email on the poll? :slight_smile:

We all send an email, or post on the sibling’s FB wall, or send an e-card. Geographically we are scattered to the four winds, so it would be impossible to see each other in person on birthdays. There are five of us, so it would get quite pricey.

I don’t have a phone number, let alone an address, for half of my siblings. For the other half of them, I post a happy birthday on Facebook, and they do the same for me. If they remember. We’re pretty laid-back (or lazy, perhaps) about such things.

Sometimes I send a card, but it’s rare; my brother is a very unsentimental sort, and generally when we do get together, I will say “This round is on me for your birthday!” He will wryly point out his birthday was 6 months ago and I laugh and say better late than never. He doesn’t observe my birthday unless, as I’ve done for the past 5 years, I rent a pontoon boat at our local lake (Canyon lake for anybody who’s familiar) and take my friends and family out for an afternoon of sun and vino to celebrate with me. He really enjoys that so lately I’ve seen him on my birthday; he lives about 3 hours away.

Voted other: Text Message

Nothing. I dislike ceremonial gift giving but I’ll do it for major life events like if I’m invited to a wedding. But the annual recurring gift? Nope. I will, however, give a gift for no special occasion other than I saw it in a store and new it would be perfect for somebody.

I don’t even observe my own birthday and sometimes have to stop and do the math to work out how old I am.

My brother works for me, and I give him the day off on his birthday (or the Friday before if it’s on a weekend). Of course, everyone gets the same deal (there’s only 3 of us).

The special thing I do is post a picture to his FB wall, of some off-the-wall famous person (like, say, Tony Orlando) wishing him a happy birthday. He does the same for me.

Our birthdays are 10 days apart and his wife’s is shortly after his, and also his is usually on Mother’s Day so we just sort of all get together sometime in the beginning of May and have dinner. Whee!

But we don’t even exchange gifts for Christmas, so it’s all good.

I used to send a gift to my younger brother but he became a total idiot as he aged and we no longer communicate at all. I generally send an email to my older brother, who is not an idiot but with whom I share nearly nothing in common.

I voted the first option, but it’s misleading, because I have seven siblings and do not treat them all the same.

My baby sister is my favorite human being after my wife. I send her a present and card every birthday and call her the day before of of. I don’t love my little sister as much, but I do love her, so she gets pretty much the same treatment, except that I’m not as dedicated to making sure we actually talk on the phone; likewise my nearest brother in age. My other sisters get just cards. I hold my oldest brother in rational but disproportionate contempt, so in theory I ignore him utterly. In practice he happens to have the same birthday as the little sister, so if I get her on the phone, she always twigs me to call him too.

Incidentally, I genuinely prefer not to celebrate my birthday, which my siblings know, so my beloved brother & baby sister deliberately don’t call. My little sister ignores this injunction.

I just have one sibling, a younger sister. I send her a card every year on her birthday. I used to get her a gift too, but several years ago we made a pact that we would not get each other gifts for birthdays or holidays anymore.