Why do we give Xmas presents anymore?

Because we have a large extended family, Xmas becomes a drain, both financially and emotionally. It just seems when we’re done, ooops, we forgot about this person(s).

Then my friend told me that his family did not exchange presents. They’re all grown up (post-25) and don’t feel the need to buy someone a $20 present and get a $20 present in return. I should note, in his family, spouses and children get presents. But brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and (non-kid) cousins do not bother with exchanging gifts.

At first, I thought this was sad, as gift-giving was “the spirit of Xmas” and all that. But why do I need a $20 DVD from Uncle Bruce, when I could buy it myself with that $20 I spent on Uncle Bruce? And vice versa?

Naturally, my wife and especially daughter will get great presents, as will the younger nieces, nephews, and cousins.

While there are exception like home-made gifts, or that obscure specialized gift your brother found. But generally, it works like this: I get my brother Brian something from the mall, he gets me something from the mall.

Wouldn’t it be nice to skip all that? If we really wanted something, most likely we would’ve already bought it for ourselves from Dec 26 to Dec 24.

Every year, my family says that we’re not going to exchange gifts. They were so emphatic about it one year that I took them at their word and didn’t buy gifts for anyone. I ended up embarassed, the only person in the room who didn’t have gifts to distribute.

My siblings and I stopped exchanging gifts a few years ago. We would love to stop with the other adults, but we haven’t found a way to do so yet. My husband and I haven’t exchanged Christmas gifts for over ten years now (we’ve been married for close to thirteen.)

[grammatical freakout] I have learned this on the SDMB: “anymore” means “these days” in such contexts. Seems it’s not just the southern states, as has been said here - it’s everywhere! [/gf]

We only do it with my mom’s side of the family, and we use a Secret Santa system so it’s not as economically taxing. It’s just fun, especially when you’re doing it with people you genuinely enjoy spending time with. I love sitting around with my family after Christmas dinner and tearing open presents with carols playing in the background. Right out of a Norman Rockwell painting. :slight_smile:

We’d like to stop, except for the youngest grandchildren, but we don’t know how to bring it up.

Some of the family members we buy for don’t reciprocate, so maybe that’s their way of telling us it’s okay to stop, but I’m not sure. :slight_smile:

What really bugs me are two of hubby’s grandchildren, boys, one 18 and one 21. The only time we see them is Christmas Day, when they come over to get their cards with the $50 checks.

Hmm, so maybe it’s not such an odd idea.

I’ll tell my brothers (all over 25) not to bother with presents for each other, but only for our kids (their/our) nieces and nephews.

I exchange gifts with my parents and sibs, and we each get something for my grandmother (usually clothing or food gifts – she’s on a fixed income and can use the help). I actually enjoy exchanging gifts, but it’s something I only do with close friends and relatives.

Mom used to send her siblings packages of homemade cookies and pumpkin bread, but her older sister was the only one who ever thanked her for the gift – the others never even bothered to tell Mom that they received their packages. So her younger sibs aren’t getting them this year.

The Ms. and I don’t exchange gifts on any holiday. We buy what we want or what we think the other might want when we see it, which gets rid of ALL holiday anxiety and frustration. We send a little smoked salmon to the kids at Christmas, but that’s it.

My family gave it up some years ago. The idea is to give to charity instead, but if one is severely lacking in money, one need not. Cards, good wishes, etc, but no present. Fine by me - while I do think it is lovely fun buying presents when you happen to find just the perfect thing for person X, the horrible compulsion element of Christmas is pretty ghastly. I’d rather know that some poor sod might get some much-needed food, or something than that a family members gets another book or a bit of jewellery.

I buy gifts for the people who live in my house, and the ones I gave birth to, and sometimes their significant others. Then I sometimes, depending on the budget, buy gifts for the nieces who live in town, since we eat at their house that day. I rarely buy for their dad (my brother) and his wife, unless I happen upon something special, and they don’t buy for me, or my kids since my kids are now adults. My sister and her family, who live out of state…sometimes. Sometimes we just agree to put each other’s names on gifts we personally buy for our kids…saves on the shipping! We pick gifts of similar dollar value, and it all works out well. A lot of times I will buy a gift for my sister, if I find something she really would like or need, and I don’t buy for anyone else. So my list is really very small…five or six people total.

Everyone in my family (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents), except now one new baby and one teenager, is over 25. And very poor. So we don’t exchange gifts.

I do exchange gifts with my parents, brother and his fiancee. Ok…and our dogs, too :slight_smile:

I was pissed that no one had any money and I didn’t want them spending money on me. I also did not like the idea of a $10 or $20 “silly gift” exchange. I am not a fan of clutter and having “crap for the sake of crap.” So I vehemently discouraged any type of crappy gift exchange.

I love seeing my family on the holidays. I also love sending cards to let people know I’m thinking of them - whether or not they reciprocate. That’s all I need. I haven’t exchanged gifts with my friends in years. We all get together to make gingerbread houses and that’s more fun and exciting than any gift they could give me.

So far I have not missed gifting one bit. I get everything I need for Christmas and show as much love as I want w/o spending tons of dough.

We also extend the ‘no gifting’ rule to birthdays and anniversaries. It makes life just so much more relaxed.

My family, when there got to be too many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts & uncles, decided this wasn’t going to work anymore.
Now the kids each draw the name of another kid out of a hat and only buy a present for them. So each family only has to buy for as many kids as they have. The adults do the gift swap and steal. Everyone brings one gift and draws a number, choosing or stealing in that order. Yeah, the family with 4 kids has to buy 6 presents for the whole deal, but that’s still better than buying for everyone.

And what gifts do your dogs give you? :eek: :smiley: