Post # 1
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
I am so over gift giving. Hear me out. I have become quite picky and substantially less materialistic at my old age of 30. I think it is so silly for me to give presents to my stepfamily, aunts/uncles who are 60, and in-laws who are also super picky (all of whom probably never like anything I give them). In return, I DO NOT want to receive presents from them. I rarely like anything they give me and I do not need anything.
Christmas seems so silly the way we do it. I know gift-giving is “fun” and “tradition” but it seems so pointless. A ton (we’re talking over $800 oast year) spent on stupid shit most people won’t like.
My only Christmas wish is for us to donate to local needy families and the many animal shelters who are in desperate need of aid. Is that so much to ask?
I am just done with gifts. Done.
Post # 3
@lealorali: I could see where you are coming from, though we will probably keep giving gifts anyway. I can especially relate when you end up exchanging gift cards with relatives, and you’re either stuck with an awkward exchange of different amounts (haha) or, you essentially just swapped money with them.
I feel kind of awkward when older relatives continue to give gifts to me (just continued from when my cousins and I were kids). It’s sort of like… where does it end? I can’t afford to buy a nice gift for all of my extended family, but since I’m an adult now, I feel like I HAVE to get a gift since they are giving me one!
Post # 4
@lealorali: If I want something, I am capable of buying it myself. Essentially gifts cancel each other out so it is like I am buying stuff for myself – except it is stuff I didn’t choose and probably don’t want.
Having said that, I do exchange gifts with my immediate family (4 siblings, their kids, and my parents). We do a local gift exchange and celebrate as one big family. Then we go to Russia and celebrate with extended family who tend to give us money. The ticket is expensive so we usually don’t bring major gifts along.
I am definitely over stupid secret santas and buying gifts for colleagues I barely know. I see things like that as a waste of money and I do everything I can not to participate.
Post # 5
@lealorali: I like your xmas wish of giving to animal shelters and the needy.
SO and I are not really into gift giving…but we do ‘practical’ things for each other and our families, such as buy things that they already need or will buy for themselves…for each other it’s usually paying for each other to see family (he will buy my ticket, I’ll pay for the pet sitter, gas, parking, etc).
We do not do gifts for aunts, uncles, grand parents..and they don’t do gifts for us. It’s easier that way.
Post # 6
we’re not doing gift exchanges this year. our tickets to my parents were around $1K. we’ve had several friends go through very traumatic events where money is what they need (job loss, expensive medical procedures, natural disasters) and we’ve been asked if we can help…so that’s where our money is going. we don’t have a lot to give but both of us feel it is well spent.
i’ve discussed this with my parents and they are totally cool about it. my mom is still going to do stockings…but stockings in my family are tradionally little things you need like toothbrushes. my brother…he likes gifts and buying shit. every year he gets my parents some ridiculous coffee maker that they don’t need or will never use…he gets it because it’s trendy. sigh.
Post # 7
I TOTALLY agree with you. Every year, especially as I get older, gift exchanging seems more awkward, wasteful and insincere. I wish it could just be something we do throughout the year when we see something that reminds us of someone. I feel like the whole thing can kind of take away from the holiday spirit, ironically enough.
Post # 8
Im only 22 and have not gift given at christmas to snyone over 15 years old since I was about that age.
Kids yesits Christmas but yeaj I dont get it. All my inlaws do snd I hate itI
Post # 9
My mother’s side of the family pretty much began down-sizing Christmas around 2004. Since then it’s just got subsequently worse, and worse. Somehow they’ve come to decide that less money means less caring– last Christmas there was a $10 limit on gifts and I got: a thoughtless scarf&hat thrown in a box, a picture frame (no picture) with the price tag still on it, and dirty red garter belt from the thrift store from my grandmother— I want to emphasize my family is not dirt poor, they did this b/c they all just gave up and don’t care anymore and it’s stupid. THEORETICALLY DOWN-SIZING THE HOLIDAYS SHOULD RESULT IN MORE HEART-FELT MEMORIES, right?!I envy families that do it right, mine is apparently dysfunctional and super materialistic.
Post # 10
@lealorali: Yeah I think it’s crazy too! It’s kind of for kids and when you’re younger because now mostly you can buy the things you want and maybe a special something for close friends or family. Fiancé and I were just talking about Christmas and we actually are doing a mini tree this year because we can’t justify doing the whole big Christmas thing while trying to save for a wedding. I said we should do one gift each and call it a day. I’m not big on Christmas or birthday gifts. With friends these last few years we picked a charity and just had a little get together.
Post # 11
I really like the gift giving part of Christmas – I get really happy finding just the perfect thing for people in my family. But maybe that’s part of it; we only give gifts to our daughter, our parents, and my husband’s sister and grandmother. There’s no stress or feeling like we’re buying crap for people who don’t want it, as we pick specific things for them. And we *definitely* don’t spend that kind of money!
For our larger family gatherings, it’s just the kids who get presents, which I think is the best part of Christmas. If we had to buy for people we don’t know well or had to do any of those Secret Santas, etc, I think I wouldn’t like planning for Christmas half as much. It’s tedious to go and buy some silly gift basket full of stuff that isn’t chosen for the person you’re shopping for.
Post # 12
I’m so over it. We stopped gift giving in my family years ago. With DHs family, we do a name pick and just buy for one person. And everyone sends out their wish list so no one gets random crap. His family is huge into unwrapping presents Xmas morning. Gift giving became pointless once I started making money and just buying what I want though, so I never have anything I really want.
Post # 13
I totally agree!!! My family just gets presents for the kids and then we all play Dirty Santa with a nice $25 to $30 gift. That’s it. We spend time together and enjoy being a family. My parents and I don’t exchange gifts or anything. It’s wonderful! I love that the focus is on family and being together than on materialistic stuff.
DH’s family on the other hand all exchange presents. I guess it’s not that many people compared to a lot of families, but it’s more than I’m used to. He gets his parents, both sisters, one BIL, and his grandmother something. Plus all the kids. We aim for a $50 gift for each person. It usually ends up being almost $600 just for his side of the family. We are more well off than most of his family, so we always end up getting his family MUCH nicer gifts than they get us. I’ve told DH we should spend less on them, since they can’t afford to buy gifts as nice as we get. He LOVES giving people things though and he feels like since we have more money we should give more. It drives me nuts. I feel like I put in so much effort to get them all something they would like. I’ve already asked his whole family about some things they would like. Not a single one asked what we may want in return. I feel like they are all so selfish. It only matters what they want. They all ask us for these expensive things, then knowing what they’re getting, they get us stuff that costs WAY less. It’s fine if they can’t afford as much, but don’t ask for some expensive present if you can’t give that same amount. It’s so rude. It’s such a waste of money. After I’ve been around for a few years, I may try to push for playing Dirty Santa too and just getting stuff for the kids. But I’m sure they love it the way it is.
Post # 14
We’ve been downsizing Christmas too, every year since my grandma died during the holidays in 2008. Last Christmas I woke up, went into the kitchen, my mom said “Merry Christmas,” pulled her checkbook out of her purse, wrote out a check in front of me and handed it to me. Seriously. I would have prefered to get nothing.
I buy the people closest to me nice, wrapped presents (within what I can afford) every year, put thought into what they want (wishlist stalking, going to the mall with them etc.) and this year after the non-Christmas we had last year, I will be decorating (and undecorating after the holidays), getting the tree, paying for and cooking the family dinner, everything. There will be no more of this downsizing crap in my house, not on my watch. They want to be Scrooges and write checks, that’s fine, but I will be providing them a nice Christmas with all the trimmings whether they like it or not. What I’m hoping is that if someone else does all the work for them, they’ll lighten up a little and enjoy the holiday instead of moping the entire time.
So if your family wants to downsize Christmas, just take on the job for them. No one will say no to free turkey.
Post # 15
The key is not getting “stupid shit that people won’t like.” It’s finding a gift they will love.
I love giving Christmas gifts – finding something thoughtful and perfect for every person is so fun. I love hunting for gifts, wrapping everything beautifully, adding bows and ribbons, getting the right card, etc.
A gift doesn’t have to be an item, either. For example, we know that my parents don’t get a lot of time to themselves, so we’re putting together a weekend getaway in January for them, and having my sisters (5 and 16) at our house for that weekend.
Post # 16
downsizing for financial reasons… We have a wedding and house to pay for next year, and they all have to fly here for the wedding and hotel rooms, etc etc… I just think no one should be buying gifts out of obligation when we have fun stuff ahead to save for!