Christmas and unbalanced reciprocity… help!

posted 3 years ago in Holidays
Post # 3
Member
2103 posts
Buzzing bee

@UK Bride:  Homemade cookies, fudge and other goodies. If they don’t appreciate something made from the heart then fsck ’em. 🙂

Post # 4
Member
227 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Combine couples into one gift? Homemade like @Chrysoberyl:  suggested along with your normal gift? 

 

I could never afford to buy for that many people, and it has to cause so much extra stress each year. I am truly sorry they are judging you for not being able to keep up with their Christmas spending. 

Post # 5
Member
2103 posts
Buzzing bee

@NinjaDuck:  I like the idea of combining couples into one gift. 

 

There. That’s about 19 cookies. Nearly a dozen. Surely one couple can’t eat a dozen cookies in one sitting?

Post # 6
Member
258 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

“Family” gifts, like a board game.

Post # 7
Member
129 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Family gifts, not individual gifts.  Consumables or games.  Maybe gift cards for the movies given with popcorn.   Stop the madness!

Post # 9
Member
490 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Definitely go with home made cookies/fudge/squares.  It’s what my sister did when she was broke (and probably what she’s going to do this year – working, but still kinda broke) and what I might consider.

Post # 10
Member
1822 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013 - Pavilion overlooking golf course scenery, reception at banquet hall

Are the nieces/nephews young children? I heard about an idea on Pinterest that is both cheap and fun/hilarious for kids/everyone: take a gigantic box, and fill it with blown up balloons. Inside each balloon is a “prize” – a yoyo, 5 dollar bill, candy bar, plastic dinosaur, scratch-off lottery ticket, bottle of nail polish, bouncy ball, etc etc etc. My only worry is with 10 kids it might not be feasible; I think it would only be a success if each kid can do like 3-4 poppings, but it’s an idea! Think outside the box 🙂

Post # 11
Member
2992 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

That is disgusting. Christmas celebrations should not be all about the amount of money spent on gifts. I have pretty much opted out of obligatory gifts. I suggest a gift card to a nice restaurant for each couple and a small but cute gift for each child – preferably educational in nature. Who gives a crap if they think you are cheap or not? Instead try focusing on the actual celebration of the holidays. Go to parties, go check out the holiday light displays, bake lots of cookies (and they make great gifts), decorate! If they get on your back, just tell them that you are fed up with the materialistic celebration of the holidays and you are refusing to get caught up in it any longer!

Post # 12
Member
1312 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - NH

@HappyTrails:  This is so easy to do with adding movie candy from Dollar Tree, homemade cookies/candy, gourmet popcorn. I would do it with redbox codes to save on buying tickets!  They have cards that are on sale right now (buy a card for them, get a free movie night for you).  Look at how cute they can be when you add a blanket too, although I’d go more festive and with more goodies.

Post # 13
Member
2222 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Omg I can’t imagine having to buy for that many people AND other adults being so greedy.

Other posters have given great ideas, I’d also talk with your husband and see if he can talk with his parents in each family to help get a secret Santa going for at least the adults. Remind them what christmas is really about! 

Post # 14
Member
1007 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@UK Bride:  I agree with the previous posters that homemade gifts may be a good alternative. Things like brownies, cookies, or even knitted hats or other crafty stuff would work. Combining gifts for the couples (like a giftcard to eat at a nice restaurant), or small giftcards for the older kids would suffice. If the child is really young (infant/toddler), it’s debateable whether or not they truly ‘need’ gifts, as they probably won’t even realize you and DH haven’t given them anything.

That being said, Christmas is not about who spends what on presents, it’s about spending time with loved ones. You are not obligated to buy them all presents, it’s a choice. If they try to make you feel bad for not being able to spend much, ignore them. Breaking the bank just to avoid looking cheap isn’t worth the financial stress on you and your DH. Consider making other plans for Christmas holidays if you’re wanting to avoid the guilt trips.

Post # 15
Member
2494 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

PP have some great ideas, and I don’t have anything better to add. I just wanted to describe what my mom’s family does with this large family problem. She has a lot of siblings who all have spouses and children, who have children. Everyone knows that this is just too many people to buy for so none of the children or their children get gifts from aunts and uncles. All the siblings and spouses names get thrown into a hat and everyone gets someone else to buy for every year, drawn at random. They’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember and it works out very well.

Post # 16
Member
1721 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I think you guys should put your foot (feet?) down.  Start with next year.  “We will be purchasing gifts for the nieces and nephews, but not for the grownups.  Please do not purchase any gifts for us.”  It’s crazy that you need to buy for 28 people.  A sibling gift exchange (secret Santa type) is one thing, but buying for each and every spouse… sorry nope, that’s just insane.

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