Post # 1
My family members have a way with asking for money “towards a gift” for people in our family. It’s become like an annual thing. I woke up to SIX texts this morning asking if I will “go-in” on a gift for a grandparent. And not a cheap gift either.
Between my husband and I, we have 5 sets of grandparents. We normally do something minimal as a Christmas gift to them, because there are 5 sets of people to buy for (even at $30 a set, that adds up!). We decided this year, as a couple, that we wanted to give gifts that we felt were meaningful to people and not just feel pressured to “go-in” on things just because a person was looking for a monetary contribution.
I’m battling an internal battle with this, because on one hand I feel like I should be able to purchase a gift that I feel the receiver will appreciate and like. I feel like I should be given a chance to find a gift before being approached for money towards something. I feel like I shouldn’t have to feel compelled to spend x-amount, especially when it’s always more than I had intended to spend on that person. On the other hand, I feel bad not contributing – like guilty for not being included in this really nice gift to someone.
Last year I said we couldn’t afford to pitch in on a large flat screen TV, and it was a huge ordeal. The people contributing all “discussed” us behind our back and then decided that they would still add our names even though we didn’t contribute. WHAT? We didn’t want to be included, we aren’t asking for pity or your sympathy. We had already bought the gift receiver a Keurig, our gift was done. I felt HORRIBLE after this and it has weighed on my mind for a year. “Do they think we’re poor?” “Why did they talk about us?” “Was our Keurig not enough, did they think we needed to spend more?” all those questions have crossed my mind.
It’s a really odd situation, I don’t know how to handle it and I’m looking at it from all different angles. Christmas isn’t supposed to be about this crap. I just hate it and it’s stressful.
Post # 3
@MrsD41503: We just make our own gifts for people (cookies, custom ornaments, jewelry, etc). If others want to chip in on a gift, that’s fine, but I’d rather not complicate the holidays further by mixing family/friends and finances.
Post # 4
@housebee: are you ever asked to go in on something? If so, how do you say no?
Examples of things we’ve gone in on: 2 iPads, a $700 grill, a laptop, a $500 Best Buy card, a Dyson vacuum….all have been split 4 ways, so yeah, it really really adds up!!
The holidays are NOT about competing with who can spend more money. It burns me out…and it’s only the first week of November.
Post # 5
- Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas
Wow how uncomfortable. I would just tell them you have a seperate gift planned, and say something like “please do not feel pressured to add our names to the card, as it makes us uncomfortable.” I dunno, be firm but be as diplomatic as possible.
Post # 6
@MrsD41503: I just explain that we’ve already gotten (insert name) a gift, so we won’t be able to contribute. We have to do this with my BIL all the time.
Post # 7
Holy moly! I’d just politely decline and say you’re being extra budget concious this year!
Or throw out a number that you can contribute and put the ball in their court!
Post # 8
@MrsD41503: oh sweetie, I am sorry that you have to negotiate this with your family.
But it sounds as though you are on the right path. Stick to you ideals. Set your gifitng policy now and after a while, they won’t bother you with this stuff.
You don’t want to hear my rant about the stupid, useless, and boring gifting frenzy that is Xmas. ugh. I got out of it decades ago.
Post # 9
“we have already purchased our holiday gifts for this year, so we won’t be contributing”
simple as that. if they get pissed off, that’s their problem.
Post # 10
Just say you’ve already bought them something. Even if it’s not quite true, the intention is there and that’s good enough.
If they’re really pushy, I could see them possibly pressuring you to contribute still if they think you don’t already have the gift in hand. Sort of “well, if you haven’t already spent the money, we could use it toward the group gift…”