Post # 1
Between my many siblings and in-laws, there are way too many people to get Christmas gifts for. Last year, my siblings decided to do a gift exchange, so FH and I were responsible for 2 $50 gifts. I am not particularly close to most of them, and there are a few who I tolerate, and FH and I really want to have a low-stress Christmas focusing on the true meaning of the holiday.
I would really like to avoid a gift exchange. We have everything we need and the things that we want are way too expensive to get. We are also trying to eliminate clutter in our house. None of my siblings really need anything and most of them have more stuff then their residence will fit. My brother and his wife recently had a baby, and while they have not said anything, I know money is tight. I hate the idea of spending time shopping and spending money on crap they don’t need, and I don’t want more clutter. I tried to point this out last year, to no avail. I am hoping that with my brother’s new baby, they will be more agreeable. Anyone have any good ideas on how to avoid this? I would love to just have us all donate money to a good cause instead, but my brothers completely refused that one.
Edit: due to complicated family circumstances, bowing out is not an option. Our options are: participate, convince everyone else not to participate (I am hoping this will be easier this year), or a third option (like all of us going out to dinner instead, or other ideas). So what I would most appreciate would be ways to convince them not to do this or alternative options, keeping in mind that my brothers are extremely selfish and will nix any charity-related idea. Thanks!
Post # 3
Don’t participate in the exchange…you don’t give or receive.
Post # 4
How about just gracefully bowing out of the gift exchange and getting something for the baby? Seems reasonable to me!
Post # 6
Locally we have a “Jingle Bell Run” and its a 1 mile walk or a 5k run that is right around the holidays. Our group of friends usually decides to do this as a group rather than buy gifts for each other. I would much rather spend $15 to spend time with friends (walking) and knowing the money goes to charity. I’m sure there are plenty of events like this around your area.
Or, what about the Operation Christmas Box. Maybe make it a competition to see who can be most creative filling a shoe box with christmas gifts for a child over seas?
Post # 7
Our family gives gifts only to the kids and not siblings.
Post # 8
Don’t allow anyone to pressure or force you into something you are not comfortable doing. Don’t participate in the exchange. However a gift for the baby might be appreciated if you are up for that.
Post # 9
If you all don’t like clutter, why not give a nice gift basket of foodstuffs? They’ll eat it, and then it will be gone. Or they can easily regift. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Or yeah – just drop out if you think that’s best. But I highly endorse food gifts.
Post # 10
My Fi and I didn’t have much money a few years ago nor do we this year so we are doing the same thing we did then…buy some cheaper frames and get couple photos put in them. This year is our son’s first Christmas so he will be in the pictures and people will love them. Who doesn’t want pictures of their family decorating the house?
Post # 11
Are your parents still around? Maybe suggest instead of giving each other gifts you all get together to put a little extra into a large gift for your parents? Like a weekend away in a bed and breakfast, refinish the floors or new carpeting in a house, etc.
Or suggest that since there is a new member of the family (child) you start a new tradition that everyone donate a bit of money (like $20) to a college fund for that child. As new children enter you can adjust that dollar amount if needed.
Post # 12
If I read correctly, NOT participating isn’t an option? It’s either no one participates at all, or you have to participate?
Hmmm….What if you advocated changing the terms of the exchange and tailored it in a way so that it wasn’t about objects? For example, everyone exchanges their favorite homemade frozen meal for the other family to save and defrost for a lazy Monday night; exchanging services–so only things you can use (these can be either things that you provide yourselves, or gift certificates for services)–massages, manicures, car washes, pet grooming, gardening, movie theatre gc; my friends have done one where everything you gave had to be hand-made (although that still could get you crap)…
Are there children in your family? My family has always done a “secret santa” exchange, but only for the children, not the adults.
I like the family meal together–perhaps everyone could just contribute $50–restaurants usually will make up a special pre-set menu for large parties. $50/person is reasonable.