Post # 1
I’m referring to Christmas gifts, and the in-laws.
So, my family is really big into Christmas and getting the “perfect” gift un-prompted. DH’s family on the other hand, as long as I’ve known them have given eachother lists, and you go and buy one of the prescribed items. But for the last two years, both his parents and his sister/BIL have just requested that we give them cash. And given us cash.
I kinda want to suggest if this is going to be the way it goes that there’s really no reason to just give eachother cheques. It just seems kinda… pointless. It’s just like… swapping $100 bills.
Darling Husband kind of agrees with me, but thinks that if we exchange gifts with my family, we should also exchange with his, and I don’t want to give it up with my family, since I love to shop for them, and see what they come up with for me. Regardless of if we say anything, I’ll have Darling Husband handle it, because I’m not going to be the Grinch who interferes with Christmas 😛
So, I’m curious what the bees would do in this situation.
ETA: Darling Husband and I are emergency services workers, so because we don’t have kids we ALWAYS work on actual Christmas so others can spend time with their families. Our families live 2 and 7 hours away. My family usually comes to us and we do Christmas on whatever day works for us, but often we don’t see his family at all, so its just dropping a cheque in the mail, or giving it to them whenever we see them near the holidays. We happen to be off this Christmas for the first time in 10 years and are going to see his family on actual Christmas for the first time, so maybe arranging a special outing, or charitable thing might work for this year!
Post # 3
I completely understand where you are coming from.
Swapping cash takes the joy out of trying to find the perfect christmas gift for someone!
Maybe suggest doing secret santa? That way each person only needs to focus on finding the one perfect present!
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo
Okay I voted wrong 😡 I meant to vote just start giving them whatever you want. I think it’s silly to have a wish list that is basically just “money”. You’re right it’s pointless, and you all might as well not exchange anything because you’ll get (keep) your money faster! Give them the gifts that you want and that you think are appropriate, and if they complain, just say “well I saw this in the store and it reminded me of you” or something good-natured.
Post # 5
I said to suggest stopping all together. But really I have kind of another idea. I’ve heard of some families who adopt a family for christmas rather than exchange gifts. There are lots of organizations that you can adopt a family with 2-3 kids and then you get a list of needs and wants. Maybe you could suggest since none of you really need anything (and you don’t seem to take any pleasure in shopping/exchanging) that you do that. You could make it a big family thing like shopping together maybe, having a wrapping party, etc. OR you could kind of assign kids to various family members then exchange and open wrapping paper, but then wrap back up. My dad’s work does something like that. Everyone gets a name of someone else and they have to get a toy that fits that person’s personality. You get the fun of seeing what they picked out and unwrapping, but then it all goes to charity toy drives.
Post # 6
Yes! We did it about when kids started coming along. We suggested to stop swapping gifts among adults. Nearly everyone agreed immediately, as if they were glad someone at last suggested it. A few family members still exchange gifts to each other but not to us, and everyone seems happy with that arrangement.
By The Way I disagree with your Darling Husband, there’s nothing wrong with stopping for one person’s family only. After all, don’t you see the families at different times anyway?
Post # 7
Atheist couple in a Jewish/Baptist/Catholic family. We prefer dropping cash because they can get what they want. Sorry about it but a gift is a gift. And if you think about it y’alls toaster is their coffee pot cost wise. If you are uncomfortable because you don’t feel you can afford the appropriate amount- get a physical gift- otherwise give what they’d obviously prefer. I’m sure they will be happy regardless. It may seem silly but it may just be their custom.
My mom married into a family that only gives cash and to this day she rolls her eyes everytime she sends them a gift because it cancels out what they senf her.
Post # 8
I second the idea of getting them what you want to give. That, or suggest to stop swapping all together. It seems like a waste and takes the fun out of giving. I love looking at the pictures from Christmas morning and remembering all my cool presents!
Post # 9
My family has tried this repeatedly. Every year, we say no more gift exchanges between adults next year and every year, we all agree to it. The next Christmas rolls around. And our parents feel like they have to get something for all of us. And of course, we all have to get something for grandma. And we get something for our favourite sibling. And then there are the present counters who insist everyone gets the same number of gifts and goes out and buys gifts for the people they think will otherwise fall short of the quota. When all is said and done, we’re each sitting on a pile of at least half a dozen gifts.
Post # 10
I only wish it were so simple as to exchange gifts, or checks! I find no joy in finding the perfect gift. I find it super stressful and absolutely hate it. I just dread Christmas due to all this pressure, If all I had to do was write a check, that would be so awesome!
Post # 11
@CorgiTales: I kinda like the idea of adopting a family! Our work team usually adopts a few families, and because we usually work Christmas eve/day we often get to be part of the group that does the drop off, and it’s very special. i sometimes wonder if they like this situation specifically because it works out “net zero” though.
@paula1248: I kind of disagree with him as well. I think if gift exchange isn’t a big deal with them like it is with mine it’s fine to discontinue it and focus efforts on something different that suits them.
@piacavoleKt: I’m curious if the people you drop cash on also give you cash? This sounds terrible, but I really like cash as a one sided gift – almost always give it for weddings/birthdays where there’s no immediate exchange, since it just feels more “extra” money to spend frivolously, but when it’s literally trading an exactly equivalent denomination like we do with his parents… it just seems so strange. There’s no issue affording it, because it’s totally like it never got spent. We usually give sister/BIL significantly more than they give us though, because Darling Husband insists on giving his sister/BIL exactly the denomination I spend on my sister/BIL.
Thanks so much for all your input!
Post # 12
@SapphireSun: Yes. My side of the familia is super super traditional super southern and giving cash is seen as being thoughtless so they get physical gifts. I give cash to Fi/friends b.c they prefer it and they return the same amount or more.
I also happen to agree with you it is ridic to hand somebody a bill when they are handing one back. Sometimes I hate manners :/
Post # 13
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
I don’t know what the best solution is, but I do agree with you that it’s kinda silly. I wouldn’t get them gifts if they ask for cash, but it seems pointless to do the check swap
Post # 14
This is a very curious situation to me…but I have a similar dilemma.
My goofy mom always gives me checks…and I send her a present…well I send her a present then she sends me a check like a week later. So it’s like here’s your birthday present (50$ bottle of perfume) then a week later she sends me a 50$ check for my birthday. I don’t really get it…it’s weird.
But in your situation they asked for money. Do you know why they want money? Do they not want gifts they won’t use and prefer to buy their own gifts? Are they saving for something. Are they trying to spare you from having to go searching for a gift?
I’m just wondering if they explicity said they want money and then you donate on their behalf if they’d care for that very much. And I think it’s a great idea, we have gifted donations many times…but again noone stipulated that they wanted money.
Post # 15
Ok. . so I’m one of Five kids, and I have nieces and nephews that are my age. We only give gifts to the kids, that means pretty much anyone under 18. My brothers and I and most of my nieces and nephews don’t exchange giffts, we do cards. My dad buys for kids under 18. I have been getting the screw on this deal for years…(that’s a whole other thread)
It started tho, because we all just needed money and instead of us all handing out $1k, total, to the adults we just called … a truce … love you so much but really we are all just moving money around from one account to the other.
Dh’s family put names in a hat and you pick it out and buy what’s on the list of three things. It’s a big friggin waste of time. We all just give GC or cash. Oh and then we buy for the kids. Again getting the screw here… we are the only ones on BOTH sides that don’t have kids, but we are expected to get alllllllll the kids gifts and we get nothing back. …. sigh .. I know I sound greedy but i’m spending over $1k on neices and nephews and I get a card from their parents………… yeah thanks for this thread … i guess it’s not too early to bring this stuff up
Post # 16
My family decided several years ago that we aren’t going to buy gifts for each other anymore. We are all adults and we do not NEED anything. Instead of shopping for each other, we get together and adopt a family and shop for them together, then we go back to my mom’s and wrap the gifts and have dinner. I LOVE this tradition WAY more than I’d ever like a scarf or slippers or any gift they would buy me.
I do have one niece who is nearly 3 and of course we will get her gifts, because we’re not assholes.
My husbands parents still give us gifts…usually money, but we do not give gifts to any of the adults. I always make food to bring to his parents as my gift. He has a nephew (now my nephew) who is 15, and we do give him a gift. I think Christmas presents are for kids.