Post # 1
So FI’s mom’s birthday is this weekend. I wanted to get her a nice pair of svaroski earrings, or a charm for her pandora.
But FI’s sister just called and wants to “go in” on a present – again – this year. Ok, normally I am cool with this. Except for their dad’s bday we did the same thing, Fiance and I put the $250 gift on our card with the condition that the other two siblings pay us back. Never happened. Whatever, I’m happy to give him a nice gift, and I LOVE his entire family, so it was no biggie. I didn’t even bring it up.
I explained this to Fiance and suggested that since we’re older (mid 20’s), have good jobs, and are getting married, (FI’s brother is also getting married in a few months, and is older than us. His sister is a senior in college) that we should be buying her seperate gifts as couples. I don’t want to have to brainstorm a group gift every year, especially since they have a record of not paying us back.
Fiance doesn’t agree and thinks getting her an edible arrangement – split amongst the three siblings and their SO’s – is enough. I vehemently disagree. She does so much for all of us, and I want her to feel special. Plus, we are adults! I feel like this group-gifting is reserved for children who cannot afford to buy their parents a gift. Every single one of us could afford an individual gift for her.
So, what would you ladies do? How do I stop the group gift cycle?
Post # 3
Sorry, I don’t think it’s your decision to make. If all the siblings want to go in on a group gift for their mom, that’s their choice. If you want to get her something nice from you go for it but you shouldn’t stop them from doing what they want.
Post # 4
@Birdee106: Fair enough – and it is for them to decide. But I lived in his mother’s basement senior year of college, and she’s much closer to me than I am with my own mother. I feel as though I’m her child too, and I know she feels the same. I just want her to have a nice birthday with more than an arrangement made of fruit.
Post # 5
i think once you get married – ‘going in’ on gifts stops – IF the gift is something the people ‘going in’ could afford on their own.
going in on a vacation/new golf clubs/spa weekend/car stero makes sense.
going in on a basket of fruit – even if it’s cut into flower shapes is silly to me.
i might also add that they might continue to try splitting gifts with you with the idea that you will pay for it, and they won’t pay you back. just because you’ve forgotten doesn’t mean they have! i’d be careful, or you might end up splitting gifts all the time.
maybe he could split that small gift with his siblings, and you could get her something additional from the two of you.
Post # 6
@Birdee106: I disagree. If she isn’t comfortable with it than her and her fiance can decide together what to do. If they decide to do a gift on their own then his other siblings can go in together.
Post # 7
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@BeeandBeeBride27: It’s difficult to come up with a good individual gift every year so some years a group gift will be awesome. However, I understand your concern regarding you having to pick up the bill for everyone or the gift not being as personal as you would like. I would set up parameters regarding how much everyone is going to chip in before buying the gift and give a date that the money has to be in the “pot” (i.e. given to the child who is purchasing the gift.) If the money isn’t in the pot by X date, then everyone is getting individual gifts.
Post # 8
I agree, unless the gift is huge and way too much for one person, I see no reason to go in on it. Everyone is adults and perfectly capable for giving their own gift. If they do want a group one, I suggest letting one of the other silbings take care of and you guys pay them back so you’re not standing short again. And maybe get a little something just from you guys if you want and/or if they botch it up and forget to get something.
Post # 9
@BeeandBeeBride27: I hate group gifts too. I always end up doing all the work, taking most of the expense, and sharing the credit…Can anyone say, “BAD DEAL.”
Especially for a parent, with all they have done for us, you would think people could suck it up and stop being cheap for one day. I would say, “sorry, we came up with a great gift idea that we want to surprise her with. Maybe you can go in with so and so, but we aren’t interested in doing a group gift.”
I am blunt though. If I think something, I will say it. I am not one to suffer in silence. In fact, this just happened to me. I came up with a great idea for my dad’s birthday and my lazy ass siblings just want to pay me for some of it. Uhhh….No. I told them to think of something on their own (they all make good money too, so there’s no excuse).
Parents won’t be around forever. You would think people would want to make nice gestures.
Post # 10
It’s going on your card, you get a say. If your fiance isn’t keen on giving a group gift either, you say to the other siblings, “We were thinking about giving her our own gift this year. That way, she’ll have more to open.” Framing it in a “She’ll love more gifts!” kind of way can soften the blow of what you really intend to say, which is, “You cheapskates never repaid us.”
If your fiance IS keen on going into the group gift, and you share finances, that really needs to be worked out. Footing the bill for his siblings every year is unacceptable. I do think that a $250 (birthday?) gift from three siblings is excessive, but if everyone’s in that income bracket, that’s fine. I see no reason that his siblings can’t swing a $10 or $20 gift, even if they are in college.
Post # 11
@CookieCreamCakes: Yep. If it’s on a shared card or from a shared account, OP definitely gets a say in the matter!
Sometimes Darling Husband and I will organize a group gift (something a little bigger than we can afford by ourselves) for my parents, but my siblings always pay me back… I would stop doing it altogether if they ever promised to and didn’t.
Post # 12
Thanks for the feedback! I love the idea of letting someone else arrange the group gift (i.e. basket of fruit or flowers); we will pay them back, and then get her something seperately as a couple.
I just think it would be ridiculous to be like – “look, Mom, all six of us got you one bouqet of flowers/fruit, happy birthday!” Not on my watch 🙂 She deserves so much more than that!
As for the $250 for dad’s gift, that would be split amongst the three siblings and their significant others (we all share finances with our SOs). It’s a bit pricey, but I feel if you DO go the route of the group gift it has to be somewhat significant.
Heads to the mall to buy seperate gift…..
Post # 13
When I don’t want to go in on group gifts I just say that I already bought something, even if I haven’t yet.
Post # 14
@BeeandBeeBride27: I dont like group gifts either. Mainly bc we are the youngest couple in the group and where I would normally think of something very thoughtful and personal but like under $50.00 – they want to buy them a new set of table and chairs for the kitchen ( example of what we did for their mother’s birthday that only cost us 200 dollars). I agree with others though – leave it up to your husband. You can always just surprise her with a gift next time she does something nice or suggest something nicer for mothers day.
Post # 15
I think you are in the right, OP.
You’re about to be married and basically share finances already, and I feel like you’ve earned your say in his family.
Also, I agree with getting her multiple gifts and not just one where everyone chips in. There is nothing wrong with $15.00 gifts from her other kids, it isn’t going to hurt them to get her something out of their own pockets this year instead of looking to you two.
I don’t think you’re being unreasonable at all to be able to talk to your Fiance again and let him know that you’d like the two of you to get her something. Maybe even make a compromise and tell him next year you guys will all chip in. Another bee gave great advice about the next time the siblings chip in to give money by a certain date, or they’ll have buy their own presents.
I have a Fiance who is very giving, and will give anything to anyone all they have to do is ask, and I’ve had to have a few talks with him about that though I’ve told him he should have that giving attitude, but he should also be careful to not be taken advantage of, and to let people stand on their own. I get where you Fiance is coming from, but you are right that every year you two cannot be expected to foot the bill for his parents gifts for everyone.
Post # 16
Can’t you chip in for the group gift but also get her something personal on your own? you don’t even need to give it to her infront of everyone, you can give it to her privately and tell her you wanted to get her something special because she means so much to you. I don’t think you need anyone’s permission to buy your mother in law a present.