Christmas- How Many To Shop For?

posted 1 year ago in Holidays
Post # 2
2214 posts
Buzzing bee

We are buying for my sibling, his wife and child, my parents and then my husband and I will buy for each other and our son.  My husband’s family decided no gifts and we don’t buy for extended family or friends.  Luckily my family makes wish lists so it’s pretty easy.

asking people to do dinner or an outing instead of gifts is a good way to stop gift buying.  Also drawing names with extended family.  Last year we drew names with my husband’s family and this year they just wanted to skip gifts.

Post # 3
6863 posts
Busy Beekeeper

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robinegg3 :  I have nine, give or take. Husband and two kids, sister and parents, best friend and her two kids (but not her husband, we made a deal on that to save all of us a little stress, lol). Plus I usually make a junk food basket for the in-laws. We can’t go this year because of the newborn, dad’s an only child and mom’s family is Jewish so I don’t need to worry about anything else. 

And other than the kids, I don’t know what to get anyone. Eep 

Post # 4
577 posts
Busy bee

I’m at twenty-one this year. Thankfully on parental leave so not buying for boss or work secret santa.

Post # 5
10447 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

My husband’s family does a sectet Santa exchange so I only have one person to shop for on his side.

Including my husband and everyone in my family there’s an additional 6 (mom, dad, brother, SIL, niece) to shop for. So a total of 7.

My friends and I have never exchanged gifts. There’s already enough people to buy for with just family. I did use to make Christmas cookies for friends when we all lived in my hometown but not now that we are spread all over and I’d have to mail them.

Post # 6
4960 posts
Honey bee

I don’t buy presents for adults unless they contributed to my DNA (or my parents’ DNA) or they share my bed.  Otherwise every adult I know works and we all buy whatever we want all year round anyway.  My friends and I decided long ago we have enough obligations without buying for each other.

Families with children (within my family, not friends) get a family gift (board game they all can play, DVDs appropriate for a family movie night, a gift certificate to an activity like Chuck E. Cheese or the zoo, or if all else fails a tin of fudge or gourmet popcorn).


Post # 7
1060 posts
Bumble bee

When ours got totally overwhelming (both from huge families with almost 20 nieces and nephews), we started drawing names. Outside of our immediate family, I buy for:

1. My parents

2. one of my siblings or BIL/SIL’s (whichever name was drawn)

3. One of his siblings or BIL/SIL’s (drawn name)

4. A few of my nieces/nephews & a few of his. Each family draws the names of a few (basically take the #of grandkids divided by the number of families, ie – 5 families with 10 kids, each family buys for 2 nieces/nephews)


This was a HUGE game changer because 1) people get & give nicer, more thoughtful gifts (the kids looove getting one bigger present like a lego set vs 10 “stocking stuffer” type things) and 2) huge time saver. It’s a bit of a savings but not a huge one. Ie, if I used to spend $15-20 on my SIL’s, I now buy one $80-100 gift for one of them. 


Friends – stopped doing that years ago. Maybe in my early 20’s. Now we do Christmas lunches or dinners in December with a few of my different groups of friends. We’ll book reservations a month or two in advance so everyone can make it and we go somewhere a little fancy. It’s my favorite! 


Friends’ babies or kids – absolutely not. Baby showers & birthday parties along with the other milestones like high school graduation are PLENTY. As a parent, I can say my kid has so much stuff that I would shoot all my friends if he started getting another 10 presents from them too.


Second cousins are ridiculous. Unless you are literally BFF with your second cousins and spend Christmas with them, they don’t need a gift.  Same with the people you have no clue what to buy for – if you don’t know someone well enough to think of 2-3 gifts they would enjoy, they are too far outside who I think should be in the gifting “circle”.

Post # 8
853 posts
Busy bee

Typically for my husbands side of the family we do gifts for his parents, siblings and siblings spouses, and nieces and nephews. We recently moved so we won’t be spending Christmas with them this year but if this was to be a yearly thing for basically forever I would have pushed to draw names. I completely agree with PP that it makes for more thoughtful gifts people actually want. We always hear from Mother-In-Law “just get something small for everyone” but even $30 a person adds up.

On my side of the family we stopped gifts for everyone except the kids, which are my nieces and nephew. I would prefer to draw names because I think it’s fun to have everyone open a gift but if it’s between gifts for everyone and no gifts at all I’d prefer no gifts. 

This year since we won’t be in our home state for Christmas were only buying for nieces and nephews on each side. Which is still 6 kids

Post # 9
697 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

We’ve massively reduced the number of gifts. My husband gets something. My mum and his parents will get an advent calendar and a small homemade Christmas cake and cookies each. My sister and her family get some cookies but I will bring gifts for her kids when I visit in spring, because her kids get overwhelmed by the amount of gifts for Christmas.

We’re inviting to spend Christmas Day with my best friend, her fiance and sister and they will be getting presents. She’ll get a moonstone necklace that she can wear for her upcoming wedding, he’ll get a sporran (kilt accessory) for the wedding. I’m not sure about the sister yet.

I’ve got shine close friends staying for new year’s and they’ll get small presents. One of them gets a Good Omens scarf, one gets really warm socks, another gets a selection of African spices.

Post # 10
1301 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2021 - City, State

I have four folk to buy for. Fiancé, mum and dad and sister. He has the same amount – his mum and dad, me and his brother. We For some reason don’t combine cash for parents presents but they’re always from both of us 

Post # 12
3989 posts
Honey bee

Second cousins?  Just say no to that!

I have established certain rules about gift giving because it started getting ridiculous.  

My sister and I no longer exchange unless we are celebrating together which is only every couple of years.  And even then, we limit it to $20 or so.  I buy gifts for her kids though, which I am happy to do.  

With my closest friends, we don’t exchange.  We typically will grab dinner/drinks/lunch/brunch.  I have one group of friends and we do high tea each year with an ornament exchange. 

My SO and i typically do something small for each other.  Last year it was gifts for the cabin, this year it’s something for our vacation in January.  

A bottle of wine, a bottle of nice olive oil or some type of local candy can go a long way for the people you don’t know very well.   Don’t make yourself crazy over all of these people.  It’s not worth it.


Post # 13
4 posts

It so happened that my husband and I have a certain circle of friends with whom we spend all the holidays together from the moment I met my husband.

At Christmas, we always support the idea of Secret Santa. There is only need one gift from you, but each of your friends leaves after party with a gift – perfect.
To relatives.. we always buy a gift for the family, something for the home, and for children just a bag of sweets

Post # 14
1161 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2018 - UK

I just did a count, and it’s 30 people this year. I didn’t actually realise it was that many!

* My parents 

* Mother-In-Law & SIL

* Stepbrother & his Girlfriend

* My aunt and uncle 

* My 2 cousins & theirs husbands

* Cousin’s children x 4

* 3 x my friends 

* 4 x his friends

* 2 x family friends

* 3 x his friend’s kids

* My grandmother 

* Group gift for DH’s cousins

I don’t have any siblings and SIL is CFBC, so I’ll never have any nieces or nephews, so my cousin’s children are the closest thing.


Post # 15
279 posts
Helper bee

I could totally do without gift giving/receiving, but I get suckered into it every year… 

We have:

Husbands parents

Husbands siblings (2) and spouses (2)

Husbands neices (4) and nephews (2) 

Husbands aunts (2) and uncle (1)

My parents

My siblings (I have 4, but we draw names and got 2- one for husband and one for me)

My cousin (1) who I consider a good friend 

Secret santa gift exchanges with friends/coworkers (3)

Thats probably it, but it really adds up each year. 

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