Post # 1
Curious how other people do family Christmas gifts as a married couple (mainly regarding parents & siblings).
We are much closer to my family than we are DH’s, just because we’ve had a lot of issues with the ILs (past & present), and we just have a polite but distant relationship with them. They were planning on going out of town for Christmas but had to cancel due to almost foreclosing on their home. They have never given Darling Husband really “great” gifts, he was in the military 6 years and they sent him a hickory farms gift thing one year, jelly beans another, etc. Which is fine but they give step sister & step brother in law much nicer gifts (obvious favoritism in this family).
My family, on the other hand, has always given me wonderful gifts, and since I’ve had a job the past few years I’ve also gotten them nice gifts in return. I know they will give Darling Husband & I both something nice.
Darling Husband thinks it’s fair to set an equal budget-say, $25 a person for both mine & his family. I do not think this is fair because I will feel very bad if my parents spend $250 on us and we get them a $25 gift. I mentioned to him that we could tell his family we don’t need to exchange gifts (to take the pressure off them to buy us something), and give them something small as a family, like a gift certificate. He has 3 siblings, a niece, dad, mom, and stepmom to buy for, whereas I have to buy only 3 gifts for my family.
What would be “fair” in this case? Budget a certain amount per family, or per person? Or go with my idea and tell ILs we don’t need gifts which alleviates some pressure off us to buy them things? How do you guys budget for family gifts?
Post # 2
It sounds “fair” to budget an even amount per person, but I have honestly never done that. I spend more on those who I have a closer relationship with. I would base my budget off of that and not what the other party spends on you. And that is not always the case. For example, sometimes I find the perfect gift for someone that I was planning to spend $75 on, but the item was only $50. I will usually just stick to that item.
Darling Husband and I do not buy a lot of gifts for family and friends and base our budget on the individual. We spend $50-$100 on my mom (our only living parent). We are not terribly close with her and she lives on the other side of the country, but we do have a decent relationship. We only see DH’s brother once every one to two years because he lives in Brazil, so we do all the gift giving at once and spend $200-$250, but this cover multiple Christmas’s and Birthdays. Most friends get gifts that are worth about $20.
If we bought gifts for more people we would likely have 2-3 tiers of spending: $20 range, $50 range and $100 range.
Post # 3
I will preface my remarks by saying, obviously you give what you can afford. Someone is sure to jump on any comment implying that you have to match anything in financial terms.
I don’t think the dollar amount needs to match for anyone. I would much rather have a thoughtful gift chosen for me personally, than some expensive gift that doesn’t interest me in the least.
I don’t think you need to spend the same on both sides of the family. One family may want to do hand crafted gifts to keep the cost down because they are in a tough place financially. It would be rude to ignore that and send them a new XBox.
I also don’t think anyone should feel obliged to match what their parents spend on them. Often our parents are in much better financial situation, especially when we are young and just starting out.
Post # 4
I wouldn’t try to match what people spend on us-I know I couldn’t give my parents what they’ll give us, and on the flip side even if DH’s parents spend $10 on us, I’d like to give them something a little nicer than that. It’s hard not only trying to set a budget but deciding what to get ILs. Darling Husband says he’s “terrible” at gift giving and never knows what to buy them so it’s on me. But helpful to know what you spend should reflect your relationship with the person, thanks!!
Post # 5
We give based on our relationship to them, although we set a limit of $50 for all the kids. I have a prior no gifting policy with some friends and my sister. Our birthdays are close to Christmas so we do birthday gifts in lue of Christmas gifts. Setting a limit across the board doesn’t work. You don’t want to embarrass someone by giving them a $100 dollar gift when they have given you a $5 gift and you don’t want to embarrass your self by giving a $5 gift to someone who gave you a $100 gift.
Post # 6
DH’s family is pretty poor and usually doesn’t gift us anything. We usually just give them something as a family (his parents and two of his siblings that still live at home), like Omaha Steaks or similar. I wouldn’t want to make them feel bad and buy them all a bunch of expensive gifts when they can’t give us anything. We usually do a little more with my parents and give them each a gift individually, as they usually give us each multiple gifts.
Post # 7
bee123456789 : If your husband wants to set an equal budget, I don’t see the problem? You shouldn’t gift hoping for reciprocity.
We spend roughly the same amount on all of our parents and siblings which is $75-100/person. Some people give us $10 gifts while others spend $250 and that’s okay.
Post # 8
I am not hoping for reciprocity. Neither one of us care one bit whether ILs give us anything, and I would actually prefer they don’t. However, like I stated I would feel bad giving my parents $25 gifts if they spend lots more on us. And we are much closer to them than his family. I don’t think he really cares about giving his family gifts at all but just wants to make things easier and cheaper by setting a low budget per person.
We might do like you, Sithlady, and give a restaurant or grocery store gift certificate that they can all use.
Post # 9
I would kind of split it down the middle – ex if you have $200 to spend for xmas gifts for family, give your H $100 for his fam and you get $100 for your fam. Since you have less people to buy for, your family will still end up with a “nicer” gift, but you’ll have still spent the same per family.
My husbands family doesnt really even celebrate xmas, but they like to throw a family get together every year. They don’t give out presents, so we don’t really give them presents. If they were to give something, it would be small, and we would give something small in return.
my family goes much more all out. My family also spends much more on us than we spend in return. But we still spend more on my family vs his.
Post # 10
bee123456789 : I look at it a lot differently in that I try to be most generous with those in our family who have the least because it actually impacts their life in a tangible way vs our parents who can buy whatever they want let alone need. If your husband’s family is poor to the point of needing a grocery gift card, I would consider being more vs less generous even though your relationship isn’t as close.
Post # 11
I give based on how good/bad the relationship is. My family has always been much more generous that Fiance family, so we give them “better” gifts because of that. His family has no idea what we give my family so it’s not like there’s hurt feelings. Also, I decided I’m not going to be sending a Christmas gift to FI’s nephew (he’s a baby) and that might cause some drama, but I sent them a gift for the shower and a gift for the birth and never recieved a thank you. I can look past one forgotten thank you but not two.
Post # 12
It’s okay to spend more based on your relationship. You wouldn’t give an acquaintance the same gift you’d give a best friend.
Post # 13
litttlemisslamb : this is how I determine gifts for my family, as well. My parents don’t have much and therefore I really want to get them things that they might need, for Christmas. Usually I buy them clothes or new shoes or a winter coat. My husband’s parents are more financially stable, so they get more fun gifts that are likely cheaper than the ones I buy my parents.
Post # 14
We do adult secret Santa and the budgets are different for his family and my family because that’s what people on either side are comfortable with giving/receiving. one side is £25 limit and the other is £70. It might not be ‘fair’ but it would be worse to either go under for the higher side or massively over the agreed budget on the other side. Families are all different. It’s more important to give a gift that someone will apreciate and will fit within the culture of that family than to make sure all sides are equal
Post # 15
My only family is my mom, dad, and sister so I spoil them a little more. I spend $50-100 (out of my account) on each and sign the gifts as from both of us.
My Fiance has many more family members. He spends what he wants for them (and sign both of our names). He’s generous with his mom and spends about $30 on his other family members (dad, step mom, half sisters, grandparents, cousins, etc). I help him choose presents for the women in the family.
It’s worked out well for us.