(Closed) Fight with DH Over Christmas Gift-Giving Etiquette …

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
3942 posts
Honey bee

I agree with you. I cant imagine calling people, even family, and asking if they want to contribute towards a gift. That is just…weird.

It’s also a great opportunity to teach your son to respect his belongings. Breaking an expensive gift within weeks is not ok.

Post # 4
828 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

Totally agree with you! You cannot presume that someone is going to get you a gift. I even have a hard time when someone asks what I want for Christmas. 

Post # 5
1014 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I don’t think you can tell people what to give, unless actually asked.  Because your SIL asked what gift card to get, it’s perfectly appropriate to say, oh he’s planning on getting the new Ipod with his xmas money, so he’d really appreciate an apple gift card.  It’s not okay to call up relatives and tell them they all need to go in and purchase this big gift for your stepson.  It just wouldn’t be right, it’d be presumptuous.  If your husband is worried about him not getting a “big gift” to open at xmas, that’s your husbands problem.  If he wants him to have a big gift so badly, then he should be the one to purchase it, not pass it off on other family members.  If anyone asks, let them know he’s saving for an Ipad or whatever, and hopefully they get the hint to give him cash or a gift card to the store he’d purchase it at.  It really won’t be a big deal to go out and get it in the days after the holidays.

Post # 6
491 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I agree with you. I think it would be very tacky to call your family members and “give them the opportunity” to contribute. If I got that sort of call I would be like umm, okay? Now on the other hand, if someone happens to ask “Hey, what yould XXX like for Christmas this year, does he have anything on his list?” then you could mention it and it wouldn’t be awkward.

ETA: I agree with Bostongrl25 that it could be a lesson on respecting his belongings. If he wanted a new expensive ticket item he should have pooled his Christmas/ bday money to purchase or help purchase a new one.

Post # 7
4161 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I agree that you can’t call them up and tell them what to get.  If they ask, that’s the best time to say “Stepson just broke his favourite toy, and we would love to be able to replace it for him, so a gift card towards that would be awesome” or something like that.  Otherwise, there’s nothing you can do.

Post # 8
7172 posts
Busy Beekeeper

As an aunt of 6, I’m usually the one hounding down wish lists.

I wouldn’t be offended if I was told:  Hey, I don’t know if you have plans to get ‘x’ a gift this year, but if you are, he really wants ‘x’.

But, I very much understand where you are coming from.  It would be much more acceptable if they asked you what ‘x’ wanted.

That said – don’t EXPECT them to do that.  The gifter always has the choice to give whatever they wish (regardless of what’s on that wish list).

Post # 9
2700 posts
Sugar bee

You are totally in the right here. People should not be asked for gifts or pressured to give gifts!

Post # 10
3461 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

If they ask, I see no problem with answering, but I wouldn’t contact any of them to suggest it.  I also think waiting would teach your stepson to be more careful with possessions (particularly that if you break something, you may not get it replaced).

Post # 11
3112 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

i’m a big believer in giving people what they want. i’m surprised no one asks what he would want? i’m always asking to make sure i get things that the receiver is interested in.

i’d say if they ask, go right ahead. but don’t just call them up and say here’s jimmy’s xmas list!

Post # 13
6659 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

I agree that it is in poor taste to do this for your own child (or step child). It’s rude and gift-grabby in nature, basically announcing to every potential gift giver that #1 They have to give a gift and #2 it won’t be appreciated unless it’s what you pre specified.

Once they ask though, that’s another story. I would be totally fine with being honest about what you are planning and giving them the opportunity to contribute. As long as you mention some other options so that it doesn’t seem like you’re dictating the gift.

That said, every year someone in my family ‘organizes’ a present for my Gmom and this year it was an Ipad2. A group email goes out and asks who wants to contribute and how much. I didn’t participate last year because i had already bought her a gift when the email went out, but this year I did. No one gave me a hard time about it and I didn’t feel bad opting out. It’s actually very helpful for us because everyone gets her a gift for Christmas every year, and this takes all the work out of it.

Post # 14
170 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I can see both sides here. If I were in your shoes, I would wait for your family to ask what your stepson wants for Christmas, and then suggest a gift card to the store where you would buy the device. You can then let him collect the gift cards and get the device himself. There are several benefits to this:

– boxing day prices!!!

– it gives him the thrill of opening several presents (ie getting several gift cards) rather than one single gift

– it will ensure that every contributing member get properly thanked. If they all go in together, someone may get overlooked in the thank-yous because a young boy may not grasp that its from ‘everyone’; putting several gifts together into one will help him realize the value of the electronic device

– it gives your family the option of personalizing the gift they give, packing it the way they want to, and they can also pick the amount they feel comfortable giving (rather than ‘one fifth the total price’ for example)

– depending on what the item is, it may give your stepson the ability to choose the precise model he wants (color, specs, etc.) because he’ll be the one to pick it out

If he doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, I’d say individual gift cards (to the same store!!) is best way to go. you’re not assuming anyone will get him anything, but you’re giving them the opportunity to meaningfully contribute to someone you presume he wants.

Post # 15
1014 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@Brielle: if his damaged item is an ipod/iphone/ipad they can often times be repaired.  also, if you take it in to the apple store, they will work with you to get a refurbished one, which is much much cheaper than getting a brand new one.  Just FYI, in case that was the issue.  🙂

Post # 16
1543 posts
Bumble bee

I agree with PPs. Telling someone what to get as gifts, unsolicited, is in poor taste, family or not. But, if they ask, then it’s completely acceptable to suggest ideas.

The topic ‘Fight with DH Over Christmas Gift-Giving Etiquette …’ is closed to new replies.

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