(Closed) How normal is it to not buy or receive gifts from in-laws on Xmas?

posted 5 years ago in Family
Post # 31
Member
834 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015 - Family Farm

Mlim:  This is beyond odd to me. My Fiance and I will have spent 2 Christmases together this year. We both buy for eachothers siblings and parents as they all get us individual presents. I buy for my nieces  and he buys for his nephew but the gifts are given jointly. 

We would never think to not by for eachothers family and my Fiance has been super excited the past month picking out for my family, as I have been for his.

Post # 34
Member
983 posts
Busy bee

We’re not engaged or living together but I get his parents, brother and grandparents Christmas gifts and he gets my parents a gift (I have no siblings). I also receive a gift from his parents and he gets one from mine – generally smallish and quite cheap. I don’t get gifts for his extended family but I have received little things from his aunt (nail polish, etc). I think it makes everyone feel more “together” and “family” somehow But gift giving is my love language so maybe that plays into it. 

I’d be pretty upset too if my SO didn’t even consider getting my parents something. Even just a bottle of wine is so easy and always appreciated. 

Post # 35
Member
163 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

I “give what I get.” This is a very subjective subject! In my case Future Mother-In-Law always gets me just as many gifts as she does her own kids, so I give her the same amount of presents that I give my own mother. I always get her husband and step child a bag of their favorite candy and a giftcard. They don’t get me anything personally, but her husband always has my back for huge favors… Like when I got my car stuck in 12 inches of snow, or when I lock my keys in my car. LOL. SO’s full brother doesn’t get me anything, so I don’t get him anything. I always make sure SO knows if a certain family member is buying me something so I can buy him or her something too.

As for my family, my mom works at a very high end salon, she cuts my SO’s hair for free and buys him all of his hair products through the year, so she doesn’t get him anything special for Christmas. He always takes her and I somewhere fancy to eat around the holidays as a way of saying thank you and Merry Christmas. My dad and grandparents usually get SO a couple of things like a sweatshirt and gas card. SO always buys them $50 gift cards to their favorite places.

What’s normal for me may not be normal at all for other people. Good luck and I hope the holidays are smooth sailing for you!    

Post # 36
Member
9210 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

My mom has bought my Fiance birthday/Christmas presents since about our second year together. FI’s family still hasn’t bought me anything after 7+ years. I take it personally, but Fiance says they love me, it’s just not something they’re used to doing. I try to believe him and at this point, I’ve gotten quite used to it, but it still sucks.

Post # 37
Member
1995 posts
Buzzing bee

Future Mr. Pearls leaves gift shopping to last minute or not at all. So I’m left to pick up the slack and I can’t REALLY complain because I do love to shop. So I picked out all the gifts for his side of the family and mine. I am making him pick out cards for my mom and dad, though.

Post # 38
Member
328 posts
Helper bee

Mlim:  You come from different families, and you will never interact the same way with each others’ parents/their siblings.My FI’s family is super easy going, and assimilated me into the family like I was their long lost daughter. There is no difference in terms of how they treat me, to how they treat their sons. My parents are a little more regimented and do things differently, so Fiance and my parents, while they get along, are not nearly as close as I am to his parents. It is how it is, and it will improve a bit over time. The most important thing is understanding and accepting the situation – its not bad (or good) – it is!

Post # 39
Member
328 posts
Helper bee

TheGridMonster:  Try not to take it personally; my Fiance and my parents have verrry different gift giving ideas (e.g. in his family, gifts are for anytime, and birthdays and Christmas are not a big deal) and there was an adustment. It’s just a matter of understanding that they have their own system which was in place before us, and it doesn’t change just because we do things differently!

Post # 40
Member
2554 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Mlim:  I never bought a gift for family of a boyfriend, it’s a totally personal thing of course but the only times it came up I felt odd about giving a gift, like I didn’t want to seem to be ingratiating myself with the family.  Once Darling Husband and I were engaged I got in on the family gift giving because I was becoming part of the family.  But exception to the rule, if I spend the actual day of Christmas with someone I definitely buy them a gift whether I would otherwise or not.  Maybe that’s weird, I don’t know, I just don’t want to sit there with people opening presents and be like yeah, I didn’t get you anything, Merry Christmas…

I’d love to know the answers to some of PPs questions though, namely how long you’ve been together, I think that makes a huge difference.  Also who do you spend Christmas with?  If he doesn’t see your family over Christmas I can certainly see not buying them anything, that’s probably how I’d play it, unless I knew I was going to get a present from them – yes of course gift giving should come from the heart but another thing that comes from the heart is shame and guilt when someone gives you a gift and you got them a big ole box of nothing.

But to answer your original question, should you bring it up to your boyfriend, then that one’s easy to me.  Long term relationship + thing that’s on your mind = talk about it.  Pretty much always.  Why not?  I’m not saying ambush the poor guy or begin by giving him a hard time about it but communication is seriously important, no reason not to talk to him about his gift-giving style.  Good luck!!

Post # 41
Member
9210 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

HippyBunniesinLove:  Thank you 🙂

I definitely agree that it’s likely due to vastly different gift-giving ideas in our two families. When Fiance and I first started dating (and even to some extent now!), I had to tell him that boyfriends usually get their girlfriends presents on anniversaries/Valentine’s Day/sometimes just because. His mind was blown. He pretty much thought that couples went out to dinner to celebrate such things and that was that. 

The topic ‘How normal is it to not buy or receive gifts from in-laws on Xmas?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors