Post # 17
Oh I feel you and I would be annoyed too. Last year DH’s brother tried to institute a gifts for kids only policy. Problem was, he is the only person in the family with a child. So he basically said, eveeryone get a gift for my kid but we won’t be getting anyone else anything. All the siblings basically said screw you to that suggestion.
I think child only gifts is ok ONLY when everyone in the family has a child. Otherwise you are buying gifts for everyone else’s kids without any reciprocation.
Post # 18
Sorry for the confusion – you guys are helping me think though my issues as you post. My apologies for the half info in the original post.
They DID get other adults gifts (for both moms, for themselves, for my other brother/wife, for her BIL/wife, teachers, coaches, neighbors, etc). I know she wanted to do the no gift thing to help one of my brother’s who was going through a tough time financially (let’s call him Brother A). She thought if we told him she wasn’t doing adult gifts this year, he wouldn’t feel pressured to buy for the whole family. She is also MUCH closer to Brother A than anyone else, so I know she was trying to be helpful.
They do not have a money issue. I think the ‘real’ issue for me is that I feel she’s lumped me in the same category as Brother B (the one whose wife she doesn’t like) and it’s hurtful!
I know it shouldn’t be about the gifts, and it’s not the gifts we’d exchange were the end all be all of the holiday. And, perhaps I am just reading into it – but when I hear her say that, what I’m hearing is: I can’t be bothered to think of something for you and I don’t want anything you would give me.
I think it also sucks, because I’m the youngest sibling. My nieces nephews range in age from 21 to 4. There are 6 in total and I’ve spent the last 21 years gifting Christmas and b’day presents to these kids…. not to mention my siblings and their spouses (they’ve all been married for 15+ years!). Not that I would do ANYTHING different – but I think it’s lame that it’s only when I get married and add a husband (not even a kid!) to the mix, that we get nixed from any sort of gifting. I will say that my other siblings did not follow suit and still gifted. It was just her that didn’t gift anything.
Post # 19
A lot of people do this. Don’t take it personally, because it isn’t about you. It’s about your sister’s finances. She can’t afford to buy adults AND kids gifts. So, she’s just doing the kids. No, you don’t have kids, but she can’t afford to get you and your Fiance a gift. Times are hard. She wasn’t telling you and the other adults that you guys can’t do for each other, she’s just saying she’s not doing for you so don’t do for her with the expectation of something in return. Plain and simple, just don’t get her anything. I’ve realized that Christmas as a grown up is far less exciting as Christmas as a kid. You simply just don’t get as many gifts, because Christmas (the whole gifting hype) really is for kids, IMO.
I know you said she bought the other adults gifts, but how many other adults are there? I wouldn’t be offended if she got your parents gifts. I get my mom something and the kids. That’s it.
Post # 20
@oracle: Just read your update. Like I said, Christmas isn’t for the grown ups. It’s a kid’s holiday, really. This reminds me of last year when my Future Sister-In-Law was in the kitchen crying to Future Mother-In-Law that she doesn’t get as many presents as the grandkids. Of course not, we’re adults now! Once kids start entering the picture, it’s just too much hassle to go out and buy EVERYONE a gift, even if you DO have the money. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t expect gifts from people at the holidays anymore, not even my own sister.
You said they got “themselves” gifts. I’m assuming you’re referring to your sister and her husband? I’m pretty sure the “only buying for the kids” thing didn’t exclude them from getting their spouses gifts. Of course they’re going to gift their spouses.
Post # 21
@Anniebo: That’s exactly what we do too… I totally forgot about the Secret Santa thing.
@oracle: Maybe you could suggest the secret santa to your family? As for her lumping you in with the other relative she doesn’t like… meh… people are dumb. Christmas has turned into something I dread b/c of who likes who and doesn’t like the other in our extended family. So I hear you. Whether you’re actually reading into it or not is moot, b/c really you have to decide for yourself how you’ll take it. It doesn’t matter what she feels or not. You can only respect her request, choose not to take it personally, have a moment of knowing eye-contact with your Darling Husband, and not let her ruin the day for you.
Post # 22
I understand how you feel, especially if you don’t have kids.
My family is very small – Mom, dad, brother, 1 aunt, 1 uncle, 1 grandma (until recently) and 1 grandpa. When I was little we would do “gifts for kids only” but the “kids” would get presents for the adults too. My aunt and uncle didn’t have kids, so they would get my brother and I presents, and my parents would buy them a present “from the kids”. So everyone got presents, but it was only one a two a person.
I know you can’t suggest doing this, but it worked for us.
My Fiance has a huge family so we get nieces and nephews presents, and have a secret Santa for the adults with a $50 limit.
Post # 23
Personally I don’t like exchanging gifts at Christmas and it’s not a financial issue. I do it because it’s expected, but frankly I would be much happier with a gifts-for-kids policy! If only there were any kids in my family at all, haha. I really prefer all the other awesome parts about Christmas, and the stress that comes with trying to find something that everyone will like and not chuck in their closet forever taints the holiday!
Haha, now I feel like a Scrooge. OH well then, so be it!
Post # 24
@BrightGreen: I agree with you!
Post # 25
I actually hope to do this when we all have kids. FI’s family is way too big, and everyone buys gifts for everyone. Its gotten out of control and we are cutting way back this year (ie getting each couple a gift, rather than both Fiance and I giving individual gifts). So basically, going from gifting 4 gifts to 1. I know people might be upset, but we cant afford it. Money is VERY tight this year.
Edit: Also, the stress of figuring out a gift for each person, and trying to spend equal amounts on everyone is exhausting. I would so much rather get rid of all gifts for adults and focus on spending time together, and of course buy presents for the kids. Too bad we have ZERO kids in our fasmily! haha
Post # 26
@Pinksapphire: Agree with everything you said.
We do Secret Santa for the adults, and it is so much better than when we were all struggling to buy gifts for every sibling, aunt, cousin, etc. It really becomes so much more about spending time with family instead of worrying about presents. I just wouldn’t get her a gift at this point, or perhaps suggest a secret santa exchange with the family.
Post # 27
Personally I think Christmas should only be for the children. Every year the adults get the same socks, whisky and biscuit assortment that it’s like.. why do we even bother? Your only going to have them in your drawer/cupboard until next Christmas anyway..
I like Christmas more for the food, the drink and spending time with the family – gifts have never been a priority for me, and if it is for you, then fine – but those things are more important for me.
Post # 28
I know Christmas is about giving and whatever but if you expect someone to spend money on your family then you should spend money on theirs, regardless of if that “family” includes children or not. I’ve seen this happen numerous times before and I’m not a fan. Maybe it’s partly because I’m an only child and admittedly a tad bit greedy but I just don’t think that’s fair at all when you have people without children involved.
I know someone whose family does this and she HATES it. She’s one of 4 kids and her 3 siblings all have multiple children. A few years ago her family decided that they were only going to buy presents for the kids going forward. That seemed fine for everyone else but since she was/is single without any children, it wasn’t really fair to her. She’d still have to buy all of these Christmas presents for her nieces and nephews (9 in total) but get nothing in return because she hasn’t yet reproduced. She said that her siblings would get gifts for her dogs (How much is a chew toy? Like $3?) but that would be it since they had an “understanding”. Yea, that wouldn’t go over well with me.
I like the way that my aunt and uncle handle Christmas. Each “family” (so Darling Husband and I for example) are allotted $X for Christmas presents. When we have kids, $X doesn’t change it just gets spread between however many people our family consists of. That way everyone still gets to enjoy receiving gifts and the gift giver isn’t spending any more money.
Post # 29
Haha I love Christmas way too much to do the “kids only” Christmas! My whole family acts like a bunch of 5 year olds on Christmas morning lol. I LOVE going out and picking gifts for all of my family so I would die if I could only do kid gifts. We also do the whole thing where the kids give gifts as well. I personally agree with Meowkers, that unless you all have kids, it would be unfair to do a kids only rule, although I’m sure this works for a lot of people. Although, I do love getting my niece and nephew presents! They’re so easy! Honestly, your sister sounds like she being kind of a snot if she’s buying everyone else gifts except for you guys. I would be pretty pissed. Do you guys have a very good relationship? Maybe you could just tell her you feel hurt and like she doesn’t want to include you guys in the holiday cheer because you’re the only one she doesn’t gift? Otherwise, just enjoy all the rest fo the fun times that Christmas brings and ignore your sister! 🙂
Post # 30
I’m one of 5 kids and the no adutl gift happened to our family about 4 years ago. I was single, and am still childless(and due to medical condition will most likely remain childless).
I have 15 nieces and nephews. We also don’t buy presents for adult birthdays either. Money’s tight for everyone and the kids aren’t getting big presents from me, a book or something like that, and I no longer buy for four of them as they are adults. It never occured to me that I was getting the short end of the deal until Fiance pointed it out to me. I was more releaved about not having to buy gifts for the adults.
Post # 31
@Pinksapphire: It’s not about money for her but about time/effort/thoughtfulness and I think that’s why it’s most hurtful. I’m going to take your advice and do my best to not take it personally and just continue on.