(Closed) NWR – Have you ever suggested not exchanging "gifts" with family?

posted 6 years ago in Family
  • poll: Would you say anything about stopping a Christmas cheque exchange??
    Suggest cancelling the exchange all together : (21 votes)
    36 %
    Suggest only exchanging gifts if there's going to be actual gifts : (15 votes)
    25 %
    Say nothing - continue with the cheque exchange it makes everything so much easier! : (8 votes)
    14 %
    Just start giving them whatever you feel like, and hope they get the hint : (13 votes)
    22 %
    Other? : (2 votes)
    3 %
  • Post # 3
    1081 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 2010

    I completely understand where you are coming from.

    Swapping cash takes the joy out of trying to find the perfect christmas gift for someone!

    Maybe suggest doing secret santa? That way each person only needs to focus on finding the one perfect present!

    Post # 4
    3770 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo

    Okay I voted wrong 😡  I meant to vote just start giving them whatever you want.  I think it’s silly to have a wish list that is basically just “money”.  You’re right it’s pointless, and you all might as well not exchange anything because you’ll get (keep) your money faster!  Give them the gifts that you want and that you think are appropriate, and if they complain, just say “well I saw this in the store and it reminded me of you” or something good-natured.

    Post # 5
    11325 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: February 2011

    I said to suggest stopping all together. But really I have kind of another idea. I’ve heard of some families who adopt a family for christmas rather than exchange gifts. There are lots of organizations that you can adopt a family with 2-3 kids and then you get a list of needs and wants. Maybe you could suggest since none of you really need anything (and you don’t seem to take any pleasure in shopping/exchanging) that you do that. You could make it a big family thing like shopping together maybe, having a wrapping party, etc. OR you could kind of assign kids to various family members then exchange and open wrapping paper, but then wrap back up. My dad’s work does something like that. Everyone gets a name of someone else and they have to get a toy that fits that person’s personality. You get the fun of seeing what they picked out and unwrapping, but then it all goes to charity toy drives. 

    Post # 6
    7736 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Yes! We did it about when kids started coming along. We suggested to stop swapping gifts among adults. Nearly everyone agreed immediately, as if they were glad someone at last suggested it. A few family members still exchange gifts to each other but not to us, and everyone seems happy with that arrangement.

    By The Way I disagree with your Darling Husband, there’s nothing wrong with stopping for one person’s family only. After all, don’t you see the families at different times anyway?

    Post # 7
    506 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    Atheist couple in a Jewish/Baptist/Catholic family. We prefer dropping cash because they can get what they want. Sorry about it but a gift is a gift. And if you think about it y’alls toaster is their coffee pot cost wise. If you are uncomfortable because you don’t feel you can afford the appropriate amount- get a physical gift- otherwise give what they’d obviously prefer. I’m sure they will be happy regardless. It may seem silly but it may just be their custom.

    My mom married into a family that only gives cash and to this day she rolls her eyes everytime she sends them a gift because it cancels out what they senf her. 

    Post # 8
    688 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I second the idea of getting them what you want to give. That, or suggest to stop swapping all together. It seems like a waste and takes the fun out of giving. I love looking at the pictures from Christmas morning and remembering all my cool presents! 

    Post # 9
    515 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    My family has tried this repeatedly. Every year, we say no more gift exchanges between adults next year and every year, we all agree to it. The next Christmas rolls around. And our parents feel like they have to get something for all of us. And of course, we all have to get something for grandma. And we get something for our favourite sibling. And then there are the present counters who insist everyone gets the same number of gifts and goes out and buys gifts for the people they think will otherwise fall short of the quota. When all is said and done, we’re each sitting on a pile of at least half a dozen gifts.

    Post # 10
    4046 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I only wish it were so simple as to exchange gifts, or checks! I find no joy in finding the perfect gift. I find it super stressful and absolutely hate it. I just dread Christmas due to all this pressure, If all I had to do was write a check, that would be so awesome!

    Post # 12
    506 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    @SapphireSun: Yes. My side of the familia is super super traditional super southern and giving cash is seen as being thoughtless so they get physical gifts. I give cash to Fi/friends b.c they prefer it and they return the same amount or more.


    I also happen to agree with you it is ridic to hand somebody a bill when they are handing one back. Sometimes I hate manners :/

    Post # 13
    6215 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

    I don’t know what the best solution is, but I do agree with you that it’s kinda silly. I wouldn’t get them gifts if they ask for cash, but it seems pointless to do the check swap

    Post # 14
    3092 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    This is a very curious situation to me…but I have a similar dilemma.

    My goofy mom always gives me checks…and I send her a present…well I send her a present then she sends me a check like a week later.  So it’s like here’s your birthday present (50$ bottle of perfume) then a week later she sends me a 50$ check for my birthday.  I don’t really get it…it’s weird.

    But in your situation they asked for money.  Do you know why they want money?  Do they not want gifts they won’t use and prefer to buy their own gifts?  Are they saving for something.  Are they trying to spare you from having to go searching for a gift?

    I’m just wondering if they explicity said they want money and then you donate on their behalf if they’d care for that very much.  And I think it’s a great idea, we have gifted donations many times…but again noone stipulated that they wanted money.


    Post # 15
    6015 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: March 2012

    Ok. . so I’m one of Five kids, and I have nieces and nephews that are my age.  We only give gifts to the kids, that means pretty much anyone under 18.  My brothers and I and most of my nieces and nephews don’t exchange giffts, we do cards.  My dad buys for kids under 18.  I have been getting the screw on this deal for years…(that’s a whole other thread)

    It started tho, because we all just needed money and instead of us all handing out $1k, total, to the adults we just called … a truce … love you so much but really we are all just moving money around from one account to the other.

    Dh’s family put names in a hat and you pick it out and buy what’s on the list of three things.  It’s a big friggin waste of time.   We all just give GC or cash.  Oh and then we buy for the kids.  Again getting the screw here… we are the only ones on BOTH sides that don’t have kids, but we are expected to get alllllllll the kids gifts and we get nothing back. …. sigh .. I know I sound greedy but i’m spending over $1k on  neices and nephews and I get a card from their parents………… yeah thanks for this thread … i guess it’s not too early to bring this stuff up


    Post # 16
    2104 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2011

    My family decided several years ago that we aren’t going to buy gifts for each other anymore. We are all adults and we do not NEED anything. Instead of shopping for each other, we get together and adopt a family and shop for them together, then we go back to my mom’s and wrap the gifts and have dinner. I LOVE this tradition WAY more than I’d ever like a scarf or slippers or any gift they would buy me.

    I do have one niece who is nearly 3 and of course we will get her gifts, because we’re not assholes.

    My husbands parents still give us gifts…usually money, but we do not give gifts to any of the adults. I always make food to bring to his parents as my gift. He has a nephew (now my nephew) who is 15, and we do give him a gift. I think Christmas presents are for kids.

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