Post # 1
I really enjoy buying Christmas gifts for family and spend a great deal of time looking for the perfect gift for each person. My family is very small, so I don’t have the opportunity to buy many gifts, but since DH hates shopping, I get to buy all the presents for his family. This includes his parents and his two brothers. This year, his dad suggested we do something different – he wants to draw names and have each member of the family buy a gift for only one person for Christmas. The gift should be between $50-75. I think he wants to do this so everyone can get one nice gift versus several smaller gifts, but DH and I typically spend about $50 per person anyway. I can see how this approach saves money, but it’s disappointing to not be able to buy something for everyone. I keep browsing through magazines and thinking to myself DH’s mom would really like this, or his brother might like that. We haven’t drawn names yet, so I have no idea who we’ll get. Is this a common approach to gift giving within your immediate family? I can understand this approach with aunts and uncles or cousins, but I assumed people always gave gifts to their parents and siblings. What do you think?
Post # 2
Bichon Frise: I’d be all over that idea! I don’t make a lot of money and really as adults do we really need tons of presents under the tree??
Post # 3
I like the idea. As RedHeadKel: said adults don’t need lots under the tree and I think buying one really nice present for someone is a good idea. It saves a lot of stress because then you don’t have to look for everyone.
Post # 4
Bichon Frise: Christmas is expensive and after years of giving gifts to everyone, it can get really difficult to find the perfect gift. I’d be happy to spend only 50-75 on one gift instead of 50 on each one. Besides, maybe others in the family are more financially strapped than you are and can’t afford it. We have done this before for the adults, but always by gifts for all the kids.
Post # 5
RedHeadKel: I understand how it saves money, but I would rather scale back the amount spent than not give someone a gift. I think gift giving is more about finding something that shows the recipient how much you care or how well you know them, etc, than just having another box to open. Maybe I’m too sentimental about gifts.
Post # 6
I do this extact thing every year now and I love it. I save so much more money and I hate buying gifts for everyone because people are ungrateful. (well my family). We do a secret santa thing. We also do a white elephant game too and we love it now.
Post # 7
Bichon Frise: My family and I started doing that a few years ago and we like it so much better. For us we still mainly give any gift because it’s just part of Christmas, but we just think of Christmas for our nephews and to get together and have a nice dinner together. Years ago we used to have outrageous budgets like $200-300 on each person and there’s a lot of people in my immediate family and at the time I wasn’t making as much as the rest of my family and it put a lot of stress on me and on my other family members because its hard finding gifts people like. Dealing with the crowds sucked too. Nowadays its much stress free and we love it.
Post # 8
We did this years ago (wih my ex’s family) because with each of us having 5 sisters or brothers, once they all got married and started having children, the guest list was growing exponentially. There were so many people that we could really only buy some piece of junk with our budget. We drew for an adult name but still bought forall the children.
Later on, by mutual agreement we stopped buying for the adults at all and concentrated on the children.
Post # 9
Bichon Frise: My siblings and I have started the picking names to gift thing. Since we now have nephews/kids, we can focus our gifts on the kiddos and not have to deal with gift value disparity between those on a tighter budget versus those more flush with cash.
We’ve just transitioned to focusing on the kids rather than siblings. We all usually band together to get our parents one big gift.
Post # 10
Give it a try. If it sucks and everyone is miserable, you can always go back to buying everyone a gift personally next year. BTW if you truly enjoy gift-giving, as many do, you can give people random gifts for no reason. It doesn’t have to be Christmas. So if you see something you think your MIL would really like, surprise her with it the next time you visit for dinner or give it to her some time when she may be stressed or feeling blue and you think a little extra kindness might brighten her day.
Post # 11
My family just started that last year too. We do a $50 gift and play the game where you can choose a new gift or steal one that’s already been opened. I LOVE doing it this way. I have 3 brothers, and me and one bro are married now, so getting $50+ gifts for 6 people (not even including what we spend on DH’s fam!) was getting really hard to do. We aren’t huge gift people anyway. It’s too much pressure figuring out what everyone wants. DH and I don’t really even give each other gifts for anything anymore. We don’t do birthday or anniversary gifts, but last year we started a tradition where we do stocking stuffers for each other. We spend a max of $30 on things that can fit in a stocking. That might sound kind of heartless, we just don’t care about gifts! We show how much we love and appreciate each other every day, we don’t care about finding the perfect gift.
Post # 12
We draw names for my husbands immediate family, there are 8 of us now so it would be expensive to buy everyone gifts. My SIL has two sons and they aren’t part of the draw, everyone buys them gifts. In my immediate family there are only 5 of us and no children so we buy everyone a gift. I’m sure it will change when my hubby and I have kids, and if my brother ever gets married and has kids. The focus tends to shift when that happens.
Post # 13
I’m begging my mom and family to do that this year. Between my FI and I we have 7 nieces and nephews! Then add in siblings, stepsiblings, parents, etc. It’s just way too much. I love gift-giving but that adds up sooo fast. I’m hoping that we will pick names this year.
Post # 14
- Wedding: June 2015 - Dreams Las Mareas - Costa Rica
My family has been doing this for the last 10 years… and it is WONDERFUL!!! we pick names from at hat at thanksgiving dinner since everyone is there.
Post # 15
We do this, and I love it. We also send a wish list so that no one gets anything that don’t want. At this point, we’re all adults, and it’s really just the novelty of opening a gift now. My SIL has said that it’s SO hard to shop for me cause I just buy what I want anyways, which is true. If there’s anythign I *really* want, I buy it. And on the other extreme, sometimes I truely just want nothing. And anything I do want is a big ticket item like a nice tablet that runs $350 which no one is going to get me. So I rather just get one randome little item and only have to buy one.
Even though we draw names, we still always get something (usually pretty big -I plan on buying a Sieko watch for his mom this year, still thinking for his dad) for his parents no matter whos name we got. And all the kids (3 neices) always get something small too.