Am I wrong to ask ext. family NOT to exchange Ch. gifts?

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by lotzahenz, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. lotzahenz

    lotzahenz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    This year we are on a very very tight budget for Christmas and I have asked my brother's family to NOT exchange gifts. They refuse. They have already bought gifts and I have not, and I asked 3 times that they respect this decision. I just feel that buying kids and siblings gifts when I see them ONCE a year and they have absolutely everything is a waste of good money. Normally I try my best to buy them thoughtful gifts, but they seem to have Everything. I cannot name a toy their children do not have. This year we are just about in Foreclosure, I am giving my own children very, very little. I feel mad that my brother and his wife feel we MUST exchange gifts. I just want to spend family time with them. Anyone else having this trouble with the troubling times, I have been unemployed one year and 2 weeks, times are tough, we manage but it would make MY life much easier if they would just agree. It seems like the gift swapping is way more important to them than to us, maybe I should just buy them gift cards?
  2. dela1991

    dela1991 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2010
    Quote:Sorry that you are having this problem. It does kind of put a damper on the holidays. I feel the same way that you do. It has been quite a while since we exchanged gifts with my side of the family. My side is large and there are a lot of nieces and nephews. My husbands side is a different story. He has one brother and one sister and they both have two kids. We requested a few years ago that we didn't exchange gifts between the adults but still bought for the kids. I suggested it because I felt that there was not one thing that we could buy them that they didn't have and vice versa. I thought that they agreed to no gifts between adults only to have them show up at our house on Christmas with gifts for us and we had not bought them anything. So...the gift exchange continues. I have a few gifts from them stored in the basement that have never been used. I would like to give them to Goodwill but I feel like as soon as I do, they will ask me about them. I know that is crazy. I am really uncomfortable with the whole gift giving thing.
  3. lotzahenz

    lotzahenz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    Thanks for replying. I agree, I have things they have given us and we just don't use, as we are not together often any longer with the kids being older, to know what each other would like or need. I don't mean to be cheap, but the stress of 'finding the right gift' is just too much for me. There are 12 people in this group I am talking about. My Aunt agrees with me, says it makes her want to get together more if she does not have to feel guilty about affording gifts on her Social Security, so for once she is coming to the gathering with the idea of NO gifts. Now, I have to either feel embarrassed or go and buy gifts. I might just make them all candy or something they can eat. Eggs maybe? My first thoughts were fine, you guys just stay home then, we'll participate next year, then I feel guilty. I love the nieces and nephews so much.
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    What I would do since they insist is to bake some brownies and put them in a tin. Wrap with ribbon.

    Muuuuuuuch cheaper than a gift card and very beautiful with the right container!!!
  5. dela1991

    dela1991 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2010
    Quote:This is a great idea...or candy like you suggested. It sounds like your relatives don't need anything else taking up space. The Christmas season should not be stressful but it so often is just that. I sometimes have to work on Christmas so that has gotten us out of having to visit. Our last few holidays, our kids came home and we just enjoyed the day together. Our kids are still in college and there are things that they need and don't have the money for so we buy it for them. A few years ago, they were in between grad school and law school and didn't have much money. They handmade us Christmas ornaments that we will always treasure. More then anything they could ever buy. They (I have twins) will be graduating from law school in May 2012.
  6. Shayna

    Shayna I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

    Aug 2, 2011
    I'm sorry for the stressful time you are going through. I think finding creative gift ideas you can make are the way to go. Ornaments is a great idea (we've been making our own blown out egg ornaments and will be giving some as gifts) but there are many other types of cute handmade ornaments too that you can do searches on for instructions. You can consider going to a thrift store and finding second hand items at a very reasonable price. As suggested, baked goodies are always a hit with kids. You could make mixed tins of cookies, brownies, dipped pretzels, cake balls, anything you know the kids would like... You could also consider making something small to include with the card, and maybe give 5.00 with each card. Depending on the age of kids, many like to have some spending money of any amount.
    If your thoughtful and thrifty Christmas giving upsets your brother, then maybe he will not force the gift exchange next year. You should not feel guilty about not being able to buy more expensive gifts for the kids.
    Just another suggestion that may apply to your brothers kids depending on age and interest: getting them a craft package you create full of construction paper, glue, pipe cleaners, crayons or markers, puff balls, rolly eyes, stickers, coloring book... etc. Any of that kind of inexpensive stuff some kids really enjoy doing together and it keeps them busy.
    Good luck and happy holidays to you and your family!
  7. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    My sister-in-law still sends gifts even though we have said we would rather not exchange at all, or just buy for the kids. If she wants to send stuff knowing we cannot reciprocate, that is her decision.
  8. sheaviance1

    sheaviance1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Yes, I have had this problem many times. I don't participate, if they give me something after I have made my stance known, then I thank them for the gift, sincerely, and wait for the awkward moment to pass. I would much rather both parties have a roof over their heads, and a good meal on their table than to receive a gift that will hurt your welfare in giving it.

    Stick to your position, especially since you cannot afford to do it. There is no sense in hurting your own family to inflate someone's ego. I hate that you are struggling.
  9. dainerra

    dainerra Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 4, 2011
    perhaps they would be open to drawing names? That way the adults can still exchange gifts, but only have to buy for one person. Set a limit, $25 or so.
  10. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    You said you will not be buying gifts, it they buy them, that is their decision. If they get mad at you for not buying them, that is their sense of entitlement to worry about. [​IMG]

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