You Can Buy This For The Teens

by admin on December 14, 2011

My husband and I were late to marry and have children. So, his brother and sister and their spouses have children considerably older than ours (all teenagers while ours are in preschool). Over the past several years, we have been given missives about what to buy for the nieces and nephews for Christmas and, within our limited budget, we have tried to buy what they want (our first mistake, I know) and make the children happy.

Last year, SIL decided it was getting too expensive to buy presents for all of the kids. I wholeheartedly agreed. I suggested that children get presents until 8-10 years old and after that, if we wanted to have a drawing, great, or if we just wanted to get together and have a family holiday, that was also great. She was adamantly opposed. She decided (and bullied everyone into), having all of the kids draw names to buy presents for the other kids.

Well, based on the fact there are three preschoolers (who can’t get each other’s names because you can’t have a sibling’s name) and four teenagers, guess what all of my kids got for names? You guessed it!
We have the teenagers to buy for. Today I get an email from SIL (since my kids have her two teenagers), that reads:

Dear Cousins,

The holidays are approaching and I just wanted to remind you that you have Cousin A and Cousin B to buy a present for! I’ve asked them what they would like and the list is below. Remember–no giftcards as they aren’t any fun to open!

Happy Holidays! Love, SIL

All the gifts are between $50-100. With three kids in daycare, all of the gifts are way beyond our means. When we’ve been asked for suggestions for our kids, it is for playdough or craft supplies or a book. Certainly not in this price range!

I don’t know what to get them and it frustrates me that this “plan” which was supposed to eliminate everyone having to buy all of these expensive gifts really means that everyone else got to skip the expensive gifts (only one person besides us has to buy for teenagers) and we are on the hook for three of the four teenagers. And this, after years of us getting no gifts (as we didn’t have children) and giving out gifts to every one of the nieces and nephews.

It makes me not even want to go to Christmas this year!


I’d treat the email just like any other “gimme” list or registry foisted on me against my wishes. Ignore and buy what you can afford.

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