### Author Topic: Group gift giving question  (Read 2536 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

#### Shoo

• Super Hero!
• Posts: 15979
##### Re: Group gift giving question
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2007, 12:34:25 PM »
If the gift is from seven people, the cost of the gift should be split seven ways.  To do otherwise is unfair.

#### Verruca

• Member
• Posts: 114
##### Re: Group gift giving question
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2007, 12:42:59 PM »
If the gift is from seven people, the cost of the gift should be split seven ways.  To do otherwise is unfair.

I think that's the issue here - was the gift from seven people, or from four people?  In my family, it would have been paid for by just the children, with in-law names on the card.

Heh, this is starting to make me think of Steve Martin in The Jerk - "This gift is from four people, but really it seems more like it's from seven people.  The first person is equal to one person.  The second person is equal to another person, but the third person is equal to a half person, then the fourth person isn't equal to any persons at all, but the fifth person is really equal to one and three-quarters people..."

Really, though, it's probably best to leave single/married out of it and just go by whatever each social unit has budgeted for the gift.  If that's not enough for the gift, then either folks cheerfully make up the deficit if they can afford it, or they cheerfully choose another gift.

#### Lisbeth

• I am a rock, I am an island
• A Pillar of the Forum
• Posts: 29353
• a/k/a KeenReader
##### Re: Group gift giving question
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2007, 01:21:15 PM »
I think a per capita amount is the fairest way to go, unless there are major disparities between how much each household (let's use that term) can contribute along those lines.  If a single person can contribute a significantly higher amount than a couple, it would be fair to expect that of the single person.  But along the same lines, it would also be fair to expect a couple that can contribute a significantly higher amount than a single person to do so.

I'm away from sanity right now...please leave a message after the beep.
NYC

#### ShadesOfGrey

• Super Hero!
• Posts: 12682
##### Re: Group gift giving question
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2007, 01:41:07 PM »
KeenReader (and others) I see your point.  I guess I see it from both ways.

In my family, couples usually give one gift (as a social unit), although there are times when they are given 1 gift, and times when a gift is given to each person separately.  I think monetary value doesnt come into play as much as what one thinks the couple or person would enjoy/use that year.

I can agree that it unnecessarily burdens a single person if the gift is signed from seven individuals, but only split 4 ways monetarily, but I dont agree that it is unfair because 'married couples generally have more money at their disposal.' What about couples where one individual doesnt work? Or couples that are in a large amount of debt?

I think the biggest difference is that I am coming at it from a different angle - each person/unit has a budget and if the gift fits within that budget, great, if not, then it doesnt get given as a gift. (As opposed to it cost \$XX amount so each person/unit should contribute \$X amount.)  So for example, if it cost \$350 and each person gives \$50, then great.

But if one couple was only planning on spending \$50 (together), they now have to pay \$100 - just because they are married (see above example about only 1 person working, etc,).  That just doesnt seem fair to me either.

To simplifiy - split it 7 ways if the card is signed from 7 people, but if the \$100 per couple or \$50 per person lies outside someone's giving budget, I dont think either one of them should be frowned upon.  This thought really crystalizes it:

Really, though, it's probably best to leave single/married out of it and just go by whatever each social unit has budgeted for the gift.  If that's not enough for the gift, then either folks cheerfully make up the deficit if they can afford it, or they cheerfully choose another gift.

I dont think people's individual financial situations should be used to say "well, she (or X couple) make more, so she (they) should contribute more." I think everyone has a budget no matter what their income level, and the gift should depend on how much can be raised based on that budget.
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning. - Maya Angelou

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou

#### Slartibartfast

• Super Hero!
• Posts: 10400
##### Re: Group gift giving question
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2007, 02:06:39 PM »
Why should anyone else's circumstances affect your gift-giving budget?  Give what you were planning to spend, and if that is more or less than 1/4 or 1/7 or whatever of the gift, it's okay.  You did contribute, and the gift doesn't have to be "from all of us equally" - just "from all of us."  The recipient shouldn't be comparing price tags anyway.

#### Bijou

• Super Hero!
• Posts: 12125
##### Re: Group gift giving question
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2007, 04:10:53 PM »
Hopefully I can clearly state all of the important info that might affect what is appropriate. If it seems like I am giving extraneous info it is just because I am trying to avoid one of those posts where OP comes back and states new and important details later.

Sibling 1 called me several weeks ago and asked if I wanted to go in on a Christmas gift for my parents with Sib 1 and Spouse, Sib 2 and Spouse, Sib 3 and fiance. I asked what gift Sib 1 had in mind and was pleased to hear the planned gift was concert tickets to a concert the folks would really enjoy. It was a great gift and one I couldn't swing on my own so I agreed. Sib 1 told me how much it would cost. I could afford the cost and gave Sib 1 the money without much thought. On Christmas morning, my Sib's spouse handed  my parents the envelope with the tickets, saying, "This is from all of us." My parents were very pleased.

I started to ponder the fact that I had paid1/4 of the cost but there had been 7 people signing the card and wondered if I should pay 1/4 the cost or 1/7 of the cost. I can't decide what is rigth and it doesn't particularly bother me right now but as the only single I'm thinking I better develope a policy right now. (Please don't advise simply avoiding group gifts - sometimes they are the only option for giving the folks what they will truly enjoy.)

This info might or might not be important.

All parties involved are adults. All work at least part time. Sib 3 and fiance are working part time and going to school but live at home so expenses are limited. Sib 1 and spouse have a couple of kids - both of them work. Sibs and spouses and SOs each get their own gifts from my parents and from me on holidays and birthdays.

So how does the cost get divided up when there are three couples and one single and the gift is "From all of us"?
I think a gift for parents can be divided among their children.  For example, if my family we were splitting the cost I would expect to it to be split equally among my two sisters and me, as long as we each could afford it.  I wouldn't pay any attention to spouses or others who may sign the card.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2007, 04:17:06 PM by jeaniuskc »
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.

#### Evil Duckie

• Hero Member
• Posts: 3962
• This is not the duck you are looking for
##### Re: Group gift giving question
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2007, 05:03:38 PM »
The way I see this is that 1/4 is the appropriate part. My reason for this is that the gift is really from you and your siblings to your parents. Spouses are added because they form are a family unit with your siblings.

#### sammycat

• Hero Member
• Posts: 4935
##### Re: Group gift giving question
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2007, 04:59:04 AM »
My husband is one of 4 children; 2 (plus him) have spouses whilst the 4th doesn't.  If we buy a joint gift for his parents the cost is split 4 equal ways. This is because we view it as coming from 4 separate households, not 7 separate people.  Who signs the card is irrelevant.  The grandchildren might sign it too, but we're not about to start divvying up the cost to take them into consideration as well simply because their names are on the card.  However, should one household say that they really couldn't afford to contribute their entire share, the rest of us would be prepared to pay a bit more (my single SIL did this once for her DB and SIL).

Another example: my MIL and FIL have 7 grandchildren; 4 have SO's, 3 don't.  My in-laws have stated that if they were to divide up any of their assets they would do so in 7 equal shares, not 11 to take into account the SOs.