Author Topic: S/O of Spending to Match: Single person vs family  (Read 2310 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15937
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
S/O of Spending to Match: Single person vs family
« on: November 29, 2011, 10:36:15 AM »
I spend Christmas Day with Brunhilde's family every year.  She has a sister, a husband, a 13-y-o son, and a cat.  Inevitably I end up spending more on them than they do on me in return.  This doesn't feel right but I have no idea what to do about it.  Full moratorium on gifts is not an option and I don't think picking one name would work until the son is working part-time.

Any suggestions?  There have to be other Etiquette Hellions who have the same issue.

The Wild One, Forever

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1817
Re: S/O of Spending to Match: Single person vs family
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2011, 10:42:13 AM »
Could you get one family gift that they could all enjoy?  (Well, except maybe Kitty.)    ;)
Soft silly music is meaningful, magical

Petticoats

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3494
Re: S/O of Spending to Match: Single person vs family
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2011, 10:59:04 AM »
I've got a similar dilemma--a couple of them, actually. I'm trying to think of a single family gift for one instance, but the other instance seems trickier. Last year I found myself getting presents for my friend, both her children, and her husband (because I didn't want him to be the only one not getting a gift). I never did get a TY or acknowledgment from him, though...

If I can think of one thing to give them as a family, that may be the way to go; it's difficult, though, thinking of what might be appropriate. And the kids are little; I don't want them to be disappointed at having nothing special for them. <sigh>

MindsEye

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1138
Re: S/O of Spending to Match: Single person vs family
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2011, 11:04:47 AM »
POD the "family gift" idea.  This is what I do.  And usually the family gifts are home-made goodies... jellies and jams from my fruit trees, or salsas and marinades from my garden. 

Or you could put together a themed basket, like "movie night" (a couple of DVDs and some gourmet popcorn), "teas of the world" (tea, obviously) "hot stuff" (hot sauces), etc etc...

I have found that edibles, especially ones that people enjoy but don't always indulge in, are always popular. 

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15937
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
Re: S/O of Spending to Match: Single person vs family
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2011, 11:13:49 AM »
Her sister doesn't live with them.

Wonderflonium

  • DO NOT BOUNCE
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9091
  • I have a PhD in horribleness.
Re: S/O of Spending to Match: Single person vs family
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2011, 11:19:14 AM »
Maybe a family gift and a side gift for the sister? Does she get you something separate, or does she throw in with the rest of the family?
The status is not quo!

Tai

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2430
Re: S/O of Spending to Match: Single person vs family
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2011, 11:48:29 AM »
For family gifts, I like to the gift basket route. 

Some ideas:

game night- a game, candy, popcorn, chex mix, etc

movie night- family friendly movie (I'm thinking of Rio off the top of my head right now), popcorn, movie candy

dinner in a basket- spaghetti, sauce, breadsticks or garlic bread (I like using half-baked), and wine, or one of the meat and cheese gift baskets with a batch of beer bread mix or two and a beer for that, maybe packed in a bread loaf pan.  You could also have the "basket" be a crockpot or a pasta pot or a serving dish.

breakfast in a basket- pancake or waffle mix, fancy jams and syrups, muffins or scones, etc

For the "common" items that people may have on hand already, I'd go fancy on it. 

Cocoas and teas are a good one, too. 

If someone wanted to do a "family" gift for us, I'd hope for a pack of movie tickets.  A cool way to package this up would be to print out "upcoming features" for family friendly movies that are coming out over the next couple of months.   Another good one would be passes to the zoo or a science museum or aquarium, local sports team, etc.  We have an NHL farm team in town, an independant baseball league in town, etc. 


workerbee

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 342
Re: S/O of Spending to Match: Single person vs family
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2011, 01:37:23 PM »
Why do you have to buy a gift for the sister? Are you friends with her? Or is it because she's in attendance at the celebration?

I like the family gift idea - people have to understand the need to cut back, especially these days.

Unless the sister is 12, I think she ought to be fine with limiting the gift exchange.

ETA: I'm curious to see what people say, b/c I've wondered about this situation with my brother, who is single and childless. We have a tradition of drawing names in the family, but everyone buys for the kids. Since he has four nieces/nephews, it's inevitably uneven.  I would be fine with him presenting us with one of the above-mentioned family gifts, in lieu of individual presents for each kid.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2011, 01:39:34 PM by workerbee »

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15937
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
Re: S/O of Spending to Match: Single person vs family
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2011, 03:37:16 PM »
Historically, when Brunhilde was single, Waltraude was always tagging along.  I do give her a birthday present but it's smaller than Brunhilde's.

I've pretty much finished for the year so whatever we can come to a consensus about will be next year's solution if we still have to tighten our belts.

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 14006
Re: S/O of Spending to Match: Single person vs family
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2011, 03:49:29 PM »
I'm single, my brother is married with two kids.  I set a budget for what I will spend on them individually.  Sometimes I give an individual gift to everyone, sometimes I give a gift for my brother and SIL together, depending on their wishlists.  As a family, they spend more on me individually than I spend on them but it isn't 4 times the amount I spend most of the time.  I don't worry about it too much.

Growing up, my mother was always concerned that my brother and I get the same amount and later, that I get as much as my brother's family when it came to gift giving.  Sometimes, if I was grocery shopping with her and picked up a few things for myself at the same time, she'd pay for my groceries as a way to help make things 'even'.  I told her on more than one occasion that I wasn't too worried about it; I was hardly hard done by but she insisted.  Now, with my Mom gone, my Dad gives my brother and I fairly significant equal cheques and gives gifts to everyone.

If you do feel like you are giving significantly more than you are receiving, I like the idea for a family gift and a small token for the sister.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

Betelnut

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3764
Re: S/O of Spending to Match: Single person vs family
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2011, 03:59:58 PM »
A big bucket of Moose Munch from Harry & David is a nice family gift.  Yum.
Native Texan, Marylander currently

QueenofAllThings

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2921
Re: S/O of Spending to Match: Single person vs family
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2011, 06:46:15 PM »
Homemade food gift?

Ceallach

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4781
    • This Is It
Re: S/O of Spending to Match: Single person vs family
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2011, 07:07:12 PM »
I spend Christmas Day with Brunhilde's family every year.  She has a sister, a husband, a 13-y-o son, and a cat.  Inevitably I end up spending more on them than they do on me in return.  This doesn't feel right but I have no idea what to do about it.  Full moratorium on gifts is not an option and I don't think picking one name would work until the son is working part-time.

Any suggestions?  There have to be other Etiquette Hellions who have the same issue.

Can't you just spend less?    I guess I don't really see the issue here.  Are they pooling and giving you one gift, whereas you are giving individual gifts?  (In which case I POD the group gift suggestion - bring a box of chocolates to share or similar - if they're doing group giving no reason why you can't give a group gift).    I've never really understood the concept of the value of gifts needing to be something proportionate.   Yes it's good to reciprocate, but if you're giving something and they're also giving you something, then that's reciprocal so there's no issue there.  If you're giving them something fancy and they're giving something cheap, you have the option of refining the amount you spend and purchasing less expensive gifts.   There's nothing wrong with just giving somebody some candy or similar.  Ultimately you decide how much you spend so if the issue is that you're spending money you can't afford then cut it back. 
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


Bijou

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12992
Re: S/O of Spending to Match: Single person vs family
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2011, 09:21:21 AM »
Could you get one family gift that they could all enjoy?  (Well, except maybe Kitty.)    ;)
Good idea, I think.  And it doesn't have to be expensive, but could match what they spend on the op.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 09:25:50 AM by Bijou »
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.

Bijou

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12992
Re: S/O of Spending to Match: Single person vs family
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2011, 09:25:09 AM »
I spend Christmas Day with Brunhilde's family every year.  She has a sister, a husband, a 13-y-o son, and a cat.  Inevitably I end up spending more on them than they do on me in return.  This doesn't feel right but I have no idea what to do about it.  Full moratorium on gifts is not an option and I don't think picking one name would work until the son is working part-time.

Any suggestions?  There have to be other Etiquette Hellions who have the same issue.
Something is certainly wrong with this picture.  I wonder two things: 
If you buy for each person, why doesn't each person buy for you so they would be spending equally to you? 
and
If they can give one gift from the group to you, why can't you give one gift to the group from you?  Maybe a game or jigsaw puzzle they can all enjoy together?

You're right to want it to change.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 09:31:06 AM by Bijou »
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.