General Etiquette > Holidays

Which of our Xmas guests get gifts?

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DH and I are hosting xmas at our house this year.  Note that our families are scattered all over the world so there is no 1 "family xmas", people just group together wherever they are.  This is our first time hosting as we've just moved into a large enough house.  We're a little torn on who we should give gifts to as there is no real precedent set as this particular "group" has never celebrated xmas together before.    (Yes I know gift giving isn't obligatory, but there is still etiquette around how it's handled!)

The guests are:

My brother & his wife - I know they are giving us gifts because they mentioned to me what they are getting my DH.

My stepbrother and his wife - last year we exchanged gifts because our parents were visiting and insisted we all exchange gifts.  We've actually joked about it since then, as honestly neither they nor us would have usually bothered (we are close but we just don't see it as necessary).

My young female cousin - her and I exchange occasional birthday gifts etc (small things) but nothing regular or consistent.  We've never exchanged xmas gifts.

My older married cousins - we have never exchanged gifts, but have enjoyed their hospitality on many occasions, including xmas eve dinners and similar.

Their 2 young children - they have 2 small kids who we are very fond of.  We don't give the kids birthday gifts anymore as they have a ridiculous amount of stuff, it just got out of control.  Usually we give something small and token gesture.  Never given them xmas gifts. 

The children's nanny & her boyfriend - the live-in nanny has nowhere else to go for xmas so is joining us.  I barely know her as she's new.  I've never met the boyfriend. 

Who would you give gifts to?  Or would you get small gifts for everybody?   I'm leaning towards getting gifts for my immediate family members, and then smaller consumable gifts for others I don't know as well e.g. cookies etc.    DH is concerned that getting people gifts who don't give us gifts will make them feel uncomfortable.  I'm concerned that people will bring us gifts and we won't have anything for them!!  The other option is to try to give my immediate family their gifts on another day, but logistically that's harder plus it's more fun to give them on xmas day.  I also don't want to do a big formal gift exchange and make a fuss, I'd rather keep it casual although I have no idea how to do that - do I give gifts on arrival?  On departure? Thoughts?   

What is the etiquette on who to give gifts to - as the hosts should it be all or nothing? 

If they are coming to you on the day I'd get something for everyone - may only be a box of biscuits or selection boxes for the kids.

I'd shove the presents under the tree and then tell the kids there's a little present for everyone under the tree, they can play santa and distribute the biscuits to the grownups

I'd get something small for everyone.

Agreed.  You can't only buy for some and not all. 

Outdoor Girl:
I would do something little for everyone. I'm a baker so everyone would get a little container of cookies, if it were me.  I would have something small and fun for the kids, or maybe a board game for them that everyone could play.  Your brother and his wife are the only sticky ones.  Could you talk to them beforehand and ask to exchange gifts either before or after everyone else is there?


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