General Etiquette > Family and Children

S/O: If you aren't coming to Christmas, do you get a stocking?

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We had a tradition among the adults in our families, since there are no young children around (and because it's fun) that we would have stockings.  Each person has a $5 limit per stocking, and each person buys little presents "from Santa" for everyone else.  Then we can open stockings Christmas morning.  It's a lot of fun.

This Christmas my SO's sister(SIL) got married.  She has decided to spend Christmas with her new family.  She lives the same distance away that she has for the past 10 years. 

SIL has still talked about exchanging stockings, and in fact has asked her mom to make a stocking for her new husband this year. 

In my opinion stockings are for the people who are together Christmas morning.  If she wants to do stockings with adults in her new family, or if her family wants to come spend Christmas with us, then great.  But I think that stockings should only be among those who are together on Christmas morning.  (Of course if SIL was still single but had to be away from the gathering for reasons beyond her control we would have saved her a stocking out of kindness, but this is not the case.)

What do you think?

Outdoor Girl:
I agree with you; stockings are only for the people physically at the celebration.  Sometimes, we've done a second celebration and had stockings for the people who were not there the first time but we've never done a stocking for someone not at the celebration.

Is this the only present she would get from her parent? To that would be a big line.

Are they coming over later in the day? What does "new family" mean, are we talking her new DH has kids and it's his year? Or she's spending christmas with his siblings and his parents?

If it's kids, AND they will be coming over later or on boxing day, I might make up stockings and save them for them, if it was my house.
I don't really see why everybody should HAVE to get in on it though, I think it would be reasonable to only have to put in for stockings of the people who are there.

If you don't want to put stuff in her stocking, and her DH's, then don't. "She's not here." Is a valid reason. I personally would probably spend the five bucks on a gift instead and stick it under the tree. Stockings are for the ones who are there, gifts can be saved.

Let's face it, stockings (especially ones with novelty items) are more fun to open when you are surrounded by the people who filled them, and more fun to fill when you get to see their faces as they open them.

To me, this falls in the gift giving rotation.  We started "drawing names", as buying gifts for all the family members and spouses and addition of kids was starting to get insanely expensive.  Regardless of whether or not you were in attendance, you were still in the rotation.  If you were spending Cmas with your in-laws, you would drop off the gift or give it at another time.  With that thought, I would say to include SIL and her spouse in the stocking exchange, even though they won't be there on that particular day.  SIL and Hubby will provide their stocking contribution as well, despite not being there to see the recipient accept the gift. 

So in a nutshell, my answer is include them anyway.

If your family all feel that recipients (and givers) must be present, then I would defer to majority opinion.


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