Poll

Do you gift your children and sons/daughter in law equally? Alternately if you are married, do your parents gift you and your partner equally?

Yes, gifts are equivalent or near equivalent
193 (60.7%)
The child gets a substantially bigger gift than the son/daughter in law
55 (17.3%)
Gifts are intended for both (i.e. home decor, kitchen items, etc.)
36 (11.3%)
We don't exchange gifts/only gift the grandkids/etc.
12 (3.8%)
Other
22 (6.9%)

Total Members Voted: 318

Author Topic: Do children and sons/daughter in law get equal gifts?  (Read 16204 times)

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Library Dragon

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Re: Do children and sons/daughter in law get equal gifts?
« Reply #60 on: December 29, 2013, 06:49:40 PM »
Lady Snowdon wrote:

Quote
For a minute, I read this is there's a difference between a daughter in law and a son in law and was very confused!  I think I figured it out now though!

Sorry, it made sense in my head. That doesnt mean it translated well.

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Mel the Redcap

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Re: Do children and sons/daughter in law get equal gifts?
« Reply #61 on: December 29, 2013, 06:56:34 PM »
My parents have always given the Good Ethnic Boy and I fairly equal presents... except for the year they gave him cash for his birthday, and FORGOT mine.  :P ::)
:o what's with the bolded? I assume I'm missing something...

*snicker* The Good Ethnic Boy is my EHell nickname for my DH. It comes from the same story, a few years ago, where I mentioned that for a while his parents' friends had been leaning towards regarding me as the Scheming Foreign Hussy who'd tempted a Good Ethnic Boy away from his roots, and, well… it stuck. ;D
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pharmagal

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Re: Do children and sons/daughter in law get equal gifts?
« Reply #62 on: December 29, 2013, 07:03:14 PM »
The value of the gifts we receive from either set of parents depends on the gift.  It's not about how much is spent, but what the intangible value is to the receiver.  So a second hand copy of a book I've been looking for against a new golf shirt for my husband, equals a win win.

And the same goes for what we send our parents, we send them bottles of booze for Xmas usually and we buy what we know they like, not what the value is. 

There's no way I'd sit there trying to figure out who spent what and how much on each person, it just seems so petty. 


TurtleDove

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Re: Do children and sons/daughter in law get equal gifts?
« Reply #63 on: December 29, 2013, 07:07:33 PM »
Well stated, pharmagal.

CookieChica

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Re: Do children and sons/daughter in law get equal gifts?
« Reply #64 on: December 29, 2013, 07:11:26 PM »
My parents gift fairly equally. Christmas is always equal among me, my brother, my husband, and SIL.   It is also over the top.

Birthdays - my husband is "shorted". My parents take the rest of us to dinner and give several gifts. They did this for my husband the first couple of years but he was uncomfortable with the generosity. Thus, we all happily compromised that Christmas would be equal but Husband would get just a card with a small gift card or cash for his birthday. Everyone has been happy with this arrangement.

aussie_chick

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Re: Do children and sons/daughter in law get equal gifts?
« Reply #65 on: December 29, 2013, 07:28:43 PM »
This is really interesting to me. It's not something I have really thought about but will from now on.

In my family of me, my sister and dad, we tend to spoil dad because he has no money.
My sister and dad buy a gift for my bf but it's not equivalent of what they get me. Maybe a shirt and a box of chocolates or something.

I spoil my bf, he spoils me.

In bf's family, there are no presents for adults other than secret santa and his parents don't buy their adult children christmas gifts outside of secret santa. Although we tend to buy a gift for his parents.

I take care of all the Christmas shopping in our household (just because that's how it works financially for us) and when we discussed what to get bf's parents, I suggested tickets to a show which were kind of pricey and bf wasn't sure if it was too much. He asked how much we spent on my dad and when I said it was about equal, he was ok with that.

For birthdays, my family doesn't generally buy for my bf, although my sister is generous and might buy him a shirt or item of clothing from his favourite brand. I get something significant from my sister and dad. In his family, his parents get him a significant gift but I get a token gift. E.g this year I got a pair of lovely hand towels.

I've never thought there was anything strange in this but perhaps there is. Bf and I aren't married however and have been together a couple of years. I wonder if that makes a difference? Or maybe it's a horses for courses situation and whatever works in one family may not work in another.

Yvaine

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Re: Do children and sons/daughter in law get equal gifts?
« Reply #66 on: December 29, 2013, 08:00:35 PM »
We do secret Santa for all the adults, and that includes people's partners, so it comes out about even. (There isn't an official price limit but there's a rough amount it seems to have settled out at.)

Aleka

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Re: Do children and sons/daughter in law get equal gifts?
« Reply #67 on: December 29, 2013, 08:21:00 PM »
My parents are divorced and my husband's parents are not, so there are 3 parental gifting households.  Before my husband and I got married, my dad did not give him any kind of Christmas or birthday gift.  Since we've gotten married, he writes each of us a check at Christmas and it's the same dollar amount.  He doesn't acknowledge my husband's birthday, though (he lives thousands of miles away so it's not like he comes to a birthday celebration empty handed, which would incidentally be fine with us).  My mom definitely tends to give me more gifts than she gives my husband, but part of that is my husband is notoriously difficult to shop for.  By the same token, his parents give him more gifts than me.  I have absolutely no problem with this and it makes sense to me that the parents would spend more on their own child.  My mom and his parents are both quite generous with gifts so it's not like one of us gets a pair of socks and the other gets a new iPhone, laptop, and trip for one to Jamaica. 

EllenS

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Re: Do children and sons/daughter in law get equal gifts?
« Reply #68 on: December 29, 2013, 08:40:52 PM »
I don't think any of the posters sound like they are looking for offense from uneven gifting, rather that strained relationships get manifested in both gifting and the way those gifts are perceived.

It seems that people who have positive relationships with family are happy with whatever their gift  customs are.  When you feel your relatives are warm, generous, thoughtful and fair toward you in general, you're likely to perceive their gifts the same way.
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blarg314

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Re: Do children and sons/daughter in law get equal gifts?
« Reply #69 on: December 29, 2013, 08:44:43 PM »
My mom gives roughly equal gifts to kids and kids-inlaw.

Then there's my friend's mother in law who one Christmas gave her son a cheque for an expensive new gaming computer, and told my friend that she could use his old computer as her gift. The problem - he spends way too much time gaming as it is, letting my friend do the majority the household/kid stuff, so the gift was actually a punishment for her, and she already had a computer and didn't need a second hand one.

gollymolly2

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Re: Do children and sons/daughter in law get equal gifts?
« Reply #70 on: December 29, 2013, 10:15:25 PM »
That's it exactly! I would not be looking for trouble or offense based on a gift! If there were animosity, it would have to be far more overt than "Jane got a $90 sweater and I only got a $50 wallet - I bet my in laws hate me."

Has anyone in this thread said they would be bothered (let alone "looking for trouble or offense") by that sort of subtle, unnoticeable difference?

I have to admit that I've been confused by several of your posts in this thread, as you seem to be reacting to things that nobody is saying.

But I am under the influence of a loooot of TylenolPM (boo, Christmas colds!) so it's totally possible that I just completely missed some posts.

TurtleDove

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Re: Do children and sons/daughter in law get equal gifts?
« Reply #71 on: December 29, 2013, 10:46:04 PM »
I think EllenS stated it well - this isn't (or, IMHO, shouldn't be) about the gifts at all. It is about familial relations in general. If I feel I have a good relationship with my inlaws, it would be silly for me to take note of what various people were gifted and to take offense. If I did not feel accepted by my inlaws, being gifted "equally" would not change that.

My point is, as I see it, this isn't about the gifts, and if it is, I think it's petty and borrowing trouble.

kareng57

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Re: Do children and sons/daughter in law get equal gifts?
« Reply #72 on: December 30, 2013, 12:16:22 AM »

Our idea of holiday gifts is to be fair and make sure that everyone is pleased.  Favoring a child over the child's spouse is not acceptable.   

Can you clarify why? I guess the way I see it is that the in-laws could assume that their son/daughter in law also gets a bigger gift from their family, and their child is the one getting the smaller gift in that situation, so they are making things proportional.

In a way, a marriage involves the fusion of two families as well as the union of two people. The spouse of a child should be a 'SON in law' rather than a 'son IN LAW' if that makes any sense.

  Giving a child of the blood a gift worth far more than a child by marriage receives is, in our view a
subtle but not particularly nice way of saying that the spouse isn't 'really' a member of the family.   

In my family, and that of some other posters, that is the fact and the expectation, however.  DH is married to my mother's child -- he is not her child. I, personally, do not regard marriage as the fusion of two families in any way. (My mother has never met, and in all likelihood never will meet, DH's mother, for example.) I have no independent relationship with my husband's mother, and very rarely speak to her, likewise with my family and DH.

Just saying, not all families conform to some ideal that you envisage, and many of us are perfectly happy that way.


I agree. Weddings are not always a fusion-of-two-families.  Very often, the two in-law parents only see each other once a year or even less, even if there is no hostility.  Sometimes they have very little in common, other than their children.

I personally see no problem with giving in-law child a $$ lesser gift, as long as it's not so extreme to demonstrate hostility.  Overall I really dislike the gift-value analyzing overall, in any family group.  I'd hate to think that my two sons might be analyzing that I might have spent $25 more on one than the other.......late Dh and I just didn't raise them to be so materialistic.

miranova

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Re: Do children and sons/daughter in law get equal gifts?
« Reply #73 on: December 30, 2013, 12:28:35 AM »
Of course you may never feel the same thing for your son in law that you do for your daughter.  But in my opinion, Christmas gifts are not really the best forum to express that.  There is no reason to draw attention to biology at Christmas.  There are times where it is more important, of course.  For example my parents in law have 3 children, my husband being one of them.  The three children are listed by name to inherit their property in equal thirds.  This is 100% expected and completely normal.  Two of the children are married, and neither I nor my sister in law expect to be personally named in their will and the money to be split in fifths!   But Christmas presents?  That's a time to be inclusive, not exclusive.   That's the time to say "you are a part of the family and I will treat you as such". 

Also, when it comes to relationships and feeling close to someone, I think sometimes people neglect the fact that gift giving, if done well, can actually cultivate the very relationship that you don't yet have but want to have.  If you make the effort to really find out what someone likes and find a gift that suits them, in general that can only help solidify and build a relationship.  Of course if you don't desire a close relationship that is something else entirely, but if you want one, I think equal gift giving and making an effort to find out what this person would enjoy would go a long way.

Obviously opinions will differ. 

miranova

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Re: Do children and sons/daughter in law get equal gifts?
« Reply #74 on: December 30, 2013, 12:32:48 AM »
That's it exactly! I would not be looking for trouble or offense based on a gift! If there were animosity, it would have to be far more overt than "Jane got a $90 sweater and I only got a $50 wallet - I bet my in laws hate me."

I could be wrong but I get the sense that people are talking about more severe and obvious gift inequities than your example. I really don't even think I could tell the difference between a $90 sweater and a $50 sweater.  It would never occur to me to try to figure out exact values and compare.  For me it's more about the effort to get something reasonably in the same ballpark.  For example, a $500 check to one spouse and a candle to the other....now that's unequal.