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  • May 29, 2017, 08:40:20 AM

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Author Topic: Christmas Gifts for the kids  (Read 5943 times)

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BabyMama

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Re: Christmas Gifts for the kids
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2017, 07:43:07 AM »
Gifts are not a big deal.  They really aren't.  Just let it go.  This will teach your dd a valuable lesson.  We don't celebrate Christmas by receiving gifts, we celebrate by giving gifts.  The only reason we get gifts is because we happen to be on the receiving end of someone else celebrating Christmas.  Your dd will have a much happier life if she takes this to heart.  My dd had to learn this lesson because a set of grandparents (FIL and wife) didn't always give her a Christmas gift.  Some years it was a wonderful expensive surprise and some years it was nothing.  She had to learn that gifts were no big deal and she was still loved by them no matter what.  She's happy when she gets something but it's okay if she doesn't.

That is all well and good for your family; however, if I was the OP and had been regularly giving gifts to other peoples children over many years, I would be very put out that these same people did not seem to care enough for my child to do the same. Also, the child was not upset.

Then it sounds like a business transaction.  I'm glad the child was not upset.

relationships, like businesses, require a certain amount of reciprocity.

MariaE

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Re: Christmas Gifts for the kids
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2017, 08:10:09 AM »
Gifts are not a big deal.  They really aren't.  Just let it go.  This will teach your dd a valuable lesson.  We don't celebrate Christmas by receiving gifts, we celebrate by giving gifts.  The only reason we get gifts is because we happen to be on the receiving end of someone else celebrating Christmas.  Your dd will have a much happier life if she takes this to heart.  My dd had to learn this lesson because a set of grandparents (FIL and wife) didn't always give her a Christmas gift.  Some years it was a wonderful expensive surprise and some years it was nothing.  She had to learn that gifts were no big deal and she was still loved by them no matter what.  She's happy when she gets something but it's okay if she doesn't.

That is all well and good for your family; however, if I was the OP and had been regularly giving gifts to other peoples children over many years, I would be very put out that these same people did not seem to care enough for my child to do the same. Also, the child was not upset.

Then it sounds like a business transaction.  I'm glad the child was not upset.

relationships, like businesses, require a certain amount of reciprocity.

Agreed. Besides, you can't just categorically state that gifts aren't a big deal. To people whose love language is gifts, that's just not true! And they should be made to feel like less or "wrong", just because they can't shrug it off like other people can.

Not to mention that sometimes not giving a gift does mean that the expected gifter loves the expected giftee less. I'm glad that's not the case for jazzgirl's dd and her grandparents, but it would be wrong to assume that that's always the case. Sometimes not getting a gift is a very big sign, and it's totally understandable to be hurt by that.

Only the OP knows if her family are more likely to fall in the former or the latter category.
 
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sejeroo

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Re: Christmas Gifts for the kids
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2017, 09:05:57 AM »
Gifts are not a big deal.  They really aren't.  Just let it go.  This will teach your dd a valuable lesson.  We don't celebrate Christmas by receiving gifts, we celebrate by giving gifts.  The only reason we get gifts is because we happen to be on the receiving end of someone else celebrating Christmas.  Your dd will have a much happier life if she takes this to heart.  My dd had to learn this lesson because a set of grandparents (FIL and wife) didn't always give her a Christmas gift.  Some years it was a wonderful expensive surprise and some years it was nothing.  She had to learn that gifts were no big deal and she was still loved by them no matter what.  She's happy when she gets something but it's okay if she doesn't.



That is all well and good for your family; however, if I was the OP and had been regularly giving gifts to other peoples children over many years, I would be very put out that these same people did not seem to care enough for my child to do the same. Also, the child was not upset.

Then it sounds like a business transaction.  I'm glad the child was not upset.

relationships, like businesses, require a certain amount of reciprocity.

Agreed. Besides, you can't just categorically state that gifts aren't a big deal. To people whose love language is gifts, that's just not true! And they should be made to feel like less or "wrong", just because they can't shrug it off like other people can.

Not to mention that sometimes not giving a gift does mean that the expected gifter loves the expected giftee less. I'm glad that's not the case for jazzgirl's dd and her grandparents, but it would be wrong to assume that that's always the case. Sometimes not getting a gift is a very big sign, and it's totally understandable to be hurt by that.

Only the OP knows if her family are more likely to fall in the former or the latter category.

And honestly, it's really not so much about the gifts as it is about the fact that we (all of the adults/families) always give to the kids. And have since the beginning of time. And, this year, it was specifically talked about, because we changed the date of the celebration. So, its more the fact that I followed through, and most of the family followed through, and these 2 families agreed to do it to ,and then didn't.

I really wouldn't have feelings one way or another if we had all agreed to not exchange gifts this year. Or if that's what we decide to do moving forward. Traditions change.

I think what my problem is, is that we all agreed to this- and I feel like I'm being greedy or materialistic because I'm put out that my kid got shafted. I mean, think about how you would feel if this was the agreement and every kid got gifts except yours.

I think maybe by next year I will just suggest we don't get the kids gifts. That kind of seems like the direction we are heading, and I'd rather just spend time together as a family. All the kids get plenty of stuff from other "sources".

rigs32

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Re: Christmas Gifts for the kids
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2017, 11:28:50 AM »
Out of curiosity, in families where all kids are gifted, doesn't that leave childless adults to constantly be gifting and never receiving?  I'd feel put out by that.

wolfie

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Re: Christmas Gifts for the kids
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2017, 11:35:29 AM »
Out of curiosity, in families where all kids are gifted, doesn't that leave childless adults to constantly be gifting and never receiving?  I'd feel put out by that.

Which is when my mom tried to say "CHristmas is for kids - we should only give to them" I put a stop to it.

MariaE

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Re: Christmas Gifts for the kids
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2017, 11:42:55 AM »
Out of curiosity, in families where all kids are gifted, doesn't that leave childless adults to constantly be gifting and never receiving?  I'd feel put out by that.

My husband and I are the only childless couple in my family. Once my uncle and aunt decided to only give gifts to the kids of each family unit, they said that DH and I were obviously the kids of our family unit. I've always loved them for that :)

The rest of my family give gifts to everybody, so it hasn't been an issue. Yes, it means I give 5 gifts to my sister's family unit (husband + three kids) and our family unit "only" receive two back, but that really doesn't bother me, because it still feels even.
 
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FauxFoodist

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Re: Christmas Gifts for the kids
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2017, 11:58:33 AM »
Gifts are not a big deal.  They really aren't.  Just let it go.  This will teach your dd a valuable lesson.  We don't celebrate Christmas by receiving gifts, we celebrate by giving gifts.  The only reason we get gifts is because we happen to be on the receiving end of someone else celebrating Christmas.  Your dd will have a much happier life if she takes this to heart.  My dd had to learn this lesson because a set of grandparents (FIL and wife) didn't always give her a Christmas gift.  Some years it was a wonderful expensive surprise and some years it was nothing.  She had to learn that gifts were no big deal and she was still loved by them no matter what.  She's happy when she gets something but it's okay if she doesn't.

That is all well and good for your family; however, if I was the OP and had been regularly giving gifts to other peoples children over many years, I would be very put out that these same people did not seem to care enough for my child to do the same. Also, the child was not upset.

Then it sounds like a business transaction.  I'm glad the child was not upset.

relationships, like businesses, require a certain amount of reciprocity.

Agreed. Besides, you can't just categorically state that gifts aren't a big deal. To people whose love language is gifts, that's just not true! And they should be made to feel like less or "wrong", just because they can't shrug it off like other people can.

Not to mention that sometimes not giving a gift does mean that the expected gifter loves the expected giftee less. I'm glad that's not the case for jazzgirl's dd and her grandparents, but it would be wrong to assume that that's always the case. Sometimes not getting a gift is a very big sign, and it's totally understandable to be hurt by that.

Only the OP knows if her family are more likely to fall in the former or the latter category.

Pod.  It's a bit much to indicate how your family handles Christmas and gift-giving is the only appropriate way.  If DH and I were to dictate how everyone should celebrate Christmas, we'd be reminding everyone to emphasize the religious aspect.  Fortunately, we don't do that and wouldn't.  The reality is not everyone will react the same way regarding gift-giving.

Out of curiosity, in families where all kids are gifted, doesn't that leave childless adults to constantly be gifting and never receiving?  I'd feel put out by that.

DH's cousin tried to get their family to start doing this but, fortunately, no one else agreed.  It was all well and good when she was the only one with kids but now there are three times as many kids (and her kids are almost adults) so she wanted to start limiting gift-giving to kids only.  The problem is DH and I are the only couple with no kids.  DH, of course, has no problem with us getting nothing but giving everyone's kids gifts.  I, OTOH, am not okay with it as some declared practice for everyone to follow.  I have a feeling Cousin is going to try to pull this again next Christmas or sometime in the near future.  I'm trying to figure out how to handle it without getting PO'd.  It should be pretty clear to everyone that to do it the way she wants means *we* get shafted (she knows darn well DH isn't going to stop giving the kids gifts if they go to kids only gift-giving).  For my side of the family, they're pretty broke so DH and I know if we want to give them gifts, it'll be one-sided.  However, it's one thing to make that choice ourselves and another for one person to declare for everyone that we're being officially cut out of the loop but are still on the hook for gifts to their kids.

mime

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Re: Christmas Gifts for the kids
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2017, 12:17:04 PM »
Out of curiosity, in families where all kids are gifted, doesn't that leave childless adults to constantly be gifting and never receiving?  I'd feel put out by that.

My husband and I are the only childless couple in my family. Once my uncle and aunt decided to only give gifts to the kids of each family unit, they said that DH and I were obviously the kids of our family unit. I've always loved them for that :)

The rest of my family give gifts to everybody, so it hasn't been an issue. Yes, it means I give 5 gifts to my sister's family unit (husband + three kids) and our family unit "only" receive two back, but that really doesn't bother me, because it still feels even.

I love your uncle and aunt's perspective! I recall my grandmother giving Christmas gifts to her grandkids until they had kids themselves... kind of a similar approach.

The rest depends on the family, I suppose. My ILs are all very kid-friendly and generous. DH and I were always fine with that for the 15+ years that we were giving gifts to kids before we had kids ourselves. The ILs who were iffy on ever having kids were also fine with it. DH and I may have figured we'd eventually have a kid or two and we'd be on the receiving end, but I don't remember ever consciously thinking that. Now that we have four kids, I feel like the generosity is over the top and encourage scaling back a little, because it can feel awkward when things are lopsided.


sejeroo

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Re: Christmas Gifts for the kids
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2017, 12:18:03 PM »
Out of curiosity, in families where all kids are gifted, doesn't that leave childless adults to constantly be gifting and never receiving?  I'd feel put out by that.

Ironically- up until recently, that was me. I married late in life and my DH and I adopted DD last year. She is a teenager. Up until then, I was the only person in that generation (9 cousins) that was childless. I think things are never going to be completely "even/fair" since our family is quite large. Currently, the 4 families with kids are made up of 2 families with 3 kids each and 2 families with 1 kid each. So it's uneven, but that has never been an issue (for me). Now, I've never gotten the feeling that anyone is upset with the overall system- but, if someone is, it would be better to just bring it up. Things in the family are changing a lot right now- so maybe this is just the time to re-do the tradition.

And up until about 10-15 years ago we had a system for the adults. And then as times changed, it was discussed and changed to just getting gifts for the kids. So maybe timing-wise, we are just at the point where it makes sense to stop giving the kids gifts.

In fairness, this is just one celebration- so for example, I don't give gifts to my brothers kid at this celebration, but I do give her a gift at another. Which is also part of why I am sure my kid didn't notice- cuz its a fairly fluid kind of thing. Its not the place where siblings give gifts to each other, that sort of thing- it's just for the extended family (hopefully that makes sense).

TootsNYC

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Re: Christmas Gifts for the kids
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2017, 08:39:28 PM »

I think maybe by next year I will just suggest we don't get the kids gifts. That kind of seems like the direction we are heading, and I'd rather just spend time together as a family. All the kids get plenty of stuff from other "sources".

I s'pose you can't say, "Maybe we should skip gifts to the kids now; I noticed that last year, neither family got a present for DD, and I think that means people are over it now."

(Of course, being the youngest of the cousins, my kids would be the ones who got 4 to 8 years' worth of presents to their cousins' 18...   I know, I know, it's not about the stuff or the money. It might be a bit about the attention, or the experience of "yay! a gift!" for my kids, because that's fun, to be honest.)

sejeroo

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Re: Christmas Gifts for the kids
« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2017, 10:35:52 AM »

I think maybe by next year I will just suggest we don't get the kids gifts. That kind of seems like the direction we are heading, and I'd rather just spend time together as a family. All the kids get plenty of stuff from other "sources".

I s'pose you can't say, "Maybe we should skip gifts to the kids now; I noticed that last year, neither family got a present for DD, and I think that means people are over it now."

(Of course, being the youngest of the cousins, my kids would be the ones who got 4 to 8 years' worth of presents to their cousins' 18...   I know, I know, it's not about the stuff or the money. It might be a bit about the attention, or the experience of "yay! a gift!" for my kids, because that's fun, to be honest.)

Ha! I'm half tempted!

But no, I think more along the lines of "since traditions are changing, do we want to change this one? It was cumbersome last year, and what do people think?"

I'll talk to my cousin who is sort of becoming the de facto leader of this generation and see what she thinks. (she's got the youngest kids too- so she may have an idea/suggestion)

m2kbug

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Re: Christmas Gifts for the kids
« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2017, 05:36:25 AM »
You could also do a name draw.  That way, no one, whether they have kids or not, will have to buy for a ton of kids, or, childless adults can decline to participate.  I was really overwhelmed by the gift-giving for my ex-DH's family.  Not only are there a lot of adults, but they had a LOT of kids.  I had mentioned that my family did a name exchange, so each person/couple bought for one person/couple, and bought for all the kids (if desired), which at the time amounted to 2.  His family implemented this, and each unit (single or married) purchased for one single/couple and was assigned 2 children (of course as family grows, one couple might end up with 3 children).  It worked out.  I might suggest dividing up the children and rotating yearly.  Whether they attend said event or not, they are responsible for those children.  This eliminates the huge financial burden of buying for a lot of kids.  I don't know how many they are, but I would easily duck out of that one, stating I just simply cannot afford to buy for that many kids.  Also, put a cap or spending limit/amount - what is a reasonable amount per child to spend? 

auntmeegs

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Re: Christmas Gifts for the kids
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2017, 11:27:30 AM »
I think you have to just let it go.  It's one gift.  And besides, I don't think you are going to get very far with people who would take away Christmas from their kid  :o

sejeroo

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Re: Christmas Gifts for the kids
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2017, 11:42:10 AM »
You could also do a name draw.  That way, no one, whether they have kids or not, will have to buy for a ton of kids, or, childless adults can decline to participate.  I was really overwhelmed by the gift-giving for my ex-DH's family.  Not only are there a lot of adults, but they had a LOT of kids.  I had mentioned that my family did a name exchange, so each person/couple bought for one person/couple, and bought for all the kids (if desired), which at the time amounted to 2.  His family implemented this, and each unit (single or married) purchased for one single/couple and was assigned 2 children (of course as family grows, one couple might end up with 3 children).  It worked out.  I might suggest dividing up the children and rotating yearly.  Whether they attend said event or not, they are responsible for those children.  This eliminates the huge financial burden of buying for a lot of kids.  I don't know how many they are, but I would easily duck out of that one, stating I just simply cannot afford to buy for that many kids.  Also, put a cap or spending limit/amount - what is a reasonable amount per child to spend?

We used to do a name draw for the adults- so each adult was giving a gift to another adult-  and a number of years ago we stopped doing that. Because there are multiple xmas celebrations I don't thnik dividing up the kids would work, because the family units all give gifts at different times (like, I have a "gift age" kid, but my brother doesn't give gifts to her at this celebration, and my cousin has 3 kids and we get together for 2 occasions where kids get gifts, but we only give to them at one of the celebrations.)

My guess is that we are just at a point in the family where this particular gathering has changed enough that it is time to forgo the gifts. I honestly don't think anyone will care.