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Author Topic: Adult Nieces/Nephews and Birthday Presents  (Read 32436 times)

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Re: Adult Nieces/Nephews and Birthday Presents
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2011, 05:10:33 PM »
I exchange gifts with one aunt only (I turned 23 last week, if that helps :)) But I'm much closer to her than any other aunts or uncles. She doesn't give gifts to my brother or sister because they don't have the same relationship. I also get gifts from my grandmother, but we are also very close and I give her birthday presents also.

Other than that, I stopped getting birthday gifts from other aunts and uncles when I was around 15 or so, althought they all gave me a 21st gift (but that was because I had a party and they came to it). We exchange christmas gifts if DF and I are spending Christmas with them - but that is only every 2nd or 3rd year (divorced parents plus now DF's family means I only see them that often).


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Re: Adult Nieces/Nephews and Birthday Presents
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2011, 05:24:36 PM »
I still receive gifts from my maternal aunt and uncle and paternal grandparents (and yes I write thank you notes).  It works for our family....there are only four of us cousins.  I do not exchange birthday gifts with my older relatives, though I always send a card or call.  We do exchange gifts at Christmas.  I have a grand total of four first cousins, 2 on my dad's side and 2 on my mom's.

Do what you want for your nieces and nephews, it doesn't matter how old they are!  I will say that I am closer to my mom's side who send gifts, but that is because they have always made more of an effort to be close and stay updated with what is going on in my life.  Consequently, I have a much better relationship with the cousins on that side.  I last saw the cousins on the other side when I was about 3 years old and the aunts and uncles about once every 10 years.


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Re: Adult Nieces/Nephews and Birthday Presents
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2011, 05:33:46 PM »
Our nieces/nephews are still little, but my sister-in-law was discussing this recently as BIL's niece/nephew are teenagers and BIL made a comment about how gift giving would stop when tehy turned 18 and SIL went "no, it'll stop when they have children", which is sort of how I feel (for the record, DH is the only sibling who gets gifts, because he has no children, at least not for a few months).


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Re: Adult Nieces/Nephews and Birthday Presents
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2011, 05:49:25 PM »
We never did birthday gifts, but my mom's cutoff for Christmas gifts was when the youngest child in the family graduated from college. She didn't want someone to feel left out when they didn't have something to open.

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Re: Adult Nieces/Nephews and Birthday Presents
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2011, 05:52:40 PM »
The last Christmas gift I send is the one that is the same year they graduate high school.


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Re: Adult Nieces/Nephews and Birthday Presents
« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2011, 05:53:48 PM »
I give the nieces and their husbands small-amount gift cards for their birthdays. The grands get presents. We no longer exchange presents for Christmas, just gag gifts.

Of course, if it's a milestone birthday with a family party, I give presents.

It will pass. Or not.

Snowy Owl

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Re: Adult Nieces/Nephews and Birthday Presents
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2011, 06:21:45 PM »
I see no reason to stop giving them gifts if you want to keep doing it. There's no law that says you have to stop giving them presents when they're 18/21/fully supporting themselves/insert your definition of "adult" here. I think it depends on what your family does and how you feel about it. My aunt and uncle still give me Christmas and birthday presents, and my parents give my cousins presents too, and we're all in our twenties.

I'd say there's no universal etiquette rule for this one, just do as you see fit :).

Agreed.  No universal etiquette, just do what feels right.  My aunts and uncles still give me presents for my birthday and Christmas and now that I'm working and can afford to do so I reciprocate.  When I was a university student I couldn't afford to do so and just gave them cards while they gave me presents but as soon as I could afford to do so I reciprocated.   

We all find this pleasant and enjoyable so I would imagine we'll keep doing it indefinitely.   :)
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Re: Adult Nieces/Nephews and Birthday Presents
« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2011, 07:04:50 PM »
Thank you for your comments everyone!  It's nice to see how thing differ from family to family.

I actually recently bought a gift for one's birthday, which will be in a couple of months.  It was one of those things where you see something that just seems perfect for the person and have to get it.  I wondered if I should hold onto it for Christmas, and I do send "thinking of you" gifts once in a blue moon.  But this particular item feels more like a birthday gift to me, so I guess I'm not ready to stop giving them just yet.

So, maybe I'll give all of them gifts this year, then reevaluate next year.  Maybe the stopping point for me will be 30 years old.  We shall see.   ;D

Miss Bee

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Re: Adult Nieces/Nephews and Birthday Presents
« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2011, 07:13:21 PM »
In our extended families, it's customary to stop giving the nieces and nephews birthday/Christmas gifts when they turn 18. 


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Re: Adult Nieces/Nephews and Birthday Presents
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2011, 07:18:57 PM »
My aunts and uncles stopped sending gifts or money at eighteen, though as of twenty they still send cards. I wouldn't feel offended at all if they stopped. I'll probably give presents until eighteen as well, but that could very well change.


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Re: Adult Nieces/Nephews and Birthday Presents
« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2011, 07:35:55 PM »
I think it sounds like you sort of want to stop. Is that a good guess?

Stopping at a certain age seems perfectly fine. It does seem fairer, to me, to do it that way. Then the kids who are younger don't lose out. and if you are ever challenged (which would be rude beyond words, btw), you can say, "Oh, I decided to stop when you get to be 25." or whatever.

And I do think that once they get to be grownups, you SHOULD perhaps stop giving presents to people who don't *ever* give you a present in return.

And once gift-giving devolves to an obligatory check, I personally think it should probably stop. It's one thing to say, "you're going away to college, here's graduation money to help you with the transition," but I sort of think that if you don't know someone well enough to pick out a present, maybe you don't know them well enough to buy a present.
In other words, maybe your niece and nephew have the right idea on whom to give presents TO--people you are really, really close to.

I'm also a fan of the idea that one year you might give a b'day present, and another year you might not. I reject the idea that among grownups, it must be "fair." (though I admit to sometimes being comfortable with that, personally)


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Re: Adult Nieces/Nephews and Birthday Presents
« Reply #26 on: April 27, 2011, 10:23:20 PM »
In my family, the birthday gifts kind of peter out as you become a teenager and have stopped completely by the time you're out of high school.  Christmas gifts stop one year after your HS graduation, when you join the adult name-draw exchange.

I'm having a hard time with my own nieces and nephews, though.  In the big extended family, there were two cousins the same age, a small gap, two cousins the same age, a larger gap, and then a few singletons.  So you weren't stopping just one kid's gifts while giving to all the others.  But I have 4 nieces and nephews.  The oldest is 19, the next 15.  I feel awkward about just stopping the 19yo's gifts while giving to all the others for several years.


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Re: Adult Nieces/Nephews and Birthday Presents
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2011, 10:12:30 AM »
I guess I'm not clear on whether you want to stop sending gifts, or you don't want to stop sending gifts. If you enjoy sending the gifts and you can afford it, go right ahead and keep sending them--I think it's silly for a third party to say, "You need to stop giving people gifts now because they've reached X age" if both the giver and the recipient still enjoy it, especially as there's not an established tradition in your family already.

However, if you're getting tired of sending the gifts/are less able to afford them and would like to wind down, that's perfectly fine as well. In my family we never did age cutoffs and personally I would find it kind of harsh to be told, "You're too old for gifts now," especially when (again) it isn't already a longstanding tradition. On the other hand, I guess age works as something to tell people about why you've stopped giving the gifts, if you don't want to tell them the real reason (can't afford it, don't get thank yous, whatever).

Personally if I didn't want to give gifts to certain people anymore I would just stop, no reason given. It would be quite rude of anyone to inquire. I actually did this not very long ago--I had been giving a magazine subscription to each of three teenage cousins for several years and I never got a thank you or a comment of any kind, and it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps I was the rude one for continuing to send this apparently unwanted thing to their house every month. So I stopped renewing the subscriptions--I don't know if the current year has run out or not, but eventually they'll notice that no new magazines are coming. I didn't mention it to them or anyone else. I'm kind of curious if anyone will even bring it up--I'm guessing not, since they never said a word about it before.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Adult Nieces/Nephews and Birthday Presents
« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2011, 10:22:37 AM »
My Mom stopped giving gifts to my 1st cousins when they got married and had kids of her own.  But she would then get something small for the kids.  Usually a magazine subscription to a nature based magazine like Owl so that it covered all the kids.

I'm facing this dilemma myself.  My oldest nephew is 18, turning 19 soon.  The younger one will be 17 in the fall.  I've been still giving them gifts and I will probably continue as long as they are still living at home and we still get together for 'Birthday Weekend'.  (covers Mother's Day, SIL, Me, ON, Dad, Father's Day and Mom (when she was alive) as they are all in the space of 6 weeks.  YN and DB are close together in the fall but I usually gift them on BW, too.)

I don't have kids of my own so I can see continuing to gift Nephews as long as we get together until they have kids of their own and then I'll probably buy for the kids.

OP, I think whatever decision you make is fine as long as it is right for you.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.


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Re: Adult Nieces/Nephews and Birthday Presents
« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2011, 04:17:17 PM »
DH and I have six nieces and nephews, only one of whom consistently sent us thank you notes.   He still gets gifts.  (He's in his late thirties.)  The rest of them stopped getting gifts from us in sometime in their teens.   We just got tired of sending gifts into a void.