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xmas gifts question...

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by shockey, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    an offshoot of the bonus thread, i suppose... anyway, given the state of most of our incomes in recent years, how has this affected your ability to be as generous as you used to be at this time of year?

    i'll kick it off: it's been several years since mrs. shockey and i have exchanged gifts beyond holiday flowers for her and, well, nothing for me (at my insistence). more than ever it's all about our three stooges, doing our best to maintain whatever 'standard' has been set in better times...

    the only other people we give gifts to are my parents (flowers or a book for mom; a book for dad) and our nieces and nephews (there are 8 of 'em) and the 'cap' agreed upon by the givers has been frozen at 20 bucks per child.

    just wondering what the parameters are for y'all and how they may have changed in recent years...
  2. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    This is the first year I and Mrs. Chiquet are not buying anything for each other. But we are driving home for the first time in years and are going to Vegas in mid-April, so we are saving money for that.

    We had a poll on our website like this..84 percent are buying less this year. It's just the way things are going.
  3. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    I have always gone above and beyond. I've already told my parents not to get me anything this year (I've gotten my mom a t-shirt and some earrings since hers were all stolen in the burglary, and am looking at a pool table cover for my dad). I told my best friend since HS that I probably couldn't get anything for her or her hubby, but still wanted to get stuff for their three kids.

    That might be the extent of my purchases.
  4. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    My mom has said that the adults in my family are just going to buy gifts for the nephews this year. Yeah, right. My mom can't help herself. And I always try to get everybody something, even if it's just a gift card, because I still think it sucks to not get anything for Christmas no matter what you're trying to make yourself believe.
  5. bydesign77

    bydesign77 Active Member

    In the other direction, this will be the first year since I got married that I'm buying gifts for everyone in my family. Like a real adult.

    Now they aren't maskor purchases but still better than before.
  6. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    That's how it happens in my family. They'll swear up and down that they'll only buy for a couple of people, and to be fair, last year they drew names. But using my mom as the test case, here's how that pans out:

    She'll buy for the person she drew, a sister in law. But she'll still buy for me (despite my long-standing protests that she not). She'll still buy for her parents, though they always maintain that they don't want or need anything. She'll still buy for nieces and nephews that are still in school. She'll buy for her sister, regardless of whether she drew her name. Then she'll get to thinking and her brother did something for her a few months ago, so she should buy for him. And she's not a big fan of another brother's wife, but she also knows that person is going to buy for her, so she'd better buy for the wife, so she won't feel like a jerk. And one sister-in-law's mother always gets her something too, she she'd better buy for that person as well. Then she realizes she's buying for more people than she's not, and that would be unseemly, so she'll go ahead and "just get a little something" for everyone else. And thus the "pull a name and buy just for that person" plan dies another inglorious death as inevitable as Kenny's.

    And even if the plan ever worked as planned, I still don't participate. I don't know my cousins anymore. Really, outside my mom, I barely interact with anyone in the family. If I'm buying them gifts, it doesn't mean anything more than "hey, it's the time of season that I'm temporally obligated to buy you something that you may or may not dig, so happy Decemberween!" My family always assumes it's for other reasons, like I'm broke or depressed or a Jehovah's Witness (sometimes, always but irrelevant, and no, in that order). But I want my gift-giving to reflect the importance the players in my life have in my heart, not luck of the draw or some weird variant of noblesse oblige. But people still buy me ill-fitting clothes and I still play along.

    Which is the other weird thing -- there's no thought or passion in much of the gift-giving, yet the idea of not giving is the third rail of family politics. Even my mom, a rational person in most other arenas, had this conversation with me recently:

    Mom: It really doesn't matter if you want presents or not, I'm going to buy them anyway because it makes me feel good to do something nice for you.
    Me: So you realize that 'doing something nice for me' is the very opposite of what I want and would actually make me feel bad because it meant that you didn't care what I thought? But that's OK because it makes you feel good?
    Mom: Yes.

    Couldn't really come up with a good response to that.
  7. Smash Williams

    Smash Williams Well-Known Member

    MM - If it makes her feel good, then go with it and stop being a martyr. What harm does it do when you've clearly said, "Hey, you can get stuff for me, but I'm not going to get things for other people in this family because I'm broke/depressed/don't agree with the whole concept?"

    I buy little things for people in my office (like... $4-5 of cookies/chocolate and the like, nothing big) and a few friends with an expectation I won't necessarily get anything in return. I buy things for everyone in my immediate family (dad, mom, sister, half-brother, step-witch), and my family gets together and purchases gifts for my mom's side of the family as a group (three uncles, an aunt, my grandmother and assorted cousins). My dad's side of the family doesn't really exchange gifts any more. None of that has really changed in the last several years.
  8. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    My wife and I draw the line at spending $100 on each other. It's about the kids and we really don't need anything.
  9. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I've been fortunate that I've been able to increase my gift budget the last two years. Of course, my gift budget in 2008 was zero because of my employment situation at the time, so there was nowhere to go but up last year.

    My issue is the fact that I don't have very many people to buy gifts for. I only have one living grandmother left and she has Alzheimer's. My great aunt has dementia. My maternal grandmother died in June of last year.

    Now that my mother and I have a positive relationship again, I'd be buying gifts for her, my father and his partner. I could also get my stepdad something too, even though we haven't talked very much. That's pretty much all I *have* to buy for.
  10. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    i wanted to scream when told my 16-year-old niece and her boyfriend had a $200 limit for each other. what the crap?
  11. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    My wife and I are having an interesting debate. Well, a stupid debate and I suspect I'm the one being stupid.

    Backstory - we do a stocking for each other (I cheat, my daughter does her mom's from me because she loves doing it and is very creative and a very talented jewelery maker). And we buy one nice gift for each other. Two years ago, it was a dog for her. Last year, it was a very nice home music system that she wanted.

    As noted in another thread, I got her a Kindle for her birthday. She loves the thing. A lot. So much so that he really thinks I'd love one and wants to get me one for Christmas. But *** but *** then we essentially bought something for ourselves.

    Yeah, I know. I'm being stupid. But the feeling has attached itself to me.

    (my daughter has gone all home-made and does a great job. She's doing a mission trip to Honduras in the spring so I'm getting her a bag that meets specifications of what they can bring and putting some money in it as a donation to the cause - anyone who wants to donate, get in touch)
  12. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    same here. i love my family's gift giving policy. basically no one gets anything for anyone except presents for the kids. my parents and wife's grandparents send checks to us. my wife and i exchange cards. in some years my brother and i exchange gifts. virtually no holiday shopping necessary.
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