Christmas gift giving

What are your traditions?

I like giving gifts but I hate the pressure to make sure each kid gets treated comparably. And we have 5 kids between us.

SO likes to go overboard with stocking stuffer gifts. I try every year to reign him in but it never works.

I created a new tradition a few years ago and it’s been a hit. I buy random gifts in the $25ish price range. Things I think any of the kids would like. I make sure I have at least as many gifts as I’ll have guests (sometimes the kids’ SOs join, sometimes nieces). Then we play a white elephant kind of game but with nice gifts :joy:. So everyone gets one nice but small gift and then I give cash.

  1. SO buys gifts for everyone, I try not to act surprised as to what I got them on Christmas morning.
  2. I call my daughter, ask her what mom wants for Christmas, and buy that.

Not Christmas, but related, occasionally throughout the year I’ll burst into junior’s room first thing in the morning and yell “SANTA WAS HERE!”.

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Isn’t it a little early for that?
Or, this year, too late??

My kids are old now, they don’t get things from me (us, though I’m often outvoted) because of duty. It will be seren(a)dipitous that I see something they would enjoy having.

My wife used to be a present counter when the kids were little. Now it’s just one big gift to each of the two oldest (19 & 20 this year) plus a bunch of mom-type presents and stocking stuffers like leggings and tee shirts and makeup.

My parents (really just my dad) was the same way–a present counter when we were young. Then he became a value-counter. BG, you might not have opened as many presents as your sister, but know they cost more…

We have an 11 yr old, who gets the “big” gift or two and several smaller ones. PLUS the stocking stuffer ones.

Meanwhile, I get like two things.

Which is totally fine. All I really want is a card and a kiss from my wife on Christmas morning. (and I do get that, too)

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We just do a couple nice things for the kids (some new kicks & some clothes now that they’re teens) and then sometimes get something for the house and sometimes buy each other a gift between me and my wife.

Our family: normally we’re with Mrs. Hoffman’s side unless the weather is really crappy or someone’s really sick. The kids are old enough, they get to pick their present. In past years, they’d have a list and they’d talk about some present they knew they wouldn’t get, and that’s what would show up. Mrs. Hoffman and I don’t swap gifts, we focus on something for the kids.

Mrs. Hoffman’s side: for years now, all the adults put their names into a hat and everyone draws someone else’s name out. One gift, $25 or less, everyone has to give at least 5 ideas. Avoids everyone having to buy for 7 adults, on top of buying for the kids. As the kids hit 18, they move into the adult pool (unless they elect to go early). Typically we get together on Christmas, this year we’re expecting to not make it down so we’ll do a remote thing together.

There’s also the lump of goal that gets passed randomly around, which started years ago between Mrs. Hoffman’s dad and the 1st grandchild (her sister’s child). Can’t remember who has it, I’m overdue to get it though.

My side: nada. Nothing. We haven’t done Christmas since about 1993, when mom had an hours long conniption about buying everyone a bunch of presents and no one being sufficently appreciative, everyone finally left the house because she would not shut the fuck up about it, and then she got pissed that everyone left instead of listening to her bitch endlessly.

No children yet, still visit parents and in-laws (although only one set this year because COVID).

Always tell everybody not to buy me presents.

Nonetheless, get texts saying that’s unappreciative and they need a present list.

Rarely I’ll get some gift beyond anything I’d have thought up and it’s nice (frequently this is due to my partner feeding ideas).

Usually it’s gift cards or stuff that I’ll never use. Much of it from our grandmother who just online shops whatever is on sale. Most goes to Goodwill but I donate some money for the waste. Would far prefer just being together and having a nice time. Children can still have gifts of course.


And they are not appreciating YOUR wishes. Quite rude of them.

I’m at a point that anything sub $100 that I want (within reason), I buy. Anything over $100 is too much for family. They gonna buy a backyard shed for me? Nope. But a pile of QVC crap? Yep, I’ll sort through what’s actually usable and donate it.

Makes me sad seeing that our grandmother has spent probably $100k+ on stuff that goes straight to the trash, for all the family. That’s an out-of-thread-scope gripe however.

We adults used to do a Christmas drawing of my siblings and our spouses, usually at Thanksgiving or whenever there is quorum. It devolved into gift card swapping, as some out-of-towners had to lug their presents back to their respective states/countries.
Online is certainly easier, as we were simply ordering online and having the gift shipped to their homes instead of shipping them to our home, transporting them to the gift-opening site, and opening them on Christmas; but this ruins half of Christmas.
So, instead of ruining half of Christmas, we deleted half of Christmas, and the denominator is now smaller. Win-win. Win.
We are all old enough not to need presents from each other. My bro-in-law is buying a night of a suite at Staples,… er Crypt Center for a hockey game. 14 going so far.

Hubby and I prefer no gifts but the kids (20’s) like gift giving. My 26yo has been my personal holiday shopper for several years. In laws still like to do gifts and mine usually ends up getting donated. Odd tho, if my kids aren’t there they get nothing. Last 2 years my daughter was traveling (New Zealand then Hawaii) and she had a lot of needs but they never asked. The older kid had a falling out with them so I get it for her, but younger kid was not involved. Dumb. We still buy for their kid and I guess we will until he graduates college. 2023 I think.

My family often does a gift card exchange in a fun way and we often end up giving most of the loot to the teenagers or youngest kids. That one is actually fun. Don’t know if we are doing it this year. If not I’ll probably do something for the ones that are in college bc they need it most. (Too many to do equal for all.)

Hubby was really funny about wanting to shop for me this year, so I need to give him a list. But I spent most of the $ on a tv over the weekend. That’s for both of us—we’ve been spending a lot of “date nights” at home—take out and a streaming movie—so it will be nice having the better tv. On my list will be a couple books and maybe a lego set or something we can do together. New slippers maybe. Just enough for him to have a few things to choose. He is getting malted milk balls in his stocking.

My favorite gift from 2 years ago (skipped 1 because COVID) was a bright pink, battery-powered nail polish dryer. Like you hold your hands inside it and it dries several minutes faster. That’s one that went right into the trash. Also got a cube of 16 different pink nail polishes. Neither of us wear pink nail polish. That one was donated.

Oh yeah, also the American Girl doll accessories. We don’t have American Girl dolls.

Oh man, nail polish and anything related would be offered to my nieces and if they didn’t want it, trashed or donated. When I want my nails done I go to a professional. If I do them they look like a 6yo’s attempt.

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Best christmas ever. SO decided we’re going to do a joint together christmas gift this year. I don’t even have to do ANYTHING this year.
We’re going to book a stay at this place for January sometime:Luxury Camping — Glen Oro Farm
Middle of the bush in january, woodstove, stars, I’ll cook a fancy dinner. Noice.


And I’m not even going to mention that I already own a tent like that, and that we could go find some gov’t land up north and do the same thing for free.

In the future, all OPI nail polish comes to me!

I used to be terrible at painting my own nails, but I invested in a few tools and some higher end base and top coats, and now I’m actually pretty good at it.

+1 I’m a big fan of planning a trip as a joint gift

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All I want for Christmas is a T-shirt that reads…

Guns Don’t Kill People.
Alec Baldwin Kills People!

Ordered my Pup Socks today as a gift. Going to be a big hit.

It depends. I always tried to be unpredictable and gift my kids what they needed/wanted. Usually, it was combining gifts first part was a gift that they wanted to have, and the second part was that they would need. When they grew up, only the second part remained. My kids grow up very rational people. For my wife, I always give her gift money so she will be able to buy whatever she wants. Of course, flowers, candies, and alcohol are not included in the bill. Usually, I used the same online service to buy gifts for my kids+wife.