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  1. #1
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    Default Extended family gifts - where to draw the line?

    I am interested to hear how others manage gifts among their extended families. Birthday gifts for adults in particular.

    Before we had kids it was pretty standard in both DH and I's families to each buy one another birthday gifts around $100 in value. Now that there are several children, partners etc it's getting ridiculous. Some months we have 4+ family birthdays and this is in addition to the engagements, weddings, mothers & fathers days, plus our own kids birthdays and friends bdays etc. It totals thousands of dollars a year which we just don't have money for especially right now.

    I will add that in our extended family often it's one person organising a 'large gift' for the birthday person and asking for contributions. It becomes tricky because we don't want to always be the ones saying 'oh no we will get a separate gift' or that we can only contribute a small amount knowing that every other couple is contributing twice as much. We end up feeling really stingey but just don't know how to manage this?!

    This month we have FIL's 70th and we are all sharing a large beach house on and island for 5 days at shared expense. Then BIL says how much do we want to contribute for a gift... I thought the family holiday was the gift?! As it's costing a bomb.

    DH brought up a good point today - how long do we keep buying our siblings gifts?? It's not like our parents buy their siblings birthday gifts every year in their 50's and 60's. A card yes, maybe a bottle if wine if they happen to see them on the day and maybe something for big milestone bdays but certainly not $50-$100 presents each year!

    What do others do? Anyone else in the same boat?

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    Personally I would of thought the holiday was enough for fil. As for gifts my mum still gets a very small gift for her sisters maybe $30 at the most but nothing for my cousins at all. We are all in our 30's and 40's and really don't need anything. My Xmas and bday present is the same every year. A massage and facial voucher as they know I enjoy that, DP gets me the same aswell. I still buy my sister something but only small as she is 2 wks after Xmas and she is to my only sibling. I think it's more important for kids to enjoy presents I mean what else do we need as adults unless you like collecting dust collectors

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    sunnygirl79  (24-09-2016)

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    Its hard! I know every family dynamic is different.

    We don't buy our siblings presents much for birthdays. Same with our parents. But we do buy for our nephews/nieces. We have a fairly small family I guess. DH has 1 sister with no kids. I have 2 brothers and they have 7 kids all together.

    I don't get anything for cousins etc anymore.

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    sunnygirl79  (24-09-2016)

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    I am totally on board with getting the kids presents and our parents. But the siblings thing is starting to get ridiculous. I think if we said we should stop doing it there would be some family members that would still do it anyway... Argh.

    Of course it's the family with the most income driving the push for gifts. At least that's how I see it.

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    Olive Oil  (24-09-2016)

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    Default Extended family gifts - where to draw the line?

    DH's family is big on gifts (and extravagant ones!). We buy gifts for MIL + her husband, FIL + his partner, BIL + SIL and their two kids for birthdays, Father's Day, Mother's Day, and Christmas. Each gift is roughly $150 AUD, which I personally think is a bit much.

    My family is less big on gifts. None of them mind at all if we say we aren't really doing Christmas presents this year etc. When we do buy gifts for them they are usually around $50 each. We always buy for our two nephews though I think it's different for little kids.

    Overall I'd prefer if adults didn't buy me gifts and I didn't buy them gifts. That probably sounds really Scroogey but I just can't see the point of it.

    Edit: just realised specifying AUD might have seemed pointless haha! I'm used to doing that because they are all overseas so I'm used to doing the translation

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    sunnygirl79  (24-09-2016)

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    If it's family and they are doing a combined gift, Would they be ok with you contributing a smaller amount, especially given the expensive holiday away?

    In my family, we are not huge on gifts. And if someone was to do a combined present, the contribution doesn't always have to be equal. For example, my sister makes significantly less money than my brother and I, so if we go in together to buy a gift for one of the members of the family, she either puts in less or we agree to buy something that's more affordable for her.

    All of my extended family is actually overseas so they don't get gifts from me, but I have a brother and sister and my parents. My dad never wants anything, and he's very well off anyway so feels personally offended if I ever suggest buying him anything. My mum is a bit more sensitive but would be happy with flowers and a card.. My brother doesn't want gifts either, he would prefer I made a donation to a cause he supports or just go to dinner with him. My sister is much the same, but sometimes I'll buy her something.

    DH gets nothing for his bday haha his present usually is me allowing him to do something or spend money on something that he feels is excessive - like this year he went on a shopping spree on his own. But as he never buys himself clothes, it didn't even seem like a present to me. I also told him he could spend the weekend of his birthday at a poker tournament (he's very into poker tournaments).

    DH's mother and grandparents are a bit different though. They expect a present, and a good one at that. MIL is turning 60 next year and DH wants to buy her a car. Not joking

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    sunnygirl79  (24-09-2016)

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    DHs sister expects everyone to still do gifts and gives us a list of what she wants every year. We have nothing to do with them throughout the year so I put my foot down this year and said no more especially when she demands a gift over $50+ but then gives a $10-$15 back. Yeh no thanks

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    sunnygirl79  (24-09-2016)

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    @Shoopuf you buy them Mother's Day and Father's Day gifts?! Is this for the parents in Law only, or the BIL and SIL as well?

    Geeeez that would be a lot for me to handle! The money isn't the problem for me, it's just so much work!
    @MaybeBabyIVF - wow that is a bit rich, asking for a $50 gift and then giving back $15 gifts.. I'm not one to notice what others spend on me, but if someone is putting together a gift registry for their bday, that's a bit unfair lol

    Who makes a list though? Wow... I haven't done that since I was about 12

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    sunnygirl79  (24-09-2016)

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    I tend to get birthday/Xmas gifts for my sister and SIL as they buy for my soon to be 4 kids- however I don't expect them to buy for me. They don't have kids so there's nothing to balance it out.
    Other adults I tend not to buy for and vice versa.

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    sunnygirl79  (24-09-2016)

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    Default Extended family gifts - where to draw the line?

    We get presents for our parents and niece/nephews and that's it.
    I just realised I don't even know when my BILs and SILs birthdays are! Most of them live overseas though.
    Last edited by babyno1onboard; 24-09-2016 at 15:42.

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