Would you rather NOT do holiday gift giving? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 01-10-2014, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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As a spin off of this and the other about holiday gift giving would you rather not do holiday gifts? Do you do anything else instead? We do Kiva fund as a gift, we loan money to, mostly women, in a developing nation to support her family in small business. We feel this is a great was to give gifts with meaning. How about you?

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#2 of 14 Old 01-10-2014, 10:11 AM
 
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Are your gifts to this organization in other people's names?  As in, "Dear Aunt Tilly, we've given a monetary gift of $XX to - insert organization name here - in your name.  Happy Holidays!"

 

I would not like to be the recipient of such a "gift" (ie, if I were Aunt Tilly).  I wouldn't like having my name handed out to charities without my permission.  Even if you don't give the charity the recipient's name(s), how do you know the recipient would want to be associated with that charity??

 

One year, dh's aunt sent us a card saying a gift of $XX had been sent to a Catholic charity and a political group in our name.  We were furious, as we don't want anything to do with that particular business (the Catholic church).  It took forever to get off their damned mailing lists (our names were added to over a two dozen other Catholic and associated charities (mainly pro-life and conservative political groups).

 

Send donations in YOUR name and be done with it.  Don't involve others without their pre-approval! 

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#3 of 14 Old 01-10-2014, 12:09 PM
 
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I know some people really like getting donations in their name because they can use it in their deductions at tax time. But I kinda feel like people should just make donations in their own names and not claim it to be a gift unless they really know the "recipient" would appreciate it. Nothing wrong with just not giving people gifts if you don't want to. Sometimes I feel people do the "donation in your name" as a cop-out because they don't want to give a certain person a gift but can't bring themselves to say so... I only received a "donation in your name" gift once and it was during a particularly rough year when I literally could not afford food. It damaged my relationship with that person because I felt hurt that they were so clueless about my life.


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#4 of 14 Old 01-10-2014, 12:10 PM
 
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I would like to do away with or reduce the holiday gift giving. I am not the best at picking out gifts and I have a hard time thinking of gifts I would like people to give me when they ask. It's stressful. I like receiving nice gifts, but I don't like getting things I won't use or need to return. I appreciate the thoughtfulness, of course, but sometimes it gets a little overwhelming. We traveled home for the holidays and had to cram our suitcases closed because we had to bring so much home. I would appreciate maybe one small meaningful gift or a gift card so I can get someting I need. I do like buying gifts for my niece and nephews though. I feel like they get really excited and it's more fun for them. I feel like as an adult, I don't need lots of gifts. I feel kind of bad for complaining about receiving gifts when there are probably people who don't get gifts and would really like them. I do enjoy buying gifts for people less fortunate than I am. My church did gifts for homeless children and it was so much fun to go shopping for them and to know that they would have a great gift to open on Christmas.

grahamsmom98-That does sound very annoying! I think before you gift a gift like that, you need to know that the person actually wants it and it's not just a big slap in the face.



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#5 of 14 Old 01-10-2014, 01:05 PM
 
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In an ideal world I would love for the following math to apply:

 

No need for adults to do gifts.  If there are kids great. Figure out how much you can spend PER FAMILY.  I HATE fee like like because I have more kids people resent that they have to spend more.  I'm not ungrateful but when you have more than one kid, spending X per kid can get excessive in the "stuff" department.  

 

Also, I hate when guilt plays into things. My MIL use to buy an ungodly amount of "fur kid" stuff for my BIL because they didn't have kids at that time.  Give me a break.  Just because you have grand kids with one kid doesn't mean you have to spend the same amount on one dog.  It's really silly if you ask me.  

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#6 of 14 Old 01-10-2014, 02:02 PM
 
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I would like to mostly do away with gift giving for adults also. I appreciate when people spend the time/money/effort giving me a gift, but I honestly don't need anything and would be perfectly happy if they just gave the kids something and skipped me and DH.

With our friends who have kids, that's pretty much what we do -- the kids exchange gifts, and we adults plan a dinner together or something instead of gifts.

I'm not a fan of the gifts-in-your-name thing. Give to charities because you want to, not as a stand in for gift giving. Ricky Gervais has a funny stand-up bit about that.

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#7 of 14 Old 01-10-2014, 02:24 PM
 
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I would like to mostly do away with gift giving for adults also. I appreciate when people spend the time/money/effort giving me a gift, but I honestly don't need anything and would be perfectly happy if they just gave the kids something and skipped me and DH.

With our friends who have kids, that's pretty much what we do -- the kids exchange gifts, and we adults plan a dinner together or something instead of gifts.

I'm not a fan of the gifts-in-your-name thing. Give to charities because you want to, not as a stand in for gift giving. Ricky Gervais has a funny stand-up bit about that.

I've seen a few situations where the donation-in-your-name gift really was a good gift.  Basically, like pretty much anything else, whether it's a good gift depends on the situation. 

 

Overall, I'd rather not do the gift thing, or at least cut it way, way back.  I've noticed that some kids (like mine) end up kind of miserable when they get a huge influx of presents, and among adults it usually ends up awkward, or worse.  The whole thing mostly gives me a headache, regardless of whether I'm the giver, or the givee.

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#8 of 14 Old 01-10-2014, 02:35 PM
 
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I love the concept of exchanging gifts.  I like giving and it's sweet to receive.  Unfortunately, the way we do gifts for the holidays (and kid birthdays) is incredibly overwhelming.  We've cut back on adult gifts on both sides of the family, but cutting back on kid gifts seems to be a taboo subject.  I think it gives the wrong message to our children to do away with gifting to adults but piling on loads of gifts to the children:  "Better appreciate the gifts now (even though your are overwhelmed with them) because you don't get any when you grow up."

 

Because we are blessed with grandparents on both sides, and aunts and uncles and great aunts and uncles on both sides, even if we cut back on what we give our kids they still end up with too much.

 

Has anyone found a way to coordinate two extended families so kids get no more than 5 gifts and adults get to feel special too?

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#9 of 14 Old 01-10-2014, 03:09 PM
 
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Has anyone found a way to coordinate two extended families so kids get no more than 5 gifts and adults get to feel special too?

Drawing names out of a hat can help with that. I've floated that idea to my ILs a few times, but so far they haven't gone for it.

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#10 of 14 Old 01-10-2014, 04:39 PM
 
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 I think it gives the wrong message to our children to do away with gifting to adults but piling on loads of gifts to the children:  "Better appreciate the gifts now (even though your are overwhelmed with them) because you don't get any when you grow up."

 

Because we are blessed with grandparents on both sides, and aunts and uncles and great aunts and uncles on both sides, even if we cut back on what we give our kids they still end up with too much.

 

Has anyone found a way to coordinate two extended families so kids get no more than 5 gifts and adults get to feel special too?

ITA. I don't think it's healthy for kids to think Christmas is all about them. And I rarely receive more than one present a year which is kind of lame considering I give gifts to 14 people...

 

If your relatives will take suggestions, you could try asking them to chip in for a museum membership or something. And maybe if you started giving family gifts or couples gifts, they might follow suit. Though I wouldn't hold my breath because people just really like an excuse to buy toys or cute tiny clothes.

 

When my ds was 2 and 3 years old and more people sent him gifts, I'd give him one a day over the holidays. Or let him open the gift when it arrived in the mail. It really helped keep the gift giving from being overwhelming. If your kids are young, the gift giving might naturally taper off with time. Little kids are more fun to shop for than big kids. 


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#11 of 14 Old 01-10-2014, 09:13 PM
 
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I would love to do away with gift giving at the holidays and just exchange birthday gifts.  Gifts are a big part of what stresses me out about the holidays - the obligation to give a gift to every single family member plus teachers - etc....  It's a lot all at once.  My sisters and I don't exchange birthday gifts, but we do Christmas.  Lame.  But there doesn't seem to be a way out of it. 

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#12 of 14 Old 01-11-2014, 12:52 AM
 
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We don't give or receive gifts in the traditional sense. We do a meal and I handmake cards. I'll admit that it is not always easy to feel o.k. about not doing presents, but I am certain it is way less stressful, which is a gift in itself.

Sometimes I wish I could just indulge in all the wonderful craft and artisan loveliness I see on offer at this time of year. I would like to be able to support people by buying their wares. I suppose if I had the resources to buy gifts, that is what I would do.

I watched a fair amount of "what I got for christmas" vlogs on youtube, and saw a lot of people showing things they bought for themselves in lieu of receiving, and that seems to be a dominant trend, buying yourself what you want or telling someone what to buy you.

Anyways, we celebrate the end of the year and the winter solstice with a dinner. I buy a load of groceries to feed a group, and my father gifts us groceries and makes a big pot of sauce. That is our form of giving and receiving.
I do receive some items from my mother and uncles, usually baking and some second hand toddler clothes they have thrifted.
Sometimes I feel envious of other people's material bounty during this time of year, I'll admit it.

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#13 of 14 Old 01-11-2014, 04:50 PM
 
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I love holiday gift-giving. My family gave up exchanging among the adults (my siblings, siblings-in-law, parents, godmother, and I) a few years ago. I kind of miss it, but we really had reached the point where we were all mostly exchanging gift cards for restaurants. (I see that as a way to buy a couple a nice meal, on their own timetable...plus, my mom & stepdad, and brother & SIL all love Greek food, and I don't care for it, so I have no real desire to take them out for dinner at a Greek restaurant, yk?) A couple of my adult relatives were going through really tight financial times, and the strain on them made it really awkward. I'd have happily kept giving gifts, but that's even more uncomfortable for everyone else.

 

I love the exchange, but my family keeps it pretty reasonable. I don't think I'd enjoy it if it were a deluge. My mom has cash flow problems this year, so she crocheted something for each of the kids. DS1 got a scarf in a crocheted approximation of his (on his dad's side) family tartan, which was cool. The other kids in the family got hats, gloves, vests, slippers, etc. DD2 and my stepbrother's little guy got snowmen, as they were the only grandchildren who didn't have one already (mom started making them when ds1 was little, and each of the grandchildren has received one somewhere between ages 3 and 6).

 

Counting all the aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents, and siblings, my kids each got eight gifts this year. (DD1 and ds2 also received, together, a set of books from ds1 - he's a starving student this yera, and gave them his old Deltora series.) I'm good with that.

 

DH and I still exchange gifts, but we don't tend to go big ticket...although he did buy me a new Kobo to replace the one I accidentally dropped off the kitchen counter a couple months ago.

 

With respect to the whole donations as gifts thing, I think that needs to be carefully considered. I'd have no objection at all to having someone make an ICAN donation in my name, and there are a few other charities I'd be good with. But, I don't think it's the greatest general purpose gift, and I know people who would be seriously upset to have someone do that as a gift.

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#14 of 14 Old 01-13-2014, 03:46 AM
 
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No way; I love it. Ours is very low stress/low expectations though..if it wasn't I'm sure my response would go the other way. We do probably too much for the kids but a fair amount of it is stuff we would buy anyway: clothes (I have fun finding stuff that ties into their favorites), sports equipment, books, music, crafting stuff,etc. DH & I do mostly practical things too. My Mom and his Grandmom get harder every year just due to age...if they want it they mostly have it or I can't afford it, ya know? Mostly we get them treat foods and something involving the grandkids- custom calenders or studio shots of as many cousins as we can round up. MIL gets restaurant gift cards because she's a reality show-worthy hoarder and I can't justify throwing any of my paycheck into a 10 foot stack-o-crap. My Mom is fun to shop for and easy to please at least; her favorite this year was a fangirl poster of Pavarotti to put in her room. orngbiggrin.gif

Other than that we do kid presents only with DH's niece. This year we did toys for the 5 yr olds and went in on a weapon-making workshop for all of the older kids; they are 9,12,13,14 so hard ages to buy for without it getting expensive.

That's pretty much it aside from two friends we exchange homemade cookies/candy/beer with and my best friend who just celebrates winter as a whole season (so no time constraints), plus we have a rule that it must be secondhand, homemade, or very practical. This year I got her a giant jug of good coconut oil and saved jars for her herbs.
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