Do you buy Christmas presents for your friends' kids? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 10-29-2010, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thinking ahead here... this is the first Christmas in a long time that I've actually had friends, and the first Christmas EVER that I've had friends with kids. Obviously I get gifts for their kids for their birthdays -- well, if we are invited to a bday party that is -- but what is the norm for Christmas??? I want to budget if a gift will be expected (and this could get expensive with all the kids in my circle) & I don't want to give gifts when it's not expected because then the other person just feels awkward because they didn't get your kid anything... and I don't want to be the one feeling awkward either... lol... So what's customary??

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#2 of 27 Old 10-29-2010, 11:34 PM
 
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I don't. If they were going to be coming over on Christmas day or visa versa, I may put a little something together. Generally speaking though, I don't buy my friends kids gifts.

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#3 of 27 Old 10-29-2010, 11:42 PM
 
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I don't have the budget to buy gifts for my friends or their families. Instead I make cookies or fudge or some goody that I know they like and deliver the goody all prettily wrapped. I think it really comes down to the whole "it is the thought that counts" part of the holiday.
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#4 of 27 Old 10-29-2010, 11:45 PM
 
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NO! We do have one friend who always buys my DD a gift, but we do not exchange with friends. We've been cutting back with family!

If you are invited to a friend's house for a holiday party and you are not going to reciprocate, I would bring a small gift for the family or a hostess gift and something for the child, but in general no gift exchange among friends. Where would you draw the line?

If you aren't sure, just ask your friends when it's a bit closer.
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#5 of 27 Old 10-29-2010, 11:53 PM
 
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What if your friend bought something for your child? then it would be awkward for you to. I always just discuss openly the gift situation with friends, we decide if, who and how much. Rule of the thumb, we never do adults, and we usually have very symbolic budget for kids 5 - 10 dollar per child and this makes it more fun for kids to get more gifts espeically if there is Santa giving them away by the tree.
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#6 of 27 Old 10-29-2010, 11:55 PM
 
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No. At the most I might bake some cookies for their family.

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#7 of 27 Old 10-29-2010, 11:59 PM
 
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Sometimes we do and sometimes we don't. We always keep it cheap (under five dollars). Usually something dd can make. Home made play-dough with a special cookie cutter or roller attached with a ribbon. One year we made little craft kits (clothes pin dolls). Using up left over crayon bits to make muffin tin rainbow crayons is another good one. This year a few silly bands would also make a nice little gift, just pick 5 and tie them together with curling ribbon and a tag, each one could end up costing less that $.50 and friend gets all kinds of colors, themes or something special and your child can spend hours contemplating the perfect assortment for their friends ...hours . Friendship bracelets, friendship pins and necklaces made out of beads are also a good choice. For older kids the mix CD is always a winner.

Its nice that my kids can get excited about giving to people they love, get involved in the process rather than just buying something off the shelf, and a good afternoon of making gifts is a good way to spend a day. They get to craft and the stuff doesn't end up around our house...its WIN WIN! But I love giving gifts to my friends, especially if it is a sweet little something I made. If it is something small your friends won;t feel obligated to reciprocate and instead can just enjoy the gift.

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#8 of 27 Old 10-30-2010, 12:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmm I'm glad to hear this, we'll see what others say!

Maybe I will see if some friends want to do a recycled/homemade type of gift exchange as part of a holiday party... & would assume this would be in place of any individual gift exchanges...

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#9 of 27 Old 10-30-2010, 03:07 AM
 
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In general, I don't think so.

When ds1 was born, he was the only child in our immediate circle of friends and family. Our closest friends (my bff and my ex's best friend - a couple - and one other old friend of my ex...also a friend of mine, as we had already been together 8 years) did buy gifts for ds1. They were mostly little things. Over the next couple years, the two guys dropped that, for lots of reasons, but my bff kept it up for a long time. She didn't know any other kids, and I think she really enjoyed shopping for him. As we spent less time together (we're still very close, emotionally, and can talk about anything, but we don't actually see each other often), she stopped buying for him. None of my other friends ever bought him anything, and I'd have been somewhat shocked if they had.

I used to spend a lot of time with one particular family. I did buy Christmas gifts for their kids, but it was a whole exchange, and their kids even got gifts for me (at least at first - paid for by their parents, but chosen by them...I particularly remember the large box of chocolates, wrapped in way too much wrapping paper, with all the caramels already eaten). I was more-or-less a member of the family. (And, actually, I shop for someone, who also shops - or knits - for all my kids, and she's technically a friend, not family, but we don't think of her that way.)

Honestly - I'd ask.

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#10 of 27 Old 10-30-2010, 10:00 AM
 
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I have thought about it,but never had enough money to go for them once I took care of my own family.
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#11 of 27 Old 10-30-2010, 10:24 AM
 
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This year we're doing a gift exchange, although a really close friend and I do exchange presents for our kids. Previous years it was something small, like a book or something, but I think everyone wants to just simplify.

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#12 of 27 Old 10-30-2010, 10:42 AM
 
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I exchange with close friends, and plan on having little homemade holiday playdohs on hand. I'll also say that I love finding thoughtful presemts for people so even if I give a gift i don't expect one in return

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#13 of 27 Old 10-30-2010, 10:49 AM
 
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We do not.
However, I do host a Christmas party playdate at my house for a group of 5 Moms and 7 kids. It's very low key and we do a book exchange. 1 book per family. It works out really well and we all have a nice time.

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#14 of 27 Old 10-30-2010, 10:52 AM
 
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No, there's no way I could afford that. Most of our friends have 3+ kids.
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#15 of 27 Old 10-30-2010, 12:07 PM
 
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No, don't open that can of worms.

One family did give ds a gift once. I suppose I wouldn't discourage ds if he wanted to give something to a special friend. I can see making ornaments to give to people we'll be seeing over the holiday. But most people want to cut back so I'll sacrifice myself and graciously accept a gift without reciprocating knowing they will either not repeat the gift giving next year or they will because they really really like to give people things.

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#16 of 27 Old 10-30-2010, 01:09 PM
 
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My female childless BFFs send holiday gifts to my kids. Other than that, nope. (Most of the our close-by friends are Jewish, so that's one reason, but I suspect that I would not buy gifts for Christian kid-friends, because it would take time and money that are in short supply!)

OTOH, my crafty DD likes to make cards, and I always allow THAT and will even go to some hassle to deliver the cards to her friends.
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#17 of 27 Old 10-30-2010, 01:24 PM
 
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Well if your having a get together at your place a little token for the kids would be better if you want to give them something. You could try to find something that is reasonably price/cheap but very useful to kid. Something they can appreciate.

I do buy christmas presents for my friends kids but close friends but not every year. As I may not have the funds and can't afford to.

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#18 of 27 Old 10-30-2010, 10:33 PM
 
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No and if one of my children's friend gives them a gift I would just say thanks but I will not reciprocate because I don't not want to start the cycle.
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#19 of 27 Old 10-30-2010, 10:52 PM
 
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nope nope nope! I have my Christmas card list, and my cookie bags/boxes for our neighbors (we live in an apt building), maintenance and rental offices, maybe the postman since our new one is so great. Oh, and some older family members who don't do any holiday baking but still enjoy eating it. That is about it for non-family holiday gifts. Most everyone I know with kids has a limited budget just as we do, so it's a moot point really.

Oh, this year I am doing a stocking exchange with some of my fellow mommy friends. My husband gives good gifts but sucks at remembering my stocking. Last year I filled it with newspaper just so that it didn't look so sad. Then I found out I wasn't the only one in this position so now I am arranging a mother-to-mother stocking swap. I'm hoping it will be a fun opportunity to share recipes and little inexpensive things like knitted dishcloths and the like.

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#20 of 27 Old 10-31-2010, 12:58 AM
 
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In general no, but we do have 2 families that we are very close with that we exchange gifts with. One is my best friend (who's son is my dd's best friend as well) - we give gifts for everyone in their family. The other family we exchange gifts just for the kids.

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#21 of 27 Old 10-31-2010, 01:33 AM
 
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we usually spend christmas with our friend. they know we are poor. depending on what they want i may or may not bring something to share. however i always get a gift for their son. and they get something for dd. its small. not big. and they sometimes get something for me too.

this is because we spend christmas with them.

otherwise no. if we are not spending xmas with them we dont buy each other gifts.

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#22 of 27 Old 10-31-2010, 08:55 PM
 
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Nope! We do not give gifts to my friend's kids.
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#23 of 27 Old 10-31-2010, 09:50 PM
 
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ABSOLUETLY NOT. I can barely afford to feed DS and get him a few things for Christmas. (Ds is 10) There is no way I am giving his friends presents. (Heck we cant even afford to pass out halloween candy tonight)

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#24 of 27 Old 10-31-2010, 11:11 PM
 
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Yes, just little things--I can usually find wooden puzzles or playsets for under $5 by me. I have 3 good friends where we gift exchange for the kids.
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#25 of 27 Old 11-01-2010, 12:08 AM
 
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Only for my BFF's child, since we've been best friends for 20 years and are close like sisters. Other friends, nope.

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#26 of 27 Old 11-01-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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Our kids exchange gifts with the kids of one set of friends, but they're more like family. We stopped exchanging presents with their parents (we usually just go to dinner together sans kids instead), but the kids still exchange presents -- we did set a limit of $10/kid though since it can get pricey.

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#27 of 27 Old 11-01-2010, 05:46 PM
 
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It depends on the friend. We certainly don't expect people to whom we give gifts to do the same.

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