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Christmas Giving Dilemma

(29 Posts)
NanaTuesday Tue 08-Nov-22 23:09:50

So further to the other “ Christmas Post”
Between us my DH & I have 15 ( Yes ) GC between us - 8 Children plus one newly arrived GGD ( DH) & One GGD due for me in around 10 days .
All between 25-10 Oh plus the additional Step Grandchild same age as my GS & a Step GD who has also just given birth .
It’s turning into a nightmare . TBH we had it down to some sort of fine art . Christmas Eve Boxes for the Children which I started doing many years before it became en vogue . Those individual boxes then became Family Style Christmas Eve Boxes .
In addition I have made it a bit of a tradition to take my Grandchildren to a local Panto - it varies as to who comes & this year I haven’t even got around to purchasing our tickets yet as it was such a palava last year for various reasons . I usually buy in Oct. Anyway on that note I had decided 2022 it’s not going to happen then this Wk end at a big family gathering one of the younger GD’s asked tge question re Panto . Don’t get me wrong I love taking them but had written it off as it had run it’s course , which is sad as I wanted it to be diverging that my GC could remember always going to or being dragged to with Grandma laughing the loudest lol
Anyway jury is still out on that .
But what do we now do re Gifts , it irks me that neither of my Husbands older GC 25 & 22 bother with gifts or even a card for DH . & now that DH GS has a child it’s only right that a gist is included from us for her .
Then the Step GC ( I don’t refer to them as that only for the purpose of writing this - I’m not happy with buying for them especially as last year I didn’t get as much as a Thank you for the Birthday gifts just after Christmas for the 20 yr old who has now also just 10 days ago given birth .
So , do I stick to the hamper for all the family on each side of our families that’s 5 of the 8 Children as 2 are still single & at home with their other parent .
Is anyone else in a simple situation?
Thing is I feel that I can’t treat my own GCthe ones who reside with the Step GC & who don’t say thank you have a M who thinks they should all be treated the same - whereby I don’t want to give these any thing they have their own GP & other parent . I haven’t even had a TY for the gift for the new addition last week .
Yes I feel a bit begrudging about this aspect
Help requested

crazyH Tue 08-Nov-22 23:40:49

I think the jury needs more time 😂

ElaineI Tue 08-Nov-22 23:41:15

This sounds terribly complicated. I have just had a conversation with DH cousin's wife and we have both agreed that once nieces/nephews are adults in their 20's we will stop with the gifts and when our adult DC have families, the children get gifts but not the adults. I think this is a great idea and am glad we had the conversation. She is very kind and my DGC usually receive a Christmas gift to be opened on 1/12 - Advent calendar, or Christmas duvet cover, or Christmas blanket then a small gift for Christmas Day. We have started this now with her 1st DGC who is 1. DD1 has just passed on to the baby 2 books and a jigsaw which were given to DGS1 as a baby by her now deceased MiL. It was so nice to think that 9 years on (on Thursday) another little boy will again be enjoying them.

Kittye Tue 08-Nov-22 23:48:24

Every year we’ve spent a fortune on presents for our family. This year however, instead for all family aged over 21 we’ve donated to the homeless at Crisis at Christmas. ( something we’ve done as presents to each other for years) . We’ve asked that instead of them buying presents for us they put a couple of things into the food bank trolley at the supermarket.
We’re now in our 70s, have all we need, so why spend money on unnecessary gifts ?
I must admit I’m going to miss the gift wrapping this year, though may wrap a couple of empty boxes to put under the tree. It just doesn’t seem right in the current situation to be spending a fortune 🤷🏼‍♀️ I have to say our family think it’s a great idea.

MissAdventure Wed 09-Nov-22 00:09:09

I think the best thing you could do is to work on letting this stuff go, if necessary, if you want to keep your relationship.

biglouis Wed 09-Nov-22 00:17:02

This year you have the perfect excuse to cut down on buying all that tat which will probably end up either in landfill or the charity shop so why not take advantage of it? Tell your relatives you have a budget or rather that you are donating to a homeless shelter or food bank in their names and ask them to do the same. It may take a few years for you to "train" them but stick to your guns.

I have not observed christmas since 1979. Saves an awful lot of hassle.

NanaTuesday Wed 09-Nov-22 08:52:58

As a rule I never spend a lot of money on gifts for Christmas or Birthdays unless it’s a special one . I am quite good at re gifting & sourcing from CS new gifts 🎁 which yes have been donated as unwanted gifts . I know this as a fact as I have not long retired from Charity retail!
I think I’m going to stick with what started out as my Christmas Eve Boxes & has over the last two years turned into Christmas Eve Hampers for the whole Family .
I think my sticking point is the addition of GC OH . I know my own GS OH she is lovely & my on DD treats her like the D she never had so yes I intend to include her . As for my DH GS & GD’s OH I have limited access to them as does my Husband- that’s just how it is . So maybe I will just get a gift for the new GGC . His Grown GD we haven’t seen for the last year anyway so that’s that then . Par it back - think I’m stressing too much 😂

NanaTuesday Wed 09-Nov-22 08:56:08

Big Louis
Yes the perfect excuse - I mean we are niw semi retired & retired . 19 or so individuals to buy for is far too many so sticking with the hampers for Christmas Eve is our plan .

Norah Wed 09-Nov-22 09:04:06

Hampers will be lovely. Nice plan.

Cabbie21 Wed 09-Nov-22 09:10:42

Glad you have made a sensible decision, NanaTuesday.
I don’t have as many to buy for, but my problem is the over 20 year old who does not say thank you, or reply to any messages, still lives at home, so I am not sure I can ignore them and give to the rest of the family.
I get quite anxious about buying that family anything as they have all they need and more besides, but the other grandparents are incredibly generous, so I don’t want to seem mean. It is not about the actual money.

Yammy Wed 09-Nov-22 10:00:53

Problems seem to arrive in every family about present giving at Christmas. I have a DD and family who gladly receive anything the other is very prescriptive in what they want or need. Never wants to be bothered to think or tell you in Oct/Nov and then there is a crisis buying when everything is sold out. I know how you feel.
I cut nephews and nieces and their children out years ago when we did not even get a card never mind a thank you. I have decided with DH which families we are buying for and I will choose what they get by spending an equal amount of money.
Maybe I am cynical but I do wonder about families who say they are giving to charity and not gifting or sending cards. I have caught quite a few out over the years.
This is a year of austerity for us the fewer presents and plastic that we buy the better.
Am I turning cynical or sensible in my old age? I don't know but I do know life is easier.

Wyllow3 Wed 09-Nov-22 10:45:44

Re - The Panto.
Just say now we're getting on a bit going out on a cold evening is too much from now on. It sounds like you get to see the kids a reasonable amount.

Our family seems to have without much discussion gone for charity donations, which this year seem more and more appropriate. I only have one son so its that family I get presents for and from. Thats 7 presents. so I enjoy choosing those.

But cards, all round.

I have never heard of Christmas Hampers on Christmas Eve before today.

LRavenscroft Wed 09-Nov-22 11:43:43

I have told everyone that I am supporting our local animal help and rescue centre this Christmas as they need the money far more than ungrateful nieces, nephews and one very obnoxious cousin need gifts.

SuzieHi Wed 09-Nov-22 12:15:22

Sounds like the gift buying has become a nightmare for some!
We stopped sending cards 2 years ago & now up our charity donations in Dec. This year we’ve agreed with adult family to do secret Santa only . Per couple we’re buying 2 presents only - costs agreed. We’ll still put some money in the grandchildren’s bank accounts, (not to be spent until they’re 18/21 )and buy them something less than £5 to open. DH & I don’t buy Xmas or birthday presents for each other - no point for us as we are fortunate enough to buy what we need/want. Not very romantic but… hey ho

Ziplok Wed 09-Nov-22 12:49:41

You really need to whittle this present giving right down. Have a cut off age, eg 18. Don’t start with GGC or your list will just grow and grow to ridiculous proportions. Maybe suggest a secret Santa for your adult children (not the GC), then you’re buying just one gift rather than loads. Use the cost of living increases as a very valid reason for cutting right back and suggest they do the same - you might find they are really rather relieved, as it should reduce their expenses too. There’s so much heartache and angst over present buying these days, which it shouldn’t be.
We’ve stopped present buying altogether this year, letting the family know well in advance and emphasising that we don’t want them to buy for us either. We will just send a nice card. Relief all round, I think.

nipsmum Wed 09-Nov-22 15:50:40

I was looking at a magazine a wee while ago. It suggests baking and cooking for Charities. I remember a few years ago when homemade food items were refused by most charities on the grounds of Health and safety rules mainly involving not being able to trace hygienically sourced items. It is the reason you can't take homemade birthday cakes to places like Nursing Homes to be shared.
I don't know if that rule still exists, but it may be wise to check before you bake or cook for charity.

Oldbat1 Wed 09-Nov-22 16:07:33

I really feel sorry for folk who allow Christmas to become a worry and a chore. Our family don’t need anything neither do we. Problem solved years ago by telling extended family we are donating to Charity instead and do not wish to receive any gifts. We have some nice food etc on the day.

NanaTuesday Thu 10-Nov-22 17:42:58

We did Secret Santa for years starting when my youngest Daughter was at University. That worked perfectly well for many many years & im not really sure why we stopped .
My concern is I’m fine with continuing Christmas Eve Boxes / Hampers as I have been doing . But the thorn in this particular thing is my DS OH , Her DC do not acknowledge ie say Thankyou & TBH they have their own GP ! I have the 13yr old £20 in a Birthday Card & had no acknowledgment- Nor to the Baby Gift -
So Next year Birthdays are out for them

NanaTuesday Thu 10-Nov-22 17:46:35

Yes I agree but we’ve been there done that . I think we’ll do the same as before but pare it back & while we are at it let family know that it’s getting to much

Adventuress Fri 11-Nov-22 07:30:09

I am a fairly long-distance Nan with 4 GC aged 16, 15, 12 and 11. I have sent them money for Christmas and birthdays (presents when they were much younger). I dont receive a card, letter, phone call, text message, gift or anything back from the children. My 2 DIL's don't get involved and leave anything necessary to my sons and as they are pretty hopeless Ive had a fair few 'feeling sorry for myself/right that's it' moments! I was going to wait until they are 18 before I stop but I think I'll do it after their 16th birthdays. Personally I feel its an injustice and I dislike inequality with a vengeance. Of course I could say something to the children but then I dont want to receive anything thats forced. Does this resonate with anyone else?

Oldnproud Fri 11-Nov-22 08:16:01


This year you have the perfect excuse to cut down on buying all that tat which will probably end up either in landfill or the charity shop so why not take advantage of it? Tell your relatives you have a budget or rather that you are donating to a homeless shelter or food bank in their names and ask them to do the same. It may take a few years for you to "train" them but stick to your guns.

I have not observed christmas since 1979. Saves an awful lot of hassle.

Personally, I really, really dont like the idea of telling people that you are donating to a charity in their name, if they have no say in either that decision or the charity in question.

I do agree with the rest of your post, though and am all for having a budget, cutting right back on presents and, if you can afford it, and want to, donating more to charity on your own behalf instead

SuzieHi Fri 11-Nov-22 08:29:09

Could send out Xmas cards early wishing everyone a happy Xmas but stating you won’t be sending /buying presents going forward as donating to charity instead. The parents of the children should have made the kids write to say thank you for any presents received Or at least sent a text, email or phone call ! They’ll get over not receiving presents from you.

Newquay Fri 11-Nov-22 09:26:38

Isn’t it all a palaver?
I feel this year is the perfect year to try to stop all this unnecessary retail nonsense!
I’ve used online (Marie Curie) cards for a while to everyone I know online that I would have sent a card to (and make a donation). So I send very few actual cards-only to the (dinosaurs )
folk without the internet.
We have 6 DGC and a French Goddaughter-I’ve said We don’t want/need anything but an email photo would be lovely

Skydancer Fri 11-Nov-22 10:03:58

Why not just give gift vouchers. Or buy them each a scratch card. My mum bought 5 of us scratch cards one Christmas and 4 of us won. It was great fun.

Justwidowed Fri 11-Nov-22 10:35:17

I don't comment much but always read the various comments. I have 12 grandchildren aged from 3 years to 33.Also 10 greatgrandchildren aged from 3 months to 14 years.
As my retirement pension is paid every 4 weeks my extra one is paid in November.This covers my Christmas spending.
All grandchildren and greatgrandchildren under the age of 18, get £25 paid into their bank accounts at Christmas and birthdays to be invested in Premium Bonds.
The only other person I buy for is my stepdaughter with whom I spend christmas. I only have 2 grandchildren under 18.