Gransnet forums


Adult children

(74 Posts)
storynanny Sat 25-Nov-23 11:34:48

Just wondering how people manage present buying for their adult children - especially those adult children who are very wealthy and have lifestyles far different to yours!
I’ve got 2 wealthy overseas children with children of their own and I usually sent £50 each for a birthday and same for each of them at Christmas. I’m increasingly feeling that sending £200 for one family if 4 and £250 for the family of 5 is such a drop in the ocean for them. Although they do show me what they’ve bought the children with the money, they never tell me what they bought for themselves!
I’ve got local adult children stepchildren and grandchildren who are really grateful for a £50 present or money as they have a completely different lifestyle - more like the sort of lifestyle they grew up with if you see what I mean!
I’ve occasionally bought a voucher for a meal at a local restaurant for the overseas ones, but their lifestyle already includes eating out often.
I don’t feel I can treat them any differently but I’m increasingly feeling it’s a waste of time!
£50 per adult and child is perfectly manageable for our financial situation but £100/200 per individual wouldn’t be.
What would you do? Any good suggestions?

Theexwife Sat 25-Nov-23 11:57:37

I am in the same position and agonise over Christmas and birthdays instead of enjoying the gift buying.

I was at my daughter's when she received a modest gift card from a friend, she was genuinely pleased. I did say that if you had wanted something from that shop you could have bought it, however, she insisted it was different when you were choosing something for a fixed amount from a named shop.

I know that she prefers No7 to expensive brands and does not like the very expensive chocolate that others buy her.

I would try to buy something that relates to their childhood.

pascal30 Sat 25-Nov-23 11:58:21

I don't like the idea of sending money, especially as they are wealthy.. it is so impersonal.. why don't you go and visit them and take small gifts.. your presence would surely be preferable..

J52 Sat 25-Nov-23 12:02:32

Would it be possible to buy vouchers for a family visit to the cinema or an activity. It might mean emailing a venue near where they live, but could be possible.
When our ACs had significant birthdays while living abroad, we arranged a monthly cinema voucher for a year.

biglouis Sat 25-Nov-23 12:03:54

If the moeny means little to them then you could make a donation to a charity of their choice.

Gymstagran Sat 25-Nov-23 12:04:07

I am in the same position. I give my daughter in law money as that is what she likes and always tells me what she has bought. My son usually chooses something and I pay, often something he wants but may not have bought himself. My son in law always seems pleased to get money, he is very difficult to buy for. They all have far more money than I have ever had but seem appreciative and I am thankful that they are in that position.

Bella23 Sat 25-Nov-23 12:12:19

Mine have told me just to treat them all the same, even though there is an extremely big difference with some.
I got around it by sending a Bettys of Harrogate gift even to the ones abroad.
My cousins and extended family decided no more present when we were in the Covid crisis and have kept to it.
I do send the teenagers pocket money now and then through the year and they really appreciate it, even if just enough for a coffee with friends or another buys the Beano each week.

V3ra Sat 25-Nov-23 13:13:24

If the moeny means little to them then you could make a donation to a charity of their choice.

My younger son bought us all an Oxfam "gift" one year, ie a charity donation but we all received a fridge magnet with a picture of it on.
Mine was an HIV prevention gift, with multicoloured condoms on the magnet, which I had fun explaining to my minded children 😅

MrsKen33 Sat 25-Nov-23 13:19:19

I buy my GCs and my ACs a token gift. My GCs get £100 put into their bank account and my ACs rather more. They can spend it on whatever they wish.

Luckygirl3 Sat 25-Nov-23 13:25:42

£50 for all regardless of wealth or lack of. Sometimes I spend that on a present if they know what they want but for the teenage GC in particular I transfer the money. For those who do not need the money I do try and buy a present with the £50 or it just gets absorbed in their bank account unnoticed.

B9exchange Sat 25-Nov-23 13:26:00

I ask my children and their spouses what they would like, and they know that my pension is nothing like their income, so they choose something around £25, or send me a list so I can choose.

The value is totally unimportant, it is the sourcing of something they would like, wrapping it up as prettily as possible, and delivering it or watching them unwrap it on Christmas Day if they are with us.

glammanana Sat 25-Nov-23 13:26:16

This last year I bought my two adult DILs a subscription for 12mths to Cheshire Life a magagine a thing they would not treat themselves to normally.I was very lucky and bought them both on a half price offer from Wowcher.

Luckygirl3 Sat 25-Nov-23 13:26:40

Oh and each DD and spouse are given a photo album of all that they have done during the year - I send it off to be printed and they have had this at Christmas for years and have a lovely collection of memories.

Siope Sat 25-Nov-23 13:40:12

I buy things I think they will enjoy, within my budget. I don’t have a fixed sum for each of them.

This year, for example, I’ve bought an activity event for one family, which I checked with my son and daughter-in-law they’d all enjoy.. The other family are getting individual gifts, and the older two grandchildren there are likely to send me links to many things to choose amongst.

Cabbie21 Sat 25-Nov-23 14:19:05

I give the young adult grandchildren a fixed sum of money, but I rarely hear how it is used. My daughter and her husband are helpful with ideas, but my son and his wife don’t need anything and if they do, they prefer to buy it themselves, so in recent years I have bought something low cost from an antique fair or gift stall as a token gift, with maybe garden tokens too. I am going to them on Christmas Day and do not want to turn up empty handed. Mind you, they don’t know what to get for me, so I think it is time we gave up on presents. I value their company and support more than any gifts.

crazyH Sat 25-Nov-23 14:24:45

I give them more with each passing year - no point in hanging on to our money - can’t take it with us ..

crazyH Sat 25-Nov-23 14:29:18

5 Adults, 2 young adults and 4 little ones - bankruptcy looms 😫

Pittcity Sat 25-Nov-23 17:42:04

We buy bigger presents for the grandchildren with the money we don't spend on the AC.
I wouldn't send money abroad if it's not needed. I'd save it towards a trip to visit.

MissChateline Sat 25-Nov-23 18:09:34

I often get my daughter and family a London theatre voucher to cover all the family of 4. They can choose what they want to see anytime during the year. This year they went in September and thoroughly enjoyed it. They always remember to send photos of the day out

Jaxjacky Sat 25-Nov-23 18:17:59

My children/partners and the grandchildren make wish lists, so we choose from those.
A tricky situation for you storynanny can you ask them for ideas?

Harris27 Sat 25-Nov-23 18:27:01

Tricky this one. My sister sends more than me to her grandchildren she has two in Australia I’ve got four here. I’m always worried I don’t give them enough £50 and a few small presents. But if I give more now I’ll have to continue in retirement where I know I’ll be on really limited income.

storynanny Sat 25-Nov-23 18:29:48


I don't like the idea of sending money, especially as they are wealthy.. it is so impersonal.. why don't you go and visit them and take small gifts.. your presence would surely be preferable..

They live in the Far East and USA and I can’t get travel insurance at the moment due to “ awaiting investigations” for health. I’d love nothing more than to be able to visit them.

storynanny Sat 25-Nov-23 18:33:11

Thanks for your replies.
I like the idea of a magazine subscription actually, hadn’t thought of that.
Yes I get ideas for what to but the grandchildren, it’s just the 4 adults overseas which are tricky.

Ali23 Sat 25-Nov-23 18:46:22

I liked the photo album idea very much, Luckygirl. Last year I gave my late friend’s daughter a little one full of photos of her first year as an aunty.

I also gave tokens to my children last year… spa evenings for one couple and themed ‘good gifts’ for the other couple. Then just added bits and bobs.

They have all recently told me they have too much stuff , so will do something similar this year.

Is there somewhere they would like to go, where you could pay for a year’s membership or entrance etc? Are they olanning to visit you, and could enjoy a visit voucher for then? My GC love Chester Zoo so I’m getting them a zoo animal sponsorship. They will get an e-magazine through the year and two tickets each.

midgey Sat 25-Nov-23 19:17:56

Due to very different levels of affluence in our family my eldest daughter came up with a clever idea. Presents for adults must come from a charity shop and must cost ten pounds. Though I think the budget will have to rise this year! Have had a lot of fun searching .