Author Topic: We finally convinced (most) family members to cut back for Christmas!!  (Read 3207 times)

Melissa

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After years of trying to cut back on the deluge of Christmas gifts (and much of it junk that no one wants anyways) from family, we are finally seeing the turn this year. I do think the only reason it has happened is because my brother and SIL are talking about moving across the country next year and don't want extra clutter to pack. My SIL wanted to know if we could do a secret Santa and have everyone buy for only one person this year instead of the usual 8-10 people. I told her it was a fabulous idea!!!! We set a $25-50 limit this year, so we will see how that works out

Unfortunately, ones who won't jump on board are my parents. My mother seems to equate gift buying with love. Hopefully she'll come around, but I'm home not holding my breath.

Now off to find a gift for my brother......

Sibley

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Re: We finally convinced (most) family members to cut back for Christmas!!
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2016, 06:53:55 PM »
Hey, anything that'll reduce it is good. Even if you can't get your mother on board, that's a win.

Toffeemama

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Re: We finally convinced (most) family members to cut back for Christmas!!
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2016, 01:28:36 PM »
So jealous!  My MIL basically nixed the whole idea of Secret Santa years ago; she does the whole gifts=love thing too.  She was so against the idea, everyone else started saying "well if she's not doing it, neither are we".  I got my side of the family doing it though, so that helps.

Guesl982374

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Re: We finally convinced (most) family members to cut back for Christmas!!
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2016, 12:17:49 PM »
Why does it always seem that the Mother in these situations equate gifts to love?

Similar situation here, my siblings & spouses have all agreed to skip gifts. Our dad couldn't care less but we can't get our mother on board...

marty998

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Re: We finally convinced (most) family members to cut back for Christmas!!
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2016, 01:34:58 PM »
Why does it always seem that the Mother in these situations equate gifts to love?

Similar situation here, my siblings & spouses have all agreed to skip gifts. Our dad couldn't care less but we can't get our mother on board...

Mum's always want the best for their kids :)

when she's 105 and you're 80 she'll still be getting you gifts.

Goldilocks

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Re: We finally convinced (most) family members to cut back for Christmas!!
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2016, 04:54:08 PM »
Can you do secret santa among just the siblings and let your parents give gifts to everyone?

prognastat

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Re: We finally convinced (most) family members to cut back for Christmas!!
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2016, 02:27:10 PM »
I'm jealous of you there. I wish I could get my in-laws to agree to buying fewer things and less more focused gifts.

My in-laws are great people, but very much work on the gifts=love mindset and it also seems like their tradition is having a large amount of cheaper gifts so there are lots of presents under the tree which they like.

This is all very sweet, but then we tend to get fewer higher priced items we need and more smaller items which we don't need and also leads to my wife feeling like she must keep up too given that in the family we are likely the most financially secure and I suspect she would feel guilty.

A good example is this year we probably spent over $1300 on the 6 people in the family including ourselves. I would rather have a $100 per person limit and fewer, but bigger items within that limit, but I feel they would not be happy with this since it would be the opposite of their tradition with having a large tree with a huge amount of packages below the tree.

This year my wife told them that we wanted less stuff that would clutter our house and less than a week later my MIL asked her if I would like a calendar at which point my wife had to argue with her that I did not need one and chances are I will still get one on Christmas.

Growing up it was the opposite in my family, we grew up with a larger family and not too much money so we got fewer gifts, but generally a lot of thought went in to those few gifts. Due to this I appreciate a small amount of thoughtful gifts more than sheer volume.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2016, 02:48:27 PM by prognastat »

recklesslysober

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Re: We finally convinced (most) family members to cut back for Christmas!!
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2016, 02:54:34 PM »
Nice! Just gotta keep wearing them down bit by bit!

I've been slowly working on this over the years. I post articles on Facebook about simplifying the holidays and about consumable gift ideas.

With my group of friends instead of Secret Santa we did a gift swap game where everyone brought a $10-15 gift. Success.

My mother-in-law is a different story. They live across the country so fortunately we've escaped the physical gift obligations the past couple of years, but still exchange gift cards/$.. which doesn't make sense in my opinion. They plan on moving here next year and I told my partner that we're discussing this with them in July. If they MUST give something, I plan to ask for donations to charities in my name in lieu of receiving gifts, and to make a donation myself in lieu of giving gifts - or to discuss consumables/experiences if they're opposed to that. I hope they're not. We all have plenty, and we could all be contributing more to the world.

For my niece I usually get her a book (trying to encourage a new generation of readers!), board game, something educational or useful.

I'm a huge fan of giving gifts when you know someone wants something but won't spend the money on themselves - but not on regular holidays. Unexpected gifts (with no obligation of a gift in return) are the best.

clarkfan1979

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Re: We finally convinced (most) family members to cut back for Christmas!!
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2016, 12:14:24 PM »
It seems like my family cut back a little this year, which was refreshing.

Guesl982374

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Re: We finally convinced (most) family members to cut back for Christmas!!
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2016, 12:10:12 PM »
Why does it always seem that the Mother in these situations equate gifts to love?

Similar situation here, my siblings & spouses have all agreed to skip gifts. Our dad couldn't care less but we can't get our mother on board...

Mum's always want the best for their kids :)

when she's 105 and you're 80 she'll still be getting you gifts.

You mean I will still have to wear those ugly shirts she gets me 50 years from now when I visit!?!!?  haha

mskyle

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Re: We finally convinced (most) family members to cut back for Christmas!!
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2016, 12:59:34 PM »
My sister and I made donations to charity this year in each others' names and I suspect that might become our tradition - and it's 100% a reaction to my mother's OTT gift-giving habits. My mom gets my sister and I (and our SOs) extravagant gifts every year; mine is often something I don't want/can't use or a gift certificate to a specialty store for more than I would spend there in a year. But I think it stresses her out more to not give gifts, so I just try to appreciate it and give her hints about about things I actually want if I possibly can. If I tell her I actually want something cheaper than she's planning to give me she will cut me a check for the difference o_0

My mom's whole side of the family is super-goofy about gift-giving - every year I get a $50 gift certificate or $50 bill from each of my mother's sisters, and presumably each of my cousins gets a $50 gift from my mother. The "kids" range in age from 20 to 38! Fortunately all three sisters have two kids each, so it's "fair"; still seems like it would be simpler and faster if our own moms just gave us $100 apiece :P

Fortunately my dad's side of the family is less outrageous - we do get together and exchange gifts but it's a Secret Santa for all the adults and you're supposed to make the gift yourself (although some people fudge this and some people leave it to the very last minute).