Jump to content

No presents at Christmas
Has anyone done it?


  • Please log in to reply
31 replies to this topic

#1 credence

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:47 PM

Each year at Christmas I end up spending a lot of money on gifts for the children in my extended family. Conversely my kids get gifts in return.

With gifts, I've always thought "It's the thought that counts", but at Christmas time, it's so overwhelming spending so much money at once, I feel as though not a lot of "thought" is behind the gifts given and received.

It's kind of like you buy a present for people because it's expected, because they'll undoubtedly buy a gift for you and/or your children. It's an obligation, not a joy.

Ultimately what ends up happening is because I've spent so much money on other people, I barely spend any on my own kids. When my oldest was a baby, I don't think I bought him anything! Also we end up with a whole bunch of toys that my kids don't like or need.

The whole thing feels like such a waste and it really gets me down.

This year, I'd like to somehow let people know that I do not want any gifts for my children and in turn I will not be buying anything for theirs. With the money that I save, I'd like to buy my kids a few awesome presents.

Has anyone done something similar? How have your family members reacted?




#2 Broxie

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:49 PM

I'd suggest organizing a secret Santa with your extended family so there are still gifts, but not ridiculous amounts. You could put a spending limit on it too.

#3 credence

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:53 PM

I've thought about secret santa, but it's not really doable as there are so many separate sections of family that do not cross paths.

#4 Blueblue

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:57 PM

For the last four years I have not been buying gifts for my children (hey they're little and dont care) and they have just gotten gifts from extended family. ph34r.gif  Cant do that anymore as they are more aware and will expect something.

#5 Rosie R

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:57 PM

I'm hearing you Credence, I dread christmas shopping and gift giving has become expensive and mostly is a chore.

What ever happened to spending the day with those you love and appreciating that?

I'll be following this threat for some tips myself! original.gif

#6 niggles

Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:04 PM

When we got together with extended family at Christmas time one of the uncles would hand out gifts dressed as Santa, from 'all the family'. In reality, each parent would bring a wrapped present for their own kids and pop it on the pile.

It was a good way of making the shopping easier whilst maintaining the spirit or exchanging gifts with the people in our lives who we love but don't see often.

I wouldn't like to lose the exchange alltogether in order to just buy more gifts for my kids. They get gifts from us already.

#7 credence

Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:05 PM

QUOTE (Blueblue @ 08/11/2012, 01:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
For the last four years I have not been buying gifts for my children (hey they're little and dont care) and they have just gotten gifts from extended family. ph34r.gif  Cant do that anymore as they are more aware and will expect something.


My kids still all believe in Santa and I would love it if they thought that Santa brought them something that they really appreciated, rather than a whole lot of toys from family that get tossed aside by boxing day.

#8 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:06 PM

Yep, about 5 years ago I told sister and brother no more presents. It's so much easier for everyone and honestly we were all just creating stress, spending money we didn't have and giving each other stuff we didn't want/need - it was so stupid!

I don't give Mum and Dad presents anymore - I put together a small hamper of homemade baked stuff.

We send a card with a family photo in it to the inlaws (interstate).

Dh and I are giving each other ceiling fans this year (we were buying them anyway).

I have just made a note to get dh to tell our friends (the only ones were were still buying for) that we wont be buying this year and we would like them not to buy for us/our kids.

We buy for teachers(they are awesome!) and our kids - that's it.


#9 tle

Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:09 PM

We stopped the gifts for neices and nephews last year and it has made Christmas so less stressful and affordable.

For us it got so unmanagable I just didn't have a choice but to say it needed to stop. My brother has 9 kids which is hard enough to buy for my SIL insisted that we also start buying for the kids boyfriends/girlfriends as well as she considered them part of the family. While I agree it's fine for them to buy thoses gifts we were talking about people that I may never have even met so I didn't want to do it. She also stipulated that we spend $30 on each gift but they couldn't afford that so my mum was having to buy the presents that brother and SIL gave my kids. In the end I just said "no more". It caused a few dramas at the time but now we all find Christmas so much more relaxed.

#10 prettypenny

Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:10 PM

I'm going through the same emotions here. I'm floating the idea of a Kris Kringle for the kids (we already do it for the adults). I currently buy for 6 nieces/nephews and KK would bring down to 2. It's not so much the expense but the wanton consumerism. The kids end up mindlessly opening presents only to quickly discard them after a cursory glance for the next.

So sorry OP, I can't help you either but I'll be watching this thread.


#11 tres

Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:11 PM

I think the secret santa thing is half the problem - cheap gifts that satisfy the $ limit but are not often useful or even good. Usually bought under pressure during Christmas shopping.

I love buying for people/gift giving but this year I think we're opting our of the extended families secret santa things and I'm buying a gift each for my children so that they get something on the day. I'd rather concentrate on the specific gifts bought for immediate family.

If you were my friend I'd be very happy to do the deal you're suggesting and have done so in the past with other friends.

One thing you can do is a lucky dip for children only - which is easy if the children are all bunched around the same ages and more difficult if there is a big range.


#12 credence

Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:17 PM

QUOTE (prettypenny @ 08/11/2012, 02:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's not so much the expense but the wanton consumerism. The kids end up mindlessly opening presents only to quickly discard them after a cursory glance for the next.


Yes - this is what bothers me more than anything. I feel like we are bombarded with all this "stuff" all at once. It's overwhelming.

I'm sure that all the people buying presents for my kids feel the same pressure that I do buying for theirs. And yet the consumerism continues.

Tie - your family situation sounds worse than mine, perhaps I should count myself lucky!

tres
QUOTE
I think the secret santa thing is half the problem - cheap gifts that satisfy the $ limit but are not often useful or even good. Usually bought under pressure during Christmas shopping.

I'd agree with that. What's the point of buying something crappy just because you have to? It will be thrown away before you know it.

Edited by credence, 08 November 2012 - 01:17 PM.


#13 adl

Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:27 PM

I am moving into charitable ideas.... as my family is limited now...

As my niece and nephew are older,  they will get Kiva loans,  oxfam and vaccinations - they have enough and actually they are quite pleased to do this.  ( 10 and 8)

Sister & BIl - I think we will all agree to cut

my kids... 2 and one to come - we do Santa and presents

Inlaws - 5... is getting to be less each year...but they dont like the charity idea ;(

Friends, postman, cleaner , carer , neighbour  etc - we do make Christmas cards and I do cookies, rocky road or whatever else I like from the BHG Christmas treats....

#14 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:33 PM

As we only have a smallish family we still all buy presents for each other. My children are the only kids in our family. We tend not to buy expensive gifts but concentrate on things that will make the recipient laugh. My sister and I try to out-crap each other every year. She won last year by giving me a beige Snuggie so I have my thinking cap on this year - maybe tickets to a bagpipe concert?

#15 strawberrycakes

Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:43 PM

About 5 years ago DH & I informed all our family members that we will no longer be buying gifts for anyone who is not a child.

TBH at first the inlaws were a bit upset with us & made a comment about how really it doesn't take much to spend $50 on each person Well it did on one wage & counting all family members it would cost us around $600!.   DH's siblings never bought us anything anyway because they couldn't afford to on their just out of school part time job earnings & they welcomed the idea.

My brother & SIL also think it is a great idea, they always end up giving us something anyway which is embarassing but their choice, we tell them not to.

Besides our DD we only have 3 other children to buy for so by stopping our Christmas present buying it has reduced our spending heaps.

I still give DD's grandparents a framed photo of DD taken at daycare but that is more for her to give iykwim.

This year we are going to make some yummy homemade Christmas treats to bring along with us at Christmas lunch for everyone to share but that is it.

Edited by strawberrycakes, 08 November 2012 - 01:45 PM.


#16 Guest_Maybelle_*

Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:55 PM

.

Edited by Maybelle, 21 December 2012 - 01:37 PM.


#17 jobo77

Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:57 PM

On my dads side there are 12 adults and 7 kids and a bump growing. We do kris kringle now so buy for 1 adult each and each child "buys" for 1 other, not brother or sister. $50 max adult limit and $10-$15 kids.
My mums side we have just the 4 kids and all older adults and we dont really buy for each other anymore. The kids still tend to get a few little things but nothing major. Pre kids we did a charity donation instead - everyone agreed to put some money in an envelope (whatever you could afford) and then on xmas day we all wrote our favourite charity on a piece of paper and pulled one out of the hat. Whoever got picked, got all the cash.
DH side is a little harder - his brother has 5 kids which makes kris kringle impossible with us only having 2 so we just tend to go with it and buy for everyone. I put my own limit of about $10 per child on them though as we couldn't afford it otherwise!

#18 Feralmummacat

Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:02 PM

QUOTE (niggles @ 08/11/2012, 01:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When we got together with extended family at Christmas time one of the uncles would hand out gifts dressed as Santa, from 'all the family'. In reality, each parent would bring a wrapped present for their own kids and pop it on the pile.

It was a good way of making the shopping easier whilst maintaining the spirit or exchanging gifts with the people in our lives who we love but don't see often.

I wouldn't like to lose the exchange alltogether in order to just buy more gifts for my kids. They get gifts from us already.


+1

My Mum was 1 of 10 kids and there was over 30 of us Grand kids. They decided that adults would not get presents and each parent would buy a "family" present worth in the order of $30. They would also put in $20 each family and get Grandma a nice Christmas present. This worked really well for an extended family as we all still had a present to open and it was something that we really wanted. I loved it as a kid.

Now our immediate family is smaller and I only have 3 adults and 2 kids on my side and DH has 3 adults so we still do the present to everyone.

#19 FluffyOscar

Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:07 PM

I completely agree with you OP, 100%.

Unfortunately in my family it is getting worse, not better, so I have no advice.

#20 SMforshort

Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:18 PM

I have 13 nieces and nephews.

I spoke with my sisters and sisters-in-law and we agreed to buy books as gifts.

So I need to buy 13 books.  It works for me.  I can keep this budget to $150 and I get my kids involved in choosing the books for their cousins.  This also means that my kids will each receive 4 books which I think is great.

#21 Shooz

Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:21 PM

It's such a minefield! I only buy for the nieces and nephews on my side. The adults all agree we don't need to buy for each other. But DH family is small and they like to buy for each other so we buy for the ILs and BIL. Last year I suggested we gave it a miss for the one year as I was due to give birth few weeks before Xmas and didn't want the extra stress of shopping. Well you would think I had suggested never buying gifts again! Faces were pulled a little tantrums thrown!!!! roll2.gif

#22 Gembac8019

Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:23 PM

we still buy for neices/nephews and god children, but this year I have concentrated on buying on my own kids first, and then whatever the budget allows - for everyone elses kids. I'm sick of my two getting less than what i wanted to give them because i have spent on other kids and so on.. so this year and from now on, our kids first and then everyone elses kids last.

#23 ~Fuzjuz~

Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:28 PM

We give nephews & nieces $20 each & a small gift for my Mum.
original.gif

#24 #tootired

Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:52 PM

Each year I have been making a determined effort to minimise present buying at Christmas.

My 5 girlfriends and I have 16 kids between us and we were buying for them, so we cut that out and take the kids to a water park in the school holidays instead.

My family of plenty have now cut down to a $30 Kris kringle, so that's 5 presents instead of 25+


Now just to work on the Inlaws.

Not much help, but I think everybody is on the same boat and would probably thank you for any minimising suggestions!

#25 baddmammajamma

Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:15 PM

Hi there:

As I've mentioned on EB several times, we are a "gift free" family. We don't give anything to our extended family members, and we encourage them not to give to us. It was getting ridiculous and expensive -- our siblings, like us, all have kids, and the gift giving was just one more "thing" to squeeze into our already hectic lives. It felt so obligatory, and as a result, not very meaningful.

My husband & I took the first step. I guess we had a bit of an "out" because our early intervention costs were (and continue to be) so staggering. We used them as one of the reasons why we wanted to scale back our gift giving.

We emphasized that our LOVE for our family hadn't changed and that, frankly, gift giving was such a small part of what makes the season joyous.

My side of the family jumped right in -- they are all in the U.S. and it is crazily expensive to ship things between American & Australia.

My husband's family -- including one of my SILs who is a Christmas tragic (bless her) -- took a little longer to warm up to the idea, but we remained steady in our wishes. We didn't muddy the waters by saying "Well, we'll just do kids..." or "We'll just do a Kris Kringle." My advice is: if you are going to go gift free, go gift free.

It is liberating!

We adore and cherish our family members -- nothing has deteroriated since we introduced the gift free holiday. If anything, they are relieved that they don't need to run around, trying to remember if our son is a size 5 or size 4, wondering & worrying about my daughter's latest obsession or trying to find a book that my husband hasn't read. Our time and our love is a better gift than anything we could wrap up!

PS: With something like this, you might want to give your more sensitive relatives a lot of "advanced notice." We started laying the groundwork for a gift free Christmas several months before Christmas.

Good luck!




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Heartwarming prank gives single mum the house she was hired to clean

Cara Simmons arrived at work to clean a large and beautiful house in time for a party planned for that evening. It was soon hers.

Why we should stop telling new parents to 'enjoy every moment'

A few weeks ago, some dear friends of mine had their first baby. As the proud dad texted me a picture I had to fight the natural instinct to say “Enjoy every moment!”

Transgender dad breastfeeds his babies

A transgender man who breastfed his first baby - despite having his breasts removed as part of his transformation from female to male - has now had a second child.

Couple face $1 million medical bill and bankruptcy after babymoon birth

A Canadian couple were slammed with a million dollar medical bill after their daughter was prematurely during their babymoon.

Win one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia?s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

Cigarettes, junk food dominate supermarket sales growth

One in every five dollars spent at supermarkets goes on cigarettes or junk food, according to industry data.

Teacher under fire for breastfeeding in class

There is no doubt mums have a right to continue breastfeeding after they have returned to work, but one teacher in the US has taken it to the extreme.

Video: Baby sniffs beardless dad to make sure it's him

She looks him up and down and then touches his chin, but baby Lindsey still isn't sure this clean-shaven man is her dad.

The tragedy of losing a favourite teddy bear

We were green and uninitiated, perhaps a little naïve when it came to the favourite toy responsibility.

It's possible to workout while pregnant

Medical experts say intense fitness routines can be done safely during pregnancy - if the mums-to-be follow some guidelines.

Baby for Asher Keddie and Vincent Fantauzzo

Fans followed every step of her on-screen pregnancy in Offspring, now Asher Keddie is going to be a mum in real life too.

What parents really want for their kids

Are our hopes, dreams and expectations for our children what they really need?

'I had a feeling something was seriously wrong': the fight for Kaden's diagnosis

Before even giving birth, Katie Myers' maternal instincts warned her something was wrong with her baby.

When your pregnancy causes a relationship rift

Some dads-to-be don't miss a beat when their partner is pregnant; others struggle with a range of issues and can become withdrawn, right when their support is needed most.

Couple uses group photo trick to announce pregnancy to loved ones

Katharine and Kris Camilli devised a clever trick to immortalise their family and friends' reaction to their exciting pregnancy news.

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Empowering bikini photo of 46-year-old mum goes viral

When a group of teenagers made rude remarks about her body as she walked past them in a bikini at the local beach, Julie Cross refused to cover up.

Devastated widow discovers she's pregnant the day before husband's funeral

They had been trying to conceive a baby for seven years. Tragically Kristy Kirchner found out she was pregnant the day before her husband Royce's funeral.

Win a family pass to Disney Live!

We have 4 family passes to give away to see Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, touring Australia this December/January.

Gabriella Goat sues Peppa Pig

Every toddler's favourite television pig is being sued by an Italian woman who shares a name with a Peppa Pig character.

Meet the Mpregs, the male pregnancy enthusiasts

"Men can't have babies - that's something only women can do! But our community is full of like-minded people who wish otherwise."

Your new motherhood survival kit

Forget about the bright, pretty baby things - while you're in survival mode, all you'll need are the essentials.

More than 100,000 cars recalled globally after death of pregnant woman

The announcement of a mass recall comes as Malaysian police investigate the death of pregnant woman in July.

I had a 'good baby' but still suffered from postnatal depression

I had a much wanted precious baby girl, a 'good baby' who slept well, self settled and was mostly content. It just seemed implausible to think I could succumb to depression.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia?s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

Join PADDINGTON on the red carpet!

To celebrate the release of PADDINGTON, we are giving five lucky winners the chance to win a family pass to the exclusive Australian Premiere in Sydney on December 7!

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

Why I am so emotional now I have kids?

There are so many ways in which parenthood changes us as women, but one of the most noticeable, for me, has been the changing state of my emotions.

Baby survives despite sharing womb with 'foreign body'

Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous "foreign body".

Video: Baby shows dog how to jump - or vice versa

They say dog is man's best friend, but this playful pooch seems to have chosen a jumping baby as her number one buddy.

10 ways to soothe a crying baby

New paernts can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can't settle down. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.

20 baby names that are becoming more popular every year

The data-lovers at nameberry.com have been at it again – this time, they’ve discovered the names that are continually rising up the ranks, ready to take out some top spots in the next few years.

10 great meals to make for new parents

Ideally, you want to give food that isn’t expensive to make, isn't too difficult to create, and freezes well; stews, bakes, soups and pasta sauces are perfect.

'It's not you, it's me': Boston bombing survivor mum to have leg amputated

Rebekah DiMartino is going through a break-up. She even wrote a farewell love letter. But it's not to her husband.

What it's like to go through early menopause

In a cruel twist, Carla had been breastfeeding and perimenopausal at the same time. But she's far from the only one to go through menopause early.

Restaurant served alcohol to two-year-old

Busy restaurants can be forgiven for getting food and drink orders mixed up from time to time, but not when the confusion leads to a two-year-old being served an alcoholic cocktail instead of the child-friendly beverage they ordered.

Julia Morris tells of miscarriage on a flight

Julia Morris has spoken about the devastation of suffering a miscarriage while on an international flight.

Woman's survival after birth 'a story of two miracles'

A US mother is home and tending to her new baby less than a month after surviving without a pulse for 45 minutes.

Eating ice may give mental boost to the iron deficient: study

A new study proposes that, like a strong cup of coffee, ice may give those with insufficient iron a much-needed mental boost.

Tiny lives in caring hands: Thank U NICU Day

Each year in Australia, over 40,000 newborns need the help of a special care nursery or neonatal intensive care unit. One day a year, the staff are honoured by the parents they help through those dark days.

I paid $50,000 to have a girl

This time my husband and I hadn't taken any chances. We had paid $50,000 and travelled 13,000 kilometres to make sure the baby growing inside me was female.

Weird pregnancy products

Some pregnancy products come to market and are just awesome. Others just leave you scratching your head.

Dear firstborn, I'm sorry

Being a first-time mum is tough for so many reasons – particularly because you really have no idea what you're doing.

A trace of sesame could kill my son

Helen Richardson son's had two anaphylactic reactions in a month. It's traumatic for everyone.

When you know before the test says yes

It wasn't a pregnancy test or missed period that told me I was pregnant with my second baby; it was too early for those things. A doner kebab told me I was going to be a mum again.

What not to do when your partner is in labour

Robbie Williams stole the show during his wife Ayda's labour, pretty much demonstrating everything on the "what not to do when your partner is in labour" list.

Best maternity swimwear and beach cover-ups

Thinking about a tropical babymoon but have nothing to wear? Here are some great swimwear and beach cover-up options for mums-to-be.

'Chopstick Baby' born at 23 weeks

Given the nickname of 'Chopstick Baby' by local media, a baby born weighing 660g has survived a week outside the womb.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.