Jump to content

No presents at Christmas
Has anyone done it?


  • Please log in to reply
30 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 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.

#20 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

#21 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.

#22 ~Fuzjuz~

Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:28 PM

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

#23 #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!

#24 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!

#25 bjk76

Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:22 PM

On my mum's side of the family, which had 9 children, there are about 23 grandchildren. When we were little and there weren't so many of us, us children would get a small present from each aunt/uncle, but as the numbers grew (there are also now about 19 great grandchildren), it became too much, so they changed things. There is now a roster where the family of each of the original 9 children gives a gift to another family. It's usually just a hamper, but there may be something very small for a young child, if there is a great grandchild in that family.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

RPA hospital contacting mums after discovering vaccine storage fault

Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) is trying to contact women who had babies at the facility after discovering a fault in a refrigerator containing vaccines.

'Nutella' not a baby name, French court says

A French court has blocked parents from naming their baby girl after the hazelnut spread Nutella, arguing it would make her the target of mockery.

Why I'm never calling myself 'just a mum' again

I’ve grown three human beings. I feed them, dress them, teach them, care for them and love them 24 hours a day. Yet for eight years, when I meet new people and they’ve asked me what I do, I tell them: “I’m just a mum”.

Rosie Batty named 2015 Australian of the Year

One year ago, Rosie Batty could not have imagined she'd be where she is. Tonight the grieving mum who put domestic violence on the national agenda was named Australian of the Year.

Five reasons to hug more

Hugging – some of us thrive on it, even depend on it – and then there are those who don't care for it really. So, are they missing out?

Help - my three-year-old has started throwing tantrums

My daughter never went through the "terrible twos" but began throwing wild tantrums shortly after her third birthday.

That's commitment

First peek at Sonia Kruger's daughter Maggie

"She smells so good, I could eat her," Kruger tells co-host David Campbell.

Mum assists in own caesarean surgery

A mum who partly delivered her own twins during a caesarean has encouraged other women to take control of their birthing experience.

How to handle common childhood regressions

Regression can be a natural and common part of development prompted by a variety of factors, but that doesn't make it less frustrating.

Disgruntled dad's pram ad goes viral

When buying a second hand pram, there are lots of things to take into consideration. 

Man discovers he's a dad after finding 55-year-old letter

Discovering you are about to father a baby is startling enough - never mind finding out you have a 61-year-old son.

15 thoughts mums have during a tantrum

Ranging from mild to feral and triggered by events both minor and major, tantrums certainly keep life interesting.

Natural pain relief in the early stages of labour

While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.

Forgotten Baby Syndrome claims the life of toddler

One baby dies every eight days in the back of a car in the US, victims of 'forgotten baby syndrome'.

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel. You stole my heart, and changed me into the women I am today.

Chrissie Swan has reached her "sex quota"

Chrissie Swan says she and her partner have sex once a year due to her fear of falling pregnant.

Chinese woman gives birth to quintuplets

After six years of trying for a baby, a couple’s dreams have come true many times over after the mum gave birth to quintuplets this week.

Five-year-old shoots nine-month-old brother dead

A nine-month-old baby boy died on Monday after he was shot in the head by his five-year-old brother in their grandfather's home.

'Is that baby yours?'

She is my daughter. I gave birth to her. I nurse her. But she doesn't have any of my genes.

Episiotomy in childbirth: not just 'a little snip'

Episiotomies have a place in maternity care – and can occasionally save lives – but should not be performed routinely.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

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

Stars help save choking babies

It's an important lesson to learn, but one that busy new mums and dads might overlook until it's too late.

New Girl star Zooey Deschanel pregnant

Actress Zooey Deschanel is expecting her first child with her producer boyfriend Jacob Pechenik.

16 times 'dad reflexes' saved the day

Of course, in some cases they may be the ones who actually got their child into a precarious position in the first place, but we'll ignore that for now.

Couple's 'non-traditional' pregnancy announcement goes viral

Knowing you are not the father of your pregnant wife's baby would usually indicate a rocky relationship ahead for traditional parents.

The trials and tribulations of identical triplet newborns

Pip Donnelly is still playing spot the difference with her newborn identical triplets, Isabelle, Georgina and Frankie.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Earthquake baby thriving five years on

Jenny Alexis is lucky to be alive after spending four days buried in the rubble of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, but now she's a thriving five year old.

Please don't say I'm lucky because I was adopted

On the one hand I was having a regular life with friends and sports and sleepovers and school. But I was also always wondering: Did my mother love me? What was wrong with me?

An open letter to non-parents who offer advice on child-rearing

Kitty, when you’re the parent of my child you’re welcome to wade in with an opinion – but until then, I’d prefer you to have a supportive ear and a glass of wine ready.

Couple arrested over baby gun video

A US couple faces charges after investigators say they found mobile phone videos showing the woman's 12-month-old daughter putting a handgun in her mouth.

NSW Health dumps 10-year limit on frozen embryos

A 10-year time limit on storing frozen embryos that were created with donor sperm has been dropped by the NSW government.

How my happy-go-lucky husband became a monster

Sharan Nicholson-Rogers watched her husband change from a happy-go-lucky police officer into an unpredictable man prone to violent and emotional outbursts.

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes, too

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes in line with their pregnant partners, a new study shows.

'They were just doing their job': mum of toddler killed in police chase gone wrong

"They were just doing their job. I feel so sorry for them. It is all just too sad."

Miscarriages to be formally recognised by NSW government

Women who miscarry will be able to obtain an optional "recognition of loss" certificate as a formal recognition of their often heartbreaking loss.

Cafe cubby house 'too noisy' for neighbours

Teenage parties, domestic disputes, or raucous late night pubs are the things that usually come to mind when you think neighbourhood noise complaints.

Dad films baby playing with snake

Most parents would not consider a snake an appropriate playmate for their baby, but a US dad who filmed his daughter playing with a python has defended himself against criticism.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Back to School Offer

Findababysitter.com.au

We've got you covered for this school year. Use www.findababysitter.com.au to meet local nannies now.

 
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.