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Old 12-19-2007, 10:20 AM
8,667 posts, read 10,348,776 times
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What a great question to post! I have considered this question over the years watching my 3 kids grow up, and going through times when I was living below poverty level. My 3 sons on their own around age 12-14 decided between themselves to simply NOT give gifts to each other, but they still did to me and their dad. As far as I know they have not given gifts to each other since then and are now young men in their 20s.

I explained to them when I was poor and their dad was a millionaire (literally) my gifts would be very small compared to his, they said that did not matter, so I kept giving them small things. When they went to college, about the same time I moved to a different state, we all mutually stopped giving gifts to each other more because they were busy with college and I was starting to feel not OK about giving them gifts when they didn't give me gifts. That sounds strange coming from a mom not to give her own kids gifts, and I told them I feel bad about it, but they seem if anything relieved so they don't have to feel guilty about not giving me gifts.

I reached a point where if I can't give a gift without feeling resentful, (over cost, over no thank you, over no gift in return, over the person or relationship, ANYTHING), then I don't give a gift. And I don't feel bad about it. I have to be at peace with myself and give something freely, or it doesn't get given. For teens hard to shop for, when all they want is expensive, I have tended to use gift certificates for online shopping on either e-bay (they all shop online auctions) or amazon.com, because it lets them buy things they like, be it music or books or collectables, and also have the fun of shopping.

I would rather give no gift then something that is not a fit for the person, which is hard when I don't their tastes well. With the boys (young men now) I told them even though I am not giving gifts, I am saving the money and one day we can take a trip together, or I will help contribute to a major purchase of their own choosing, such as furniture when they get their own place, or with one son he was getting a really fancy computer set up and I contributed to that. He was pleased and I didn't feel like I was giving him some crap.
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Old 12-19-2007, 10:37 AM
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I guess we're a really small family: each of my parents is an only child (I have no aunts and no uncles), so it's a rather limited gift pool to begin with.
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Old 12-19-2007, 10:57 AM
Location: Las Vegas
248 posts, read 940,554 times
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Thank you's are nice and appreciated, but I wouldn't expect it, especially from children. I'm not saying that they shouldn't, and I will teach my kids to thank others. However I don't give gifts to receive thank you's, so if I don't get a thank you, I'm not going to be bitter. I myself have been guilty of not thanking for gifts in the past. I don't think people are being unappreciative by not thanking. Some people just make the little things like thanking others more of a priority. JMO
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:59 AM
5,096 posts, read 10,729,389 times
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Originally Posted by fischfan13 View Post
A ThankYou note for a Christmas present???
Hmmmm, never heard of such a thing.
Besides, if the present came from a grandparent, aunt or uncle why would you send a note? A huge hug and even a phone call a day or two after Christmas telling someone that they really appreciated the present(s) that they received would be a great thank you, IMO.
Thank you notes/calls were a required part of my children's upbringing, if they were unable to thank that person directly. Now my grandchildren are being brought up the same way.

If someone takes the time to buy and send a gift, gift card, money, the recipient can at least take the time to send a thank you note or make a phone call.

I think Christmas grab bags are the best way to go for large and extended families to ease the financial burden for everyone.
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:28 PM
Location: GA
2,661 posts, read 8,284,943 times
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While I don't expect a handwritten note, when I send a gift I do expect an acknowledgment of some kind. I've sent many gifts over the years and don't even know if the recipient received it. I always send a note or make a phone call if the gift isn't given in person.

We also have a small family so we still exchange gifts. If I had a very long list, I think I'd go the grab bag route.
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Old 12-20-2007, 07:07 AM
Location: NJ
7,324 posts, read 17,243,009 times
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Originally Posted by kimchee View Post
I need some honest opinions from all of you as to when kids should stop receiving gifts. I have 30 people to give gifts to this year. The majority are kids from 1 to 18 years of age. It's becoming a real burden and alot of the older and teenage kids are not appreciating what I give them anymore. I haven't heard a thank you from them from the past few xmas.
That's a bit much. I was talking to my hubby's grandmother yesterday, she sent out 24 $10 checks.. that's a lot of money to someone her age.

With such a big family, you really need to find a way to make it so that you don't have so many to buy for. Do you have kids?

Originally Posted by kimchee View Post
Besides, they all want the Wii and the Ipod and other expensive stuff I can't possibility give them. What's an aunt to do?
What I used to do was.. if either of my kids had a big gift they wanted.. one year my daughter wanted an iPod video for her birthday.. About 2/3 months in advance I sent an email letting everyone know she wanted one and that if they would like to donate what they normally spend on her for this occassion, that I will see how much of a money pool I have and whether this gift could be a reality. It ended up working out well, I threw the most into it, about $100 at the time but she was able to get what she wanted.

The problem was that she didn't get many gifts and really wasn't old enough to grasp the price thing. These days she's fine with prices and understands.

Originally Posted by kimchee View Post
I don't think kids know they're supposed to send 'thank you' notes.

It's hard enough getting a verbal thank you from them! Forget a note or a card.

We did kris kringle 2 years ago and my sister put her teenage kids in the pool. They were only getting that one gift for xmas so she decided to pull them out of the pool the past 2 years so they will get more. I think it's time to bring up the idea again. Especially 'cus her kids are the only ones who don't even thank me for their gifts! Brats!
Kids do what they learn and let's face it, your sister hasn't taught them to send/say thank you.

If there is a gift pool.. Kris Kringle as you say, your sister can't just pull her kids out of it, it isn't fair to the other kids.

I'd be really put off by no thank you if they opened the gift in front of you. They should run over to you, give you a big kiss & thank you or at least look up (we take pics during unwrapping) and say thank you.

Originally Posted by DiamondD View Post
I would rather give no gift then something that is not a fit for the person, which is hard when I don't their tastes well.
I have a 1/2 brother that I stopped sending gifts to for this very reason and I wish he would stop as well. Every year it's the same thing.. one year he sent brownies to my daughter for her birthday, another popcorn & candy. I'm sure he wrote it off as a business expense but still.

I never knew I even had a brother until a few years ago. We don't have a relationship for what ever reason. I've emailed him with no response.

Guess he'll get the hint when we move & his gift isn't delivered.

Originally Posted by brookdaleresident View Post
While I don't expect a handwritten note, when I send a gift I do expect an acknowledgment of some kind. I've sent many gifts over the years and don't even know if the recipient received it. I always send a note or make a phone call if the gift isn't given in person.
This is a large peeve of mine. My hubby has a granddaughter living in another state. Granted she's 5 but the last few years (since my SS isn't there) we've gotten no phone call, no thank you. We have no clue if she's even gotten the gift other then the fact that I now put the web tracking on it. I actually had to send her a "thinking of you" card a few weeks ago, asking for her Christmas list.. I have no clue what she wants as the mother doesn't let her come up here to be with her father for Christmas.

From what I understand the mother told my SS to send a savings bond. I'm not a savings bond type of person so we'll just throw money in her savings account we made for her. We'll send a small gift down.

Maybe I should include a self addressed stamped thank you card with it? ha ha

I'm a bit put off by this whole thing.. I've sent down a card & / or Pez or some little gift for Valentines or Haloween just so she knows we're thinking of her & her mother calls us cheap, so guess what stopped?
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Old 12-20-2007, 07:34 AM
Location: GA
2,661 posts, read 8,284,943 times
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If someone goes to the trouble of picking out and sending a gift, imo, it's rude not to let them know it's been received. When I give I really don't expect anything in return, just let me know you got the darn thing! (I guess I really am expecting something in return )
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Old 12-20-2007, 09:54 AM
1,971 posts, read 5,759,766 times
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In may family all kids (under10) usually get gifts from the adults. After that we usually just give money. 11-13 = $5-$10. 14-17 = $10-$20. 18 through college = $10-$20 in lottery tickets. After that... typically nothing more than a cristmas card.
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Old 12-20-2007, 10:38 AM
276 posts, read 1,057,007 times
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I've struggled with holiday gift giving since I married into a family 6 years ago and acquired 16 nieces and nephews. For the first couple of years we purchased gifts for each child and their parents, to make a total of 24 people to buy for from my husband's side of the family alone. This was ridiculous, and put a huge strain on us that we felt well into the New Year. My husband insisted on doing it because we only see his family once every other year, as they live on the West Coast.

As the kids grew older, the requests became a little too extravagant for us. So for the past two years we sent a "family" gift of a board game and ordered a pizza for them from Gino's East in Chicago. It really took the burden off having to do individual gifts.

This year, we are selling our home and things are tight, so the "family" gifts from us will be home made ornaments from the kids, a framed picture of the kids, and a St. Jude's Children's Hospital ornament (the proceeds all go to the charity).
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:05 AM
Location: High Bridge
2,736 posts, read 7,730,010 times
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I have an immediate family of 5 (sister, brother, parents), and we all exchange. My girlfriend is one of five, and we all exchange with her family. However, its done as a combined gift from myself and my gf.

My extended family is.... huge. We extend all over the US too So, with the ones who are further away (ie: not in NJ or NY), we call - no gifts. With the ones in NJ/NY, we go Secret Santa style - one person, one gift, including the children. Noone buys for any kids other than their own, or the one they got in the secret santa. Price limit - $25 (ish. If its $27, who cares.)

Works out to be alot less expensive, its alot of fun (we open gifts one at a time), and the kids don't complain.
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