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Old 08-13-2012, 12:11 PM
 
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Since most or all of us are retired or approaching retirement, and living on a budget of sorts, I have a question about when does one stop sending gifts, money, etc. to grown relatives...brothers, sisters, in laws, nieces, nephews primarily. I understand if most would want to still give gifts to children or especially grandchildren. My case is that my relatives choose not to be close to me. I rarely or never hear from them, get invited to visit, they have never visited me, etc. Yet I do send my niece and nephew birthday money (not big bucks, but like $25), one is 26 and one is 23. I have no issue with Christmas gifts...but what about birthdays, anniversaries, etc. My brother's 30th wedding anniversary is coming up and I just want to send a card. I feel weird sending money and I'll feel weird not sending money....
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:43 PM
 
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If you cannot afford it, do not send it. Send a card and a long letter if you dont see them often. Let them know you hear about what they are doing and enjoy the news.

Gifts are in no way required. Sometimes not even appreciated. Gifts should be as enjoyable to find and give as to receive. If they are not an enjoyable process done with a lot of love, what is the purpose?

I would be much happier if mom did not send us money to give us a "gift".
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:51 PM
 
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It's true that I much more enjoyed when the kids were younger and I actually sent them gifts instead of money, but then they were easier to shop for...but I don't even know what their tastes are anymore (in their 20's ???) and they seem to prefer money.
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Old 08-13-2012, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Lexington, SC
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Send a card with cash inside. Cold hard cash. Cash fits everyone and matches everything......LOL
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:38 PM
 
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I think much of it depends on two things.

One is the response you have from the relatives. When you send your niece and nephew or anyone else a gift, do they respond with a thank you phone call, written note or an email note, I don't count Facebook because that is not personal enough. Do they send you a gift at holidays or for your birthday etc. Do they acknowledge you in any way ? If it's all one sided without a gracious response from them, then I would cease with the gifts.

The second thing is your funds. Seriously, I would do only as much as you funds allow and only as much as reciprocated in kind. A thirtieth anniversary, while an achievement, is not usually a cause for a celebration as a 25th or 50th is. I doubt if most people even remember the exact dates of such things of family members. I would think a card is more than enough, if you even wanted to do that. Just let everyone know that you are on a fixed income, are watching your budget and feel you need to cut back on gifts to adults.

I certainly see no point in trying to send gifts to people who do not stay in touch with you. You can't buy family closeness. It's either there or it's not. Money and gifts won't create it. If they don't call, visit or invite, what's the point ?
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Dover, DE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willow wind View Post
I think much of it depends on two things.

One is the response you have from the relatives. When you send your niece and nephew or anyone else a gift, do they respond with a thank you phone call, written note or an email note, I don't count Facebook because that is not personal enough. Do they send you a gift at holidays or for your birthday etc. Do they acknowledge you in any way ? If it's all one sided without a gracious response from them, then I would cease with the gifts.

The second thing is your funds. Seriously, I would do only as much as you funds allow and only as much as reciprocated in kind. A thirtieth anniversary, while an achievement, is not usually a cause for a celebration as a 25th or 50th is. I doubt if most people even remember the exact dates of such things of family members. I would think a card is more than enough, if you even wanted to do that. Just let everyone know that you are on a fixed income, are watching your budget and feel you need to cut back on gifts to adults.

I certainly see no point in trying to send gifts to people who do not stay in touch with you. You can't buy family closeness. It's either there or it's not. Money and gifts won't create it. If they don't call, visit or invite, what's the point ?

What WW said!!!
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:43 PM
 
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I've asked myself that more than a few times...what's the point? I guess it is some deep seeded longing for connection to family and I'm a generous, traditional person. And I never want to hurt them or for them to think I don't care. Funny, their grandma told me once "you can't buy love" and it was one of the most hurtful things anyone had ever said to me because I really loved those kids and enjoyed being generous to them. It made me sick to think that that's what they thought I was doing...when it was the last thing on my mind. I guess that's says alot about them.

But, no, they don't directly respond in any way. When I call them on their BD's, they will say "thanks for the money" and that's about it. At Christmas I get one gift from them all, and I send them each separately a gift (4). I can only imagine what they would think if I sent them one 'family" gift...haha, maybe I should try it! And I get a BD card signed by all 4 of them....not even a separate card from a 26 year old. Guess because they all still live together in the same house...

Well, I definitely will only be sending an anniversary card.
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loveautumn View Post
My brother's 30th wedding anniversary is coming up and I just want to send a card. I feel weird sending money and I'll feel weird not sending money....
I have never in my life even considered sending anniversary gifts to other married couples (other than my parents), be they friends or family. Cards, yes. (If I happen to remember it.) But anniversary gifts???

I don't think so.


Quote:
Originally Posted by loveautumn View Post
I feel weird sending money and I'll feel weird not sending money....
Other than for a bar mitzvah, high school/college graduation, or a young couple getting married and just starting out in life, I'd feel weird giving money as a gift to anyone for any occasion (b'day, Christmas, etc.)
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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My sister and I stopped exchanging gifts years ago. We've both got enough stuff. At Christmas, we make donations to chosen charities. (She favors soup kitchen type places; I usually choose animal shelters)

Never ever send money through the mail, unless it's a registered letter.


but as swetana3 said, gifts are not an obligation. If you don't want to send one, don't. Just send a nice card/note.
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:37 PM
 
Location: SW MO
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We send gifts to the grandchildren. For the children and their spouses we make a donation in their name(s) to the charity of our choice and so advise them. The charities often do so for us.
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