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Who do you buy for?

December 21st, 2007 at 04:09 am

I just counted all the gifts I needed to buy this year (all done except for 2!):
27
That is four gift exchanges and 23 people. New additions to the list this year? My son's pre-school teacher, his teacher aide, and bus driver. My younger son's day care provider. My sons' speech therapist (same therapist for both kids). Am I overdoing it? Is all this really expected? I have no idea what I am "supposed" to do. I read that you are "supposed" to gift your day care provider a weeks worth of payment, but I can't afford to give a $50 gift to her. Instead I got her a $25 g.c. to a nice local store, because I really wanted to show her that we appreciate her flexibility and kindness. I got the speech therapist a $10 g.c. The teachers are receiving a notepad, candy bar, and mint lip balm (ok, it was really cute and caught my eye in Target - and at $1, I got a bunch for different people, including me!). And I'm going to give my son's bus driver a big Hershey's Kiss. (side note: I was going to get the teachers a $10 gift card too, until I realized that in several years, I could have 3 or 4 kids in school at one time, meaning 6 or 8 teachers...I just can't do it!)
Oh, and then there's the jobs. I had a gift exchange with my real estate company ($15-18). I received a present from my boss today (I'm going to take her my homemade granola next week - I hope she likes it). I got a lottery ticket from our office supervisor and candy from a colleague. We had a gift exchange with my Bunco group (can't complain about that one, it was my idea).
We exchange to some degree ($5-$50) with each of our siblings and SILs, as well as all of our nieces and nephews. DH and I both bring a gift to the cousin exchange. Of course, we still buy for all our parents and our one grandparent, not to mention our own two children.
Is anyone else driven nuts by all this?

I just ranted to my DH tonight and he told me I had a fat chance of getting any of his family (or mine, for that matter) to scale back because they enjoy the exchange. Well, I do too, but I am ready to just say ENOUGH. Enough shopping, enough organization (I have to carry a binder to organize my gifting), enough spending money.

At least I'm all done. DH can shop for the two people we have left - his grandmother and father. I'm DONE.




(I'm really NOT a Scrooge. I love the holiday - I even love shopping. I just want to simplify it - buy for my kids, DH, parents, and then maybe draw names with the rest of the relatives.)

12 Responses to “Who do you buy for?”

  1. kimiko Says:

    Too much gift.

    There's no such thing as "supposed" gift or amount. You should gift because you wanted to, not because of societal pressure.

    People are turning too materialistic. It used to be gifts are for children and adults exchange cards and get together for dinners. Now everyone wants gifts and tips and what not. This new type of holiday spirit makes me sick.

  2. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Of all those adults associated with your kids, I normally would give only the daycare person a gift at Christmas.

  3. monkeymama Says:

    Too much if you ask me. Dh's family is all into the exchange so we appease them. But just his parents and his grandma. At least our siblings have said "enough!" so it isn't so bad.

    But I am with Kimiko. I gave what I wanted to give. No formula. I gave a little cash to my gardener and to the preschool teacher. Much less than the formula. The only reason I gave them anything was because I wanted too. Because they are both such awesome people. Because I pay them so little for all that they do. Beyond that, I wouldn't bother.

    It happened slowly for us. Stop exchanging with friends, then siblings. Then these days my parents don't even want to exchange at all. But we were all kind of on the same page.

    Drawing names is a great idea too. My dad's family loves to exchange gifts. I know my parents could care less, but at least with the drawing it is just 1 family to buy for instead of 4. Phew. It's a good compromise.


  4. Carolina Bound Says:

    I do not exchange with my siblings or cousins anymore. I give only to my sons and my grandson, and to a few good friends.

  5. princessperky Says:

    Family is hard...We have only one 'cousin' family to trade with on each side....and there are 6 of them, 5 of us..not really getting out of gifts if we draw! But we have scaled back, one gift each, and small at that with a trip out to someplace.. One place all kids.

    Friends were a slow drop off of just not exchanging....we give cards (our card has pictures and news) and fudge to all who are nice, teachers or friends. I hope it is appreciated, and it is less than $10 each.

  6. jodi Says:

    Good ideas. If we could scale back the siblings, everything else would be fine (I have two siblings, DH has three, all married but one so that's nine people right there). Last year we agreed to "opt out" of gifts with one of his brothers and his family (wife and two kids), but this year she called me to ask when we were coming down so they could give us our presents. WHAT?? I thought once you opted out, you were out! Apparently, we were opted back in without knowing it. Sigh. So next year, I'm going to play the "bad" guy and suggest that we scale back. DH has already told me it won't fly, but then he can run around and get all the gifts.
    I truely wanted to give a little something to our speech therapist and day care provider - I don't mind the teachers either, although I hear from my SIL (who is a teacher) that she gets $10 and $20 g.c. to places from parents. I don't mind a small token gift (fudge is ALWAYS good), but I can't (or won't) match that level. Just wanted to hear what everyone else thought...

  7. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    Yes, it took a few years to get my husbands large family (3 brothers with 6 kids total, and now grandkids) to do a drawing for the adults.

    I KNOW it is a relief to the matriarch (my mil) of the family as she is on SS and retirement funds!!

    And yes, there are rule breakers, as this family is still getting used to the idea.

    Stick to your plan! And who cares if the family gossip goes on and on in 2008??!! There is always family gossip and the subject is usually far different than who got/gave what gifts.

  8. koppur Says:

    Wow that's a lot of people! I only do for my Mums, Dad, sister, BIL, boyfriend, and my 2 best friends. I've cut way back to only the people who are really important to me. Everyone else gets a card. If they don't like it, tough. I don't get gifts from them, so it wors out well. We stopped exchanging with our cousins, aunts, etc several years ago, and all my grandparents have passed away already. Makes for a small holiday, but it is always with the people who are special to us.

  9. Ima saver Says:

    I only buy for my husband. I give the granddaughters (both teens) $100 each and I gift my 3 waitresses $50 each. that is it!

  10. Mr. Meager Says:

    I've successfully stopped the gift exchange within my cirlce of friends. My siblings and I have decided to only give to nieces and nephews and leave xmas as a children's holiday. My only gift pool is the office and that is never gonna stop. I can't get it to stop because I don't want to be a wrench in the system or create any rifts in the office. So I pretty much gift out of obligation because I am gifted to. Ultimately, I prefer to get something for someone for a reason and not for an occasion. I loath receiving gifts. That's the worse part because I get way more joy in using my hard earned money to treat myself. I rather not ponder about what people want and need, and to wonder if this is a good gift decision. I always have extra GC's incase of unsuspecting gifts. I hate this time of year. Call me a scrooge if you must, but the gift I enjoy the most are the days off work.

  11. miclason Says:

    part of Mom's dysfunction was that she equalled gifts with love...so, that's what we were taught (or, should I say, how we were conditioned?)...while I now know the best gift you could ever give anyone is your time and care, I still enjoy looking for that JUST PERFECT thing, which doesn't have to be expensive or even bought, but, that I KNOW will make the recepient happy! (I once bought a mini-calendar that featured shoes from a shoe museum for a friend that just goes crazy over shoes...she loved it! - and it cost me $1.99!!...or that time when I found a beautiful picture frame with paw-print motif for a friend who just loves pets!)

  12. Amber Says:

    I buy for my nephew, my other nephew's step daughter, God-daughter and cousin that is it. And if we have a Secret Santa at work ( which I never want to do)

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