28 answers

Christmas Gifts for Adults

In my family, adults exchange gifts. For example, we give my parents each a present. I get one from my parents and my husband gets one from my parents. A few years ago, my MIL suggested that adults should draw names so that we each purchased one present for another adult rather than for each adult. Hum, that was 5 years ago - her oldest son was out of work so we knew why she suggested that. My husband agreed but has continued to purchase presents for his parents plus whomever he got in the drawing. The tradition has continued until yesterday when she called and suggested that we not do any gifts for adults. She said Christmas is for the kids anyway so adults don't need presents.

Actually, I like opening gifts even if I am 41! In my family we don't buy whatever we want whenever we need it and if you listen and pay attention it is easy to find items to buy one another. I've already bought gifts for MIL and FIl and my brother in law....and some of them can't be returned. I'm considering just saying that we enjoy giving gifts and plan to continue this year although we don't expect gifts from anyone else. In reality, I expect a present or two from my husband and he knows it (we discussed yesterday). We plan to exchange them on Christmas Day at their house since we are travelling over 1200 miles to go and will be there over a week.

So, do you exchange gifts with the adults in your family? Spouse? Parents? I would like to know what others do...

Thanks! C.

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Featured Answers

Yes we exchange presents amongst adults :-) Just my core family - my mom, dad , sisters, brother in law, then plus all the kids. I love giving presents.

2 moms found this helpful

I love giving gifts. I can't help myself. So I get hubby gifts and he buys me gifts too. We get the kids gifts. My neices and nephews get 1 gift each since there are 14 of them. I do manage to stay within my budget. Hubby also gets a gift for him mom but gives his grandmother money. She likes the money best of all. We just deposit it directly into her account.

My family yes parents,brother excluding my sister/bil however not buying each a gift for mom/dad it's 1 gift for both same on his side I don't buy for his sister/bil & his brother/sil it has been that way for a while now.This year we did a name drawing kids includeing on my moms side of the family i'm ok with that becasue it's new & they have alwasy bought for my kids regardless we go to their Christmas lunch or not.I also don't buy for every person on both sides of family that would be way to much & would cost a fortune if we did that so I limit who I but for they aren't able to do it either just immediate family.

More Answers

I'd read your MIL's letter as a coded way of saying "Someone in the family is having financial trouble, but they don't want to let everyone know." And if that's the case, it'd really be awkward for you to give them a gift if they can't afford one for you.

However, I think it's fine for you to ask your MIL, "We've already purchased gifts. Can we give them, or is it really better not to?" If she says no, just stick them in a closet and save them for another occasion.

With my family (especially my side), the adults all exchange gifts, but there's an unspoken agreement that they should be small and affordable. And people generally buy "house presents" for couples rather than something separate for each member of a couple. A lot more effort goes into things for the kids.

4 moms found this helpful

We stopped buying for our siblings years ago. It was just swapping $50 gift cards to various restaurants any way. My parents do not want us to spend money on them. My mom always says if I have to buy her something then get her dish towels. Lol! I understand it now that I am a parent because I would prefer my girls save their money too. Since I am a glass artist however I usually make them something for one of their houses.
I have lots of nieces and nephews too. We had the same problem that we were just swapping $15-$20 gifts. So last year we had a gift exchange where everyone had to bring a $5-10 wrapped gift. Then you could either steal an opened gift or open a new gift. It was a blast and so much more memorable than exchanging cheap kid toys. My BIL ended up with a musical tie, my 13 yo nephew got a blow up guitar and glow stick necklaces. Someone ended up with a pumpkin mouth picture frame and I then put a picture of me and my siblings in it from our Halloween party. The gift everyone was stealing was a simple jar from the dollar store filled with Reese's peanut butter cups and Hershey Kisses. Lots of fun that I think made a lasting memory for our family.

My husband and I exchange gifts though and my parents and his parents give us money.

2 moms found this helpful

We buy for my parents and my husbands parents. My parents and my husbands parents buy for us. We do not buy for our siblings, only our nieces & nephews.

My husband I do buy for each other.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes we exchange presents amongst adults :-) Just my core family - my mom, dad , sisters, brother in law, then plus all the kids. I love giving presents.

2 moms found this helpful

I have 4 brothers, 3 sister in laws, one engaged almost SIL, 2 nieces, and both my parents are living. We buy a gift for each and every person. PLUS we send $100 to my husband's parents out of country (that pays for Christmas dinner for his whole extended family).
We all exchange "lists' of things that we would like around Thanksgiving and then shop! I do black Friday shopping and am able to get gifts for all 12 people for about $125. Usually we just get small gifts for each other because there are so many of us. (I do have one brother this year that is in a BAD way and will not be getting any of us anything although we are all still buying for him and his kids)
Last year we did the "draw a name" thing and I hated it! I love buying for everyone....especially since I am such a good shopper! One of my brothers and I decided that it was bupkis and went ahead and bought everyone gifts anyways and just put "from Santa" on the cards.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi C.

We used to do that a lot.... but now , being as most of the people I know have pretty much anything they need and can purchase much of what they want. We have decided to simply focus on the kids and put the money towards them... However, my husband and I still give each other a gift.
Also, when it comes to friends, I no longer exchange gifts.. I tend to be an "0ver-buyer" and not buying gifts for once is good therapy for me..

2 moms found this helpful

We actually stopped buying gifts for the adults in our family because 1 the money and 2 we ended up just asking what each person wanted and going out and buying it so for our family it was best to stop. This year I told my mom not to buy us anything and just come visit she is in MN and we are in Florida. Our family is also the type if we really want something we save up and buy it. I guess it depends on what works for each family. Hope this helps some.

2 moms found this helpful

We still exchange gifts as adults in our extended family. All the little kids get gifts from whoever wants to buy them one, but each adult gets a gift from whoever drew their name. We have the option to opt-out of the exchange if we don't have the money to buy a gift, but then we don't get one in return. Our minimum spending is $20 so everyone gets at least that and those who have more money can spend more if they like. Some years we have passed on being in the exchange (like when I was on maternity leave) and some families have opted-out always. This way we still do the exchange of gifts, but those who don't want to don't have to. Everyone's fun isn't ruined.

1 mom found this helpful

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