23 answers

Christmas Gifts for Married Children

Once your children are engaged or married what is appropriate or acceptable as far as Birthday and Christmas gifts for spouses and your grown children? Does a gift card for both of them for dinner or home improvement store seem too impersonal? Is it unfair to focus on the younger kids and maybe cut back on the older ones once they are married.

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So What Happened?™

Wow! Thanks for all the responses. You guys have some really great ideas. And yes, six children are mine, one married, one engaged, the rest are little. Christmas is getting too expensive!! I also have 8 neices and nephews, one married. All of these kids are very dear to me and I like to give gifts. I just simply cant afford to buy a decent gift for everyone and I refuse to but junk.
So....I'm going with the gift cards for the married couples and the fiances,the little ones will get gifts of toys and the clothes that they need wrapped up. I like the basket idea and I think I will put the gift card in the basket with the wine etc. THANKS EVERYONE!!!

Featured Answers

My husband and I have been married for 7 years and my mother in law always buys us a "house gift" and something small for each of us. If you can find out something they want/need for their home you can do that as their "house gift". I think a dinner gift card is perfectly acceptable-sometimes thats better than a house gift...a date nite!!

3 moms found this helpful

Gift cards are exactly what my husband and I WISH people would give us! I get super excited over Home Depot gift cards.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

In our family, the kids get individual gifts, and for the adults there is a basket for each couple (or individual). Everyone contributes something homemade for it .. so if there are 8 couples then each couple would make 8 loaves of bread, jars of jam, cookies, etc. (one for each basket). That way everyone gets something, there are no hurt feelings over someone getting something "better" or any gifts that are not "wanted." We wanted to focus more on having everyone together and spending time as a family, and making it fun for the kids. :)

5 moms found this helpful

Being a married mother of four I'm thrilled when my mom, or my in-laws, focus on the kids. For birthdays (for us adults) an email or phone call and a card is great. For Christmas, if they want to give us something, it's usually a gift card to Lowes/Home Depot, or a restaurant where we can take the kids and enough to pay for a meal for all of us.

Guess what I'm trying to say is that, personally, I would not be offended if you didn't spend a whole lot on me personally. Hope that helps!

5 moms found this helpful

We dont give anything to our kids anymore, only the grandkids. A phone call is all the adults need. I do send birthday cards with money in them tho, I dont think any of us ever grow out of that.

4 moms found this helpful

I think it is the thought that counts. The way my mom handles it since she has 6 grandchildren to buy for is she usually gives my sister and I a personal gift and then gives us ( meaning myself and my SO, and my sister and her hubby) a family gift...sometimes it is a gift card to eat out, but she has also done towels, pots and pans. The kids always get one "fun/toy gift" and then some clothes. She does set a budget and she sticks to it. It is all about what people like, if the family is renovating a gift card to a home improvement store would be nice...I know my hubby and I love to read, so we would be over the moon happy with a gift card to a book store...I really do think it is the thought that counts and to me gift cards ARE thoughtful...good luck in whatever you decide. It is Not tacky to discuss what your plans are for the holidays...we have negotiated different gift giving rules over the years to keep it under control.

3 moms found this helpful

I love that my parents and my husband's parents give us money for our birthdays, Christmas and our Anniversary. They buy the grandkids an actual gift. When my kids are that age I will do the same.

3 moms found this helpful

My husband and I have been married for 7 years and my mother in law always buys us a "house gift" and something small for each of us. If you can find out something they want/need for their home you can do that as their "house gift". I think a dinner gift card is perfectly acceptable-sometimes thats better than a house gift...a date nite!!

3 moms found this helpful

My parents either ask me what I want or just give me a check. Christmas is for children we all know this. Plus young couples starting out can always use a gift card. As a mom, i like gift cards because I can use it to give me little gifts after Christmas to spread it out. Or sometimes a family gift is most appropriate like a Wii or small piece of furniture. Last year my mom bought me bedding. My in-laws give me gift cards or a family trip with them using their credit card points.
Hope this helps!
Suzy and her men

2 moms found this helpful

I don't think gift cards for the couple are a bad idea. I ask for giftcards to outbeak steakhouse all of the time :) This year i asked my mom for bedding. I don't think they would mind if you asked them what they needed?

1 mom found this helpful

I just got married a little over a year ago. Last Christmas both our parents called and asked what kind of things we needed for around the house or if there was something we would like to do together. And thats what they got us. And then they got us both a little something of our own. Like a CD I was really wanting.
This year we are wanting to upgrade our tv in the family room. So I am pretty sure both our parents are just going to get us giftcards to bestbuy to help with the tv.
Its not impersonal its more practical. We have two kids and I would much rather them focus on them and cut back on us. We had our moment when we were younger and now its their turn to be grandparents and focus on the kids.

1 mom found this helpful

It's not entirely clear whether you're talking about all of them being your kids or whether some are grandkids. If they're all your kids, in my opinion, they should all get "the same" gifts, including the in-laws. So if you're going to do a joint $50 gift card for dinner, then all the kids should get $25 presents, for example.

I know that it makes me feel like family (and my husband too, on the flip) to have my birthday acknowledged equally by my MIL. It would make me feel bad if she sent a birthday gift for my husband but not for me. Of course, if she opted out of gifts for grown-ups entirely, that would be different and that would be totally reasonable.

Finally, I can't imagine there being a time when I wouldn't want to buy gifts for my kids, whether they're grown or not. If it's about finding ways to cut down financially I totally get it. Perhaps you find a way to pare down some. But I do think that it would be a little sad to not give anything at all to the kids for big events like Christmas and Birthday, and if you're going to do for one, I think you should do for all.

Just my $.02

1 mom found this helpful

My parents give dinner gift certificates and offer to babysit. Since we are far away, the send the gift certificate and money for a babysitter. Sometimes they give separate gifts, but my husband and I look forward to the gift certificate. It is always to a place that we wouldn't go with our daughter so we really only get to go a couple times a year. Talk to your kids, find out what's important to them.

1 mom found this helpful

In my husband's family - he has 4 siblings - 2 out of 4 are married - 3 out of 4 have children (as well as we do)- so it can get pretty expensive at birthdays and christmas time - we came to a decision that we would only 'celebrate' for the kids - yes we all do get together still for the adult birthdays and have cake - but presents are just cards and the verbal "Happy Birthday" - the kids are the ones that get the presents - same with Christmas. We all - collectively - buy something for his Mom - or sometimes do just small presents for her.

Hope this helps :)

1 mom found this helpful

I think a gift card is a lovely present. I would not entirely stop giving gifts to your own children, and if you cut back, I would not do so once they marry. Either choose an age where you cut back regardless of marital status, or let them know once they have children, the gifts will be for the children.
With my niece/nephews, once they start having kids, that's what I do (so far, only one has a child)

1 mom found this helpful

My husband's family is small - my hubby, me and our son, my sister-in-law, her husband and their daughter. My in-laws spend the same amount of money on everyone. Last year the got my SIL and BIL new tv for $400, so they spent the same amount of money on my hubby and I (but we each got our own gifts, not one gift for both of us).

My immediate family is my mom, dad and sister, so we exchange gifts with each other (this year my parents gift is that they are taking us all to Jamaica in February to escape the cold).

My extended family is large (my mom is the oldest of 5, all are married and have 2 or 3 kids, then I am the first of the "kids" to be married and have a kid of my own). Our rule is that anyone 18 and over is enterred into a name drawing, which we do on Thanksgiving, and this drawing includes spouses/significant others.

1 mom found this helpful

well i can't say what I would do as the parent giving to the child, but as the child receiving, my dad did an AWESOME gift for everyone, he wood burned our last name on a wood plaque, then had all the kids sign it with little wood burned decor's that they did, and that was our christmas gift as the family, then he got 1 thing for me and my husband then SHOWERED the kids.

what i really enjoy getting is something everyone can enjoy like a game or something to help the family bond

assuming no kids in the picture, maybe a gift card for 2 to a nice resturant and a movie or something to give them a date night

1 mom found this helpful

do the same for the spouse as you would for your daughter/son. I think a gift card is fine- or even a nice card if you don't have the money or don't want to give a gift. Some years my parents just couldn't afford to give everyone a present- so we all got cards(there are 7kids- 4 are married, that's a lot!) We both get birthday cards or calls on our birthdays from both sides of the family. Both sets of parents have also done family gifts- one year my mom made us a huge tin full of homemade goodies(it was great!), my father in law made us a picnic table last year(we use it all the time). It just depends on what you feel comfortable spending- but make sure you acknowledge both.
~C.

1 mom found this helpful

Gift cards are exactly what my husband and I WISH people would give us! I get super excited over Home Depot gift cards.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm thinking yes to just about all of the above. Yes, I'd love a gift card for dinner or home improvements places (no, not too impersonal). Yes, it's fine to cut back on older ones once they are married -- they're grown. My parents tend to send us checks for anniversaries, birthdays or Xmas -- they know we'll put it to good use. It's the thought, right?

1 mom found this helpful

In our family once you have kids the parents don't get as much. We just get the parents a gift bag between them which has maybe wine, chocolates, cookies or perhaps a nice candle or recipe book and it never comes to more that $10-15. I would love a gift card for dinner and an offer of babysitting one night. :-) If they are married but with no kids I would still get them something between them but spend a little more.

1 mom found this helpful

I would still do something personal for each clothes est not home inprovement maybe mani pedi for girl tool for guys

Dear S., Unless you know of something they want or need, I love a gift card to a restaurant or tickets to something. My family does Kris Kringle and in mid Sept. we get together and pick. Each of us writes on a paper some gift ideas. We have a set amount we spend and each gets one adult. Now we can concentrate of the kids and what they want. Grandma Mary

I don't understand why a person's marital status has any impact on whether or not you give them a gift for xmas or their birthday. Isn't a gift supposed to be something you give someone to show to care about them? Does that change if they get married?? Do you expect gfts only from your "single" children? In short, yes, I think it's totally unfair to stop giving gifts to your children just because they're married or engaged.

As for your other question, I think gift cards to a restaurant or home improvement store are excellent ideas, and not impersonal at all if you give them a card to their favorite restaurant, or give them the home improv gift knowing they plan on making some improvements on their home. Any gift that shows you put some thought into it is good - after all, it's not the size of the package that matters! : )

I think gift cards are perfect. I prefer them. My MIL buys me stuff that I end up throwing out. I know it is the thought that counts, but when the jewlery turns you green and your ears swell from the earings and takes 3 weeks to heal. The clothes never fit, (size or taste) lotions are too stinky, it is hard. With a gift card I feel more heart with a gift that gets use.

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