22 answers

Older Adult Children and Christmas Gifts.

Hi Ladies, I need some of your insight on buying Christmas gift for my older adult children. They are 23 and 25, we do not have the money we used to when they were little. We have been cutting back on everyone. My mom and MIL birthdays are a day apart so I gave them photos of the kids. My husband say's 100 per adult child is what we have to spend. I feel we should spend more. Hubby thinks they are older now and should not expect us to buy tons of gifts anymore. We do have a 13 year old at home that will most likely get what he wants because he is still young. I guess I am feeling a little torn because I do not want them to feel hurt. Would you think its just fine to spend less on the older ones now.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Feeling better already, I guess he was right with this one. Thanks Ladies!

I know my older ones would be just fine with it....it's me that was having a hard time. They will be happy with anything they get. I have always loved to see them open wonderful gifts. We will have a great day together no matter what! They all are very loving children.

Featured Answers

Absolutely! They are no longer kids. I don't spend $100 per adult child; they get a $50 GC. I have eight grandchildren, THEIR children, that I spend my money on. But if I didn't have the grandchildren, they would still only get about $50 either spent on gifts or in a GC. They are adults now; no need to treat them like children!

3 moms found this helpful

I told my older kids (21, 20, 20, 19) that this year they wouldn't be getting as much. I have younger ones at home (11, 8, 6 and 3) that I was going to focus on. I still spent about $100.00 on each of them. I don't feel bad, they already have most of what they want/need. They're fine with it, cause they understand.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Golly, I don't spend that much on my grown children. They do get gifts, but we're not into big-bucks items. If your adult children are hurt because you're not spending a lot on them, they're not very adult, are they? But you think more highly of them than that!

5 moms found this helpful

$100 is fine. You could even go with less. You don't have to tell your children how much you're spending on them.

Honestly, it's not about how much money you spend. It's about the TIME you spend.

4 moms found this helpful

As an adult child whose parents did the same thing, DO NOT feel bad!! I never felt hurt. As I became my own adult, and as my parents got older and started living off their retirement money, it became obvious to me that they had to stop spending as much on me! It all made sense. It probably will to your kids too :)

4 moms found this helpful

As adults, with 4 of us kids, our spouses, my half brother and his wife that my Mom took under her wing (our father and my step-mom/half bro's mom were deceased), plus the adult grandchildren...my Mom had many to buy for (plus all the little ones). She was famous for handmade items she worked on throughout the year, but the store bought gifts were well known too!

She started this trend of buying us safety items which many of us still use and appreciate. Fantastic first aid kits from the Red Cross (many of us hunt/fish/snowmobile,and I do home childcare so they are great to have and use). Carbon Monoxide detectors. Fire extinguishers. NOAA weather radios. LED flashlight sets for all over the house.

Then she made us things like scarves, hats, mittens, ornaments...all personalized and special.

Now that she is gone (she passed away 5 years ago), we all remember her fondly and how she wanted us to be safe. All of the items are still relevant and useful all these years later! I know I will do the same when my own daughter moves out on her own!

My in laws spend less than $100 on each of us. We usually get a shirt, sweater or PJs , maybe a book or CD or something they know we wanted, then a family item like game, video game, movies, or movie tickets, etc. They spend a little more on our daughter, even tho she is 18 this year. She gets a few more gifts, which is what we would prefer if they are doing a budget for each family "unit".

Good luck and Happy Holidays!

3 moms found this helpful

I told my older kids (21, 20, 20, 19) that this year they wouldn't be getting as much. I have younger ones at home (11, 8, 6 and 3) that I was going to focus on. I still spent about $100.00 on each of them. I don't feel bad, they already have most of what they want/need. They're fine with it, cause they understand.

3 moms found this helpful

$100.. is very generous.

I am sure they will be thrilled even with the cash, wrapped up in little boxes.

3 moms found this helpful

If you spend $1000 on your 13 year old then $100 is not enough on the older ones because you can obviously afford it or to cut back on the younger one (IMO).

Otherwise $100 is reasonable especially if you are creative...find awesome deals (think Groupon, Black Friday sales, clearance items, etc). I was able to get my son two pair of jeans, three shirts, and two pair of shorts from Aeropostle for $100 when they were on sale back in the fall (the normal cost would have been $80 for just the jeans) and for his birthday I was able to get a paintball outing for six people for $20 rather than $20 per person.

BTW, I understand how you feel...I have a 6 yr old and 21 yr old.

3 moms found this helpful

We only buy for the kids in my family so i see no problem with spending less on the adult children. I am 27 and have not gotten a gift from my mom and stepdad at all since i was 21 its really not a big deal. I think $100 each is generous.

3 moms found this helpful

A thoughtful gift that cost little can mean more than something more expensive. The only thing that actually costs what it's "worth" is money itself. Give from the heart and don't worry about the pocketbook. $100 is plenty, and actually very generous. You could get several gifts for that depending on the likes and what gifts you find that speak to your heart :)

3 moms found this helpful

Wow, $100 for grown children is still VERY generous. When you started talking about not having the money you used to have, I was thinking that your budget was going to be about $40-50.

If your children measure your love for them in dollars, then something is very wrong, and spending more on them won't fix it. If they know what true parental love is, they don't care how much you spend on them.

ETA: and for what it's worth, my husband is a physician, and even on his salary, we don't even spend $100 per kid for Christmas gifts.

3 moms found this helpful

Absolutely! They are no longer kids. I don't spend $100 per adult child; they get a $50 GC. I have eight grandchildren, THEIR children, that I spend my money on. But if I didn't have the grandchildren, they would still only get about $50 either spent on gifts or in a GC. They are adults now; no need to treat them like children!

3 moms found this helpful

I think they would be most happy with 100 bucks in a card. I know I would be.

2 moms found this helpful

I think it's perfectly fine. In fact that is what I tried to stick to this year also. We have added two additional people (daughter-in-law and future son-in-law) and it just keeps on growing. I cannot nor do I want to spend like I used to on all of these people. I would assume the older ones would understand that the 13 year old gets his turn just like they had theirs. We have already decided that next year all the adults in our family (my husband and I included) are going to draw names and only buy for that person. That way we can have a higher limit and get something they would really want. Of course we all buy for the little ones because they are fun to buy for.

Have a wonderful Christmas! Really it is not supposed to be about the presents.

2 moms found this helpful

Definitely! I wish my parents would not spend on us adult kids at all but they insist. We've talked them down to $50 per person (or couple) and I ask them for a restaurant gift card because otherwise my husband and I would never treat ourselves to a nice dinner out. I think they were spending somewhere between $50 and $75 when we were out of college.

2 moms found this helpful

$100 is a lot. If they are working, they understand the value of the dollar. You don't need to measure your love for your children in dollar amounts, and they shouldn't judge you by that. You still have a 13 year old who may need braces or college or things like that. If you need to cut back, everyone needs to cut back - including the 13 year old. Nobody gets everything they want and that's not a good message to give our kids.

You can do a lot of things that say "I love you" without spending a fortune. Perhaps you are crafty? If they have their own homes and perhaps their own Christmas trees, perhaps you can start a tradition of giving them an ornament every year? Do you bake? Did you make cookies or breads with them when they were younger? Can you make them an assortment of "Mom's specialties"? Will your 13 year old participate? How about a recipe book or recipe card file of family favorites now that they have their own homes? Have you tried consignment shops? They have many many things, often brand new, which are very inexpensive.

If your kids are not grateful for what they have and what they have already received, then you can't buy their good will by throwing more money at them. But if they are good and decent people who appreciate their many opportunities, they will not measure you by the price tags on your gifts.

2 moms found this helpful

My ILs still buy us "kids" gifts and they spend about $100 per adult. There is 6 of us and 5 grandkids. I certainly don't expect a big gift like that. They usually asks for a list of stuff we want. We usually end up getting something on our list and a giftcard or money.

2 moms found this helpful

I think that $100 per adult is still quite generous, especially if you are having financial problems. My SS is 22 and my SD is 18. They would certainly understand us focusing on their little sister and buying them less. But in our house that also doesn't mean spending $500 on the little one. If you cut back in general, look at what what your 13 yr old son REALLY wants and focus on a few key things vs everything.

If you feel you should spend more, ask yourself why? Do you feel that gifts = love in some way? And if it's quantity that you're after, you can find ways to stretch a dollar. I don't care if my DH buys my sweater on sale. I don't think your older kids will care, either. And if they do, they need to grow up.

We no longer receive gifts from my ILs, who are on a fixed income. Instead, we host a family lunch with DH's side of the family and mostly just exchange gifts for the kids, play games and enjoy each other's company.

2 moms found this helpful

My parents have been giving me about $100 - $150 every Christmas since I was about 21...so I think they should be fine with their gift.

1 mom found this helpful

Once you are over 21 you should not expect to receive an expensive gift from mom and dad as you are the adult. It is a nice gesture but when do you stop when they are 21 or do you continue it until they are 50? There has to be a time stop. The extra money spent on adult children could be put to better use for a trip or retirement.

If you are cutting badk on the older children you could also cut back on the younger one. Get him a large gift and a few smaller ones. It is time that we all get back to the reason for the season.

I will get off my soapbox about the expense and craziness for this time of the year.

The other S.

1 mom found this helpful

The cost should be the same across the board. If your budget is $600 total (for example) for the 3 kids--then its 200 each no matter the age.

1 mom found this helpful

$100 per kid is a lot! My in-laws just sent us $50 for each family member (they live overseas so buying and shipping gifts is expensive) and I think that is a wonderful amount! Personally, I prefer the money or a gift card to gifts from my parents/in-laws because then I get the fun of shopping for what I really want/need! When my parents pick out and buy my gifts it is hit and miss whether I like or need what they bought me, then I have to pretend to be thrilled to recieve it while hoping I can return it without them noticing, LOL!

1 mom found this helpful

I get $50 from my FIL each Christmas and I feel truly blessed. When I was married to my first husband we always gave my MIL a carton of cigarettes with a Hundred taped to it....she liked it a lot. We gave my FIL a bottle of liquor with a $100 taped on it.

Now we get my daughter a $50 Walmart gift card and each of the teen grand kids a $25 Walmart gift card. It's just so easy to go and get what you really want when you have money in hand.

1 mom found this helpful

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