32 answers

When to Stop Buying Presents for "Adult" Niece

In my family we buy Christmas/ birthday presents for every niece and nephew, which gets to be spendy, but worth it. I have a niece who will be 19 in a few months, do I continue to buy her presents, or should that stop once she became an adult? My niece is also my goddaughter. I would feel very strange not getting her a gift however she has moved out and has her own place. In my heart I want to get her a gift, but do I continue this forever? I don't want to play favorites so will I then be obligated to buy for each niece and newphew forever? My sister mentioned my niece would like her boyfriend included in on any gifts to her. What do I do without hurting any feelings?

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Featured Answers

My mother had this same problem years ago. Her solution was that once her nieces had moved out on their own, they were considered adults. So instead of the gifts they would have been given (sweater, gift card, etc.) they were given a Christmas ornament. Most of the time they were handmade, and a lot of time was spent finding the perfect one. This became a tradition that my cousins still look forward to, and my mother enjoys continuing. I don't think any ornament was ever more than $10, but each and every one holds a place of honor on their trees.
Good luck,
B.

1 mom found this helpful

I give to all my nieces and nephews, no matter their age. If she is 19 and recently moved out, chances are she needs gifts now more than ever! I would do a gift card to Target, or somewhere, for both her and her boyfriend, then they can get something for their place, or groceries.
S.

We buy gifts for anyone under 18. But we still buy for my husband's brothers and their wives. But since we (my husband, me, his brothers & wives) are the youngest, the only gifts we get are from my husband's parents and no one else. So I would say stop giving gifts for nieces and nephews if they are adults (18 or older).

More Answers

... and there was I thinking that being a god parent was about supporting them and bring them up in X religion.

I dont think it should be expected after about 16 or 18 and personally to expect a girl/boy friend included which would increase the cost is a little too much IMHO.

Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

We stopped buying gifts for nieces and nephews when they turned 18. The reason we stopped at 18, was because they bought what they wanted themselves. We used to buy for the great nieces and nephews, but we are not going to buy this year because of the expense. We also found that it is difficult to buy for them, because we don't know their intrests or what they already have.

I also have an attitude that Christmas is not just for the gifts, which alot of kids expect that. We like to just get together and be thankful for our blessings and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.

1 mom found this helpful

My mother had this same problem years ago. Her solution was that once her nieces had moved out on their own, they were considered adults. So instead of the gifts they would have been given (sweater, gift card, etc.) they were given a Christmas ornament. Most of the time they were handmade, and a lot of time was spent finding the perfect one. This became a tradition that my cousins still look forward to, and my mother enjoys continuing. I don't think any ornament was ever more than $10, but each and every one holds a place of honor on their trees.
Good luck,
B.

1 mom found this helpful

In our family, we only buy for the kids until 18, then they take part in the "family gift game" where every adult buys one gift for the same gender, and there's a creative way (usually a game) where it gets swapped. That way, the kids still get in on a gift, and we don't have to buy for all the adults. It's hard to know what people need anyway, when you don't see them very often, and you can only buy so many candles.

As for the "favorite" niece, we have one of those, too. And yes, she's our favorite, but we are hers, too. She makes an effort to spend lots of time with our kids, babysits for us when she visits or we visit, and is my husband's Godchild. So we do play favorites. She will probably receive a gift from us forever. The trick is to not "display" this. We give her gift in private. No one notices because 1) all the "kids" in the family scramble in a huge flurry to open thiers so it's hard to see what any kid got, and 2) since she's now over 18, there is no reason to think she got something from us. You could pull her aside, or walk her to her car, or something, and say something like, "I know we don't exchange gifts with the nieces and nephews once they're over 18, but I wanted to get you a little something because I think you're special and important in my life. Enjoy!"

I would get your niece a gift that's for her, but could easily include the boyfriend is she chooses to share: Netflix membership, movie theater gift cards, restaurant gift card, etc. Something to treat themselves (or her and a girlfriend) when she probably doesn't have much money for social stuff.

1 mom found this helpful

In my family, most gifts were stopped at high school graduation or our 18th birthday, whichever was last. My siblings and I didn't have any ill feelings toward our godparents at all when they stopped. However, I have kept in touch with my godmother throughout the years, missing holidays here and there. But I think that having the "extra" connection has been such a blessing.
But as for gifts from her, it has never been an expectation since I was 18. And even then I was grateful.
But when it came to getting gifts from any aunts or uncles, at all otherwise. It wasn't done. There were too many nieces and nephews for that to happen.
Good luck on your decision.

My Auntes still buy gifts for me and my husband as well as my sisters and their husbands. That only makes for a total of five people so it's not that many and they don't have kids of their own. Since she is your godchild you could continue to buy gifts for her and not the others as they get older but that might make the other kids upset. Since she wants her boyfriend included you could do things like gift certificates to restaraunts that they can share.

One more thing. We buy gifts for the auntes and uncles. Now that we are adults it is expecteded in my family.

You could just take a cue from family of the past. When did you stop getting gifts from extended family?

We buy for all nieces and nephews too-- but the older ones we just by for our God-Children, and it is usually something quite small. Like one of mine has her own place as well, I bought her an ornament for her tree, she doesn't have many because she is just starting out so she really liked that last year. This year I will do the same! We don't include boyfriends or girlfriends until they are married.

Happy Holidays!

J.-

My family always did the same, buying for all the nieces and nephews. We all knew that once we turned 21 that was the end of the gifts from the aunts and uncles. We are all now over 21 and that seemed to work out great for us. That way there were no hard feelings. It was a precedent that was made for everyone including godchildren. We were all fine with it! Best wishes and good luck!

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