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reasonable amount of gifts

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#1 colemandawn4905  OFFLINE  



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Posted Nov 10, 2015 - 11:36 am

ok we have 6 kids. my hubbys 3 (all men...32, 28, and 24 mine are 2 g 24 and 17 and 1 b 18) His oldest son has 4 kids and a wife and youngest has girlfriend and she has a  kid. They all have a mother who buys for them for Christmas. My oldest has a father who is living and buys for her however my youngest 2's father is deceased) So this is my dilemma and i want honest answers please. Last year his kids became very upset that i bought a few extra gifts for my youngest 2 as they only get gifts from me. My oldest (once their dad passed away) has said mom concentrate on them and don't get me as much cuz my dad and grandparents buy for me too. We usually give his kids money because every time we buy them something they take it back. Now i don't want to get into another battle this year over the amount of gifts everyone gets. I try to keep value of the gifts the same except i get the younger 2 maybe an extra hundred dollars worth. Am i being unreasonable?


How many gifts per child do you think it reasonable? I try to go by the amount of money being spent?

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#2 berry1014  OFFLINE  



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Posted Nov 10, 2015 - 12:38 pm

I don't see a problem with getting the younger 2 a few extra gifts. You could always label them from their father or in memory of their father. How does your hubby feel about it? If he is in agreement with you then he needs to talk to his kids.


Another option is to still get them a few extra gifts but give them those gifts in private.

#3 Bopeep  OFFLINE  



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Posted Nov 10, 2015 - 1:02 pm

I don't think you are being unreasonable. I have never had to balance a blended family like that, so my opinion may not count, but it seems to me you have put a lot of thought in to it and you are doing the best you can.  As far as how many gifts is reasonable, well, that depends on what you have to spend.  


Maybe you could make sure they all open the same amount of gifts when you have Christmas together, and give your younger 2 their extras when it's just y'all (while the other kids are with their other families).  I don't know that you don't already do it that way, but it's a thought.


I think I would have to tell them they are grown men and they should really start acting like it.

#4 Ladywolf  OFFLINE  



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Posted Nov 10, 2015 - 1:11 pm

You could always label them from their father or in memory of their father.


I think this is a great idea! Hopefully it would solve the problem and explain the extra gifts in a thoughtful way. 


#5 tracy0504  OFFLINE  



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Posted Nov 10, 2015 - 2:24 pm

In my honest opinion, the "adult" children are grown, so the fact that they get any gifts @ all should be appreciated!!!!  Especially the one that has children of their own, because in my house they would get more than the parents.  Now, don't get me wrong because I still buy my grown children gifts, but I concentrate more on my 15 y/o because he is still a child and most of the things he wants he can't buy on his own.  I already made it very clear to my 22 & 21 y/o that they are grown w/ jobs so they can buy themselves just about anything they want, but I will still get them some gifts.  Now if my funds allow then yes I will splurge on them and get my oldest the Wii U that he has been wanting (mind you he has a Xbox One on lay-away @ Walmart) and I may get my daughter a new 32" tv for her bedroom (for the apartment that she claims she will have by the new year).  But to EXPECT more @ their ages is a bit selfish and spoiled if you ask me... I am sorry if I sound harsh, but you asked for honest.  These grown kids have taken the meaning out of Christmas, it's about giving a gift to show love, it's not about how many gifts or how much each gift cost!!!!  Who's keeping a running tally?!?!.  Sorry, but this really upset me and I would have a few conversations with the older children (and you shouldn't have to) because @ their ages they should be more understanding. 


Ok, I am done ranting...lol...and to answer your question, no you are not being unreasonable!!!!  I usually ask everyone what they want and try to fulfill their lists... I only did that with my youngest this year!!!!

#6 conj  OFFLINE  


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Posted Nov 10, 2015 - 5:46 pm

Do the younger ones live at home? You could open gifts with them on Christmas Eve (or Dec 26)and avoid unnecessary arguments. I do agree with those above - they are grown men, time to act like it. The season is about generosity and family. Not about counting and coveting.
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#7 stevierocks  OFFLINE  



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Posted Nov 12, 2015 - 9:40 pm

omg you are doing whats RIGHT!!! keeping in your heart the younger ones who have had a loss and more to deal with as it is!!

forget those grown kids and their selfishness.. they have LIVING parents who get them stuff.. cudos to your oldest daughter who seems to be the child with a heart and understanding!!! if it were me i would want to even maybe get her a lil extra or do something for her, and certainly let her know you appreciate her maturity!!

you should not HAVE to hide the fact they get more.but if thats what it takes to keep your own peace and not have to worry about the ungrateful selfish greedy men,so be it.

however was it explained to them the others are younger , and also missing a parent... as if that should need explaining...ugg.

 btw sorry for your teenagers ,and your  loss

#8 Megara211  OFFLINE  



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Posted Nov 13, 2015 - 2:04 am

My family is also blended (really, really blended).
My oldest brother (from my father's first marriage) through a fit my first christmas, his daughter was born a month after me. My mom bought more for me than she did for my neice.
Because I was her only child, and my neice had her parents, her grandparents on her mother's side, and her dad's mother and stepfather.
Where as I got one thing each from my two older siblings, my mom's family had a weird rule about presents for under 2 yrs (apparently my cousin almost choked to death on wrapping paper when he was a year and a half) so they don't send anything for kids under two, and my grandma (my father's mom) bought equally for her new grand and great-grand daughters (aka: we got the same gift).

Those "boys" are grown men, they have their mother. Your two youngest have just you. They can act their age, your oldest acts like an adult so can they.
If you're worried about it, give your kids their extra gifts another day. My parents ended up doing that for me growing up, I'd get my "extra presents" on new years, it was fun and extended the holidays for me. Or one of my aunts did gifts with one part of gifts the family on christmas eve, one part Christmas day, and one part on the 26th.
Btw your oldest Daughter is very sweet to put her younger siblings first like that.

#9 pogiporkchop  OFFLINE  



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Posted Nov 13, 2015 - 2:43 am

A child is never too old to wake up on Christmas to a lump of coal...

If it were me I'd take what would have been spent on the complainers and do something for those less fortunate. At least then I'd know the recipients would be grateful for whatever they receive.

And definitely do something to recognize the maturity of your oldest - it doesn't have to be a gift but just something to let her know how much you appreciate it and her. A simple card or note can be treasured for a lifetime.

#10 Reinholt1  OFFLINE  



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Posted Nov 14, 2015 - 5:03 am

I'll be the first to admit that I am not from a blended family, so I may be missing some of the finer subtle points that coming with being a family together.  I apologize for that in advance.


#1  I agree with the basic sentiment of the group here.  The older ones need to grow up.  They are still in emotional competition with a 17 and 18 year old over who gets the most stuff??  Really?  Time to grow up! and you and hubby are the ones that need to guide them into maturity.  I applaud you for wanting to set some boundaries now so you can enjoy the holidays for years to come.  


Question.  What does your husband think of what happened last year?  What does he think would be a good solution?  What ever you decide,  you both need to be on the same page.


#2  You never said how long you two have been married.  Has this been a more recent marriage? That can make a difference.  Honestly, I like your practice of just giving them money for Christmas. The older ones all get the same amount.  They decide how to use it.   Now you can focus on just being family and having fun together.  You also did not mention how many of those 6 children are living at home with you.  That can make a difference too.


#3  My mom's side of the family is huge.  When I was a kid growing up, we all knew that all the kids/grandkids -- anyone under 18/still in high school got the gifts.   Past 18, you were an adult.  The adult children got a monetary gift - to use as they chose.  The adult grandkids drew names on thanksgiving and bought 1 gift for that cousin.  There were just too many of us and as a family we valued being family together on Christmas.   Competition over who got what would have killed us as a family.  



My suggestion  would be for you and hubby to agree on a set amount for each adult child.   And let them know in advance that each household (in case they are married or have a significant other.) will get the same amount because you love them all equally.  For those that live under your roof...give them the option of that amount or buying gifts.  (Let's face it.  Even being a mature 24 and holding one  check while a 17 and 18 year old are ripping open several packages ..well who wants to be left out of the fun?!   Let them choose, with the understanding that you are only spending the given amount.)  And with the 17 & 18 year old,  do what you feel best.  If you able to spend an extra $100 for something then do it guilt free because they are kids and they aren't expected to have the resources  or full emotional maturity  that someone in their 20's or 30's should have.  I would also sit down with your husband and figure out what to do, small but equally,  for grandchildren, before you get overwhelmed each year by sheer numbers  (you do have 6 children you know.)  Maybe a $25 savings bond for college each year per grandchild or something similar.   (When you have 20+ grandchildren this will make sense.)


If the older adult children still huff and puff  about who got what this year...then maybe you and hubby should say  "OK,  New family, New tradition."  Buy gifts only for the under the roof minors to open on Christmas morning.  Spend the money you would have given to the ungrateful adult kids on a special meal together or maybe buy a block of tickets to see a holiday show together.  These are your funds, not theirs.  Use the funds to bring family togetherness and joy during the holidays.  And hubby has to be the key here.  His children didn't get their greedy attitudes from under your influence.  So they will not think kindly upon you if you are seen as the one making changes and taking their money away.   But if you want to help them learn to focus on being family together and not on who gets how much, then hubby has to step up and be leader in creating this new family centered tradition.


Anyway...all IMHO.  You and hubby do whatever you both think best and stick to it.  Best wishes!

#11 msomnipotent  OFFLINE  



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Posted Nov 18, 2015 - 6:02 pm

My family does a grab bag for anyone over 18 and if you don't get in the grab bag, you don't get a gift, even from the parents. Before the grab bag, one relative had a habit of eyeballing everyone's gifts and get mad if someone had more than her. So one year I opened a box of Andes mints and individually wrapped each one, then made her sit there and open each one while everyone watched. Everyone made a big fuss about how she finally had so many more gifts than everyone else, and she finally realized how ridiculous she was being. CVS and Walgreens usually has Andes on sale for the holidays. Stock up!

#12 LCPanther1975  OFFLINE  


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Posted Nov 18, 2015 - 6:39 pm

I agree with the others, try to let the younger girls open in private OR if anyone makes a big deal about it, tell them they are adults and to GTFU....sorry for the language but give me a break. with all that is going on in the world, this is what they want to fight about????? 

Bring on the ads !  :yelclap: 

#13 CarpeDiem  OFFLINE  



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Posted Nov 22, 2015 - 2:55 am

Let the younger ones open the extras after the grinch's leave
<-------I'm ready for Black Friday

#14 peppysfireball  OFFLINE  



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Posted Nov 22, 2015 - 8:20 am

my kids at home get about a dozen presents. I like to think they have the big xmas experience as long as possible. When they move out and get their own homes, i drop it to about 6 and their kids get 6 also. . They know this happens and tease their brother that soon he won't get a lot of presents anymore and it doesn't  bother them. I buy about 4 presents for the kids of boyfriends and girlfriends that they live with . Ive had those kids ask why does so and so get more presents and they say , That's her grandma. Its hard and they don't understand but they are litt.e. I spend a lot more on the one kid left at home but he is 19 this xmas and it won't be long and he will be gone so im enjoying it as long as i can. 

#15 avsfan  OFFLINE  



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Posted Nov 23, 2015 - 4:33 pm

 it's about giving a gift to show love, it's not about how many gifts or how much each gift cost!!!! 



#16 leefamily23  OFFLINE  



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Posted Dec 5, 2015 - 11:07 pm

I can't believe these full grown adults are worried over who got more. Sure are not setting a really great example for the kids they are raising. Once I moved out and my younger sister was still home my christmas gifts from my parents were significantly less, I didn't think twice about it.

#17 Peppermint  OFFLINE  



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Posted Dec 7, 2015 - 2:29 pm

I love the idea of addressing a couple from their father!

#18 Reinholt1  OFFLINE  



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Posted Dec 16, 2015 - 12:39 pm

Sooooooooo..........What have you and hubby decided?

#19 Kanyon71  OFFLINE  



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Posted Dec 16, 2015 - 1:22 pm

My personal opinion, is they need to worry more about others and less about what they get. Getting anything at all is a privilege not a given. They are grown adults and I'm assuming they have their own careers. I know when I want something I go to the store and buy it with the money I earned. Yes I purposely used I many times. :)


I think at the end of the day you should do what YOU think it right and if that's getting the younger one's a little something extra then that's what should be done. No one should be sore or expect anything in this world they should be grateful for what they did get. I have younger siblings (much younger) and it doesn't bother me one bit that they get things I don't or didn't.

#20 hack2222  OFFLINE  



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Posted Dec 21, 2015 - 11:15 pm

I would say the easiest way is to go buy money. Figure out the amount per person by how close they are in the family.  As the family grows the amount should be redirected.  I've shopped for my grandparents with a family of about 30 people or so.  Try making gift bags for each person, it becomes more about making sure everyone gets relatively the same item different color, but the same price.  So take $15 dollars and get 3 or 4 nice items you will find it takes more time than you think.  I started about July and was finished around Black Friday.  It becomes more of looking for sets of 3, 5 or more items.  Then you want to be mindful of the kids and make sure they get what they want from their grand parents.  A reasonable amount depends on the family income and size of the family. 

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