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Do you spend the same amt on your child's spouse?


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#1 vsa3janes  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 21, 2007 - 1:46 pm

My DD is an only child and now that she is married I struggle to spend the same amt on my son in law as I do on her. I try to make sure I have the same number of gifts. I actually saw him gift counting the first couple years they were married. I also try to make sure I have gifts in the same category i.e. dvds, electronics, clothing, etc.. If there is something for the home I want her to have I make it to both of them. DD says I don't have to spend the same, his folks don't and I am her Mom. But I try to not hurt any feelings. How do you handle this situation?

#2 amyers12345  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 21, 2007 - 4:00 pm

My parents spend the same amount on each of us, but they don't have to struggle to do so. We do not expect it. His parents do also, but they don't spend much, so it's not such a big deal. My grandparents are the same way. There is a $25 limit and a $100 savings bond, no matter boyfriend, date, spouse, great-grandchild, etc. If he is so greedy that he is actually counting gifts, I wouldn't get too worked up about it. I don't even make sure the kids have the same amount. I make sure they are close, but good grief!
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#3 abentley  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 21, 2007 - 4:18 pm

I have 1 child married, one child moved out, and 3 at home. I put a lot of thought in to how to handle the changes. My thought is to purchase joint gifts for married. Things for the house, and such. I am struggling with how much to spend on them once they move out/not married.

#4 doublehsmom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 21, 2007 - 5:17 pm

I'm the middle child and my older brother isn't married and my younger sister is still in high school I also have 2 kids and I know that my mom spends the same amount of everyone..she didn't spend the same amount on dh when we were just dating but now that we are married she does.same as my inlaws. my grandparents on my dads side give the same amount of money towards the gifts and then we always get 100 dollars cash and dh gets 50 and the kids get 100 dollar savings bonds..my other granparents just give dh and I something that we can use in the house and puts both our names on it.

#5 shopping mom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 21, 2007 - 5:50 pm

I am having the same situation. How much to spend on each person or at leaset look like I spent. My children (except the four year old) know that they get more because I bargin shop. It is harder to do that throughout the year with people you are just getting to know. DS20 has been married for a month, and DS23 is living with his GF. I have another son out of the house and three still live at home(1 of those in college) All that to say I understand and maybe if I can decide what I am going to do I can help but until then just know I do understand.

#6 vsa3janes  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 21, 2007 - 6:53 pm

I am having the same situation. How much to spend on each person or at leaset look like I spent. My children (except the four year old) know that they get more because I bargin shop. It is harder to do that throughout the year with people you are just getting to know. DS20 has been married for a month, and DS23 is living with his GF. I have another son out of the house and three still live at home(1 of those in college) All that to say I understand and maybe if I can decide what I am going to do I can help but until then just know I do understand.


Thank you! I only have one child so it isn't quite as hard for me. It is so easy to buy for her vs the son in law. He is just difficult to please and doesn't appreciate the little things in life. Then buying for my granddaughter is a whole other story - I could keep buying until Christmas Eve, but, make myself stop at a reasonable point. At 8 yrs old she is grateful and excited about everything.

Hope you find a comfortable level for you and your family.

#7 Haley28  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 21, 2007 - 8:04 pm

I have 2 younger sisters. Myself and the middle one are married, the youngest is not. She is 20 and still lives at home. My parents give myself and my married sis and our spouses the same amount of gifts. My unmarried sister gets a tree full of presents. I don't like their logic. I don't expect a lot of gifts, but I think at 20 years old she should get the same as us. My grandparents give the unmarried grandchildren money and the married grandchildren get nothing. The unmarried grandchildren range in age from 18-27, so it's not because they are kids. I guess that is their way of saving money, but since myself and my middle sis are the only married ones we are the only ones left out.

#8 Guest_JustMeDiana_*  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 21, 2007 - 8:36 pm

My husband and I have 3 children between us. When my boys were younger at home and in school they got more than his daughter and husband who were married and lived on their own. Now that my 2 boys are grown and on their own not married or girlfriends. We spend the same amount on everyone. If their is a girlfriend in the picture I don't spend as much on her. I go by the dollar amount and not the number of gifts. We have one granddaughter and I try really hard not to go over board. I wont to be able to do the same for all my grand children as our family grows.

#9 Turtle Mommy  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 22, 2007 - 6:43 am

My parents get us a GC. Last year it was for JcPenneys.

#10 conj  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 22, 2007 - 6:56 am

Around here, we (I would be the DIL) get less now that there are kids. This is how it should be. Everyone has something to open, but not too much. Once you have kids - or make more money than me - I move you to the "adult" column. I am much harder to shop for than DH (so everyone tells me) and I don't need anything.... If he is counting gifts, I would start making donations to worth causes in his name.
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#11 christib327  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 22, 2007 - 7:12 am

Wow. It's kind of rude to count gifts. And I would have been offended to catch him doing so. I would never have said anything, but I sure wouldn't try to make it equal after that. Anyways.... My parents tend to buy too much at Christmas. They do tend to spend more on me, but hubby is never lacking. They make it look the same by putting a whole bunch of stuff in one box so we pretty much have the same amount to actually open up. Then there's usually something to both of us. My hubby's parents generally have things pretty even too, but not always. Sometimes I have more. Sometimes he does. Then sometimes it's mostly to both. It doesn't really matter to us. Now when it comes to doing parents gifts and gifts for my neices and nephew, I do try to keep things as even as possible. I know it's not necessary, it's just how I choose to do it.

#12 Tara3117  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 22, 2007 - 8:15 am

In my family, there's just me and my married brother, no grandkids. We both live out of the house. My parents spend the same amount of $ on us both, so some years I get more packages and some years he does, depending on what we ask for. We know that my mother works hard to figure out her budget and the difference between our gifts is within $10. She spends much less on my SIL, maybe only $50 or $75. She always buys a gift for whomever I'm dating at the time, but it's more like $25 or $30. My brother doesn't get tons of gifts from his in-laws either, so it's pretty fair among the families.

#13 jax81772  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 22, 2007 - 9:44 am

Here is an idea.... start a new tradition with your dd. Spend the same amt of $$ for under the tree... say $50 apiece. Then take her shopping day after Christmas... on the pretense of sales... and get her more. If he is counting presents.... he needs to be in the kid area. I am an only child with 4 kiddos, a yours mine and ours. My mom spends the same on the kids, but does more for me either before Christmas or after as not to hurt anyones feelings.
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#14 Shortness  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 22, 2007 - 10:18 am

I think it's terribly rude that he counts his gifts... I could see the situation being different if he were a child, but he's not... I'm an only child, and I think my mom tries to equal it out, but sometimes I believe she spends more on me. I think she just finds little things that she thinks I'll like. I tell her not to worry about me (and dh), just to buy for the kids. We don't exchange with his family, as we're all spread out, and it's just too costly for us all. If we did get together, I would not expect anything, as they don't know what I like or can use. It wouldn't offend me in the least. I think it's all about the kids anyhow. I enjoy gifts, but it's just not necessary to make me happy.
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#15 tiredmom214  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 22, 2007 - 10:59 am

My mil handles is very well. She has done it 2 different ways. She used to get us each one personal gift that was small and one present for both of us that was large. The last couple of years since we have been so short on money, she pays one of our bill for us for Christmas. She said that she thinks this is the best gift she could give us because it relieves stress. It may sound impersonal but it is very thoughtful. It gives us the ability to enjoy the holidays without all of the worry.;)
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#16 mgmckny  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 22, 2007 - 3:20 pm

My mil handles is very well. She has done it 2 different ways. She used to get us each one personal gift that was small and one present for both of us that was large. The last couple of years since we have been so short on money, she pays one of our bill for us for Christmas. She said that she thinks this is the best gift she could give us because it relieves stress. It may sound impersonal but it is very thoughtful. It gives us the ability to enjoy the holidays without all of the worry.;)


You have a wonderful MIL! Mine has become more like that over the years too.
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#17 jbdinos  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 22, 2007 - 4:17 pm

Of our 5 kids only one is old enough to be married .. and just barely.. she is 19 and so is my SIL. When they first got married I told her that she wouldn't get but one or two gifts for Christmas because she is an adult (and mommy). However, this turned out to be way too hard for me to live up to... :rolleyes: So I do count numbers of gifts and our granddaughter gets the same amount as the 4 younger kids at home. What I do for DD and SIL is to get them each the same amount as each other and enough joint gifts to make the total the same as the other kids. So if they little ones get 5 each, DD/SIL might each get 3 of their own and 2 joint gifts to share. This is going to be our second Christmas with SIL and I do not enjoy buying things for him as I do my daughter. It's not that we don't like him, we just don't know him as well as we do her. We had her 17 years longer than we've had him... LOL I mentioned it to her that I felt bad that his gifts weren't as "nice" as hers and she told me she totally understood that I love her more... :cheesy: I was like "WOW" she really IS an adult now! And she told me to not worry about it but at 19 I do feel as though they are still kids, having a rough time with her not being able to work due to being really sick with her current pregnancy, etc. So each year I do the same for them as the other kids and they get the same number of gifts but I don't spend as much on him, just because nothing just hits me to be something he will love to have. But each year I remind them that if I stop finding good deals or when the other kids get old enough to move away that things will have to change.... And of course the new DGD is due in December... so I just got her some new clothes , but I told DD that it is her responsibilty to tell our DGD3 that next year she has to share Mamaw and Papaw's money with her lil sis. I am shocked that if someone wanted to count gifts like that, that he was doing it out in the open though.... rude and childish I believe. But sometimes men do mature at a slower rate than women do (no offense men on here... but SOME men is all I mean)

#18 Grassy  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 22, 2007 - 4:18 pm

My DD is an only child and now that she is married I struggle to spend the same amt on my son in law as I do on her. I try to make sure I have the same number of gifts. I actually saw him gift counting the first couple years they were married.

I also try to make sure I have gifts in the same category i.e. dvds, electronics, clothing, etc.. If there is something for the home I want her to have I make it to both of them.

DD says I don't have to spend the same, his folks don't and I am her Mom. But I try to not hurt any feelings.

How do you handle this situation?


Here is my situation on that if you want to compare a little...

My Mom spends more on me than my husband, and he doesn't mind at all. She is the type that goes overboard anyway, so he still has plenty...I just have MORE. It's a bit ridiculous.
She doesn't seem to spend as much on my brother and his wife---theirs seem pretty equal, but I think it is the mother/daughter thing where she find the extras that she thinks are cute and knows I'd like, but kind of just sticks to clothes and movies etc for my brother. I always get the cute little candy cane socks, body lotions, kitchen towels etc...things that my brother wouldn't want anyway...

My in-laws definitely spend more on their own kids, than they do for their kids-in-law, but that is fine with me. I like to see my husband get spoiled by his parents at Christmas, because they don't show much care through the year, and I like for him to get that special "wow" feeling for a change. I think it is great that they still acknowledge me, but I'd rather them spend more on their son, than me. So it is fine.

Personally, to try to compare myself to your situation, I feel like I am willing to spend a bit more on MY Brother, and my husbands actual siblings, and then I get a nice thought gift for their spouses. The spouses are special people too, but I think it is natural to want to spend the money on your actual family, and just acknowledge the spouses...am I rambling?

Anyway, that's my situation.

Note: He should be embarassed to have counted the PRESENTS!!! YIKES!!!! :yuck:

#19 Melissa  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 23, 2007 - 2:50 am

I actually saw him gift counting the first couple years they were married.


Oh my! I would be hard pressed to give him anything after witnessing that!! :eyepoppin

My mil handles is very well. She has done it 2 different ways. She used to get us each one personal gift that was small and one present for both of us that was large. The last couple of years since we have been so short on money, she pays one of our bill for us for Christmas. She said that she thinks this is the best gift she could give us because it relieves stress. It may sound impersonal but it is very thoughtful. It gives us the ability to enjoy the holidays without all of the worry.;)


That is very thoughtful! :yup:

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#20 lucyismycat  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 23, 2007 - 6:22 am

Wow, I agree, if he is counting gifts, it's time to start giving him a token gift and then doing the rest as a charitable donation. Wow. That said, I'm an only child, married to an only child, and my DMIL (and I do mean Dear...I hit the MIL jackpot!) spends a little bit more on me than on DH, but that's because he's difficult to shop for, and I like to go shopping with her! My DM also spends more on me unless there's some expensive tool that DH wants, and even then she'll end up going overboard on my gifts to make up for his (in case you're wondering, we don't have children other than the 4-legged kind, and even THEY get gifts from the grandparents). I've tried telling her not to worry about it, we have too much stuff as it is, but it's pointless. One year she gave me a Jeep because she bought DH some expensive tool. Crazy. So, I think it's a good idea to try and keep things even, but don't drive yourself crazy over it...I think as long as it's within 20% (or more, you figure out what you're comfortable with), nobody should be complaining. Heck, nobody should be complaining anyway! It's Christmas!

#21 laffnatu  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 23, 2007 - 3:21 pm

I tell my mom not to worry about buying anything for me and hubby. I feel that once kids/grandkids pop in the picture, it's all about them. Last year my parents gave us a gift certificate to a local restaurant. She knows that we won't pass on food. :sidesplit They do give each of the 5 grandkids $25 each. My daughter became engaged this year and my mom plans on giving him $25 also.

#22 jarerice  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 23, 2007 - 7:08 pm

My mom spends more money on me and Dh understands. I am an only child thats the way its always been. It makes her feel good and I love her gifts. Dh complains sometimes that my mom out did him. But i think he understands. Me and my mom go shopping together every year and I help her pick out stuff for my DH that I know he has been wanting.

#23 Jen198  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 30, 2007 - 10:19 am

Hello All, My situation is kinda the same. I am the middle child and only Daughter. My older brother by 1 year is married as I am too. My mom ALWAYS seems to spend more on me than she does on my brothers. Mom doesnt spend the same on my DH as me...but close, more than she does on my SIL. My husband is always greatful, and tells her not to spend too much on him..but year after year she does. I think she puts alot of effort into it because we lost his mom in 2000 and DH was just 25 years old..So she likes to do a little extra than my SIL. Also..if mom needs any help with lifting or moving things..DH is always the first to volunteer...unlike my own brothers..sad to say. Sorry for rambling on....:eyepoppin

#24 leefamily23  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 31, 2007 - 5:31 am

My MIL (been w/ her son 10yrs- married 8yrs) gets me about 1/2 of what she gets my husband. He's an only child. My parents always did the same for my husband and my birthday (they are one day apart)-- but for Christmas it was always a joint gift. W/ a "small" individual gift for my husband and a "medium" individual gift for me. My parents did the same for my sister and her husband.

#25 MandaJo111  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 31, 2007 - 5:43 am

For Christmas my in laws give us a gift card to somewhere like linen's and things. That way we can get a household gift. DH just considers it a gift for me, but he says he benefits from whatever I get with the gift card anyway, so he is fine with that. They live in AZ and we are in GA, so it is easier for them to do a gift card then to try to guess what to buy. Then I go and use it for after Christmas sales and get twice as much! :)
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#26 mrn8  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 31, 2007 - 6:59 am

I'm not sure what your son-in-law is into, but I like what my MIL does for Christmas. First off, our family doesn't like to go nuts on gifts, and second, we like to give useful things. I always get a GC (~$25) for Sears / Home Depot and something for the kitchen. I'm fairly certain that my wife is letting her know what kind of cooking I'm experimenting with, because it's always the perfect kitchen tool for whatever my current culinary endeavor is at the time. Anyway, I'd say just go with usefulness rather than worrying about spending enough or buying the right quantity.

#27 ChristmasShopping  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 31, 2007 - 7:50 am

My mom/dad gets my DH the same as what I get (present and close to money wise). She does it for my sister, BIL, brother and SIL. Everyone gets very close to even amounts and our stockings are almost identical. But my MIL is totally different.. she has three kids (two boys and one daughter) and three In-Laws . My SIL will get as much as her husband (which is a lot or at least a very expensive present). BIL gets a little less than his wife but still quite a bit(MIL's daughter- and she gets A TON-which I understand). My husband gets a ton of presents and I get a few. (For example, last year he got a Wii, golf bag, watch, tennis shoes, clothes, movies, etc... and I got a robe and PJ's). I love my MIL and we get on great... I just don't understand her reasoning. If you are going to treat in-laws different, at least do it across the board. I appreciate everything she gets me and gush over what I get-- while other SIL doesn't say a word about what she gets and acts bored at Christmas. I don't present count, we just open our presents one person at a time and it is obvious when I have two presents in front of me and everyone else has piles and piles. But I take it with a grain of salt because I do have a great MIL and I love my husband. It is the only day of the year that I have any kid of "ill will" toward my MIL...and even then it is more confusion than it is hurt feelings.

#28 satidwell  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 1, 2007 - 5:06 am

Well my mom/dad actually spend a little more on my dh than me. My mil spends more on dh than me. He is alot easier to buy for than I am I am very picky about what I use he is not, and it might sound rude but I always tell people don't waste your money on something I won't use so they don't and I like that because the first few yrs they made it even and I didn't use have of what they gave me, and they work hard for their money and I just hate to see them buy something that won't get used.

#29 guilliam  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 1, 2007 - 10:44 am

My parents spend the same amount on dh and I but his don't. We aren't really on speaking terms with his family anymore (that's a whole different story LOL) but the last year we were, his mom gave dh $100, each of our 2 boys $75, and me $20. I don't really care, but I thought it was wrong to spend more on dh than his kids. JMO

#30 sfven  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 1, 2007 - 12:58 pm

When we were dating, my parents would spend more on me because they knew what I liked and wanted. After we got married, my parents made it simple and gave us each cash every year, same amount for both. That way they don't have to figure out what to buy and we can spend the money on bigger purchases for the home.




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