Bizarre gift giving (vent) — The Bump
December 2010 Moms

Bizarre gift giving (vent)

So, this has come up yet again in our house.  I find it really bizarre that DH continues to share the cost of gifts with his sister.   For both MIL and FIL, we are giving them joint gifts with his sister and her SO.   They aren't extravagent gifts (but more than we would spend as individual couples).   I feel like once you're married and have your own family, you should be responsible for buying and giving your own gifts.  Give what you can afford.  Why is DH still sharing with his sister? 

I asked DH a few weeks ago what we were going to get his sister for Christmas.  He said if he didn't get any ideas from her, we'd get her a gift card.  Fine.  I just asked him a few minutes ago if he got the gift card, and apparently, we are splitting the cost of a Kindle with his parents.  WTF?  FOUR people are sharing the cost of a Kindle?   Why can't we get our own gift?  He said, "And give her a crappy gift she doesn't want?"  I didn't realize that $50 (my imposed limit on gifts) only buys crappy gifts.  Incidentally, that's what she spends on us.

I find the whole thing totally bizarre.  We are two married adults with good jobs.   It really bugs the crap out of me.  It's like DH can't cut the strings from Mama.  Is it just me, or what?

 
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Re: Bizarre gift giving (vent)

  • Well...it depends. Sometimes my brother and I have an idea for a big gift for my dad or mom, so we go in on it together. Like this year, for my dad we are getting a high end blender, so we are sharing.  A few years ago, we got my mom broadway tix.  So it depends if we have a specific idea.  I think if you really know someone wants something, it doesn't really matter if more than one couple joins in.

    That being said, my SIL and BIL always ask my MIL to pick up gifts for them to give. That makes me roll my eyes so hard! They are an adult couple, they should have to go get gifts like the rest of us! So I guess my final answer is, it's the thought behind it that counts. If someone really wants something, I agree with your H that it's better to get that than two less wanted gifts.

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  • I am not sure this is the opinion you are looking for but, We have done both. This year we are actually splitting gifts with DH's sister for his dad. My sister and I are went into together on both my mom and dads gifts. Some years we do some we do not. It really depends if someone has a good idea that costs more than just one person can spend or if money is is tight for someone one year. It is not required just we do still do it sometimes. We are buying MIL our own gifts this year. ( two of DH's sisters we will not split gifts with though becuase we pay for it and they NEVER pay back,and if you ask them to pay and pick it up, it does not happen.)
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  • Ha, ha...I'm open to all opinions.  Because maybe it's just me.  I'm also an only child, so I have always bought my parents' gifts myself.
     
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  • Huh.  I guess it just depends on the family.  My sister, BIL, DH and I always go in together to buy a gift for our parents.  We do the same with his siblings.  We all live in the same town and see each other often though and are close.  We just pool money to get them something big they would want.  I never thought it was odd - it seems fairly common for people to do that around here. My parents used to do the same with their siblings too when I was a kid.

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  • This year for Christmas my brother and I are splitting gifts for our parents. Their anniversary is in January and him, my sister and I are spiltting that gift between all of us too.

    A few weeks ago my brother asked me and my sister to split buy him this fancy name brand expensive jacket for Christmas but we already bought him our own seperate gifts.

    Guess it depends on the family?

  • I think you may be onto something with you being an only child and always buying presents all on your own.  You never had the opportunity to turn to a sibling and say "Hey! We can get something better if we both chip in!" :)  Then again, it may be bizarre to some people who do have siblings.  

    It's actually pretty common to share the cost of gifts in our family.  This year my brother and I are buying my dad's gift together.  But the only reason we would chip in is to get something the other person really wants that we wouldn't normally be able to afford on our own.  I think we like to go big on Christmas and the only way to do that is to share the cost sometimes. :)

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    I think you may be onto something with you being an only child and always buying presents all on your own.  You never had the opportunity to turn to a sibling and say "Hey! We can get something better if we both chip in!" :)  Then again, it may be bizarre to some people who do have siblings.  

    It's actually pretty common to share the cost of gifts in our family.  This year my brother and I are buying my dad's gift together.  But the only reason we would chip in is to get something the other person really wants that we wouldn't normally be able to afford on our own.  I think we like to go big on Christmas and the only way to do that is to share the cost sometimes. :)

    I agree. We have done the chipping in thing too...for a good gift.

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  • We're in the "chip in" camp too.  Almost always for our parents...they (especially my Dad) just buy what they want/need when they want/need it, so it's easier to plan on getting them something bigger with all of us combined; we either do a combo gift for both of them (restaurant & movie passes or something) or a big gift for each.  I am not a good shopper, nor do I really enjoy it, so it's often easier to just let my sister take care of it and I give her the $$$!!! 
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  • I think I'm sort of with your DH on this. Well here's my opinion -- I think it makes sense for people to get gifts that the receiver wants / will use. I would SO much rather have three REALLY nice gifts for all of xmas than get 10+ gifts I don't want.

    So, if the way for the receiver to get a nice gift is for people to go in together, then I think that's the way it should be done. 

    That being said, I agree that four people with jobs don't need to go in together to get a kindle necessarily. So if I were your DH I'd maybe have just said "hey I'll get the kindle myself and you guys can get something else." I wouldn't, in that case, have an arbitrary $50 limit. 

    So what I'm saying is that if you have a limit, then gift sharing is a good idea to get the bigger items. If you don't have a limit, then yeah, gift sharing is kind of unnecessary.


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  • DH has two siblings, and sometimes we chip in with them and sometimes we don't. Like some of the pps, I like it because it allows us to get a "big ticket" item like a Kindle or iPod some years without any of us busting our budgets.

    We do try to alternate who coordinates things, so no one sib feels like they're doing all the work. SIL did the shopping a few years in a row, and I felt like it was unfair to her, so we bought the next couple joint gifts.

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