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OT- what's your "policy" for birthday gifts?


Forum: 2011 Playroom

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  #21  
August 21st, 2011, 10:28 AM
east to west coast's Avatar ~Melissa~
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psboden View Post
I do think it's kind of selfish to ignore your brothers wishes, that's just my opinion. If you think of it in a different situation: say you have a policy that you don't give your 5 year old candy. Your BIL and his wife allow theirs to have candy. So your child goes over for a playdate. Would you rather they abide by your policy or ignore it since THEY don't have the same policy? I would assume most people would want their rules taken into consideration.
Interesting take on the situation, but I really don't see the candy scenario as being even remotely close to the same thing. We are abiding by their policy- we're not in any way shape or form expecting to receive a gift from them for our birthdays because they've clearly stated their gift giving "policy". And, we're not salty about it- that's their choice, just like it's our choice to still give them small gifts. I honestly can't fathom how us choosing to give them a gift for their birthdays is being "selfish".

For what it's worth, I don't get the impression that my BIL and SIL are annoyed in any way that they still receive gifts from us. They just seem to feel the need to remind us that they won't be returning the favor when our birthdays roll around. I tend to get annoyed about this because I know my BIL knows that he's told us this a million times, but I don't ever actually express this annoyance to him.

Like I mentioned in my original post, I was just interested to see if this type of "policy" was common (which, apparently it is in the case of people who have large families).
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  #22  
August 21st, 2011, 10:45 AM
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We stopped birthday gifts after highschool too. My brother and sister and I exchange sometimes, but it's subject to brokeness and no one is offended if we skip. Now that I have 4 children, my priorities have shifted and I worry about MY immediate family. I totally understand them wanting this policy. And I know you say it's their problem, but why would you want to send a gift that isn't going to make someone feel good?
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  #23  
August 21st, 2011, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by east to west coast View Post
Interesting take on the situation, but I really don't see the candy scenario as being even remotely close to the same thing. We are abiding by their policy- we're not in any way shape or form expecting to receive a gift from them for our birthdays because they've clearly stated their gift giving "policy". And, we're not salty about it- that's their choice, just like it's our choice to still give them small gifts. I honestly can't fathom how us choosing to give them a gift for their birthdays is being "selfish".

For what it's worth, I don't get the impression that my BIL and SIL are annoyed in any way that they still receive gifts from us. They just seem to feel the need to remind us that they won't be returning the favor when our birthdays roll around. I tend to get annoyed about this because I know my BIL knows that he's told us this a million times, but I don't ever actually express this annoyance to him.

Like I mentioned in my original post, I was just interested to see if this type of "policy" was common (which, apparently it is in the case of people who have large families).
In your OP you stated that your BIL requested or 'urged' you not to buy her a gift. Thus by doing so you are going against their wishes. I understand that the act of giving a gift is not selfish, but what I was saying that to me seemed selfish was doing what YOU wanted to do without regard to their wishes.

My brother and SIL have many rules for their kids that I think are silly or dont agree with. No matter what I think though, It's their family and they get to pick the rules. Yeah I felt sorry for my 11 yr old nephew when he was asking his dad why my kids (8,6,5,3) could stay up past 8 to roast marshmallows but he had to go to bed. But ultimately it's not my place to pass judgement, just ton respect their wishes.

I guess ultimately in your situation I'd send her a card or give a phone call and honor their requests no matter how I personally feel about them..
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  #24  
August 21st, 2011, 10:50 AM
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I just know that, personally, even if the other person was aware of our "policy" not to buy gifts, the fact that I was still receiving one would make me feel guilty, and like I "owed" them something, regardless if you are truly not expecting a return gift or not....Id still have that uncomfortable feeling about the gift.
I think thats it, I'd just be uncomfortable accepting the gift.
So why not just go with what they ask?
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  #25  
August 21st, 2011, 01:45 PM
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It's not a "policy" per say, but we don't give gifts in our family unless we're there in person. And, since almost none of us even live in the same state, it just doesn't happen. It was never said, "this is what we'll do", it just became that. We don't even send cards. Well, my Mom is great about sending cards for birthday's and all holiday's. At best, if we remember, we'll make a phone call. This goes for birthday's or Christmas.

However, every 5 years we all try to get together. So, years ending in 5 or 0. With step-siblings, there are 8 kids, all but 1 is married. And right now (included the preggos) there are 17 nieces and nephews. And then, we all draw a family to shop for.
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  #26  
August 21st, 2011, 03:15 PM
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in DH's family we buy for everyone's bdays (MIL, FIL, SIL, grandma, etc.) but they have a relatively small family and gifts seem to be important to them (well, to MIL, SIL and grandma that is... FIL couldn't care less ).

in my family, i buy bday gifts for my parents, my grandparents and my niece and nephew. i don't usually buy anything for my brother or SIL unless i a) see them in person for their birthday or b) happen to see something that makes me think of them and i buy it for them (which is so much better than at feeling like i "have" to get them something). with my brother and SIL we've never really discussed it but that's just how it seems to work out.

to be honest, i'm not a big gift person... in fact, this year DH and i didn't exhange birthday gifts or christmas gifts! like someone else said, now that we are adults, if we really need something we'll buy it.
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  #27  
August 22nd, 2011, 01:17 AM
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This post is stressing me out.lol.

I can see where you genuinely enjoy picking out gifts for people to show you care about them and want to do something nice. I can also see the other family members being overwhelmed with the idea of gift giving.

Before I was married I was not into the whole birthday frenzy that I eventually realized once I said "I do". I feel like it is more of an obligation in part- and I really dread that. I use to love Christmas b/c my family has always been about spending time together and cooking/baking, making ornaments, sharing stories, etc. Now every Christmas morning revolves around watching my two nieces open presents until they are literally so overwhelmed that they throw fits.

As a side note one of my nieces is so spoiled I remember getting screamed at for a present I bought her for her 5th birthday (it was a personalized book I spent a good deal of money on). She asked another family member "is this it" when they handed her her present.

I really wish birthdays/holidays in my (in-law's) family were about the moment....

Oh and I'm sorry if I hijacked your thread. I had to get this off my chest (my nieces birthday was a week ago-still haven't seen her to give her the present..she will probably hate it and tell me so much while her mother says nothing.)
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  #28  
August 22nd, 2011, 06:27 AM
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Melanie - that is awful! That's always what I get worried about. I work so hard with my kids to make sure they keep a smile on their face and thank the gift giver, no matter what the gift. Kids that act that way drive me crazy. There was a kid that did that at a party my son went to. I refused to allow him to go to another birthday party for him. Not worth the tears on my sons part from the hurt he felt after having his gift rejected like that.

Then at Christmas time, I always keep gifts to a minimum. I fill their stockings, and then they get 1-2 gifts from Mom and Dad, 1 from each sibling, and then maybe 4-6 from Santa? Nothing big really, either. At most we'll spend $100 per kid. And that cost is because they're getting older and their "toys" are getting more expensive. LOL But we really try to focus on Christ instead of Santa. A lot of volunteering and charity work and scripture reading in the month leading up to the 25th.

Sorry, I also hijacked a bit there.
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  #29  
August 22nd, 2011, 05:30 PM
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I'm an only child, so my parents do buy for birthdays/Christmas for DH and me. DH has 3 half siblings and 1 adopted brother. From his dad and step mom he'll get a card for his birthday and we both get a Christmas present. His birthmom we may get a card for Christmas and that's it, DS has yet to even see a card from her she doesn't even know his name. His "Mom"(lady that raised him) sends us both a gift card for our birthday and a combined present for Christmas (last year she got us a Roomba).

As for his siblings I told him no more Christmas presents for them or the SOs. We've poured money into them over the years and they didn't even send anything for DS when he was born, his birthday or Christmas. I told DH we'll take that money and put it into our own kids. I may sound like a B but his nieces and nephews won't be getting anything either. Since I've know DH we've always sent a minimum of $50 worth of presents to his adopted brother's daughter. We got a thank you a couple times and the last couple years they don't even acknowledge we sent anything to the brother, niece, or brother's wife. Their excuse why they couldn't get DS a shower, Christmas, or birthday present was because "money is tight." Well money is tight for us this year and I'd rather take that $50 and spend it on my kids. That doesn't even account to the $$$ we'll save on shipping.

And I must say this year looking at the Christmas shopping list I don't feel overwhelmed or stressed. We have our 4 Godchildren, my cousin's 3 boys, my parents, DH's dad/step mom, DH's "Mom", DH's grandpa, DH's one uncle (he's not married and does spend quite a bit on presents for us), and my grandma. Then just the 4 of us. The grandparents are semi done, 2 of my cousin's boys are bought for, and our Goddaughter. So I've just got 2 boys, 1 baby, 1 teenager, uncle (we get him the Hallmark fishing ordainment every year), and the great grandparents left. I feel I can handle that.
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  #30  
August 23rd, 2011, 08:28 AM
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We don't have any policy or anything set on what we do. It depends on the person who is having the birthday. I think a gift is more personal then a card or money. I do send some ppl only a card tho. If your going to offend them then I prolly would do what they want you to and only send a card.
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  #31  
August 23rd, 2011, 08:50 AM
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I just have one sister, and so does DH. I buy a gift (usually a gift card) for my sister, and she buys one for me. DH and I buy gifts for his sister and she buys a gift for DH, and gives me a card. Something about the in-law relationship in our family makes it so we just don't do gifts, so I never buy gifts for BIL and my sister never buys gifts for DH. We also don't do gifts for DH's stepsisters--his dad got remarried when DH was in in college, so, it's not like he grew up with them. Plus, they are POOR and I'd rather they weren't spending money buying us gifts, and if we bought gifts for them, I know they'd feel obligated and that's the last thing I'd want. We get them something small at Christmas, like I make them homemade jam or something, and they do the same for us. Then we both spend money on each others' kids instead.

I think if they don't want a gift, then it's not rude if you just send a card. I mean, there's no need to force gifts on someone who doesn't want them.
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  #32  
August 23rd, 2011, 09:20 AM
Anna.Loves.Toast's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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With my family, you don't have to get anyone gifts for their birthday, however if you find something nice that they would enjoy, it's appreciated. No gifts are ever expected. Usually we get together for a lunch or dinner for one or multiple birthdays.
Cody's family on the other hand, they're very into giving gifts, especially his parents. And in return, they expect people to give them presents for their birthday. That drives me nuts! A gift should never be expected. I would much rather do something for a birthday than buy something, you know?
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