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About the gift-buying for nieces/nephews

(59 Posts)
FranglaisMaman Fri 08-Mar-13 16:57:21

Between us, husband and I have 5 nieces & nephews (SIL has 3 and is trying for more so that'll likely increase)! We currently have no children - expecting our first very soon.

My brother & his OH get by nicely financially, they're both on benefits as a lifestyle choice & don't work but they don't go without their luxuries. DH's sister is the other extreme - extremely wealthy, SAHM, rich 'landed-gentry' husband who also has a good job, hence why she can afford to keep having as many kids as she likes. We are somewhere in the middle, we're not scraping by but we're certainly not made of money and we're having an expensive time at the mo preparing for arrival of 1st baby and have just bought our (modest) first home. Also trying to furnish a second house because we're currently based abroad due to my husband's job.

Husband wants to buy for ALL birthdays and ALL christmases. I think it's fair to send just cards for the kids' birthdays and only do presents at Xmas. I know you don't give to receive but AIBU to think it's excessive to buy 5 birthday presents and 5 christmas presents every year for all these kids when we get nothing?! It's bloody expensive. We don't even see any of them. My brother's partner buys us a small token gift each xmas to say thanks for buying for her kids, but my wealthy SIL never gives us a bean and has only recently started sending us a xmas card! She only texts to thank DH for the gifts whenever she remembers. She sends him a measly card on his birthday but never sends a card to me, then at xmas we both get nothing. If I had 3 kids and my sibling was spending all that money on my lot, I would at least buy them a gift voucher to buy something for their house hmm

Anyway, yesterday was DH's nephew's b'day and today I found out he'd gone behind my back and asked his sister what to get for nephew's birthday and had bought him a present!! Bit pissed off about it as now we'll have to buy for the other two, then my brother's two all in the space of next few months as well as forking out for new baby stuff, furniture etc. She didn't even ask what she could buy us for the new baby in two months. He is ruled by her and his parents and would rather keep them sweet than his wife.

AIBU? What do you usually do with gifts for nieces/nephews etc?

NUFC69 Sat 09-Mar-13 10:13:07

I still buy Christmas and birthday presents for my two nephews (they are 33 and 30) and I also get their OHs something, too. I now have a DGN (dear grand niece) and I buy for her. My sister and I had a chat about it (I have two GC with a third on the way), we decided that we would continue as before with our own children and give our DGC a book and a (very) small cheque at both Christmas and birthdays. Apart from my own children and DH I buy no other presents, and I am very fond of my two DNephews, partners and baby - I couldn't imagine not doing it, tbh.

toomanycourgettes Sat 09-Mar-13 09:28:07

We buy for 2 x Dnephews (or at least did until they turned 21 - now it's just a card), and 1 x DNiece. We have 2 other nieces who live abroad. We bought presents when they were born, Christmas, birthdays for first 3-4 years and received no thanks or acknowledgement at all from the family - we don't receive birthday/Christmas cards from them, so after 4 years I told DH (his brother) I wasn't sending gifts any more. We still send cards, and still receive no acknowledgement. The bullshit excuse that they are too busy to send a quick thank you does not wash with me at all. It is just plain rude.

newbiefrugalgal Sat 09-Mar-13 08:55:27

I think OP that you take control. If DH is going behind your back and getting patents to buy them reimburse.
Why don't you say I will do all presents.
Then spend the amount you want, ie token amount!
Send early via sea mail -cheap.
Or amazon send directly!
Or buy presents you know can fit into cards.
Would stop any huge spending but keep that side of the family happy

MusicalEndorphins Sat 09-Mar-13 08:28:45

FranglaisMaman If you feel it will be too expensive, maybe put away a little money each month into a "Kids" fund. I found books were good presents as they were reasonably priced.

Astelia Sat 09-Mar-13 06:07:10

In my family we don't give gifts for children at birthdays or Christmas unless we are actually seeing them. We all live in different countries now, but we didn't do it even when we were in the same country.

Children have so much stuff these days that they don't need random things from relatives. I do think gift giving is a waste of money unless you know the recipient very well.

OP I would see what happens when your LO is born and at their first Christmas, but I would recommend suggesting the no present route. You may well find the others jump at it. It makes life a lot easier.

nooka Sat 09-Mar-13 06:05:06

I buy presents for my family and dh is responsible for his side. It's not something I get involved in really (which is partly because they don't buy each other presents any more, which I think is a bit sad).

We tend to only do birthday presents if we happen to see each other, as with two families abroad it's difficult to remember in time. I buy/make presents for all my family members, and generally get my children to do the same because I think giving people you love presents is important.

The idea that you'd even imagine someone is having babies just to make you give them presents strikes me as somewhat bizarre.

Kytti Sat 09-Mar-13 05:40:53

I had a great relationship with my db and sil (so I thought) and bought for all 5 of their children. They were never shy about telling me what they wanted for birthday and Christmas. I loved them, I didn't begrudge it.

I have children and Lo and Behold, they can't afford to reciprocate. Am I pissed off? Yes. They can't even afford the sodding pound shop? A packet of sweets? They can't be arsed. YANBU

I see my 2 neices all the time, they mean as much to me as my own children do, they get Christmas and birthday presents.

DPs niece and nephew if I had my way would get nothing. They are the most ungrateful children ever but alas we buy Christmas and birthday presents for them too, never occured to me it was an option not to! grin

MusicalEndorphins Sat 09-Mar-13 04:00:34

I thought the joy was in the giving? No strings attached? We bought for all of them for Christmas and birthdays until they were 21.
I rarely saw them, but would not want to leave them out.
I would be like your husband and buy anyways. (not that my dh would ever be so mean as to not want to buy for the kids)

nailak Sat 09-Mar-13 00:31:31

isnt the whole point of being an aunt to spoil your nieces and nephews?

nailak Sat 09-Mar-13 00:30:46

I have 9 nieces and nephews and 3 kids from them, i give all until 18, and eid presents

mumeeee Sat 09-Mar-13 00:11:09

YABU I have 9 nephews and nieces and buy for all of them well up until they are 21, I n0w have a great nephew and a great niece and buy for them. My brothers and sisters do the ame it was agreed between us, We don't buy for adults wel only our parents and wouldn't expect someone to buy me a gift because I've sent thier children something. We don't buy expensive gifts.

Maggie111 Sat 09-Mar-13 00:04:29

I have 4 nieces and nephews and the youngest is 6 years old... So for over 6 years I've been buying them Christmas and Birthday and yes, Easter presents and the occasional day trip out.

I couldn't imagine not doing it to be honest. It's the relationship that I've had with my own Uncles and Aunties and we've always budgeted our present fund for the year with the kids in mind. When we get a bit poorer we'll drop everyone's budget down a bit, but everyone still gets something.

I guess it depends what relationship you want to have with them?

If it were me and I didn't like it I'd speak to my husband and say "No more Christmas presents - everyone gets a selection box... And we will spend no more than £XX on their birthdays."

I'd much rather get a birthday present than a Christmas present - it's a celebration of them as an individual smile

GreenShadow Fri 08-Mar-13 23:43:50

We buy for N and Ns at both Christmas and Birthdays.
Likewise uncles and aunts buy for our DC.
Agreement is that this stops at 18.

DP has a rather large family, 4 sisters, 1 brother, 3 nephews and 1 niece atm, undoubtedly more in the future. We do birthdays, baptisms, Easter and Christmas for all if them, but we do see all of them frequently. It adds up, but anyone over 18 gets handmade sweets and nowt else for all if the above occasions which keeps costs down :-)

HollyBerryBush Fri 08-Mar-13 23:39:45

Some people are into the whole present thing, some people arent. I'm not. I cant wait for the day I have to stop buying my own childen presents and can just fling cash at them all.

FWIW I never quite get the whole Christmas hype with non practicing Christians - it would surely be batter to mark a birthday rather than Gods Sons birthday - mind you I am thinking that buying a 1,000 Christmas preaents at once is worse then buying dotted birthday presents.

I really dont see why if it the whole family dynamic not to buy presents, why one person just has to be an arse and break that rule. It puts financial pressure on everyone else.

humblebumble Fri 08-Mar-13 23:21:26

I buy for all of my nieces and nephews on both sides for Christmas and birthday. There are over 20 in all. A long time ago before I had children myself and before there were so many I capped the amount I was willing to spend per child and told my siblings. I will most likely stop with each child when they reach 18.

A family friend who also has a very large family which is also expanding rapidly each year pick a family unit name (like a secret santa) out of the hat each year and then spend a specified amount on that family (e.g. they buy their sister and her family a board games and chocolates or they buy individual gifts for each of that unit). It saves them each spending a fortune and also cuts down on the amount of gifts being exchanged, which can get really out of hand.

lollilou Fri 08-Mar-13 23:01:16

I think as an adult buying for your neices and nephews is a lovely thing to do and they will appreciate it even if you don't get a thank you from the adults. I still do it now and my oldest nephew is 27! But he is family and I love him and all the others.
I don't really get the thing about not being asked what you would like or need for your expected dc, perhaps your Sil has something in mind wait and see!

BridgetBidet Fri 08-Mar-13 19:33:14

In my family including in laws all the nieces and nephews have xmas and birthday presents bought. The adult siblings (aunties, uncles and parents) don't buy anything for each other.

For a long time this involved me and my husband giving without 'getting' as it took us 10 years to have our son. But now we've had him he is now getting the benefit of the arrangement.

It's nice to buy stuff for kids, I get an awful lot of pleasure out of it. And the adults not buying for each other saves money in a big family plus adults don't really get as much pleasure out of it as adults.

Really I think as an adult to expect something back in return for buying a child presents is a bit mean.

mamapants Fri 08-Mar-13 19:10:21

I buy for my 4 nieces and nephews. Birthday and xmas. Also buy for easter. I remember getting lots of easter eggs when I was little I would be sad if my nieces and nephews didn't get the same.
I've only just had a baby but I've never begrudged getting their presents. I also get presents for my Sis and BIL for xmas and birthday but we only give to DPyet childless sister but not to the other sibling. Different behaviour for different families.

ceeveebee Fri 08-Mar-13 19:00:12

We buy for all our DNs (5 in total, another on the way) but no presents at Xmas for their parents ie Dsis's/BIL and SIL/BIL.

My DH buys Xmas and birthday presents for his cousins and their DCs - there are 3 cousins and 8 DCs and he spends about £25 each - I don't even know my cousin's DCs names!!

PrincessUnderpaid Fri 08-Mar-13 18:54:38

Double spaced paragraph blush

PrincessUnderpaid Fri 08-Mar-13 18:52:38

beepbop same here!

SIL does same with my Ds,only have the one and Sil has 2 dd.

I always buy for them but then again she doesn't particularly like me or anyone else for that matter so I try not to take it to heart.

Giving to my DN brings joy to me and them and that's what gift giving is about.

FranglaisMaman Fri 08-Mar-13 18:52:19

SIL's three kids are 6, 5 & 2. My brother's are 8 & 5 - so got a long way to go yet. Ages of the kids isn't really an issue for me, as I know that with the "buy until they're 16 rule" we'll stop buying while our siblings will continue to buy for ours, as our baby will be younger etc. BUT... SIL keeps moaning and moaning about how 3 kids isn't enough and she's jealous of us expecting our first and having a newborn to look forward to, and how she wants another one, and another one, and I wonder when will it end?! Totally her business and not mine of course, but not fair to expect us to keep buying gift after gift for her myriad of children while we only have one child. Just how I feel....

roastednut Fri 08-Mar-13 18:38:28

I wrote a long response to this and then lost it! I understand how you feel OP. We don't have any kids (yet) and we buy for 4 nieces/nephews for xmas and birthdays. Its the lack of thank you that gets me. I really wish we didn't have to bother, I would love a more relaxed approach but I feel like it's too late now. The kids are nearly 16 anyway at which point we'll probably stop. It's always surprised me that we get nothing in return, a token gift 'from the children' would be really appreciated as I do put a fair bit of thought/money into gifts. But mainly I just don't think it'd bother me as much if I felt it was appreciated or I actually got a thank you every time (it's very hit and miss).

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