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Re: cut off age for presents?

(24 Posts)
AnneNonimousLetterToSanta Thu 27-Dec-12 08:39:26

Would like opinions on this please

I have a very big, ever increasing, family. Because there are so many of us it has been agreed for about 20 years that we only buy for the kids (apart from your own parents and nan etc) until they are 18 (or if they have a baby before then we buy for baby). Everybody knows this and has followed it so far.

We all met up Christmas Day and exchanged presents for the kids, one aunty turns up late and gives out presents, only there are quite a few of the older kids left out. Aunt declares she has only bought for kids under 11.

To their credit the kids were great about it, just got on with what they were doing. I imagine at 11 it must be a bit disappointing expecting your last present at Christmas and getting nothing.

Aibu to think this was not really on? I do understand she may be having financial problems etc but to turn up with presents for only the very young children and only announce this on Christmas Day seems a little harsh? There were a few raised eyebrows but it wasn't a big deal, I just wondered what others think the etiquette should be I guess.

StickEmUp Thu 27-Dec-12 08:45:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 27-Dec-12 08:46:06

She's entitled to opt out if she wants to, and post-11 the children should be able to cope politely with it being sprung on them. Advance warning might have got her into uncomfortable explanations and she might have felt embarrassed.
We do a very similar thing in my family, has worked well for years so I understand what you mean, but it's a small thing compared to the fun of the gathering, surely?

Theicingontop Thu 27-Dec-12 08:48:21

I don't think a pack of sweets or something each would have killed her.

WitchOfEndor Thu 27-Dec-12 08:51:08

I think 18 (or 21) is a reasonable cut off. That's when I stopped buying for my cousin and niece. Although my DM did tell me that it was unfair that I was buying for the youngest nephew and niece ( 2yo and 6 mo) and not the older one (22yo). She said that I should keep buying for the eldest until the youngest hit 21, so when she is 43! I said 21 was my cut off age and that was that.

MackerelOfFact Thu 27-Dec-12 08:53:27

She could've got them something small or something for them all to share and do at Christmas (second hand game or something) but I don't think it really matters. If she'd come completely empty handed that would be unfair, but what really can you get for an 11-18 year old that they couldn't live without?

SantasENormaSnob Thu 27-Dec-12 08:56:44


Perhaps no presents at all would be better in future.

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 27-Dec-12 08:57:35

Witch, we stop buying when the child has a child of their own I think. Although the gifts may change in nature and price.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Thu 27-Dec-12 08:59:34

I think the etiquette should be telling people in advance of any change to an agreed arrangement! I think she was thoughtless.

HollyBerryBush Thu 27-Dec-12 09:01:24

Depends on her affordability.

cozietoesie Thu 27-Dec-12 09:35:58

Automatic gifts (including money or vouchers) stop at 18 in our family with the parents informed well in advance. After that, as they're adults (sort of) they'll get a Xmas present according to normal inclination.

I think 11 is a bit young, myself, although it could all depend on funds. Some might be stretched to even afford a cheap and cheerful for each of many youngsters.

Sabriel Thu 27-Dec-12 09:46:44

We have a similar rule in our family and 18 is the cut off.

But what happened to us was that we stopped buying for the nephews and cousins at 18, then the BILs/aunts decided that because we weren't buying for them they wouldn't buy for our DCs, who were much younger angry

So we bought for theirs for 18 years, long before we had children, and they only bought for ours for 8 - 13 years.

I suppose there is no etiquette as such, as long as everyone is working to the same ones.

cozietoesie Thu 27-Dec-12 09:51:40

Well some of the youngsters will still receive presents over 18 which is sort of what I meant by normal inclination. Before 18, they get them whether or not we've seen them in the past year, whether or not they or their parents bother to contact us to let us know presents have actually arrived etc etc .......

After 18, they're adults so they get presents on the same basis as other adults do. Some receive, some don't.

ZebraInHiding Thu 27-Dec-12 09:58:03

We do until you have children, then for the children, plus my mum and dad. So my sister and don't exchange gifts, but we do get my younger sister one as she doesn't have kids yet.

If there was a change in the plan, it should have been discussed beforehand.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 27-Dec-12 10:01:31

There isn't a cut off in my family per se bar my dads brother and wife,who then got spectacularly annoyed when he didn't buy for their children hmm

My family isn't very large though.

It would have been polite if you had had prior warning I think.

slartybartfast Thu 27-Dec-12 10:01:56

all very well to say stop buying for neices and nephews at say 18 or 20, but they may have younger siblings.

what do you do then?
i think if you rae seeing people for xmas you shoudl take a gift, and gifts do not have to break the bank.
but fair play to the aunty.
that is up to her and her conscience.

slartybartfast Thu 27-Dec-12 10:02:44

did the over 11's buy for their aunty?

AnneNonimousLetterToSanta Thu 27-Dec-12 10:11:25

slarty no, but their parents bought for her DC

slartybartfast Thu 27-Dec-12 10:13:50

oh she has Dc too? i was imagining this spinster/maiden aunt. she should have siad in advance really. an agreement made.

nagynolonger Thu 27-Dec-12 10:23:38

In our family the cut off is no more presents after the 18th birthday and a 21st gift. If they have a party at 21 we ask what they would like and if not £20 in a card. I still send cards, wedding gifts and welcome card and new born gift for any new children. I would only buy gifts for nieces/nephews DC if we saw them at a party over the holiday. I would then buy a token gift for any child.
Most families stuck to this but one relative stopped at 16 and another never bought younger cousins individual gifts. Once theirs were 18 it was a game or a tin of chocs per family. Their choice and it's not worth bothering about. Everyone knows that families always have some who are 'careful' with money and never volunteer to host family get-togethers.

A token gift of chocs for the over 11s would have been better but DC will have to learn that presents have to stop at some point. I don't remember getting presents from aunts and uncles after 13/14. Once I had children of my own only my parents, 1 sister and DH bought me individual gifts. PIL bought a knitted baby blanket for me the year I was pregnat with DS1. That did angry.

nagynolonger Thu 27-Dec-12 10:37:49

All older nieces and nephews knew in advance that presents stopped at 18. They would get nothing to unwrap and their younger brothers and sister would still get gifts until they were 18.

All 18 yearolds should be able to cope. We have found this worked well for our family but we can't convince friends! We are still buying presents for godchildren well into their 20s because they still buy for ours. They are from much smaller families so don't have so many to buy for. We have 6 DC and many nieces and nephews so our family had to set limits.

sockmuppet Thu 27-Dec-12 10:40:17

I don't see the problem with this at all. It certainly wouldn't have bothered me at all when I was 11+.

slartybartfast Thu 27-Dec-12 10:46:00

it is like party bags. i spect the parents minded more than the dc's.

lljkk Thu 27-Dec-12 18:47:15

In my family we have a kind of secret santa for the kids under 16; they each get just one of the others one nice gift. Much better than frittering pennies buying a gift for every one of the kids.

yabu, I don't think Aunt should have changed the rules without warning. My 12yo would mind a lot & take it personally (because they are immature 12yo).

If the rules were revised I'd suggest 12-14 as cutoff.

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