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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?

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)

Sleepingbunnies Sat 09-Mar-13 04:26:16

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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