Sister is going through a very long drawn out divorce. Her in-laws (apart from their grandparents) have basically shut out her 3 children. They used to get lots of presents from aunts, uncles, cousins etc but now none of them bother and it's so noticeable! Children are old enough to have noticed and they don't understand. I feel I have to spend more on them to bridge the gap between what they used to get and now. Would anyone else feel the same?
I would feel the same but don't set a precedent you can't afford. How awful to punish the children during a divorce. A divorce is very difficult for children so perhaps a better approach would be to include them in your family's celebrations? Shower them with love, attention and fun instead. Break the tradition and do something different, take them to a show or something or ice skating? Doing things differently will make any thing missing from their 'usual' Christmas less noticeable.