The Goose is Getting Fat

So, this is going to sound strange, since Halloween is on Sunday, but I've been thinking about Christmas lately, and I need your help.

Last year Greg's siblings decided to stop exchanging gifts, except for Leah, which makes me feel 1) bad that they still buy for Leah while they don't have children for me to buy for, and 2) a little sad that I don't get the thrill of finding the perfect gift for them, which is seriously one of the best highs in life for me, and 3) so grateful for the extra time and money that I've gained as a result of my shopping list being cut in half. 

I casually mentioned this idea to my sister last year and she shot it down before I even got the words out.  Therefore, I still exchange gifts with my siblings.  Which is fine with me, because I like the idea of exchanging, and I like the idea of not exchanging, so I have the best of both worlds.

I do want to know, however, what others are doing out there.  Are adults still exchanging with siblings?  How about siblings' spouses?  Do you just keep it to your parents and the kids in the family?  Do you do a grab bag?  Card?  Coal? 

And, once you've answered all of those questions, tell me: what are you getting your sister, brother, sister's boyfriend, brother's wife, and dad?  Because I am at a total loss this year.  TOTAL. LOSS.

Ok, thank you!


StaceFavoch said...

My mom, my brothers and I still exchange. We also do pet gifts. :).

Hanukkah parties have been grab-bag since I was about 11ish, and they still work out well. I got an alarm clock once... not really exciting to a 12 year old. They can be kinda wimpy.

Andrea Clayton said...

Such a great question! You should talk to Amanda about the drama she has to deal with at Christmas with her in-laws and gift exchange. Anyway, as for these Gulino's, we still all exchange. My in-laws are pretty much non existant so that eliminates them.

Anonymous said...

Transformation from the person who receives, to the person who gives and receives, to the person who becomes the parent and enjoys the giving, to the person who overindulges, to the person who tries to cut back, to the person who becomes the person with adult children who can do their own choosing and purchasing, to the person who might have to narrow it down to grandchildren at some point becomes a life cycle of gift giving.hmmmm.....I'm sure I can find a way to write a paper about that!

As Stace said..

I love the holidays with my kids I'ts hard to put things into a reality of sorts lately.

Kids are grown - surprises are far and few between. I love the fact that we try to please each other with all the little things we can think about to bring a smile.

Hanukkah - for our family it's always been about the kids. It's been commercialized over the years and celebrated very differently than when I was a child.

For my immediate family we did this when they were kids because for us Hanukkah and Christmas comes to close together and sometimes overlap. For the eight nights - I would give the kids $1. for the first night - $2 for the next, and so forth - at the end of the eight days they would have $48. Then as a family we would have a night out - go to the toy store or wherever and they could spend their monies (plus a few more kicked in :) to buy what they wanted. Ray would usually want a Nintendo game and would likely to give up his monies and one gift. Evan sometimes would walk away with one, two or three things...and Stacey the youngest would usually walk away with a few things like doll and accessories, etc. Then we would go out to dinner and the movies and have a Hanukkah night out.

Within my sisters - we exchanged everyone for a while, but always kept it small - $10. ish. For us it was not the price/cost but finding something small and unique that was special and different in the stores. Eventually we narrowed it down to just the kids. All the kids would get gifts form my sisters and myself. Then as the kids got older it got a bit more expensive. When they became adults we went to grab bag gifts. It's really more for the fun of it. For a while it was difficult because as Stace said, it's no fun for an 17 yrs old to get an alarm clock! But it's the craziness of it that makes it appealing!

Now that there are grandchildren amongst them - those who come to our annual Hanukkah part receive gifts and the adults participate in the grab bag. If you don't show you do without some zany gift :)

ok, gots to run for now - Christmas story is coming.


Abbe said...


The tradition when I entered the family was we all gathered at Nanny and Pop pop's for Christmas Eve and exchanged gifts.

Then you were born and got added to the mix.

A few years later Marco, Ray and Bobby were born. It might have continued a couple of years further from there.....

then your mother mentioned it at a family gathering to Uncle Ray about wanting to stop the gift giving. Uncle Ray was NOT and I say NOT for it at all. The bottom line is that if it's not a two way street when it comes to the holidays more problems occur, hence we stopped.

Honestly for me personally, I love the holidays and I love any family gatherings....but really I can't stand the condensation factor of always feeling the need in one day of gift giving.

Over the years I feel better on giving of myself and all sorts of little things throughout the year rather than focus on one day/season. The gift of self is the one that keeps on giving.

Besides that just as in my Hanukkah post - families change, they grow, they gravitate away they navigate closer again - what and how you handle the holiday's will always alter.

Lean into change and respect tradition - it makes life easier:)


Anonymous said...

since you dont spend any money on your husbands siblings you should buy him a boat