There’s nothing like buying Christmas presents to cause family fallouts. My latest is about the age you stop giving gifts to the youngens. Do you stop at 18-years-old? Or do you just keep on giving indefinitely?
With a budget that’s getting ever tighter now that I have a young family, I recently asked my sister a delicate question – do I still need to buy her 18-year-old son a Christmas present? This has traditionally been the cut-off point for gifts in our family – in a way it’s a marker that you’ve become a grown up at last.
My innocent question raised her hackles as an older sibling herself – ‘why should the older child not get a gift when the younger one will continue to get gifts for several more years?’ I did gently mention that the older child had received gifts for the years before the younger one was born, but this was shrugged off.
So I’m now in the awkward situation of being unsure whether I should continue to buy the older one Christmas gifts or not. This could be one for my poor mum to rule on!
Christmas gifts for all the family
I mentioned this conversation in the Which? office and it provoked an outraged discussion of other ‘unfair’ present giving that colleagues felt had been imposed upon them.
There was a common complaint among the childless ladies and gents. They were expected to buy individual gifts for the whole of their sibling’s family, only to receive one gift in return.
I have a similar example myself. Before I had children I was expected to buy a gift each for my sister, her husband and two children; but as soon as my first child was born, my sister told me we should only buy presents for the children and not the adults!
Do you have similar situations going on in your family? How have you solved them? I often see talk of not buying Christmas gifts at all, but I don’t want to be the humbug in the family!