No gifts for adults?

Adult with Christmas gifts under the treeI know a number of friends have a family arrangement where only the kids get Christmas presents now, but I don’t like it.

Yes, I get that it saves a lot of money and stress to cut down the list of people to buy for – and with a list of 35 or so, I am all for that concept! And kids are often easier to buy for than adults you don’t see very often.

But there are a number of downsides I think:
– adults deserve fun too – who says we grow out of presents?
– it teaches kids to expect a lot, and possibly at the exclusion of adults
– kids get so much it is overwhelming anyway

Why not let the kids watch adults get things for a change?

Or maybe make family gifts instead of for kids or adults – a board game all can play, tickets to the zoo or a movie, a recipe book they can use together, some vegetable seedlings to start a garden, a beach umbrella, and so on.

What do you think – if presents are being cut back, who should get them? Have you experienced this idea of kids only gifts – did it work well?

* Photo courtesy of 123rf

15 Responses to No gifts for adults?

  • Anna T says:

    Because of financial constraints, my family stopped drawing names between the adults and everyone just buys for the children. No one really liked it either because we still felt that everyone deserved to get a gift on Christmas, so we found a fun way around it — white elephant gifts!

    In our family, every adult brings something random from home that they don’t want or need. Then, all these random gifts get placed into a pile and are handed out. No one knows what they will end up with and the results are often very humorous!

    • Santa's Elf says:

      What a great idea, Anna – you have fun, acknowledge everyone and you might just end up with a good gift, lol (or at least a fun conversation starter!)

  • SantaLover says:

    I would feel deprived if I didn’t get something for Christmas. If the budget is tight, I appreciate gifts of time. For example,a gift from my husband might be the promise that we’ll spend special time together doing something we both enjoy. My in-laws only buy for the grandkids, but since we know that we will not receive a gift from them, we’re not too disappointed.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Expectations is a bit part of it, I think – the worst feeling is when you expect a gift and get nothing.

      I agree with you SantaLover, that gifts can be based on time rather than money so people can give (and receive) even when times are tough.

  • ACSAPA says:

    I’m a single mom, so I’m always on a razor thin budget. For Christmas only my daughter receives gifts. BUT, I do get a special “mom day”. For me the day after Christmas is when I have a blast. I pick up some 50% off chocolates, bath sets or holiday ornaments. One year I waited until the 75% off sale and made out like a bandit. I work hard, so it’s fun to look forward to the sales. I don’t mind that my daughter is the only one who gets presents on Christmas Day. At least we’re together. And it’s fun getting up early on December 26 to go out for breakfast as a family and hit the sales.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Hey, you have a system that works so go for it, ACSAPA! Besides, I think you are getting presents, just a day later than ‘tradition’ says.

      And getting the same stuff at reduced prices makes a lot of sense to me, too.

  • ACSAPA says:

    I would love to see a thread on frugal Christmas ideas. Here’s one cool idea I saw online: After all the holidays like Christmas, Halloween, Easter the stores have holiday themed items like dishtowels and potholders on sale for 50% off because they have holiday designs on them. Buy a couple after each holiday and save them in a plastic bin or box. At Christmas wrap them up and present them as a gift.

    Imagine opening a gift and it contains kitchen towels and potholders for every holiday! Your kitchen would be decorated for the whole year, even Valentine’s Day. Adorable.

    And the recipient of your gift doesn’t have to know that you got them for a bargain price because you’ve been buying them all year long at after holiday sales and stockpiling them.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Nice idea. YOu can also grab lots of Christmas themed tea towels (or table cloths I guess!) and use them as wrapping paper next Christmas.

      You are welcome to share your story (including the ‘tradition’ of being frugal) rather than only reply to posts, ACSAPA – there’s a link in the menu of every page, too.

  • StacyLynn says:

    I agree that adults want to get gifts too. I love giving gifts, but I also love to receive gifts!! Who doesn’t?? We usually do a gift exchange for the adults. We draw names and only buy for one adult. It allows us to join in the fun, but without the expense of buying something for everyone.

  • IsabelleChan says:

    In my family, everyone is equal. We buy gifts for both adults and children. If we fail to choose something decent and suitable for the adults, for example, my aunt, my mom would usually give her cash or coupons for Christmas presents.

    I think adults ought to have presents too because Christmas is a time to love and every one deserves to be loved by receiving presents. Giving presents to adults can also teach children to pay respect to their elders and show gratitude at this time of the year. In order to cut down the expenses, I think people can opt for family games that will suit the whole family and look decent at the same time.

  • Fren says:

    Of course adults should get gifts – not only do they deserve gifts but it is important for children to see adults receiving presents also.

    No gift – for adult or for child – has to be expensive. And, in my book, the best thing about a gift is tat it is a surprise – that is is something somebodu has seen or made that made them think of you.

    If the budget is limited then the extended family can agree to keep gifts to just within the immediate nuclear family groups. Parenst and children buy for each other and for grandparents – but not for their adult siblings/in-laws/nephews and nieces.

    Children will then get presents from their parents – and each nuclear family can open their gifts at home.

    Grandparents should get gifts from each nuclear family of each of their children – it is importnat for children to respect thier grandparents. If grandparents can afford it they can buy each grandchild a gift.

    When my parents had a few tough years they bought one thing for the whole family to share (their 3 adult children + 3 spouses + 7 grandchildren); They usually bought a group game like “Twister” or “Mousetrap” which were kept at their house and which brought the family together in fun. And saved our parents a lot of money.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      All good ideas, Fren.

      I like the idea of family gifts, too, as long as they are gifts for the whole family and preferably something to bing the family together like a game does. A box of chocolates can be shared, true, but it doens’t last and doesn’t really bring everyone together.

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