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Every year my family falls short of giving me a thoughtful present. It hurts my feelings about how little time they spend on my gift while I devote time, energy and money on theirs. I'm not asking for anything expensive. Does anyone else have this problem?

Elizabeth at A Wild Ride.

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The Holiday gift season used to cause me much anxiety. I would feel bad if the gift I gave was not as nice as the one I received. Conversely it also would bother me if I spent considerable more time and money than the other person. I also felt guilty if someone unexpectedly brought me a present and I had nothing for them. I ended up creating a " gift drawer" of items I would find, usually on sale throughout the year. When a friend showed up with an unexpected gift, I was prepared. This works well for birthdays too.

As far as my family goes, we give each other a few "suggestions" to help make the job easier. Pajamas, books and gift cards are perfect for my kids. Only child-free adults get gifts. My husband and I will buy a joint gift for ourselves. One year it was matching recliners; another new cell phones.

I don't need much and sometimes too many random, odd, gifts bother me. It is wasteful and I rather not get anything. If feelings are getting hurt, it may be time to stop exchanging gifts. Perhaps split the cost of an evening out.

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