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Our little family of 3 (Me, DH and 2 year old son) celebrate Christmas with my husband's family which includes his sisters (and partners), parents, grandparents and the occasional straggler that gets picked up closer to Christmas who has nowhere else to go.
It has been a long, busy an stressful year. At the best of times I hate shopping, I love Christmas and I love catching up with everyone, but the present thing is getting out of control. Last year we nearly forgot to by for my sister-in law's boyfriend cause we had so many people to buy for.
I'd like to suggest we draw names and each by only for one person and put a cap on the price. Does that sound reasonable? How do I suggest it without offending? One of my sister in law's loooooves presents and I think she might see this as a rip-off.
Any other suggestions for celebrating, enjoying presents, but doing it much more on the cheap for someone who's not much of a shopper - oh, and I would LOVE to do handmade, but most of the stuff I've seen that I would like to do involve sewing...I'm not much with a needle and thread :(
We do homemade, and identical gifts for all the adults (this year it is icecream fixing kits) and nearly identical gifts for kids (last year we made bathtub paint, this year goop kits). I'd rather do something original and personalized, but there are a ton of people to buy for and it gets overwhelming!
Here is a list of 101 Homemade gift ideas. Most of them are pretty cheap and super easy to make. Maybe something will inspire you.
With the in-laws - For the first few year we would draw names and each pick one gift at a set price limit - but then it became not thoughtful enough with everyone just asking what their pick wanted and then buying it. Not much of a surprise or thought. So then we decided to each buy a funny / silly / or gender neutral gift and have a game to find out who gets what. That was very fun - but then we all moved to different places and had more kids.... So then we decided that only those under 18 would get gifts, the rest would get a card, letter or email - personal wishes and such. The thought became the gift for all the adults, the kids still got presents.
With my family it has been home-made gifts - for everyone who shows up to the dinner. The gifts don't have to be big - an ornament, drawing, bath salts, pre-mixed baking in a jar, etc.
I wish we could stop though because there are only so many home-made things you want to have around or want to make. And we all have to watch our sugar and calorie intake so many baked goods is not great either. I'd much prefer it being less about the gifts for the whole extended family and more about my little family where we usually get one big gift for us all to share.
We have a large family. There are 7 of us (5 kids) and then both of us come from big families... (hubby's side 6 and my side 6) and all of his siblings have kids and his mother fosters so there are always "extra" kids- on my side only me and my sis have kids so not as tough- Girlfriends, boyfriends etc never were given gifts from outside family members with us (just the moms and the GF's BF or Bf's GF would get for them since the rest of us barely knew them or that may not be in the pic long)
We now only do for the kids and then if we want to get for Mom, Sis etc we do-
One year we said all handmade gifts for others except kids.
One year we did the Chinese or white elephant gift exchange (don't remember which)
I told my husband I will not be stressed at Christmas. LOL
You should call your Mom or whoever the "matriarch" of the family is where you gather- let her know, in these times it is so hard to buy for people with technology changing so quickly and not knowing what someone wants anymore, draw names or do kids only or exchange families (you buy for your brothers family, he buys for sisters family, etc- and do a group gift for Mom & Dad...) Let her know things are going up in price and you can't afford to but for 20 people anymore...
I hate feeling obligated at Christmas. I give from the heart, so... if I haven't seen my brothers all year, they get a gift set of coffee or nothing- depends upon what we can do AFTER the kids...
I have 3 kids and I do NOT expect gifts or that they be expensive. I appreciate those that we do get. I have last year requested that anyone who is buying gifts to please get books or educational products. I was even happy if it came from the dollar store and I made that clear.
We do not buy gifts for EVERY family member and their spouse and kids. I think people who go crazy over it lose the point of giving a gift and it becomes about giving because you think you have to and not out of joy and love for the person.