At what point if ever do you stop giving nieces and nephews christmas presents

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PeaNut 471,633
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Posted: 11/28/2011 7:18:11 AM
The last gift we give nieces/nephews is on their 21st birthday or college graduation.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 290,201
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Posted: 11/28/2011 7:25:38 AM
I'm the youngest of ten siblings, so some of my nieces and nephews are actually older than I am. We generally buy for the kids in the family who are under 13 - after that, the teens and young adults draw names among themselves. There are just too many people in our extended family to keep buying for everyone.

In your family's situation, 18 or high school graduation seems like a logical place to stop, especially since there doesn't seem to be any appreciation on the receiver's part.


PeaNut 355,768
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Posted: 11/28/2011 7:48:21 AM
With my SIL's boys, the year they turned 18 was the last year they got gifts from us. My SIL's step-daughter is only 14, and my sister's children are little ones, so we still buy for them. We plan to stop when they turn 18 just like we did with the older boys.

My sister and brother still buy gifts for my son who is 22 even though we, me and my son, have told them they no longer need to. SIL has never bought for any of us, so it doesn't matter.

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PeaNut 110,589
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Posted: 11/28/2011 7:51:10 AM

Considering the only time I ever see or hear from my family of extended nieces and nephews is at Christmas, the gift is normally very, very small as well.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 250,388
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Posted: 11/28/2011 7:52:38 AM

In our family it stops at 18. After that they will get a card for their birthdays, but they will no longer receive gifts unless it is a special occasion such as graduation, wedding or baby.

Same here.


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PeaNut 141,872
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Posted: 11/28/2011 7:54:14 AM
We're done at 18. My sister used to send those same offensive e-mails (they ONLY want CASH!) and I finally sent an email back effectively stating that "gifts are gifts, you don't get to dictate what I buy, so pipe down". That shut her up.


PeaNut 335,105
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Posted: 11/28/2011 8:15:52 AM
I buying for my niece and nephews who are college age. I don't love them any less now that they 19 and 20.


PeaNut 512,122
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Posted: 11/28/2011 8:19:23 AM
I guess I'm lucky. I only have 4 to buy for so there is no age limit to me. maybe when the oldest graduates from college next year?

I'd just give her a $10 gift card to Starbucks or something like that. At least until she is out of school.

But see I buy presents bc I want to, pretty much. I have a half sister I only see in FB and I never give her a gift, she is now 21.

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PeaNut 479,777
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Posted: 11/28/2011 8:29:38 AM
DH has a cousin who is considerably younger than he is. We bought for him until the time when he would have graduated from college, had he continued on (he has one class between him and graduation). My oldest nephew is 18 and will graduate from high school this year. Not sure what we'll do about that.


PeaNut 485,887
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Posted: 11/28/2011 8:47:29 AM
We only have a niece and a nephew on my side and DH is an only child. I imagine we'll always buy them presents, can't imagine stopping even when they are adults. We'll probably add in their spouses and and children as well. Long way off though, they're only 3 & 7.

When I was a child, on my moms side there are numerous cousins. There are 17 of us. In fact, I have cousins that are the same age as my middle child (3). We always drew individual names, and then my grandparents got each child a gift. That lasted until I turned 18. The sheer volume of kids to buy for was definitely a factor, as well as finances.

As for my dads side, I only have 1 aunt/uncle and they have 2 kids. I can't remember ever getting a present from them.


PeaNut 132,893
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Posted: 11/28/2011 9:11:47 AM
I would have stopped way back when she told you what you had to get her kids. Rude..... Can't stand people like that. No more gift exchanging. I would rather buy for my own than worry about trying to please people like that.


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PeaNut 133,550
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Posted: 11/28/2011 9:16:46 AM
For all of my nieces and nephews who are under the age of 16, I give them a bag of candy and an ornament - that way they have ornaments for their own tree when they move out when they reach adulthood. For all nieces and nephews 16+ I get them gift cards to places like Subway, McDonalds, etc..

If I had a sister or brother try to dictate to me what to get their children for a birthday or holiday, I'd bow out of gift giving with them. You get what I give you and like it. But I'm not big on catering to people's selfish ways.

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PeaNut 120,522
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Posted: 11/28/2011 9:24:39 AM
On my side the grandchildren are currently 19, 14, 12, 11, 9, 8, and 6. The 19 yo is our dd and since she is the only one over 18, she is still included. And I still pay for it. We do a drawing so each child gets one presents instead of two (since there are three families).

On dh's side, they are 16, 14, 12, 9, 8, and 6. Dh has three and his sister has three. We buy each child a present. It is low key though like $10-15.


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PeaNut 26,836
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Posted: 11/28/2011 9:25:53 AM

I guess our family is the exception. We still give to our nieces and nephews AND their children.

We're the same, Kristi.

And I buy for my cousins' kids, too.

The cousins used to give gifts to one another, but when there started to be a whole mess of cousins' kids, we started giving just to the kids in those instances.

But my aunts and uncles give gifts to me and to my children. And we buy them gifts as well.

My mother's aunts buy gifts for my mom, for me, and for my kids....along with all of their other nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews. And we give gifts to them.

It's gift-giving bedlam around here, but we love it.

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PeaNut 43,514
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Posted: 11/28/2011 9:26:30 AM
I only have one nephew who is an adult. The rest of my nieces and nephews are younger than my own kids. He is 21 and we still buy for him. He got married last summer. I was thinking about whether it was time to cut him off, but he's young and in the marines and I figure he will probably have kids in the next couple years, so I might as well keep that $50 in my budget and keep gifting them as a couple until they have kids and then the money will go to the child's gift.


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PeaNut 59,094
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Posted: 11/28/2011 9:27:50 AM

gifts are gifts, you don't get to dictate what I buy, so pipe down

As for my nephews (I have 3) i don't plan on giving them Chanukah gifts forever, but I do expect to remember them on their birthdays no matter how old they are. There were a very few relatives who did that for me throughout my life and I always remember them for remembering me. I mattered to them. It was the stuff that counted. KWIM? I want my nephews to know I remember them. (And FTR, they are DH's brother's kids. My sister doesn't have any.)

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PeaNut 197,450
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Posted: 11/28/2011 9:49:27 AM
Based on what you described I would stop now. We said we would stop when they finished college. Two are now poor grad students so we decided to keep giving. They are good kids and very appreciative of anything we give them so we are happy to keep giving.

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please. Mark Twain

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PeaNut 174,400
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Posted: 11/28/2011 10:40:54 AM
when it deteriorates into just a gift card exchange, i think it is time to stop.

if kids can't bother to come up with something they would like to get within the price range, it is also time to stop.


PeaNut 53,584
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Posted: 11/28/2011 11:10:02 AM
We decided this year to stop exchanging gifts because of the distance not because of age. I will buy my kids a gift from their uncle and aunt and put it under the tree and my brother and sister will do the same for their kids. That way we dont have to pay to ship and the kids get something that they asked for.

As far as age goes are you going to see them? If you dont spend Christmas with them then I would be so done. If you are going to their house and everyone is opening gifts then I probably would bring a gift NOT cash.

Simple Crafter

PeaNut 220,574
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Posted: 11/28/2011 11:14:33 AM
We buy for all the nieces and nephews no matter their age. When they marry we then also buy a gift for the spouse. This continues till they have children and then we buy gifts for their children instead of them.

"The sign of a beautiful person is that they always see the beauty in others"


PeaNut 66,991
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Posted: 11/28/2011 11:16:13 AM
My DS and nephews are 6 and below so we still do but I think that we stopped for me, my sister and cousins when most of us were in high school. It was the same year for all...not a set age. I think that made it easier. The older ones didn't have to watch younger ones get gifts only...

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Posted: 11/28/2011 11:16:54 AM
I have not figured out that point yet but I do hope it is soon!

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 35,696
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Posted: 11/28/2011 11:18:58 AM
For years we had an exchange where the grandkids drew names and bought for a cousin. Worked really well, and they stopped doing the name draw when they graduated from High School...the only problem is that it got down to one nephew and my two girls, so we just stopped, so my youngest didn't go all the way to 18, but she doesn't care. The gift exchange at my folks house on Christmas day is about my parents. all of us bring something for them. We started last year with a "white elephant" exchange on Christmas Eve...that was a hoot.


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PeaNut 41,763
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Posted: 11/28/2011 11:35:35 AM
We have 14 nieces, nephews, niece-in-laws, great nephews and great nieces (ranging in ages from 7 to 31) and we still give gifts to them all. The ones in their 30s buy us gifts as well, and some of them even give gifts to my children. We are close to them all and get together with all of them every Christmas in 3 different gatherings. I like being able to buy gifts for the older ones who are newlyweds and just setting up new homes. The college students are always on tight budgets, so I like getting them things, too. And, of course, the little ones are fun to buy for. Our family is big on making and sharing lists. The relatives all know how much I like to spend and give me great ideas. It works well for us.



PeaNut 147,074
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Posted: 11/28/2011 11:38:53 AM
Grinningcat how many nieces and nephews do you have? I have 26, with easily more in the future.

In our family, we don't even buy for the nieces and nephews. There are none on my side and DH has something like 27, so it's always been the family tradition that only parents buy for their own children.

Us too. We decided in our family everyone has enough shit. So we put together what money we can and give it to a family (secretly) we want to help. It takes a lot of pressure off.

EDIT: counted wrong, there's 26

Ideay pues?

PeaNut 143,106
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Posted: 11/28/2011 11:46:10 AM
My personal philosophy about gift-giving includes the following:

1) I don't give gifts out of social obligation, generally, (ONLY in extreme cases)

2) I do not give gifts to someone if I realize that the recipient thinks that the gift is an "obligation" on my part. I.e., if a kid or the person(around age 8 and up) starts to think that I'm OBLIGATED to give gifts, they will swiftly come to realize that's not the case.

3) I don't give gifts to people who don't know how to say thank you. You can call, text, leave a voicemail, put in on facebook, send a note, hire an airplane to make a sign, hire a blimp, send a smoke signal, hire a leprechaun, or even send a message in a bottle. I expect a thank you.

4) I also do not give gifts to people who tell me that the gift is somehow lacking, either implicitly (by giving me a minimum amount), like your sister in law) or explicitly. I've had that happen in public many times, as in ," Wow, you ONLY got me this?" Once my aunts started "trading" their gifts with each other in the middle of the Christmas exchange.

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PeaNut 116,395
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Posted: 11/28/2011 11:46:47 AM
I always *ask* my SILs to give me ideas of what nieces and nephews would like. But then I buy what I want. Or I'll ask the kids directly and then get it and tell SILs to scratch of list.

My nieces/nephews range in age from 4-24...the thought to stop buying for them has never crossed my mind. Honestly I think I'll buy for them for ever. Growing up the gifts from my aunts were SO special to me.

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Kerry in CT

PeaNut 23,966
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Posted: 11/28/2011 11:47:15 AM
Our nieces & nephews were all very close in age. We stopped when the youngest hit 18. The kids didn't mind, but one of my SIL's was grumpy about it.

Kerry in CT


PeaNut 471,901
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Posted: 11/28/2011 11:57:53 AM
For me it'll be never. Lol. My gf and I both have one sister each and only my sister has a child. And I love my niece like she's my own! So admittedly my situation is different from a lot of those mentioned here.

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PeaNut 472,567
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Posted: 11/28/2011 12:20:55 PM
I stopped buying for my nephews once they were 18 or graduation from high school.

A couple of them have children now, so I do buy a small gift for the great niece or great nephew. A small $10-$15 item.

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PeaNut 256,623
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Posted: 11/28/2011 12:28:46 PM
"Dear SIL,

We, as a family, have made the unilateral decision to forgo buying presents for anyone outside of our household. We are sorry to have to do this, however, it has become apparent to us that you and your family view us as some kind of yearly cash disbursement service instead of people with actual feelings.

So, please be advised that we feel our niece and nephew are adult enough to understand that we love them without having to give them cash or presents in order to prove that love. Please know that the same goes for our children and we never, ever want you to feel obligated to "get them something" from now on. They know you love them without you buying them a single thing, and really...isn't love what Christmas is supposed to be about?

Yours Affectionately,


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PeaNut 217,769
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Posted: 11/28/2011 1:21:47 PM
I only have one niece and one nephew and it will be pretty much forever, I never plan on stopping giving them gifts. Ever. They will be 60 and still receiving gifts from me.


PeaNut 7,468
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Posted: 11/28/2011 1:25:57 PM
For me it stops the first time they don't say thank you! Which for my husbands niece / nephew it was about 4 years ago and it caused a major battle in the family and to this day we are still not talking.

For one set of nieces it was when they were about 18 when they bitched about what we got them.

For my youngest set of nieces age 15 & 12 it's this year no more gifts as I didn't get a thank you or anything for the cash I gave them this summmer for the birthdays I missed this spring cause I was out of town.


PeaNut 33,625
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Posted: 11/28/2011 3:15:04 PM

When they have graduated from High School they are put into the adult gift giving section. I would totally ignore her email.

This is how my family does it too. I have bought the gifts for my oldest two the first couple of years they moved to the adult exchange and didn't budget well. But now they are both doing fine and are excited to pick a gift for their aunts & uncles

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PeaNut 32,500
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Posted: 11/28/2011 3:25:47 PM
I think it comes down to how close you are and if you actually ever see them. I tend to only exchange gifts with family and friends I see in person... the ones I am close to. So the affiliation doesn't matter as much as my relationship with them personally.

Just go with your gut. I'd stop in your situation.

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PeaNut 417,049
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Posted: 11/28/2011 3:27:57 PM
My husbands nieces and nephews....when they turn 18. They have never said thank you, boo or kiss my patootie. So I cut them off.

My brother's two kids...until they get married. They always say thanks (I give them money) and let me know later what they did with it.

Makes a difference in my book.

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PeaNut 294,429
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Posted: 11/28/2011 3:51:00 PM
My aunt officially stopped giving us gifts at age 18. But we had a great relationship, and she would slip a new ornament on my tree every year.

I think the recession gives the more timid, drama-avoiding among us a perfect excuse to whip our gift lists into shape (ie craft them the way that makes sense for our budget and relationships).


Lover of Tubas

PeaNut 14,100
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Posted: 11/28/2011 4:03:18 PM
My niece and nephews live in Ohio and I stopped sending gifts when I didn't receive any acknowledgement from anyone about them. After three years of it, I realized I'd had enough. I didn't expect gifts back, but a card or a thank you would have been nice.

That being said, I love them all to death and generally, when I'm home for vacation visiting them, I'll do something with/for them and they're always appreciative then. Also, they're all older now--my oldest is 21, 20, 18, 17 and 15.


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PeaNut 180,214
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Posted: 11/28/2011 4:05:52 PM
In DH's family, as someone mentioned, when you turn 18, you draw names with the adults.

In my family we don't draw names. I don't have kids, so I'll probably always get nieces and nephews gifts.


PeaNut 191,815
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Posted: 11/28/2011 4:11:56 PM
We stopped when they turned 18.


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PeaNut 31,018
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Posted: 11/28/2011 4:22:34 PM
Ours stopped about the time the number of nieces and nephews passed 10 and that I'd just on dh's side of the family. There are now close to 20! We just can't buy for all of them

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PeaNut 300,909
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Posted: 11/28/2011 4:24:10 PM
Age 8. I think.

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PeaNut 49,249
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Posted: 11/28/2011 4:27:29 PM
We stop when they graduate from high school. On dh's side of the family we only give gifts to god children and his closest sister's children. On my side, we do a gift exchange. We could never afford to give gifts to all the nieces and nephews.


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PeaNut 164,125
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Posted: 11/28/2011 4:29:47 PM
I only have children of my own so I don't forsee stopping anytime soon...they are 16, 20,20,22,24....Love them as if they were my own so I won't stop anytime soon

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PeaNut 383,461
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Posted: 11/28/2011 4:33:52 PM
I stopped giving them presents when they never acknowledged receiving my gifts. No thank you card, no phone call, no email. I sent them presents/gift cards every year. After three straight years of no mention of the gifts, I stopped sending them.

I have four nieces and two nephews who are no longer on my shopping list.


PeaNut 19,061
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Posted: 11/28/2011 4:42:35 PM
In my family we stop buying gifts for the nieces/nephews when they are 21.

In DH's family, the kids are all within 5 years of each other in age. After our niece got married, DH discussed it with his brother, and they just decided no more niece/nephew gifts from that point forward. The nieces and nephews ranged in age from 19-24 at the time.

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PeaNut 16,228
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Posted: 11/28/2011 4:53:07 PM
Our family generally stops at 18. For my older nieces and nephews I continued through 19...figured I'd take them through teen years and stop.

When my son turned 18, his gifts stopped from everyone.

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PeaNut 154,236
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Posted: 11/28/2011 5:02:59 PM
18 or until they graduate from high school. (DS had a BD a few weeks ago and 19. He graduates in 2012.)


PeaNut 233,804
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Posted: 11/29/2011 12:46:38 AM
She's old enough to start buying for YOU. If she wants a gift, she should be giving one to receive one.


Hokie Mom

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Posted: 11/29/2011 5:22:35 AM
18 unless they are in college full-time.

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