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Thread: Christmas with Adult Children

  1. #26
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    Gifts...I used to but it was one gift purchase, then I would find something I really wanted too....on and on.......I would be asked by kids what I wanted...nothing, I can buy it myself...my thinking there is if I have to tell you what to buy me...forget it....enough cynicism, my solution is all get gift cards...GDs..stores they shop in, DDs restaurant gift cards... The only gifts are to 3GGs....there I will go crazy!! A blessing to see them.......I have told DDs for me gift cards to places I shop for quilting stuff, if they want to....but really to see all their faces on Christmas Day is gift enough for me...and a prayer for their dad who is celebrating the Birthday with the One.

  2. #27
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    Gift-giving is fun. I cannot physically do the shopping or making of gifts now. I send each family a package of 'OMAHA' steaks or a basket from 'Harry & David'. That is one to each household. Now the grands are getting married and I am sending them a smaller package. If I don't get a Thank you, I will drop them from the list next year. This attidue is after 53 years of giving! It is what it is.
    Quilter 68 who is now 69/and now 70

  3. #28
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I have two DDs and their spouses and three grands. Not that many to buy for. I give each family a year's pass to the theme/ water park That is really appreciated. They can go to the park whenever they like as often as they like.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  4. #29
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    I think the gift giving is over rated among adults. My MIL used to give us little gifts and items. Nothing expensive but simple things. I hated it. I don't need a cute coffee cup, candle or household item. and really, if we needed something, we bought it for ourselves. Let them relax. If they want to quit exchanging, it's okay. Focus on family and togetherness.

  5. #30
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    We have done this for many years (drawn names). Now all the grandchildren are grown, so do we add them to the "drawing" or keep giving them stuff?? We were almost to the point of just giving cash or gift cards. We decided to rent a cabin in the mountains (we are in the desert) for the week of Christmas, which will be our gift to each other!! Of course I will still make little things (luggage tags, cord wranglers) but the stress relief is wonderful.
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  6. #31
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    One year I gave each of my grown children and their spouses a quilt that I had made for them. Another year I made up photo albums for them filled with photos of us - their parents - from our wedding forward through to their pre-teen years. Last year, due to illness, I gave them each money and a small token gift - like a football team mug filled with candy. I don't discuss how many gifts, how much money or anything with them. If they ask me for ideas what we want, I give them a list of items at all price ranges and let the 3 of them work it out among themselves who buys what. I don't stress Christmas because I found out last year that life can interfere with the best made plans, i.e. breast cancer, and that just being with them is all the gift I need and want.

  7. #32
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    Our three daughters are very busy folks...kids careers,etc. This year they are getting frozen main dishes . I freeze them in my seal a meal thingy. They don't take time to cook,so this should help them out a little.
    Life may not be the party we planned for,but while we are here we should dance!

  8. #33
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    Granted, haven't read all the responses but here is our family's take. The adult (all 50+ at this point) draw names for each other. Dad, bless his heart, still gives to all of us with Ohama Steak gift baskets. Said siblings give to all the nieces & nephews with usually a $25 limit/child. With the name drawing it is usually for couples and ranges $25-50/couple.

    DH & I stopped mutual gifting several years ago. Divert those same funds to dinners/travel/whatever. Works for us.

  9. #34
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    Gifting is a hot topic and the source of much stress. Some say you have to accept whatever a giver decides to give with grace. I hear so many comments about not seeing a gift on display in the recipient's home.

    Christmas is also a stressful time for many.

    I am a regifter. I do not feel that I must keep something because someone bought or made it for me.

    My best Christmas gifting experience is a party I go to each year that has a great gift game. It is a group of friends who have known each other for over 30 years. Re gifting is encouraged and some items have been making the rounds for 10+ years.

    I have teens and a 20 something. Please if you have to buy them something, buy them a gift card, then take them shopping and out for lunch. You cannot imagine the stress of taking grandma shopping so she can buy gifts for my kids. They do not want what she wants to buy. She wants to 'see the joy' in their faces on Christmas day, they are trying their best to put on a good face.

    When the kids were younger we bought family passes to various places (museums, aquariums etc), they allowed for family activities year round.

    Me, I do not need stuff. I do not want another mug, more bath salts, clothes in your style not mine. I do not want a kitchen gadget or sewing tool, unless I specifically tell you what I want. But if I specifically tell you what I want, do not buy a different brand, a 'better' version, I did research and know just what I need.

    My mil wants lots of small things to open on Christmas Day. I would rather take the time and money that goes into shopping and wrapping and take her out for lunch, instead of giving her stuff.

    Giving in some cultures is a way of creating a debt from the recipient to the giver. I think a lot of people feel the pressure debt and it is stronger if they have requested no gifts.

    Me I have opted out of many expected gift exchanges. I would rather have an experience with someone, a walk, a cup of tea, share a meal, than buy a gift (as nice as it may be) just for the sake of giving a gift.
    Attending University. I will graduate a year after my son and year before my daughter.

  10. #35
    Super Member Wonnie's Avatar
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    Our family is fairly large but we do all get together at one of our homes for all holidays. None of us wanted to give up gifts for Christmas but expense-wise it was getting more difficult to come up with nice gifts as prices kept rising.....so, this is how we handled it. My daughter and her husband celebrate Christmas morning with their two children and their spouses and spend whatever they please. Then in the early evening we ALL get together (that is, all those who don't live a thousand miles or further from here) and we exchange homemade gifts. Granted it took about 3 years to get everyone on board but now it's "creative heaven"!!! One of my daughter's went WAY outside her comfort level and drove 4 hrs. away to take a class on making Shaker boxes then came home and made us each 2 for Christmas. Another daughter and her husband made concrete planters for everyone. We've had cactus planted in adorable glass bowls, gourmet food items, fabric boxes, leather key fobs, and on and on. Have a lot going on right now but thinking about fancy pillowcases for the girls this year.

  11. #36
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    DH's kids just decided we would not do any adult gifts this year, just for the kids. I am midway in making duffle bags for the three girls. sigh. Guess I will surprise a few of my friends with a nice new duffle, though we don't exchange gifts either. My main complaint isn't about gifts or no gifts, it's that the decision was made so late in the year -- to my mind, mid-October is way too late to make decisions re: Christmas. But DH and his family seem to think all decisions can be made at the last minute and it's no sweat. I should be used to this after 13 years, but grrrrr!
    "Accomplishment is a consequence of effort" -- Michael Crichton

  12. #37
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    gramma nancy, I would save those duffels for birthday presents!

  13. #38
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    We went to name drawing for the adults and give the grands small gifts. Then we have a custom from long ago they all loved. Someone reads "Night before Christmas," and pass the presents for that event around. On every "and" you pass the present--again. What you end up with on the last 'and' is what you keep. I think there are 23 'ands.' They love it--always have. Been doing that for 40 yrs. !! Mariah
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  14. #39
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    I really think it is up to you if you give your kids gifts for xmas. If your kids want to draw names then let them. When my kids were small Christmas was the only time during the year that we splurged on them, because the rest of the year gifts weren't as forth coming because of limited income. We would save all year just for that one wonderful day. We continue to do the same today, even though the kids are grown with their own little ones. We enjoy it so much because they still get excited over Christmas. We don't expect our kids to do the same but they do expect us to keep up the tradition, complete with stockings lol...
    Kitty

  15. #40
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    Our family has increased quite a bit - 17 kids, grandkids, wives, husbands, and now 3 great grandchildren. They all make more money than we do. We've always bought all the food and done all the cooking, plus cash gifts or gift cards for adults & teens and presents for the little ones. I am worn out due to a sick husband and would like to STOP - except for the little ones. Can't get anyone else to agree, though. And, we sure don't need any gifts.

  16. #41
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    1. Spend Christmas serving dinner to less fortunate.
    2. Donate money saved by not buying gifts and donate to above Christmas dinner.
    3. Contact local children's hospital and arrange to help pay for wheelchair for a child.
    4. Make donation in family members name to a local teacher for extra supplies.
    I can keep coming up with ideas all day. One year when I was in Texas, and all family was in the Pacific NW, my DD bought a gift card from Walmart, and had everyone take what they would have spent on gifts or greeting cards and put it on the card instead. Imagine my surprise when I opened the Christmas letter to find a gift card with enough on it to go buy an inexpensive sewing machine! I moved to Texas to care for my sister while she went through chemo, so I did not have a machine I could use since said sister's idea of sewing is to say "Kelly can you fix this?" Lol! If you need other ideas, just PM me.
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  17. #42
    Senior Member amelia0607's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your responses. I've been thinking about why I enjoy this so much and it is truly the joy of giving to my family. I just like to do that. Today, I took my granddaughter to get new shoes. She's only one so she really didn't care about getting new shoes but her mom has been so busy with work that I wanted to do this as a gift for her. She repaid me for the shoes. I enjoyed shopping with and spending time with my grandbaby and I get to give the gift of time with her daughter to my daughter. I have given season ski passes, horseback riding lessons, etc in the past. I try very hard to give them something they will truly enjoy. I tried for a few years to take them shopping and get them outfits - this way we could spend time together and they got presents that fit and were what they wanted but we stopped that when they started working - no time.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geri B View Post
    Gifts... . . ....my thinking there is if I have to tell you what to buy me...forget it....
    At one time I felt that way - but then I realized that if I don't know exactly what "they" might want - it would seem reasonable that "they" would not know exactly what I might want, either.

    It makes about as much sense for a giver to know exactly what I might want or need when they aren't around me much - as it does for a waiter/waitress to know what to bring me for a meal if I don't tell them what I want.

  19. #44
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    Personally, I think what you're already doing sounds doable and very nice.

    Yes, Christmas shopping is stressful for busy people....or even people who are not busy who don't know what to buy. But it's also possible that you have a -- forgive me -- controlling child. I have one, so I'm guessing from experience. Either way, you won't win if you don't go along, or at least compromise to the best of your ability. Maybe do it her way this year and go back to your way next year. These things aren't easy, I know. Good luck!

  20. #45
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    We don't ''do'' Christmas. No one gives presents to anyone. We just enjoy everyone's company and use the time to catch - up or have nice conversations with each other. We all pitch in with the making of the dinner as well. Some bring the drinks instead of providing the food. It works for us.

  21. #46
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    2years ago i suggested to my older sister, since our family has shrunken to 10 adults and 4 children, we should just give notice of donations made in their honor to worthy causes. we're all animal lovers so the usual organizations like petsmart, service dog project, the morris foundation, spca, etc. works for all of the adults. the children are young, the oldest is 8 and the youngest 8 months, so i send money for mom and dad to pick up a particular item or i make doll clothes, or doll quilts, and the occasional child quilt. there's no point in buying and sending toys that they can buy at the same store locally, so in that case i send money. to the unsettled or younger adults i may send money because that is what they need (or want) most. i do very little shopping. one son is a minimalist so he gets money, for travel or necessities. doesn't take long! usually only fabric shopping, then into mrs. claus' work shop to sew sew sew!
    The only bad days are the ones you don't get.

  22. #47
    Junior Member pdriggs's Avatar
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    When our grandchildren started driving we began getting a family plan AAA for our daughter and son. I think the adults have had to use it more than the kids. As long as the kids are at home, or in college we will keep them on the plan. We give gift cards to the grandkids ( 6 of them). They usually collect them from other relatives and go for a shopping spree for the after Christmas sales. I have been making quilted placemats, and my DD and DDIL both say they like to get them LOL! MOM is 95 and still lives alone in a very small house and does not want any more stuff. She likes the cheese baskets, so that is what we usually do. That is our Christmas giving. It is pretty practical and not very stressful. Except for the fact the my embroidery machine had to go for repair yesterday!
    Phyllis
    Phyllis Driggs

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    At one time I felt that way - but then I realized that if I don't know exactly what "they" might want - it would seem reasonable that "they" would not know exactly what I might want, either.

    It makes about as much sense for a giver to know exactly what I might want or need when they aren't around me much - as it does for a waiter/waitress to know what to bring me for a meal if I don't tell them what I want.
    Good point...never thought of it that way...except wait staff are total strangers, whereas this is family members whom I see, speak to, frequently......but I will remember your analogy.

  24. #49
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    Wow, three gifts from Grandparents? I usually got one big box from my father's mother and some small gift from my mother's mother (she didn't have much money) and all that stopped when we got older. I think the whole idea of buying a bunch of "stuff" just to have gifts under the tree is silly. What's the point? As someone else said, they probably have all the little stuff they need so why not just do the exchange and spend more time enjoying each others company?

    If you really feel you have to buy gifts, I like the idea of buying for poor children who won't get anything else that year. What a nice idea!
    Patrice S

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  25. #50
    Super Member Luv Quilts and Cats's Avatar
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    I would like to stop the giving to adults in my family and just enjoy the time together. We have all we need, and don't need any gadgets. And some of the things I would want are too costly for one person to pay. However, every year I get out voted because my brother will not go along with the no gifts/pick a name deal. There is only one grandchild in my family and she is now 25. She is my niece and I would buy for her forever because I love her so much and I get pleasure in giving her gifts. We have as a group toned down the spending which is a good thing. We used to make lists at Thanksgiving of what we would like to make shopping easier. Somehow that has stopped and had made shopping harder. I may suggest the list tradition return. We are a very small family, three generations with a total of 8 people, and 2 cats. Every year lately the pressure to buy gifts is too much and I end up hating the holidays.
    Luv Quilts and Cats
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