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18 Answers

My sisters-in-law keep giving my husband and I Christmas presents, so each year we reciprocate even though we’d love to stop the exchange of gifts between adults. We’ve mentioned this to them a number of times, but they keep giving us presents. We usually end up with a cupboard full of stuff we don’t want and end up donating it. We always give them vouchers so they can get what they want. If we don’t reciprocate, we’ll feel bad. Do we just keep exchanging gifts even though we don’t want to?


Posted by mom160421, 25th November 2015


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  • I’d just get small gifts for them.


  • I think if you’ve made your feelings clear, you have every right to stop buying them presents. Maybe they’ll get the hint after a present free Xmas or three


  • It is your choice,don’t do anything you don’t want to do!


  • I would say very sorry but we really can’t afford it this year or do some kind of secret Santa?


  • Just say to them look this year we are only buying pressies for your children and leave it at that . If they still buy something for you and your accept it graciously and know that you did specify that you both did not want gifts.


  • Thanks everyone. The Secret Santa is a good idea, but unfortunately my husband’s family are pretty stuck in their ways and always think their way is best. I’ve never been very welcome in their family probably because I don’t follow their rules, so I think I’ll just let this one slide – it’s not worth the hassle.


  • I think a token gift is always nice whether it is something wanted or not. maybe start giving them little presents they’d never use and they might soon get the hint when they have a cupboard full of unwanted stuff!


  • We suggested secret santa to both families for the adults – saves any confusion about extra prezzies and such and means you don’t have the same person getting you those junk prezzies :)


  • Sort of have the same problem here. A couple of years when my son was made a member of his partner’s family we received a Christmas Hamper when my son came back up to the town we live in. So have been buying them something each year as a family gift. I think the gift is mainly for me as it does not change the tag now i am living with my other sons. So yes maybe give them a gift and if you do not like doing it keep an eye out for bargains so less money is spent and no value can be attached. As some had said it is once a year but have a talk and see if something can be done about it.


  • How about Secret Santa that way it is only I person you have to buy for and it is less of a problem usually everyone ends up with a decent present and all the stress and money hassle has gone out of the MERRY CHRISTMAS season and you can all enjoy


  • We sat down as a family and had an open discussion about gifts and it was decided we would give to the children only. Maybe if it was an open forum like that, where they didn’t feel singled out, they may listen/give input? Communication is key!! Good luck! :)


  • Try not to worry, your husband buys the voucher every year and that leaves you to shop for lovely things for your family. :)


  • Why give them vouchers? Maybe they will get the hint better if you buy them stuff too. I usually buy couples something useful. Like an electric salt and pepper shaker or a pantry organiser. Etc


  • If it were up to me I’d stop buying them gifts, but because it’s my husband’s sisters, he keeps buying them the vouchers. As MoM165801 has said, it is only a once a year problem, so I’ll just put up with it.


  • You gave already explained yourselves to your sister in laws, they only give presents you don’t want, yet you get them vouchers that they use. I would just stop buying the presents. I used to buy fir my sister in law and she never bought us anything, so we stopped


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