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Extended Family & Gift Giving

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notsue 1
a2797281uu 1
Silverkitten 1
a3764574uu 1
toriT 2

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toriT --- 5 years ago -

I'm looking for ideas on gift giving for a growing extended family. Up until this Christmas we've only had siblings and parents (plus our kids) to get gifts for, and it was doable, though nothing fancy. But now all of our siblings are in serious relationships - either married or getting married, and some of those significant others brought children along with them. I LOVE that my brother and sister have found love, that my husbands brothers and father have found love, and that my cousinless kids suddenly have cousins super close in age, but our extended family count went from 7 to 17 in a year!
So, how do you handle gift giving to your extended family without breaking the bank or leaving anyone out? 

notsue --- 5 years ago -

Handmade gifts :)

When I was young I remember helping my mother make gift baskets and even gift coffee mugs for all of the various people we were collecting at the time. 

Silverkitten (Mod) --- 5 years ago -

Well I quit giving to those who didn't give back. Sounds harsh I know but we gave to five brothers three sister in laws and lots of little nephews and nieces along with our parents (and his step mom) and our four kids. Finally we said ENOUGH we can't do this any more. If their family had not given us a gift in the past two years we stopped sending. For teachers and things I go to the dollar store and pick up some nice coffee mugs and a package of 4 metal spoons. You dip the spoon in melted chocolate and put red and green candy sprinkles on it. Then fill the cup with a few bags of hot chocolate. Then cover the end of the spoon (once cooled) in some colorful plastic wrap and put it in the cup with the chocolate side of the spoon up. Tie a ribbon around the whole thing and *Ta-Da* it cost like $4 for the whole thing. I also got these cool jars that look like light bulbs at Hobby Lobby. The part you screw off looks like the metal part you screw in to the socket. At any rate I filled them with yellow candy and put a note on it that said "You have brighten my future." They loved that as a last day of school gift. 

toriT --- 5 years ago -

Thanks, I think we're going to try making hot chocolate on a stick and giving it in a mug with marshmallows and crushed peppermint! It's the only homemade thing I can think of that suits all ages and dietary restrictions involved. 

a2797281uu --- 5 years ago -

As someone whose husband comes from a ridiculously LARGE family, I can feel your pain. Hubby is one of NINE children. Hubby has 17 nieces and nephews. And then those 17 have 19 kids of their own. Add in our own 3 kids and you have 39 in nieces and nephews. That doesnt include hubby's siblings or his parents. We USUALLY do a secret santa gift exchange. All the kids names go in the basket and each parent draws out as many names as they have kids. IE we draw 3 names. However we have had some people flake off at the secret santa and not buy gifts which has resulted in kids have feelings hurt. So since we live far away (all our family is in Indiana and we are in KS) we mail gifts to the kids our children are closest to. Which is just 3 kids. And then to my inlaws and a card to each of the siblings.

As for teachers, they do alot in my opinion and I have always done a gift card for walmart $10 (yes I am cheap lol ) and then like a box of candy.
Last year we had four teachers plus we gave to the bus driver who was awesome.

We also gave boxes of candy to the teachers from the previous year and to the principal and secretary. As they spent alot of time with our one son who was in alot of trouble lol.

Homemade is nice, but not always practical. If you need a good idea for teachers, school supplies ALWAYS helps especially if they are younger children. And its relatively cheap. You can get a big box of school supplies from the dollar store for less than $10.

The other thing I would suggest if you go the homemade route is the fleece throws you have to tie the ends on. Its easy, relatively cheap and its practical. A car or home emergency kit is always good for adult siblings.

I coupon so I was able to do baskets last year for hubby's siblings with stuff like shampoo, lotion, cleaning supplies etc. 

a3764574uu --- 5 years ago -

I do not have any extended family, so I have never had this issue and I could not imagine. I budget $50 for each of my children, my hubby, and each set of grandparents (my side and his) and a set of Godparents. So I only spend $400 for Christmas gifts all the way around.

In the past I have gotten 700 thread count sheet sets on Black Friday for $20, done a Shutterfly photo book (they always have deals for free photo books, mugs, cards, shirts, etc), and I also have ordered from Harry and David the week after Christmas (they have many fruit, meat, cheese baskets 50-75% off then) and have them delivered in January. This is great for those who travel during the holiday because it arrives after they get home and can be a healthy alternative to candy. My kids are young enough hat they do not care about brands and I often buy good used toys from a thrift store or garage sale, clean them up, add fresh batteries, and place a bow on them under the tree. The best part is that I do not have to deal with the packaging on Christmas morning and they can play with the toy right away (no twist ties to undo, batteries to put in, etc). I also save some Halloween candy for stocking stuffers
Am I cheap, no just frugal and conscious of my money and I prefer to spend my money elsewhere rather than on holiday gifts for people who already have what they need and want.
Last year I gave $100 to the drive thru clerk at a fast food place and It paid for more than a dozen cars meals. I loved the reaction of people and making them happy. I give $10 McDonalds Arch gift cards to homeless people on the corner so they can go inside and have a warm meal and a few cups of coffee. I also randomly bought a persons entire careful of groceries. I did this with my kids present so they could see and feel how good it is to give rather than receive. My mother use to do this when I was a kid and It created good memories for me (rather than the toy I might have gotten) and it is a tradition I want to pass on. My mother still does it, but does a ton more now that she does not have kids anymore. This year we might change it up a bit, as I have a few ideas in mind, so who knows, but I can hardly wait!
If I have a family member complain to me about their gift (usually my mother in law) then I will make a donation for the $50 I would have spent on them to a charity (DAV, Heffer International, Smile Train, etc), believe me they will not complain for a few years!
In regards to teachers, my mother use to either make homemade almond roca and package it pretty or she would select beautiful apples, oranges, grapefruit, pears, pomogranates, polish them up, and place them in a nice basket filled with shredded paper and partially wrap the fruits in foil, tissue paper, or a small paper doily. It was a cheap gift with a big presentation and well liked. 

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