Two weeks ago, we spoke to our two siblings (one for me, one for Stacie) and made the agreement that we wouldn’t exchange gifts this year so that we could focus more on the kids, parents and grandparents. With Stacie’s sister, we both suggested the idea together, but with mine, I had to suggest the idea and she accepted tentatively.
Obviously there are arguments for exchanging gifts with anyone, friend, family or stranger, but this year we wanted to try something new. We would be on the “losing end” as we don’t have kids, while our sisters’ kids would get more gifts than normal (we raised their budgets). We’re not doing it to be stingy; rather, it’s a way to reduce stress and focus on the people who are very deserving (parents/grandparents) or really get into the holiday (kids).
So how did it go?
Well, we haven’t hit Christmas yet, but I was just informed this morning by my mom that my sister broke the agreement and bought me something. I don’t want to look bad or stingy, so I had to go buy her something as well. That’s basically the reason why I verbally asked for an agreement, so we don’t feel obligated to buy. On Stacie’s side, we haven’t heard anything, and we think he sister and brother-in-law will stick to the agreement.
Again, we’re not trying this out to be cheap. We have enough money to spare for the season, but I’m not really into getting gifts, and we know that our sisters have limited time and funds with their existing or new families this season. You could say we did it for them, not for us.
For next year, we’re going to try out a Secret Santa type exchange format, at least with one family. I’m not sure either family will take to the idea as they’re both pretty traditional, but we’ll see. But maybe this year we’ll get it in writing!