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Xmas gifts for nieces and nephews

Posted: Sat Nov 20, 2021 5:19 pm
by thrifty++
What approach do people follow for Christmas gifts for nieces and nephews.

All of mine live very far away so I never see them and wont be seeing them at Christmas. I have spent about $115 on my sisters three kids who are 5,6 and 9. Now I am tossing up as to whether to get something for my brothers kids who are 15 and 18. I am thinking twice about these ones since they are getting a bit older. I would probably need to spend at least $120 to get and deliver them something decent each.

What age do people stop sending gifts to nieces and nephews? I actually cant remember uncles and aunts giving me any gifts as a kid except for on one occasion when I was 10 years old. Definitely none when I was older than that.

Also if you never see them because they live far away and also dont see them at Christmas do you still send gifts?

Any hacks around giving good gifts at a cheaper price?

God I feel like such an ebeneezer scrooge to be thinking this. But, because I apply such an extreme tight budget to myself I also end up scrutinising frivolous/obligation gift giving as well.

Re: Xmas gifts for nieces and nephews

Posted: Sat Nov 20, 2021 5:24 pm
by unemployable
Do you know what sports teams or movie or TV franchises they're in to? You can always get them clothing or Funko pops or something similar and keep it around $20 per person. Spare me the talk about consumerism and Wheaton levels here; it's xmas.

Re: Xmas gifts for nieces and nephews

Posted: Sat Nov 20, 2021 5:37 pm
by theanimal
Sounds like they aren't in NZ. If that's the case, are there any unique to NZ candies/sweets/foods that they'd enjoy? I like gifting consumables because in most cases you know that they will actually be used. Living in a unique place makes it easier to gift things that they might not be accustomed to.

Re: Xmas gifts for nieces and nephews

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2021 12:53 am
by fiby41
For your nieces/nephews to like you, you should be present when the gifts are presented for them to associate the good feelings with your presence.

You can load a pendrive with animated children's movies and send that instead. If you do this, make sure to personalize it by creating different folders named after each of them and putting those movies you think they'd like.

Re: Xmas gifts for nieces and nephews

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2021 9:34 am
by Jiimmy
I see my nephews often. They’ve been receiving cash from me since they were babies, for Christmas and birthdays. They love it, I do too, since they can choose to save or spend it however they want, and I don’t have think up something unique each time.

Of my seven aunts and uncles, one gave regular birthday gifts (cash) to all his nieces and nephews. $1 on your first birthday, $2 on your second, and so on, for decades. I don’t think he will ever stop.

Re: Xmas gifts for nieces and nephews

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2021 11:51 am
by mountainFrugal
Age appropriate board games is my go to for gifts. The number of fun board games for adults and children/teens is growing by the day. It could give you something to do with them if you visit. 15-18 age - Ticket to Ride or Settlers of Catan both come to mind as widely available ones that are $25-35 usd.

Re: Xmas gifts for nieces and nephews

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:39 pm
by jacob
I don't think this can be set in stone. I try to establish non-aggression pacts with anyone who is old enough to have a real job. I figure at that point if they want anything they already bought it. I read something to the effect that the value of a gift to the receiver is 80% of what you paid for it. Rationally speaking "commercial christmas" seems rather dumb as far as adults are concerned. Of course there are a few exceptions who looooove shopping and unwrapping. Very few. Also associating a gift with the giver backfires more often than not. E.g. needing to display the ugly lamp from Aunt Oda when she comes visiting, or seeing your gifts resold 95% off at a yard sale 6 months later. Also

As for those who live far away, it depends on whether they (likely by proxy of their parents) are making an effort as well. Sending gifts into a black hole, never hearing anything back, gets old after a while.

As for those children who are actually at the party I'd say it's not a question of cost but rather knowing what they're into. They're not really capable of understanding the good intentions of the giver yet thinking mostly about themselves. Interestingly my most memorable gifts were those I didn't like :-P Hmmm... Unlike people with actual jobs this may be one of the few ways for children to get something they want as opposed to just something they need and they may have been counting down to this for months.

Re: Xmas gifts for nieces and nephews

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:45 pm
by bostonimproper
I think once a kid is around nine or ten, they have a pretty good understanding of what they like and want, so I’d default to cash for two teenagers.

Re: Xmas gifts for nieces and nephews

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2021 4:19 pm
by chenda
My advice ? Books. Think of the stuff you like reading when you were their age and buy the same. Don't forget to sign and date them as well (though if your sending directly from online I suppose you can't) I bought my niece a edition of Allsops fables last year for example. Obviously when their older personal finance should be encouraged. If anyone knows a childrens story teaching about compound interest do share.

Of course its likely most of these books will disappear into a black hole, but a few might strike a cord and have a positive impact on the child.

Re: Xmas gifts for nieces and nephews

Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:48 pm
by Western Red Cedar
A couple years ago I switched to giving nephews and nieces cash or checks for Christmas and birthdays. I typically would give a physical gift until they were 7 or 8. Giving money has made the holidays much simpler and I think it can teach them some valuable skills about money and savings.

DW and I also told our siblings that we weren't giving gifts to adults anymore, but would still be giving gifts to their kids. We asked that they not give us gifts as well because we are trying to simplify our lives and limit our carbon footprint. If they felt strongly about giving us something, we said they could make a donation to their local food bank in our name, or to a charity of their choice. If they weren't comfortable with that, they could give us a gift card to a local restaurant. This was really well-received, but we are blessed with like-minded family members when it comes to consumption.

One other thought is to ask parents if they would even like you to send gifts. A couple of my siblings and in-laws have mentioned casually how they really dislike all of the plastic gifts and the overflow of toys their kids have. Their kids usually have plenty on Christmas and birthdays from generous grandparents or other relatives, so they've let us know that they really don't care about giving gifts to their kids. If we are feeling generous, we'll maybe buy a family pass to the local zoo, aquarium, or science center that they can use as a family.

Re: Xmas gifts for nieces and nephews

Posted: Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:57 am
by 7Wannabe5
Maybe write and illustrate a picture book or graphic novel telling the story of something terrible their parent/your sibling did as a kid.

One of my single sisters once sent a nephew a “pet” bullfrog from a laboratory supply company as a gift. Two decades later, still a funny story.