How to Stop Buying Gifts for Extended Family

The holidays are right around the corner, promising to be even more expensive than ever before. With the economy in such disarray, you may be wondering how you’ll ever afford gifts your immediate family much less extended family.

💸 Anything but Jolly Holiday Gift Buying Stats

Although the holidays are supposed to be full of cheer, that’s not always the case. The facts prove that affording gifts is becoming more and more difficult each year.

😬 The Stress Can’t be Stressed Enough

90% of women say they have experienced financial stress and 83% of men say they have as well. Buying presents can be stressful even without the financial aspect, but when it’s added in, matters are made even worse

A recent study about holiday stress revealed that 65 percent of gen Xers reported feeling stressed during the holidays. Sixty-two percent of baby boomers and sixty-one percent of millennials stated they too feel stress. The consensus amount the groups was that gift giving compounded the stress. Depression was also commonly reported.

One solution for decreasing emotional and financial stress during the holidays is to trim off some gift-giving. A sensible place to start is extended family since there are usually a good many of them and it is not unusual to only see them at Christmas or Hanukkah anyway.

large group of people standing

✌️ Suggestions on How to Bow Out Gracefully

When it comes to marking extended family off your gift list, you certainly have the option just not to present them with a gift. But if you want to be more upfront, here are some excellent ways to handle it:

  1. Be honest. It’s no secret that the majority of all individuals and families are financially strapped these days which makes it the perfect time to let extended family know you won’t be able to afford a gift for them this year.
  2. Draw names. If your extended family attends an event such as Christmas dinner where gifts are exchanged, why not suggest everyone draw names? That way, you’d just be buying a single gift.
  3. Family gifts. Another idea is if you are buying for all the individuals within an extended family, that you transition to buying only one gift that’s for the entire family. Board games, fruit, and assorted candies are always great to give to all ages.
  4. Holiday cards. Let your season greeting cards be your gift. With the money you’ll be saving, you can make the cards extra special. You can even include photos of yourself, your family, or your pets and maybe even a sentimental token such as a bookmarker or keychain.
  5. Family basket. If you don’t want to completely discontinue giving to your extended families, you can put together inexpensive baskets. Homemade goodies like cookies and candies serve as a family gift or you can do bargain spa items for a theme or a “winter warm up” ensemble featuring knit gloves, fuzzy socks, slippers, and maybe even a throw blanket – all of which can be found at dollar or discount stores.
  6. Charity. A very caring way to eliminate extended family gifts is to suggest a charitable donation be made in the names of all who you won’t be giving to. You’ll be able to donate an amount that suits your budget and will feel good about your generosity. You can present the extended family members with a token that shows the non-profit organization you gifted. Don’t feel obligated to disclose the amount, however.

Wrapping it Up

It may not be easy or even comfortable to break the news to your extended family that you are going to step back from gifting them. Remember, you are only responsible for your actions and reactions, not theirs. Taking charge of your finance and stress level is up to you so don’t back out or back down.

You may be surprised to learn how many may share the same feelings and since you aren’t going to be giving to them, be sure to mention for them not to give to you.

The most important action you can take when you stop gifting extended family is to replace it with things from the heart like making time spent together more memorable. After all, time is one of the most precious of all gifts.

Keep you priorities in focus and this year, determine to have the best, no-stress holiday season ever.

Cheryl Jerabek
Cheryl Jerabek
Cheryl is a professional writer that has been writing ever since she could hold a crayon. She has authored over 200 fiction and non-fiction books for teens and adults (both credited and ghost-written) on a wide range of subjects. Cheryl also writes blogs and articles on various topics and themes. Residing in a small mountain community in Southwest Colorado, Cheryl draws her inspiration from the gorgeous scenery, her 2 adult children, and 3 grandchildren. She enjoys traveling, party and event planning, and hanging out with family and friends. “I write so you don’t have to,” is Cheryl’s motto.

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