And so the holiday drama begins...

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2006
And so the holiday drama begins...
Thu, 10-11-2012 - 7:31pm
Growing up my grandparents (mom's side) always made a big deal (far too extravagant in my opinion) of Christmas. When my Grandmother passed away two years ago we all thought the tradition was over. Last year my grandfather said he didn't want to continue but my aunt (not even is daughter) called him a Scrooge to his face and in the name of peace he caved in. My mother was NOT happy. This year it looks like things are status quo. My mother told me my grandfather wants to do the extravaganza again. I'm thankful for his generosity but I really think he should be saving the money. He's 92 and most of his family lived to be about 100. He's going to need the money some day... In addition, since he's 92 we do the shopping, wrapping, etc. and he pays us back. This means we have to come up with an extra $450. We don't use credit cards, strictly debit and cash and are barely meeting expenses the way it is. In fact we owe people quite a bit of money. Where are we coming up with $450? It's not even like we have something we can dip in to and repay when he pays us back. If we buy a little at a time it won't be quite so bad but I'm afraid if we start now, something will change and we'll have spent this money we don't have. *sigh* Merry Christmas...
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 10-11-2012 - 8:04pm

Well actually no one can force you to do this--if grandpa asks you to go buy everybody gifts, you could just tell him what you said here, that at his age, everybody does not expect him to spend his money on buying gifts (except apparently the greedy aunt) and that as far as your family goes, you would be very happy not to get anything from him except visiting him on Christmas.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Thu, 10-11-2012 - 9:31pm
That's tough Ami, but I agree with musiclover, can you just tell him you and your family are perfectly happy with the sentiment and tradition behind Christmas, and therefore are bowing out of the gift giving part this year? Tell him the best present he can give your family is to save his money so that in his remaining years here he is comfortable and financially able to take care of himself. It's been one of one days here, and I am amazed at the greed of some people.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2006
Thu, 10-11-2012 - 10:23pm
In principle I totally agree with you. I hesitate for two reasons... 1) I don't want to offend I'm by turning down a gesture of generosity (and he will see it that way) 2) I really can't picture the family enjoying being together (including the extended members of the family, cousins, aunts, cousins kids, etc.) if my kids are watching the other 22 members of the family open gifts while they are empty handed. Sad, but true...
Avatar for turtleemom
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2007
Fri, 10-12-2012 - 12:51am

I would be honest and tell whoever is running this extravaganza that this year you can't afford it or tell him you need the $450 from him before you buy gifts.  It's odd to me that you know exactly how much gifts are going to cost, it sounds like an exchange of money rather than the giving of gifts.  Gifts are not suppose to be an obligation.  You can either speak up and try to change it or opt out of it or go along with it.  You need to choose what is right for you and your immediate family.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Fri, 10-12-2012 - 8:29am

I'm assuming everyone is buying 1 gift for everyone and then there's a zillion things to open on Christmas.  RIght?  I have to agree, I think that's just crazy. 

How about just drawing names?  That way he's still buying gifts, but it's only 22.  And then you're only buying as many gifts as you have in your family.  

We've done this on dh's side of the family now for a couple of years.  Once the nieces and nephews started getting married, giving gifts to everyone just got crazy.  Add to the fact that we NEVER see any of them and this just made sense. 

I still buy 1 gift for each of my nieces on my side of the family, and my mom.  But there's only 4 grandkids on mom's side total.  Kristen isn't getting married any time soon :smileyhappy:  If she ever does, I think I'll have my sister do the name-drawing thing.


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2006
Sun, 10-14-2012 - 10:57am
This time of year is always stressful when there is not enough money to keep up with the bills, heating expense is a big concern so Christmas, which should be a happy time, becomes a stressful time. This year we are trying to do an Old Fashioned Christmas with small gifts for everyone, socks, books, candy. It still is stressful to even think of coming up with 15 small gifts.