The riddle of who to buy gifts for on Christmas

Side note: When I left for work this morning, Turner had not woken up for the day yet. Probably because around 5 a.m. this morning he decided to have a little party in his crib, but to leave for the day and not see him, heart breaking. I always at least get a few kisses, but this morning had to settle for a smooch on his head. I am sure this will happen more and more as he gets used to our new schedules, but I don’t like it one bit. So I have decided, I am probably only going to work a half day because there is no way I can go until 5:30 p.m. without seeing him. No way.

So, I need some advice (like always). What is the gift giving etiquette for Christmas when you have children? So far, there are several people who have gotten Turner Christmas presents, not me and Andrew,Turner. Do I give these people gifts? I know it is just for Turner and in the past they haven’t ever gotten Andrew or I gifts, but with this being the first Christmas with a baby, its different. I just don’t know what protocol is.

If it were up to me I would give everyone a present. I love giving gifts. I love being the reason someone smiles. Andrew thinks its weird and that I make people feel awkward if I give them gifts without getting one in return because it makes them feel bad for not getting me one.

For example, my best friend for the last 20 years (since we are about 5 or 6) came to visit from New York this weekend. It was her first time visiting Turner and with it being the holidays, she got him tons of awesome gifts that he just loved. While she and I do care packages for birthdays on occasion, we don’t really exchange Christmas gifts. But going to her family’s house on Sunday empty handed, knowing that she had gifts for Turner, made me feel awful. I feel like I should have gotten her something. But if I got her something, then she would feel obligated to get me something and the cycle never ends. I don’t feel obligated to give anyone a gift. Like I said earlier, I love giving gifts and would and actually do, get gifts for strangers if I think they need or appreciate them. But I just cannot get a grip on the protocol for this type of thing. (This is a prime example of what Andrew calls me thinking too much)


Like we do every year, we will be going to have Christmas with Andrew’s stepfamily. They are amazing people and I absolutely love all of them. While we plan to get gifts for Andrew’s grandparents and great grandparents, there is a shady area on the rest of the family. If it was up to me, I would get his aunts and cousins gifts as well. Andrew said he has never gotten them gifts and doesn’t think he should. Well this year is a bit different because his Aunt had an adorable baby girl this year. So naturally, I want to get the baby a gift. Andrew liked the idea, so we did. But the problem we have now is, Andrew’s aunt has an older son, a teenager, and I do not know if we get him a gift. Andrew said he hasn’t ever gotten the teenager a gift and doesn’t know what to get him. I think its courtesy, plus, I like buying gifts. I cannot predict if Andrew’s aunt will get us a gift or if she will get Turner a gift, but I know her parents will, so its the polite thing to do, right? (If Andrew’s family is reading this, that may make things a bit awkward, and just pretend like you haven’t seen it, and if you were not planning on getting a gift, don’t feel obligated either)

It is all rather confusing. Turner’s God parents gave Turner a precious gift at church on Sunday. While I already have a gift for them, not just because they are Turner’s God parents, but they are also my pastor and his wife and Ruby’s (my sister) in-laws. Generally I wouldn’t have gotten them a gift, but I came across something at the store that I thought fit them just right so I got it. If that hadn’t been the case, since they got Turner a gift, does etiquette call for me to get them one in return?


If anyone would like to solve this riddle for me, feel free because I am stumped!



5 thoughts on “The riddle of who to buy gifts for on Christmas

  1. My 2 cents worth (lol) I think people love to buy for kids especially their 1st Christmas. I don’t think when an adult gets a child a present that you have to get the adult one too. I have always bought for all kids at a Christmas gathering so that no one feels left out no matter their age. When in doubt I do a gift card or cash as all big kids like that 🙂 I am like you, love to “give” so I have found myself in the same dilemma time and time again. No matter what, its the thought that counts !

  2. My 2 cents: We have a huge family. The rule is once you have kids, the kids get the gifts and you get none. Problem: No one in my family follows this rule! So, with the twins, we gave gifts from them. When they were little it was a handprint on cardstock, then we graduated to “portraits”, then kindergarten written names in little frames. Now we do things like hot chocolate mix in little ornaments. I buy decent gifts for the little cousins but everyone else gets a handmade gift straight from Jon & Zack.

  3. Pingback: The eggs have left the turner | Entropy Acres

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