Family BondingHow to Stop Buying Gifts for Extended Family?


How to Stop Buying Gifts for Extended Family?

Gift-giving has become a customary practice in most cultures, especially during holidays and special occasions. Giving gifts is about investing in important relationships. Picking out a good gift is an art form, and it requires thoughtfulness and insight. The best gifts usually aren’t the most expensive or extravagant but the most well-thought-out.

Buying gifts for extended family members can be a great way to show your appreciation and love for them. However, it can also become a significant source of stress and financial burden, particularly if you have a large family. Not only is it time-consuming to shop for everyone, but it can also be expensive.

If you find yourself struggling to keep up with the demand for gifts, it may be time to reevaluate your gift-giving habits. This article provides practical tips on “how to stop buying gifts for extended family” members without causing offense hurting relationships or appearing inconsiderate.

16 Suggestions to Stop Buying Gifts for Extended Family

Buying gifts for extended family members is always stressful and time-consuming. If you want to get rid of this, here are some suggestions to stop buying gifts for extended family members.

1. Assess Your Finances

The first step to stopping buying gifts for extended family is to assess your financial situation. You need to determine how much money you have available for gifts and whether you can afford to continue buying gifts for everyone. Be honest with yourself and set a realistic budget for gifts that you can afford. If buying gifts for extended family members puts a strain on your finances, it may be time to consider cutting back or stopping altogether.

Assess your finances

2. Consider the Financial Impact

One of the first things to consider when thinking about stopping gift-giving for extended family members is the financial impact. Gift-giving can add up quickly, and it may be taking a toll on your budget. Take a look at your monthly expenses and see if gift-giving is putting a strain on your finances. If it is, it may be time to make some changes.

3. Set Boundaries

Once you have assessed your financial situation, you need to set boundaries with your extended family members. Communicate your decision with your family members and explain why you’ve made this choice. Explain to them that you are on a tight budget and that you cannot afford to buy gifts for everyone. Let them know that you are not trying to be rude or neglectful, but that you need to prioritize your finances. Tell them that you still care about them and want to maintain a positive relationship, but gift-giving is no longer something that you can afford or want to do. Setting boundaries can be difficult, but it is essential for your financial well-being.

Set boundaries

4. Talk to Your Family

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by gift-giving, it’s essential to communicate your concerns with your family members. Communication is key when it comes to stopping gift-giving. You may find that they feel the same way, and you can come up with a new gift-giving plan that works for everyone. Alternatively, they may not understand your position, and it may be challenging to change the family gift-giving culture. Encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings about gift-giving as well. Open communication can help you find a solution that works for everyone. Either way, having an open and honest conversation is the first step to finding a solution.

5. Stick To Your Plan

Once you have set your boundaries and communicated your intentions, it is important to stick to your plan. It can be tempting to buy gifts for everyone, especially if you see other family members doing so. However, remember that you have set a budget and made a decision that is best for your financial situation. Stick to your plan and resist the urge to overspend.

Stick to your plan

6. Suggest Alternative Gift-Giving Ideas

If you feel uncomfortable with the idea of completely stopping gift-giving, you can suggest alternative gift-giving ideas. For example, you can suggest doing a Secret Santa or White Elephant gift exchange, where everyone picks a name out of a hat and buys a gift for that one person. Alternatively, you can suggest doing a potluck dinner or a family activity instead of exchanging gifts. Again, you could suggest doing a homemade gift exchange, where everyone makes something instead of buying gifts. These ideas can help keep the spirit of gift-giving alive while reducing the financial burden.

7. Set Gift Limits

If you still want to exchange gifts with your family members, consider setting gift limits. Set a price limit for each gift or a limit on the number of gifts exchanged. This way, everyone can still participate in the tradition without breaking the bank.

Set gift limits

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8. Focus on Experiences

If you want to continue to give gifts but are looking for a way to make them more manageable, consider focusing on experiences rather than physical gifts. For example, you could offer to take a family member out for dinner or plan a fun outing, such as a trip to a museum or a hiking trail. These experiences can create lasting memories and are often more valuable than physical gifts.

9. Create A Budget

If you decide to continue buying gifts for your extended family, it’s essential to create a budget. Determine how much you can realistically afford to spend on gifts and stick to that budget. This can help reduce the financial stress of gift-giving and ensure that you’re not overspending.

Create a budget

10. Shop Smart

When it comes to gift-giving, shopping smart can help you save money. Look for deals and discounts, and consider shopping online to compare prices. If you’re buying gifts in bulk, such as for a Secret Santa exchange, consider buying items in bulk to save money.

11. Draw Names

an event such as Christmas dinner where your extended family attends and gifts are exchanged, it’s best to suggest everyone draw names. Suggest drawing names at Thanksgiving and limiting the gift to a set amount for everyone. This way you are only buying one gift and since everyone is doing the same, you will not feel guilty. This is a great new tradition to cut down on your budget.

Draw names

12. Be Creative with Homemade Gifts

If you enjoy making things, consider making homemade gifts for your extended family members. Homemade gifts can be more thoughtful and personal than store-bought gifts, and they are often more affordable. You can make things like candles, baked goods, knitted items, or artwork. Homemade gifts require time and effort, but they can be a great way to show your love and appreciation for your family members without breaking the bank.

13. Make A Group Contribution

Another way to cut down on expenses is to make a group contribution. Instead of buying individual gifts, consider pooling your money together and buying one larger gift for the family to enjoy. Board games, fruit, and assorted candies are always great to give to all ages. This can be a fun way to involve everyone and still give a meaningful gift.

Make a group contribution

14. Focus on the True Meaning of Holidays

Remember, the true meaning of holidays and special occasions is not about gifts. It’s about spending quality time with loved ones and creating lasting memories. Shift your focus away from gift-giving and instead, focus on the time spent together.

15. Remember The Reason For Gift-Giving

Finally, it’s essential to remember the reason for gift-giving. Gift-giving is a way to show love and appreciation for those we care about. However, it’s important to remember that gifts aren’t the only way to show someone that you care.

Remember the reason for gift giving

16. Focus on Spending Quality Time

Another way to stop buying gifts for extended family members is to focus on spending quality time with them. Instead of buying gifts, plan a fun activity, such as going to a park or a museum, having a game night, or going out for a meal. Spending quality time with your family members can be much more valuable than buying them gifts.

Is Giving Gifts Important in Families?

The importance of giving gifts in families varies from culture to culture and family to family. In some families, gift-giving is a major part of their traditions and serves as a way to show love and appreciation. In other families, it may not be as significant or necessary. While there is no universal rule that says gift-giving is essential, it can be a great way to strengthen family bonds and create positive memories.

However, it’s important to remember that gift-giving should not be a burden or source of stress. If the act of buying and giving gifts to extended family members is causing financial strain or anxiety, it may be time to re-evaluate the tradition. Communication is key in these situations. Talk to your family members and come up with a plan that works for everyone, whether it means setting a price limit, doing a gift exchange, or simply focusing on spending quality time together. The most important thing is to prioritize your own well-being and the well-being of your family.


1. What is the psychology behind gift-giving?

It is social it also activates pathways in the brain that release oxytocin, which is a neuropeptide that signals trust, safety, and connection.

2. Is it okay to get rid of gifts?

It’s okay to toss the stuff if it’s not adding value to your life: donate it, sell it, recycle it. Let go of it so you can focus on what’s important in your life. Most people won’t even notice, especially the people who care about you.

3. Do people prefer gifts or money?

In general, the survey found that 38 percent preferred gifts in cash; 32 percent, in kind; 22 percent said it didn’t matter; and 8 percent were undecided.

4. Is it okay to get rid of gifts?

It’s okay to toss the stuff if it’s not adding value to your life: donate it, sell it, recycle it. Let go of it so you can focus on what’s important in your life. Most people won’t even notice, especially the people who care about you.

Final Words

Buying gifts for extended family members can be challenging, especially when it puts a strain on your finances. Stopping gift-giving for extended family members can be a difficult decision, but it is essential for your financial well-being.

However, there are ways to cut back or stop altogether without offending or appearing inconsiderate. Assess your financial situation, set boundaries, suggest alternative gift-giving ideas, be creative with homemade gifts, focus on spending quality time, communicate openly, and stick to your plan. Remember that stopping gift-giving does not mean that you love your family members any less. Instead, it is a way to prioritize your finances and show your love in other ways.

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Maria W. Corley is a family psychology expert dedicated to helping families thrive. With a passion for improving relationships, Maria shares practical advice on Merge Family. Her goal is to make your family feel closer than ever by addressing communication issues and fostering understanding.

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