Long term readers may remember how SIL, upon being diagnosed with twins (children #3 and #4) this summer, suggested that instead of everybody giving gifts to everybody as that is DH’s family’s love language, that instead we draw names from a bag and only give to the person whose name we had drawn.
It is not yet Thanksgiving and we have all four of us already received Christmas gifts from MIL. (Also from SIL, but only for DC2, whose name she drew. The kids’ gifts are sitting in boxes in my closet waiting for after Thanksgiving to be put in gift bags. Except Children of Virtue and Vengeance because DC1 has it on hold from the library and there’s a long line after hir so…) I *think* it’s less money than she usually spends (~$30/person instead of $80-$100+… not that I keep track), but also… it’s not yet Thanksgiving. We often think she’s done with holiday purchases and end up being wrong. This may just be the “off our wishlists” portion. Or it may be all. (Except DC1 will probably get something for hir birthday.)
DH also just bought a (bread baking) book for his brother’s wife but was like, this is not a Christmas gift, do not retaliate (brother was all, no worries, this is not a big deal, but I’m sure his wife is happy to have expectations made explicit), and also wants to buy his brother a cheap video game that they can play together with the other relative they’re friends with.
And should we renew the Braille subscription for DH’s brother’s blind daughter?
Should we also ignore the name drawing thing and send gifts back to MIL and FIL? Just have the kids send (homemade crafty) gifts to MIL? Send something smaller than usual? Stick rigidly to the name drawing thing? Not worry about it because the in-laws have savings and nice pensions and I still make a lot of money so whatever we do is fine?
What would you do? Any stories of what happens when these kinds of rules break down?