Every year I talk about how DH’s family has gift giving as their love language and how DH agonizes over what to get and I make lists of what we’ve gotten people and worry or don’t worry about the expense for the other families in question.
DH’s sister has twins due in November. This will bring the number of grandkids up to 8 and will double the number of her kids. She has requested that instead of the regular gift giving we’ve done in the past where everybody gets everyone something that we just pick names out of a hat and each person gives one thing. (Which I think is silly– I’d rather not do gift-giving at all than to have a random element with higher stakes, but again it’s not my family.) I think the idea is that everyone still gets something to open at Grandma’s house. Though we always just have presents direct-shipped to people’s houses since we have been flying instead of driving recently.
But this year it sounds like we will not be having Christmas at Grandma’s house. With 8 grandkids, that’s too many. DH’s siblings live about an hour away from each other and in a more populated part of the state whereas his parents and other relatives all live in the more rural part of the state 5 or so hours away (assuming you don’t get stuck behind a tractor). DH’s mom is planning on renting an apartment near his sister so she can be on hand to help out with the twins and she thinks we should rent a house either near DH’s sister or his brother. And we should do it after Christmas instead of on Christmas. (Which will make my sister happy because this past year my parents didn’t end up visiting at the last minute and she spent Christmas with friends instead of family and she has been complaining about it ever since.)
It will be kind of nice to have Christmas at home again. We haven’t done that since my sister bought a house in the City, which was before DC2 was born. We’ll get to have a rosemary tree and get out the ornaments (instead of the felt tree we put up) and actually put things in the kids’ stockings here and we can not have ham (though I will miss BIL’s birthday lasagna).
Now, DH and I kind of think it’s pretty likely we won’t be going to visit this winter at all because the virus will still not be under control and it will be too dangerous, especially with his sister being post-partum, but that’s months from now. With all those United miles we can afford to put off this decision for a while.
I suspect DH will still give presents to his brother because he tends to buy electronic games that he and his brother and other relative can play during their weekly online gaming sessions. But that can be our secret.
Has gift giving with your extended family changed as it has grown (or shrunk)?