Giving Christmas Gifts to Adult Nieces and Nephews?

October 30, 2009

Christmas GiftsAt what point is it reasonable to stop giving Christmas gifts to adult nephews and nieces? When they marry? Have children of their own? Turn 25?


By Catherine from outside Boston, MA


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October 30, 20090 found this helpful

In my family we gave gifts till the kids were 21.


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October 30, 20090 found this helpful

I think it depends on how close you are to them and whether they always give you a gift. In my family, we would have large family Christmas parties where we would exchange names. The kids would get presents and the adults would each give one present to another adult. Later this was turned into more of a white elephant gift exchange but I liked the personal gifts best.


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October 30, 20090 found this helpful

I agree. After they get grown, it's time to stop giving gifts. Just say there's too many. We cannot afford all these gifts, good luck.

October 30, 20090 found this helpful

I think it depends on your relationship with each one. I'm 36, and I still send gifts to one of my aunts and one of my cousins (and his wife). I have plenty of other cousins, but don't send gifts (I send cards to only a few).


If you truly want to wish them happy holidays, but for whatever reason don't want to give them gifts, maybe you could just send them cards with a recent photo. A note can mean so much more than a token gift.


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November 4, 20090 found this helpful

I think when they finish school- about 18 or 22 for college.

November 4, 20090 found this helpful

I stopped when I figured they were old enough to be giving gifts in return. In the working world, out of college--on their own.


I didn't want them to have the expense of gifting us, so stopped gifting them.

November 4, 20090 found this helpful

With my nephews I stopped when they got in late teens probably and they understood. I don't expect a gift from them either, that is for their immediate family I feel. I give to my parents, my brother, and sister, but not to any of the grown nephews/nieces. I do, however, spend a day making candy or some kind of edible treats and I give them all a baggie of treats just as something little to say I love them. Its not much, but they seem to be satisfied and I feel it is sufficient. Hope this helps.

November 4, 20090 found this helpful

Hi, I stopped giving when they stopped saying thank you.

November 4, 20090 found this helpful

I stopped giving actual gifts to my (foster) nieces and nephews when they turned 13 after that it was money or gift cards until they were 16 then after that just cards.

November 4, 20090 found this helpful

I never stop giving ever, a merry heart warms the love. Showing love shows the light of God. Just remember do unto others as you'd like them to do to you. Then go from there.

November 4, 20090 found this helpful

Like OliveOyl, we stopped at 21.

November 4, 20090 found this helpful

I'm glad that you asked this question. I was wondering the same thing myself. I've used the age 18 as the last birthday to send a gift. Seems to work out okay. No complaints.


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November 4, 20090 found this helpful

Our family decided on 21.

November 4, 20090 found this helpful

Well, a favorite Aunt of mine, now deceased, told me she stopped giving to nieces and nephews when they turned 21. Sure enough on my 21st birthday she gave me a beautiful gold and black powder compact featuring a horse, but nothing after that.


I think go with your heart. Can you afford to keep on doing it? Do you want to keep on doing it? Think about it, then make your decision.


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November 5, 20090 found this helpful

There really isn't a rule about it. Just do what your heart or your head tells you to. We were childless for many years and then adopted 2 beautiful toddlers as older parents. We'd given and given to so many nieces and nephews on both sides and then decided they were all old enough we shouldn't do anymore. I stopped with birthday gifts when they each turned 18. It's funny that no one has seen fit to give to our kids the way we did to theirs but really it doesn't matter.


I'm so happy to have kids to buy for and now just focus on them.

Do you feel pressure to keep giving to nieces/nephews? Really you shouldn't and it should be something you want to do, rather than feel it is expected. Do they do anything in return. At least write a thank-you or email or give you a call to show their appreciation. That's part of it as well because I know I got angry when I didn't even have my cards with money acknowledged!

November 5, 20090 found this helpful

Thanks for all the replies to my question - all were good points. For clarity I probably should have said that my husband and I are in our 60s - he's retired and I'm praying not to be laid off for another couple of years.


My sisters and bothers are younger, have no need to reciprocate (we are childless) and most of them have not taught their children (ages 14 - 33) to say thanks - even when they open the gifts in my presence. I think I'm done gifting, except for the ones who manage to acknowledge the gift in some form or other.

November 10, 20090 found this helpful

We have solved the issue by holding a group online white elephant party. Because we live all over the country, we use the internet and eCommerce to have a party and share gifts. We talk about our party all year and it saves us all on travel and the volume of gifts. Last year we shared over 800 comments, videos and images during our online gift swap. It has become the highlight of the holidays for our family.


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November 27, 20090 found this helpful

I have told my grandchildren that range in age from 13 to 23, that when they get so involved with a significant other that the person will be spending holidays with us, that that particular grandchild and the significant other won't be getting gifts. My soon to be 18 year old grandaughter is talking about moving in with a boyfriend when she turns 18, and I reminded her of that fact.

She is still immature enough that she likes presents. I guess it could be called blackmail, and we will see if it works. I have also told her 18 is awfully young to be making that decision. My sisters and I exchange small gifts, but we have never given to neices and nephews.

October 25, 20130 found this helpful

I just want to say, as an adult niece... I actually felt hurt when I stopped receiving birthday or Christmas gifts/cards from my relatives. It's not because I expected it, it was just abrupt and I went from having one interaction to look forward to with the family to nothing.

I always wrote thank you notes and personally (face to face or over the phone) said thank you. I even tried to either make or buy something special for my relatives. But like I said, we usually only saw or heard from each other once maybe twice a year so it was a hard blow.


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December 2, 20160 found this helpful

I think when children become adults that the most important thing is having a relationship with your niece or nephew and the fellowship that you have at holiday times and other times if it's just a brief meeting during the course of the year. That is a Priceless gift that we can only give from our hearts. Material things go away but the gift of love compassion and being with someone and laughing with them crying with them listening to them having fun is a treasure

December 8, 20230 found this helpful

I understand and thank you

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