If you don’t have this family member, you know someone who does. They just keep having kids….6, 7, 12…..plus step kids. The step kids may not even be the same step kids from year to year. At least one person in the relationship makes really good money. All of those kids have more and get more than you do throughout the year. They live better than you do throughout the year. You’ve managed to financially survive that relative’s breeding habits through the multitude of birthdays during the year. You may have conveniently become a person who “just cannot remember dates”. Christmas is not a date that you can conveniently forget. There are lights, decorations, school programs, television programs, carolers, advertisements, and big signs everywhere. “I forgot”, is probably not going to work out well for you. Possibly, “I forgot you had 8 kids and not 6”, you can slide by on for one year. The next year the number maybe up to 12 and you can go with 8. It’s worth a shot. Give it a go. Let me know how that works out for you.
It’s Christmas, you’re single and broke, or married and broke with or without a couple of kids, and here is that one relative just killing you again. Year after year……
If that is your situation, here is what The Grinch has to say:
Gifts are gifts and freely given because we want to give them. They are not required regardless of someone else’s expectations. That other person’s expectations are their own and not yours.
Be honest. Tell that family member flat out that you cannot afford the number of children they have chosen to have. They’re well aware how much kids cost. They pay for them everyday. That was their choice not yours.
You can draw names for Christmas instead of buying everyone a gift.
You can buy only the kids gifts. That may not be a good choice if this family member has a revolving door of step kids each year. Most of those kids you will never see again in a year or two. Don’t stop buying for your own family members because of one person’s choices.
You can buy one gift for the family. It might actually be cheaper for you and a better gift. Give the little ones a little something to open.
Offer to take the kids someplace for the day or a weekend. Fishing, camping, skate parks, or an event of any kind are great ideas and build bonding time that is remembered. There is a lot of stuff you can do that won’t break the bank and is fun.
If none of these options are acceptable to your family, you might suggest a level of fairness. OK, I’ll buy the two of you and your 6 kids gifts, but I expect 8 gifts in return of equal value (or 20 gifts as the case maybe). Yep. That might get your point across. Then again, it may not.
Do not let someone else’s life choices wreck you and your immediate family financially because it’s Christmas.
Merry Christmas from The Grinch