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Group Gifts...What do you think?

December 5th, 2014 at 05:55 am

I'm not really a fan of group gifts. My husband has six siblings and they have often gone in together for a large gift for their mom. It is nearly always something she wants, or someone says she wants. I've seen her reaction and she does always seem pleased.

Part of the problem is that some of the siblings can't afford to pay their share of the gift, or even participate. So the group gift becomes a smaller group and a larger burden financially. That has resulted in us opting out of this plan for many years, it seemed to put an end to it for awhile.

This year the group gift has come up again. I think we are actually going to participate. My mother in law wants, according to my husband, a glorified space heater. It's actually a media console for under her flat screen tv that looks like a fireplace mantel and will actually electrically heat up. It's about $250 at Walmart. Our share is likely to be at least $50, maybe more depending on how many people are going in on it.

I think I'm willing this year to participate since we do have the cash, she does want it, and we may not actually be at Christmas this year. (Does that make it a guilt gift?!) It's easier to mail a check then purchase gifts and mail them. So it will be more than the $30 I usually spend, it will be easier and make her happy.

Do you participate in group gifts? Do you avoid them?

13 Responses to “Group Gifts...What do you think?”

  1. scottish girl Says:

    I'm an only child so I've never had this problem. Saying that, two of my friends (who are sisters) nine times out of ten when their parents birthday/xmas comes round they seem to always buy something together. I think it's usually the older two who organise and the youngest just goes along with it. I could be wrong since I know the older two better.

  2. CB in the City Says:

    Group gifts seem to be a ready source for family discord! If everyone gets along well, and the rules are clear and are met, then it seems to work well. I actually prefer individual gifts myself, though.

  3. Ima saver Says:

    I have never had that problem either since I have no living relatives or family. I think I would go along with the group gift thing too. It sounds like a nice gift.

  4. FS Says:

    I do that all the time, especially when the recipient is the type who doesn't really want anything.

  5. klarose Says:

    Ugh. They are fine if you aren't the person who is suppose to collect all the money and purchase it. Because you know, you are never going to get it all.

    Just like a couple weeks ago. We were at a party and everyone agreed to order pizza and split the costs. Well they talked husband into putting it on his credit card, and they would give him cash. Well the bill was $30 and we were given a total of $6. So we just had to foot the bill for everyone's pizza. Both of us are too nice to confront them, and/or they had an excuse. "Sorry I don't have my wallet on me... etc"

    If you just hand over your agreed upon cash, it's fine.

  6. LittleMissSplendid Says:

    I've never done a group gift, but it sounds a lot like group bills when dining out. There's always someone who won't chip in at all or won't chip in nearly enough. Plus if the group consists of people with varying incomes then there's always someone who really can't afford it and may not want to share that with the group.

  7. snafu Says:

    We've been stung for restaurant meals a couple of times when we didn't know some of the group very well. We now make it clear at onset to the oversized tag.

  8. snafu Says:

    sorry...don't know why it botches

    We've been stung for restaurant meals a couple of times when we didn't know some of the group very well. We now make it clear at onset to the oversized tag.

  9. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I've done a few joint gifts with my brother, but not in a while. I had to participate in the joint "gift" for the president of our company when I worked in Oil and Gas. I hated that because seriously, they guy made tons of money ... what $200 or so gift could be something he'd actually want?

  10. snafu Says:

    ay 'aw, I got stung a couple of times,

    I'm enthusiastic about group gifts as long as it gets the receiver something substantial she will enjoy for years. It will envoke pleasant memories every time she uses the item. I really don't care if someone chips in less, obviously they have a problem managing their money. I want the recipient to know we love, respect and care about her and what makes her happy gives us joy.

    Like so many others I dislike secret Santa or worse White Elephant junk. Who keeps this going? Can you opt out? To avoid clutter I give consumables. Experience taught me it's all about the packaging! I like flat fold containers, often used for wedding favours, available at liquidation outlets and Dollar Stores to fill with edibles that look good/appropriate at Costco or the Bulk Food outlet. If the limit is $ 25. I'd buy a decent bottle of white wine, decorate a clementines box making it re-usable in the New Year+ Clementines. If I don't get the box decorated I'll add a hokey poem [copied from internet] to the oversized gift tag

  11. Homebody Says:

    We were burned also a few times by family. We will participate, but not be the organizer. Our issue was we would buy gift and then get money. Live and learn.

  12. creditcardfree Says:

    Ugh, I'm not getting the emails showing you all commented on my blog! Yes, the group gift is like the group bill at a restaurant. Just yesterday my husband went out to lunch as a group. They asked to split and restaurant would not. Someone got the whole tab and expected to be reimbursed. My husband paid him the $20 bill he had in his wallet, which was probably twice the amount he owed! It's just never good.

    I'm really okay with the amount we are asked to pay...$50. Yes, we could have opted out. I'm not the one making the purchase though, so it is easier on me!

    @snafu, I do like those consumable gifts, too! Anything that will at least be used up before the next year. I give them and ask for them.

  13. Michelle H Says:

    Ugh-my husbands family always wants to do these for my MILs gift. 2 years ago we were all to make a donation to her church-$500! Well one SIL decided she would take over, wanted cash-i said no way-sent a check. Well Christmas came and went, check was never cashed. She had given MIL a card at Xmas that said monetary gift was given? After 2 months of asking, she finally fessed up that she was so busy she had not mailed the checks in. NEVER AGAIN!
    This is the same SIL that gives my son a gift card and a box of candy bought on the way to the family party-I don't think she realizes the time and date are stamped on the receipt!

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