We Are Both Right

Holiday Gift Exchanges — It’s All About the Kids


Considering I’ll be at Amanda’s house this weekend for a holiday party, we figured it was time for us to agree on something (since we’re six weeks into this project of being on opposite sides of almost every issue).

So we’re meeting in the middle on the subject of a holiday gift exchange. It’s also the perfect excuse to kick off our very first Where We Meet Week, which will be a recurring feature on this blog as we cover some of the issues where we don’t disagree.

Ahh, there’s nothing like the holidays to bring people together.

Do you hear our husbands breathing sighs of relief? They were convinced we would sabotage our friendship with our (usually) dueling blogs, but we’re happily proving them wrong. Not to say we won’t still stage an eggnog fight just for laughs.

It was Amanda’s idea actually. (The gift exchange, I mean. Not the eggnog.) Since we are all feeling especially squeezed with our holiday gift buying budgets this year, we agreed (along with the other friends who will be in attendance) to coordinate a round robin gift exchange — for the kids only.

It’s something we’ve done in years past, and the kids love it. Usually, we (Amanda) puts their names in age order and decide if we’re buying up or down in age. That way, each child (mom) buys one present for another child. So if you have two kids, you’re bringing two presents and coming home with two presents. If you have three, you end up with three, and so on. Adjustments are made if you land before or after a sibling in age order, so that gifts aren’t exchanged within the same family. (It can get confusing, but I guess that’s why it’s a good thing that we all went to college).

This round robin gift exchange for our children is the highlight of the party — not counting the light saber fencing matches and them eating their weight in candy canes, of course. It makes me wish we had thought of this sooner.

Before kids (and even husbands), my friends and I used to exchange Christmas gifts every year. Then came the houses (along with new appliances, siding, landscaping and all that paint), and we started to become a little more budget conscious in our gift buying — making gifts of toilet seats (new, not used) socially acceptable.

When the first round of babies arrived, we switched gears completely and started buying only for the little ones (toys tend to be a lot less expensive than a cute handbag, and even toilet seats in some cases). But once the kid count exceeded the adults, our holiday gift exchanges between friends essentially disappeared.

So now the round robin idea lets the kids have all the fun, for a third of the cost. As for the adults — well, we’re happy to share a good meal and conversation while the kids do their thing. Call me old, but I’m to the point where being able to toast to a new year and having friendships that stand the test of time is enough of a gift for me. (And that’s probably something else we would agree on, right Amanda?)

How does your circle of friends approach holiday gift giving?

3 Responses to “Holiday Gift Exchanges — It’s All About the Kids”

  1. Romy says:

    Hi Girls!

    I think Christams should be all about the kids as well, but since that opinion does not seem to be shared by some of my extended family, we do Secret Santa for the adults. This wouldn’t bother me, except this year, we are doing Secret Santa and NO ONE is even coming in for the holiday. We are all sending gifts around the country to be opened in private. This seems quite silly to me as part of the fun is watching your Secret Santee open her gift!


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