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worried woman at christmas

Sister Wants Presents For ALL The Kids - What Should I Do?

Wondering what to do this year about Christmas and birthday gifts for your siblings and their children?

This is a common dilemma - We think the best solution is to start a new tradition of gift-giving. Why not try something completely different? worried woman at christmas

We all love receiving gifts but at Christmas time, this can be incredibly overwhelming, especially if things are a little bit tight... 

Christmas is for children; adults may love this time of year but what really tips the happiness scale are the little people in your life - and making sure they receive something special from Santa's sack.


  • Christmas doesn't have to be all about expensive gifts - there are many creative, thoughtful things you can do instead
  • If you're struggling to afford gifts, don't be afraid to set boundaries with your family members
  • It's important to remember that Christmas is about giving, but it's also important to take care of yourself and your responsibilities,

What To Do When Your Sister Asks For Presents For All The Kids

This is always going to be a difficult conversation and really depends on how close you are with your sibling and how much you are really willing to spend. Consider the following options:

Make a budget and stick to it

Set an overall budget for each child and try not to go over it. You don't need to get them the most expensive presents; often, simpler can be better when it comes to gifts for children.

Not everyone is in the position to buy lots of presents, but that's not to say that you won't be able to do something give your nieces and nephews a great Christmas. Look at the practicalities of what you can do.

Consider practical presents

Kids' clothes can be expensive and it's always nice to receive something practical. Think about items such as pyjamas, socks and gloves/hats.

Give experience gifts

Rather than material things, why not give experiences? A pass for a theme park or zoo, tickets to the cinema or a theatre show can be much better value for money and create lasting memories for your niece and nephews.

At the end of the day, it's not about how much money you spend - it's about the thought behind the presents and ensuring your siblings' children have a great Christmas! Good luck!

Think outside the box

There are so many creative things you can do when it comes to gifts for children. Why not make something special? For example, if you could:

  • Gift a class; if one of the children in your life has expressed an interest in dancing, singing acting, art or a language – why not buy them a class? It gives them the chance to try something out and if they really excel, maybe even pursue it further in the future.
  • Membership to a favourite club; do any of your nieces or nephews have a favourite sports team? Or a keen interest in history? A membership to a club or museum can be an amazing gift that they will use and appreciate for years.
  • Shop for dress-up; Kids love to dress up and not just in the cheap 'n' cheerful outfits you can purchase online - visit your local charity shop and you'll likely find some real treasure such as handbags, shoes, hats, etc!
  • Their very own kitchen tools; for the kids who love helping out in the kitchen, maybe their own set of cooking utensils would do the trick? These would just need to be simple, inexpensive tools that are just the right size for little hands.
  • Make your own puzzle; Get a copy printed of your favourite picture of you and your niece/nephew and use this as the basis for a personalised jigsaw, perfect for the creative kids in your life! It's also a nice little reminder for them of the special bond the two of you share...

And, for the families who have older children (teenage and upwards)

  • Secret Santa; now, this is usually reserved for the office Christmas party and work colleagues, however, hear us out: Rather than spreading the budget you have across the entire family, the idea here is to buy something special for ONE person in the family. Make sure everyone knows who their Secret Santa is and then you can go crazy with your budget for that person alone – this could work out much more cost-effective than buying a few smaller gifts each.

How To Set Boundaries With Your Family

Christmas is a time for family to get together and celebrate, however, it can also be a time of stress and worry. It's important to remember that you're allowed to set boundaries with your family and it's ok to say 'no' if something is beyond your means or capability.

If your siblings are expecting too much of you in terms of presents for their children, try explaining why this is beyond your means at the moment in a polite and honest way.

There is no shame in being upfront about your finances, and you may be surprised by how understanding your family can be. (A lot of the time, it's you and not your family who has an issue with not being able to give).

At the end of the day, it's important to remember that Christmas is about giving, but it shouldn't be at the expense of your own well-being. You can still show your love and appreciation for your siblings' children without breaking the bank. Making thoughtful gifts or experiences will likely mean more than material things in any case...

We all have different priorities and resources, so don't feel bad if you are struggling to provide presents for your nieces and nephews - there is always something you can do to make their Christmas special.

In Summary

Christmas is a wonderful time of year but it can also be incredibly stressful, especially if you're struggling to afford gifts.

If you're in that situation, don't be afraid to set boundaries with your family members and explain that you can't afford anything this year.

Remember, Christmas is about giving but it's also about taking care of yourself. So make sure you take the time to relax and enjoy the festive season.

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