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am I automatically obligated?

We do not buy a lot of gifts for Christmas. We don't buy for everyone in the family and friends. BUT< if someone gets me a gift, am I automatically obligated to get them one? I told her well before Christmas that we didn't buy a lot that we'd rather have a nice meal, desert etc. with friends and family than presents. But, she has bought gifts for me, my husband and my daughter. I know they aren't expensive, but I can't really afford to buy gifts for her and her husband and their 3 kids.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:36 PM on Dec. 13, 2008 in Holidays

Answers (9)
  • If you think of the word gift, how can someone be obligated? In fact, in the dictionary it says "something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation"

    Answer by EireLass at 1:38 PM on Dec. 13, 2008

  • It depends. Are you going to be in their home or they in yours? How old are their children?

    Answer by Chrissy629 at 1:44 PM on Dec. 13, 2008

  • How about making a cake and giving it to them for the whole family? Or a batch of cookies? It would be a reciprocation, and it would also get across your good will.

    Answer by Bmat at 2:19 PM on Dec. 13, 2008

  • You are never obligated to buy someone a gift but I know what youre saying ...I absolutely hate if someone were to give me a gift and I didn't get one for them's just a feeling I hate. I agree with bmat make something for them can never go wrong with a baked good and it from the heart : )

    Answer by MrsPilat at 3:04 PM on Dec. 13, 2008

  • You told her that you couldn't afford a lot of gifts this year and she bought you a gift anyway. She is a good friend and wanted to do something nice for you and your family. Don't feel obligated to return the favor.

    Answer by feesharose at 3:19 PM on Dec. 13, 2008

  • Just write her a nice thank you note. You told her what your traditions are. Maybe she just loves giving gifts and doesn't expect anything in return.

    Answer by Marwill at 5:09 PM on Dec. 13, 2008

  • I am the friend in this case. I got things for my friend and her family but she cannot afford to reciprocate. THATS NOT WHY I DID IT. I did it because my gifts are my way of showing her and her family how much they mean to mine. If you truly felt obligated to reciprocate then you could buy your friends childrens somethng small (like stocking stuffers from the dollar store). Or if you are crafty you could make them gifts. You could bake them cookies or some sort of dinner. Or you could plan something like an outing at the park for her kids so that hubby and her could have some time alone. The point of the gift giving in my opinion, is to show how much the person means to you. She most likely did it out of love for you and your family. You should never feel obligated to reciprocate.

    Answer by NightOwlMama at 6:12 PM on Dec. 13, 2008

  • By the way, when I said I was the friend in the situation I didnt mean that I was your friend in particular. (I only have two kids.)

    Answer by NightOwlMama at 6:13 PM on Dec. 13, 2008

  • I am the OP, thanks for all the feedback. I make a cake that their family absolutely loves and I make christmas cookies from 2 old family recipes which of course I was going to give them. I feel fine with that now. THANKS! Merry Christmas!

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:45 AM on Dec. 14, 2008

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