Ask Kari: Should I continue to buy holiday gifts for my grown nieces and nephews?

Dear Kari,

I am getting ready to do my holiday shopping and I am confused about when to stop buying gifts for my extended family. I have many nieces and nephews, and I feel that now that they are adults (over 18), I should stop buying them gifts. Is this correct, or will they think I love them less because the gifts have stopped coming?

--Good Auntie/Bad Auntie

Dear Good Auntie/Bad Auntie,

I feel that this is a personal choice. I know it can be hard to navigate gift giving around the holidays, but I suggest that you consider how close you are to your nieces and nephews and if you genuinely want to give them a thoughtful gift (no matter how small), or if your feel a connection at the holidays in person is enough. I do feel that after ones’ nieces and nephews are adults, the gift giving concept transitions into more of an adult connection based on communication. One additional suggestion would be to bring a lovely food item to share with everyone at the family gathering and move away from your concerns about individual gift giving for your family.


As published in the November 2017 issue of Connections.

About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and the owner and Clinical Director of Issaquah Highlands Counseling Group (IHCG), which is now Kari O’Neill Counseling.

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