Christmas Gifts: Do they have to be of equal value?

by Lynn
(Boston, MA)

Do my Christmas gifts have to be equal in number and worth for my son-in-law and my other daughter, Becca's live-in boyfriend? The boyfriend and Becca are very close, and there is a strong chance they will get married one day. Understandably, I am closer with my son-in-law. Besides, he and my daughter, Emily, have a young child and are more in need of necessities than my daughter, Becca, and her boyfriend. That said, I want to be fair and not slight the boyfriend.

I should let you know, however, that this boyfriend is 10 years older than my daughter, and is very awkward sometimes about accepting what he may feel is too generous a gift (I.e. paying the restaurant bill, etc.).

Thank you for your answer to my little dilemna.


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Holiday Gifts
by: Ms P Etiquette

Hello Lynn~

Your question is both thoughtful and practical; perfect for us!

I am assuming you are a fair person. My advice is to use your heart and your head when deciding on gift giving.

Becca and her boyfriend probably will not expect to receive gifts "equal" in value or volume. I encourage you to give a thoughtful, but inexpensive gift to the boyfriend and include a personal note that makes him feel a part of the family gathering. It is always poor etiquette to cause embarrassment or discomfort to anyone with our gift giving. Simply use your best judgement for Becca's gift(s) and I am certain you will do the "right" thing for everyone.

Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Ms Practical Etiquette

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