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Social quandary: How do we stop buying gifts for our friends' kids

From birthday parties to Christmas, gift giving for friends' kids is getting out of control. Is there a way to stop the cycle without appearing cheap?

a stack of colorful birthday presents

iStockphoto

Have you found yourself in an awkward situation? Has someone irked you and you’re not sure how best to proceed? If so, you’re not alone! Every week, we feature a reader-submitted quandary so that you can weigh in with your best advice. What would you do in their situation? If you’d like to submit your own quandary, click here.

My husband and I are good friends with five couples who all have kids of their own. From birthday parties to Christmas to “Congratulations you won that spelling bee” celebration, it seems we’re always buying some kid a present. And even if we don’t attend one of their functions, we still buy presents for their kids and give it to them at a later time — this has become a customary practice in our group of friends. Between all of us, we have 14 children! That’s a lot of gifts and it really adds up. Our families are only getting bigger and bigger, and we have our own relatives to buy for. How do I put a stop to this obligatory gift giving without sounding cheap?

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Read our previous social quandaries here.

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