They also trade off on buying gifts for each other’s kids. Becker’s teens have learned to expect gifts that include one thing they need, one thing they want and a shared family experience.
Marion Haberman, a YouTuber at the channel My Jewish Mommy Life, and her extended family have a strategy that doesn’t require a multiperson gift exchange with several people over eight nights of Hanukkah.
“We only do gifts for the kids — nieces, nephews, grandchildren — for their birthdays,” she says. “In our home, we do one present for each kid for each night.”
3. Craft your gift-giving strategy
For Haberman’s family, presents aren’t necessarily wrapped. A present can be a voucher for a jelly donut or a night of building a fort and watching movies.
Nordmann’s children usually get a gift they want, a gift they need, clothes and a book. For other family members, Nordmann and her husband are making gifts.
“We had a really good harvest for our garden this year,” she says. “We’re going to make hot sauces and papaya jelly.”
By giving thoughtful gifts that don’t hurt their budget, they can continue replenishing the income they lost during the pandemic. The setback has delayed the couple’s early retirement goals. Her husband, an auto mechanic, was unemployed for two months, and their vacation rental properties were forced to close at the same time.