Giving and receiving Christmas gifts can be tricky. The tradition brings a slew of questions about gift-giving etiquette.
Is regifting ever okay? Is giving gift cards tacky? Are you allowed to use the gift receipt to exchange a present for something you actually like?
Is a charitable donation under someone else’s name actually a gift? Are belated gifts a no-no? Can you tell the aunt that’s been giving you the same gift for years that you no longer collect stuffed animals?
Are ninongs and ninangs expected to give gifts to their inaanak for all of eternity?
What if someone gives you an unexpected gift and you have none to give in return?
But there’s one question everyone who celebrates Christmas has to face: Who should you give gifts to?
We asked parents: Do you give gifts to the boyfriends and girlfriends of your children?
Here’s what they said:
“When my youngest son was in a relationship, I gave his girlfriend Christmas presents also. Things like chocolates, knickknacks, beauty stuff, etc. It’s been so long I don’t really remember what exactly they were. Apart from the fact that I enjoy giving little tokens, I did this out of love for my son. It’s not limited to the holiday season. Whenever I see things that she might like, I get it for her.”—Ruby Gan, mom of two adult boys
“I typically give gifts to my eldest daughter’s boyfriend, such as concert tickets. I think it is a way for me to give back and show my sincere appreciation because he also gives the whole family gifts, sometimes even if there is no occasion.”—Grace Foronda, mom of two
“It depends on how long they’ve been seeing each other. What I usually do is ask my son or daughters to give a nice food gift to their family. Food gifts from family to family are best.”—Grace Fornier Magno, mom of three
“We welcome my daughter’s boyfriend and we respect their relationship, which is going on two years now. But I don’t give him a Christmas gift just yet. If in the future, and hopefully not too soon, he becomes officially part of the family, then he would be definitely in my gifting list. He’s always welcome, though, in all family celebrations.—Anne Tiangco, mom of three
“Yes, I give gifts to the girlfriend and boyfriend of my children, not only during Christmas, but even when there is no occasion, when I feel like it. For example, when I travel and find things that I think would look good on them or would like, I buy and give them. I want them to feel that they are welcome in our family, that I will love whoever my kid loves and that I treat them as my children also.”—Emily Quevedo Duterte, mom of five
“Yes. I give them movie tickets because millennials are very picky when it comes to Christmas gifts. Movie tickets let them enjoy their time together.”—Leah Logarta-Medina, mom of two
“Yes, I gave my daughter’s boyfriend a gift this Christmas. I wanted to show that I appreciate how he does not let my daughter go home alone even if it means walking home because of horrible traffic.”—Meryl Tagunicar, mom of four
“No. I don’t want them to think or feel that I like them so much for my children. It’s better to set boundaries so that they will not feel comfortable and abuse our being close.”—Flora Rivera, mom of two
“I have two sons, aged 42 and 39 respectively. The older one, Adrian, just got married. When Jo-Ann was still his girlfriend, I gave her tops for office wear. Now that she is officially our daughter-in-law, I’d still settle for practical gifts like stuff for the home as she and Adrian start a new life together.”—Malou F. Punzalan, mom of two