I don't know what to get anyone for Christmas. I also don't know what I want for Christmas so I think it's okay that I am lost as to what to buy someone else. I have a couple of good ideas. I am really excited about Mom and Dad's present but I will have to reflect on it in a couple of days to see if it's the right thing after all. I think it will be.
Growing up we always drew names and bought for that person so we could give to each other without going broke. Mom and Dad were involved but also got us stuff beyond that. The kids have continued the tradition as adults. None of us have any money to speak of and even if we did, you'd be stuck wondering "family gift? Individual gifts? Uhhh..." and then drool would start to appear. If you do this while standing in Target then you get looks varying from "oh, how sweet they want to get their family gifts even though they are handicapped" to "Who let this crazy person out?". I don't know this from experience, I'm projecting.
The biggest problem with the siblings continuing said tradition is that some want to put limits on it besides how much you can spend. Like "it has to be homemade". If you get something homemade from me, it might be my physics exam or a piece of crap. Not literal crap but you couldn't tell the difference so it might as well be. Does anyone really want some craft I made they they have to throw in the trash right after signing the thank you note? I'm betting not. I have one sister who harbors delusions that she is crafty. Interestingly enough this is the sister that wants to make the rule of homemadeness. Refer three sentences back; I don't want a piece of crap I have to throw in the garbage right after signing the thank you note. (for the record, my other sister is incredibly crafty and people should bow down to her and buy things from her Etsy store, whatever that is).
The other problem is that some people have issues with follow through. Or some people think they followed through and forgot or misplaced it or whatever. That leads to hurt feelings and an explosion that will last until the SECOND COMING. Or at least March. whatever.
So what's my issue with it? I don't know. I think it's great. I just don't know what to get as a family gift. the kids' ages range far and wide, I don't know what they have, Maybe I just want to give the adults a present, the kids get enough anyway, maybe I want to focus on the kids but the adults feel left out (let's face it, once you get married/have kids your own pile at Christmas is substantially smaller). the problems go on and on. Yet I love it and I look forward to it. Especially when said crafty sister has my name that year.
I have made my kids start doing this, they love it so "made" isn't necessarily the right word but you get the point. We all draw names, go to the store/mall/shopping place of choice and shop for whomever we drew. The logistics of paying and splitting up are maddening and the kids get whiny and need snacks and somewhere to stow their coats and and and ... but they love it. They love the surprise, they love knowing they get to open one on Christmas Eve and they love giving to each other.