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Forum -> Relationships -> Giving Gifts
Is it normal to buy a Yom Tov gift for MIL?
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amother
OP


 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 5:27 pm
At least twice a year, my sisters in law suggest we all chip in for a fancy yom tov gift for my MIL (their mother). They usually suggest the latest trendy and pricey thing, like a Domani throw blanket, a Scentify, or the latest Waterdale creation. They never pressure anyone to chip in but I always feel dumb not doing so.

My MIL is really wonderful and hosts her many married kids happily and generously. But I’m just wondering if it’s normal for married kids to buy their parent/MIL a fancy gift a few times a year? Sukkos, Chanukah, pesach etc. Honestly it’s not only gifts for my MIL, they are CONSTANTLY suggesting we buy gifts for every graduation, large birthday milestone etc.

For context, my mother also wonderfully hosts me and my married siblings and we don’t usually buy her any sort of gift. There was one or two years we got her a Chanukah gift but that’s it.

I’m starting to wonder how they can even afford this since most of them are kollel families. Personally I can BH easily afford to chip in but it’s starting to annoy me. I feel like they just are buying into the latest marketing trend of whatever new product is out there. Like “oh everyone is giving this as a gift we should too”.

My background is JPF/heimish, my husbands family is very typical Lakewood yeshivish, so maybe this is a culture thing, or maybe it’s normal for people of all backgrounds and I just didn’t get the memo, which is very possible (I sometimes miss social cues like this). So am I the crazy one or are they?
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amother
Lotus


 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 5:30 pm
We (collectively) gift our parents/in laws on chanuka & shevuous. Many of us give our own gifts for rosh Hashanah, purim or any yom tov.
I think it's a very nice & thoughtful thing.
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amother
Cantaloupe


 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 5:34 pm
I'm not hosted by my parents or inlaws for y"t but I think it would be nice to get a gift if you are. not necessary but not crazy either. I don't think it has to be super expensive either. it's more a token of appreciation.
I would put it in a different category then buying graduate presents... the graduate didn't do you a favor by graduating and they probably aren't your parent either Wink We aren't present type of people are we don't really do social norms. When I went to sibling for pesach one year I chipped in financially which they preferred.
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amother
Birch


 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 5:34 pm
If they’re hosting you I think it’s within the realm of normal.

We chip on for our in laws bday and anniversary and Mother’s Day gifts, about $30 each sibling each time.
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amother
DarkCyan


 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 5:35 pm
It's very nice but I think wholly unnecessary.
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amother
OP


 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 5:40 pm
So it seems most people think it’s normal and nice.

I’m wondering why the concept is so foreign to me. Could it be cultural? For example, I would never show up as a shabbos guest without a platter or gift or both, but I would never even think of bringing a gift or a platter to my mothers house for shabbos.

Some of my SILs even buy my MIL a $100+ gift after they move in after having a baby. I was so taken aback by this. My mother takes care of me amazingly me after having a baby but buying her a gift would never cross my mind. It seems so formal. And my mother would never expect one either.

Maybe I’m the odd one out. Or maybe it’s a Lakewood thing?
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amother
Birch


 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 5:43 pm
Mothers appreciate gifts too. Maybe start this in your side of the family for your mom

I know I’d love if my kids pampered me if I work hard to host them for yt


I’m not the best at giving gifts to my parents but it’s a nice idea
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kenz




 
 
    
 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 5:48 pm
Flip it around - if you were hosting a bunch of family members and they brought you a gift, wouldn’t you think it was a kind and considerate thing to do? Maybe she raised her children to always show their gratitude in a tangible way and so they’re doing it for her. I have a daughter in sem and I told her to always bring something to someone’s home if she’s going to eat or sleep, unless it’s someone she’s been to several times and they tell her to stop. I think it just shows good middos and manners. And no, I don’t have unlimited funds, but for me it’s a priority.
Especially since you say you can afford it easily, I think it’s something you have to work through until you’re ok with it.
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amother
Darkblue


 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 5:48 pm
Oh my gosh I have so much to say about this! My mother literally EXPECTS a gift for every holiday, birthday and Mother’s Day. And if the gift isn’t to her liking she’ll let me know through her words or facial expressions. Even as a single 17 year old I bought her a makeup set for Mother’s Day and right after handing it to her she said - you can have it.(basically saying I don’t want it take it back) I resent giving gifts so much now even if I do go for meals bc of this reason. This year I told my dh im doing smaller less expensive gifts. And of course it’s not good enough for her bc I should be spending at least $50 to get a good gift *sarcasm*
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amother
Lotus


 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 5:50 pm
amother OP wrote:
So it seems most people think it’s normal and nice.

I’m wondering why the concept is so foreign to me. Could it be cultural? For example, I would never show up as a shabbos guest without a platter or gift or both, but I would never even think of bringing a gift or a platter to my mothers house for shabbos.

Some of my SILs even buy my MIL a $100+ gift after they move in after having a baby. I was so taken aback by this. My mother takes care of me amazingly me after having a baby but buying her a gift would never cross my mind. It seems so formal. And my mother would never expect one either.

Maybe I’m the odd one out. Or maybe it’s a Lakewood thing?


Parents and in laws deserve appreciation as well. I never show up empty handed when we go for shabbos/yom tov.
It's not a Lakewood thing as I don't live in Lakewood.
$100 gift is really not that expensive, especially if it's combined. We're 8 marrieds and we generally contribute $30 each towards a gift when we gift our parents. Our parents deserve it.
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kenz




 
 
    
 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 5:51 pm
amother Darkblue wrote:
Oh my gosh I have so much to say about this! My mother literally EXPECTS a gift for every holiday, birthday and Mother’s Day. And if the gift isn’t to her liking she’ll let me know through her words or facial expressions. Even as a single 17 year old I bought her a makeup set for Mother’s Day and right after handing it to her she said - you can have it.(basically saying I don’t want it take it back) I resent giving gifts so much now even if I do go for meals bc of this reason. This year I told my dh im doing smaller less expensive gifts. And of course it’s not good enough for her bc I should be spending at least $50 to get a good gift *sarcasm*

That’s a whole different situation and I wouldn’t want to fill this need either.
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amother
OP


 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 6:00 pm
Thank you everyone for your responses, it’s given me a lot of food for thought. I am going to put more thought into how I can show more tangible appreciation to my mother and MIL for hosting me and all else they do, whether through gifts, making them yom tov food etc.

For the record, I was also raised to bring a gift if I was being hosted somewhere etc, for OTHER people. but my parents never gave the impression that THEY wanted or expected gifts from us. I feel like my parents would look at me like I was nuts if I showed up for shabbos with a chocolate platter. However we do buy my parents gifts for big anniversaries, make them parties for big birthdays etc. Surely I can’t be the only one like this?

I also think it’s strange for my kollel SIL to buy her mother the latest trendy expensive gifts when my MIL is literally supporting her. But I digress.
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amother
Nemesia


 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 6:01 pm
If they are hosting or maybe it's a way to recognize a milestone (special birthday or anniversary).
Otherwise, I don't know anyone who does a big gift....maybe a flower delivery or candy platter etc at most.
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amother
OP


 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 6:03 pm
amother Birch wrote:
Mothers appreciate gifts too. Maybe start this in your side of the family for your mom

I know I’d love if my kids pampered me if I work hard to host them for yt


I’m not the best at giving gifts to my parents but it’s a nice idea


I definitely hear you about the being pampered part. But honestly these aren’t “pampering” type gifts. Many of them my MIL honestly does not want or care for. Like a Domani throw blanket or a Scentify thing which I’m not even sure what it is. But it’s bought because it’s the “trendy” gift to give at the time. I feel like it would bother me less if there was more thought given to what she would actually need or appreciate.
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kenz




 
 
    
 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 6:04 pm
amother OP wrote:
Thank you everyone for your responses, it’s given me a lot of food for thought. I am going to put more thought into how I can show more tangible appreciation to my mother and MIL for hosting me and all else they do, whether through gifts, making them yom tov food etc.

For the record, I was also raised to bring a gift if I was being hosted somewhere etc, for OTHER people. but my parents never gave the impression that THEY wanted or expected gifts from us. I feel like my parents would look at me like I was nuts if I showed up for shabbos with a chocolate platter. However we do buy my parents gifts for big anniversaries, make them parties for big birthdays etc. Surely I can’t be the only one like this?

I also think it’s strange for my kollel SIL to buy her mother the latest trendy expensive gifts when my MIL is literally supporting her. But I digress.

Sounds like it’s your SIL’s way of showing her mother how much she appreciates all she does for her.
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amother
Outerspace


 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 6:08 pm
amother OP wrote:
Thank you everyone for your responses, it’s given me a lot of food for thought. I am going to put more thought into how I can show more tangible appreciation to my mother and MIL for hosting me and all else they do, whether through gifts, making them yom tov food etc.

For the record, I was also raised to bring a gift if I was being hosted somewhere etc, for OTHER people. but my parents never gave the impression that THEY wanted or expected gifts from us. I feel like my parents would look at me like I was nuts if I showed up for shabbos with a chocolate platter. However we do buy my parents gifts for big anniversaries, make them parties for big birthdays etc. Surely I can’t be the only one like this?

I also think it’s strange for my kollel SIL to buy her mother the latest trendy expensive gifts when my MIL is literally supporting her. But I digress.


I relate to you somewhat! My husbands family is very into gifts. My mil is always gifting things to my fil for every occasion and vise versa. And my fil usually reminds us to give a gift to my mil (which I find odd- like we are adults we can decide what to do). My single bill also gifts to my mil and fil. Basically they’re rly rly gift ppl. My parents on the other hand don’t expect anything. We don’t consistently give them gifts but time to time if I see something ik my mom will like or if I feel like getting her a birthday gift one year I will but we don’t consistently always give. Like I’ll buy her a coffee or chcocolate or something for a birthday and that’s enough It’s just diffferent personalities I don’t even think it’s necessarily a culture thing I think it’s more a personality thing.
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amother
OP


 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 6:11 pm
amother Outerspace wrote:
I relate to you somewhat! My husbands family is very into gifts. My mil is always gifting things to my fil for every occasion and vise versa. And my fil usually reminds us to give a gift to my mil (which I find odd- like we are adults we can decide what to do). My single bill also gifts to my mil and fil. Basically they’re rly rly gift ppl. My parents on the other hand don’t expect anything. We don’t consistently give them gifts but time to time if I see something ik my mom will like or if I feel like getting her a birthday gift one year I will but we don’t consistently always give. Like I’ll buy her a coffee or chcocolate or something for a birthday and that’s enough It’s just diffferent personalities I don’t even think it’s necessarily a culture thing I think it’s more a personality thing.


I think you’re right. Like some families are gift giving families and some just aren’t.
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amother
Birch


 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 6:12 pm
amother OP wrote:
I definitely hear you about the being pampered part. But honestly these aren’t “pampering” type gifts. Many of them my MIL honestly does not want or care for. Like a Domani throw blanket or a Scentify thing which I’m not even sure what it is. But it’s bought because it’s the “trendy” gift to give at the time. I feel like it would bother me less if there was more thought given to what she would actually need or appreciate.


Are you sure she doesn’t like the gifts? I love my throw that I got as a gift.

We try to get gifts my mil will appreciate like flowers (a fancy arrangement), a spa gift card, etc

Also my parents don’t expect gifts from us but they were very touched when we get them gifts. We once got them a $200 gift (from just dh and myself, not siblings) after they helped us with childcare I think when dh needed to be in the hospital and I needed to be there with him. They were so touched
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amother
Charcoal


 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 6:23 pm
amother OP wrote:
I definitely hear you about the being pampered part. But honestly these aren’t “pampering” type gifts. Many of them my MIL honestly does not want or care for. Like a Domani throw blanket or a Scentify thing which I’m not even sure what it is. But it’s bought because it’s the “trendy” gift to give at the time. I feel like it would bother me less if there was more thought given to what she would actually need or appreciate.


It's possible your SIL's not choosing the best gifts (I've been so embarrassed in the past by what my sil got for our collective gift for mil) but the sentiment is correct. We try to show up with something when hosted by parents for yom tov- flowers, bakery treats, sometimes actual gift.

Please do consider gifting your mom especially after hosting you post birth! Or for a hard yom tov etc.
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amother
OP


 

Post Wed, Sep 27 2023, 6:26 pm
amother Birch wrote:
Are you sure she doesn’t like the gifts? I love my throw that I got as a gift.

We try to get gifts my mil will appreciate like flowers (a fancy arrangement), a spa gift card, etc

Also my parents don’t expect gifts from us but they were very touched when we get them gifts. We once got them a $200 gift (from just dh and myself, not siblings) after they helped us with childcare I think when dh needed to be in the hospital and I needed to be there with him. They were so touched


I know she didn’t appreciate the throw because I haven’t seen it once in the 3 years since we gave it to her LOL
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