Join our community of Solution Seekers!

Should I Reciprocate When Childless Friends Give Gifts to My Kids?

Real Simple’s etiquette expert weighs in on whether or not you always need to give a gift in return.

Little girl next to a Christmas tree Francesco Lagnese

Q: I feel bad when child-free folks give gifts to my kids, should I give gifts to them in exchange?

A: Children and presents are a uniquely magical combination. Please don’t feel the need to add reciprocity to it. You can try to preempt the entire situation, if you like, by reminding friends that they don’t need to give your kids anything. But many people genuinely enjoy shopping for and giving all that fun kid stuff—Lego fire stations and knit teddy-bear hats—while the grown-up equivalent of scented candles and fleece throw blankets? Not so much.

So go ahead and let them. In return, your children can offer their beaming delight and, of course, their gracious thank-you notes.

Catherine Newman

Read More About:Gifts

Related Content

Chocolate Bread Pudding

10 Easy Holiday Desserts

Festive, fuss-free sweets for your next holiday gathering.

What do you think about this article? Share your own solutions and ideas

View Earlier Comments
Advertisement

Quick Tip

Blue ice cube tray

A few days before a party, start making ice and storing it in baggies in the freezer.