When this groom to be is annoyed, he asks Reddit:
Long story short:My gf’s family has this tradition where they make presents to EVERYONE: uncles, aunts, cousins, etc… and spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars each year.
My side of the family doesn’t make presents. I just make a gift to my parents, that’s all, not even my sister, and I don’t ask for presents in return. We just enjoy each other’s company and bake cookies / stuff.
Now, she insists that when we marry I have to participate with her in this tradition. I just politely said no. (I don’t have much money and I just landed a good job, so I want to start saving and buy stuff I like.
Also, I’m extremely difficult to please and hate 99.999% of the presents I get). This blew up in an argument where I told her she can buy all the stupid stuff she wants but with her money, and we will have separate bank accounts.
She told me she would choose the presents herself, say they are from the both of us, and I would just need to split the money, but I refused to waste the money for people I barely know and don’t give a single f*ck about, when I don’t even make presents to my own sister.
She told me: “What if they make you a present?”. I answered: “I would tell everyone beforehand that I don’t want one and I won’t make one because I don’t feel like it and people never get a present right”
She went crazy, told me I’m too extreme and said there are social conventions we are required to follow and I better find another girlfriend if I’m not willing to at least meet her halfway.
palawahnkelhar makes a lot of great points:
It is not forced, it's just entirely up to you to decide if you want to be part of the tradition or not, which is fair. In turn, it would send the message that you strongly refuse to participate in the family tradition in this case.
And then they would also decide that you're not a good fit in their family too, which is fair.
To have more in life there must be give and take. People who think they don't have to do anything for other people if they don't want to, especially in this particular context, are takers that don't give.
You'd think takers that don't give would end up with more in life, but that's super inaccurate because after certain points people will stop giving to you, and while you 'thrive' on your own everyone else enjoys the benefits from give-and-take circles.
At the very least you have to participate with the first celebration. That's the very least, literally the floor expectation, because i bet you won't call every person to tell them to not get you any present.
Even if you do that, you'll be the hot topic amongst relatives for your passionate refusal to participate in their family tradition, and you'll ruin their whole vibe.
I agree, this can't be forced. But if you won't take the leap to participate in their family tradition now, is it reasonable to expect them to believe you'll participate in other family traditions?
Should they assume you would integrate with all their quirks, traditions and lifestyles?
If you're not willing to do it just break up. You can always find another partner whose family doesn't spend so much effort into family holidays.
But you can't tell them to change their family tradition just to cater to you, nor should they be expected to just be okay with having a stranger who passionately refuses to participate in their family activities but still want to stay in their house.
Add: if this whole family tradition blows over and stops completely because of you, can you afford to bear what happens after that? If there's resentment from her relatives can you guarantee that you will resolve everything peacefully?
Are you really ready for what's gonna happen when you go to their house, eat their Christmas dinner and then refuse to participate in their family tradition?
Ya know. You can find a very personal gift for anyone for 20-30$ if you just pay attention. Listen to them know their hobbies and choose something that is personal to them. Google something you know the person likes and find a low budget accessory for their like or hobby
For example 2 of my favorite gifts i received ever were from my brother who I dont have a great relationship with. 1 was the 2 goofy movies which yes even as an adult i love. He got both of them on dvd for 9.99 each.
The other was the year i got my first car he got me car wash coupons and lights that go on the tires which weren't really my thing and cost him about 15$ all together.
but i had just gotten my first car and the fact that he picked out something that was so relevant to what was going on in my life at the time just made me feel really good.
My point is, if you love this girl go through the effort you don't need to break the bank.
If you put real thought and effort into the gifts and it isn't enough then yeah maybe you have stuff to work out and maybe her family aren't your kind of people, but if you put in the effort you can't be the bad guy for not trying.