Presents became 50% "stuff they need anyway" by age 15... good socks, new jammies, a good warm jacket, that kind of thing. By age 18, that was about 80%. Typically, anybody gets at least 3 items, one of which is a "wanna-have".
We still give a lot. Mainly because Joy is still a school kid and income gap between us and difficult child is still big. And because we can afford it without having to go lacking ourselves.
Soon after difficult child had gotten himself to ton of money related trouble, stole from us and others and so on, we were giving him very minimal gifts to teach him a lesson, but he has shown more responsibility with money and stuff since so not much point keeping up that big lifestyle gap between us and him and also him and his peers.
They will inherit us anyway some day. Not much sense to keep purse strings tight now that they are still low income and save more to then they are hopefully making a good living for themselves. And again we got a lot when we were young from our parents/grandparents. Time to pay forward.
When they started working. Then they pretty much got everything they needed and wanted, except maybe a new car which we couldn't afford. Now that we have grands, the grands get the most. I got more this year than I intended on, but that happens every year...lol. Now if they didn't work, they would get maybe a $50 gift certificate. You know how I feel about laziness. It doesn't fly with me
I try to get things that mean things to the kids. For Julie and her SO on top of a few other odds and ends and lots and lots for Kaili, I ordered two coffee mugs with Kaili's picture on them. I got dorm/college stuff Jumper has been asking for as her dorm is cold plus she will get some money and already got a tatoo a few months ago. We tend to give presents early if they want them...that way we can give all year round without feeling a huge lump at Christmas, which is not really a religious holiday for us.
Sonic got a Smart TV. He got the biggest present this year. He will be thrilled. But then he has to pass down his other TV to Jumper who doesn't have a TV that works anymore.
37 makes a lot more than we do and we don't exchange. I get my grandson something, but Grandson is so obscenely spoiled by 37 that, as 37 puts it, "Don't bother sending a lot. Every time he's with me it's Christmas." So I sent him something he really likes, Pokeman cards, rare, whatever that means. There is nothing that kid doesn't have materially. He's already hard to shop for because he has everything. It's insane. Grandson gets to play one of umpteen video systems on 37's 60 inch screen HD television, a tablet, a laptop, has all the cool clothes, $150 shoes, a $100 back pack...in other words, what can we get him that he wouldn't think was just another day at 37 house? Sorry for the short vent
All and all, I like giving stuff that has a loving, family feeling more than anything, even to the grands.
My adult kids basically stopped getting Xmas presents when they had kids and it was by a complete agreement between all of us. I do try to get them each something that is personal just to them but normally doesnt cost much at all. One year I got Billy a Kiss blanket, Jamie a piece of cookware and one year I got difficult child some cheap dishes. This year none of the older kids are getting anything because we paid the rent for them and Jamie said he didnt want anything.
I never went overboard for xmas to begin with. Five presents each.........one fairly large one and then 4 smaller ones. mother in law coordinated with me on gifts and she gave about the same amount (sometimes more, sometimes less). It worked and the kids usually got what they wanted. They weren't flooded in gifts, but what they really did want nearly always was under the tree.
When they moved out the 5 gifts stopped. Now? It's what I'm able to buy because there are also grandchildren added in. They fuss because I still buy them gifts. Last year they attempted to make it children only, but I refused to cooperate. I'm too used to looking for xmas gifts for them (I shop for xmas 364 days a year) and it would feel not like xmas to not give them something.
Price never has had much to do with it. I have an overall budget, but the focus is on what is truly wanted (as opposed to desired). If that something is only 5 bucks but someone else's something is 20, well then that is just the way it works out. My kids and grandkids have learned that price doesn't matter, it is the gift and the thought / effort behind the gift that counts.
This year I made gifts for everyone. (yes, that was quite a feat, it started last Jan lol) In addition, adults got another gift. easy child got a lovely painting she wanted that suits her decor, she picked it out at a craft bizarre. Nichole is getting a food dehydrator because she needs / wants one. Since it is 80.00 easy child and I joined together to purchase it for her. And so on.
Someday I'll probably stop buying gifts all together for adults. I don't see that happening anytime soon as they and I both know that gift buying is a big part of my xmas happiness.
I haven't stopped. This year we're trying the 4 gifts of Christmas - "something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read," really bc it helps me with ideas and I like structure of it!
But we really don't buy much for the kids through by the year. difficult child gets birthday presents & Xmas presents and that's it. Pc20 get a small allowance while at school and I send him small care pkgs once a month - and while I am willing to buy his clothes and shoes, he rarely takes me up on it. I'll admit that I am spoiling pc17 a bit this year but he's the only one home. He also doesn't ask for much and is always appreciative and for the first time in years we have extra spending money - so it's been fun to do so. He's also super busy- has a job, volunteers numerous places, plays a sport and excels
In school so I like to make his life a little easier when possible especially since I'm working a ton of hours away from home.
We also save the bigger ticket items that the kids "need" for gift giving occasions. We bought tools for difficult child last year which he needs for work. Pc17 needs a new laptop for college next year- so that's his gift.