Re: To gift or not to gift? Semi vent
I would just approach the topic in a way that's not calling them out, personally, and suggest a card-only tradition. Maybe they're having financial issues or something else is going on.
I personally don't really like gift-giving traditions because it seems like more often than not one family can or will do so much more than another and it results in hurt feelings or negative feelings towards family members.
When my sister started having kids (the first of my siblings) all four of us just had a mutual agreement to stick to cards only for the nieces/nephews birthdays, because at that point we were all in hugely different financial situations, and while it would have been easy peasy for everyone to buy a gift for one of two nieces/nephews... I have 8 and one on the way, and no one is done building their families. Knowing the numbers would keep increasing, we called it from day one. That said, we ALWAYS attend and participate in birthday parties. For us, it's all about the fanfare.
Christmas, we also call truce. We each make a homemade treat of some kind, and bring a plate to everyone for their families, but no store bought gifts.
It works well for us, and then no one has to worry about not being in the financial position to keep up with everyone else.