Granted, this was a mass email to several people, not personally to us.
I'm caught. I don't like feeling obligated to get something, but I don't want to be rude and not get something.
I asked D what his girlfriend Miss Manners would say, and he said she'd come firmly and unequivocally down on the "no" side. And funnily enough, today her column was again about how she laments that Christmas has become a greedy gift-grab. D and I do agree to an extent. We're planning on talking to my parents when we see them about not doing this next year and just getting stuff for the kids. We're adults, we don't need anything, we can buy stuff we want, and there's no need to go through this hassle every year of trying to figure out what to do and how much to spend. With my parents, especially, D thinks it becomes an arms race when it comes to spending, and because they spend so much on my sisters, they feel they have to do the same for us, and we don't want them to. It's unnecessary. When I talked to my mom the other day she said she wanted to get us a new kitchen buffet/cabinet. Furniture?? For Christmas?? I said, no, we appreciate that but don't need it, and she insisted I look around and find something and let her know, and I said that's too much. I think I talked her out of it.
Anyway, I guess I'll ask mom about this boyfriend thing. D thinks we should just get my sister a gift card and write boyfriend's name on it, too, but if the amount is the same as we got for my BIL, and they're supposed to share it? Then that feels cheap to me, and I don't want to look cheap. But I don't want to resent spending money on someone I don't know, either.