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Taking the Sting Out of Holiday Gift-Giving When Infertile

The holiday spending frenzy doesn’t promote jolly feelings when there are infertility treatments to finance, and it’s hard to feel generous when the thing you want most is still out of reach. Even without infertility, those excessively long wish-lists of materialistic items from the growing number of tots in your life can suck the joy right out of the true meaning of the season.

Feeling like the Grinch? While it’s totally understandable, neither you nor the Grinch can stop Christmas from coming. But what you can do is try to minimize the pain of holiday gift-giving. Here’s ideas on how:

  • Say no to the office party and Secret Santa at work if you need to save some money and pare down your gift list, ditch parties and dinners that will simply be too painful for you. Nosy relatives asking questions, too many babies, whatever. If it’s too hard, don’t go.
  • Buy presents for the children on your list that they will enjoy but you won’t cry a river shopping for. Toy store aisles are danger zones for the infertile heart. Consider online shopping, especially for toys—and maybe even have them gift-wrapped, too.
  • A Grinch might need or want to give a tot a gift card instead of an actual present to open. While it may not grow your heart two sizes (or earn you the favorite aunt title in the moment), if it spares you some pain, consider doing it. (Remember, the child may be happy to be able to use it for a new toy in March and your title will be restored then.)
  • Spend time with the little ones on your list if—and only if--it actually brings you joy. Consider “experiential gifts” rather than traditional tangible gifts so you both can have fun. Movie outings, ice shows and concerts are some ideas.
  • Ask your family to change up the gift-giving tradition with a grab bag if it’s too hard or you can’t afford to buy gifts for a dozen of your siblings’ children. Buying one child a nice present is more affordable and less emotionally painful.


If the stress and depression of the holiday season is interfering with your ability to get through your day, please contact us for more information on the RMA Long Island IVF Mind Body Program, including individual and group counseling sessions with our experienced and caring infertility support specialist, Bina Benisch, M.S., R.N.