gift creep
n. A gradual increase in the value or extent of one‘s gift-giving.

Example Citations:
He’s dead against ‘gift inflation’ — where last year’s book becomes this year’s Kindle becomes next year’s coffee machine with aeronautic milk frother; and against ‘gift creep’ too, where you suddenly find yourself deliberating between decorative olive oils for your child’s former form teacher.
—Mimi Spencer, “Gold, frankincense and myrrh, perhaps. But a hand-shaped stand for rubber gloves?,” The Daily Mail, December 23, 2012

If this panic-laden scenario sounds familiar, it could mean you‘re a victim of “gift creep” — a new phrase coined to sum up those little extra presents we snap up at the last minute in the hope they‘ll make the original gifts we chose look better.
—“Will ‘gift creep’ catch you out this year?,” Western Daily Press, December 14, 2013

Earliest Citation:
“The nature of the bid committee’s expenditures evolved from goodwill gifts to strangers into payments intended to secure favorable votes,” the report said. In a kind of “gift creep,” the spending escalated from small to lavish gifts and finally, cash payments.
—Kristen Moulton, “Salt Lake was willing player in culture of corruption, report says,” The Associated Press, March 1, 1999

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