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Old 10-25-2012, 11:03 AM   #11
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Re: To gift or not to gift? Semi vent

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I would give them the benefit of the doubt and assume financial reasons. Are there more kids on the other side of their family? We've got 2 kids on my side, but 8 on my husbands side. I can understand not buying gifts for everyone but I have to agree that no acknowledgement or card was rude. My brother has given 1 gift ever in the 11 yrs since we started having kids. No cards, no phone call, not even a facebook post! We pick kids names in DH's family for Christmas and don't shop for the adults. It's great in theory because money is tight for us. But my kids always seem to be getting extra gifts (they are the youngest in DH's family) and then some of the adults exchange. It's frustrating and embarassing after they agreed to choose names and no adult gifts. I wish they would just agree to choose adult names, or a secret santa and just stick to it. I also wish they would stop putting my 20 yr old, college student niece into the hat of "kids" names. But that's another story...
No other kids on the other side of the family. Im not that upset about no gifts.
I just feel like they pulled one over on us. Letting their kids birthdays pass and then not even handmaking a card when the first of ours comes.
Some forewarning would have been nice.
I kind of want to call MIL and clarify that they did it intentionally. I don't really want to start ww3

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Old 10-25-2012, 11:06 AM   #12
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Re: To gift or not to gift? Semi vent

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They are obviously cheap (no gift) and rude (not even a card or acknowledgment or heads up). I understand why you are upset but that wouldnt keep me from finding my own way to celebrate THEIR kids special days. Just because they are cheap or rude, doesnt mean that you have to be.
I agree why hurt their kids because they hurt yours that makes you no better. I would keep gifting no kid should be left out because of parent disputes.

I would consider telling them how you feel and that it hurt your little ones feelings.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:16 AM   #13
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Re: To gift or not to gift? Semi vent

My in-laws did this same thing this year. What my husband has asked that we do is continue to send gifts to his nieces and nephew for their birthdays and Christmas no matter what because he feels it is important. Of course, he also said that he is really glad his brother and his wife have stopped sending the junk they always sent for our kids because now we don't have to worry about quickly removing the stuff that was dangerous or flat out inappropriate before someone got hurt. So I think you gained something honestly. At least that is how we kind of look at it. We aren't having to worry about the stuff that had been coming in that was either so cheap it broke in 2 hrs or incredibly inappropriate age wise or whatever (SIL only shopped clearance for the kids and would just pick up x number of gifts without thought to the kids they were intended for). But you still get to take the time to send something to your nieces and nephews. I would just sit down with your husband and decide what's the best solution for your family and then just not worry about it. Give the kids gifts if that is what you feel is right, if not don't. But try not to worry about the adults' reasons or motivations because you'll likely never figure them out.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:33 AM   #14
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Re: to gift or not to gift? Semi vent

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I think your options are to either continue to give their children gifts knowing that they will not reciprocate to yours or stop giving them gifts entirely.
this.

I mean, I know it sounds rude, but I don't think it really is.

My aunts and uncles didn't send me cards for all my birthdays. I wouldn't have expected them to. They didn't call either, it's just not something I think should be expected.

It could be financial - my sister has 4 kids, I have 1. I admit it can be difficult every year. Birthdays and Christmas are a lot.

It could be they're on their own forums talking about how they're trying to minimize toy collection or something and the best way to do this is to request no gift exchanges.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:57 AM   #15
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Re: to gift or not to gift? Semi vent

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It could be they're on their own forums talking about how they're trying to minimize toy collection or something and the best way to do this is torequest no gift exchanges.
This is the crux of what has upset me. They didn't request anything. They let us get birthday gifts for all 3 of their kids but didn't even get a card for mine without warning after 11 years of doing these exchanges.

Its not the lack of gift but I feel a bit duped by the way they went about it.
Like they were trying to decieve us.

We will still at the very least get my niece and nephews a card.
Like I said in a PP their parents actions are not their fault. regardless it is still their special day.

My aunts and uncles never got gifts for me either but this has been the family dynamic for the last 11 years.We all live very close and see eachother frequntly at MILs.
A little heads up would have been nice. My poor DS keeps asking when his real birthday is because he didn't even get a card or any kind of aknowledgment that it was his birthday aside from a card with money from MIL.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:15 PM   #16
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Re: To gift or not to gift? Semi vent

Hello there Mama24babes!

I am wishing your ODS a very happy birthday. How nice your MIL did a birthday dinner for him already. I am sure your family is planning to do something special on his b-day as well.

You have gotten some nice perspective from others and I am glad all of these wonderful people have given you these insights.

Even though it is hard I am going to suggest you let go of this anger that you have towards your BIL and the family. This anger may be getting in the way of your being able to celebrate w/ your own family. Also remember they may be waiting until your ODS actually b-day to call or send a card/gift. Even if they don't don't worry. Your DS is very well loved by your family, MIL and many others.

I also have 4 kids and I try not to get worked up when someone forgets or chooses to skip their or my b-day. It has happened to me and my family several times.

Also remember the reason you get gifts for their kids is not because you want to get a gift for your own in return. Sure it's nice but this isn't the guaranteed way it is always going to happen.

Please try not to judge them based on what you see the kids w/ (i.e. Ipads) and their jobs. Even though this is very hard to avoid you really don't know their true situation. Yes, they have pricey things but who knows if they were gifts from someone else or what the deal is.

I just read your last post about your poor DS wondering when he real b-day is because he only got one card w/ $ in it. I would try to tell your DS how wonderful it was he got to celebrate w/ MIL and your family. Remind him how fortunate he is to be able to get to celebrate w/ his grandma. My grandparents, aunt, uncles and cousins live in another continent so a b-day celebration w/ them was/is out of the question. We no longer to have any contact w/ relatives on DH's side of the family. So your DS is very fortunate to be able to celebrate w/ grandma and have a relationship w/ BIL and family.

Again your DS has SO many people who care about him and love him. It is very clear you want the best for your wonderful little boy. Don't let his not getting a gift from BIL further hurt you or your family.

Hope you all have a great time on his actual b-day.

Hugs.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:30 PM   #17
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Re: To gift or not to gift? Semi vent

Thanks everyone for some outside perspective and the birthday wishes. Its easy to get caught up in the emotions of things especially with past wounds.

I guess it come down to that my kids always seem to get the short end of the stick in DH's family.


ODS wasnt upset that he didn't get more gifts but rather that they didn't treat it like it was his birthday. He would have been just as happy with a card or a happy birthday from them.

I am grateful for what we do have and it makes me even more greatful for my family and friends.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:10 PM   #18
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Re: To gift or not to gift? Semi vent

I would use this as an opportunity to teach your children about how good it feels to think about what another person might like and how much fun it is to give a gift without thinking what the return might be.

Things can get really weird when there is score-keeping with gift giving and it can quickly become a situation where gifts are based on dollar value and making sure everything is tit for tat instead of a genuine gift from the heart.

Who knows what their reasons are, but I would just make sure to keep my side of the fence clean and let them do what they will with their side.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:17 AM   #19
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Re: To gift or not to gift? Semi vent

I have 1 crazy sil and she has yet to acknowledge my 3rd and 4th children have been born (they are 2 and 1). Does not do gifts for my children for birthdays or Christmas. They infuriate me quite frequently (for other reasons too). Anyway, they have 2 children and no financial issues.

So I do get their 2 kids gifts for birthdays and Christmas because I feel like Aunties should. I don't spend tons of money (5-8 dollars, if that). They are 7 and 5. I will make a homemade playdough set, some felt food, a book from a discount store with a fun activitiy (like I bought a nature book for 3 dollars and put in a little notebook and nice coloring crayon set for the kiddo to make their own nature book).
For Christmas, I do a combined gift for them usually a board game the family can play. I get them all sale for $5 (like don't break the ice, cherry-ho, twister, etc).

When the kids get older, I will continue the Board Games for family gifts at Christmas and then get birthday gifts that still only come out to 5 bucks or so. Things like a couple nail polishes for the girl and Starbucks card for the boys... I know it's not much, but I have 4 children and income is kind of tight.

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