11-19-2013 12:12 PM
Is it wrong to stop buying Christmas presents for some of my nieces and nephews while continuing for others? My dh & I have been the only one of my siblings to buy presents for every niece & nephew for every Christmas & birthday for the last 14 years. However, my 1 brother, his soon to be ex & their kids don't appreciate it! They don't say thank you. They sporadically buy for my kids & our other nieces & nephews. And I just found out that my SIL was complaining that last year her kids piles (of presents) was smaller than everyone else's & when she looked around my dh looked embarrased so we must not have bought them anything. (Mind you we put tags on every present & hand them out!) Also, in March my brother & SIL 'disowned' me because I refused to give them money for a dress they bought my 12 yr old daughter for my sister's wedding that I told them to return (I never had it in my possession or authorized them to buy it & my dd was not in the wedding). Now I'm torn. I know my brother & his kids will be at my aunts' for Christmas. But I feel like everything I've ever done has gone un-appreciated and that they don't really deserve anything from us. However, I think we'll come across as the 'bad guys' if we don't buy something for them... I need some objective advice!!!
11-19-2013 01:47 PM
If they have basically disowned you, and weren't going to be at Christmas along with everyone else, then I would skip it. However, since they will be there, I would buy a present for them, even though they are rude about it and such. I think it might be helpful to let your kids know (since they probably notice this particular family isn't very good at saying thank you and acknowledging others and guarenteed know things aren't cool between you and soon to be ex SIL) that when we give gifts we do it without expecting anything in return.
If your experience is similar to my DH's stepbrothers experience, his ex turned him into an unappreciative butthole that disowned the entire family. Once they divorced, he was back to more appreciative and involved in the family for the first time after 4 years.
11-19-2013 02:36 PM
Thank you for your input. And yes, that is pretty much how it is. Except to make it worse, she kicked him out of the house about 6 years ago, they were separated for 3 1/2 years & almost divorced, then got back together & now he's left her & they're really divorcing. When they were together originally, she caused problems on quite a few occassions & he was an ass. While they were separated, he started acting like a normal human being again! And things were okay for a while when they got back together (although she still stirred up trouble, just not as much or as openly). Then after my oldest niece turned 13 (she's now 14), they stopped coming to our monthly family dinners for a while because my niece felt her birthday wasn't properly recognized. Mind you it was recognized the same way everyone else's is, but she though she deserved more because she's the oldest grandchild. She is raising their children to be entitled brats (for lack of a better term) & my brother is helping/letting her (he's just as much to blame even if it's just for not correcting the problem) and that is what I don't like. I also know that my oldest niece has told lies to my brother & SIL about me, saying I said horrible things about my SIL in front of her while they were split before.
Also, I was told flat out that I was disowned. It was the last thing they said to me. And they told several family members that they would not attend anything that we were invited to, so they would have to choose between us.
I don't expect anyone to get anything for my kids, and most of my siblings don't buy anything for them (I'm 1 of 8 & currently have 8 nieces & nephews with 1 on the way). It's not the matter of getting **bleep** for tat that bothers me. It's the ungratefulness, selfishness, and sense of entitlement that bothers me. My other nieces and nephews and siblings thank us for the gifts we buy and that is enough for me. So my children already know that we give gifts without expecting anything in return and that nobody needs to buy them anything. I also drill it into them to not make any comments like "oh, I already have this"! We say 'thank you' & 'I love it'.
You've said basically what I feel like I need to do, but really don't want to do...
11-26-2013 11:12 AM
Yes this sounds like a difficult situation but perhaps since the ex wont be there.. you brother wont be such an ass anymore. I have had a similar situation and now that I have kids, i dont expect my brothers and sisters to buy anything for them- i dont ask, but i do appreciate. I was thinking though for you neice and nephew of your brother- although you can't blame them fully and the children did not disown you (the parents did) unfortunately these children are just caught in the middle. And they may feel they deserve things becuase since they have been going through this up and down divorce thing for a few years, I am sure that both their mom and dad try to overcompensate with their own guilt by buying them stuff. I would take it a different route- I dont know how close you are or want to be to your neice and nephew but perhaps instead of buying them something - doing something with them- take them to a movie-, or maybe your neice would like a "girls" day with nails and hair- and talk to her- perhaps she is just getting the impression of what her mother says about you- but let her know that you are there to be a good aunt- not a friend, but a role model. 14 is a difficult age for girls if you remember. I dont know how your nephew is- but sometimes quality time helps too. Good luck. These children need some sanity and just love and you can teach them to appreciate you - Just dont talk negative of the mother in front of them. (i know you may want to but she is still their mother.)
11-26-2013 11:18 AM
11-26-2013 12:12 PM
ahh the Christmas present giving issue... A) christmas shouldn:t be about the gifts, it is about coming together to eat drink and be merry. I totally understand that you fill you need to give a gift to everyone. We solved that problem in my very large family very quickly. Each child draws a name at Thanksgiving and that is who they purchase a gift for, This way it involves the child so they can see their cousin open their gift and appreciate it. This cut down the number gifts a parent had to buy from 8 to 2 or how many children you had. As we got older we picked out the gift or even purchased it on our own. Eventually we just stop doing gifts... or we joined the adult present game which was based on a theme. There is no point in getting worked up about someone esle behaviour, it is theirs not yours.
11-26-2013 12:14 PM
Sounds like you arnt buying the kids anything because you have more of a problem with the parents. If I were you, Id get the kids something if you are getting the others gifts too. Its not fair for them to be left out and it shows your the better person in my opinion.