Christmas Gifts for extended family... ranting....

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by Anita in NC, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. Anita in NC

    Anita in NC Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    I received an email today from one of my DH sisters (he has 4 sisters and 2 brothers). His sister wanted to know if the individual families wanted to pull names from a hat for sending presents (8 families total if you include DH parents).

    Okay, this may sound like a nice idea. But here's the problem I have. We haven't spoken to either of his brothers or his sisters for a couple of years now. Once is a while I'll get an email from his sister Linda and his sister-in-law. His parents call about once every 4 months when they want something.

    So I wrote back and said we don't want to participate. We don't usually send gifts - I gave up years ago trying to make an effort. I use to write and email but his family didn't write back to say they received the letter or got the photos of the kids - nothing.

    I don't want to participate in the the gift giving. I don't know them, I don't know what they like or need. I'd rather give some money to charity to someone that could really use the money I'd otherwise spend on gifts.

    Hopefully no-one will be really offended by my email and if so it's not like I'm going to hear from them.

    And since I'm venting anyway. When I was sick and had to go to hospital for surgery and had to take it easy for a month DH parents couldn't even pick up the phone or send an e-mail asking if I was doing okay. (Yes, they knew about the surgery).

    But they can call to ask DH, who has a 2 hour commute every day, works 9 hours and has a home, 3 kids, a wife and a dog to take care of if he can get on the computer and help find his useless 33 year old brother a job. Gee, the guy is 33 years old - let him find his own darn job. I mean the guy is single, he lives in his mom's rental house and doesn't have a whole lot of responsibility. I mean DH parents even paid for him to go to college just recently and paid his $1200 rent while he was there. But when I suggested that maybe it was time for him to pay his own way - well that didn't go over to well. So fine, don't moan about all the money you have to spend to support your 30 something son. Oh and I forgot to mention that he couldn't take his 2 dogs to college with him so he gave them to his mom and dad and then would you believe it he bought 3 more dogs home from college with him. So now DH parents have 5 dogs that they didn't want and that aren't theirs.

    Okay, I'm done. I'm just not going to answer the phone to them anymore. If DH wants to pickup then he can but me I'm done.
  2. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    We agreed no gift exchanges this year. The grandparents may still give the children an AMerican Express gift cheque which they give ever year. But no need to give us grown folks. Anything that I really need would cost too much (a house, a well, septic) and I don't need another gift basket of bath salts. :shrug: We were giving my parents gift cards to restaurants every year, but I can't afford a $60.00 Ruby Tuesday gift card this year. That would be our grocery money. The childen and I make one gift and buy one store bought gift for each other. It's really very special. You really have to take your time to find and make just hte right item. That makes it really special. I had started making a gift for my 16 yr old neice, but since they aren't doing gifts at all this year (long story, new marriage, step children troubles, etc.). So since I'm not doing anything for the step kids, I'll wiat and give it to her for her birthday in March.

  3. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 24, 2003
    I can totally relate----especially to the brother that keeps his hand open for donations when he's living better than everyone else----it caused a blow-out between my husband, his brother and wife and myself when I told them to get their own life after military career. :shrug: Its not easy....seems we end up spending more money on extended family than on our own husband and I have not given gifts to each other since we had children....and we havent had an at home holiday in 15 years of being together :help:

    Since the blow - out I'm fairly sure I'll be uninvited to their Christmas gathering :cool:
  4. manygoatsnmore

    manygoatsnmore Well-Known Member Supporter

    Feb 12, 2005
    SW WA
    Only presents here will be for my kids and grandkids, and my best friend forever. Our family stopped exchanging gifts when the kids grew up. We get together every Christmas for the presence, not the presents. I will do my annual gift exchange at work, and I plan to make plates of goodies for the near neighbors, etc, but that is just little stuff. I make a stocking up for all the kids and grands each year, and one gift for each of the grown kids/families. I splurge more on dd14 still at home, and the grands get a few gifts - they are all under the age of 3 and don't need a lot to make them happy. DBF and I exchange only thrift-store finds and homemade goodies. We try to get together for a day of cookie baking sometime in Dec, and I think this year I'll see if my ddil and dd21 would like to do something like that, too.

    I think all of us grownups were relieved to give up the gift hunt and extra spending. We are not wealthy, money-wise, and it was a strain none of us needed.

    COUNTRY WISHES Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    NW NJ's lakeland hills
    I think we will just be buying for the young kids this year. With all that has gone on and Dh just getting back to work we just do not have the funds to do like we have in the past. Luckily I did buy some nice educational toys earlier in the year for my young nephews. A store was going out of business at the mall and I think I am set for them until the older ones birthday next August. I was a little put off by my SIL calling last week to tell us what to get the kids, not suggest, but tell. Like she was placing an order with Sears Roebuck catalog. I told her after the year we had they are lucky to be getting anything at all from us and that if I needed advice on what to get them I would ask for it. She called back later and apologized for not thinking about our situation before she called and said not to worry about getting anything for her and my bother. Hopefully we have come to an understanding.

    On Dh's side we just send a gift down to his sister and niece. Usually puzzles or books. I can be pretty thrifty doing that and I did see an inexspensive Flamingo marionette at the mall I may send the niece.

    The rest of the family will just get some baked or homemade things this time. We were overally generous in the past and I was talking about ending that anyway. This year I have no choice but to be thrifty.
  6. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2004
    So Cal Mtns
    I opted out of Christmas a couple years ago,Mrs still gets the kids a little something,but the major expenses,we are done.
    Tired of being manipulated by Madison Avenue.

    The adults have no problem with it.

    As for us,we get what we want/need whenever it happens,dont need a special date for that.

  7. annethcz

    annethcz Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2004
    on the beautiful prairie of MN
    I hear you. We stopped exchanging gifts with the adults in our family a few years ago. We're all very close to each other, but it just seemed to add another complication to our lives. We're all adults who are gainfully employed- if there's something we want, we buy it for ourselves. And if there's something we want/need that we haven't bought- it's probably too expensive of an item for my sister to buy for me.

    So now we just buy for the kids, and enjoy each other's company, and that's good enough.
  8. Whimsy~

    Whimsy~ Member

    Oct 5, 2006
    Ask Hanzel and Gretel.
    This would make me fly off the handle.
  9. Speciallady

    Speciallady Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    wow it's hard enough to buy for your own kids let alone everyone elses. I would just let them know you need to pass this Christmas.
  10. farmergirl

    farmergirl Well-Known Member Supporter

    Aug 2, 2005
    Austin-ish, Texas
    I have a couple different thoughts on your situation. One, I can TOTALLY relate to not having good relations with my inlaws. Two, maybe they are trying to make you feel included? Three, you mentioned that you'd rather give the money to's an idea: why not participate in their gift giving plans and give whoever you end up with a card that says you donated something in their name. Our local food pantry has an option for you to donate in honor of someone else and then the food pantry sends that person a holiday card to tell them of the gift. Heifer International is another good outfit to donate to.
  11. TSYORK

    TSYORK Jhn Boy ina D Trump world

    Mar 15, 2006
    I can honestly say that I don't NEED one thing! I've been so blessed, what more could I ask for. Now sure, I would love to have another goat or two, maybe some more chickens to sustain us with meat and eggs, a cow for butter or beef. As for "gifts" (please don't think I'm being smart by this comment), but I really don't want them. I might could use a few pairs of dress socks and that's about it. To be honest, I hope my parents keep their money and use it on rising fuel costs, etc. I've been blessed beyond measure, and I don't need a gift card from Belk, Sears, or Lowes to validate that.

    That's just my two cents worth.