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Need advice, do you give presents to people you don't ever see?


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#1 3plusme

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:58 PM

Here's the basics..


My two children don't see their two cousins at all because my sister in law and I don't get along AT ALL.   Up until now we have sent our kids birthday presents for birthdays and christmas through our mother in law. We have another lot of birthdays coming up and I was about to go and buy the presents for exchange BUT..
and I have said this before..

I just feel like it's silly to send presents and exchange them through my mother in law.  That feels childish, but also that the sets of cousins don't even know each other.  It's not about the money, I am happy to do it if it felt right, but it sort of doesn't.

Why are we sending presents to each others kids?  Do they really care if they receive them from us or not?  Does my SIL even give them to her kids?  If I stopped doing it, she would keep sending.  I know that.  

My own kids are easy going, they are not fussed about presents.

So anyways, should I keep sending the presents? What would you do?

#2 Marchioness Flea

Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:04 PM

Nope, send a card if you must, but not gifts.
I doubt they'd care frankly.

#3 bakesgirls

Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:07 PM

I wouldn't send them anything but a card so that they know they are in my thoughts.

#4 TheGreenSheep

Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:10 PM

I'd stop.

#5 beabea

Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:10 PM

Keep sending the presents. It reminds your nieces and nephews that they have family "out there".

That said, I would be careful with what you choose for someone you don't know, as I really hate this idea of giving things to people that they don't value. (I, myself, would rather receive nothing. It is a waste and, contrary to being a "nice thought", can be more about creating a sense of satisfaction for the giver, and can underline the fact that the giver doesn't really know/think about/care about/listen to the receiver.) Either your MIL can be trusted to guide you towards suitable gifts, or you should choose something fairly "safe" (perhaps even the sometimes-controversial voucher, especially for teens and tweens).

But ultimately, if there is no other contact, I think it's important to maintain something between the kids and Christmas gifts may be where you can do that, in practice.

ETA: I think it needs to be more than cards. I get cards from the bloke who organised my home loan eight years ago. I hope you would want to communicate that you are willing to go to some sort of trouble for them, despite the differences between yourself and SIL.

Edited by beabea, 05 January 2013 - 02:14 PM.


#6 vanessa71

Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:18 PM

My brother and I are no longer on speaking terms, we don't exchange gifts for the kids, can't see the point.


#7 fooiesmum

Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:28 PM

I buy iTunes gift cards for the 2 sons of my husbands sisters kids (by marriage) they are 16 & 19 - I've met them once more than 5 years ago....... I have just sent my SIL flowers for her birthday yesterday though she wouldn't know when my birthday was - she is my husbands little (only sibling) sister so I do it for him not her.

I receive Christmas & birthday day presents from them (SIL & her husband) for our daughter though most aren't age appropriate (mosaic glass craft set - very beautiful) for an almost 4 year old - I'm still waiting for her to grow into the dressing gown & slippers sent 3 Christmas's ago.  It's hard - I don't want to rock the boat so I buy, post and send a smile original.gif All I can do - families are hard work.

#8 Maple Leaf

Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:34 PM

I find it so fake. And I can't stand that.

I would send a message through MIL that it just makes sense to stop the presents as it's pointless.

Do a card if you must but if there is no relationship and your kids don't even know their cousins, it really is meaningless.


#9 epl0822

Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:08 PM

I have an uncle and aunt who is estranged from the family. I can safely say that not receiving any gifts from him has not caused any trauma or even the slightest bit of upset.

The whole point about gift giving is to express affection. If non exists, why bother with gifts? I assure you the kids won't be "missing out" on anything significant just because the aunt they never speak to or hear about stops giving them presents.

#10 FeralProudSwahili

Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:17 PM

I'd keep sending them, it's a nice thing to do.

#11 Faradaye

Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:18 PM

My brother made a choice to stop visiting me in April this year.

To me that means he has chosen to stop seeing his nieces also.  So they haven't seen or heard from him for months and months.

He passed Christmas gifts along via my dad.  I haven't even passed them onto my girls.  If he cant make any effort to see them or maintain a relationship he doesn't get to play generous gift giving uncle at Christmas.

#12 Floral Arrangement

Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:39 PM

Same situation we do not see dh's side of the family we don't send cards or gifts. Seems silly to as we have no contact with them at all.

Edited by FloralArrangement, 05 January 2013 - 03:39 PM.





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