I will start this off by stating that I love to give gifts. I take the time to make mental notes of what my friends and relatives like. I will go to the ends of the earth (or the internet) to find the perfect gift. I love the look on a person’s face when I give them something I know they will love. I will even try find a way to make an office Secret Santa gift special while staying in the given price range. It is almost like a sport for me.
This is a story about my husband’s relative and spouse. They cannot graciously give or receive gifts. They moved to our town three years ago and we have been friends with them. They don’t like giving gifts but they sure like receiving them. My husband and I have birthdays that are two weeks apart. During the month our birthdays is in we don’t hear from them. They won’t answer calls or text back and after the month has passed they show up again. It’s like they are afraid they will have to buy us something. I don’t expect birthday gifts but telling me “happy birthday” would be nice. Whenever they want to do something for their birthdays we happily go along.
They got married and bought a house at about the same time. They told me the only reason why they had a wedding reception was because their parents friends are rich and they knew they would receive good wedding presents. The got married in a courthouse a few months before the wedding reception for insurance reasons. We did not go to the wedding reception because it was out of state and would have been too expensive to for us to attend. We offered to buy them an appliance for their family room as a wedding and housewarming present. They were going to install a wet bar so the appliance would tie in perfectly. They told us to hold off on the purchase because they would need to find the right appliance for us to buy. It would have to be a certain size and color.
The months passed and Christmas rolled around they never told us what to buy and we still hadn’t given them their gift. We then decided to give them a gift card so they could buy the appliance themselves. We wanted to cover Christmas, the wedding and housewarming all at once so we put a lot of money on the gift card. When we exchanged presents with them they thanked us for the card and gave us our gifts. DH received an obviously used desk decoration the smelled like mold and had parts missing. I was one of those little things you could buy at the drugstore and the price was printed on the box. If it was new the cost would have been $9.99. We think they bought it at a garage sale. When they handed me my gift they said “we had a hard time digging up a gift for you”. I was given a piece of pottery from the pottery class the wife takes. The piece looked like it did not turn out well and was uneven and the color was off. We did thank them. They ended up buying the appliance from a friend, used. The used appliance is an average size and color so I guess what they wanted was not so specific after all.
My DH was more hurt than I was about the lame gifts. I kept telling him it’s the thought that counts. He then pointed out that they gave no thought to the gifts they gave us.
The next year I still bought them nice and thoughtful gifts but did not spend as much on them. I found the gifts for them a few months before while on vacation. They loved the gifts and I was happy. They gave a new calendar to DH and a piece of costume jewelry for me. For them, this was quite thoughtful and I was touched.
Last Christmas rolled around and the wife is pregnant and due in February. We bought the husband a small kitchen gadget that he was talking about. For the wife I bought her a little present the ended up being much cheaper that I thought it would be so I included a bottle of wine that complimented the little present. It was a brand of wine that I knew she liked. I even included a small gift for the baby that was not born yet. We went to their house to exchange gifts a week before Christmas. When the wife opened her gift she said “why did you give wine to a pregnant woman?” Maybe this was not so considerate but she was not going to be pregnant forever and wine keeps. The baby gift I got them played a little song and they said they will find a way to break it so it wouldn’t make noise. After they opened up our gifts to them they told us since the wife is pregnant they did not have time buy gifts. It is not a matter of money if you believe their bragging on how rich they are. The wife has not had any complications to her pregnancy that made her unable to move and the husband is young and fully mobile. They did have a pile of wrapped gifts that were sitting in a corner. They were all wrapped in the same wrapping paper so it looked like they did get gifts for some people and had yet to hand them out. I guess we didn’t qualify this year.
The last gift we gave them was when they had the baby. I did not feel right going to the hospital to see the baby without having a gift in hand. My DH said it was a waste of time and money giving them anything but I convinced him it was the right thing to do. I knew they don’t like flowers so I bought a little newborn outfit. When I gave it to them they said “why did you give us something the baby is going to outgrow? “ There was no thank you or anything. Oh well, I guess one day I will learn. Since I did not get a Christmas present from them casting them off into the fiery pits of e-hell will be nice. Merry belated Christmas to me! 0314-12