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  • June 29, 2016, 08:18:35 PM

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Author Topic: It would be rude to say "NO more presents," wouldn't it? Update #6, Final #21  (Read 8315 times)

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bah12

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Re: It would be rude to say "NO more presents," wouldn't it? Update #6
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2015, 12:32:17 PM »
While I think your Brother and SIL should have respected your wishes for no gifts, I really think that your family was beyond rude to them in recourse.  Not saying thank you, asking them to take them back, and then bawling them out for giving the gifts is a horrible way to treat people that were trying to be kind.  Of course your SIL is upset.  I don't blame her at all. 

I don't think it's so hard to see that SIL shows love through gift-giving and may have even seen the gifts as a way to show appreciation for helping them out in the past.  You may not have wanted the stuff, but I think a genuine recognition of the spirit in which the gifts were intended shouldn't have been too much of a leap.

 If you would like to see them start repaying you the money you gave them, then I think that's a separate conversation for you to have with them.  You certainly don't have to give them money in the future, but whether or not your Mom chooses to is her business. 

Kiwipinball

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Re: It would be rude to say "NO more presents," wouldn't it? Update #6
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2015, 12:49:19 PM »
I wanted to add a few things:

1. OP - I can see how your SIL interpreted your text about some people not needing things the way she did. I know you didn't mean it that way, and it wasn't a horrible thing to say, but I was wincing a bit when I was reading it about how it could be interpreted. Your sentiment of SIL being family regardless of gifts is lovely. I'm not shocked given the situation that it was misinterpreted. Nothing you can do about it now other than apologize (which you have) and perhaps reassure SIL you do consider her family. Sounds like she's going through a rough time.

2. I think it's important for the terms of loans to be discussed. I borrowed a significant amount of money (five figures to give a rough idea - lower side of 5 figures) from my parents about a year ago to pay off credit card debt (interest was killing me). It was always intended (spelled out in a contract) that I would pay them back slowly - the point was to get rid of the interest and pay off every month going forward. My parents in no way expect me to never buy anything fun or to not buy gifts (I have given them and others gifts since borrowing money). They do expect me to be living within my means and would probably be concerned if I suddenly started getting people $400 gifts or something. It sounds like the situations are different - I only got one loan, but it is good to talk about the terms of the loan (when to pay back, payment plan, priority of paying it back, etc). That's really between OP's mom and brother and SIL though. I can see how it would be awkward to receive gifts if Mom is also complaining about not being paid back. Frankly, I'd be uncomfortable knowing the details of a loan to my sibling (I know some about a loan to my sister because I'm an attorney and they had me draw up a contract - but I don't know details about if/how it was paid back, etc).

3. At this point a lot has happened and there are a lot of hurt feelings. I think trying to smooth things over in a little bit when feelings have had a chance to recover is a good idea. OP, does SIL live near you? Can you make an effort to do some activities with her? Give her some support?

Calypso

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Re: It would be rude to say "NO more presents," wouldn't it? Update #6
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2015, 12:53:12 PM »
  What y'all are saying is very helpful to me. It's annoying how easy it is for me to see the right path when someone posts something on here, but when I'm in the middle of the situation, my brain goes flooey!  ???

I'm going to call SIL right now and apologize and thank her.

As for the money situation: you're absolutely right that my big Sis and I need to get out of Mom's business.  We have our opinions about how my parents helped create bro's irresponsible choices by always bailing him out, but those are opinions I never share with bro. I'm sorry to say Big Sis can't stop thinking she has wisdom from on high and everyone needs to hear it (she takes after her Dad that way  ::) ).

The most shocking thing here? Bro and I are in our 50s, Big Sis nearly 70, Mom nearly 90. For gosh sakes, you think we'd have all grown up by now  :-[

Kiwipinball

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Re: It would be rude to say "NO more presents," wouldn't it? Update #6
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2015, 01:02:54 PM »
  What y'all are saying is very helpful to me. It's annoying how easy it is for me to see the right path when someone posts something on here, but when I'm in the middle of the situation, my brain goes flooey!  ???

I'm going to call SIL right now and apologize and thank her.

As for the money situation: you're absolutely right that my big Sis and I need to get out of Mom's business.  We have our opinions about how my parents helped create bro's irresponsible choices by always bailing him out, but those are opinions I never share with bro. I'm sorry to say Big Sis can't stop thinking she has wisdom from on high and everyone needs to hear it (she takes after her Dad that way  ::) ).

The most shocking thing here? Bro and I are in our 50s, Big Sis nearly 70, Mom nearly 90. For gosh sakes, you think we'd have all grown up by now  :-[

That's very common. When emotions are flying, it's hard to think. And it can be really difficult to anticipate different interpretations of what you're saying. You know what you mean, it's obvious! :) I think you have a good plan of attack. And the most drama in my family (not a horrible amount, but enough to ruffle feathers) is between my grandfather and his siblings. Yikes! I stay clear of that.

lowspark

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Re: It would be rude to say "NO more presents," wouldn't it? Update #6
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2015, 01:13:22 PM »
Good for you Calypso. Sounds like you're doing the right thing.

Based on everyone's age and the current situation with how your brother handles money, there is something you might want to think about now to avoid conflict later. There is going to be a time that your mom is no longer around and her assets get distributed among you and your siblings. Chances are good that Brother will not have paid off the loan when that happens. You and your sisters probably need to reconcile to that fact now.
Houston 
Texas 
USA 

bopper

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Re: It would be rude to say "NO more presents," wouldn't it? Update #6
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2015, 09:28:30 PM »
Do keep in mind that some people's Love Language is Receiving/Giving Gifts...yours maybe Acts of Service, Quality Time, Words of Affirmation or Physical Touch. 

Calypso

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Re: It would be rude to say "NO more presents," wouldn't it? Update #6
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2016, 12:24:29 PM »
  So I apologized, acknowledged their POV and abundantly emphasized how much I cared about her/them...and bro texted "no apology needed, we love you"  ::) 8)  So we're all good again.

I did talk to Big Sis ---- she was not the origin of the "buying your way into family" comment, thank goodness ----- I think we just underestimated how hard this first Christmas without her mother being herself was going to be on SIL.  She shopped and gave partly for the sense of normalcy it gave her, as a way to comfort herself, and Mom and I stomped all over it.

Thank you again, guys, for helping me quickly see another perspective when I needed that the most.  :) 8)

Oh Joy

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Beautifully done, Calypso!  I hope that next year is easier on everyone.

Happy new year.

AnnaT

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Calypso - just because your SIL's mother is suffering dementia does not mean your SIL can't still enjoy gift giving with her. 

My mother had Alzheimers the last few years of her life and reverted to more child like behaviour.  Gifts were no longer perfume, books or puzzles - gifts were brightly coloured scarves, baby clothes for her "baby" doll (cheap and plentiful from a charity shop), chocolates and things for her room (like stained glass stickers for the window). 

oz diva

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I'm pleased the situation seems resolved. One point I think should be made is that the whole conversation seems have occurred over text. And you've said that sometimes things were misconstrued. I'd suggest that you try talking over the phone or in person next time. It's harder to misunderstand someone and if it does occur can be rectified immediately.

Also I feel sorry for mums in this situation. Why do they still have to act as mediator for adult children?. My mum is doing this currently and it must be very wearing.

Victoria

SamiHami

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Re: It would be rude to say "NO more presents," wouldn't it? Update #6
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2016, 12:25:40 PM »
Is the real reason you don't want gifts from your brother because you don't want more stuff? Or is it because you feel he should be using that money to pay Mom back?

If it's because you don't want more stuff, then you just do what you would do if anyone, family or not, gave you a gift. You accept it graciously, thank them, and then do whatever you want with it. Keep it, regift it, give it to charity, throw it away, whatever, without a hint to the giver that you didn't want it.

If it's because you feel he should be using that money to pay Mom back, then I think that's something that's totally between Brother & Mom. If Mom wants her money back, she needs to meet with Brother at some neutral point (not when you're in the midst of holiday conflict) and tell him that she wants to be repaid and that when he spends money on nonessential stuff, it disappoints her because she feels the money should instead be going toward paying off her loan to him.

She should also probably stop making further loans, and none of the rest of you should lend him any additional money.

But that is totally up to each individual involved. Unless Mom asks you to represent her to Brother and ask for repayment, and even then I'd be hesitant, it's really not up to you or your sisters to say anything to Brother. If he asks you or your sisters for money, then you have the right to refuse or not, just being fully aware that the chances are, based on his past behavior, you're not going to get the money back.

In either case, I agree that once the gifts were given, the only really polite thing to do is accept graciously and move on. Discussing the loan situation should be an entirely separate conversation.

I think I disagree with that. I would say something like, "DB, we have all agreed to not exchange Christmas gifts. It makes us feel bad that you are continuing to buy gifts for us even though we have specifically asked you not to. We love you and want to enjoy the holidays together, but if you gift us with anything more than cookies you are just going to make us feel worse."

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

saki

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Re: It would be rude to say "NO more presents," wouldn't it? Update #6
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2016, 05:31:16 AM »


I think I disagree with that. I would say something like, "DB, we have all agreed to not exchange Christmas gifts. It makes us feel bad that you are continuing to buy gifts for us even though we have specifically asked you not to. We love you and want to enjoy the holidays together, but if you gift us with anything more than cookies you are just going to make us feel worse."

Something that's a bit unclear to me is whether the DB actually did agree not to exchange gifts.  It sort of sounds like the OP and her sister decided this was a good plan and assumed everyone else would "get with the program" but the DB/SIL never really agreed with the idea of not giving gifts.