Author Topic: Gifting brothers differently.  (Read 12231 times)

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SiotehCat

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Gifting brothers differently.
« on: November 24, 2012, 04:25:02 PM »
BG: I have two nephews.

Nephew1 is 14 yrs old and his name is Riley. Nephew 2 is 16 yrs old and his name is Will. My brother is their father, but they have different mothers.

For reasons that I don't really want to get into here, Will has not been a part of our family. That started to change last year.

I do not live in the same area as the rest of my family, so I met Will for the first time around Christmas last year. We had communicated through facebook before that. When we met, I gave him his Christmas present. It was a card(with a note) and cash. I didn't receive a thank you.

I gave Riley the same amount of cash and did receive a thank you.  End BG.


So, I am a little bitter about not receiving the thanks, since it was a good amount of cash. I know I shouldn't be, but that's just how I feel. I haven't spent all year thinking about it, but I did the majority of my Christmas shopping yesterday and started thinking about this years gift to Will. I don't want to let this cloud my judgement, but if I am going to be honest, it did bug me.

I am going to give Riley the same amount of cash as last year. Should I also give Will the same amount of cash? My relationship with Will is almost non existent, but I have a very good relationship with Riley.

Will says that he is going to be spending Christmas with my side of the family this year, so that does change things. 

Maybe I made him uncomfortable by giving him that kind of present when we didn't really know each other. I haven't really spoken to him since.

I am really confused about what I should do here. Any advice or input is appreciated.

JennJenn68

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2012, 04:29:20 PM »
My only thought on the matter is this... is Will aware of the concept of a thank you note?  I ask because so many of the younger generation seem completely clueless, and it's not necessarily their fault--it tends to go back to whether he/she has been properly instructed by parents.  I know that it burns your buns that he didn't thank you, but I'm wondering if his mother never got around to explaining the niceties of the receiving of gifts...?  (You did say that your nephews have different mothers.)

SiotehCat

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2012, 04:34:03 PM »
My only thought on the matter is this... is Will aware of the concept of a thank you note?  I ask because so many of the younger generation seem completely clueless, and it's not necessarily their fault--it tends to go back to whether he/she has been properly instructed by parents.  I know that it burns your buns that he didn't thank you, but I'm wondering if his mother never got around to explaining the niceties of the receiving of gifts...?  (You did say that your nephews have different mothers.)

We don't do thank you notes in my family either. I handed him the gift in person, so I did expect a verbal thanks. When it didn't come, I assumed it was because he hadn't opened the gift. I thought that he would go home, open the gift and then text/facebook me a thanks.

JennJenn68

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2012, 04:41:21 PM »
Ah.  I see.  Yes, that does put a different complexion on things...

I would be inclined to give him one more chance, just to be absolutely certain.  Maybe he was nervous and tongue-tied.  Maybe he was in shock to receive a gift from someone he had just met, even though you are blood relations.  Maybe he is, as I said before, completely clueless and oblivious for the need for thanks.

If you decide not to do so, though, I for one would completely understand.  I know that there's lots more backstory that you haven't posted--you intimated this in your original post--and in the end, you must do what is right for you.

bonyk

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2012, 04:49:27 PM »
I think you have to give a 15 year old meeting his family for the first time a bit of slack.  He was probably extremely overwhelmed. 

If Will had said thank you, but remained out of contact with you, would you still feel resentful?  If you want more contact, I think you, as the adult, have to initiate.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2012, 04:49:41 PM »
Do Riley and Will have a relationship?  And if so, are they likely to see each other over the holidays and perhaps compare notes?  If that's the case, I would gift them the same once more and see if Will was just a little uncomfortable last year and didn't know how to respond.

If they won't, or won't have an opportunity to, compare notes then I think it would be fine to gift Will a lesser amount.
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Roe

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2012, 04:51:40 PM »
My only thought on the matter is this... is Will aware of the concept of a thank you note?  I ask because so many of the younger generation seem completely clueless, and it's not necessarily their fault--it tends to go back to whether he/she has been properly instructed by parents.  I know that it burns your buns that he didn't thank you, but I'm wondering if his mother never got around to explaining the niceties of the receiving of gifts...?  (You did say that your nephews have different mothers.)

We don't do thank you notes in my family either. I handed him the gift in person, so I did expect a verbal thanks. When it didn't come, I assumed it was because he hadn't opened the gift. I thought that he would go home, open the gift and then text/facebook me a thanks.

A verbal thanks, even a text or email is the least one can expect.  (we don't do thank you cards in our family either but not geting a verbal thanks would bother me too)

However, I say give him another chance. He's new to the family.  And given the fact that both nephews will be part of your Christmas celebration, I say give the same amount to both. 

Zilla

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2012, 05:05:49 PM »
We were also raised not to write thank you notes.  Did he thank you verbally as you handed him the envelope? 
 
Maybe you can buy a gift instead of cash?

Sharnita

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2012, 05:09:26 PM »
I guess I have a bit different take on this.  Whether you chose to or not you have already gifted these boys differently.  One of them has had you there his whole life and so he has had a christmas present (and probably birthday present?) every year.  One has not been involved and so has not had presents until last Christmas.  Not your fault but not his either and the end result is that they have benefited unequally from you and your family on all levels.  For that reason, I would not penalize him even if he misses another thank you.  You feel somewhat bitter over what you missed (a thank you), maybe he is dealing with some bitterness over what he has missed over the years - not only the material things but everything.  This seems like it is so much more complex than a thank you that I would not focus on that.

gramma dishes

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2012, 05:18:06 PM »
I guess I have a bit different take on this.  Whether you chose to or not you have already gifted these boys differently.  One of them has had you there his whole life and so he has had a christmas present (and probably birthday present?) every year.  One has not been involved and so has not had presents until last Christmas.  Not your fault but not his either and the end result is that they have benefited unequally from you and your family on all levels.  For that reason, I would not penalize him even if he misses another thank you.  You feel somewhat bitter over what you missed (a thank you), maybe he is dealing with some bitterness over what he has missed over the years - not only the material things but everything.  This seems like it is so much more complex than a thank you that I would not focus on that.

I'm glad I read all the responses, because I would have typed almost word for word what Sharnita has said.  Will has NOT been gifted equally and that has not been his fault in any way.  I'm sure he was surprised to receive a gift from you at all under the circumstances.  And I also doubt he has been taught about thank you notes.  Add to that a little embarrassment perhaps for not having a gift for you?

I think I'd certainly give him another chance or two.  See how things go.  If he acts happy and excited, consider yourself thanked.  You've made his day.

SiotehCat

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2012, 05:22:34 PM »
We were also raised not to write thank you notes.  Did he thank you verbally as you handed him the envelope? 
 
Maybe you can buy a gift instead of cash?

No, he didn't.

I would buy a gift, but I have no clue what he likes.

Even Riley seems to change his style/interests every couple of months.

Zilla

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2012, 05:29:44 PM »
We were also raised not to write thank you notes.  Did he thank you verbally as you handed him the envelope? 
 
Maybe you can buy a gift instead of cash?

No, he didn't.

I would buy a gift, but I have no clue what he likes.

Even Riley seems to change his style/interests every couple of months.

You can gift him with movie tickets with popcorn and drinks from a local theater in his city.  Beauty of this is no value is put on it and he can sell it/give it away if he doesn't like movies.  Or allow him to treat a friend or date to the movies.
 
As for all those years you didn't gift him, doesn't matter an iota.  It wasn't the OP's fault either for not being able to gift him all those years and the very first oppurtunity to do so, she did.  And he couldn't even thank the OP verbally.  No matter how someone was raised, please and thank you is very basic skills that everyone should know. 

gramma dishes

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2012, 05:39:53 PM »
...   As for all those years you didn't gift him, doesn't matter an iota.  It wasn't the OP's fault either for not being able to gift him all those years and the very first oppurtunity to do so, she did.  And he couldn't even thank the OP verbally.  No matter how someone was raised, please and thank you is very basic skills that everyone should know.

You do know we're not talking about "gifts" here as in the 'wrapped up presents' sense of the word, right?

We're talking about this teenager (a tough enough time of life anyway) who has never had the 'gift' of family here.  No, not his fault.  No, not the OP's fault.  Circumstances beyond either of their control determined that. 

But the younger brother has had the joy and comfort of knowing this family, knowing they love him, knowing they care about him for his whole life.  Will has had none of that.  The gift of being part of this family has never been his until very recently.

Marbles

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2012, 05:42:56 PM »
I wouldn't lay his lack of Thanks solely on his mother's doorstep. Why hasn't his Dad taught him this if Mom hasn't?

OP, have you mentioned to your brother that his son never thanked you for your Christmas gift last year? Your Bro needs to coach Will to say "thank you" (or text, phone, or message if the gift is opened later) because that's an important part of fitting-in in your family and in society in general.

Iris

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Re: Gifting brothers differently.
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2012, 05:49:15 PM »
I think Marbles makes a good point. Mention it to your brother. I know many, many 15 year olds who were raised in good homes with good manners instilled who would forget to say thank you simply because they felt overwhelmed in a strange situation and without their parent to guide them. Even a casual "Did you remember to thank Aunt Sio?" from your brother would do the trick.

Other than that, I think it's a bit rough to write him off over one forgotten thank you at an awkward age in an awkward situation. I would cut him some slack.
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