Author Topic: A Christmas No Thank You.  (Read 10909 times)

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wheeitsme

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Re: A Christmas No Thank You.
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2012, 11:46:49 AM »

On the phone, she told us that the gift of cheesecake was not acceptable and we had to provide a gift of something she could eat.  She sounded quite offended that we should consider sending her a cheesecake and strongly suggested a gift of nuts.  Our gift of cash was not mentioned.

BTW, this is the only household in the family from which we have received neither a gift nor a card.


Telling someone that their gift to you is "not acceptable" and that you have to provide them with an "acceptable" gift is not okay.  Basic manners would be to say "Thank you for the lovely cheesecake.  I no longer make an exception for them in my vegan diet, so you don't have to worry about sending me one next year.  I will take some of the cash you sent and treat myself to <food I can eat> and think of you.  Thank you, again!".

And I would put them on a time line.  Next year, a card and cash.  If they don't acknowledge with a card and/or thank you, the following year, just a lovely card wishing them and theirs well.


<edited to add word>
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 12:02:16 PM by wheeitsme »

onyonryngs

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Re: A Christmas No Thank You.
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2012, 11:50:56 AM »
Are you 100% sure that she ate the cheesecake & the meat sandwich in the past?  Or did she just accept the graciously?

Doesn't matter.  Even if she was 'just being polite' (which from the OP doesn't sound like her strong suit) the time to mention it is well before the holiday, not after the fact with a demand for a new gift.

It does matter.   I also think her response was rude, but if she'd been accepting it graciously all this time and the family made no attempt to pay any attention to the fact that she's vegan, then that makes the gift extremely thoughtless.  You don't give a vegan meat & cheese.  I took it that she was wanting nuts in the future, not a demand for them now.

Thipu1

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Re: A Christmas No Thank You.
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2012, 11:53:20 AM »
It's not clear to me if this family member is the sole recipient of the cake, or head of household that receives a cake.   But I do think in either case that if you know she is vegan, it's not really nice to send a gift she can't enjoy or partake of.    I suppose she could use the cash part of the gift, but if I were her I might see it as "Oh, you can't eat the cake so here's some money to buy whatever you want." and feel like an afterthought.

She is the wife of our nephew. They have two children.  In the past, she has always eaten the cake. I know she enjoyed it and the sandwich because we were often seated next to each other at family gatherings.

This was something that came out of left-field and, frankly, we were gob-smacked by what she said.     
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 12:05:40 PM by Thipu1 »

snowdragon

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Re: A Christmas No Thank You.
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2012, 11:59:00 AM »
I would stop gifting her entirely. She does not reciprocate and She does not want the traditional gift and wants to dictate what you are "allowed" to give her. Just drop her off the list and go to sending cards.

Shoo

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Re: A Christmas No Thank You.
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2012, 12:03:29 PM »
It's not clear to me if this family member is the sole recipient of the cake, or head of household that receives a cake.   But I do think in either case that if you know she is vegan, it's not really nice to send a gift she can't enjoy or partake of.    I suppose she could use the cash part of the gift, but if I were her I might see it as "Oh, you can't eat the cake so here's some money to buy whatever you want." and feel like an afterthought.

She is the wife of our nephew.  In the past, she has always enjoyed eating the cake. 

Is the cheesecake a gift for the couple/family, or is it just for her?  If it's a family/couple gift, I'd ask your nephew if he'd like you to leave them out of the cheesecake gifting in the future.  Maybe next year I'd give them nuts, but this year?  There's no way I'd go out and get them something else. 

onyonryngs

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Re: A Christmas No Thank You.
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2012, 12:08:19 PM »
If dropping them off the list isn't an option, I found a place that has vegan "cheesecake" and other baked goods in the area.  http://suninbloom.wordpress.com/sun-in-bloom-menu/

Sharnita

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Re: A Christmas No Thank You.
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2012, 12:37:25 PM »
If there is a nephew and children I guess I would not hold her soley responsible for the fact that the household does not send/give gifts in return.

snowdragon

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Re: A Christmas No Thank You.
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2012, 12:40:41 PM »
Sharnita, I would not hold the kids responsible, but the nephew - yeah. But I would also not be allowing her to dictate what I give my nephew, either.  If there is a nephew I'd be calling him to discuss it before I made a decision - if he and the kids want to opt out of the cheesecake, then I would not be replacing the gift - they would just be sent a card from now on.

buvezdevin

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Re: A Christmas No Thank You.
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2012, 02:19:26 PM »
Unless there is some reason OP *wants* to continue gifting this family who doesn't reciprocate, I would take this as a clear indication that future such gifting from OP is not needed, nor wanted.  While OP could gift nuts, or something else, the gift of a cheesecake and money is apparently a long standing identical gift across various families.  Given this family member's and her household's lack of reciprocity, absence of thanks for the cash, and what sounds like a sudden and rude rejection of a traditionally gifted item - if it were mentioned again, I would reply that you got the very clear message that they no longer care to receive your family's traditional gift and so you will simply send a card (if that).
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Drawberry

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Re: A Christmas No Thank You.
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2012, 02:49:12 PM »
I don't find it really appropriate to try and theorize this and that when we don't have the proper information, it just creates imaginary scenarios that may or may not even have roots in truth. But for the sake of this argument I'll address it;

Assuming that this individual has been accepting, but not consuming, particular non-vegan foods this whole time in an effort not to be the 'odd man out' or seem like a 'special snow flake' that does not excuse her choice in addressing the issue.

The phrase "not acceptable" is frankly, not acceptable! Her follow up demand of receiving something else is pushing the 'unacceptableness' to new heights.

If she has been bottling this up for some time that responsibility is solely on her shoulders as it was a choice she made and maintained a lie that she grew to resent. Should she have wanted to come right out with it and request that the cheesecake is no longer given to her she had plenty of more appropriate ways of doing so;

"Hello Thipu, I received your gifts. That was very generous of you and I appreciate you thinking of me. As much as you know I used to love cheesecake I am afraid that it's not something I really eat anymore. I really appreciate you including me this year but in the future please save your money for someone who will enjoy the treats. How was your holiday, did you enjoy it? How is X Y Z? Oh the weather sounds lovely.."

And if she wanted to just come right out and admit to a lie she can do so gracefully:

"Thinpu I know that for some time now the cheesecakes have been a tradition and I did not want to come across as rude for not accepting them but I am afraid I cannot enjoy them myself since they're outside of my dietary needs. I did not tell you sooner because I was fearful of looking rude and arrogant but I understand now that I should have been honest with you in the past. I apologize for lying, my intent was not to be malicious. I just did not want to disrupt a family tradition and make everyone upset. In the future please save your money for someone who can enjoy these treats."

If someone should inquire to what 'treats' she WOULD enjoy at this point she can offer up some suggestions:

"I really enjoy pecans and walnuts. Nothing gets me in the holiday spirit like a pecan pie or (you can make vegan pecan pie! basically by substituting butter for..vegan butter :P)/glazed walnuts. Thank you for thinking of me Thinpu."

Regardless of if this woman was really hiding her distaste for foods she accepted or not, she was acting crass and demanding.


JenJay

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Re: A Christmas No Thank You.
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2012, 03:13:52 PM »
If she's always made an exception for the cheesecake in the past, but isn't now - whether she was really making an exception or just 'being polite' - the time to speak up about it isn't after the gift was received, but some months earlier.  'Oh, just so you know, we're really sticking much more closely to our vegan diet, so we won't be able to eat the cheesecake this year' or something similar.  The cheesecake arrives every year, it's not like it's a surprise.  i think she's a bit rude to demand a replacement gift after giving no indication the original wouldn't be acceptable.

Amen! She knew you'd be sending a cheesecake and she said nothing... and then complained that you sent a cheesecake? And strongly suggested you should now send something else?

I'd tell her "I didn't realize you no longer wanted the cheesecake. Please give it to a friend or neighbor. I'll make a mental note to send you nuts next year."

Kaypeep

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Re: A Christmas No Thank You.
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2012, 03:32:26 PM »
It's not clear to me if this family member is the sole recipient of the cake, or head of household that receives a cake.   But I do think in either case that if you know she is vegan, it's not really nice to send a gift she can't enjoy or partake of.    I suppose she could use the cash part of the gift, but if I were her I might see it as "Oh, you can't eat the cake so here's some money to buy whatever you want." and feel like an afterthought.

She is the wife of our nephew. They have two children.  In the past, she has always eaten the cake. I know she enjoyed it and the sandwich because we were often seated next to each other at family gatherings.

This was something that came out of left-field and, frankly, we were gob-smacked by what she said.   

In light of this update, I'd say she's a hypocrite then to eat cheesecake and italian beef sandwiches but then cry "Vega" over the cake.  Especially when there are 3 other people in the house that will eat the cake.   I don't know what the polite thing to do here is. My first instinct is to say "Oh, I didn't think it was a problem since you ate the cake and sandwich at Aunt Rita's last month." but that's probably considered retalitory rudeness.  I guess next year just send something vegan, or nuts, or just a card.  Honestly, while I think it's very generous that your family does this for everyone, I'd have a hard time doing it year after year for people who don't reciprocate or show sufficient appreciation. 

Thipu1

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Re: A Christmas No Thank You.
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2012, 05:50:22 PM »
This is starting to spiral out of control and I'd like to get things straight.

The cake was sent as a gift to her household.

The woman concerned is the wife of a nephew.  She's been vegan for at least ten years.  She always seemed to enjoy the cake when we were all together.  I was there when we put in an order for take-out.  The meat sandwich was something she ordered. 

A few years ago, the family held a lunch at her home. Cold cuts, cheese and ice cream were served from her kitchen.

In light of this, we had no reason to believe that our gift would be in any way offensive.   

Lindee

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Re: A Christmas No Thank You.
« Reply #28 on: December 26, 2012, 06:02:45 PM »
Time to trim your gift list.

Tea Drinker

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Re: A Christmas No Thank You.
« Reply #29 on: December 26, 2012, 06:08:00 PM »
With the update, it sounds as though this woman has been wanting to be vegan for years, and is now moving further in that direction. I suspect Thipu is getting a certain amount of overflow from a woman who is either having trouble resisting foods she likes, or feeling guilty about not having made the change sooner.

From the etiquette viewpoint, I don't think you owe her anything. In your shoes I might call the nephew and see if the whole household is now on the strict vegan diet, or if it's just his wife, and if it's just her, whether cheesecake is too much of a temptation for her right now.
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