Author Topic: S/O No more gifts...equal Gifting (epic length)  (Read 3236 times)

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Redneck Gravy

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S/O No more gifts...equal Gifting (epic length)
« on: January 08, 2013, 04:56:59 PM »
I am sure someone will have an opinion I can relate to about this topic...

I have brothers and a sister - we all have children and grandchildren. My sister has been given the cut direct by my brothers and myself - three years ago.  It would take another thread or two to cover the tales of inappropriate behavior she has pulled.

For all of my sis & brother's children & grandchildren I have gifted something (money, gift card or gift item) for every birthday and Christmas.  I have never missed a  high school graduation gift and have gifted for every wedding and birth of a grandchild.  I am not wealthy but I will stick a $20 bill in an envelope and make cold sandwiches for a week before I will miss out on doing the same thing for each and every one of my nieces and nephews.   Our sister was very much the favored child in our family and everyone recognized it - my mother denied this to her dying day, even though my dad, I, my brothers and outsiders would make comments about it.   

My sister is also a greedy, selfish, gimme pig, drama queen and special snowflake princess prima dona.  (was there any part of that that I was not clear about?)

She has even gone as far as calling me to make sure I didn't forget a gift when one of her children was having a milestone event!   Apparently, a cash gift (from our brother) was lost/stolen when her oldest daughter graduated from high school (taken off of the gift table at her home) and my sister called EVERYONE in our family - including my brother's teenaged children to complain about his slight.  She expected him to put more money in another card and replace it, why she complained to his children is beyond me (other than to embarass my brother).  My brother was furious and asked her what she hoped to accomplish telling everyone that he had not sent dear niece anything when Sis had seen him place the envelope on the table?  It was her house and if she couldn't keep up with the gifts what on earth made her think he should replace it!  She hung up on him and the matter was never discussed again.  (that's our family, dysfunction at it's finest)       

She never sent anything for either of my daughter's high school graduations and she sent nothing for both of my grandchildren's birth.  Both of my daughter's were crushed!  I have the youngest children in our family so she didn't skip any of my brothers' children - just mine. 

I so, so wanted to have them call her and ask where their gifts were but did not do it!  I flat out told them not to call her and mention anything about her lack of gifting - manners, manners darn it.  Both of them have facebooked with her and nothing has ever been said.  (they still maintain contact through FB, even though I hate it, I have not suggested they stay away from her)

Omigosh, she has posted on FB about her youngest daughter getting married and posted the address where to reach her (send gifts).  This was a civil ceremony and apparently a BWW is still being planned  ::)   there has been no announcement other than a FB post about the marriage. 

Sis specifically private messaged my daughters to be sure that I got her address!

I know it would be etiquettely wrong eHellions - but please, please can I call her and ask who she thinks she is to demand a gift from myself or my children after she has completely ignored us?  How about a long letter?

I know I should not engage but really when does it get to be my turn to throw the drama fit?  Steam is coming out of my nose & ears! 


YummyMummy66

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Re: S/O No more gifts...equal Gifting (epic length)
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 05:00:55 PM »
I would not send anything and when she calls to complain about it, I would say, "Oh, I am sorry sis.  Since you did not send anything for my daughter's birthdays, graduations, birth of their children, etc., I took that to mean that our families were no longer trading gifts. " 

Put it on her shoulders.

If she still complains, "Sis, I tell you what.  If this is so important to you, when my kids receive their gifts from you, I will make sure to do the same".

Amara

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Re: S/O No more gifts...equal Gifting (epic length)
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2013, 05:03:21 PM »
I would just send a really nice card and wish the happy couple a bright, wonderful future. Not only is it the gracious thing to do, but I suspect it will drive your sister batty. And, more importantly, it establishes you as a class act.

buvezdevin

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Re: S/O No more gifts...equal Gifting (epic length)
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2013, 05:27:42 PM »
If you have given your sister the cut direct for three years, I would not change that now as much as I do understand you're enjoying *imagining* the ways you'd like to share your perspective with her.

If the only news you have of your neice's wedding/marriage is through your daughter's Facebook contacts, and totally indirect, I would not send even a card to the happy couple.  If you do receive a notice directly, i would send a card, but would not necessarily send a gift.  Gifting is something I do for those with whom I have a relationship which involves mutual contact, or as a thank you - I would not feel inclined to gift a family member with whom I had no contact, nor "thank you" gift for an event I was not invited to attend.
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Lynn2000

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Re: S/O No more gifts...equal Gifting (epic length)
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2013, 05:55:32 PM »
For all of my sis & brother's children & grandchildren I have gifted something (money, gift card or gift item) for every birthday and Christmas.  I have never missed a  high school graduation gift and have gifted for every wedding and birth of a grandchild.  I am not wealthy but I will stick a $20 bill in an envelope and make cold sandwiches for a week before I will miss out on doing the same thing for each and every one of my nieces and nephews.   Our sister was very much the favored child in our family and everyone recognized it - my mother denied this to her dying day, even though my dad, I, my brothers and outsiders would make comments about it.   

[snip]

I know it would be etiquettely wrong eHellions - but please, please can I call her and ask who she thinks she is to demand a gift from myself or my children after she has completely ignored us?  How about a long letter?

I know I should not engage but really when does it get to be my turn to throw the drama fit?  Steam is coming out of my nose & ears!

I think the bolded is your answer about whether or not to give the niece a wedding gift. As long as you believe she's really getting married, and this isn't some kind of weird scam, you seem to want to treat all your nieces and nephews equally.

I'm sure your sister's behavior is infuriating! But I think you just have to block her from your life as best you can. Block her on Facebook, or unfriend. That should prevent her from being able to send a private message. Let all her emails go straight to junk and all her phone calls to voice mail. The less you think about her, the less power she will have over you. If you indeed have given her the cut direct, this means not only not initiating contact, but, I would think, also not accepting contact from her.

If you feel like niece is turning out to be just like her, well, that is another question, and you may have to decide if you want to use a different gifting standard going forward.
~Lynn2000

Oh Joy

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Re: S/O No more gifts...equal Gifting (epic length)
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2013, 06:52:58 PM »
Hang in there.

From my distant perspective, your interactions with her children is just that: your interactions with her children.  It's not about you with her, or her with her children.  Inviting her into a conversation about your dynamics with her children suggests otherwise.  I'd set my ray gun to Ignore.

Best wishes.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: S/O No more gifts...equal Gifting (epic length)
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2013, 07:07:03 PM »
For me, it would depend on how I felt about my sister's children.  If we have a good relationship, I'd go ahead and send my usual amount directly to niece.  If I didn't have a good, or any, relationship with niece, I wouldn't bother sending anything.  Cut direct means no contact.  And I'd ask my own children not to pass on anything sister says to them via facebook.
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JenJay

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Re: S/O No more gifts...equal Gifting (epic length)
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2013, 07:48:17 PM »
For me, it would depend on how I felt about my sister's children.  If we have a good relationship, I'd go ahead and send my usual amount directly to niece.  If I didn't have a good, or any, relationship with niece, I wouldn't bother sending anything.  Cut direct means no contact.  And I'd ask my own children not to pass on anything sister says to them via facebook.

I agree. If I were in your shoes I'd wait and see if my niece sent me some kind of announcement about her marriage. If so, I'd send whatever I would have sent any other niece. If not, I wouldn't send anything. I'd also remind my daughter that there was a reason all the siblings cut Sis off and, frankly, if DD chooses to interact with her and gets burned, I don't need to hear about it. Cut off means cut off.

TootsNYC

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Re: S/O No more gifts...equal Gifting (epic length)
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2013, 12:49:50 AM »
I'd be asking my girls to unfriend their aunt, or at least to just never mention her to me.

And I'd try to have direct contact w/ niece. I agree with the PP who said this is YOUR relationship with YOUR niece/nephew/great niece/great nephew.

 I might even gently remind those kids, "Now that you're a grownup, I would like to hear about your big news directly from you. It makes me feel like your relationship is important to you. I know it's important to me." (Be sure you're following through--sending them Christmas cards straight to their own address, etc.)

If I hear from some source other than my sister about the marriage, I would send a gift.

bopper

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Re: S/O No more gifts...equal Gifting (epic length)
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2013, 09:00:08 AM »
Have them send your sister their addresses if she needs it to send invitations. :-)

yokozbornak

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Re: S/O No more gifts...equal Gifting (epic length)
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2013, 09:16:55 AM »
Redneck Gravy, I also come from a dysfunctional family, and unfortunately, I have found that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree as far as my nieces and nephews are concerned.  When I cut contact with my sisters, I hoped to have a relationship with them, but after witnessing some behaviors that really concerned me, I had to step back from them, too.  I have much younger children than my sisters, and I don't want my children to think their behavior is okay.   

All that to say, if you want a relationship with your niece, you can't make her pay for her mother's mistakes.  If, however, your niece is similar to your sister and you don't want to have a relationship with her, I would just ignore this gift grab and move forward.  Nothing you say or do is going to make your sister the person you want her to be and it won't change history. 
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 04:05:45 PM by yokozbornak »

m2kbug

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Re: S/O No more gifts...equal Gifting (epic length)
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2013, 09:47:24 AM »
Let it go, drop it, do not engage. 

What is BWW?

If an announcement comes in the mail, send a nice card.  If the couple plan a post-wedding celebration, and you receive an invitation, you can decide whether or not you will attend and gift accordingly.  It sounds like you don't really have much of a rel-ationship with your niece, and I don't understand why you're under some obligation to buy gifts for her, especially when you hear about her marriage through the grapevine. 

Go ahead and write that letter, just don't send it, and for email, make sure the "to" box is empty.  This will be for your own therapeutic purposes.  Otherwise, I would just drop the subject.  If Sis calls, angry that you didn't send a gift, you can say you didn't receive an invitation.  While you would probably like to unload, less is more, less is more, less is more...repeat...do not engage.  This isn't even a manners issue, it's best to keep toxic people at arm's length and not draw out a conversation so they can continue their ranting.

I cannot believe she actually expected someone to replace a gift that got lost.  Both my children have had items stolen.  I just can't picture how that would work.  Hey mom, someone stole that $20 you sent.  Can you send more?   :o

Miss March

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Re: S/O No more gifts...equal Gifting (epic length)
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2013, 09:48:55 AM »
BWW- I think it means "big white wedding" meaning a very large, formal wedding event.
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atirial

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Re: S/O No more gifts...equal Gifting (epic length)
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2013, 09:50:07 AM »
Unless I read it wrongly, your sister posted the gift grab, not the bride, which makes it possible the bride may not be responsible (or even aware of it).  While you may be giving your sister the cut direct, this is her daughter's  wedding and if she's old enough to get married, she's old enough to have a relationship with you seperate from her mother.  Unless she's been cut off for other reasons, if you are still in touch with her, or want a good relationship, I'd send a card directly to her congratulating the happy couple and simply leave your sister out of it.

The only problem is if your sister somehow decides this card is anything to do with her and phones up to demand to know where the gift is, but I don't think that should prevent you from sending it.   
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mj

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Re: S/O No more gifts...equal Gifting (epic length)
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2013, 09:53:48 AM »
We've encountered this.  What I see is that your relationship with your nieces is totally separate and not contingent on the relationship with your sister/their mother. 

If they are cut off too, or don't inform you of the wedding -- then I see no reason to send them a gift.  I don't know how to say this without sounding terrible, but from my experience, adults who grew up this way don't necessarily know any different than what they were taught.  There is a good chance they have a similar outlook as your sister does on gifting, and I think that's something you'll have to suss out and see what you're willing/not willing to do.

As they are adults, have they started gifting separately to you?  What is the nature of gift giving in the family as kids mature into adults?  I ask because in my experience, the "adults" are still relying on their parents to fulfill their gifting obligations.  It's something to think about and talk about with your adult kids if this situation comes up or becomes a pattern. 

Good luck, these things are difficult.