Author Topic: Mom still complaining about Christmas gifts  (Read 5465 times)

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Emmy

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Re: Mom still complaining about Christmas gifts
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2013, 07:59:35 PM »
Woah... I can't believe that you and your siblings still bother to get her Christmas presents!  (Tell me... how does she gift you?  What would happen if one of you complained about a gift from her?)

She's given me some real winners in the past. ::) These days, though, we're all asked to pick out what we want and she buys it. If we ask her what she wants she says "Oh, I don't need anything" or "All I want for Christmas is to have all my family with me."
Then give her what she wants. And if she complains about not getting a wrapped gift, remind her that family togetherness is all she asked for.

I agree, although I imagine her reaction will not be pretty. 

I definitely think you should remind your mother of the years without a relationship with Chris and that this type of behavior is likely to drive him away again.  Let her know it is unfair to claim to not need anything or give a hint about what she wants, yet expect gifts to measure up to her high standards.  I would also mention that getting her gifts is about as much fun as having teeth extracted.  She is acting like an ungrateful, spoiled 4 year old, although the 4 year old will likely grow out of it.

GSNW

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Re: Mom still complaining about Christmas gifts
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2013, 08:12:00 PM »
I would do one of two things:

1.  Give her a book of manners for the next gift-giving occasion.
2.  Stop giving her any gifts at all.  If she complains, say, "I'm sorry you're disappointed."  Move on.

There is no excuse for her behavior.

Venus193

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Re: Mom still complaining about Christmas gifts
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2013, 08:18:39 PM »
Wow.  I'm going to second GSN on this one.

The reason is that no matter what you give her she will complain.  This is a control maneuver and calculated to make you feel bad.

lkdrymom

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Re: Mom still complaining about Christmas gifts
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2013, 10:16:56 PM »
You really need to put it bluntly to her, it is the only way she might 'get it'. I remember once my grandmother was complaining about a gift my cousin got her. I was probably 12 at the time.  Her exact words were "I can't believe she got me a XXXX...well she can take that gift and shove it up her XXX!".  I dont think she had a clue as to how horrible that was to say.  Being the smart mouthed kid I was my answer to her was "wow what do you say about my gifts?" I couldn't believe that actually shut her down.

shadowfox79

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Re: Mom still complaining about Christmas gifts
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2013, 05:20:53 AM »
I can still remember getting my mother a ceramic ornament when I was on Brownie Pack Holiday and also buying a cheap necklace for my aunt (which I ended up keeping, as it happened). My mother decided that a necklace was a better gift than an ornament, regardless of the price or niceness of either.

I will never forget her telling eight-year-old me "How do you think I felt when you got your aunt a necklace and I just got a stupid little ornament?"

She did apologise later, but it was the last time I bought anything that wasn't on her Christmas or birthday list, and I'm 33 now. In your mother's case, I'd be inclined not to bother getting her anything in the future.

Margo

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Re: Mom still complaining about Christmas gifts
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2013, 05:44:31 AM »
I really like DeeTee's suggestion. Rather than taking her comment as a complaint (which is obviously is) treat it as if she were making an appropriate comment - if you can, ust in before she says anything actively unpleasant.

eg
Mom (in obviously complaining tone) "Did you see what Chris got me.."
You " That pictures of his daughter? I did- it's such a thoughtful gift, isn't it. I love that picture of her, and it's great to have an older picture to go with the more recent ones you got from the grandchildren themselves. I thought when you opened it how thoughtful t was of Chris to give a gift that went so well with what the grandchildren gave you"

If she ignores that and goes on to make complaints then I think, as other posters have said, it's OK to be blunt. Something like "That's a really ungracious thing to say. It's really rude, and it's very hurtful. Why would you think it's OK to make that kind of comments.

And if she continues then don't engage. "I've already told you that I feel it's rude and hurtful of you make comments like this.

It sounds as though she is pretty passive-aggressive - she won't give you gift ideas then complains she doesn't get what she wants. She didn't come out and say why she didn't like the picture, she sounds as if she was angling for you to be the one who commented on it.

joraemi

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Re: Mom still complaining about Christmas gifts
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2013, 09:55:59 AM »
I like Margo's wording.  I can also assure you I would never be bothering to give her another gift.  Ever. 




Courage is the price life  exacts for granting peace.  ~Amelia Earhart~

CakeBeret

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Re: Mom still complaining about Christmas gifts
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2013, 10:03:27 AM »
I really like DeeTee's suggestion. Rather than taking her comment as a complaint (which is obviously is) treat it as if she were making an appropriate comment - if you can, ust in before she says anything actively unpleasant.

eg
Mom (in obviously complaining tone) "Did you see what Chris got me.."
You " That pictures of his daughter? I did- it's such a thoughtful gift, isn't it. I love that picture of her, and it's great to have an older picture to go with the more recent ones you got from the grandchildren themselves. I thought when you opened it how thoughtful t was of Chris to give a gift that went so well with what the grandchildren gave you"

If she ignores that and goes on to make complaints then I think, as other posters have said, it's OK to be blunt. Something like "That's a really ungracious thing to say. It's really rude, and it's very hurtful. Why would you think it's OK to make that kind of comments.

And if she continues then don't engage. "I've already told you that I feel it's rude and hurtful of you make comments like this.

It sounds as though she is pretty passive-aggressive - she won't give you gift ideas then complains she doesn't get what she wants. She didn't come out and say why she didn't like the picture, she sounds as if she was angling for you to be the one who commented on it.

I like this approach a lot! Thanks.
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Zilla

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Re: Mom still complaining about Christmas gifts
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2013, 11:21:59 AM »
I would look at her stunned and say,  "Wow, I thought it was a lovely picture and a nice thing for him to give you."  And turn away firmly.  If she keeps on it, say, "Let's change the subject.  So did you hear about the weather?" Don't let her go back to it no matter what.  If she has no outlet to complain, she will stop.
But honestly, what a wretched thing to say or snipe about.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Mom still complaining about Christmas gifts
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2013, 12:48:41 PM »
Wow.  This is the very definition of ungrateful.  If you can, I would say be up front with her.  Something like "You know, it's very hurtful to us to hear you complain about the gifts we give you.  It makes us feel like nothing is ever good enough."

If that doesn't stop her I wouldn't be giving her any gifts any more.

wheeitsme

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Re: Mom still complaining about Christmas gifts
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2013, 12:56:12 PM »
I was just thinking how nice it was that your brother gave her a picture of his daughter from when they weren't speaking.  It would be easy for him to snap a picture now and say "you get to have something that you have access to now".  But for him to give her something that she would have no way to get any other way except from him...that was nice.  He didn't have to give her that picture from the past that she hadn't been allowed in before.

CakeBeret

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Re: Mom still complaining about Christmas gifts
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2013, 01:04:53 PM »
I was just thinking how nice it was that your brother gave her a picture of his daughter from when they weren't speaking.  It would be easy for him to snap a picture now and say "you get to have something that you have access to now".  But for him to give her something that she would have no way to get any other way except from him...that was nice.  He didn't have to give her that picture from the past that she hadn't been allowed in before.

Actually they were speaking at the time the photo was taken. They resumed contact about 3 years ago and the photo is maybe 1.5 years old.
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VltGrantham

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Re: Mom still complaining about Christmas gifts
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2013, 01:07:45 PM »
Quote
Quote from: CakeBeret on Yesterday at 05:28:31 PM
Quote from: MindsEye on Yesterday at 05:03:32 PM
Woah... I can't believe that you and your siblings still bother to get her Christmas presents!  (Tell me... how does she gift you?  What would happen if one of you complained about a gift from her?)

She's given me some real winners in the past.  These days, though, we're all asked to pick out what we want and she buys it. If we ask her what she wants she says "Oh, I don't need anything" or "All I want for Christmas is to have all my family with me."
Then give her what she wants. And if she complains about not getting a wrapped gift, remind her that family togetherness is all she asked for.

I'm going to third this for two reasons--the first being that your Mother is behaving like an ungrateful brat.  She ought to be thanking her lucky stars that she has her children (all of them) back in her life and that all of them (I hope) are in good health and happy.  Second that since she can be neither helpful when solicited for ideas nor thankful to receive what she does receive (particularly given the current economy), then I think you should all do yourselves the favor of bowing out of the gift exchange excluding children under 18.  Not only will you save money and time, but the emotional upheaval that's caused when searching for a suitable gift each year and the worry of wondering/hoping/praying that this year's selection will be "good enough."

My apologies.  Your Mother may be a lovely woman in other respects, but she behaves like a SS when it comes to this.

CakeBeret

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Re: Mom still complaining about Christmas gifts
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2013, 01:18:16 PM »
Second that since she can be neither helpful when solicited for ideas nor thankful to receive what she does receive (particularly given the current economy), then I think you should all do yourselves the favor of bowing out of the gift exchange excluding children under 18.  Not only will you save money and time, but the emotional upheaval that's caused when searching for a suitable gift each year and the worry of wondering/hoping/praying that this year's selection will be "good enough."

I would love to. I've advocated it for a few years now. Unfortunately I have another sibling who flatly refuses to go to a children-only gift exchange, because she wants her present from Mom. I may wear her down yet, though.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

VltGrantham

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Re: Mom still complaining about Christmas gifts
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2013, 01:26:00 PM »
Quote
Unfortunately I have another sibling who flatly refuses to go to a children-only gift exchange, because she wants her present from Mom. I may wear her down yet, though.

I feel your pain--as we've been there, done that.  Out of 4 siblings, DH and I finally put our foot down this year and declared no more gifts excluding children under 18, any more.  His other three siblings didn't want to do that, so they didn't.  However, my SIL announced that this would be their last year and they are going to it next year as well.

Simply put, if you don't want to, don't let your siblings wants dictate your actions any more. 

I promise you, next year you will be SO GLAD!