Author Topic: Do I ask again about Christmas gifts?  (Read 2280 times)

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CakeEater

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Do I ask again about Christmas gifts?
« on: September 10, 2013, 03:51:24 AM »
My brother and I buy each other's kids Christmas presents, but agreed a few years ago not to buy for adults. All went well.

He got married recently. His new wife is lovely, but we don't know each other super well. She has a 5-year-old.

Of course, we'll add her DS into the Christmas present group.

Should I contact my brother, or his new wife to see if she would like to do gifts? I suspect she'll  find the idea of not buying for us a bit strange, and will want to get something. I'm happy to buy for them if she wants to, but I'm also happy to stay with the status quo.

I'd leave it as is, but I doubt DB will even think to ask her, and I don't want her to do a bunch of shopping and us to have nothing for them. They live overseas as well, and finding gifts to fit in suitcases for the trip home is always a challenge - part of the reason we decided to stop the buying in the first place.

aussie_chick

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Re: Do I ask again about Christmas gifts?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2013, 04:45:41 AM »
I think if it's a standing arrangement you have with your brother, he has probably or will probably let his wife know about only buying for children.
If you're concerned that she may not know, you could give your brother a call and ask what 5 y/o is interested in as you are planning gifts. And casually confirm during that conversation that the only buying for children thing is still ok. Or alternatively give her a call and ask her what her son might be interested in as you're planning gifts and casually ask her if she's aware of the children only situation.

Carotte

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Re: Do I ask again about Christmas gifts?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2013, 06:24:08 AM »
I think if it's a standing arrangement you have with your brother, he has probably or will probably let his wife know about only buying for children.
If you're concerned that she may not know, you could give your brother a call and ask what 5 y/o is interested in as you are planning gifts. And casually confirm during that conversation that the only buying for children thing is still ok. Or alternatively give her a call and ask her what her son might be interested in as you're planning gifts and casually ask her if she's aware of the children only situation.

I'd go with the bolded.
If OP's brother is anything like a few people of the male persuasion I know I wouldn't trust him to have said anything, remembered or cared before the 24th of December.
Although if he was used to be the gift chooser/buyer for OP's kids and since he knows them better he might still be it, but there's all kind of reasons not to mention of think about mentioning a (long standing) tradition, if for you it's the most normal thing in the world.

cwm

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Re: Do I ask again about Christmas gifts?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2013, 10:11:56 AM »
I think if it's a standing arrangement you have with your brother, he has probably or will probably let his wife know about only buying for children.
If you're concerned that she may not know, you could give your brother a call and ask what 5 y/o is interested in as you are planning gifts. And casually confirm during that conversation that the only buying for children thing is still ok. Or alternatively give her a call and ask her what her son might be interested in as you're planning gifts and casually ask her if she's aware of the children only situation.

I'd go with the bolded.
If OP's brother is anything like a few people of the male persuasion I know I wouldn't trust him to have said anything, remembered or cared before the 24th of December.
Although if he was used to be the gift chooser/buyer for OP's kids and since he knows them better he might still be it, but there's all kind of reasons not to mention of think about mentioning a (long standing) tradition, if for you it's the most normal thing in the world.

Agreed. When sis got married years ago, her hubby didn't know the traditions in our family, and she didn't think to tell him because it was all she had grown up with. It didn't cross her mind that he might not know what was going on.

He had warned her about his family, but that's because his family took a lot of warning about for any holiday. Sis has since divorced and moved on, and she still misses them, but they definitely had weird tendencies.

Lynn2000

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Re: Do I ask again about Christmas gifts?
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2013, 10:31:38 AM »
POD to the others, I don't think there's any need to pussyfoot around--it's very nice to call and talk with her, since presumably you don't know her that well, and to ask what her son would like for Christmas. She might be worrying that her new in-laws won't include her son or something, and this will set her mind at ease. And then during the conversation you can say, "Just so you know, it's been tradition for Bro and I to not exchange gifts for the adults, but only for the kids. And watch out for Aunt Martha's jello salad--she puts weird stuff in it sometimes."
~Lynn2000

Hmmmmm

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Re: Do I ask again about Christmas gifts?
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2013, 11:27:51 AM »
Why do you believe she would find it strange that your family doesn't exchange gifts amongst adult siblings? I find that is a pretty common practice.

I would also find it odd if your new SIL just took it upon herself to start buying her new DH's family presents without engaging with him. "DH, I'm going Xmas shopping tomorrow and was thinking about what to get your sister? Do you have ideas?" Would your brother really not say "Oh, we only exchange amongst the kids?"

Honestly, if you feel the need to confirm the plans aren't changed, I'd call and ask your brother. I wouldn't put your new SIL on the spot about chaning a family custom.