Author Topic: Gift giving-What may turn into a sticky situation.  (Read 3816 times)

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pixiegirl

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Gift giving-What may turn into a sticky situation.
« on: September 21, 2013, 08:41:42 PM »
Hi Everyone,
I have a niece who is having her 30th Birthday soon. She is my only niece and we are very close, she is like a daughter to me. I've decided to purchase a gift for her that she has wanted for many years but is very expensive. I've never spent this much money for a gift for any of my nephews and my fear (After I already bought the gift) is not that they will express hurt feelings, but that (one of) my sisters will. Have I made a huge mistake is buying the extravagant gift for my niece? When my sister starts in, how should I deal with her snide remarks, because I know I will hear at least one.
Any input is much appreciated.
~Pixiegirl

gramma dishes

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Re: Gift giving-What may turn into a sticky situation.
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2013, 09:30:31 PM »
It kind of depends on what the gift is.  Extravagant as in 'really nice piece of jewelry' or extravagant as in 'new Mercedes Benz'?

If your sister (presumably not the niece's mother) says anything, just say "We've always been extremely close."

This can only be said though if the niece really has always spent more time with you (voluntarily) than your nephews.  By the way, is she older or younger than your nephews?  (In other words, have their 30th birthdays already passed?)

This really is a sensitive situation though.  Give us more time to think about it.   :-\

BarensMom

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Re: Gift giving-What may turn into a sticky situation.
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2013, 09:38:14 PM »
I've been in that situation - I'm much closer to my sisters' children than to my brother's, therefore those children received the gifts, financial help, and time spent.  My brother's wife did everything she could to make sure I had no standing in their children's life, than had the gall to act resentful when I'd favor my other siblings' kids.  My response was that I had a relationship with those children, and brother's children were paying the price for their parents' actions.

WillyNilly

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Re: Gift giving-What may turn into a sticky situation.
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2013, 11:01:26 PM »
If you are close to your niece you can mention (as she is  no doubt gushing her "thank you!") that you were generous to her because of you relationship but to please be discreet about it being a gift as you don't want everyone in the family to be expecting such extravagant gifts.

The reality everyone needs to remember is, after a while, gifts become more about relationship (as in personal, emotional relationship, not just formal official relationship) then about family or obligation or even occasion. You have a close personal relationship with your niece and perhaps not so much with other relatives like your nephews. Its ok for your gifts to reflect the personal relationship more then the family relationship once people hit ages like their 30's. (As young children, that would be playing favorites and its not nice, but adults are a different story.)

Midnight Kitty

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Re: Gift giving-What may turn into a sticky situation.
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2013, 04:35:49 PM »
PODing WillyNilly.  When the nieces & nephews reach 18 y.o., one may stop the obligatory familial gift giving.  Once they are adults, one can give gifts (or not) that reflect your personal relationship instead of your family connection.
"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.  The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."

Marcus Aurelius

mime

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Re: Gift giving-What may turn into a sticky situation.
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2013, 10:39:58 AM »
I agree with the others. Nieces and nephews at 30 years of age are adults who have either maintained or drifted away from relationships with others by their own choice. An adult who has continued a close relationship with you should get better treatment from you than an adult who hasn't put forth the effort.


Sharnita

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Re: Gift giving-What may turn into a sticky situation.
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2013, 07:50:49 AM »
Is niece closer because she's a girl, meaning the boys really never had a chance of developing the same relationship? If that was the case, I could.undetstand hurt feelings. I could see it creating awkwardness between the siblings as well.

gramma dishes

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Re: Gift giving-What may turn into a sticky situation.
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2013, 03:55:36 PM »
Is niece closer because she's a girl, meaning the boys really never had a chance of developing the same relationship? If that was the case, I could.undetstand hurt feelings. I could see it creating awkwardness between the siblings as well.

Pixiegirl ~~  Are the niece and nephews siblings or are they just cousins?  I got the feeling from your original post that the nephews were a different sister's children.

Arila

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Re: Gift giving-What may turn into a sticky situation.
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2013, 04:21:44 PM »
If the gift is out of the normal range of typical gifts in your family, then perhaps give it to her in private instead of to be opened with the other gifts with an audience.

I agree with the previous posters that by the age of 30, gifts are no longer obligatory based on familial relationship.

Lynn2000

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Re: Gift giving-What may turn into a sticky situation.
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2013, 05:20:35 PM »
I agree with the others. Nieces and nephews at 30 years of age are adults who have either maintained or drifted away from relationships with others by their own choice. An adult who has continued a close relationship with you should get better treatment from you than an adult who hasn't put forth the effort.

This is how I feel. Assuming all the nieces/nephews are adults, it's up to them whether or not they want to maintain close relationships with which relatives. Although of course one shouldn't maintain a relationship just to get nice gifts, that can certainly be a natural result, and adults should well be able to understand that.

You might take a couple steps to make sure discretion is maintained, like giving her the gift in private and even asking her not to tell people that you got it for her (if you can word that comfortably). If anyone snipes about it, you could say something cheerful like, "Yes, it's so wonderful that Niece and I have become so close over the years. She really goes out of her way to do XYZ with me."
~Lynn2000

*inviteseller

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Re: Gift giving-What may turn into a sticky situation.
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2013, 07:37:28 PM »
These are adults we are talking about.  They can get mad or they can get over it.  Most adults don't get birthday gifts after the age of 18 from people not in their immediate families.   This is a milestone type birthday, you two are very close.  I would make sure to give it to her when it is just you two together, and I am sure she will be discreet if her mother is the kind that counts up pennies.  And her mother shouldn't be involving herself in her DD's relationships anymore.

hannahmollysmom

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Re: Gift giving-What may turn into a sticky situation.
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2013, 02:47:34 AM »
I agree that adults who still stay in contact and are close to relatives deserve what they receive. Example, when my Grandmother died, I received more than my cousins, and my daughters received more than her other great grandchildren. (I'm not talking money, but other stuff, like jewelry, etc.)

That was because I and my children kept in contact, we visited, etc. I traveled and took care of her towards the end because I loved her. She had never even met half her great grandchildren, and they were only 3 hours away! (That I blame on my cousins, who only contacted her with birth announcements, but never made the effort to see here.)

Once a child becomes an adult, it is up to them to remain in contact.

fountainof

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Re: Gift giving-What may turn into a sticky situation.
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2013, 11:20:12 AM »
I think it is okay to gift and adult niece a nice gift.  I wouldn't keep it a secret but I wouldn't discuss it either.  I personally, am the one less close to my aunts and uncles and I would be totally okay and understand why another cousin who actually has a real relationship with my aunts and uncles would get gifts in situations I wouldn't.  That is just life.  My sister is also less close but she is the kind of person to be hurt because she doesn't always evaluate her side of relationships just her expectations from other people.  So I could see it going both ways but I wouldn't worry about it.