Author Topic: S/O "OK not to buy gift" Carolyn Hax column  (Read 9536 times)

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PastryGoddess

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Re: S/O "OK not to buy gift" Carolyn Hax column
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2013, 07:57:51 PM »
The attitude of Ted appalls me. The wealth of the family has nothing to do with it.

I'm working with my 1969 budget here: The giving should be done to the individual, not family. I would give each person the equivalent of $10. If Abby has 3 kids and Bea has a husband 1 kid, Abby's family gets about $40 and Bea's family about $30, and L and I as a couple hope for $20 if we have no kids. )Not expect, hope. And yes, a couple gift of $20 for Ms Bea & spouse (blender!) will do.

If we agree for kids only, I'd give Abby's family a total of $30 and Bea's family $10, and not hope for nothing in return. It's for the person, not the family.

So, Ted thinks that his nieces and nephews are worthless because he doesn't get a gift? I really am judgmental about people like that, but then, I guess Ted doesn't care a whole lot about what I think of him.

The whole thing about Christman giving and the angst it causes just is so weird to me. And yes, I am a Christian living in the US all of my life - Santa Claus fable and all, but I just don't get it.

Are you agreeing with all of LW's claims about Ted? How can you ascribe those motives to Ted when he is not the one who wrote the letter?  It's not his side we're hearing

I'm not saying that one party is right and the other is wrong, but your post seems like an overreaction to a situation that we are at best hearing 3rd hand via an online advice column.

Venus193

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Re: S/O "OK not to buy gift" Carolyn Hax column
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2013, 09:01:52 PM »
We don't know the reason Ted and Lisa are opting out of this.  It's possible that they are feeling used because they are the most affluent in the family.  Whether this is painful because they are trying unsuccessfully to have children or because they can't tolerate the sight and sound of screeching children ripping open Christmas gifts or whether they know that these same gifts are going to be put aside and forgotten before New Year's is immaterial.

We will never know the answers to these questions.  All we do know is that nobody has the right to tell him how to spend his money.  His siblings and their spouses/partners are showing their own greed, which may be picked up by their children.  If Ted and Lisa want to give to charity so poor children can have even a little of what their nieces and nephews they are within their rights to do so.

cwm

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Re: S/O "OK not to buy gift" Carolyn Hax column
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2013, 10:41:36 AM »
I love geting gifts for people. I hate dictation on how to spend my money.

If, for some reason, Christmas changes to be child-centric, I refuse to play along. I always get gifts for my sister, my mom, and my grandma, without fail. That's not saying I won't buy for the kids, but I won't stop buying for anyone else. And if that means I choose to show up late to avoid the resentment of being told who to buy for and still discreetly give others their packages, that's what I'll do.

heartmug

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Re: S/O "OK not to buy gift" Carolyn Hax column
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2013, 12:21:01 PM »
I don't know why the other couples can't have their kids buy a little something for childless aunt and uncle, even after Christmas, to show their appreciation.

My one SIL and BIL are childless.  My dd buys their dog and cat a present and they love it!
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Biker Granny

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Re: S/O "OK not to buy gift" Carolyn Hax column
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2013, 01:02:51 PM »
I'm the mother of the child everyone "forgot" about at Christmas because he spent part of Christmas at his Dad's and that seemed to always be at the same time as that certain part of the family's get togethers.

My husband and I make pretty decent $, not rich, but we're ok.....it was hard over the years to buy and buy for all the nieces and nephews AND remember the birthdays. (we did stop the birthday because of the absence of thank yous)
Our "nothing in return" was the fact that they never bought my/our son anything....so yes I can see how Ted and his wife might feel.

I think big Sis would be wiser to actually sit and talk to Ted and his wife to see what is really going on.  Maybe they have been made to feel like cash cows.  Maybe it is because they've not received Thank yous.  Big Sis won't know unless she actually talks to them.

MommyPenguin

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Re: S/O "OK not to buy gift" Carolyn Hax column
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2013, 01:46:28 PM »
I don't see why it's such a big deal for somebody who never gets a present from somebody else to opt out of the gift exchange.  I mean, isn't gift "exchange" the point?  Haven't people posted on the boards about giving presents to somebody year after year, and never getting one, and deciding to cut back on gift-giving?  It's not so much that one prefers giving to receiving, but there's a difference in giving something to somebody because you heard they were interested in it, or saw it in a store and thought it was perfect, versus "obligation" giving when you know that a holiday/birthday is coming and a gift is required, so you try to figure out what the person would be interested in and whether it's in your price range.  Why is it so foreign to say, hey, I'm going to a lot of trouble every year to get presents for every other family (okay, it's just for the kids, but the parents benefit), and yet nobody does the same for us, and we feel left out?

I rather wonder how much say Ted and his wife got in the switch to presents-for-kids only.

My brother and I don't exchange presents for Christmas, because he's single (well, just got engaged!), and I'm married with 4 kids, and it's just really hard to make it reasonably fair without undue burden on one side.  It works out really well.  My BIL and SIL, on the other hand, have 3 kids, and so it works fairly well to do a "kids only" exchange with them because it's fairly balanced.

I realize that it complicates things more when there are more than two siblings, thought.  Three of them want to do kids-only, and one would prefer not to.  It makes perfect sense to me, then, to have the childless couple opt out.  Depending on the situation, they could maybe give a present that would be to *all* the kids, like a game they could play.  But that would only work if Christmas was, say, taking place at the grandparents' house, and all the kids would come there regularly to play, or something.  Otherwise, what would happen to the game after Christmas?  Or they could maybe get a Christmas ornament for each kid.  But otherwise, yeah, if I were one of the families with kids, I would totally understand them opting out and would support them in it.

Redneck Gravy

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Re: S/O "OK not to buy gift" Carolyn Hax column
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2013, 02:33:32 PM »
For a few years I traded kid gifts with little sis (she has 3, I have 2 kids) it was so ridiculously imbalanced that I finally opted to stop the exchange.

I would buy three new $20 gifts for her kids - she bought two USED gifts at goodwill type places.  No thanks - new is good enough for your kids, it's good enough for my kids.  One year she gave them dollarstore blankets that fell apart when I washed them - literally, shredded in the washing machine and they smelled awful (our dogs would not lay on them either).

Twice she gave them Starbucks gift cards that had no value on them when they got to Starbucks (not once - TWICE).   

This is the same sister I no longer speak to over other toxic behavior. 
 

nuit93

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Re: S/O "OK not to buy gift" Carolyn Hax column
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2013, 02:36:42 PM »
It sounds like things are pretty one-sided in that family.  I don't blame Ted and Lisa for opting out.

GlitterIsMyDrug

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Re: S/O "OK not to buy gift" Carolyn Hax column
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2013, 02:37:13 PM »
My one SIL and BIL are childless.  My dd buys their dog and cat a present and they love it!

That is the cutest thing ever! 

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: S/O "OK not to buy gift" Carolyn Hax column
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2013, 03:05:35 PM »
The attitude of Ted appalls me. The wealth of the family has nothing to do with it.

I'm working with my 1969 budget here: The giving should be done to the individual, not family. I would give each person the equivalent of $10. If Abby has 3 kids and Bea has a husband 1 kid, Abby's family gets about $40 and Bea's family about $30, and L and I as a couple hope for $20 if we have no kids. )Not expect, hope. And yes, a couple gift of $20 for Ms Bea & spouse (blender!) will do.

If we agree for kids only, I'd give Abby's family a total of $30 and Bea's family $10, and not hope for something in return. It's for the person, not the family.

So, Ted thinks that his nieces and nephews are worthless because he doesn't get a gift? I really am judgmental about people like that, but then, I guess Ted doesn't care a whole lot about what I think of him.

The whole thing about Christman giving and the angst it causes just is so weird to me. And yes, I am a Christian living in the US all of my life - Santa Claus fable and all, but I just don't get it.

Edited: nothing and something are not the same thing!

I'm sorry, but I don't get this at all.  When I read the letter originally on Hax's column, my first thought was: what if Ted and his wife are not childless by choice?  The LW jumped to a whole lot of assumptions, and frankly, I think you did as well.
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tinkytinky

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Re: S/O "OK not to buy gift" Carolyn Hax column
« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2013, 04:39:02 PM »
LW is certainly acting entitled. Nobody is owed a gift. Ever. Not just at the holidays, but anytime.

That being said, I, myself have family that are childless (2 brothers, 1 sister). I have one brother that has 3 children (2 of which are adults) and DH and I have 5. a total of 8 cousins on this side of the family. I would never expect anybody to give gifts to any of us. Some do (my sister goes a little overboard), some do not. We get together to celebrate the family, not the gifts.

LW needs to sort out her priorities.

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sammycat

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Re: S/O "OK not to buy gift" Carolyn Hax column
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2013, 04:57:59 PM »
When I read the letter originally on Hax's column, my first thought was: what if Ted and his wife are not childless by choice?  The LW jumped to a whole lot of assumptions,

This was my first thought as well. If it is the case, then I can't imagine how incredibly painful that must be for them (actually I can; been there, done that; thank god it wasn't forever).

Even if that isn't the reason, Ted and his wife have done nothing wrong. They haven't made a big song and dance about it; they've just quietly removed themselves from a situation they can no longer tolerate. LW, on the other hand though, is 100% in the wrong.

MindsEye

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Re: S/O "OK not to buy gift" Carolyn Hax column
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2013, 08:34:07 AM »
I don't see why it's such a big deal for somebody who never gets a present from somebody else to opt out of the gift exchange.  I mean, isn't gift "exchange" the point?  Haven't people posted on the boards about giving presents to somebody year after year, and never getting one, and deciding to cut back on gift-giving?  It's not so much that one prefers giving to receiving, but there's a difference in giving something to somebody because you heard they were interested in it, or saw it in a store and thought it was perfect, versus "obligation" giving when you know that a holiday/birthday is coming and a gift is required, so you try to figure out what the person would be interested in and whether it's in your price range.  Why is it so foreign to say, hey, I'm going to a lot of trouble every year to get presents for every other family (okay, it's just for the kids, but the parents benefit), and yet nobody does the same for us, and we feel left out?

Yes to all of this but especially the bolded.


scarlett

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Re: S/O "OK not to buy gift" Carolyn Hax column
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2013, 02:12:27 PM »
As the "childless Aunt" growing up. Thankfully, in my family we only gift to our God Children or whoever we are close to. We don't do huge family Christmases anymore.  I can totally see Ted's point of view. It is not the wonderful time the letter writer imagines to watch children open piles of gifts. It isn't that Ted and wife aren't getting gifts; it's that they are left out of the activity by it's very nature.


Redneck Gravy

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Re: S/O "OK not to buy gift" Carolyn Hax column
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2013, 02:46:10 PM »
As the "childless Aunt" growing up. Thankfully, in my family we only gift to our God Children or whoever we are close to. We don't do huge family Christmases anymore.  I can totally see Ted's point of view. It is not the wonderful time the letter writer imagines to watch children open piles of gifts. It isn't that Ted and wife aren't getting gifts; it's that they are left out of the activity by it's very nature.

We were the last couple in our family to have children - no, it isn't all that much fun watching your children open piles of presents, piles and piles.  And then to see the lopsided great gifting from Grandma to sister X's children and so much less to brother Y's kids-just no.