Author Topic: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts  (Read 10718 times)

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lakey

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2014, 03:24:35 PM »
One of the most frustrating things I find with the Christmas season is the situation of people being negative over the gifts they're given. It's as if some people have become so selfish that they no longer have any idea what gift giving is meant to be. You are not supposed to be guaranteed a gift that you need or want. It's a surprise that someone gives you out of the goodness of their heart.

I honestly think that when someone like SIL makes openly rude remarks, she should be taken aside and have courtesy explained to her. Good grief, a 7 year old knows better than to gripe about gifts.

MommyPenguin

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2014, 03:28:38 PM »
The paper dolls thing may have been because they were the kind that you have to cut out.  Unless you really, really like using scissors, cutting out paper dolls, with all those little tabs and the finicky shapes, is an incredibly annoying and time-consuming activity.  Even my almost-7-year-old would not be able to cut them out to her own satisfaction, so I would be expected to help with the cutting so that they could look good.  My guess is that it was the amount of work involved to make the paper dolls ready to use.  Punch-out dolls would be easier, but they're still difficult because the perforated paper always wants to rip and can be really hard to do well.  It's just tedious.  Again, though, not something that somebody without children (or without children of the right age) is likely to think about, so totally forgivable even if annoying.

magicdomino

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2014, 03:34:20 PM »

As the childless (honourary) Aunt, it's practically my job to give the kids gifts the parents are going to hate, isn't it?    >:D

Greetings fellow subversive aunt.   ;D


When giving gifts to kids, I generally go by the ages on the package.  If it says '7 to 9 years old', I'm not going to give it to a 5 year old.  Likewise, if it says '2 to 4 years old', I'm not going to give it to a 6 year old.

That's my strategy.  I'm not around children very often, and see only a few of my great-nieces and nephews, so I'm not familiar with what is appropriate for what age.  Having said that, I do check with the parents when in doubt.  For instance, I bought a glass-etching kit for a teeager, then noticed that the package said "Age 18 and Above."  The teen's mom said that Teen is pretty responsible, and that crafts are done in a separate building, so if the acid paste gets on the sink or counter, it's okay.

Sweettooth

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2014, 03:47:42 PM »
OP, I'm sorry your SIL is such a pill, and like a previous poster I'd be tempted to get them a drum kit next year just for spite. But have you tried just emailing her ahead of time to ask what the girls might like? Then you could be sure you're not getting them something they already own, or something they'll not enjoy. I know not everyone likes getting (or giving) Christmas lists but sometimes, especially when you're buying for children, it's really helpful to know what the recipient is into and it actually makes shopping easier and less stressful.

Sharnita

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2014, 04:10:07 PM »
Cosmetics in general can be tricky.  Even buying for adults - some people have   allergies/sensitivities. Others only use certain brands due to ethical practices. I would be cautious about buying anything like that for an adult. For kids I'd definitely check with parents. 

Honestly the Play-Dough example somebody else brought up seems reasonable too. There are a variety of outlets forcreativity for kids to explore - no hhousehold is going to house every medium. If a parent decides play-dough is one of the things she is opting out of and carpets are part of her motivation,  so be it.

OP, an option might be for you to bring nail polish to the holiday gatherings and do the girls' nails there.  You build quality memories, their parents get uninterrupted adult conversation. I would just ask ahead of time.

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #35 on: January 02, 2014, 04:58:40 PM »
Mom was rude to you, but I feel for those girls.  They have to deal with her everyday. 

Pod to this. I, too, if was in a rush, would've picked something similar for an age appropriate gift for two girls who, by all means, like doing something. Heck even as an adult I would have (and still would!) enjoy a nail-painting gift set, it sounds like an awesome gift.

cocacola35

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #36 on: January 02, 2014, 05:13:56 PM »
OP here.  First, the mother is not my SIL.  She is the wife of my SIL's nephew.  Have I thoroughly confused everyone yet?  ;)  This is one of the reasons why we are not very close to this lady and her family. 

I don't think she was trying to be funny when she was making those snide comments.  The look on her face and the tone of her voice were not jovial.  Plus she has committed other social blunders before (i.e. packing up the hosts' leftovers and taking them home at Thanksgiving dinner without asking first or making snarky comments about other family members to her DH and my SIL) so I think this is who she is.  Quite honestly, she is not someone I'd want to get very close to.  That said, I can't make judgements on her parenting skills- the kids have always been polite (where they learned that I don't know) and they always look well-cared for.  I just thought her PA comments about my gift were very rude and disrespectful.       

I also look carefully at the age recommendations on packages when choosing gifts for kids.  The package said ages 6 and up.  Also I had seen them wearing nail polish before, so I didn't think the parents had any issues with this type of make-up.  The paper dolls had perforated edges and could be torn out.  After seeing the comments here, I guess these can be a bit high maintenance.  I just remember having nail polish and paper dolls around those ages and enjoying them.  I admit I wasn't thinking about the amount of parental involvement it would need.  However, I will try to remember to ask SIL's advice next year on what to get for the kids and hopefully avoid this.

             

magicdomino

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #37 on: January 02, 2014, 05:30:07 PM »
OP here.  First, the mother is not my SIL.  She is the wife of my SIL's nephew.  Have I thoroughly confused everyone yet?  ;)

Ah, so she is the in-law's niece-in-law.   ;D

EllenS

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #38 on: January 02, 2014, 05:38:13 PM »
Down here in the South we would just call that a "cousin".  At least when I was growing up, all confusingly related people or not-really-related people who are neverltheless treated by the second and third generation as if they are family, were given the blanket designation of cousin.

tinkytinky

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #39 on: January 02, 2014, 05:38:30 PM »
I have a feeling that no matter what, it will be wrong....get them a cd and its the wrong artist, get them a book and they don't let them read that series, get them a doll and they are too old/wrong kind of doll.

I had a similar situation, with my own brother and SIL. I got my two nieces (13 and 10 at the time) nail polish kits, oodles of different colors, stickers, jewels, glitter, manicure set, dryer, top coat, you name it. nothing was said at the time, but when they were on their way to take the girls back to their mother, 10 yo niece decided to paint her nails....in the car....during a 5 hour trip. of course one of the colors spilled in the floorboard. I heard about it all year because of course it is my fault (I wasn't in the car. I had no control over where the nailpolish was even packed). Brother and SIL tell my mother that because I ruined their car, they decided to get the most obnoxious noisiest toy for my child. (I really didn't care because I am the mom that goes down the toy aisle trying out all of the noisy toys :) ).

It wasn't me, it was what they were dealing with. They didn't want to take the kids home because too long of a trip. they didn't like the girls mother. other things that are too cumbersome to tell here. it's their own issues. 

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Kimblee

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #40 on: January 02, 2014, 06:15:21 PM »
"Thanks, now I'm going to be painting their nails all afternoon."

That sounds less like it could be messy and more like mom is upset the kids got a present that will require her involvement. Which makes me kind of sad. My mom used to paint my nails when I was little and I have the best memories of it. I've given finger paints as gifts on numerous occasions, so I have several friends/family members just counting the days until I procreate for revenge.

And I don't see how paper dolls are messy, or loud, or time consuming. Frankly, I'd just keep gifting the girls whatever I felt was appropriate until Mom specifically says something. Not rolls eyes and makes sarcastic snide comments. Physically says something directly to me. I'm sorry, I don't do hints, if you want me to do something or not do something you're going to have to be a grown up and use your words.

Or, if I were feeling particularly evil, skip giving a gift next time and when Mom probes where it is tell her "You don't seem to like any of the gifts I pick out for the girls, so I'm just not going to do it anymore. I hate to cause you undo stress", big sweet smile.

No wait, evil me would buy them each a drum kit and tie dye kits, that's what evil me would do.

Sounds like my cousins' mom(my former aunt). She ALWAYS moaned about anything she had to do for my cousins, right from birth("oh great, ANOTHER dirty diaper. And no one ever changes them but meeee!" "Nail polish? I don't want to waste time painting nails! They just mess them up!" "Just because she threw up doesn't mean *I* should have to clean it up. It's not my house!")

Very frustrating. She had an injury a year or so ago and was SHOCKED that her daughters didn't drop everything to come tend to her.
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mime

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #41 on: January 02, 2014, 07:37:37 PM »
OP, it sounds like you put care and thought into a good gift for these girls. I would have loved it at that age, and well beyond that age.

My mom had a cousin who gave me gift of that sort. I remember my first eyeshadows came from her. They were in the giant case with tons of colors. I was so excited! My mom made a joking comment about the garish colors, but it was good-natured and joking. She and the cousin had been very close since they were young, so this wasn't offered or taken as rude between them. But my mom's reaction did reflect the fact that she thought I was too young for makeup. Cousin responded beautifully with the suggestion that I can use it for special occasions, and for learning, since I would soon be old enough to wear it in public.

Like several PPs, I also suspect that you will never win with this mother; even if you get a book it could be too hard (so she has to help them read) or too easy (so it is no good for her kids) or the wrong subject matter... I would start giving gift cards; I've done that with nieces and nephews myself. I appreciate that you don't want to punish the kids with no gifts because of mom's rudeness.


MrsJWine

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #42 on: January 02, 2014, 07:42:42 PM »
OP, it sounds like you put care and thought into a good gift for these girls. I would have loved it at that age, and well beyond that age.

My mom had a cousin who gave me gift of that sort. I remember my first eyeshadows came from her. They were in the giant case with tons of colors. I was so excited! My mom made a joking comment about the garish colors, but it was good-natured and joking. She and the cousin had been very close since they were young, so this wasn't offered or taken as rude between them. But my mom's reaction did reflect the fact that she thought I was too young for makeup. Cousin responded beautifully with the suggestion that I can use it for special occasions, and for learning, since I would soon be old enough to wear it in public.

Like several PPs, I also suspect that you will never win with this mother; even if you get a book it could be too hard (so she has to help them read) or too easy (so it is no good for her kids) or the wrong subject matter... I would start giving gift cards; I've done that with nieces and nephews myself. I appreciate that you don't want to punish the kids with no gifts because of mom's rudeness.

Honestly, with her, I imagine that a gift card could be too difficult, too. Then she has to take her kids to the store. I would attempt not to buy gifts that will be annoying to a reasonable parent (ask a friend who has kids around the same age, for instance), and continue to buy gifts that you think the girls will like. They sound like nice kids, and if she really is the type who will hate any gift, I can see a gift card becoming a non-gift as it sits in a drawer somewhere, unused.


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Rohanna

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #43 on: January 02, 2014, 08:13:49 PM »
Or in the case if my mother, never seen again until we protested-only to be told we were "ungrateful"...
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 09:18:12 PM by Rohanna »
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esposita

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #44 on: January 02, 2014, 08:57:27 PM »
What about a Christmas ornament for each of them (ones that aren't too fragile or filled with glitter)?

A gift card to a store that they are sure to go to at least once a month, like Target or Walmart, might work. Or a gift card for Amazon.com. Also, if they have tablets or i-whatevers there are tons of cards for those, for music or games.

Maybe the girls would like some higher-end hot cocoa packets with fun mugs?

OP, I'm curious if she was so horrid about any of the gifts from others. Did you notice her commenting about all the gifts? It might be good to try to think if anyone gave her kids something she didn't complain about and find something similar.