43 answers

How Do You Feel About Relatives That Don't Buy Your Kids Gifts?

So we've lived away from all our family (hubby's and mine) for almost 15 years and while I still am close with my immediate family it's almost like my kiddos don't exist to the extended family. For example - my mom buys Christmas/birthday gifts for all her siblings kiddos - she has 5 brothers and sisters and they all have at least one child - and those kids all now have at least one child - so she is buying birthday/christmas gifts for at least 10 kiddos. My aunts, uncles, etc never send gifts to my kiddos - and while it isn't a tragedy - it makes me kinda sad and a bit angry.

I mean - just cause we are on the other side of the country doesn't mean my kids don't exist and don't deserve the same courtesy extended to "visible" family.

Maybe I am just over-sensitive to it but my aunt - who I was VERY close to growing up - hasn't sent a gift for my kiddos in a few years. She said something to my mom like "Well - I always want to but then I forget and feel bad blah blah blah" and that to me is a pretty lame excuse. With the internet she doesn't even have to go to a post office - just get online and pick out some silly $10 item - it's the gesture, right?

I hate to make it about the gift - cause it really isn't - and my kids are already so spoiled - but it does hurt my feelings. Am I being too sensitive?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Ahh this is not worth it. I'm not expressing very well the way I feel since you all seem to think it's about the GIFT - and it's not - it's about the principle...

I am close as I can be to family that lives 1600 miles away. We are all on FB and share pictures, stories, etc and it's not that I expect them to get my kids gifts - but I expect my kiddos to be taken into consideration and acknowledged.

Featured Answers

I'm assuming you give their kids and them gifts? Also, we don't even get birthday cards in the mail. Much less gifts, and it isn't as if they hate us- it just doesn't happen. It has never given me the feeling of anger though... not in the slightest. Honestly, the LESS STUFF they get, the better! My kids have too much!

5 moms found this helpful

It doesn't bother me one bit and if they started, I would have to recipricate! Yikes. We only exchange gifts we ar going to be in the same place over Christmas. I thought that was the unwritten rule.

4 moms found this helpful

I think you are being too sensitive. I only buy gifts for the kids that are right here, now granted I have my own son and 11 neices/nephews all together so, my sisters and I do this - She buys a 20or less gift for each of their kids and puts my name on it and I do the same! When we did not live near the majority of the kids we did not get them anything! I do not think it is needed. To be honest, I do not even need the card!

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I wish far-away relatives would stop sending our kids gifts. They don't know my kids, and so the gifts they send are not always appropriate. My 9 year old (who reads at high school level) was sent a set of Junie B Jones books for her birthday. I mean, really? It was a nice thought, but even my 6 year old is beyond Junie B Jones books at this point. I ended up donating them to the school, so it wasn't a total waste, but still. It's not like it made my daughter feel warm and fuzzy to have someone she's never met remember her birthday, and it was just a hassle for me. And then it was another thank-you note to write... "Dear Aunt Millicent, Thanks for the Junie B Jones books. I'll read them just as soon as I'm done with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." LOL

Believe me, it's for the best that these people aren't sending gifts. Yeah, grandparents should send gifts no matter what, but extended family beyond that? Probably not so much.

8 moms found this helpful

You know... we lived thousands of miles away, too, when I was growing up (military).

My mum's family all sent us gifts. My dad's didn't.

But we DIDN'T KNOW that until we were grown.

Why? Because my mum cheated. She picked out gifts from key people (dad's mom, favorite aunt, cousins), wrapped them, signed their names, and then had us write thank you notes, and mailed them. Just like we sent thank you notes to everyone else!

((Note: My mum was ALSO buying their kids gifts))

This DID get them off their backsides after about 2-3 years (depending on the individual). They kept getting these thank you notes... for things they hadn't sent. First year, apparently, they thought it was a fluke. 2nd year some thought someone else had included their name on a gift they sent.

How it apparently broke down was that people started calling, and my mum (totally happy voice) "Oh! I didn't want the kids to think you'd forgotten about them, or didn't love them, so I just picked up a few things. I didn't spend a lot, just enough so they'd feel special and think it was from you. I mean, I know shipping is a lot these days (back in the 70's/80's), and the season gets chaotic."

Yeah. My mum rocks.

They DID at that point start sending checks. And my mum would pick stuff out for us.

It's not about the gift. It's the FEELING kids get from the gift. Not Forgotten. Special. Loved. My mum was totally willing to play santa for her inlaws forever, but she made a clear point on WHY she was buying stuff in their name and having us write notes. My dad's family is great... they're just small town / big family forgetful. (Not a slight on small towns, in fact, the opposite. When "everyone" is there, it's easy to forget the one person who isn't.) Since we were out of sight, we were out of mind.

Found this all out DECADES later (after having kids of our own, and laughing one xmas about different family traditions with all of our inlaws v our family of origin.)

Not long after that checks started arriving in the mail in early december.

7 moms found this helpful

Actually, if you started getting a bunch of "silly $10 gifts" for the kids that were cheap and inappropriate, then you would probably start to complain about that. That's what happened with my MIL. She would send her granddaughter cheap stuff to the point that we would rather her send NOTHING. So although I understand your point, sometimes its best to just let it go. Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful

I understand what you're saying, but I do think you're being too sensitive. I mean, would you really feel better if they sent your kids each a pair of Christmas socks, or another cheap $10 or less item? It would seem kind of wasteful to me. We only buy for the people in the area that get together..not for the relatives that live far away (and they do the same). For our "far away" family, we always call and wish a Merry Christmas. Buying presents for a lot of people is time consuming, and it does cost money..every $10 adds up. I wouldn't worry about it too much. Presents don't = love.

6 moms found this helpful

Yes - being too sensitive. I dont want gifts for myself or kids from extended family, because I cant afford to buy gifts for all of them. My cousin recently had a baby, and I thought about mailing a baby gift, but didnt because I was sure I wouldnt be able to buy gifts whenever the other cousins had babies, and didnt want people to be hurt that I bought one cousin gifts and not the other.

Its great that your mom does gifts for all the other kids, but her siblings should not be expected to do the same.

Edit to add: After reading your so what happened - It seems like you want her to connect with your children in some way. Would you feel better if your aunt called your kids to say happy birthday and Merry Christmas? I think that would be a totally appropriate request that you could make of her - Say "Hey - I had such a close relationship with you growing up, I wish that my kids could be close with you too. Maybe we could start calling each other on Birthdays and Christmas?"

5 moms found this helpful

I'm assuming you give their kids and them gifts? Also, we don't even get birthday cards in the mail. Much less gifts, and it isn't as if they hate us- it just doesn't happen. It has never given me the feeling of anger though... not in the slightest. Honestly, the LESS STUFF they get, the better! My kids have too much!

5 moms found this helpful

Wait, so these are your kids great aunts & uncles? I could sort of see your point if they were aunts & uncles - but honestly expecting YOUR aunts & uncles, who probably don't have a relationship with your kids anyway since you live far away, sounds a bit selfish. Yes, you are being too sensitive, get over it.

From their perspective: They are older, possibly on fixed income or facing a fixed income in the near future. $10 might not seem like much to you; but multiply that out, $10 for each great niece/nephew = $100+ for your family not counting their spouses families. That's a big chunk of change. My aunt and uncle live a couple hours from me, I don't expect a gift from them for my kids even though she was my favorite aunt growing up. I know they love the kids, the kids know my aunt loves them, they don't need a cheap toy from walmart to remind them.

If it's really about the thought for you ask them to send the kids cards - kids love to get mail. If they already send you a Christmas card show it to the kids and tell them it was for them.

4 moms found this helpful

It doesn't bother me one bit and if they started, I would have to recipricate! Yikes. We only exchange gifts we ar going to be in the same place over Christmas. I thought that was the unwritten rule.

4 moms found this helpful

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.