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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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?"

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Hmmm... I hope this doesn't come out harsh but Christmas isn't about gifts. Yes, it can be the part of the fun, but truly, it's the extra day to focus on your true gift... your family. Perhaps put the away the gift tally sheet and just cherish the season and the fact that you can spend it with your kiddos and not be overseas fighting a war? or at home worried about your soldier husband making it for Christmas? Sorry - I hate when people say "it could be worse" but in this case I think your situation needs a little perspective. Peace and Love!

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So, I know you're upset, but what I'm wondering is, at what level do you communicate with & attempt to have a relationship with these people during the rest of the year? Do you actively try to keep in touch them or involve them in what's going on in your family's life? What about their kids? Do you send birthday cards, gifts, etc? Based on your "what happened", it seems like you don't.

If you are not making an attempt at making these people a part of your lives during the other 99.9% of the year, then I don't really think you're justified in being upset. It goes both ways. They may be wondering why you don't send their kids anything, also. Two wrongs don't make a right. You send gifts because you want to, not because you're expecting something back. It sounds like you are keeping score, which is most certainly not in the Christmas spirit. Heck, you could even be the better person & start making the effort.

ETA after your changed "what happened" - Again, you said you don't get their kis anything, so why are you complaining? Don't you think it may hurt their feelings, as well, that you don't get their kids any gifts? It's not that we don't "get" what you mean. We do, but we are also answering your question, giving you our opinions, and we may not agree with you. Just because we disagree with you, doesn't mean we don't understand what you're saying. What most of us seem to think is that you are being a bit hypocritical.

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So your mom buys them gifts, do you buy them all gifts? It just seems like if anyone should be upset it is your mom.

I must admit this is kind of a peeve of mine because it feels more like I give to get instead of I give because I want to. My issues I know.

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I don't remember my aunts and uncles giving me gifts after about age 10 except for special occasions such as High School graduation, weddings ect. The only gifts my children ever received was maybe a gift at their birth.

Since you have moved so far away are you keeping in touch with them? If you are not keeping in touch they may believe that you are distancing yourself emotionally as well as physically.

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Yes, you are being too sensitive. One should never expect gifts. If someone is generous enough to send gifts, then be grateful but never, ever expect them no matter who it is. Even your mom.

I had a whole lot more written but here's the jist. Gifts are not a recognition of existence, as you stated. Love is. And gifts are not a sign of love either.

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You shouldn't think of it that way. My family lives far away too. The only people that send gifts are grandparents and ONE aunt who is a gift giving personality with EVERYONE. That still turns out to be a lot of gifts, since all four sets of grandparents send boxes full of gifts for all three kids. To be honest, the thank you cards overwhelm me and I wish they wouldn't some years! No other aunts and uncles send stuff, and I wouldn't expect it. Nor do I send gifts to other kids. I will send gifts to my grand kids though in the future. I think aunts and uncles sending gifts is optional. They all do it for each other, but you probably nailed it, you don't live there, so they don't think of your kids along with ones they see all the time. It may be a wake up call that you need to get your kids out to visit them more often! Also, are you very active in their lives? Do you constantly call, email and send pictures of your kids? Sounds like you might possibly need to be more involved with them if you're being forgotten, or just accept that you're not on the gift list.

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I don't see any reason for your aunts or uncles to send your kids gifts. I can see it if it is your sister or brother, but why would the kids great aunts and uncles all send gifts? It is really only the norm to buy for your own kids/grand-kids, and first nieces and nephews.

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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!

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Do your kids care that extended family members are not sending them gifts? If your kids are hurting over this I would be concerned, but if not, just let it go.

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I don't know what to tell you because we have the same problem. I totally get your drift. It is NOT about the gift at all in my book. It is about being forgotten and not feeling important in the family circle. You feel a little estranged.

My Dad and Stepmom gave our youngest a bday card with money,then totally forgot our 9 year old daughter's bday a couple months later.. and now since my dad caught wind from me that our oldest is having a bday soon he scrambled to say he a card was on its way in the mail. Ugh...it is not about the card..it is about not being remembered..being an afterthought.

My inlaws forget our kids bdays all the time..

I try to let it go. I try to be thoughtful and remember everyone and not expect others to be the same. Or you will always be sad or mad. It is sad though when my daughter asks why Grandma and Grandpa didn't remember her bday. Or if she knows they are coming for a visit she will say, "Maybe they are bringing MY card this time." Ugh. I just tell her they are older and busy and sometimes don't remember everything..but that they love her just the same as her siblings.

In our family aunts and uncles do not buy anyone anything. I tried buying for all my nieces and nephews and it just made my siblings upset because they felt one upped. Sheesh...can't people just do things because they care without others thinking there is a selfish motive?? Soooo, I let it go and just remind the nieces and nephews I know their bday is coming and I am thinking of them. Then follow up after their bday and ask what they did. For Christmas we pick a name and buy a gift.

I have pretty much the same problem as you...but my whole family lives within an hour from each other...and we rarely get together. I try reaching out and suggesting hosting gatherings...but my siblings are all "too busy" to get together other than the holidays. Sad..just sad.

I am sorry you are feeling this way...it hurts...I know. Especially when you see on fb all the stuff your family is doing 1,600 miles away.

Good luck and best wishes!!

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I'd rather have family that didn't give it then over here a family member complain about purchasing a gift for my children. When I called them out on it they started saying, oh thats not what I meant....

I would just let it go. I was the youngest of my dads side of the family. When I was growing up my aunts & uncle started feeling overwhelmed by Christmas gifts so they went from purchasing gifts for all to then drawing names to then no Christmas gathering. Their kids were much older and as time went on had their own families. I think as a kid I was little hurt by the gifts, but as I grew older I just missed the family gathering the most. It's nice to feel thought of..but gifts aren't what your truly missing. I would be sure to send your family a card every year for Christmas/their birthdays...maybe they'll reciprocate. But at least they'll know your thinking of them.

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I think people just feel closer to the kids they see on a regular basis. And, it's your mom buying for her siblings' grandchildren because she sees them and apparently has a relationship with them. Let's face it, if the uncles and aunts did send gifts, your kids wouldn't "know" the people they received them from and it wouldn't really matter to them. The only thing that would matter is the gift itself and that's just not what xmas is supposed to be about. Perhaps you could try communicating with these folks throughout the year, and send pics of the kids, etc., and at some point you may get the result you want. As for our family, my husband has well over 2 nieces and nephews who almost all have children of their own. No one buys for everyone - we all just buy for immediate family and then us grandmas pitch in for dollar coloring books and things like that to give out to the kiddos who show up for xmas dinner. No one is offended; we are all family and it doesn't take a gift to remind us how much we love one another!

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My MIL missed my daughter's birthday for the first two years. Special, right? They don't get gifts from her for their birthday's...well this year they got $ from her, but it's a first and my oldest turned 8.

They get one box full of clothes from my MIL every Christmas...but we are always so thankful for it because she puts a lot of thought into it and without us telling her she gets what they need most (whether it be pants, shirts, pajamas, etc.)

I buy for my niece/goddaughter who lives here. My husband didn't even know his nephews names when we got together. He has changed since, but he wasn't too close with his family for a long time. Now he is and while it can be stressful, I'm glad.

So we don't send gifts to them, and I'm not sure why. Not sure if it's because they never sent for us so I just didn't do it or if it's because money has always been tight.

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Yep, too sensitive.
If it really is only about the gesture, a card should do.

We have relatives strewn all over the world really and I don't care if any of them send gifts for DD - we also don't usually send gifts to all of our nieces and nephews. Honestly, I don't think the kids actually notice.

Good luck.

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Yes, I'm afraid that you ARE being too sensitive. Your mother makes an extraordinary and commendable effort to buy gifts for so many relatives, but most people do not or even cannot do so. A card in the mail with perhaps a dollar bill for a child in it would be more than enough for a distant relative's birthday or Christmas or other holiday. You said yourself that the children are already “spoiled” enough. And even if your aunt neglects to send cards you should still not let it harm your relationship with her. Call your aunt or e-mail her often and let her know how you and your children are doing, chances are that with more reminders of how big they are getting and what they are up to, she will be more likely to develop a better relationship with them. Accept that your family members will never behave quite the way that you want them to, and love them anyway.

Oh, and one more idea, for my large family we do a gift rotation because we cannot afford to buy EVERYONE gifts EVERY Christmas, so you only need to buy gifts for one or two other nuclear families in the big family tree if you get what I mean! Perhaps you could start that in your family.

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A little sensitive. I get why you are hurt though. My BIL (my husband's only sibling) rarely acknowledges my kids and it hurts my feelings too. This is after we made sure to send him gifts for years and years. Often we would not even get so much as a phone call to tell us that he received the gifts much less a thank you for them. I got over it when he didn't do anything for me or my husband. However, it does hurt me that he doesn't do anything for my kids. Since he is 35 and single, this is the only niece and nephew that he has....

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It doesn't make any difference to me. Everyone in my family is poor, so we draw a name of one person in the family and get them a gift. Really, you expect your your aunts and uncles to send gifts? I have 15 aunts and uncles and their are at least 20 nieces and nephews... hardly anyone can afford or desire to give gifts to everyone. I never got gifts as a child form extended family, the idea seems bizarre to expect that. We all have tons of people we would love to gift gifts to, but just can't for whatever reason. Even our grandparents don't give the kids gifts... they get them a $5 gift card to Walmart and it touches me so much knowing they can't even afford that. Seriously, your kids don't need tons of presents from relatives they hardly ever know or even see. Do you send all of your aunts and uncles and extended family or their kids gifts? If not, then why do you expect your family to be pampered? And I don't think it's about the gift or principal. Why don't you pick up the phone on Christmas morning, and give all your extended family a call and have your kids tell them Merry Christmas or something instead of looking for entitlement. Talking over facebook isn't really a form of close communication to expect a gift.

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Kids today have TOO much stuff, I recently read an article (wish I could find it again) about how kids used to use their imagination until stores started advertising toys on TV all year round and basically ruined childhood. No one is punishing your kids for living where they live but the truth is we all feel closer to kids we see on a regular basis. Are you writing and calling these relatives on a regular basis? Do you send them photos of your kids in their Halloween costumes, summere vacations and school pictures? or just Christmas cards? Do they know your kids well enough to pick out personalized gifts? Your kids don't need more stuff, IF you feel they are lacking in extended family interaction and could benefit, find some great friends and substitute grandparents near by. I know you are thinking that your extended family should love everyone the same, but it makes you sound materialistic which probably isn't your point at all.

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My mom and dad both have several siblings. I haven't received a thing from any of them in ages. I don't think my kids have gotten more than maybe a birth gift, wedding gift... nor do I remember them getting anything from my siblings, or "dad's

We don't even notice. We haven't gotten them anything either. Our gift exchanges pretty much are between our own children/grandchildren and so far they usually give us something in return.

We try to get together whenever we can so they can learn about their extended family. Sometimes when we hear one of our neices or nephews is doing a fundraiser we might participate.

Send real letters and cards. Make a phone call every month or so. If it is not about the gifts, just find other fun ways to keep in touch and be friends.

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I would feel badly if your siblings' kids get gifts from relatives who don't give to your kids. I would never do that. My mom would never have done that. Perhaps some relatives only give to the kids they see for the holidays? I know that over the years, some more distant relatives, like my husband's aunts and his cousin stopped giving my kids gifts, but we didn't really see them much if at all. I got over it. I can't compare since my husband does not have siblings. However, when this happened, my daughter was old enough to notice that some people who used to send her gifts didn't anymore and she wondered why. It was a good time for a discussion about not being entitled.
I would let it go. The kids really don't need a gift and the older generation, who may be retired and on a fixed income, are probably just managing to do gifts for their own grandkids.
I agree with the posters about the cheap $10 junk gifts. Some of my husband's family used to come laden with that kind of stuff for my kids at Christmas. While I tried to be appreciative of any gifts, I wished they hadn't bothered, or had just gone in together for one decent gift (preferably without tons of little parts and pieces). I hated clutter, often threw those gifts away and felt badly that they'd wasted their money.

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I can sort of relate, at the same time I myself do not send gifts as I used to. The distance does create a disconnect. It goes with the distance. What really irks me is when we do get family out here and they spend more time and money getting gifts for the kids back home. But that is their choice and I learned years agothat I can not dwell on that.

As much as it come across being about the gifts, it is not, it is that feelings of disconnect and loss, that your children do not have bonds with extended family. They did not choose the move for us, we did and it is just the way it is. But to be honest we are looking to move back home, and our son missing out on having relations with extended family is the biggest part of us wanting to move back home.

What kind of relationship do you have with these extended family members? Do you call them? Do you send school pictures? Christmas cards? If you don't have any contact with them, then you can't expect to receive gifts--and you probably wouldn't want to. I am very close to my sisters. The years that we are together for Christmas we will exchange gifts. The years we are not together, we just do gifts for the kids. If you nieces and nephews see "Aunt Sally" on Christmas, then she probably feels more obligated to bring a gift.

Well, I have rarely sent my sister's kids gifts and I have never expected gifts from her or my brother.

I really don't care who gives them a gift or not they have enough from us,our parents & their aunts that buy for them.I don't send cards or gifts to other extended family members.You say your mom buys gifts for her siblings & their childrens children but do you send gifts to them as well?

People are selfish. Sad, but true. Do they at least acknowledge your kids' in any way?

Take my word for this...your kids' will always remember the time that was spent with them more than gift though--even if that time is spent on the phone or via a letter or whatever.

It's an opportunity to teach your kids how to give too, like Toys for Tots or donating food to a shelter. You teach your kids' values, not these other people that are stingy.

I see your point. My grandmother has taught me how to deal with these types of things...sorta. Every time theres a birthday party, she asks me how much or what did these family members get my son and she does the same. She says you get what you give. So maybe if your mother stopped buying their kids gifts, they would understand that family is family, near or far and they need to all be treated equally. Best of luck. Maybe you should try visiting more often?.

We live 10 hrs away from my family. My parents/brother come visit for Christmas and we ALL exchange gifts. As for extended family, if we are 'back home' the kids get gifts from certain relatives. After all, it would hurt feelings to be there and not have anything to open. But when we celebrate 400 miles away, we don't expect the kids to have that treatment. And we don't buy for the other 20 neices/nephews/.cousins either. It works for us and doesn't hurt our feelings.

But every family is different. You are entitled to your feelings. It's hard being so far away. I remember living in England when the rest of the family was in Arkansas. You do start to feel isolated; things/relationships change and it's rough!

Now, principle aside, if you were buying for everyone and shipping, I wouldn't blame you for being upset for having no reciprocation, even if that's not supposed to be the point, especially if money is not an issue The principle of giving really should go both ways if possible.

Personally I don't want a bunch of silly little gifts in my house but understand that gifts are important to others. Can you take what she's given you so far? How cool to have an Aunt you were close to growing up! Are your kids close to this Aunt? Could they send a picture or something they've made to her? Teach your kids about giving, don't dwell on the receiving other than to be thankful and gracious for what you ARE given. They will pick up your resentment in your tone and comments, even if you don't come out and say it I also don't think the kids will know she sent something to someone else and not them. There could be so many reasons for her not to give a gift. Some of us just aren't good gift givers and even though I've had a 0-9 year old I often don't know what to give other or younger kids as gifts. Anyway, hope you are able to let this go and enjoy!

No, you aren't being overly sensitive. For God's sake, even a $5 gift is a way to show others that you're thinking of them and care about them. And you're right: in this day of online gifting, it's not exactly rocket science.

I'm sorry, but I think it's rude to ignore family members at the holidays and I'm sick of hearing excuses about how "busy" everybody is. Make a batch of cookies if you don't have money. Postage will run ya $2. I'm not rolling in money here either but I wouldn't think of ignoring the people in my family at the holidays. It's just rude.

My aunt buys for my family but my cousins typically do not. We got out of that in our 20s when we were all mouse poor college students. I picked up a small gift for their kids, but I don't buy for them, specifically, and if they don't gift my DD, that's fine with me, honestly. Once you get past a couple of kids, even a small gift gets pricey and the whole Christmas thing gets out of hand. I would rather just enjoy their company and see the kids hang out. I do buy for my baby nephew and my great-niece. But not the ones over 18 (family rule).

If your aunt hurt your feelings, then you need to address her about it.

I suppose I can speak to both sides of this. Growing up, we often got cards from out of state aunts/uncles, etc., but never gifts. And it didn't bug us at all- probably because if it bothered my parents, they never told us. So it just was the way things were.

But as grown ups, all of my sibs buy for each others kids. Because we live far apart, I suppose it is a way to make sure they are acknowledged and know that we still care. I think that is where you're coming from. I don't think you mean the gift, you mean the acknowledgement.

Totally understand where you are coming from. If you talk to those relatives, just make sure they know you aren't looking for gifts, but you want your kids to feel special- however they may be.

I dont think your too sensitive.
I felt the same way with my X-husbands family, his aunts and grandparent always would send his daugther who was from a girlfriend he got pregnt. They always would send her bday presnts and xmas present amd he lived in Tx, where we met.
And we move up to Ga, to be close to his family and they still buy her presents even the aunts who live in Florida.
But wen I had my daugthers, no one from his family came to my babyshower or buys them presents or cares till this day.

So I completly understand. And im sorry to hear that too.

I suggest that you chat with those relatives, not about gifts, but about how you would like for them to acknowledge your children in some way. The principle is about feeling included and loved. So talk about that with them.
Use I statements to express how you feel. Listen to their response. And then discuss what would help both of you.

If you don't already, I suggest that you send pictures of your children to them. At the very least, once a year, when you have school pictures. I think it might help if you'd send a holiday picture the first of December too.

Yikes...my sister has had the exact same issue with her children and I totally get where you're coming from. My sister and her family moved out of state for her husband's job. For years my sister would send gifts home for the children in the family for Easter, Christmas, and birthdays. None of those parents EVER sent her children presents or cards on those special occasions. We're a small family, it really wouldn't have taken much for those Aunts to send a small gift for my sister's kids.

You're absolutely right it is NOT about the gift. It's more the fact that you feel you and your children are "out of sight, out of mind." and therefore not really being treated like family. Of course that would hurt anyone's feelings. It's bad enough to be across the country and not be able to physically be apart of family celebrations. Feeling totally isolated and forgotten on top of that just makes it worse. Receiving a package from someone makes you feel special not for what's inside but because you feel like the person sending it loved you enough to remember you.

I don't think you are being too sensitive. I think most people don't think about how hard it is on people who live away from their families, especially during the holidays.

Peace and Blessings,
T. B.

Well, I get sensitive about things that I shouldn't too, so I really shouldn't talk, but I do think you are being a little sensitive. I actually tell my relatives not to get us gifts. I know the gesture is nice, but I feel like we have plenty so some of that silly $10 stuff is wasteful.
But that being said, I understand that its hurtful if you think you are being left out. I would try to think about how they may have lots of people to buy for and it is time consuming and costly to get gifts for a large extended family. Anyway, try to not let it get to you.

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