AIBU not to give my nephew and niece Christmas presents?

(54 Posts)
BikeRunSki Fri 23-Nov-12 20:18:03

They are 12 and 8 respectively.
They live abroad, and their mother (my sister) is very, very label/image conscious wrt to everything they have. It is increasingly difficult to get them anything "acceptable". For the last two years I have not had any thanks or aknowledgement of their presents. DNeph had a birthday recently. DSis told me he needed a new hoody, and to get something from Abercrombie and Fitch.I am not in that kind if league atvall, so.I sent him some money - the equivalent of £25. I know he got it because when DM asked DSis about it, she dismissed it as "not really worth thanking for".

My children are much younger and DSis's presents to them are not un-generous, but always OTT. Eg DS wanted his own copy of a particular Julia Donaldson book for his birthday. So she sent him that, and 4 or 6 other books he already had. DD (1) needed some winter clothes, so she sent designer frilly stuff, rather than anything at all practical. That sounds really ungrateful doesn't it? But I do always write and thank her!

We rarely speak and I maintain a skeleton relationship with her primarily for DM's sake. We are very, very different people, and if I met her at a party for example,, then we wouldn't become friends. Our relationship wavers between ambivalent and toxic (she is queen of passive aggressive).

I know I should not blight DNeph and DNiece with my history with their mother, but the expectation and lack of gratitude are really peeing me off. And DSis does not send OTT presents to be generous, she does it to show off that she can.

SamSmalaidh Fri 23-Nov-12 20:19:56

I would send them something homemade but worth nothing grin

Tweasels Fri 23-Nov-12 20:21:55

I would continue to send gifts, but just token ones. Nothing expensive. Keep the moral high ground.

Your sis sounds awful.

BackforGood Fri 23-Nov-12 20:23:06

Not unreasonable to stop sending things (cite awkwardness of choosing something appropriate / right size / right label / tht they haven't got as you don't see them very often plus then physically getting it to them), but I think I would let sister know that now, and ask that it's a mutual thing.... ie that she doesn't get for yours either.

blackeyedsusan Fri 23-Nov-12 20:23:27

nothing/token or homemade. personally, it would be nothing afte r the comment about 25 pound... which to some is an awful lot of money.

WheresMrMonkey Fri 23-Nov-12 20:46:11

Think you should keep to what you are sending. When they are grown up they will appreciate your kindness I'm sure

TwoJackRussellsandababy Fri 23-Nov-12 20:47:14

Generally I operate a no thank you card, no more presents, harsh, but it's a matter of manners and especially when the children are old enough to write their own letters.

Might be a little more difficult with them being your niece and nephew, perhaps in this case BackforGood is right, agree with your sister that there shouldn't be any presents exchanged between any of the children.

CarrotCruncher Fri 23-Nov-12 20:48:36

send them a tenner each

Marzipanface Fri 23-Nov-12 20:50:33

Send nothing. Seriously. If they can't thank you for 25 quid then they get nothing.

CarrotCruncher Fri 23-Nov-12 20:54:16

It's the thought that counts

tazmo Fri 23-Nov-12 21:06:58

I think you should think of the kids rather than getting back at your sis. My sister in law is shocking ( because I only gave her daughter £10 when's he was confirmed; she's polish so think she expected a lot more) - she decided to not send my daughter who was 1 something for her birthday. But I refuse to stoop to her level so do get ok presents. It doesn't have to be much tho. Tell her it's the thought that counts if she comments but otherwise just send what u think is appropriate!!!!!

oohlaalaa Fri 23-Nov-12 21:11:02

I'd still get them presents, but try not to worry what your sister thinks.

CaliforniaLeaving Fri 23-Nov-12 21:12:12

I'd just send a card to each of them with £5 or 10 in it. Ignore you Sis she sounds very entitled and snobby.

ihatethecold Fri 23-Nov-12 21:14:50

I wouldn't bother. Do the kids have the same attitude as your sister.?
Life is too short for bad manners. They cost nothingsad

BikeRunSki Fri 23-Nov-12 21:40:29

It's not really the value of the presents to the DN, but they are plenty old enough to pick up the phone. Their manners are generally appalling (ok, different...).

DontmindifIdo Fri 23-Nov-12 21:43:38

send oxfam charity gifts

ssd Fri 23-Nov-12 21:47:14

...and you know who they get this from...

their mum

BikeRunSki Fri 23-Nov-12 21:53:26

Oh yes ssd she's dreadful ! (38 years later, still convinced one of us was swapped at hospital ).

backforhelp Fri 23-Nov-12 21:54:49

I wouldnt send money. If they are already spoilt it wont mean much to them. I would either agree with sister that no presents to be exchanged or take the moral high ground, remember its the thought that counts and send a small (and light to post) gift from the UK like a Now CD for the boy and little Sylvania set for the girl. Would ignore lack of thanks from children as children will have been influenced by sister so not entirely their fault at this age. In a couple more years could probably drop presents altogether but I think whilst the young one is still primary school age it would be nice to do something if you can.

Wheresmypopcorn Fri 23-Nov-12 23:53:27

I can sympathize, my sister-in-laws kids always want Abercrombie and Fitch this and that. They are 10 and 13 and the daughter had on her list an iPhone, Abercrombie scent, in fact nothing that was decently priced. I just buy off the list and they always phone and thank me. Not their problem that their mum feels the need to overspend at every birthday/ Christmas.

pigletmania Sat 24-Nov-12 00:07:40

What a hortid superficial woman. I would send nothing just a card

SofiaAmes Sat 24-Nov-12 00:21:19

Make a donation to charity or give a "loan" to kiva.org in their name and send them a card saying so. At least if they don't appreciate it, someone else will!!

I would send gifts they couldn't get in their country - UK chocolate for example. Even spoilt teenagers can appreciate something that isn't brand name if it is cool - I know lots of teenagers over here would love a nice FCUK or Union Jack tee shirt.

If they are rich and 25quid or name brand goods are nothing to them then they probably don't think to thank you. Especially if their mother never taught them to.

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 24-Nov-12 03:38:42

I would send them something small, a novelty/homemade/personalised item so that the value is personal/sentimental rather than financial.

I would also write your 'thank yous' to the children instead of your sister so that they get the idea that thanking someone is the right thing to do. Maybe get your DC's if/when they're old enough to write and thank their cousins, maybe it will inspire them to do the same.

BikeRunSki Sat 24-Nov-12 09:13:49

Actually, I am rather liking the idea of "Now" and Cadbury. And Walker's crisps - they are in the speciality aisle in their supermarket at 2€ for a 25g bag!

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