To think 'be greatful for what you get' has it's limits

(32 Posts)
meanddog Wed 25-Dec-13 21:49:31

Fairly complicated family on husbands side, often a feeling of bias towards DS cousins compared to him but ignore as much as possible. DH is technically a stepson to FIL but never seemed to be a problem.
However, today DS and his two cousins were given gifts by FIL brother (so not blod relation to us but again never highlighted)
DS unwraps small toy, nice. Cousins unwrap much larger toys, brand names etc.
DS toy breaks on first use. Look it up on the website of toy store to ensure can return and find cost less than two quid. Stupidly look up cousins gifts to find cost 15 times as much!!
Yes I should be grateful he got a gift but should I be grateful it's crap and broken and blatantly an after thought.
Add in the fact DS has been failing all day for attention from MIL and the fact that several cards given to both us and SIL at sametime contained money for them and sod-all for us and it adds up to a crappy Christmas feeling

FredFredGeorge Wed 25-Dec-13 21:59:07

Sure it maybe is possible, but not for me in the above example, you just sound grabby and jealous.

sparklysilversequins Wed 25-Dec-13 22:02:38

I don't think you sound grabby and jealous AT ALL.

So you should tolerate and have no issue with your children and yourself being treated unfairly just because its Christmas?

I would be upset too, but I wouldn't show it and would never go there again.

Ragusa Wed 25-Dec-13 22:04:54

Idon't think you sound grabby and I am usually the first to say "be grateful for what you get".

foreverondiet Wed 25-Dec-13 22:07:30

How old are the children?

I would say to MIL that in respect of the presents from FIL brother that its not fair on your DS that he got something that was obviously worth so much less (ie £2 and broke on first use) don't have to spend the same but not fair to treat him so differently like that, and that if there is a next time, she has to speak to him to ensure that bigger gifts for cousins given when your DS isn't there.

re: money well you can be upset, but really shouldn't say anything.

NoComet Wed 25-Dec-13 22:21:00

If DCs are opening presents together, they should be of similar size and value.

Jolleigh Wed 25-Dec-13 22:32:52

I agree it looks quite nasty. But I honestly think you'd do more harm than good making a fuss over it...there are all sorts of reasons your child's present could have been on a smaller budget. Perhaps it was bought later and an unexpected bill had scuppered plans a bit? Or the original gift was accidentally broken and this was a very last minute stand in? If I were you, I'd simply avoid a situation in the future where the children are all opening gifts at once if at all possible.

BettyandDon Wed 25-Dec-13 22:50:18

I think its clear that DH Step-Uncle doesn't consider his Step-Nephew in the same light as his other ones. Sorry. Either that or he is just totally unversed in appropriate gift giving.

Does he perhaps see them more often or play a larger part in their lives (God parent?). Either way I would apologise for him to your son for such a rubbish gift so he doesn't feel belittled if he is old enough to understand that. Maybe find him something nice if you can afford to at the store if you return the defunct thing.

I have seen this behaviour in my own family . I don't think its uncommon but not nice for the children nonetheless.

PigsInTinselToppedWellies Wed 25-Dec-13 22:51:50


I got a new kettle from MIL. My current kettle is very old and tired looking. MIL doesn't like it and hasn't liked it for years. She's forever making comments about how it's time I replaced it despite knowing why I'm so attached to it. My Nana bought it for me to take to university 25 years ago. She died before she got to give it to me herself. So it's all I have of my Nana and despite looking it's age, it still works perfectly. I've told MIL this many, many times and that I have no intention of getting rid of it. Still she bought me a fucking new one. I know I should be grateful but I'm not. It's going straight down the charity shop and MIL can sulk for England when she realises.

ArgumentsatChristmas Wed 25-Dec-13 22:57:44


Something that caused me real and genuine grief was that my own mother blatantly preferred my DD over my DS. For example - birth present for DD was £1k. Massive surprise and hugely generous and unexpected. Birth present for DS was £50. Of course I didn't say anything but I was torn up trying to equalise the presents. That inequality went through all the way. Horrific trying to even things out as a parent.

I think this is one of those things where you cannot do anything other than inwardly seethe and try to make things equal for your DCs.

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 25-Dec-13 22:57:57

So, the brother in law is you DH's uncle by marriage?

I think, in these circumstances yabu. As long as he is treated equally by your DH's parents, you should be happy.

I'm a step child and my step dads siblings have never treated me equally to their blood nieces and nephews. His parents do though and that means much more.

MajesticWhine Wed 25-Dec-13 23:04:24

YANBU, but it's probably not that unusual for 'step' relatives to be treated differently.

brokenhearted55a Wed 25-Dec-13 23:46:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wow, brokenhearted. At both your mum AND you. Sounds like both of you need to take a chill pill. Not sure why you both couldn't have a quick word with your sister even if it WAS right at the start of lunch instead if this "we're eating - call back" stroppy attitude off you. It's bloody Christmas Day!

And what took you so long getting the wine ready?! Did you have to tread the grapes yourself? It was fine to keep your mum waiting while you faffed with wine but not for her to keep you waiting while she had a quick word with her daughter.

Maybe you could tell your mum EXACTLy what you want next year as a gift and then you won't be so disappointed?

And maybe next year, don't put so much emphasis on the monetary worth of what you've done for your mum? And then complain "I spent this much on that, and that amount on that and then she did that! How dare she when I've spent all that money on her!"

You sound hard work, frankly, and lacking in a bit of Christmas spirit.

And very jealous of your sister.

JollySantersSelectionBox Thu 26-Dec-13 00:46:04

I'm confused at someone asking for a token present and then getting so irate about it not being what you wanted. You should have stated what that token present should have been then, surely?

brokenhearted55a Thu 26-Dec-13 00:53:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

How different my reply would have been if you'd put all that first! I could just sense your anger but couldn't quite work out why.

brokenhearted55a Thu 26-Dec-13 01:01:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Meant to say: sounds very hard. Maybe your sister feels a failure in life next to you and it comes out as awful behaviour? Doesnt explain the violence in her teens though. I think I would be distancing myself from them both actually.

brokenhearted55a Thu 26-Dec-13 01:15:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 26-Dec-13 01:28:49


To be v simplistic (wine) your sister sounds an arse. Do something you will enjoy next Christmas.

shelley1977 Thu 26-Dec-13 14:23:54

We have this with my youngest 2 and their dad. For my sons birthdays he's had a laptop at age 4 and a Wii where as his sister gets something she doesn't like and the only example I can think of was this year a doll , she has never played with them, and a hideous sweater. My daughters first words were this can go in the charity bag! I think it hurts more than you'd expect.

shelley1977 Thu 26-Dec-13 14:37:42

We have this with my youngest 2 and their dad. For my sons birthdays he's had a laptop at age 4 and a Wii where as his sister gets something she doesn't like and the only example I can think of was this year a doll , she has never played with them, and a hideous sweater. My daughters first words were this can go in the charity bag! I think it hurts more than you'd expect.

Gossipmonster Thu 26-Dec-13 14:54:06

People used to do this to DS2 who has a different dad to my other two - even MY OWN PARENTS!!!

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