To persist in buying my Uncle a Christmas gift after this 'thankyou' card?

(76 Posts)
MerryMarigold Mon 13-Jan-14 14:07:54

So, every year I buy my Uncle, Aunt and 2 cousins a Christmas gift. They live a long way away and we rarely see each other, but it is a way of remembering them and choosing something I think they will like. For the past few years, only one of my cousins has reciprocated in the gift giving. It really doesn't bother me - as for me it is genuinely about giving a little thing for Christmas. My Uncle and Aunt were generous growing up and in fact until my Grandmother died a couple of years ago, and my Aunt still sends birthday gifts for all my kids.

My Uncle got remarried a few years ago, so his gift is joint with his new wife. Last year I got a board game (she has children who are grown up but without kids who all come for Christmas) and this year some fun and unusual chocolates. I got a 'thankyou' card from the new wife which basically said, "Thanks for the present but perhaps next year a card would be fine." Now, I don't know whether to get my Uncle a present next year.

I'm not sure if she is genuinely trying to be nice and to stop the trouble for me, of if she feels guilty they don't send one for our family, or just that Christmas is over commercialised and why am I sending something when I never see them, and it's not something they want anyway? I feel like I want to send something, not that I am obligated in any way, and I enjoy doing it. But if someone doesn't want to receive it defeats the object, really. I do it for the rest of the family and just because Uncle is remarried, why should I leave him out? (Also, letter was from her, not him). Plus, a tiny, rebellious part of me thinks, "Who are you to tell me who to buy a present for or not?".

So should I leave him out next year or persist? Or send one to him without her name on it? (That would be mean though, wouldn't it).

MerryMarigold Tue 14-Jan-14 12:32:18

Since she didn't grow up with us, should have read first.

MerryMarigold Tue 14-Jan-14 12:31:35

I think the likelihood is that she is in charge of gifts and since she using grow up with us (we used to go on holidays etc, lots of fond memories) combined with not really knowing my kids, means she doesn't want to do presents. Which is totally fine. I don't think it has to be reciprocal and do it for all reasons listed above. She does think so and since she doesn't want to do it had asked me to stop. So I will. Unhappily.

JustSpeakSense Tue 14-Jan-14 11:50:37

Yes, you definitely need to respect their wishes next christmas.

Vijac Tue 14-Jan-14 10:35:54

Gift giving is a reciprocal thing, whilst it is cloaked in not being one, the truth is that it is. Either an exchange, or a thank you for something. I guess it can also be an expression of love but I would say to those close to you. Your aunt feels uncomfortable receiving and not giving. She doesn't think the relationship is close enough to send a gift herself (some families don't even do gifts for adults at all). She is being nice and I would respect her wishes.

Avalon Tue 14-Jan-14 10:31:31

Hey, you feel strongly about that! wink

Avalon Tue 14-Jan-14 10:30:48

Perhaps it's age then, Merry, or financial circumstances.

MerryMarigold Tue 14-Jan-14 10:30:45

Avalon, yes I do really hate being told what to do!

MerryMarigold Tue 14-Jan-14 10:30:44

Avalon, yes I do really hate being told what to do!

MerryMarigold Tue 14-Jan-14 10:29:46

Avalon, yes I do really hate being told what to do!

MerryMarigold Tue 14-Jan-14 10:28:22

gladvent, good idea. It's a bit far for a day trip and they never want to stay over at my parents, but I will ask. Thank you.

MerryMarigold Tue 14-Jan-14 10:26:18

No, him and new wife sent for several years. Only stopped a couple of years ago. Have to admit I missed a year myself after having twins, but it wasn't a thought out plan.

Gladvent Tue 14-Jan-14 10:25:06

Just invite them to you next year smile

Avalon Tue 14-Jan-14 10:17:29

Ha ha op, I don't think your rebellious part is tiny at all! grin

It may be that your one-sided gift giving has irritated your uncle for years and his new wife has offered to send you a tactful note?

Has your uncle thanked you for previous gifts?

I think it's more likely that it was your aunt who was thoughtful and generous with gift giving and your uncle just doesn't care.

JustSpeakSense Tue 14-Jan-14 10:17:18

I think if they felt strongly enough to actually say it to you in the Thank you card then you really should just send them a christmas card next year. They don't want a gift - they've said so.

MerryMarigold Tue 14-Jan-14 10:10:49

Thanks train. flowers. I had to ignore the passive aggressive comment as quint is usually an excellent poster and I rate her.

AmberLeaf Tue 14-Jan-14 10:09:27

YANBU and I think what the wife said is rude. I would be offended at that no matter how hard I tried not to be!

MerryMarigold Tue 14-Jan-14 10:09:00

They live a very long way away and we have not been asked over! Now, I think it may be rude to invite ourselves. 3 young kids in a house which never entertains young kids, may be even less wanted than a Christmas present!!

LittleBearPad Tue 14-Jan-14 10:02:18

I think your stubbornness may be clouding your decision. They've asked that you don't send them a present. To continue to do so isn't very Christmassy. Why don't you go and see them. That round be much better than an unwanted present.

traininthedistance Tue 14-Jan-14 09:56:14

*note not more

traininthedistance Tue 14-Jan-14 09:55:45

Well I didn't think you are U, OP. FFS, what is it with people saying sending a Christmas gift is the OP imposing her values on people and being passive aggressive? It's a Christmas present, for goodness' sake, not an act of aggression. On most mumsnet present threads people are popping up to say one should be grateful for any present at all as a gift is entirely at the discretion of the giver, and here people are saying the opposite. It is pretty rude to write a more suggesting a well-meant gift is unwanted!

MerryMarigold Tue 14-Jan-14 09:45:53

And no, I won't send a note saying I'd rather not have a card if it's not personal.

MerryMarigold Tue 14-Jan-14 09:44:25

I'm not obsessed, just stubborn and don't like being told my present was unwanted. Don't like to accept badly argued viewpoints but there have been some helpful posts. I have already said I will not be sending the gift next year and will figure out a way to maintain contact and thought and 'Christmas spirit' in a way that does not offend or irritate them. I truly doubt they will bother with anything more than a scrawled card (to me that's a waste of paper and postage and not really keeping in touch), but I can keep to my values and we're all happy.

moldingsunbeams Tue 14-Jan-14 08:19:03

My mum asked for people to stop buying and they still do, she then finds the need to send one too and she cannot honestly afford to as if she buys for them she has to buy for loads of others too.

Caitlin17 Tue 14-Jan-14 08:08:23

You sound obsessed. Only one of these people reciprocate. The letter you are fretting over was "only from her" so presumably your uncle hasn't even acknowledged the gift.

This is what I call passive aggressive gifting, and it has nothing to do with "Christmas spirit" if the only contact one has with a person is thanking the postman for an unwanted gift .

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