To stop making an effort - DB and SIL

(97 Posts)
Imchangingmyname Sun 27-Dec-15 19:24:30

Every year I buy my DB and SILs DC age-appropriate, thoughtful gifts. Sometimes asking SIL for ideas or what they are into at that time etc.
Each year without fail they give my DC awful, age-inappropriate, bargain bin toys or clothes in the wrong size.
I'm talking a two quid baby puzzle for a 3 year old for example. Or 1-2 pj's for 3yo.

I love my DNieces and want to treat them, however I feel this year the problem has come to a head because my DD (4) is old enough to understand.

My DNieces are very present-oriented as are BIL and SIL so it was all 'when are we doing presents?' on Christmas day. When we finally opened them DNieces have Frozen dolls and lovely dressing up things from us. DD has a jigsaw puzzle of Minions (which she has never seen) from them.
She was looking at her cousins toys and said she would like one of those.

I can't understand why they can't make an effort. I know SIL spends a lot on her own brothers kids but feels like she doesn't care when it comes to mine.

WIBU to stop making an effort with their presents? It's mainly now because my DD is upset and too little to understand why she doesn't get something nice too. Our incomes are both comfortable, if anything they are wealthier.

trinity0097 Sun 27-Dec-15 19:34:26

I would have assumed that most children would be familiar with the minions range. It is everywhere in common culture now and the movies are kids movies, just like frozen,

PicaK Sun 27-Dec-15 19:38:41

Yabu for blaming your SIL. Why is she responsible for buying presents? I know your title says DB and SIL but the fact you are focusing on what she gets her sibling's kids says a lot. Pull your brother up on it if it bothers you (and you are sure money is not an issue). And then go buy Despicable Me because your DD is missing out big time.

PennyHasNoSurname Sun 27-Dec-15 19:40:46

Why would they have needed to have seen Minions to appreciate the jigsaw? Id bet theyve never seen a Unicorn but would be happy with a Unicorn game.

And factor your DB into your vitrol somewhere too.

DartmoorDoughnut Sun 27-Dec-15 19:40:50

As Pica says really, YANBU but I'd be having a word with your DB, my DH buys for his family I buy for mine, I'm guessing they do the same!

VinoTime Sun 27-Dec-15 19:41:39

Difficult one.

I personally never give to receive. I love watching people open presents I've bought them as I try very hard to make an effort and buy them something they'll really appreciate and enjoy.

However, I also fully understand the frustration of putting time, effort and money into gift buying and then receiving utter tat back. It can be a little deflating and you can end up wishing they'd simply never bothered reciprocating. And the whole giving to receive thing becomes moot when it's family you really do need to buy for.

This often happens with my cousin, who is very comfortably well off compared to me. That's not to say I'm on the breadline, but I am a single parent and I don't earn an awful lot. I tend to buy her children more of a small minding now, rather than a big present costing £20 odd, because I was getting a little hmm at the bargain bin piece of crap both DD and I would get in return. I think my personal favourite has to be the year I bought her eldest a Hollister top and her youngest some PJ's from the White Company, and in return DD got a Christmas sticker book (Poundland - and I know it was from there because I'd bought the exact same one for DD's stocking) and I got a leopard print reusable shopping bag. I literally had no words.

And that was the year I decided enough was enough. Now I buy them each a small gift that costs around £5 each. It means I don't twitch quite as much come Christmas morning wink

I would absolutely consider scaling it back a bit. Put a £5 limit on each child and stick to it.

DisappointedOne Sun 27-Dec-15 19:43:44

Not one of DH's 3 brothers (or their wives) has bought anything for DD for her past 3 birthdays or 4 xmases (she's 5). I used to send presents for their kids. I no longer bother. Nor do I arrange to travel to see them (250+ miles, hotel stay etc). In short, they get back why they give, which is pretty much nothing. (PIL bought DD a colouring book for her birthday and a pair of PJs for Xmas). I know they all buy for each other, so am more than happy to let them get on with it without us rather than expose DD to the situation.

MontyYouTerribleCunt Sun 27-Dec-15 19:49:07

Could you set a price limit next year?

Imchangingmyname Sun 27-Dec-15 19:49:26

Thanks Vino that sounds very similar to my situation. It's been going on for some time but never an issue before, as DD wasn't aware.
I also don't give to receive, that's why I am so unsure what to do. It's hard to explain to an upset 4 year old, who loves any kind of dolls and teddies (not hard to buy for!).

Fwiw she does know what Minions are but hasn't seen the movie. If that's relevant.

SIL does do the buying but not blaming her more than DB.

carabos Sun 27-Dec-15 19:50:11

I've stopped putting any effort into BiL, Sil and neices/ nephews gifts. DH now does his side of the family as he is much less invested in what they think than I am. He has very good relationships with all his sibs and knows that the quality of gifts doesn't matter to them. I happen to think it's a bit shit to give what is essentially the same present year on year - cheap item of clothing in the wrong size - while receiving a well considered, appropriate gift that reflects your age, stage, hobbies and interests, but hey, that's just me.

cuntycowfacemonkey Sun 27-Dec-15 19:53:51

Just buy a smaller token gift in future. Why does the person willing to spend the most get to set the budget?

This is why DH and I have opted out of presents with his family they all like to spend a higher amount than we want to budget for gifts so we have two choices spend more than we are comfortable with or spend less and look mean. So we decided to tell everyone we would no longer exchange gifts except for children. It didn't go down well but hey ho!

cuntycowfacemonkey Sun 27-Dec-15 19:57:04

TBH I'm surprised a 4 year old would get that upset about getting a jigsaw? It's not like she didn't get other gifts for Christmas is it? Also if you know she would like what you bought your nieces why not get her one for xmas too?

abbsismyhero Sun 27-Dec-15 20:05:31

what was db/sil reaction to her saying she wanted a doll?

i find young children the best at telling the bald truth sometimes

Imchangingmyname Sun 27-Dec-15 20:09:52

abbs nothing at all, just to DNieces 'isn't that great!!' Etc confused

cunty we did buy her dolls etc but at that moment she was opening presents from them and they from is. They got great presents (in a 4 year old's eyes) and she didn't.

SparklesandBangs Sun 27-Dec-15 20:47:57

My DC are much older and BIL was quite good at gifts when they were little, never expensive but well thought out.
He then got a DP around 5 years ago and the presents went downhill until last year it was 2 kids make up sets from Boots so appropriate for an 15/18 year old. They have small DC and received decent presents from us, as it is not the little ones fault
Thankfully she is now an ExDP and normal service has been resumed.

CFSsucks Sun 27-Dec-15 20:52:53

I refuse to put any effort into people who don't put effort into me or my family. This can be with presents or things like contact, visiting etc. I find it hurtful as there are people I'd like to see more and have more contact with but I refuse to be treated as an afterthought whilst showing others that I put a lot of thought in to them.

Don't put as much thought into presents in the future, get token gifts, I bet they will notice then!

biggles50 Mon 28-Dec-15 15:49:40

Very tricky when children are disappointed. I don't think it's worth a discussion with your brother or sil but maybe around November time suggest a price limit and ask them to name ceiling price. I can see how you'd get irritated when sil is more generous with her side of the family.

ghnocci Mon 28-Dec-15 15:55:26

I have a 4yo DD who would have been quite happy with a Minions jigsaw. Seems quite age appropriate to me. Presumably your DD had presents from you as well, why was she disappointed with an extra one?

ChipsandGuac Mon 28-Dec-15 15:57:31

I'm going to be honest, if my 4 yo got upset as they 'only' got a Minions puzzle, I'd be telling them to get over themselves.

And next year just ask your bro what the spending limit is and you buy accordingly.

Witchend Mon 28-Dec-15 16:01:57

Assuming the minions jigsaw was age appropriate, then I'd think it was a thoughtful gift. I guess assuming they didn't ask for ideas and you said anything to do with frozen.
Cone to that you could gave gad your nieces going "yuck, frozen why didn't you get us minions!"

However I get you on the disparity of thought/ value. We've done the same with the relative who was doing that. Suddenly their gifts have suddenly become reasonable.
It might sound strange but I actually find that much more irritating than if they'd continued. Because if they'd just not had any idea and didn't spend much on presents, fine. But they obviously knew they were being cheapskates and only mind when it's reciprocated.
Although my favourite response was when he was clearly complaining over one present so I leant over and said sweetly "I'm sure your ds will love it, my ds loved the one you gave him so much last year I got an identical one for yours".
Face like squashed cabbage. grin

BackforGood Mon 28-Dec-15 16:09:46

Why don't you offer a suggestions, or 'wish list' ? confused

I'm sure I get it wrong every year with one set of nieces, but they are the only ones in our family not to offer up any suggestions - their cousins get just what they want from us, as there's a list, I click on the link and buy it.

SpecialistSnowflake Mon 28-Dec-15 16:40:16

Whether or not she'd seen Minions wasn't the point. The point was that the DNs got dolls and dresses, compared to a puzzle which could only have cost £3-4.

Have a chat with your DB and SIL around October time next year. Tell them you'd like to exchange gifts of equal value from now on, and if they ask why explain that your DD was disappointed by their gift.

Or just dial it back a bit. I'm sure your DNs would have been happy with just dolls. Get one reasonably priced present and leave it at that.

PurpleCrazyHorse Mon 28-Dec-15 17:04:22

I agree with scaling it back next year. Also don't buy what you think your DD would love either, I avoided that with our DD when she was too little to understand and it was better all round.

SongOfTheLark Mon 28-Dec-15 17:10:11

I would assume your SIL must sort out her side of the family's presents and your DB sorts out his side? therefore its likely to be him buying the cack presents for your DD (not that a minion jigsaw is a bad present). I would scale back the nieces' presents a bit so for example a doll or a dress up set. or you know, a tenner in a card.

redexpat Mon 28-Dec-15 17:53:24

They dont put effort in because they dont measure love in this way. You feel loved when other people do thoughtful things for you, so you think that others feel the same, and you show love in this way. If you gave them equally uninspired gifts they simply wouldnt care. Google 5 love languages and take the test. I bet yours is acts of service, because you put thought into these things.

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