predictable Xmas email from relatives!

(52 Posts)
carocaro Thu 29-Nov-12 17:12:45

Two sets of Aunts & Uncles (my bro & wife and DH sister & husband) who hardly ever see their neice & nephew, only ones in the family and they only live 2 hours away, not seen either since April, we've invited them here loads, been to where they live to see other people and DS's sister they were too busy to see us.

It pissed me off when I get an email asking what they would like for Christmas and can it be got on Amazon cos they do gift wrapping which makes it all so easy one click!!!!

Could you give less of a shit about them, really? I'd rather they had nothing that just be drop shipped presents when the fancy takes you!!!!


nickelbabeuntiladvent Thu 29-Nov-12 17:16:47

fucking hell.
one so many levels.
do they have to wrap it?
doesn't it cost like £2.50 to wrap it?

AnnieMated Thu 29-Nov-12 17:21:04

YABVVVU. People don't want to buy things that aren't wanted or needed. Most people don't have money to waste and are also time-poor too. I'd far rather someone asked me what my kids would like than a) not bother at all or b) waste their time and money second-guessing.

fruityoatybrains Thu 29-Nov-12 17:22:18

At least they are making the effort to actually get a present. Maybe they have very busy lives? Seems rather a small thing to be annoyed at.

FestiveWench Thu 29-Nov-12 17:22:27


Dead69Girl Thu 29-Nov-12 17:23:28


MrsChestyLaRue Thu 29-Nov-12 17:23:52

I would reply

"Oh they don't expect presents from you so don't worry, but if you really want to buy th something get X but don't waste money on postage and wrapping and just bring it over when you visit [sweetsmileemoticon]"

Whoknowswhocares Thu 29-Nov-12 17:23:56

I can understand your point. It would be nice to have them come over and give the kids the presents, spend time with you etc etc

But pissed off and rathering they didn't bother at all? Unreasonable, sorry!

nickelbabeuntiladvent Thu 29-Nov-12 17:24:44

ps: can you ask them to chooser it from an independent retailer who will also giftwrap it on request without charging?

oh, is this not a thread about amazon?

I don't think are you BU actually. I'd rather my siblings had a proper relationship with my DC than buy them gifts. Bit difficult for us, as we all live in different countries though sad

Euphemia Thu 29-Nov-12 17:25:57

YABU. I really don't see your problem.

Floralnomad Thu 29-Nov-12 17:26:25

If it offends you so much just email back and tell them not to bother then. YABU.

IceNoSlice Thu 29-Nov-12 17:27:13

It's obv not really the Amazon present thing that's really upsetting you, but the 'not giving a shit about DCs'. Which is sad, but not something you can do a great deal about. So I would respond to the email with gift ideas from amazon and let them assuage their guilt, as well as getting something nice for DCs. Then try not to think about it (or them) anymore.

pictish Thu 29-Nov-12 17:28:33

Yabu. My bil does exactly the same. Emails and asks what to get off Amazon.
I email links back and the job's a good un! We don't see much of him either.

You have a problem with this, why?

Greensleeves Thu 29-Nov-12 17:30:06

Are you just hurt that they don't bother with you and your children? If so then maybe you could talk to them about that - write a letter?

Your OP just sounds like someone bristling with anger because they aren't making much effort with presents - which on its own would attract lots of cries of "entitled" and "ungrateful" on MN. But it sounds like that's not really what you are pissed off about.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Thu 29-Nov-12 17:30:30

I don't think you are being completely unreasonable.

I don't think it is unreasonable to ask you what your DC would like for Christmas, as it is better to get something they would like, but I do think it's a bit off hand of them to suggest it should be from Amazon so they can have it gift wrapped and delivered from there! What about them putting some effort in to the present rather than just inputting card details and pressing OK.

It's a bit thoughtless, and lazy, of them.

MadameCreeper Thu 29-Nov-12 17:30:44

I think yabu. There's nothing wrong with asking someone what their children want for Christmas!
There's nothing wrong with using the wrapping and delivery services if you're not going to actually see someone. It's much more convenient than having to buy, wrap, go to the post office, hope the recipients are in when it arrives. I'm using an Amazon locker at an agreed location for one relative and emailing them the code.
I probably wouldn't have openly said amazon because its so easy, unless I felt really comfortable with them and they'd take it as a slightly humorous comment.

CMOTDibbler Thu 29-Nov-12 17:31:35

I've got 6 nephews and nieces. When 5 of them were little, we didn't see them that often, living 2 hours away (as it happens), and never knew what to buy them. So we asked for an Amazon wishlist in order to know that no one else had bought the same thing, and we weren't wasting our money.

At least they are buying them actual presents and getting them to you for Christmas.

Doingthedo Thu 29-Nov-12 17:34:25

as least they are getting something, my children have had NOTHING from their 'uncle' (DH bro) in 8 years - NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

carrie74 Thu 29-Nov-12 17:38:43

Crikey, this is how most of our Christmas is organised, TBH. My brother lives on a different continent, and Amazon is perfect for him to send things for my children and vice versa. We don't bother with the gift wrapping (I wrap them when they arrive). My SIL lives 3 hours away, and it's difficult to always know if we'll get together over Xmas (we definitely won't be this year), so it's another way of ensuring the children actually get something. They would also prefer to receive something they want and not repetitive, so although I like choosing the gifts myself, it's not always appreciated, so now I wait for the Amazon links, telling me what to buy.

That's how it works in H's family. In our family, there's usually a request for ideas of gifts, but that's not necessarily what we'll receive.

simplesusan Thu 29-Nov-12 17:44:35

I do think a 2 hour drive is quite far tbh.
At least they take the trouble to ask and post the gifts so that they arrive on time. My ex bil/sil didn't even do that. They dumped the presents at another relatives and we had to go and collect them AFTER Christmas! They only lived 20 mins away!!!!

Euphemia Thu 29-Nov-12 17:45:56

DH has two nephews and we don't buy for them - we send a family present at Christmas. They do the same for us.

There's no expectation that aunts and uncles will want a relationship. It's up to them.

carocaro Thu 29-Nov-12 17:48:42

I think it's just a one liner email, no phone call, nothing, no acknowledgement that they have not even seen them since April that bugs me. There is zilch relationship between them, no thought, is it the though that counts if the thought is crap?

Seriously, I would rather they got nothing than never see them, to me it's buying them off and ticking them off some sort of 'to do' list. My children ask us why they don't see them much and I can't think of an answer, which makes me angry/sad.

Shall I say they buy you off at Xmas and Birthday's so that's OK? I know for a fact they would just love to see them and spend time with them, their relationship should not wholly be based on the opening of a box from Amazon or anywhere else for that matter. That's what bugs me.

Blimey, I wish my SIL would start an amazon wishlist for her DD and herself. I've asked her lots of times to, because she is frankly no help when I ring her to ask what her DD (who seems to have everything) wants for Christmas or birthday. And DSs have had wishlists since they were born (my parents and brother use them) and it really does cut down on duplicate presents.

OP, YABU. They're being thoughtful enough to get your children presents and make sure it's something they want. Maybe they could drive over once in a while, but that might be a different matter.

NoTeaForMe Thu 29-Nov-12 17:49:18

Totally unreasonable I think. It's a nightmare buying for children that you see a lot, let alone ones you don't see. How are they supposed to know what they have or what they would like? Would you rather they didn't ask and got them something they already have or that's totally inappropriate?!

If you don't really see them then you don't see them, but to me amazon and gift wrap makes sense, they can have it delivered straight to you all wrapped and ready rather than paying twice for postage!

I don't think you like them very much do you?!

QueenofNightmares Thu 29-Nov-12 17:53:42

Wow your children will actually get gifts from their aunts and uncles? My DD's Aunt lives 20 minutes from us max never see's her hasn't ever brought her a thing. Couldn't care less to be honest.

Take a deep breath and a step back at least they're thinking of your children smile Could you go see them more often perhaps if its bothering you so much? If your children ask why they don't seem them very often just say that adults lead very busy lives and so its hard for either of you to vist the other.

LadyWidmerpool Thu 29-Nov-12 17:56:43

Depending on how you look at it April isn't actually that long ago. I've only seen my BIL and SIL a couple of times since then and they are only 45 minutes away, but it doesn't feel like I have hardly seen them. I have good friends I haven't seen in the past year. It's just impossible to fit everyone in. It would be nice if they made more of an effort, but no one gets everything right and I'm sure they don't mean to hurt your feelings or those of your children.

hackmum Thu 29-Nov-12 18:00:47

This is how it works with me and my DB. He says, what does your DD want? I say X. He says, OK, I'll just give you the money.

I say, what do your DD and DS want? He says, oh, just give me the money nad I'll get it for them.

The net result is that my DD's present cancels out his DD's present, and I end up sending him £10 for his DS. It works out.

MadameCreeper Thu 29-Nov-12 18:03:05

Do you not have a good relationship with them usually?

My children don't see some aunts and uncles, who live less than 2 hours away, more than twice a year. It's not something that bothers me and I'm perfectly happy with texts or emails just talking about the presents, without any sorry we don't see each other additions. When we do get together everything is happy, relaxed and it doesn't seem as if we've not seen each other. Like an old comfortable sweater grin

I suppose if we didn't all get on then it would seem different.

waltermittymistletoe Thu 29-Nov-12 18:03:16

Shall I say they buy you off at Xmas and Birthday's so that's OK?

No. You say, sometimes people are really, really busy and don't have time to visit. But they buy you Christmas and birthday presents because they still want to do something nice for you.

What is the problem here? My sisters, parents, parents-in-law etc all ask what they should get for the children. Sometimes I've even picked it up and gotten the money from them.

YABU. And a bit hysterical.

MadameCreeper Thu 29-Nov-12 18:07:44

I have emailed one of my children's bank account details to some relatives, now thats cold and grasping ;) He's saving up for something big, they've asked what to get, I said money if they're happy, if not I'll give them some ideas for physical items, it's up to them.

ginmakesitallok Thu 29-Nov-12 18:08:29

YABU - My Mum asks me what the kids want, then gets me to buy and wrap it and sends me the £. I know she loves her grandkids though - it's no reflection on how much/little she thinks of them.

5Foot5 Thu 29-Nov-12 18:16:26

Do they not have DCs of their own yet?

Sorry but for a lot of people other people's children are not that interesting until they have had their own. They probably see it that they are fulfilling their obligations by getting presents at all. Might be hurtful to you but it is not really that uncommon.

OP, YABU. Lots of people do their Christmas shopping online. Lots of people use lists. We've asked our nephews (aged 13, 10 and 7) - by return, we got a list of what to me was utterly inpenetrable model railway stuff and some other things, most of which are now sold on Amazon such as Lego etc. We and their grandparents are liaising very carefully to make sure the boys get exactly what they want, nobody buys duplicates and I don't have to trawl round the shops, or worse, buy things that they don't really want. What's not to like?

The only difference from your SIL is that I'm happy for parcels to be delivered here,and will be wrapping myself but that's more because I work from home and like wrapping. Having the gifts sent to you ready wrapped is sensible if they are both working full time out of the house.

Yes, it's a shame that they don't see you more often but again, when people work full time it can be difficult to schedule everyone as often they'd like. We are now at the stage where we don't see our nephews as often we like because they have incredibly complex social lives/weekends, involving a matrix of Scouts, music, sport, hobbies, parties etc - how my SIL keeps track beats me. We've sent two offers over for boys to come for pre Christmas sleepovers on different dates - and both were turned down because of other commitments. It's a shame but I recognise the reality of the boys' lives.

Narked Thu 29-Nov-12 18:24:34

I understand why you're annoyed. It's not about how you feel though is it? It's about presents for your DC, who would still appreciate them if they came from total stranger, let alone blood relatives.

Euphemia Thu 29-Nov-12 19:57:36

Buy them off?!

What a vile mind you have - no wonder they don't bother with you.

skatebauble Thu 29-Nov-12 20:03:02

Yab completely u. They bother to email, they bother to ask, they havent left it until the last minute and arent asking you to go out and buy something on their behalf on christmas eve.
If they didnt bother, you would probably be bitching about that as well

Cahoootz Thu 29-Nov-12 20:18:01

YABU and ungrateful. Some people have busy lives and are just not that into their nieces and nephews. It doesnt mean that they dont care for them.
This is a bit of a glass half full/half empty situation. You are looking at in a very negative way. Your DC's will pick up on your feelings towards your brother and his wife if you are not careful.

fiftyval Thu 29-Nov-12 20:47:37

Totally agree with 5foot5. If they are also buying for you aswell as your (at least 2) children, have you accounted for the fact they may feel that they are buying at least 4 presents for your family and getting just 2 back - or do you buy for them from the dc's aswell?

carocaro Fri 30-Nov-12 09:15:29

No they are not buying for us and we don't buy for them, we agreed that with them ages ago as it is a lot for them to buy us four presents when we only used to buy them two as they have no children.

I do remember when childless other peoples children were not very interesting, but both sets of A&U have a good relationship with them, when they see them. I think this issue for me is the materialstic nature of the present buying, of course a wish list helps with choice and ease and if either sets have children I am sure I will find this easier. Present and material things don't fill the void of missing someone, or do some of you think they do? Perhaps my expectations are out of whack with society these days.

I think that I would make more of an effort with their children to see and have a relationship with them, we are all busy, but face to face and making an effort is so important, otherwise we are all going to end up like the characters in WallE.

I am going to pick up the phone and have a chat, whilst emailing the amazon and toys r us wish lists they have, I am behaving towards her the way I wish them to be. THe truth is my DC's miss them, the last time we left them the eldest cried and said he loved Auntie * so much, I think that is what bothers me, the fact they miss them.

waltermittymistletoe Fri 30-Nov-12 09:51:52

Present and material things don't fill the void of missing someone, or do some of you think they do?


INeedThatForkOff Fri 30-Nov-12 10:02:38

YANBU, because you're referring to the lack of a relationship and the notion that it can be substituted with a no thought, no time, no effort gift. It isn't in the genuine spirit of Christmas and family. I get it, totally.

Paiviaso Fri 30-Nov-12 13:42:39

YANBU. INeedThatForkOff summed it up well.

You could just not give them a list. Perhaps this would encourage them to actually find out something about the children?

HeathRobinson Fri 30-Nov-12 14:06:15

Why don't you see if they're willing to Skype you?

1charlie1 Fri 30-Nov-12 14:06:43

This morning I posted Christmas gifts overseas. £22.50 to send my 3 year old nephew a book (which cost me £12), and some family treats (£10). It also cost £18.50 in postage to send gifts to my parents. I've decided this is the last Christmas I will be doing it myself (unless I win the lotto) - I just can't afford the postage! I've been silly, and it has nuked my budget. I'm going online from now on, gift wrapping and all! I like choosing gifts, but I also am happy to receive suggestions from the recipient.
More to the point of the thread though, contact between myself and my DB and DSIL (and therefore DN) is pretty infrequent (mostly FB stuff), and I definitely use birthdays and Christmas as a chance to 'make an effort'. I love my DN, it just hasn't manifested into a Skype/phone kind of love. But I do love him.

Euphemia Fri 30-Nov-12 14:09:45

So would it be better if the aunts and uncles sent no presents at all?

INeedThatForkOff Fri 30-Nov-12 14:32:28

Euphemia, why the aggression? The OP has said she would prefer they didn't bother with gifts if they can't find the time to have a relationship. What's 'vile' about that? What a ridiculous choice of word.

derekthehamster Fri 30-Nov-12 14:38:24

ooops. I haven't seen my sister an nieces since about July time, We can't (and neither can they) afford the petrol to drive the 100 miles each way. We won't see them at xmas either as they go to my bil's parents.

I don't think I'm a bad Auntie (and neither is my sister), I was directed to amazon gifts for them, and I've bought a present for my sister to give mine grin Is there more to this story?

wonderingsoul Fri 30-Nov-12 14:39:33


they asked you what they would like. they prefer to do it on amazon. they wrap it and its cheaper then them having to post it. just be glad they bothered at all.

if you want to see them. they must be nice people so just go vist them. but dont get so heated becasue they dont drive over to see you as much as you want them to.

Svrider Fri 30-Nov-12 14:42:39

I've brought most of my Dcs Xmas prezzies from amazon
<bad mother>
I'd much rather that than something they don't want
Santa paws 2 and the new Cinderella DVD
Would be great btw........

Euphemia Fri 30-Nov-12 15:35:24

Sorry I didn't mean to be aggressive. smile

I missed the bit where the OP said she'd rather the aunts and uncles didn't send presents - apologies.

It was the idea that the children were being "bought off" that I found vile. I do exactly the same with DH's nephews - we never see them, never have anything to do with them, have no relationship with them, but I send Christmas presents out of niceness. The idea that someone would do that to "buy off" children is bizarre, it hints at rather devious intentions on the part of the sender.

My question about sending nothing was genuine: this thread has made me wonder whether DH's nephews' mother views us as "buying off" her children at Christmas. sad

Proudnscary Fri 30-Nov-12 17:22:19


Not everyone is as interested in our children as we are! Some rellies <gasp> don't want to see very much of them and are not legally required to do so.

It is actually very nice for anyone to take the time and money to buy your children Christmas presents - and nicer still to ask what they want rather than buying some unwanted tat.

Oh and...YABU!

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