To return the favour to my DSis this Christmas?

(42 Posts)
NorfolkInGood Mon 11-Nov-13 16:14:48

Last year I put a lot of time and effort into getting my DSis a gift card for Christmas as she never buys herself new clothes. I received on Christmas Day a picture that had been made by me DN at school and that's it. It's also my birthday a couple of weeks after Christmas and last year she didnt send me a card which I was quite upset about. My DP asked her and she said she'd posted one yet when one arrived a week later the stamp was dated the day after my DP has spoken to her. It's her birthday around that time too so I made sure I sent her a card and gift well in advance.

So my question is, do I not bother getting her anything this year on Christmas/Birthday?. I don't want to feel how I felt again this year. She doesn't work yet her and her partner still manage to go to the pub whenever possible.

Apologies for rambling

CoffeeTea103 Mon 11-Nov-13 16:17:49

You should never give a gift if you expect something in return. If it's bothering you that she doesn't give you something in return then don't give her something. Is she a good sister to you otherwise?

amyshellfish Mon 11-Nov-13 16:21:30

How much time and effort does it take to get someone a gift card?

NorfolkInGood Mon 11-Nov-13 16:21:58

It's not the giving a gift to expect one back. I don't understand why she wouldn't get me a gift or even a card on my birthday. We get on but don't see each other often enough. It's normally me that goes to see her 9 times out of 10.

VodkaJelly Mon 11-Nov-13 16:22:04

I wouldnt bother.

BackforGood Mon 11-Nov-13 16:22:22

LoL at the phrase "I put a lot of time and eff into getting my dearsis a giftcard" grin

NorfolkInGood Mon 11-Nov-13 16:24:23

I asked her what she wanted when the normal family tradition is to buy a totally random crap present. I asked my DM what she'd like too so there's the effort. I found out what her favourite shop was too from her DP. That enough?

WorraLiberty Mon 11-Nov-13 16:24:35

Sorry but you sound about 5 years old.

Give a gift if you want to give one.

But tit for tat buying is ridiculous.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 11-Nov-13 16:30:15

With the birthday card last year she might have posted one and then posted another after she spoke to your DP hence the date on the frank mark. It's not that unusual for cards to go missing especially around Xmas time.

With the Christmas present perhaps she can't afford to spend too much on adult relatives. I think a lot of people are in that position. I think a lot of people would say a homemade gift is actually more thoughtful.

YoniMitchell Mon 11-Nov-13 16:30:46

If you're going to give a gift, do it graciously. If you're doing it to get something back then don't bother.

I'm also a bit confused about the time and effort needed for a gift card. Asking a question is hardly a massive effort for most.

AlexaChelsea Mon 11-Nov-13 16:31:54

Not really a hige^effort^, Jesus.

If you'd asked all those questions, got her dress size, looked at things she might like, spent ages in her favourite store and chosen some clothing for her, effort.

Buying a gift card isn't effort.

NorfolkInGood Mon 11-Nov-13 16:32:32

So I'm childish and unthoughtful. Thanks for your help! smile

AlexaChelsea Mon 11-Nov-13 16:33:50

No, you are just confused about thoughtfulness.

You think buying someone a gift card is going to a lot of time and effort. It isn't.

ChipAndSpud Mon 11-Nov-13 16:36:10

I'd just get a token present eg chocolates or smelliest and a card and not expect anything in return.

I don't think giving is about receiving, however it does feel a bit shit to get nothing in return!

EldritchCleavage Mon 11-Nov-13 16:38:31

Actually, why not just ask her what she wants to do, either agree not to exchange birthday and Christmas presents and cards, do cards only, or to do it with e.g. a price limit? Just bring it out into the open. Better than coded messages via gifts, silences etc, honestly.

noblegiraffe Mon 11-Nov-13 16:39:34

I give a thoughtful gift because I want to give a thoughtful gift, not because I'm grabby about what I might get in return. In fact I don't give a toss if I get a present.

You apparently see gift buying as a reciprocal arrangement, therefore as she didn't reciprocate to your satisfaction, feel free to cross her off your list.

PresidentServalan Mon 11-Nov-13 16:42:13

And actually you sound a bit grabby - you obviously didn't even appreciate your DN making you a card

Aniseeda Mon 11-Nov-13 16:43:41

I'd not get her anything.

Not in a vindictive way but, as she obviously isn't bothered by the whole thing, why upset yourself.

Perhaps you could talk to her and say you are thinking of just buying for the children in future. She'll probably be quite relieved.

Corygal Mon 11-Nov-13 16:53:13

I don't think you sound that silly - no, I wouldn't get her anything again. If she wants to foist her DCs works of art on you, foist yours right back with a simper. Don't spend anything.

Strumpetron Mon 11-Nov-13 16:56:35

How much time and effort does it take to get someone a gift card?

I was going to say this.

And your sister might not have any money? Have you thought that maybe she couldn't afford something nice?

Pancakeflipper Mon 11-Nov-13 16:57:59

Giggling at great effort to buy a gift card.

Now I love a gift card and my BIL always sends me one, but I doubt he's laid there awake a night, searching the internet, pounding the highstreet to get me the perfect gift card.

persimmon Mon 11-Nov-13 16:58:17

I've actually been a little miffed in the past when friends haven't sent a card or gift for my DS when I sent one to their DC. They aren't hard up particularly, presumably they couldn't be bothered/forgot, which is a bit hurtful.
A lot of woe will be avoided if you just ask your sis whether she wants to bother with gifts this year. Job done.

GreenShadow Mon 11-Nov-13 16:59:35

No you're not grabby at all OP. I have every sympathy with your situation.

I would suggest, that if you can afford it, you go on giving her a gift and card as she is one of your closest relations and it is a nice thing to do for someone you care about.
If you can't, then perhaps now is the time to discus with her whether it would be sensible to stop buying for each other and just buy for children.

NorfolkInGood Mon 11-Nov-13 17:00:00

Grabby too? thanks. I just find it weird why you wouldn't buy a close relative a gift for Birthday all of a sudden? but that appears to be normal nowadays according to here?.

I'd do anything for my Dsis and we have been through a hell of a lot and I think all this stems from not getting anything for my birthday whether it being a card, gift or even a phone call. I know she didn't send a card before my DP asked her if she had.

Scrounger Mon 11-Nov-13 17:00:44

I used to have this with my SIL, at Christmas I would try to find out what she wanted, put some thought and effort in in getting things for her, her DH and DS. She would forget to get my DH (her brother) or me anything but would get her ILs and other family members presents. This year she didn't get my DTs anything for their birthday in the summer. We got her DS birthday presents (a week or so after my DTs birthday).

I know everyone says don't give presents to receive them but it is awful to think that she cares so little about her brother and his family that she either doesn't bother or is very late with it. She has no problems financially and we would get such cats bum face if we didn't get her DS something (not that I would do that, it isn't fair on him) but it feels as though she expects a higher standard from others that she herself doesn't achieve. I have now suggested that we limit presents for adults and leave it to DH to sort it out. Talk to her and suggest token presents or something, cut out the stress and the expense for everyone.

NorfolkInGood Mon 11-Nov-13 17:01:46

I'm out, the trolling over a gift card is too tiresome to justify without going on forever. Glad some of you have had a laugh and some fun.

GreenShadow Mon 11-Nov-13 17:17:04

Err, OK Norfolk - not the most original idea was it.

Hope you had fun wasting our time.

WorraLiberty Mon 11-Nov-13 17:23:22

Far from having a laugh, this thread has just reminded me that from Christmas night onwards...we're going to be spammed with the usual threads by people moaning about their gifts/lack of gifts/how much was spent.

Talk about the season of goodwill...

DontmindifIdo Mon 11-Nov-13 17:45:17

Erm, a gift card, isn't that just one step up from giving cash?

Look, you seem to be confusing spending money with making effort. I would argue that getting DN to make a gift for you took more time and effort than buying a gift card. What it didn't take is more money.

Don't pretend it's the lack of effort that's upsetting you, it's the lack of money.

Anyway, I think the suggestion of talking to her, checking if you are just going to do gifts for the DCs this year or not at all for birthdays, you might find it easier to cope with if you aren't expecting anything.

Doctorbrownbear Mon 11-Nov-13 17:53:18

I wouldn't get her anything. Well done to all the virtuous and righteous people saying you don't give to receive, but she doesn't even bother sending a card and souns pretty tight. I think I would resent giving her anything.

CalamityKate Mon 11-Nov-13 17:54:22

Well buying a gift card takes more effort than buying nothing!
I like gift cards smile
Yeah yeah you don't give to receive and all that. Very true but still - OP I wouldn't bother in future.

happyyonisleepyyoni Mon 11-Nov-13 18:00:05

Dear mums net, my DD spent ages drawing a lovely picture for her aunt's Xmas present from us. In return I got a gift card for a clothes shop when my sister knows I am not interested in buying clothes.


AbiRoad Mon 11-Nov-13 18:05:24

My BIL (DH's brother) and SIL do not spend much on people at Christmas. In fact, one year they gave MIL a CD and when she opened it, it was missing from the box and turns out they had listened to it (and no doubt recorded it) and failed to put it back. They have brass necks though (there are many stories..). It does not affect what we spend on them.
On the other hand, my brother one year significantly cut the amount he spent. We were not bothered by this as assumed money was tight and continued to spend the same amount on him and his family the following year. My mum then had a word that he was hoping that people would take the hint to reduce expenditure in line with his. I said I really didn't mind spending more, but he was not comfortable with it. We therefore now reduced a bit what we spend on him and his family.
Is it possible that by giving you what she did last year, she was dropping a hint that she wanted you to cut back too. If so, I would go along with it but I would otherwise assume money issues and would continue to spend what you feel comfortable with in light of your finances.
I cant get fussed about missed birthday cards. This is because DH and I are both crap about this ourselves, but we do always manage to call or email on the day even if the card is late.
BTW I think gift cards can be thoughtful gifts. A family friend who we buy for loves photography and was admriing our photo books and saying how she would love to do one but could not justify the cost herself. So I got her vouchers for this. She was absolutely deligted. Unfortunately they were for Jessops which went under before she got to use them ... (I did then give her cash, but dont know if she used it on a photobook)

NorfolkInGood Mon 11-Nov-13 18:10:58

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

amyshellfish Mon 11-Nov-13 18:35:36

Bloody hell was there any need for that op?

NorfolkInGood Mon 11-Nov-13 19:28:23

talk guidelines must allow indirect trolling. Thanks Mumsnet

Vivacia Mon 11-Nov-13 19:41:42

I love the line, I put a lot of time and eff into getting my dearsis a giftcard it's really cheered me up.

MrsDavidBowie Mon 11-Nov-13 19:48:52

Just tell your dsis that you are not doing adult presents this year.
Saves all the angst.

Vivacia Mon 11-Nov-13 20:55:38

Or decide that every present exchanged must be home made and under a budget of £3.99.

Financeprincess Mon 11-Nov-13 22:11:19

Let's give the OP a break. I can see why she'd be upset at her sister's behaviour. I second the suggestions about talking to her and agreeing a joint approach to presents though.

I think the op doesn't understand the concept of trolling. People who disagree with you are not trolls. People who find your posts amusing are not trolls.

This is AIBU, you're going to get honesty, some blunter than others. Just because someone says 'YABU and the wording YOU chose to use in YOUR post makes you sound xxxx' does not make them trolls. If you don't like the responses maybe it's because they are a bit too close to the bone. Truth hurts?

And everyone knows a gift card, although lovely, is the go to gift when you either don't know what to get someone or can't be arsed to scour the shops. The reason people are amused by 'lot of time and effort' is because generally a gift card takes little time or effort, it's what people buy to save time and effort.

I love gift cards, but even so I always think the giver bought it as the easy option, letting me do the actual trawling to find something I'd like instead of them making the effort to try to find something I'd like themselves. For me the finding of the perfect gift is integral to giving, the best part is seeing someone's face as they open something that is perfect for them. You don't get that with gift cards.

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