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Do you buy for family members you barely see?

(27 Posts)
BooDidIScareYou Mon 03-Nov-14 09:23:56

DB and SIL live about 100 miles from us, with 2 x DN (4 and 6). SIL is VERY close to her family and over the years DB has become also – his BIL is now his best mate, they go on holiday twice a year with his PILs etc. Which sadly seems to mean that our family is far lower down their priority list – I’ve not seen my DNs for nearly 2 years, despite repeated offers for them to come to ours, offering dates for us to go to theirs etc. I don’t think the youngest could pick me out of a line up as I’ve only ever met her twice. Last Christmas I spent over £100 on gifts for the four of them well in advance of Christmas, tried to arrange some dates to pop and see them for a few hours to drop off the presents, which DB wouldn’t commit to. So in the end as DP and I were away for Christmas itself I ended up leaving the gifts at my parents, DB visited them just after Christmas and collected them, and that was that. Not even a token present from them for me and DP, no card even, no thankyou note from the DNs.

This year has been similar in terms of effort– I’ve spoken to DB on the phone a handful of times, he makes ‘oh you must come and visit’ noises, I suggest some dates or ask him to suggest some, he doesn’t get back to me. This year I don’t think I’ll bother with presents for them at all – is that really bad? DP and I are pretty skint and aiming for a low cost Christmas all round, and tbh I’d rather save the money or spend it on someone else in our family who will actually be thankful for nice gifts. I can’t even imagine the DNs will ask ‘why hasn’t Aunty Boo bought us a present?’, I have that little relationship with them. It makes me sad.

Would you still buy for them or not bother?

ItsGotBellsOn Mon 03-Nov-14 09:26:57

We buy books (delivered via Amazon) for a few distant family kids / kids of old friends we rarely see.

I wouldn't be spending a fortune on posting anything!

LightastheBreeze Mon 03-Nov-14 09:28:01

I would probably just get something like a tin of biscuits/ chocolates for the adults and a selection box for the children. I certainly wouldn't spend money and effort on buying gifts.

LightastheBreeze Mon 03-Nov-14 09:29:22

and don't post if you don't see them you can always eat them yourself grin

waithorse Mon 03-Nov-14 09:56:00

I'd send book's for the children via Amazon and nothing for the adults.

KnittedJimmyChoos Mon 03-Nov-14 10:14:15

No dont bother,

its sad though, buy token gifts for children if books make sure you inscribe in cover who from etc.

StrangeGlue Mon 03-Nov-14 10:24:52

I wouldn't as they clearly don't want to exchange presents. If that doesn't sit right with you get the DNs something token but personally I wouldn't.

lavendersun Mon 03-Nov-14 10:25:29

OP I could have written your post. I stopped a few years ago, nothing to do with £, I could easily afford it but the lack of thanks or acknowledgement did nothing for me at all.

They sent gifts last year for the first time since I said I wasn't buying them, gifts without any thought put into them (usual - money is no object), wrapped by Amazon ... but to write a Christmas card involves effort so I didn't receive a card.

I sent a small family gift, card and my daughter sent a thank you card.

I have no idea what I will do this year, probably tell a family member who is in contact with them that I would prefer not to do gifts again.

eastmidswarwicknightnanny Mon 03-Nov-14 10:45:23

We buy token small gifts for the nieces/nephews we see once a year or less n stop at 18yrs and the no thanks really grates on me.

LokiBear Mon 03-Nov-14 16:06:21

I'm that situation I'd do something like wine and chocs for your db and SIL and then a character mug filled with chocolates for your dns. You could do all of that for under £20 and your concience is clear because you've sent a token.

PesoPenguin Mon 03-Nov-14 16:52:44

I wouldn't in that situation. And I definitely wouldn't leave them at your mum's for your fb to collect.

Chocolou Mon 03-Nov-14 16:58:04

Know how you feel op. My family (dad, mum died, ds and dn, d&v and dn)

I live 350 miles away only saw then 18 months ago due to mum dying. They never visit although I've lived here 20 years. I stopped visiting as mum was toxic.

Met my dn once and never met my brothers son.

I buy for the kids because I feel I have to not because I want to. I never get a thanks.

Floralnomad Mon 03-Nov-14 16:59:05

With the situation as you have described it I think I would just get a token tin of biscuits for them . I buy for my BILs step daughter and her husband ( and baby this year) and I limit it to about £20 as TBH its a similar situation - I wouldn't recognise her if I saw her ,have never met the husband or baby .

googietheegg Mon 03-Nov-14 17:38:04

We never see our nephew and have never met our niece as sil won't speak to anyone in the family (or her family) so we've stopped sending presents as it all seems so fake but still sad.

Rainicorn Mon 03-Nov-14 17:41:02

We buy for SIL (DH's brothers wife) and we have only met her three times, they've been married 10 years.

She is a silly cow, refuses to let us come to their house, even when DH drives his brother the hours drive home when he visits. I hate buying for her but the one year I didn't buy for her it caused more harm than anything so best just to buy her a token gift. I find the Boots 3 for 2 best for this, she gets the free item.

Blithereens Mon 03-Nov-14 17:48:17

I have a horrid aunt and awful cousin who I refuse to see and have successfully managed down to putting £10 in a card. I resent even that tbh because they've been so mean to me and DM over the years. DM would find it too hard for me to cut them off completely so this is a compromise.

LapsedTwentysomething Mon 03-Nov-14 19:09:27

No. I don't buy for anyone other than our immediate family, DPs, GPs and our brothers and sisters. We all see rack other regularly, except the GPs. I haven't bought for friends since I was a teenager, and have never bothered with cousins.

temporaryusername Mon 03-Nov-14 19:19:37

I would send a book for each girl, with Happy Christmas 2014 from Auntie Boo and a card saying you'd like to see them soon and hope they have a good Christmas. Or send an absolutely enormous amount of chocolates and sweets that they will love and the parents will be hmm.

temporaryusername Mon 03-Nov-14 19:21:01

Sorry, meant to say Happy Christmas written in the books. They needn't be expensive. I'd put the card in with them addressed to the girls.

Purpleroxy Mon 03-Nov-14 19:22:32

Buy a board game on Amazon for the whole family, send via Amazon gift wrap so it goes directly for them. Don't spent £100. Spend no more than £20 on the board game and Amazon postage. You can add a card to the parcel if you type out what you want.

Whattheduck Mon 03-Nov-14 19:43:32

I was talking about this with my mum and aunty this morning.i never see my two nieces (dh's brothers dc's) all year until boxing is 12 and the other nearly 14.last year i made up a gift set of baking bits for 12 year old as knew she was into baking and i made up a beauty set for the other one.i spent more money than i budgeted for and alot of time searching for the right things to go in it.gave it to them at the in laws on boxing day and they just opened it glanced at what was in it for a couple of minutes and just pushed it to the side and moved onto the next thankyou or anything.this year we won't see them as we've made other plans so just going to get them a voucher for new look or h&m each.also decided not to get dh's step sisters dc's anything as never see them again until boxing day.just going to get each family a tin of biscuits or chocolates.

elQuintoConyo Tue 04-Nov-14 11:45:51

Fuck no. Just no. Rude bastards.

We buy for:
DF plus partner

I buy for my niece and nephew abroad, my DSis and I agreed that now we have dc, just to buy for them.

Secret Santa with DH's 5 siblings. Secret Santa between my friends and me. That's it.

I have handmade a hufe stack if cards for tears; ladt year we received 7 cards! So that has cut back on that stress.

Your brother is being a knob. It is his behaviour that is affecting presents to his dc. I'd buy them a book with an inscription by you, maybe a candy cane, and that is it. If you can get a decent-looking book from a charity shop, all the better.

*apologies for swearing, it has been one of those days and I'm really mad for you!

elQuintoConyo Tue 04-Nov-14 11:47:53

^^ i had handmade a huge stack of cards for years..

must proof read post blush

mrsdavidbowie Tue 04-Nov-14 11:50:17

We used to have this about 15 years ago with h's siblings. People we saw once a year at ILs ...not people we liked particularly or had anything in common with.
I always refused to buy them anything as it was just so pointless...soulless 3 for 2 gifts or novelty shit from BHS.

LadySybilLikesCake Tue 04-Nov-14 11:53:10

We buy for children. It's not their fault we don't see them very often. Adults we don't see... no.

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