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Does anyone have younger relatives you buy for who start reciprocating when they're older?

(7 Posts)
Marshmallowpops Sun 03-Dec-17 03:55:45

For some reason worrying about this instead of sleeping!!
I'm in my mid twenties and i have really lovely relatives, a great aunt and her son and daughter , my mum's cousins, who live quite far away, but very occasionally visit (although I've just met the son once). The mother and daughter came one Christmas a while ago which was lovely, and they're such interesting, kind people. Saw them last 5 months ago. My great aunt always sends £50 or so to my mother for Christmas as a present to us all, or some years she sends my sister and I £10 each to buy a book and then the remainder to my mother, but my mother never reciprocates. My mother has never had any money, the relatives know this so they don't expect her to reciprocate, and she always rings up to say how grateful she is. And my great aunt's daughter often sends a little gift to me and my sister like a little eye shadow pellet for Christmas which is very thoughtful. When they visit they always offer to pay for everything, despite already paying for very expensive hotel as there's no suitable room in my mum's/my grandma's house, and are in general really thoughtful guests. My mum is a terrible host and I always feel very self conscious /awkward about this.. , but she cares full time for my grandma so I think they all understand what pressure she is under.

But anyway now that I'm older I love buying presents for people and I feel very awkward now if someone gets me something and I don't get them anything. I would love to send a little gift to each of them, I saw these lovely desk calenders when I was shopping the other week, like this but they were £10 where I was shopping, ( ) and I was wondering about getting each of them a different one. But I'm just worried that if I get them something it will reflect badly on my mum and my sister. (Maybe I could go halves with my sister I was thinking? Or even I could buy the present on behalf of me my sister and my mum?) Also, the son I've only met once and he's never sent anything as obviously he's never met me, but he was lovely when he visited, he also has children so maybe it's more appropriate to send things to his children but I've never met them! (I remember when his now 15 year old daughter was first born, I was in school about 10 years old, and I was very excited to hear there was a baby in the family, as I never had any cousins, and I made her this little stupid wooden train in design and Technology with a letter of her name on each carriage, but I needed help to finish putting it together and then send it, I kept on asking my (kind of) step dad to help but he never did, and I wasn't competent enough to do it myself, so I was always sad about that!! ) Or would the calendar be okay as a family gift? The children seem to have a perfect childhood so I'm sure they wouldn't miss a gift! I wouldn't like to not get him or his family anything if I was getting the mother and the daughter a gift, but also I'd feel bad if he felt awkward receiving it as I'm then reversing the situation I feel I'm in and he might feel he has to get me something!

Or should I just not get anyone anything and send a card with a message and maybe a little polaroid photo of our little family? Do any of you have younger relatives you buy for who start reciprocating with the gift giving? Or do they not and you feel they are ungrateful? Or do you not expect them to? I'm also very bad at reliably writing cards of thanks.. when I was a child sometimes I'd really go for it and spend ages making a thank you card, but I think some years I forgot, and now I'm older I do everything by internet but I'm not in contact with them by email or anything.. I'll make sure I definitely say thank you this year..

Sorry this is very rambly but if you've read it all thank you very much! Why does Christmas gift giving /receiving sometimes make us feel so awkward! So much attached to it and I feel like it creates imbalance and reading some other posts on here in some cases resentment if you give but do not receive! So silly!! Anyway thank you!

LemonysSnicket Sun 03-Dec-17 04:01:08

You need to chill. Any gift or card is nice and appreciated. I understand your hesitance but youre panicking. Youre not arranging a contract between empires ... youre sending a nice little present. Chill.

Bloodybridget Sun 03-Dec-17 06:52:57

It's lovely that you're so appreciative of your relatives, and I think in their position (I am of that older generation, although I don't send presents to far-flung family members) I would be touched and delighted to receive a small gift from you. Something like the desk calendar sounds good for your great-aunt and her daughter, and for the son I think sending something very small for the children would be great. Or, as you mentioned, just a nice photo of you and your family for each of them, with a letter/card.

I honestly don't think you should worry that it would reflect badly on your mum; you are an adult woman and separate person. I'm sure they will not compare you with her.

AvoidingDM Sun 03-Dec-17 07:08:44

I would send a gift to your Great Auntie but not to anybody else. I think I'd get chocolates or biscuits that can be shared rather than desk calenders (I'm assuming G Auntie is retired with little need for desk calender).

I think it's would be a bit weird to start sending gifts to 2nd cousins that you've never met.

Does your mum visit her auntie, maybe she would appreciate a visit more than anything.

Didiusfalco Sun 03-Dec-17 07:24:52

I think a small token to the great aunt - something that is easy to post or that you can get sent to her directly. Don’t worry about the cousins or how this reflects on other people. They sound nice and will just think ‘how kind’ and probably not analyse it any further than that.

OnlyGlowingSlightly Sun 03-Dec-17 08:27:01

I would say that a photo and letter to each would be best, and if possible finding a way to visit your great aunt yourself. Now that you are an adult, you have a chance to build the relationship not just as your mother's daughter, but as yourself. It will make them very happy that you want to.

This doesn't reflect badly on your mother, it reflects well that her lovely daughter values family relationships!

Sarahjconnor Sun 03-Dec-17 08:36:18

Perhaps I can offer advice as I have been in your great aunts situation with 2 relatives - nephew and second cousin. I would suggest that she would love a gift showing your thanks and appreciation for her role in your life so far so something you've made is ideal - a photo you've put in a frame of you together is perfect, or if you can make chocolates or Christmas biscuits I am sure that would be appreciated. most importantly say thank you and stay in touch with her.

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