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or is this approach to present giving a bit odd?

(25 Posts)
moonsquirter Mon 27-Jun-11 16:02:17

I've just had a kicking on AIBU for thinking SIL's reasons for not coming to DSS and DS's joint birthday party were a bit lame. DH and I probably over-prioritise family and clearly we need to accept that others don't necessarily feel the same. Anyway, DH got a text from SIL last night that I wasn't going to mention but he's asked me to see if you lot think it's a bit odd...

Apparently there'd been a misunderstanding with the presents she'd sent and that DD should have opened her present, as well as DS and DSS. (We had assumed that she'd sent it in readiness for DD's birthday in a month's time, hence not opening.) The text then said "As you know, I don't do birthday presents for DD or DSS but give them presents as and when I see them..." Except we didn't know because she'd never previously said that she doesn't do birthday presents for her nephews and nieces nor has she previously given presents at random times. And if the presents are for when she sees them and not for their birthdays, why would she get someone else to bring them to the party when she knew she wasn't going to be there?

Does anyone else do presents this way? I genuinely don't understand why she wanted to be so emphatic that they weren't birthday presents. She seemed quite put out that we'd got it wrong so it is obviously important to her for some reason.

bubblecoral Mon 27-Jun-11 16:06:15

I think it's a bit odd, but it's up to the giver of presents how they want to give them, so it's up to her whether or not it's a birthday present really. But you would think that if it's wrapped, it would be for a birthday.

Can you link to the other thread for some background?

knittedbreast Mon 27-Jun-11 16:07:47

ignore her and accept the gifts. if your children ask why they arent bday gifts just tell them their aunties a bit odd

Flisspaps Mon 27-Jun-11 16:07:47

Has she ever bought them birthday presents before?

JumpOnIt Mon 27-Jun-11 16:09:12

I've read that three times and I'm still not sure I get it. Coupled with the post about the party, I'm finding your posts a bit odd, never mind your SIL's behaviour. Are you looking for reasons to argue and dislike her? That's how it seems. Two posts in quick succession about the apparently thoughtless and odd behaviour of someone else. I think you need to just take it as it is and stop reading into it so much. My brothers and sisters and I don't do birthday presents for nieces and nephews and send presents when and if we can afford it. Mostly because there are seven of us and about twenty nieces and newphews. But no one makes a fuss about any of it.

piprabbit Mon 27-Jun-11 16:10:30

Perhaps the presents are linked/themed in some way and make more sense if they are all opened together.

moonsquirter Mon 27-Jun-11 16:10:59

Previous post was about SIL giving what I thought was a bit of a rubbish excuse for not coming to the party, but it seems IABU on that - and it's not connected with the present thing anyway. I just didn't want people thinking I was trying to make her look unreasonable as I'd had such a kicking on the other post ;-)

For the avoidance of doubt, we really appreciated the presents (as did the children) whatever label she wants to put on them!

ConnorTraceptive Mon 27-Jun-11 16:11:21

well yes it is odd a bit. i would just text back "ok no problem thanks for all their gifts" and leave it at that. I read some of your last thread but didn't read all the replies that gave you a kicking. I think maybe you are over thinking things a bit here.

there is always a possibility your SIL is playing games and the best thing to do is not engage

nokissymum Mon 27-Jun-11 16:12:22

Is she Jehovah's witness ? Because i know they dont believe in birthdays. Juust a thought.

effingwotnots Mon 27-Jun-11 16:15:36

Perhaps she was making the point so you weren't expecting something every birthday/christmas and so you didn't feel like you had to give presents on their birthdays.

IslaValargeone Mon 27-Jun-11 16:18:24

How many threads are you intending to start in the hope that we will dislike your sil as much as you obviously do?
It appears to me that you are desperately trying to think of more reasons to have a go at her> I would imagine that she knows you don't like her, which in regard to your other thread would explain why she turned down your invite.

lesley33 Mon 27-Jun-11 16:18:48

I think she is saying this so you don't expect presents every birthday. This could be for all kinds of reasons including lack of money.

minipie Mon 27-Jun-11 16:19:09

what effing says.

I've got some small nieces/nephews-in-law that I occasionally get presents for - but it tends to be "when I remember" or "when I see something they would like" rather than for specific occasions. I wouldn't want them (or more likely their parents) expecting a present every birthday and christmas just because I've sometimes got them a present.

I've never sent a text like your SILs, but I'm now wondering if I should...

AnneTwacky Mon 27-Jun-11 16:19:18

I think she was just being nice and didn't want your DD to feel left out when DS and DSS got their pressies.

Yes I know it's their birthdays and not hers and I'm not saying she's right but just trying to think of where she's coming from.

moonsquirter Mon 27-Jun-11 16:21:13

Are you allowed to be confused by someone's approach without being critical? That's what I was trying to get at. The point of posting was to get some enlightenment from people who might have seen this before.
To send presents for your childrens' birthdays is the opposite of thoughtless and I would never imply otherwise. I couldn't understand why, having got someone to pick them up specifically to get the presents to their birthday party, why would you then want to insist that they're not birthday presents?

I think Piprabbit must be right that they could be linked/themed - I hadn't thought about this and we haven't had chance to open DD's present yet as she was in bed when we got the text. SIL could have perhaps explained this rather than assuming we could guess though!

spookshowangel Mon 27-Jun-11 16:26:14

ummmmmmmm op i dont know about your sil but your making yourself look like a nightmare, if you dont like her thats fine but you need to just own up to it and move on.

JumpOnIt Mon 27-Jun-11 16:27:42

I'm a bit confused by this whole thread and the general theme tbh.

moonsquirter Mon 27-Jun-11 16:31:21

IslaValargeone, if I wanted people to dislike my SIL (which I don't, btw), I wouldn't be starting a thread saying how she'd sent my children presents!

As Bubblecoral said at the start, it's up to her how she does it, we are grateful that she did on this occasion and we will not mind in the slightest if she prefers not to any other time!

IslaValargeone Mon 27-Jun-11 16:41:32

Oh it must have been the descriptions of 'dull' and 'smug' which threw me then hmm

JumpOnIt Mon 27-Jun-11 16:47:06

With you there Isla.

To answer the original question, I think it sounds like your SIL is trying to qualify giving presents in the way she has as she knows you may misunderstand or be confused. So, no it isn't weird and YABU.

Grabaspoon Mon 27-Jun-11 16:49:56

I like your SIL tend to buy gifts for when I see certain children instead of their actual birthdays - as I tend to forget them (I know how old they will be just not when!)

I also know of a godfather who because of so many god children decided to just send his god children a present on his birthday each year - as 1) he wouldn't forget that and 2) it was a surprise/event that brightened up what would normally be a normal day ie not christmas/birthday etc

Sparkletastic Mon 27-Jun-11 16:51:27

immediately assumed she must be a Jehovah's Witness - is that not the case?

stealthsquiggle Mon 27-Jun-11 16:56:13

I tend to send presents so late (not immediate family, DC of friends) that they may as well be random. However, I remember one friend of my parents who was like that and her presents were always particularly appreciated as they would turn up on an otherwise dull and ordinary day. A certain expectation of randomness has now been established (which reminds me, one such child had her birthday a couple of weeks ago - I must find something for her soon!)

I can sort of see what your SIL is getting at (and I think it is mostly about not setting an expectation such that you/the DC would be disappointed when she doesn't send things next birthday) but she has certainly managed to confuse things by sending these random un-birthday presents to a birthday party!

LRDTheFeministNutcase Mon 27-Jun-11 16:59:43

Maybe she didn't want your DD to have to see a lovely parcel and be told it couldn't be opened for a month?

quirrelquarrel Mon 27-Jun-11 18:35:21

Maybe she wants that kind of image- an aunt who's slightly offbeat, quirky with present giving- nothing wrong with that. It doesn't put you out, so bend to suit.

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