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Buying gifts for nieces and nephews

(18 Posts)
mummydarkling Tue 10-Sep-13 19:49:44

This happened to me with my husband's DSis DC. I used to say it was like throwing trinkets into a black hole. I will still send gifts because they need to know there is an extended family there for them if they need us. Their mum is a narc and dad is the world's most passive enabler. The poor kids are personality disorders in training. So it feels important to me to keep that contact going.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Tue 10-Sep-13 19:15:14

I would continue to send cards every year, but stop presents from the age of eg 16y.

Hulababy Tue 10-Sep-13 19:09:57

I had similar from two cousins (but much younger cousins, so more like nieces/nephews). Didn't seem them often at all and lived a distance from them. Presents all done via post. No acknowledgement that they were even received, let alone thanks. So in the end I just sent a card and that was it. If someone is not going to even let me know a gift had arrived than I am not going to send them. There is no excuse at all - it's rude, simple as that.

SilverOldie Tue 10-Sep-13 19:05:22

I sent to my nieces and nephew for Christmas and Birthday every year and never received a word of thanks, even though they are now adults. I stopped sending presents and now don't even send cards.

eachtigertires Tue 10-Sep-13 18:55:40

It's a tough one if you feel like the presents are your only connection with them but if they aren't sending thank you notes or having any other contact with them then probably I would stop the presents. When I was in my early teens I hated writing thank you notes but my mother always made me. I do feel guilty now though because although I did write notes (my birthday and xmas are around the same time so I just wrote one note covering the 2 events) some of them may have come across as "sarcastic angry teenager" due to the fact that we always were made to write them on NY Day. I'm lucky that my relatives get my sense of humour.

Jan49 Tue 10-Sep-13 18:28:18

Yes, I think I'd just cut down on how much you spend, so they get a small present.

I have a niece and nephew who are now in their 20s. I sent them both presents every Christmas and birthday til they reached 21 and I think I received one thank you note in that time. They live abroad and it was the only contact I had with them, or rather it was their contact with me. If I wanted to know if the presents had been received, I had to phone their mum and ask. I think they appreciated the presents even though they never let me know, so that's why I continued. A few years ago I sent money instead of presents. I asked their mum via Facebook if they'd received it and she replied "Yes". So no thanks at all. I was actually planning to set up a bank account for myself in their currency so I could send them cheques in future, but I decided not to bother. So I've just stopped and nothing has been said. I think it's very rude not to acknowledge.

Irene31 Tue 10-Sep-13 17:57:27

I don't have any children so I was interested to hear the views of the mums on here.

I'm of a mind that I'll keep the presents moderate and not expect much in return - I guess it's up to them to feel like they want to say thank you. No point being made to feel like you have to say it else the gift will be received with a sense of obligation.

However, I am of a mind that manners are important in children, no matter the age. If I had a child I think I'd feel mortified if they or, at least I didn't say thank you.

nemno Tue 10-Sep-13 17:30:29

It would be nice to get thank yous but I don't sweat this stuff. I find my nieces, nephews and my own Dc are better at this now they are older and do actually realise who has given them stuff and do appreciate it.

WhitesandsofLuskentyre Tue 10-Sep-13 17:24:15

My sisters and I are as bad as each other - it's now become a standing joke, that our kids will get random presents at some stage throughout the year when we get our shit together, which may or may not be anywhere near their birthdays!

I got rather upset the other day when DP's sister suggested that I had asked for something expensive for DS's birthday (can't for the life of me think what it was, as I don't recall asking for anything - unless I mentioned something that DS said he wanted in a 'but he's not getting it' kind of way confused). She she wasn't inclined to buy him anything because I hadn't bought anything for her two. Er, they're not my nieces/nephews - they're DP's, and our finances are separate. Take it up with him! I've got plenty of nieces/nephews/godchildren on my side of the family to worry about, not to mention two children from my marriage, and an XH that doesn't contribute.

Anyway, I now feel that I oughtn't to join in with any family stuff on DP's side, in case his sister thinks I'm a waste of their family's money.

olgaga Tue 10-Sep-13 17:04:40

I would definitely send cards only in future if this bothers you.

I never get thankyous from my niece & nephew but I know they are always grateful for their cheques, think of me fondly, and visit (very) occasionally with my DB and DSil. I would say we have a good, easy, no obligation relationship which is how it should be IMO.

My DD(12) is similarly reluctant - I have to practically do it for her I'm afraid.

Irene31 Tue 10-Sep-13 16:59:25

Thank you for your responses.

@steppedonlego I've had the same thing happen in the past too. I fear that is the only time I'll hear anything if the presents stop. Shame.

Irene31 Tue 10-Sep-13 16:45:52

16, 14, 12 and 10 years old.

Added to that I didn't receive a card for my 30th and was referred to as a 'pain in the a***' by said sister for suggesting a get together to celebrate my birthday.

If I have it out with her I risk being cut off from her kids so it's a bit of an odd and upsetting situation.

steppedonlego Tue 10-Sep-13 16:45:36

YANBU. I have a ton of nieces and nephews, and always get them a birthday/Christmas gift. I rarely get a thank you from them, but on the rare occasion a gift is late, their parents have actually spoken to me to say their DS/DD was very upset that I'd "forgotten" them.

SilverStreak7 Tue 10-Sep-13 16:44:43


A simple text, phone call or little note to say Thank You is not asking too much . .My children always write a little Thank You note . It is just politeness.

CuthbertDibble Tue 10-Sep-13 16:43:32

I'd be inclined to just send a card and no gift if they don't have the decency to thank you.

catgirl1976 Tue 10-Sep-13 16:40:56


They are being rude (or if they are little your sister is being very rude)

Not their fault if they haven't been brought up to have basic manners, but a shame.

How old are they?

catgirl1976 Tue 10-Sep-13 16:40:55


They are being rude (or if they are little your sister is being very rude)

Not their fault if they haven't been brought up to have basic manners, but a shame.

How old are they?

Irene31 Tue 10-Sep-13 16:38:05

I have, for the last couple of years, endeavoured to buy birthday and Christmas presents for my two nieces and two nephews. They do not have a sold relationship with their two other aunties so I felt it was important to make them feel that I am engaged in their lives.

I am working a full time job supporting by boyfriend who has been out of work for 6 months and is getting over the death of his father and friend. Money is tight but I try to budget for giving money gifts to my nieces and nephews.

Each time I give them a gift, via post due to the fact I had to sell my car because I can't afford the insurance, I have never received a thank you. They have mobiles and Facebook but still I don't get a response.

I wonder if I am being over-sensitive but find that the lack of response from them and their mother, my sister, a bit baffling. I don't want to simply stop buying them presents but at the same time I feel they are not appreciated so is it worth it?

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