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To ask DH's family not to buy unbirthday gifts?

(135 Posts)
jaybirdsinginginthedeadofnight Sun 23-Mar-14 08:45:49

DH's family always buy the non-birthday sibling a present! I believe this takes away from the child who's birthday it is and they have to learn it's not all about them for one day of the year!

DH hasn't got strong feelings on the subject, but his family are the sort who don't talk about things that bother them for fear of offending each other! So he says it's just the way they are!

AIBU to ask them not to do it? It's DD's birthday soon and I know DS will be bought presents from GP and SIL's (x2).

ikeaismylocal Sun 23-Mar-14 08:49:38

I think yabu.

My family did this when I was a child, it was really nice. I never resented my brother getting a present on my birthday, it didn't take attention away from me.

It's just a nice thoughtful gesture.

Calloh Sun 23-Mar-14 08:52:38

Do you get your DC one as well? If so I could see it might be overload.

thegreylady Sun 23-Mar-14 08:55:18

I always give the non birthday child a small gift , my dsil fusses a bit but accepts. I wont/dont when they get older but under 10s it seems right to me.

Inselaffe Sun 23-Mar-14 08:56:04


I never got a present when it was my sibling's birthday and VV. Growing up I didn't know anyone who did... It's a weird fad that I don't like very much. I totally agree with you OP, it's a (gentle) life lesson that not everything centres around you.

We did get a party bag though as a 'guest' at each other's parties... but that stopped when we outgrew parties.

Birdsgottafly Sun 23-Mar-14 08:56:21

I don't understand the general MN opinion if entitlement, when it comes to gifts and Birthdays/Christamas.

I think YANBU, everyone should have a day that is about them and have a day when it is about someone else.

I was always in a dilemma because my middle DD's Birthday fell on the start of the Advent, I bought small Christmas teddy's/gifts, as well as giving an Advent Calender.

I think it's fine to give gifts of sweets, but not an actual present.

A child should understand that each of them are special enough to have a day just about them.

silverstreak Sun 23-Mar-14 08:56:43

I think yanbu for the reasons you've already mentioned, but maybe if they'll be hurt suggest it should only be a very small token..? I remember getting an 'unbirthday' gift when I was a wee one - a multicoloured Biro! I thought it was amazing but must of cost sod all! Don't remember what the birthday girl got but hopefully something a bit more impressive... smile

Branleuse Sun 23-Mar-14 08:56:47

dunno, id let them get on with it.
maybe tell the sisters they really dont need to, but if they still want to, surely its not a big deal.
someone else getting a present wont mean the birthday child wont enjoy theirs surely?

slartybartfast Sun 23-Mar-14 08:57:03

i used to, i remember my dm doing it, but i dont expect anyone else to.i think its the parents prerogative.

lizardqueenie Sun 23-Mar-14 08:58:55

No experience of this in my own family but my friends in-laws insisted that her husbands family stopped doing this as it wasn't just a small gift of a few stickers or something but a whole other gift so they didn't feel left out. Thing is they will have their birthday at some
Point & they do have to
Lean it's not all about them. Just like at parties where everyone has to win a prize she felt it's not leaving a child out but it's just part of childhood & it would end up in her DC's being spoilt & expecting too much.

Thepoodoctor Sun 23-Mar-14 08:59:04

My family always bought a small unbirthday gift (I was one of four siblings). Talking a book or felt tips or something - much smaller than any birthday gifts. It petered out as we grew up!

Grandparents now do the same for our DS and DD. We usually do a small unbirthday gift which really is a token.

DHs family (DH is an only) don't get it at all and think the other lot are slightly mad ... Obviously they don't do it!

DD and DS seem fine in their understanding of whose birthday it is and who gets fuss, loads of presents, party etc.

Personally I'd let it ride and explain to kids that it is a nice tradition on granny and grandads part. If the unbirthday presents are more than a token gift and they're getting three, maybe talk about reducing the size?

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 23-Mar-14 08:59:42

I don't see my nieces as often as I'd like as they live 3 hours drive away; so when I do see them they both always get a gift. If it is a birthday then the birthday niece gets a proper birthday present but they would get something anyway. I'd be upset if my SIL said not to get them anything.

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 23-Mar-14 09:00:46

When kids go to other kids' parties, they leave with a party bag; it's the same principle IMHO.

OnlyTheWelshCanCwtch Sun 23-Mar-14 09:01:09

No I wouldn't do it

ikeaismylocal Sun 23-Mar-14 09:01:47

If the birthday child feels less special and less important because someone else got a present on their birthday that is the issue not the gift giving.

Children don't need a day where everything is all about them and other people shouldn't have nice things on that day. Children who believe that their birthday must revolve solely around them are likely to grow up into the sort of adults posting aibu that my dp only bought me 3 birthday gifts and my work colleagues only got me a card not a cake or present?

NoodleOodle Sun 23-Mar-14 09:02:17

I find the concept of unbirthday gifts weird. Not sure if I'd make any noise about it though.

OnlyTheWelshCanCwtch Sun 23-Mar-14 09:02:21

As in I wouldn't buy gifts for nonbirthday child, but if others wanted to I suppose I wouldn't stop them? They wouldn't get one from me for nonbirthday child though

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 23-Mar-14 09:07:01


We wanted the children to be pleased to see GPs, not pleased to see them because they brought presents.

fuzzpig Sun 23-Mar-14 09:07:53

YANBU. I have no personal experience of sibling birthdays (only child) but my 2 DCs don't get presents on each other's birthdays. They just enjoy giving each other presents and watching them open them. And of course getting to share the cake smile

Nocomet Sun 23-Mar-14 09:10:43

A gift as big as a birthday present is a bit unnecessary, but as Boldfunnky ribena says a smaller I don't see you often presents just fine.

That said, DC are perfectly capable of working out different family members have their own ways and not expect extra gifts from everyone.

fuckwittery Sun 23-Mar-14 09:11:45

When my grandmother and her two sisters were children, the birthday child didn't receive a present at all but they made something for all family, no money of their own so they might cross stitch a picture or write a poem and illustrate it. It's a lovely tradition to also give as well as receive on your birthday, and to share the special day, other e.g.s children bringing in treats to share at school, party bags.

AlpacaPicnic Sun 23-Mar-14 09:12:20

As long as the same rules apply for all children then it's fair.
I remember being furious when a well meaning family friend used to get my brother a little gift when it was my birthday 'so he doesn't feel left out' but nothing for me when it was his birthday (because it used to fall very soon after Christmas so I would have just had gifts.)

Grasping? Yes, a little bit... But i was only 6,7,8 and I remember feeling how unfair it was!

Badvoc Sun 23-Mar-14 09:14:25

Dhs family do this.
I have asked countless times that they don't, but I am of ignored.
I'm afraid I make it quite hard for them smile
Their gift for the other child is put away and brought out at a later date as a treat.

pinkandsparklytoo Sun 23-Mar-14 09:16:24

My youngest sister and I share a birthday and my parents always bought my middle sister a present on our birthday so she didn't feel left out.

OddFodd Sun 23-Mar-14 09:17:28

I think don't sweat the small stuff. It's really, really not a big deal unless you make it one.

One of my grans did this; the other didn't. I don't think it had any lasting impact and never made me feel less/more special

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