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It's the thought that counts isn't it

(16 Posts)
thisusernameisnotavailable Fri 23-Dec-16 05:43:43

I know I'm being unreasonable and when it comes to Christmas & Birthday's and it's the thought that counts, but I'm getting increasingly annoyed with ExH who buys gifts the kids don't like. Kids are just into and out of Secondary school age so they've been around a while for him to know their tastes. Only he doesn't as he never sees them, which is his choice/loss.

I know I should be grateful that he drops off presents at appropriate days of the year, but we only ever find them left on the doorstep. He never rings the bell even if we are home and he must park up the road so we never hear his car pull up.

I've tried texting him to say child would like such and such if you wish to get them something, but he always gets what the kids from his new family must be into or what he assumes ours are. We get things like model making kits which are complex despite child that it's meant for being Autistic and never going to be able to stay focused that long. Or books again which are just totally beyond that child.

As I said I know I'm being unreasonably but as Christmas approaches again and another parcel left on the doorstep I can't help but dread that it's yet more books and items that will only end up in the local charity shop again. I really wish he'd not even bother and vanish totally from our lives as it's the one last thing he does as he provides nothing else for his oldest children.

Actually now typing that and the fact we never hear or see him, it could be just about anyone who leaves these gifts, maybe a relative leaves them! hmm

mum2Bomg Fri 23-Dec-16 05:59:59

My dad did this but, no matter how shit the actual gifts were, I was always comforted by the fact that he cared enough to bother.

1horatio Fri 23-Dec-16 07:16:32

I know that isn't the issue.but you basically just get random presents from... somebody?

That's weird. If it's really DF something is better than nothing, I guess.

HaveNoSocks Fri 23-Dec-16 07:28:20

How are you being unreasonable? It is the thought that counts and clearly your ex has put absolutely zero thought into his presents. I suppose it's marginally better than nothing at all but its still shit. Especially since you've told him what they'd like so it wouldn't be that hard for him to go on amazon and buy something they'd actually get to use. Dropping them on the doorstep is cowardly and crap too.

pklme Fri 23-Dec-16 07:35:20

How do the children react? If they are upset, I would not give them the present. I would substitute something else myself.
Do they have any other contact? Are their any relatives on that side who could give his head a wobble for you?

meiisme Fri 23-Dec-16 07:42:01

How do your kids feel about the presents? My kids are similar to PP and my wife similar to yours: for the second time now he has bought them the exact same present he gave them for their birthday last year, but although they find it weird, they are happy to have some sign he cares about them. It annoy me too, at the same time I see it as confirmation that not having him around is better for all of us.

meiisme Fri 23-Dec-16 07:43:13

Ehm, wife=ex. Weirdest autocorrect.

whyhastherumgone Fri 23-Dec-16 07:45:02

It is the thought that counts but surely in this instance as a previous poster pointed out, there hasn't been much thought? Especially if you've flagged up things they actually would like and that's been ignored. I don't think YABU personally.

HighDataUsage Fri 23-Dec-16 08:04:41

Could you mention that for security purposes (things being stolen etc) gifts shouldn't be left on the doorstep. It's not really that difficult to ring the doorbell and hand over the gifts unless he feels awkward doing so for some reason.

For next year, could the kids set up a wishlist at a shop/amazon and then he just pays for it. Or alternatively, he gives them cash or a gift card for them to go and choose.

Witchend Fri 23-Dec-16 09:00:54

It depends.
If by thought you mean he's thought carefully, but because he doesn't know them he wildly misses eg. football kit for the rival football team/ pink party dress for the tom boy who won't wear dresses or pink, then it is the thought that counts.

If by thought you mean "at least he's given them something" and he's gone and bought two cheap torches from poundland/has clearly walked into a shop and bought two random things, which any common sense says is not going to be suitable (eg. Trivial Pursuits fro a 2yo/my first reader Cinderella for the 18yo) then no. Because the only thought is "I suppose I have to get something but I'm not putting any effort in".

In your case it's clearly the latter, so if I did use the expression "it's the thought that counts" I would be implying to him that his thought=0 and spending less money and more thought was the way to go.

KnittedBlanketHoles Fri 23-Dec-16 09:07:32

That would piss me off. As pp have said, no thought,no care.

Does he reply when you text him with appropriate suggestions?

StewieGMum Fri 23-Dec-16 09:10:35

The thought that counts means actually putting some thougggt into the presents. Buying stuff the kids don't like because you can't be arsed to actually parent them makes him an asshole and no amount of presents will fix that.

Turbinaria Fri 23-Dec-16 09:59:53

Can't he just give them some money in a nice card with a thoughtful message that's what my teens would like

HarleyQuinzel Fri 23-Dec-16 10:05:48

You shouldn't have to grateful, they're his kids he should be buying presents. How often does he see them? Does he never ask, did x like my presents?

I agree with just suggesting money from now on. If he doesn't care will probably be easier for him anyway.

thisusernameisnotavailable Fri 23-Dec-16 15:17:42

Interesting that the opinion is I'm not being unreasonable.

To answer a couple of comments. He never sees our children, ever.

The kids don't react anymore as they know he couldn't give a damn.

My texts to him always go unanswered.

His parents are both deceased in the time since we split but he never saw them either. He has a sibling who does give gifts so unlikely to be them. So it has to be their Dad.

pklme Fri 23-Dec-16 17:41:17

I think I'd quietly cupboard them without mentioning it.

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