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When does the line between kindness and mug start?

(36 Posts)
Soubriquet Tue 27-Dec-16 17:36:31

2nd year running that my sister hasn't bought my DC anything for Christmas. I have bought her children.

Last year the excuse was she had a new baby (was born on the 4th) and her work was messing her about with her maternity pay and there was a problem with her tax credits.

I had no problem with this...except instead of coming to me and saying she was broke, she avoided me for 3 months and left it to my mum to tell me. I didn't get a thank you for the gifts I gave her children either.

This year she's gone silent again. No messages of thank you, no contact to me and will probably avoid me again until birthday season.

Her excuse this year will be that her partner was out of a job for a week and she is saving up for her wedding next year. She already has several thousands saved. Something she has been very happy to tell me over the last few months.

I suspected she was going to do this again this year, so I halved the budget I was going to spend on her children.

Dh wants me to not buy anything next year, but I just can't do it..it's not her children's fault she is like this.

She has two children. A 5 year old girl and a just turned 1 boy.

I have a 3 year old girl and a 1 year old boy.

WWYD?

fuzzyfozzy Tue 27-Dec-16 17:37:38

I'd ask her when she wants to exchange gifts and see what she says.

Scooby20 Tue 27-Dec-16 17:43:37

My dbro spent £6 on my son (and something he won't ever use) this year. I would normally be fine with this (if it was something my kids would like) except he asked for a £40 present for his son when I asked what I could get him for Christmas.

My kids birthdays have often been forgotten even though one of my kids have their birthday the same day as one of his and I always make sure their gift is there before the day. And again it's always an expensive present.

Tbh I am reducing how much I spend. But I would never not buy my nephew something. But it would be just a token gift.

And yes I do the 'when do you want to exchange gifts?' Question now as I do think think my kids would get anything.

Grilledaubergines Tue 27-Dec-16 17:44:33

Maybe she can't genuinely afford it.

Having thousands saved for her wedding is nothing to do with it. I would imagine that money is earmarked for various expenses and I wouldn't dip into it either if it was me.

Either just get the children a gift in future or ask her if she'd prefer to stop the gifts.

Soubriquet Tue 27-Dec-16 17:46:59

My biggest problem is, I don't see my sister very often

She lives in a little village 30 min drive away.

I don't drive and everytime she comes to town, she never lets me know or just goes to my mums

I haven't seen her since June. So the presents for her children are already with her. I sent them with my mum who passes them to her. I've seen my mum lately and she looked a bit unhappy when I mentioned it but ultimately I won't put her in the middle. It's not her fault either

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 27-Dec-16 18:03:45

"I haven't seen her since June."
Well you could phone her! 'Look I know you haven't bought my children Christmas presents again, but this avoiding me is stupid.'

Offer to just stop exchanging gifts. Point out your 1-year old doesn't even know it's Christmas and your 3-year old would be thrilled with a £1 tube of chocolate. That it's the being thought of that matters, not the amount spent.

Her behaviour is shit. But 'oh I haven't seen her and I don't drive' won't wash. You CAN contact her. And pull her up on her behaviour.

Soubriquet Tue 27-Dec-16 18:04:43

Who says I don't contact her?

I said I haven't seen her.

I said nothing about contact.

I try but it's ignored. She will only answer WHEN she feels she show her face again

Italiangreyhound Tue 27-Dec-16 18:13:30

Totally agree with Where you left it. Just speak to her. Ask her what she wants to happen in the future because this is damaging your relationship with each other.

You could:
-Stop exchanging gifts for the kids
-Buy token chocolate gifts only
-Buy something nice for each other's kids and exchange them in the summer ready for Christmas
-Buy for her kids and she not for you (which may eventually make you feel very much the 'mug')

Check she is OK, it sounds like she has some issues, whatever they are, either pressure, stress money worries etc. To avoid you for ages to as e the cost of a child's gift sou ds very strange.

In your shoes I'd make plans to meet in the new year in town to see her and make sure she is OK.

Italiangreyhound Tue 27-Dec-16 18:15:21

If you have tried to contact her and she is ignoring you I would write a letter/email expressing concern for her. She sounds like she has some issues that go beyond Christmas presents.

MouseLove Tue 27-Dec-16 19:11:35

You haven't seen your sister for 6 months and she only lives 30 mins away????!!!!!

Wow. Just wow. Do you love her? Make more of an effort (and her too) and maybe you would be together at Christmas to swap gifts face to face.

I just can't believe you haven't seen her children in that long. Nothing would keep me away if I had nieces and nephews!!!!!

Soubriquet Tue 27-Dec-16 19:20:29

We've never been close truth be told

We fought like cat and dog as children.

I was as much to blame as she is but her biggest fault was taking my things and breaking or losing them but became extremely aggressive if you touched anything of hers.

As adults we've just drifted further and further apart.

We don't have the same interests and apart from children have nothing in common.

There been plenty of oppurtunities to meet up but nothing has happened really. I don't get invited to go anywhere.

For example Christmas Eve, my mum, nan and sister went to a social club 10 mins walk away. I wasn't invited. I was quite gutted about that tbh.

She did have a chance to say she didn't want to do Christmas presents this year.

I contacted her and asked what niece was into at the moment and got a list of everything.

That was then she could've said actually can we not do gifts this year.

MouseLove Tue 27-Dec-16 20:24:29

That's really sad OP. I love my sister dearly even though we're 10 years apart. Maybe now is the time to change your relationship.

LiveLifeWithPassion Tue 27-Dec-16 20:31:25

I agree with MouseLove. She doesn't sound like she wants a relationship with you so, it's time to change.
I would stop making any effort from now. It sounds like you've tried.

Soubriquet Tue 27-Dec-16 22:48:39

Possibly...

I did post a thread ages ago about my nieces birthday and how I didn't get a thank you for her gift then

I was told iwbu and that it had probably slipped my sisters mind. Guess it hasn't really and she just doesn't care

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Tue 27-Dec-16 23:01:02

That's really sad op
Did your mum not invite you out to the social club?
I would send her kids token gifts, such as a big bar of chocolate, if you still want to get them something
I would stop buying them proper presents as this is upsetting you so much
For whatever reason your sister doesn't want to buy presents for your family, I think the drama and frustration of giving the presents and waiting in vain for reciprocity is making your relationship worse

Cherrysoup Tue 27-Dec-16 23:04:42

Sorry to be a cow, but I would not buy for her dc. Just make it clear that you're pissed off, stop dancing round the issue. Why can't you just tell her how pissed off you are and say fine, lets not buy for each other's dcs birthdays etc?

Soubriquet Tue 27-Dec-16 23:07:44

No my mum didn't invite me

I wouldn't have even known if my nan hadn't have mentioned it.

She only mentioned it to complain about going.

This is the second time they've done this though. Gone out and not invited me

WorraLiberty Tue 27-Dec-16 23:07:56

I have bought her children.

See that's where you went wrong.

If my sister bought me children I'd be fuming, and ask her for a puppy instead fgrin

Soubriquet Tue 27-Dec-16 23:08:30

Aaaaah that must be it worra

WorraLiberty Tue 27-Dec-16 23:09:11

Sorry that was insensitive of me on an obviously serious thread blush thanks

Bettyspants Tue 27-Dec-16 23:14:12

I initially thought there must be more to the story but having seen your responses it just seems really sad. Is there any way you could 'clear the air' and make an effort to see her or organise for her to come over with the children? Have a calm word with your mum along the lines of ' mum I know whatsit and I aren't exactly close but just wondering if there's anything I should know ?If not I think I'll probably stop sending Christmas/birthday gifts as I don't get any acknowledgement or pressies for my DC perhaps we can spend time together instead ' the social club think would have upset me too but makes sense as your not close...she could even be annoyed that you're not going to see her?? If having a relationship with your sister is something you want I'd try and diplomatically talk things through but if not don't bother sending anything in future, no need to explain

Soubriquet Tue 27-Dec-16 23:16:03

Honestly I don't mind Worra

Bit of black humour and all that

And no I don't think the relationship can be repaired. Like I said, we have nothing in common. We struggle to make conversation when we do see each other

Soubriquet Tue 27-Dec-16 23:18:02

And I can't physically see her either. Her house is in the middle of no where.

Can't get that as no public transport goes there.

The only compromise is at my mums, but she never lets me know when she's down and my mum doesn't know she's coming until she turns up. Mum loves other side of town to me so would take me 30 mins to get there. By then my sisters gone or leaving

OnGoldenPond Tue 27-Dec-16 23:31:03

I wouldn't bother. You clearly have little in common except blood.

Sisters are highly overrated in my experience. Mine lives in Australia and I haven't seen her for over 10 years, which is a blessed relief.

Shamoo Tue 27-Dec-16 23:44:44

Your sister doesnt sound very nice, and she doesn't sound like she is in any way invested in a relationship with you or your children at this time. That sucks, but know that you are the kinder person by caring about the situation and trying.

If you are concerned about your relationship with your DNs, perhaps you could consider putting a small amount of money into an account for them each birthday and Christmas until they turn 18, and give it to them then. That would need to be in the knowledge that the same will not be done for your children, but would be an acknowledgement of your love for your DNs. Whatever you decide to do, if you continue to give gifts then it looks like you need to accept that that is one sided and done for love for your DNs, not your sister - and you need to find peace with that.

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