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Birthday presents and thank yous

(11 Posts)
certainlymerry Tue 05-Mar-19 08:50:50

I am debating whether to stop buying birthday and Xmas presents for my two nieces. I have always sent them presents every year, but in the past three years they have not been acknowledged. My sister never sent my children presents or cards, despite being Godmother to one of them. She sends something to them when she remembers now, (which isn’t often) . Usually a gift card. They are adults.
I am starting to resent sending presents that seemingly aren’t appreciated. If I stop it will cause resentment probably. My sister and I aren’t close and I rarely see my nieces.
What would you do?

QwertyLou Tue 05-Mar-19 10:14:13

I had something similar. For my older sisters’ kids (now in their teens) I always sent birthday and Christmas presents. But my sister has been pretty oblivious to my son (now 4). Not even a text message on his birthday, let alone a card or present (and he’s her only Godchild).

It’s not about things, but the thought (or lack thereof). I’ve dealt with it by paring things back just slightly when it comes to my nephews/niece - not enough for them to notice, but just enough so I don’t resent the lack of reciprocity.

certainlymerry Tue 05-Mar-19 10:56:41

Yes I have done that too Qwerty, but I now feel I don't want to send anything at all. Compounded by the fact my son sends money to them every Xmas and birthday, money he can't afford as he's very hard up, and they still don't acknowledge it. Or bother to remember his birthday!

Fuzzyheadache Tue 05-Mar-19 10:59:38

Send the next gift and tell them if I don’t get a thank you, you won’t get one next time. My nephew laughed when I said it, no gift for him, his sisters thought it was hilarious! I always get a text or a phone call now.
Also, we stop at 18 years.

Fuzzyheadache Tue 05-Mar-19 11:00:40

*my nieces had sent a thank you, however he didn’t

JRMisOdious Tue 05-Mar-19 11:05:34

Similar. We used to receive a very token thing for our 2 when they were small, which dried up more or less when they hit double figures, from my BIL. My husband continues to send the same reasonably generous gift to his 3 each birthday and Christmas, which are rarely if ever acknowledged. It used to annoy me and I asked why he continued and his view was just because my brother’s a tight git (he is, they er very comfortable) doesn’t mean I have to be, it’s not the kids’ fault.
He’s probably a better person than I.

BooksAreMyOnlyFriends Tue 05-Mar-19 11:08:54

Have you actually spoken about the present giving? Could it be that your sister doesn't want to do presents any more but hasn't actually got around to telling you or just assumes you'll realise?

BlueMerchant Tue 05-Mar-19 11:14:51

I would send a card to acknowledge their Birthdays but not send a gift. They can't pull you up on no gift when your own dc don't receive even a card!. Do what she does and sent an odd gift card now and again when you own children receive them

certainlymerry Tue 05-Mar-19 11:18:44

I would be happy with that actually. I suggested we only buy for the children as every single year at Xmas she bought me a book i had already read, and it got returned by them. I felt she put zero effort in and she is hard up, so I thought it would be easier. I now feel she resents not receiving presents for the adults.
I think it would not go down well if I tried to talk about it. There is a history of fallouts etc and I don;'t want to make anything worse. I think I might just stop sending presents and send a card instead. I would continue if I thought the kids appreciated it but they get a LOT of presents through the other side of the family, more than they can cope with really.
She doesn't need to send presents to my adult children now, I feel 18 is a fair cut off point, but since she never sent any when they were children I don't say anything about it.

mrsed1987 Tue 05-Mar-19 11:26:55

Just send a card. Ive done the same with my godson as i never get a thank you.

NameChanger1985 Tue 05-Mar-19 11:33:06

We've been in the same situation. Sending cards & gifts to IL's that were occasionally acknowledged but never reciprocated.

Each year we'd say we wouldn't bother sending stuff but the guilt would kick in, we'd send stuff then we'd just get more & more resentful til we had a massive fall out over it & have not spoken for about 2 years.

Not the best outcome but we had other issues aside from the above so it was a huge sense of relief when I didn't have to make the effort anymore.

I suggest you send no cards or gifts to your DS or BIL, maybe a birthday text & just send cards for your DN's, no gifts.

If your current gift giving is not appreciated or reciprocated make minimal effort going forward to prevent feeling resentful.

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