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To think that gift giving is mainly about the receiver - particularly when the receiver is a child?

(30 Posts)
SaltandPeppersCellar Fri 22-May-20 22:04:21

AIBU to think that the point of present giving is to show you like/live the receiver and if the receiver is a child, that it's not reasonable to wait for months and months after a gift event (eg. Xmas) until you see them to give the gift, you should send it in the post?

I am not talking about children expecting presents from friends or distant relatives - but close relative from whom it is reasonable to expect a present and from whom the child has been promised a present.

I always send my niece and nephews birthday and Xmas presents in the post to them unless I am going to see them very close to the event.

My dc father has not seen them for a year, spoke to them at Xmas promising that presents were in the post, presents were not and now he says they are materialistic for wanting their presents and they must wait until the see him (for full disclosure - contact stopped for safeguarding reasons and he has not done anything to re-start it apart from trying to manipulate the dc using their gifts).

AIBU to say that it is selfish to keep the presents until whenever in the future he does see them and that presents should be about the receiver and as such sent near to eg Xmas?

(NB. The presents exist - he has shown then over video calls to the dc)

AnxiousAnnie13 Fri 22-May-20 22:34:30

I agree, I don’t like making children wait ages just so you can see them open their present. A few days or a week is fine I think. (Caveat would be anything inconvenient to post).
Yours is obviously a specific situation where I think everyone would agree he is being a twat so even if I didn’t agree with your general point I’d disagree with his behaviour here.

Witchend Fri 22-May-20 22:37:42

Growing up my uncle was army and he gave presents when we saw him. Sometimes he had 2 years worth of presents to give us.
We loved getting them as they felt special and an extra because we got them at different times.

I don't think there is a right wrong way of doing it.
Imo the waiting to see them is most often about the cost of postage anyway not about the giver.
And it saved a thank you letter if we saw them.

peperethecat Fri 22-May-20 22:41:28

I think your ex sounds like a manipulative dickhead.

Twigletfairy Fri 22-May-20 22:52:20

It is a bit shit.

Different scenario but my daughter's birthday was towards the beginning of lockdown. None of her 'closest' relatives sent anything, not even a card. That includes both sets of grandparents, aunts and uncles. What we got was happy birthday messages on WhatsApp. Considering my daughter can't fucking read it was great.

But yes, Christmas presents should be given round Christmas time, otherwise it's not really a Christmas present.

PafLeChien Fri 22-May-20 22:52:46

Waiting until you see the children is absolutely fine, especially if you wait to buy them so the presents are still age suitable.

Discussing and showing them, but not actually giving them, is completely ridiculous. Your DC's father is a twat.

SaltandPeppersCellar Fri 22-May-20 23:10:50

He is a twat - that's true!

I think my AIBU should have been limited to immediate family of young children. I just can't imagine not even sending a card for my children's birthdays if I couldn't see them on the day, or not sending their presents if I wasn't going to see them for some time. I don't think it's unreasonable for the children to want their presents. Sigh.

EmeraldShamrock Fri 22-May-20 23:30:25

It sounds like control surely he can post and see their reaction opening it on skype. He is a pain in the arse, I expect my DC to thank the giver but no show, DD is shy she hates opening gifts in front of people I have to respect that.

Isadora2007 Fri 22-May-20 23:34:33

Considering my daughter can't fucking read it was great.

To be fair if she is young enough to be unable to read then I can’t see her having expectations of presents from people she can’t see either.
Yes gifts are for the person receiving BUT they’re also partly for the altruistic pleasure you get from seeing the person enjoying them sometimes. So I wouldn’t expect a relative to send a parcel when they could wait and see the child opening their present later. And my children wouldn’t be expecting presents anyway. Well, from us they Would, but not from relatives.

SaltandPeppersCellar Fri 22-May-20 23:36:51

I totally agree that dc must say thank you! Opening on the video call would actually be a great idea.
He has written to ask my view on 'managing the dc expectations' about him not sending the presents. WIBU to tell him that my view is he should just send them because it's about the dc, not about him? I doubt it'll make any difference and he'll then construct some narrative in his head that it's my fault the dc are upset that he hasn't sent the presents.

SaltandPeppersCellar Fri 22-May-20 23:38:23

Well yes Isadora - I agree that they shouldn't expect presents from other relatives but as you say, they do from their parents and I don't think that's U

TeaAndBrie Fri 22-May-20 23:44:30

I think that unless the child can have the present on the actual event then the moment is pretty much lost.
I definitely agree that they should be posted if they can't be given on the event or ideally beforehand.
It's not the cost of the gift but the thought that counts.
Also in your case, I think it's incredibly cruel that he let them know they have presents but they've not received them.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 22-May-20 23:50:24

This isn't about thoughtlessness or normal etiquette. This is someone being deliberately manipulative towards the children. That is how little he cares about them.

EmeraldShamrock Fri 22-May-20 23:51:15

And my children wouldn’t be expecting presents anyway. Well, from us they Would, but not from relatives He is their father it is only fair the DC would be expecting a gift. An absent selfish DF by the sounds of it. Yanbu he is petty.

pumpkinbump Sat 23-May-20 01:36:41

He's a prick pure and simple. If I were you I'd go and buy dc the same gifts (or better) and tell him to stick his up his arse.

waltzingparrot Sat 23-May-20 01:48:43

DB was the master of withholding gifts for months so he could be there when they opened them. Or occasionally if we saw him before their birthdays/Xmas, they had to open them early. It was all about him.

NoIDontWatchLoveIsland Sat 23-May-20 06:42:22

Yes I always think this is weird.

DH family are slightly odd like this. PiL did not send DS xmas present to have on xmas morning, but brought it when they came 3 days later. We did not see SiL or BiL on xmas day or in the week just after, and they never sent anything. They also sent nothing when it was his birthday.

DS didn't notice this year, but i think next or the year after he will register a little that his other grand parents & aunties (my family) sent a gift and card for his birthday, and the others didn't. As he gets older he may also notice that they are very well off and aren't short of cash to buy a card.

BluebellForest836 Sat 23-May-20 06:58:56

Honestly if he hasn’t sent them by now he’s just an asshole. I’d go out and buy the gifts he bought myself and give it to them and then next time he says anything just reply saying ‘don’t worry, I bought the DC X gift as you’re to tight to give it to them and I didn’t want to see them upset anymore’

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sat 23-May-20 07:13:32

He’s an arsehole. Particularly given that he’s shown it to then. Withholding it now is taunting them.

I usually avoid giving toys (even for my own children, they have plenty and I’d rather prioritise experiences), but for lockdown I think novelty and things to do, are more important than ever.

KatnissK Sat 23-May-20 07:19:46

I think the biggest issue here is that he lied - he TOLD them they were in the post, so of course they are going to expect them! I would tell him that I completely disagree with lying and that he needs to apologise to them for doing that. I would point out it is NOT materialistic to expect something that someone has already said they will send. I would be most taken aback if someone behaved this way towards me and I'm an adult - it must be very confusing for children. I would also tell him that in future it is best not to mention presents if he has no intention of buying them, as that would go a long way to managing the children's expectations. I'd be really angry with him OP - sorry he's being such a dick.

CantSleepClownsWillEatMe Sat 23-May-20 07:30:43

I don’t think these gifts ever existed tbh hmm.

IMO waiting months to give a gift, whether to an adult or a child, makes it a bit meaningless. A gift is supposed to say I care about you or I was thinking of you but then the delay kind of says but not enough to be bothered getting it to you!

Saying that I don’t think pps example of GPs bringing gifts with them three days after Christmas rather than sending them for Christmas day is in any way odd at all. I think if you’re actually seeing the recipient around the time of their birthday or Christmas it’s perfectly fine to wait and give the gift then. I know my dc wouldn’t see it as thoughtless and in the case of birthdays quite like it because their birthday stretches out grin. Also, postage isn’t cheap so while I’d suck up the cost rather than wait months, I wouldn’t incur the extra if I’ll see the person in the next two weeks.

AuntieStella Sat 23-May-20 07:31:31

As he promised them the presents were in the post, they should have arrived in the post.

If the DC have most of their presents on the day, but one further set arriving at random at some unexpected time, it'll be OK. I have a very kind but really rather eccentric person in my life who does this. The DC are fine with it.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow1 Sat 23-May-20 08:00:55

I totally agree with the posters who said buy the present yourself.

He is being extremely manipulative - to both you and the children. Writing to you to discuss how you're going to manage the childrens expectations FFS?

Buy the item yourself - I guarantee he'll find something else to be manipulative about. Your poor kids - being taunted and teased with that but not actually able to have it sad

SaltAndPeppersCellar Sat 23-May-20 08:05:54

I can't afford to buy the things myself. He's promised them specific items which cost over £500 in total!

Waitingforboristoletusfree Sat 23-May-20 08:07:47

Disagree, my children’s family usually save presents for when they see them, it’s actually nice for them as just when they think their birthday is over, they receive another gift. They know how loved they are, regardless of if they received a gift on the correct day. Your ex is a dick though what he is doing is different, he is dangling the gifts in front of them which is wrong

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