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Christmas presents to STBXH from kids

(24 Posts)
percy1979 Tue 18-Dec-18 20:31:52

What is everyone doing about Christmas presents from children to the parent who has left the home? My husband dropped us because he was having an affair. Then for my birthday he took the kids shopping to choose me a birthday present but chose ridiculous timberland boots costing nearly £200 “from the children” but they didn’t choose them. He would have spent £50 max in previous years from all 3 of them.
His birthday was the same week and the children chose him a Star Wars t-shirt and a Lego key ring. I told him I felt uncomfortable with the amount of money he had spent and please could he return the boots. He got REALLY nasty about it, and finally agreed only after his mum intervened. That was back in June.

My sister has helped the children choose Christmas presents from them to me to prevent the same nonsense again. The children haven’t seen their father for over 4 weeks because he has been away with the newest “soul mate” in Thailand, so I know there has been no discussion with him about choosing presents for me.
They have not mentioned buying him a present to me at all.

What should I do? To give some context, in the last week he has written me multiple emails about children’s school events which he didn’t read the emails about, calling me a vindictive bitch, an idiot, to name but a couple of insults. So he’s not exactly endearing himself right now!!

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ChristmasTwatteryDoesMyHeadIn Tue 18-Dec-18 20:33:06

If they haven’t asked I wouldn’t. If DS1 has asked in the past (twice in 11 years for birthdays/Christmas/father’s day) I’ve done it, a wee minding that he’s picked, but other than that I don’t.

He sounds like a prick.

NotBeingRobbed Tue 18-Dec-18 22:30:37

I wouldn’t feel any need to be buying him presents. As for the school events, he can contact the school and ask to get his own emails etc. Then he doesn’t need to be in touch with you.

percy1979 Wed 19-Dec-18 00:59:04

He gets his own emails, and has been getting them since Sept 2015, but he never bothered to read them because I always sorted everything.
He chose to break up our partnership, but still expects me to run his calendar for him.

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NotBeingRobbed Wed 19-Dec-18 06:06:12

He’s using you. Don’t do anything for him!

ChristmasFlary Wed 19-Dec-18 06:11:24

How old are the kids?

Mine are 11 and 15yrs. Ex left for OW last year.

We do get gifts from the kids to each other more for the boys sake l feel, as they would be upset if they hadn't given a gift.

If they weren't bothered then l wouldn't bother either.

ChristmasFlary Wed 19-Dec-18 06:13:42

I had the same issues with school thing's and told my ex that the day he left l stopped doing wife work.

I don't stand for his bullshit and won't chase him anymore. Keep all your messages. You mau need them in the future.

ChristmasFlary Wed 19-Dec-18 06:14:44

....may need them...

ChristmasFlary Wed 19-Dec-18 06:16:02

I sometimes read back at ex's messages and realise how lucky I am to be free.

TheLastNigel Wed 19-Dec-18 06:20:19

We do presents still-'from the kids'...it's not ideal from my point of view (or from
His I'm sure) but the DD's would feel bad if they hadn't got him something decent and he's still their Dad and my co parent so whatever I think of him, I appreciate what he does do for the kids. Your situation is a bit different however...your one is being vile. I'd say token gift at most here...

Isitme13 Wed 19-Dec-18 06:32:45

Will your dc feel bad on the day/around the day when they realise they haven’t remembered to get anything for their dad?

The most important thing here is the children - do whatever will help them feel ok.

They may not have asked you for various reasons. It doesn’t mean they don’t want to give a gift, necessarily.

And even if they are feeling they don’t want to give a gift, this may need unpicking, and they may need support to separate out loving someone/disliking their current actions etc. Depends on their ages - they sound youngish, as need help picking out gifts, so I’m not sure they are old enough to be making what is a huge emotional decision on their own.

Be the bigger person, support their relationship with their dad. It doesn’t have to be expensive. One of my dc has bought chocolate for their dad (we are recently separated), another has bought a Christmas tree decoration because it will make their dad laugh, the third has bought god knows what from the Christmas gift shop at school but it was chosen with love and care, so whatever it is won’t matter.

Until I prompted him, STBX hadn’t put any thought towards helping them buy a present for me, and they were worried about it (but hadn’t brought it up with him themselves). One still isn’t sure he has got anything for me, so I will need to talk to STBX again. Not because I desperately want him to have to buy me something, but because my 6 year old is upset at the thought that he hasn’t got me anything for Christmas.

NotyourMummynotyourmilk Wed 19-Dec-18 06:42:41

I would try not to let the fact he is nasty to you cloud your judgment of him as a father. It would depend for me how old my DC were, until they are about 11 they won’t give a thought about gifts so you will need to prompt them to choose one but once they are old enough to go out by them selves I would say not. Hope that makes sense.

PerverseConverse Wed 19-Dec-18 07:22:46

Go grey rock block. Don't pander to him over school stuff. Communicate only over arrangements for the children.

I buy my own presents and give them to my mum to wrap with the children age 11, 10 and 3, or they go shopping with her and I give her the money. No idea what my abusive ex does about gifts for himself. I told him years ago we'd get our own after he bought me shit.

Phillipa12 Wed 19-Dec-18 07:31:13

My sister takes the kids shopping with my card for me, i dont buy for exh unless the dc specifically ask, this year dc1 designed a mug and asked if he could buy it for daddy, as much as i wanted to say no he sorts himself out, its not the dcs fault hes an arsehole, and it was only £6.

heidiwine Wed 19-Dec-18 07:31:31

Depends on the age of your children but I’m guessing they’re young.
I say be the bigger person and facilitate present buying in whatever way you can. You seem to have a decent relationship with your ex’s mum. Maybe she can shop with the children for gifts.
In my experience, gift giving for children with separated parents can make a difficult situation worse and very painful for the children. The best thing is when they are able to (with a small budget) freely choose a gift for their parents.

Sunshineandflipflops Wed 19-Dec-18 09:32:06

I'm with TheLastNigel I think. My ex husband left on 27th December last year (well, I packed his bag when I found out he was having an affair) and he is still with the OW. He asked our kids (11 and 12) to ask me what I wanted for my birthday in the summer and I felt a bit uncomfortable with him buying me anything so i just asked for some nice shower stuff from the kids. I then got him something that was equally as 'from the kids' for his birthday.
I have no idea if he will get me anything from them for Xmas but I have got him some soap he likes and a generic bottle of wine from them! Even if I get nothing, I get to know I am the better person (again)!
Although I hate what he did to us and will never be his friend, we 'get on' for the kids sake. I might feel differently if he'd behaved like your ex.

DiamondsBestFriend Wed 19-Dec-18 09:38:46

I’ve always facilitated ds buying presents for his dad because it goes against everything in me not to give presents iyswim.

Until a couple of years ago I also facilitated his buying presents for his dad’s gf and her dd, and one year I even went to the effort of buying her a nice present when I was out shopping because I believed she would like it according to what ds had said. EXH then told ds not to mention that i had bought and wrapped her presents as this would upset her, so as of that point she can fuck off. angry. But I’ll still buy presents for him and for his other DC (ds’ half siblings).

NotBeingRobbed Wed 19-Dec-18 09:55:45

You all seem to have a better relationship with you exes than me. As far as I can see he can buy himself something from the vast amount of money I’ll be paying him. My kids are old enough to buy their own presents and as far as I can see they are not bothering.

BlindTipsy Wed 19-Dec-18 09:59:59

STBX left for OW 4 months ago. It was his birthday shortly after - DS1 (14) was too angry and didn't want to get him anything. Ds2 (12) wanted to give something so I took him to the supermarket and let him choose what he wanted - he chose a plastic cactus grin. So have done similar for Christmas- this time they have picked a £3 elf on the shelf and some chocolates! I am going for helping them to do what they would like but it's for their sake, not his.

I would have preferred if Ex-pil had stepped up and sorted it out with the kids but no sign of that. My lovely sister has helped the kids get something for me.

eve34 Wed 19-Dec-18 12:54:31

I don't do it for ex benefit. But for the children. Although don't spend a fortune. It is a token gesture. Although I have got the children to pick and wrap something for me. As I want nothing from him. Not that I expect him to make the effort. He didn't for my birthday.
Once they are older they can have more independence over gift buying. It did cross my mind to send something for ow. She hasn't done me any harm and is kind to the children. But as I have had no money for four months I thought what I had was better spent on people who actually care about me. And don't want to get into something I can't stop. Would love to pick something lovely for her just to piss ex off though. 😀

slappinthebass Wed 19-Dec-18 12:59:27

I refuse to do it for my ex. I will when my daughter asks me to, in fact I think she asked to get him a token thigh one year and that was fine. But my ex doesn't pay me a penny in maintenance so I was furious when he bought presents. I asked him to stop after a few years when he hasn't got the hint from me not buying for him.

Marlboroandmalbec34 Wed 19-Dec-18 15:33:54

Oh gosh I hadn’t even thought of this. We split in June. Going through a vile divorce. My dc are 3 & 1 so havnt asked...should I buy him something from them?

scotgal2017 Mon 24-Dec-18 08:40:06

2nd Xmas this year since abusive STBXH left and I don;t get him anything from the kids for birthdays/Xmases etc..... my kids have never asked if they can get something for him and the relationship between is is very non-existent (grey rock/low contact). he had them the other day overnight and they came back with gifts for me from them but I don;t feel guilty in the slightest that I have not bothered to get him anything from them for them to take with them when they go to his this afternoon.

percy1979 Mon 31-Dec-18 00:16:14

Thank you everyone for your comments.
In the end I asked my MIL if she would like to take the children shopping for a gift for him, making it clear that that children wanted to choose him a gift. I said that I could take them if it was easier for her, but she said she would take them that weekend (Sat before Christmas).
I asked my children (7&5) to think about some ideas and then tell grandma. When my daughter texted later that day (my STBEXH gave her an iPhone 🙄) my MIL declared that she had already bought the gifts. She completely missed the point that the children wanted to choose!! When the children came home from that weekend it transpired that my MIL had also bought a gift for husband’s new girlfriend from the children (not the OW from spring) which consisted of bottle of wine and box of chocolates. Interesting choice given husband announced in spring that he was alcoholic and his mother knows this and is supposedly supportive. FFS - I will never understand his family.
He also sent the kids home with a holiday souvenir from his and the girlfriend’s holiday labelled for me and the kids. I mean WTAF?!? Like I want that! Only discovered the first affair in March on Mother’s Day, and he only moved out in summer hols.

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