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Thank you note for bad gift

(32 Posts)
MochaChica Tue 31-Jan-17 13:32:46

How do I thank SIL for a cheap quality gift. I usually appreciate the thought behind a gift more than the actual item but my SIL has been sending one disappointing gift after another. It seems she is sending them because she has to not because she wants to. The last one is joint gift for DH and me. Random bar stuff. I don't drink a lot, and I definitely don't make cocktails. If I don't thank her, it would look rude, plus she will mention it to her brother in a tactful way. I feel frustrated because we spent so much time and effort buying nice presents for her and her family. Last year she gave me shirt from a discount store with slight damage. She doesn't even bother to check the quality. It's not that she can't afford a decent gift. She makes such a show when she gives something, will explain the thoughtfulness behind it. And I am left with no option other than praising her even though inside I know most of her gifts are not useful for me. If I just say thank you, she will ask me if I like it. How do I handle it?

JohnLapsleyParlabane Tue 31-Jan-17 13:35:22

Say thank you. Buy her similar items when it's your turn to give.
Or instigate a no gifts to adults except partners and parents rule...

SpringSnowdrop Tue 31-Jan-17 13:36:09

I would just accept it and be gracious. It doesn't matter. If it's upsetting you it feels uneven when you have spent and thought more about it maybe just get them something more token in future, still nice but it needn't be expensive?

SpringSnowdrop Tue 31-Jan-17 13:37:09

Yes I agree no gift rules are a great answer too!

OlennasWimple Tue 31-Jan-17 13:37:47

You say thank you and send it to the charity shop to (hopefully) go to a good home.

If presents are a problem more generally, you could agree no presents / token gifts only in the future?

ThumbWitchesAbroad Tue 31-Jan-17 13:39:38

Just say "thank you" and downgrade the thoughtfulness of your own gifts back to her. That way, you won't resent her lack of thoughfulness for the ones she gets you.

TheLongRains Tue 31-Jan-17 13:39:55

Lie. I think that's the only option when it comes to gifts. They're gifts, so I don't think you can make a fuss to the giver. Just say thank you, it's lovely/useful/interesting/gives you the opportunity to learn a new skill etc etc, then pop it to a charity shop if you're never going to use it.

I realise there's more to it than just a thoughtless gift, it can feel (or be!) symbolic of how little someone thinks of you, but because it's a gift, and they didn't have to give you anything, I think I'd just lie and be polite. And maybe put a little less time and effort into her gifts in future, so you feel less annoyed by hers ;)

Hissy Tue 31-Jan-17 13:51:47

erm... your DH can officially thank HIS SISTER for the gift. Did you not already thank her in person when she gave it to you?

Why oh why is gifts always a WOMAN thing?

Let your H manage his family. Let HIM get gifts for his sister... she'll soon see what its like to be on the receiving end of man crap gifts... grin

Hissy Tue 31-Jan-17 13:53:25

The other option is to say that from now on, only kids to get gifts as its too much effort to buy gifts for adults who already have what they need...

Adora10 Tue 31-Jan-17 14:21:51

Honestly is it that big a deal, just thank her and then bin it, end of.

PaterPower Tue 31-Jan-17 14:29:33

"Why oh why is gifts always a WOMAN thing?"

It isn't. I bought all bar one of the presents for the kids this Xmas (including those for my dp's kids). I bought all the gifts for my side of the extended family too, and for her dn (her side only does kids gifts). It was pretty much the same last year and was the same when I was married (although exW did buy some presents).

I buy the pressies for when any of the kids go to a birthday party, and usually do the Birthday gifts for our kids. It's generally me that wraps them all too.

I also organise all the Thank You cards (which is only fair as my side get peeved if they don't get one whereas hers are much more casual).

So not a "woman" thing at all - just depends on how you've been brought up.

EssentialHummus Tue 31-Jan-17 14:35:20

This is for DH to do imo. If you're stuck with it I'd just send "Thank you for the [stuff] - will need to offer you a homemade cocktail next time you're here!" or something. And see about dropping adult presents for the sake of your sanity and the planet.

BarbarianMum Tue 31-Jan-17 14:44:52

Joint gift = dh does the thanking

MochaChica Tue 31-Jan-17 23:51:40

Thanks all. I know I am making a big deal because I don't want to encourage her to keep giving useless stuff. dh won't let me bin his family's gifts. He is very sensitive about his family. I can't even tell him that I didn't like it.
I don't want to be rude to her. That's not what I mean.
Can i send a message on the lines of ' hi abc, thanks for the bar set. how was your weekend?' Will changing the topic right away will sound rude?
This was supposed to be my birthday present, so I have to message her or she will ask /tell her brother. Last year she sent me a damaged shirt from discount store. She also asked me to send photos from my birthday last year but after I sent it, she never replied. I just find her very rude but dh is close to his family and she acts very friendly in front of him. Thank you

BarbarianMum Wed 01-Feb-17 11:10:52

Why do you need to communicate with her so much. Why can't your dh do it?

MochaChica Wed 01-Feb-17 12:07:17

BarbarianMum, I have to communicate because it was my birthday gift and she asked me before if I received it. Won't it look rude if I don't message directly?
Most importantly, I don't want my dh to think I am rude.

BarbarianMum Wed 01-Feb-17 12:28:17

Mocha I got confused because you said it was a joint gift in the OP. If it is a joint gift then it is not rude to expect your dh to do the thanking. It is quite perculiar to give someone a joint gift on their birthday, mind you.

Hissy Wed 01-Feb-17 13:18:17

tbh, the fact that it IS a joint gift given to you on your birthday IS enough of a reason to get your H to thank her for it.

If she wants a personal thanks, then a personal gift is what's required.

Id also insist on no more adult gifts. I do have a sneaking suspicion that she is giving these gifts on purpose.

You can either compete with her - Toilet Twinning, Charity donation, Goat etc - or you can refuse to play.

CatyB Wed 01-Feb-17 13:38:36

Drop adult presents, if this whole thing is introducing such an issue.

MochaChica Wed 01-Feb-17 15:58:07

Thank you ladies. I already sent her a message thanking for the gift and the gesture. I did not say I liked it.

She has replied with ' I really hope you like it..and then long text about how popular it is where she lives (US)..and that she hopes I like it

She thinks she is being thoughtful for sending something she finds trendy(it's very cheap). I think she was thoughtless for sending bulky cocktail accessories not caring that I have no interest in cocktails and that we don't have a bar in our small flat and not much storage for such bulky items.

I have no choice but to praise her choice now since that's what she wants. I can't drop adult gifts, my dh will feel we are hurting his family's feelings. I will give my gift list in advance next time.

Hissy Wed 01-Feb-17 17:18:58

Hold on... it's ok for her not to reply when you sent pics..
Why are you dancing to everyone's tune?

You don't have to reply about anything!!!

And actually you can say you're not buying gifts, and you don't need to receive any either. You have a dh problem mostly, not a sil problem!

MochaChica Wed 01-Feb-17 22:51:23

She told me she really wants to see pics and then didn't acknowledge it when I sent it. I just felt bad. Also because she had plenty of time to send so many pics of her house ,etc the same week. She is dh's sister, so I want to be polite to her. I don't think she feels the same way about me. I think I am expecting a little too much. Yes dh and I are working on our own problems.

Hissy Wed 01-Feb-17 23:32:13

You want to please her, gain her approval when she seems to want to poke and provoke you.

Stop worrying what she thinks! It's Not important. Don't put any more effort into the relationship unless she does, and absolutely insist on no adult gifts, and make sure dh is responsible for buying gifts for his side.

tigermoll Thu 02-Feb-17 12:18:27

If it's just about what to write in the thank you note, then surely I can't be the only one who spent hours of her childhood writing thank you letters for weird/baffling /who on earth would want this gifts??
Dear elderly auntie, thanks so much for the industrial quantities of lavender talcum powder/horse shaped rucksack/ second hand book of wildlife. It was really kind of you and I can't wait to use it, love tigermoll.

How hard is that? :D

MochaChica Thu 02-Feb-17 13:41:53

tigermoll, you have completely missed the point of my post. Thanks anyways

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