My SIL rang my DH tonight, two weeks before her son's birthday. We only hear from her for these 'reminder' phone calls (four times a year). We have already bought his present, ready to send - we don't need reminding. We never see her - we have made umpteen plans to meet up, she always cancels. We always send cards and pressies for her kids for birthdays and Christmas. She has NEVER sent/given anything for our kids nor acknowledged them (they're 2 and 4). It's not the money, I would be touched with a handmade card (we probably both have the same spare cash - if anything, she has more (judging from her wardrobe!)). Am I the biggest mug in the world? I kind of think that it's not the poor kiddies fault that she's a cow - but who's the say she's not binning the card and tossing the presents in the mix with her own? I do it mostly for my conscience, I have to say. There's nothing sordid as to why my DH and her sister don't get on, they just don't. We have hardly any family on both sides, and I'm sad that my kids don't have an aunt that cares about them a jot. Do I stop with the presents? We can't exactly afford it, but it's not that.
So, she knows when your children's birthdays are, but doesn't even send a card? But phones up 'for a chat' just before her children's birthdays to remind you to send a present?
I'd be going down to just a card. She thinks you are mugs. Or rich. Or possibly both.
If your DH can face it, he should say something next time she phones. Otherwise wait and see if she has the brass neck to comment. Then an 'innocent' comment - "Oh I thought we'd stopped doing presents, none have arrived from you for so long. We thought you must be embarrassed by the fact that we'd kept on sending them when you wanted to stop."
You're all right. I'm an idiot. A card is sufficient, given the circumstances. She probably does think we're rich - but moneywise she probably has more cash. To top it off, she doesn't even say thank you! Its like sending presents into a big, black hole. I just don't want her kids to grow up thinking we never cared....a card from now on!! If we had more money, i probably would continue but we're really stretched at the moment.
DH will never say boo to her: he seems to have a phobia of the female members of his family. They are a formidable lot, so cant say i blame him. He just says, well i wont repeat it.....