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Not getting a gift from SIL

172 replies

Dawnclark · 06/12/2019 00:56

So I may be being completely crazy here but I still feel a little put out.
My husband and I have taken in his older sister as she has lost yet another house share. I won't go into specifics. Its coming up to Christmas and this would have been our first as a newlywed couple. To add to this we have a baby due in March so this was really supposed to be something special.
Now coming from a family that is very festive I like to go big at Christmas and that means lots of gifts from everyone including santa. Plus I love to cook so oddly I actually look forward to cooking Christmas Dinner for the masses.
I have taken the time, effort and money to make sure my SIL feels fully included in the festivities and she knows this.
However, I have just been told that my husband and I are the only people NOT getting a gift to unwrap from her this Christmas. After making sure her stocking will be full and that Santa will leave lots for her to unwrap as well as adding a third wheel to my first married Christmas, is this insulting or is it me just being hormonal?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


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LagunaBubbles · 06/12/2019 02:48

Just repeat, it is more important to give than to receive, suck it up and be the better person

Ah yes the good old "be the better person" advice. Which generally leads to resentment and letting people walk all over you.

PenelopeFlintstone · 06/12/2019 02:51

Can you take any if it back and just give her one present?

Ivysaur · 06/12/2019 03:11

Return all you've purchased her except for a token gift under the tree. No stocking. You and husband have stockings hung - it's your house and she is only a temporary resident She is thoughtful and giving to all of the family members NOT housing and feeding her? She receives only minimal consideration herself.

itswinetime · 06/12/2019 03:34

I would make sure she has a present yes but I would take back/regift/use myself anything appropriate.

But then I'm done being the bigger person. Ok she's broke or struggling or whatever but she could offer future babysitting vouchers, clean up vouchers or any number of free things that shows appreciation for helping out in her difficult time.

I guess my only caveat would be who has she brought presents for if it's just her mum and dad grandparents then I would write it off but any friends or boyfriends then no that shows she's prioritising all the wrong people and that's not ok with me

Justsaynonow · 06/12/2019 04:00

Don’t give her the gifts you bought.

This. And casually mention to her that DH told you that she'd suggested that you all not do presents. "Great idea - we all have too much as it is."

BillHadersNewWife · 06/12/2019 04:01

Yes it's odd in the extreme but remember that we don't give to receive. Giving is the joy. As is being generous enough to keep her from homelessness. Is she working?

LannisterLion1 · 06/12/2019 04:30

I'd take everything back. She can afford presents for everyone but the people she us intruding on over Christmas? Tell your husband you have too.

I hope you have a set date for her to move out, she could be lovely but equally could be a fannylodger.

Jokie · 06/12/2019 04:42

I'd just not give her the presents that you've bought her and I'd be asking why she isnt getting you anything (as she's staying with you). Is she paying rent? How long is she staying for?

It seems like she's taking your generosity and giving you nothing in return. I'd be tempted to say that Christmas day will just be you two and she can go somewhere else

WhereYouLeftIt · 06/12/2019 04:51

"However, I have just been told that my husband and I are the only people NOT getting a gift to unwrap from her this Christmas."

"This has come from my husband who she told this afternoon. He said it was because she has already got gifts for the rest of the family. He didn't want to dicuss it much more."

That makes no sense. Or, does he mean she'd already bought those gifts some time ago but has since run out of money to buy presents for you? Still a bit unbelievable though.

And tough shit if he doesn't want to discuss it, he doesn't get to shut it down. I'd discuss it directly with her. along the lines of 'DH told me we are the only people you're not getting a Christmas present for. Has he got the wrong end of the stick, because I can't believe you'd single us out from the rest of the family like that.'

And frankly, if I didn't like her answer (the bought-the-others-already-before-this-crisis is the only scenario I can imagine finding acceptable) I'd be disinclined to have her under my roof. I'm sure those she feels close enough to to give gifts to will be more than happy to put her up, rather than leave her festering in a household she dislikes so much she pointedly excludes her hosts from her largesse.

Yes, I am being serious. Anything other than the scenario I suggested she is showing massive disrespect to you and your husband. Really, would a tin of biscuits be so hard for her to get? Plus telling her brother in advance, that's cold! I suspect she has form for batfuckery - you don't need this shit from her.

puds11 · 06/12/2019 04:54

I find it weird that adults get so worked up over presents. Who cares. You seem pretty pissy about her living with you. She can probably sense that. Ask her to leave and then you can get back to your perfect Christmas Hmm

KC225 · 06/12/2019 05:02

Puds11 Are you the SIL in the spare room? The OP states it is NOT about the presents, it's about the lack of thought when the OP has been thinking about how include her SIL in their Christmas celebrations.

HermioneMakepeace · 06/12/2019 05:06

I am looking forward to reading the backstory on this one 😁.

Baileyscheesecake · 06/12/2019 05:13

Talk to her. Drop into the conversation casually that your DH has mentioned present buying and you just want to check what the arrangement is between the three of you to avoid any misunderstandings. My sister and I always check with each other each year even though we always have the arrangement of presents for children only. If she says she hasn’t got you a present maybe say something like “ oh that will make things awkward on Xmas day because we’ve got you some. Christmas gift giving is a really big thing in my family” You need to get this out in the open and clear the air otherwise you’ll spend your only child-free Christmas with your DH being a ball of simmering resentment.

Preggosaurus9 · 06/12/2019 05:22

Well the big day is already ruined isn't it. Either SIL is there on 25th and ruins it, or you get rid and DH sulks all season.

Dial back your expectations OP, you're headed for disaster..

DeathStare · 06/12/2019 05:28

Are you sure there wasn't some situation where your DH ended up saying "Don't get presents for me and @Dawnclark "?

If she doesn't have much money or has a lot of stress right now, it could be easily something he said without thinking it through. She then says "oh are you sure? That would actually really help", he says "yes" and the deal is done. If he had done this and then realised he'd cocked up, it would also explain why He didn't want to discuss it much more

Fucket · 06/12/2019 05:30

How old is you sil? What is her financial situation? What was her family tradition regarding Xmas?

Personally I would find the lengths you are going to (and probably the money you are spending) a little bit overwhelming.

Presumably she has been house sharing and therefore not in a good financial way and is trying to save up to leave you before baby arrives. I’d rather she is going to prioritise that over Xmas with her brother and buddy the elf.

If the Gifts she has are for your parents in law and were bought ages ago I don’t see the problem.

My sister and I don’t buy each other gifts either and never have as adults. We both focus on our dad. Now what used to happen before regarding Xmas presents between your dh and his sister?

However if she’s not saving her ££s and throwing money away on nights out, clothes, pointless tat then I would be miffed. But I guess it all depends on the situation.

Also I really think the stocking thing from Santa for everyone is a bit much/tragic. Don’t worry though next year you got a little one to focus on at Christmas.

Mummyoflittledragon · 06/12/2019 05:31

I would be returning her gifts pronto. Selection box only. How insulting to not get a gift for the people housing you but to get one for other family members. Has she bought you any gifts in the past? Paying rent?

redcarbluecar · 06/12/2019 05:55

Maybe give her the stuff you’ve bought for her this year, then next year come to an arrangement with her - ‘Are we buying presents this year or shall we leave it?’ so the expectation is clear that gift giving is reciprocal. I had this type of conversation with a SIL and we stopped buying gifts - relief all round.
I also suspect there’s a bit more going on. Are you finding her a bit selfish generally as a house guest?

aveenos · 06/12/2019 06:03

you sound completely overinvested in Xmas, OP.

Kisskiss · 06/12/2019 06:05

I’d be annoyed, and also tempted to return all her gifts bar one token one to unwrap xmas day

Rosebud21 · 06/12/2019 06:09

OP, is this really about SIL spending Christmas Day, the 25th, with you & husband? Why can't SIL travel earlier to spend the day with her family, leaving you & DP to spend the day alone?

TellMeWhoTheVilliansAre · 06/12/2019 06:10

Now coming from a family that is very festive I like to go big at Christmas and that means lots of gifts from everyone including santa

I assume SIL is an adult. Why are you doing Santa?! And you say you do Christmas big, yet it's only going to be 3 of you. The way you were building it up I thought you were going to have everyone from both families over and have a huge gift giving ceremony!

You also mention "lots of gifts from everyone". This confuses me. You don't get to decide you get gifts from everyone! There's too much tat and shit handed around at Christmas and the "season of goodwill" is usually under pressure with disappointment over perceived slights or gifts not good enough etc.

I think it is very likely that your husband TOLD her not to buy you two anything. Perhaps he feels sorry for her. She's living in your house due to losing another houseshare and not going anywhere else for Christmas. Why is she not going to her parents?

It sounds very strange that she would volunteer that she has bought presents for everyone else but won't be buying for you two. It doesn't add up.

And stop pretending to be Santa to a grown woman. You're infantilising her.

Brillopadtongue · 06/12/2019 06:12

Whats the whole story?

Who is actually getting gifts from her? She may have good reasons why she doesnt want to gift. It doesnt sound like she is at a high point of her life anyway, is she skint? Depressed? No room for tat as moving out?

BelfastNonBlonde · 06/12/2019 06:14

Yeah that is weird OP and a bit rude.

But honestly, you’ve been very kind to her so far.. be the bigger person and keep being kind. Sounds like she needs it.

redcarbluecar · 06/12/2019 06:17

Would you be happy for her to ‘add a third wheel to my first married Christmas’ if she WAS buying you a present? Or.... still not really?

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