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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?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

blackteasplease · 06/12/2019 11:29

Definitely deadline on moving out.

And I’d also say to her “oh DH told me you’d don’t want us to do presents to each other this year. That’s fine with me.” So then you can get it straight from the horses mouth.

I’d also take hers back.

messolini9 · 06/12/2019 11:42

However, I have just been told that my husband and I are the only people NOT getting a gift

Who told you this?
How did they word the information?

messolini9 · 06/12/2019 11:43

Oh ye dogs apologies have only now seen it's a 6-pager. No doubt more info emerges ... will rtft later ...

messolini9 · 06/12/2019 11:52

Blimey, so many pp's who one supposes to also be adults getting worked up about presents.

OP - it's not going to be forever.
& several people have pointed out that the reasoning behind the non-present-giving statement may have been fudged or misinterpreted by DH.

Either way - you have a husband, a home, & a baby on the way.
SiL does not.
On top of all that, she has to live, apparently, with the lifelong effects of having an awkward personality.
You do not.
Count your blessings - this will all be a distant memory early next year when you have your baby, in your home, without SiL.

Drum2018 · 06/12/2019 11:52

£300 pm for rent, most of her food and bills? She's having a bloody laugh. Stop being a complete mug and give her a date to find somewhere else to live before your baby arrives. And keep her santa presents for yourself. I wouldn't give her as much as a Brussel sprout. She's taking advantage of your extreme generosity and will continue to do so as long as you allow it.

Majorcollywobble · 06/12/2019 11:54

Out into the cruel snow she goes !

SunniDay · 06/12/2019 14:24


"I wouldn't give her as much as a Brussel sprout"

Admittedly this made me laugh but I think someone needs to spend an evening watch "A Christmas Carol" - and fast!

Wonkybanana · 06/12/2019 14:30

OP I think you're a saint! You've taken in someone who is homeless as a result of their own behaviour, and you've no problem having her there even though it's your first Christmas as a married couple and your last when it would otherwise be just the two of you.

I doubt presents came into your thinking at the time, it's her saying that she's not getting you anything that's brought it into focus.

I agree that she shouldn't get the presents you've got her. Put them in a drawer and use them up over time as birthday gifts for other people. Saying that not getting each other presents is a good idea is the perfect response.

And you need to give her an end date. Otherwise she'll be thinking she's set up for life. You absolutely shouldn't have to have her there being a blood sucker when you have a new baby.

You know exactly what she's like, yet you're still being kind. Don't let that tip over into being a mug.

mauvaisereputation · 06/12/2019 14:58

I think it's weird and rude that she's not getting you both a gift, unless your husband has told her not to bother, which, like others, I suspect might be the case. I think it's pretty weird that you are getting her a stocking AND Santa gifts through tbh. There's no way she's expecting that!

WhereYouLeftIt · 06/12/2019 20:02

"DH is not one for confrontation or awkward family situations so would rather 'see how it plays out' than cause issues."
And that is precisely the attitude that plays into the hands of those who positively revel in creating awkward family situations. He might as well have taken out an advert in the Times saying 'Come cause an awkward family situation and watch me pretend it's not happening'. Seriously, it is a behaviour that increases the awkward family situations you find yourself in. He needs to learn that.

"She was kicked out of her last 3 house shares because she is not easy to live with. So much so her own parents didn't want to put her up."
Not easy to live with. I'd say she'd revel in creating awkward family situations.

You need to put a limit on how long she's welcome. I'd tell her it's her New Year's Resolution - finding a new gaff and moving out. And you're going to need to enforce it if your husband's going to demonstrate just how determined he is to avoid conflict, because his sister absolutely is not goint to hesitate to create said conflict. Time to put on your big girl pants and raise the subject of where she's moving to on a DAILY basis. Do not let this woman get her feet under your table, she will kick and scream when you show her the door Sad.

And please, learn from this. Do not make a rod for your own back again.

SpongeBobJudgeyPants · 06/12/2019 21:45

Have I got this right, she's getting DH a gift but not you? If lack of cash is an issue, then it should be buy for neither...

Newbie1999 · 06/12/2019 21:51

It’s rude of her to not get you a gift, even just a small token, seeing as she’s living with you - however if my SIL got me a stocking full of gifts and ‘presents from Santa’, I’d be mortified. You sound way OTT - lovely, but OTT.

FeckaDecka · 06/12/2019 21:52


Lizzie0869 · 07/12/2019 00:21

If her parents don't feel able to have her live with them, it sounds like you're allowing yourself to be pushed around by your in laws. They'll go on doing this if you let them.

You do need to be firm and request a deadline for her to move out. Otherwise her stay will be indefinite.

labazsisgoingmad · 07/12/2019 17:37

keep what you have bought for her regift it to someone else or enjoy it yourself. i think as you have taken her in she could at least have got a bottle of something or box of chocs doesnt cost a fortune sounds like your husband wont say anything as he doesnt want to upset family

notnowmaybelater · 07/12/2019 17:58

Dawnclark your update sounds very reasonable, but please clarify with your DH what he actually said to her.

People are having a field day egging you on to chuck her out or punish her, but my money's on your DH having said please don't buy us anything, we'd rather you save faster for a deposit on a rental...

Allgirlskidsanddogs · 07/12/2019 18:03

Scale it back. You’ve bought the presents but she doesn’t have to receive them all. Select something from the selection that you’re sure she’ll particularly appreciate and give her that. Regift what you can and save the rest for other times or people.
You’ve already been incredibly generous in providing her a home, I do hope she doesn’t outstay her welcome.

Happyher · 07/12/2019 18:03

Maybe she was talking to DH asking what you both wanted and like most men he will have said ‘don’t bother with us we get loads anyway’ and then translated that to you as she’s not buying you anything. You say you like to go big at Christmas but are you sure DH feels the same or is he not saying anything and just leaving you to it. A lot of families have a more restrained attitude to Christmas and maybe he and his sister don’t normally buy each other presents.

perfectstorm · 07/12/2019 18:30

People are being jaw-droppingly snitty and harsh.

OP has happily taken in a SIL so difficult, she's been kicked out of three houseshares and her own parents won't take her back in. She pays less than £75 a week for full board and lodging. OP is planning a lovely family Christmas and fully including this very difficult SIL in the mix, and SIL can't even be arsed to buy the family members who are housing her as a favour a present?

She is absolutely taking the piss. You're doing her an enormous favour, and very gladly and generously, and she's meeting that favour with an utter lack of reciprocity. As for, "one doesn't give to receive" - some PPs need to google 'reciprocity' and then 'parasite'.

I think you need to sit your DH down and talk over what is going on here, and when she's planning to move out. Because if this is a tricky situation, I can only imagine how hard it will be when the baby arrives.

Has she issues you know about? Does she have any mental health problems, or difficulties with social communication? What do people find so hard to take, in terms of her company, and what are her strong points - what is likeable about her? Because putting her up is a short term fix. She needs longer term help if she's going to have an adult life that works.

Angrywife · 07/12/2019 18:40

Return, keep or re-gift what you had planned to get her and then do some gifting through Crisis for the homeless in name, pay for a homeless person to have a Xmas meal as her gift x

56ers · 07/12/2019 18:45

Be the bigger person and give her a token gift in good spirit. Sod the stocking. Make her stay too comfortable and you might end up hosting her every Christmas. Start as you mean to go on.

DeRigueurMortis · 07/12/2019 19:09

I'd be in a hump too OP.

You've been incredibly generous taking her in.

The fact she can get presents for the rest of the family but not the people who've housed her is incredibly rude.

I'm not suggesting she should spend £££ but there's plenty of lovely gifts you can get on a budget (especially if you like cooking - some nice chutney for example or herbs/spices).

Frankly, she should also be offering to "chip in" for the food at Christmas as well as giving a gift.

You're DH is very much part of the problem here also in enabling her poor etiquette.

In your position I'd be blunt and say "I hear from DH that we are excluded from your gift list this year, despite housing you. As such I'm sure you'll agree it's only appropriate that I'm returning all the gifts I've bought for you and after Christmas I'm expecting you to start making plans to find your own accommodation."

Sod being the "bigger person" - people are only CF's because their victims are scared of calling their shitty behaviour out due to ingrained politeness.

Hepsibar · 07/12/2019 19:36

That's ok, she can do all the washing up, clean the cooker, help take down the decorations, take stuff to the tip, housework, ironing ... as you will have been working so hard and will need a rest being pregnant.

Good luck with her and suggest dont make a Godparent if you are going to get your child christened.

TellMeWhoTheVilliansAre · 07/12/2019 19:40

I hear from DH that we are excluded from your gift list this year, despite housing you. As such I'm sure you'll agree it's only appropriate that I'm returning all the gifts I've bought for you and after Christmas I'm expecting you to start making plans to find your own accommodation."

Do people actually talk to each other like this? To family members?

Give her the gifts or don't (I'd lean towards don't, not because she's not getting you anything, but because what you've gotten for her is way over the top). But don't get into a song and dance about it. It is appropriate that you return the gifts you gig her, but inky because it was inappropriate to get them all to begin with. You don't need to explain to her that you "think it's appropriate" to return them.

And just ask her has she been looking in to houseshares yet. Next time she loses a house share don't jump in to save her. Maybe that way she'll actually learn how to be a reasonable housemate because she won't have any other option.

Bluetrews25 · 07/12/2019 19:48

Pfft. She's going to do all the cleaning, help you with the food prep, and do all of the washing up, right? Right?

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