Mindygirl1's picture

Christmas Gifts for the Step Kids....

I am very torn about Christmas gifts this year...Every year I make sure we are generous with y husbands kids...Every year we get the same thing - an ugly cheap picture frame with the grandkids in them. I have so many picture frames, my house cannot hold them. Did I mention they are UGLY? If we are giving them $200.00 in cash (and buying the grandkids separate gifts as well), don't you think they could atleast buy their dad something for $20-$30? They don't have to guve me anything. I just feel for my hubby. Last year step daughter went on and on about the expensive gift they gave their Mom...but gave dad another crappy $5 frame. I am not angry mind you I actually laugh at this each year. I just want hubby to feel better. He tries to act like it does not matter. I think I will give them a frame with a picture of Dad and me (Step Mom).... Yeah that would be great....

Mindygirl1's picture

Exactly...what is the point

Exactly...what is the point in the kids POINTING out how much they spend on Mom unless it is to make Dad feel bad??? I can't figure it out. Wait til they get the picture frame this year? I am going to say - Well bless your little hearts..I just knew how much you guys loves picture frames filled with family pictures....LOL

Bookmom's picture

That's so funny, and actually

That's so funny, and actually very appropriate. Sometimes people don't realize until they get a taste of their own medicine. It might actually change things in the future.

Jsmom's picture

Give them nothing - you can

Give them nothing - you can give grandkids toys, but give them nothing. A picture of the two of you would be nice and to the point. But, I would not give them a thing. My father cut my sisters off after he sent great gifts to his grandkids and never got anything or a thank you. Two Christmas's in a row and he cut them off...

sunbeam0901's picture

Exactly what I was thinking.

Exactly what I was thinking. Re-gifting at its finest!

steptwins's picture

Or a video clip of you & DH

Or a video clip of you & DH on cruise or some other event looking happy together

Mindygirl1's picture

Great advice from all of

Great advice from all of you....Thanks

Runninmom's picture

Christmas.... ahhhhh, Skids

Christmas.... ahhhhh, Skids always seem to suck the joy out of it! Each year we send the obligatory check, SD, SD hubby and 4 kids. In return i end up with a 10 dollar crappy shirt and my husband gets some socks. My son might luck out and get a pair of jeans and a top. Compared to what we give, i wish she would just send a card instead. I hate to sound like a "b" but seriously, we never wear what she sends or it falls apart after 2 washings. My husband tells her every year, please do not buy us anything (hint hint, take the 10 or 20 bucks and pay the electric bill instead, so we do not have to hear about how broke you are the week after christmas) but she somehow feels obligated to ship over this crap every year, in exchange for that big honkin check we send.

So we stopped sending the Skids money and this year i said to my husband "just grankids" and that is it. Over it and can't afford it, as i am the only one working. Of course they do not get that either, just me being cheap and not letting go of the wad of dads money in the bank.

A few months ago grandkid #2 calls a month before her actual birthday to see if she can get her gift (hint hint... check) early. So my husband says, yea whatever. But he got off the phone and we both thought when we get to it we get to it. Well did you know that her mother (SD) basically got mad because we did not send the check early and blamed me for being cheap!

It never ends!

Nana2's picture

This year SD is 18 and we're

This year SD is 18 and we're not getting her a darn thing. She was mouthy to us, disrespectful and all before she left to go to HS's house for a month and a 1/2 then off to boot camp in 2 weeks. She'll even be in the area for a week and told us she will not contact us and told us off. So guess what. SD get's nadda for Christmas. I don't have to reward that kind of behaviour and have no intention of getting her a damn thing. I feel good about it too. I'm glad we don't have to put out to a brat.

Don't feel obligated to give to SK's. If DH wants to get them something, let him do the work and you sit back and say nothing. They want to be cheap with you all, then be cheap back and give nothing. That's what I'm doing.

Wishing you luck!

Krispey Kreme's picture

We are very generous, we

We are very generous, we spend about $500 on each kid, cash and a few small things in their stockings. Our bios always really appreciate it and buy us thoughtful gifts. SD41 is in the habit of swinging by late Christmas morning to pick up her loot, then leaving. We usually get nothing from SD41 or SD41 may get DH some small re-gifted thing (or make 2-3 homemade cookies-just for him). SD41 usually snubs our bios too. SD41 got married right before last Christmas and drug new SIL along to collect his loot last year. SD41 even splurged last year and gave me a gift, a used hummingbird feeder and a box of nectar. Wow. You should have seen the grovelling fuss DH and MIL made-you'd have thought she gave me a chunk of gold! Made me want to puke! I guess SD41 doesn't want her new husband to know what a cold-heated piece-o-crap she is with regards to DH and his family. I don't even know what SD41's new last name is. Since BM and most of BM's family croaked and SD41 was an only child, DH and our bios (SD41's half-brother/half-sister) are the closest blood kin she has left. SD41 has an Uncle in the area and her ex-stepsiblings. Her step-father remarried, so she doesn't fit in over there anymore and she's too stupid to realize the people she's treated like crap all her life (us) are now all that she's got left. Karma is a bitch. I detached last year and let DH handle SD41/SILs gifts. He gave them money. I got cool stuff like usual for my bios stockings and the look of confusion on SD41's face was priceless. She made some little comment about her stocking (no cool stuff). When I say cool stuff I mean like gift cards for coffee shops/mani-pedis/massages or sephora gift cards, mini-perfumes, nice things. I'm detached now and looking forward to saying/doing nothing to/for SD41 and SIL this year. Detachment is my present to myself!

Resist we much! I can't control the way other people behave, I can only control my response to them.

Veteran stepmother and I have the scars to prove it....

forgotten wife's picture

41 and she still expects a

41 and she still expects a stocking?! Stop that crap.

Krispey Kreme's picture

LOL, I know! Its called

LOL, I know! Its called Guilty Daddy syndrome. We have always been in the habit all these years to make sure each kid got an equal amount of gifts, so no one (i.e. SD41) would feel slighted or left out. Of course SD41 never hesitated to slight all of us and leave us out every chance she gets. So we give Christmas stockings-with money and small nice gifts (and candy/nuts/stuff like that). I stopped that crap permanently for SD41 last Christmas. You should have seen her face when she dug into her stocking and it was all candy. I will still do this for bios, until I get some grandkids (none yet)-then I have told them that I'm ditching them and will gift my Grandkids. SD41 has no children and wants no children, she has a lot of pets instead. Thank God. It would be hard to watch SD41 destroy the soul of a small child like hers was distroyed by BM. My bios laugh and think this is fine. My bios aren't selfish, greedy little azzholes. I raised them to be decent human beings. I had no say in raising SD41 and there is a marked difference in her behavior and life choices.

Resist we much! I can't control the way other people behave, I can only control my response to them.

Veteran stepmother and I have the scars to prove it....

StepAside's picture

They are KIDS, come on now,

They are KIDS, come on now, surely you don't expect them to buy you anything.

These days I pick between Jack Squat and Jimmy Squat.

Smooth seas don't make great sailors.

20YearsAsAStep-Mom's picture

LOL. I like Jack Squat. Or

LOL. I like Jack Squat. Or how about Diddly Squat. Sticking out tongue

forgotten wife's picture

Only in their fathers' minds!

Only in their fathers' minds! My 40 year old "kid" has been giving me gifts since he really was a child. That's because we took him shopping for the "other" parent when he was old enough.

The problem with skids not getting gifts for their SM's lies squarely in the lap of their father. Shame on him for not expecting better and not making sure it happened.

Lady's picture

Before I disengaged me and my

Before I disengaged me and my daughter got the most stupidest gift's.Sd was sending a message to us (I Dont Like Y'all).Last year we got a 4.99 scarf in a box that said as seen on tv(it was army green)real pretty (yuck) and a small tester bottle of lotion that half of it was gone.Dh got all the expenise gifts and so did SD. We wont be have Christmas with her this year (THANKFUL). I never did use her half use bottle of lotion or took that ugly scarf out of the box.I knew me and my daughter was going to get something stupid from her so I saved her ugly gifts and I plan to mail her ugly gifts right back to her .This will be her present from me to her .I hope she gets my message that (I DONT LIKE HER!) Evil Eye-wink MERRY CHRISTMAS SD.

Not accepted

sandye21's picture

SD will get nothing from me

SD will get nothing from me as I have nothing to do with her anymore. When I look back at the presents I've received from her in past years (most of the time she gave nothing) I could interpret that as a demonstration of her dislike for me. I guess after a while disengagement DOES actually work - after almost two years I could care less, and there is absolutely no emotion, no anger at all. Amazing! Love it! Today DH asked where one of those pictures was that we got as a 'gift' one year. We had to supply the frame. I replied, "It's packed away somewhere but you are welcome to look for it." If he finds it he can hang it in the garage or some place I don't have to look at it. OR, as has happened in past years, it has been packed up when I pull out the Christmas ornaments, then the location of the picture is conveniently forgotten. LOL

dontcallmestepmom's picture

DH's kids barely speak to

DH's kids barely speak to him. Well, they text or email for money only. He has not given them a cent in over 18 months (they got out of control and he finally woke up).

They are 19, 20, and 23. So, they are adults and should not get anything in my opinion. They do not give DH cards or anything. Never a call to see how he is. Never wish him happy birthday. They are just so nasty.

However, DH feels he should send them something...so, they will each get a $50 gift card. That is it. That is what we did last year. I won't stop him from doing that, ever, but I will not give them more than that. Nothing is ever good enough, anyway. They have a habit of selling things, after they beg for them. One Christmas, before I met DH, he spent over 2 thousand (he saved his tax refund and got a bonus at work). They all complained about the things he bought, and sold them for almost nothing on Craigslist. I would not spend that much, even if they were nice.

Mindygirl1's picture

You know the difference

You know the difference between my kids (2 sons 28 & 29) and my step kids (30 & 32) is that both my sons will call and ASK what do my husband and I want or need for Christmas. Then they will go out and make sure they get us exactly what I ask for. They never leave their step dad out. They call him all the time and tell him they love him. They hang out with him when they can. I have learned to disengage several years back when my SD invited me to a family baby shower and she invited my hubbys ex-girlfriend to the party. It was pre-planned so that the ex-girlfriend could corner me and give me a piece of her mind...Did I mention that I had been married to hubby for 9 years at that point. He never ran around on her with me...so what was the point? Well they did not get a reaction out of me and I told the ex "Well bless your little heart...I am so glad you got over my hubby breaking up with you"... As i looked out into the other room, it was so uplifting to see all the dissapointed faces since there was not going to be a fight... Also very sad to know that my SD, her BM and others had orchestrated this to hurt me... Boy did she get an earful from her Dad. He told her neither he nor I would EVER be coming to another event she threw UNLESS we looked at the guest list beforehand....

Want my life back's picture

I will not participate in any

I will not participate in any gift buying, they will be getting sweet fcuk all from me.

Sweetnothings's picture

My skids do not contact DH

My skids do not contact DH much now at all, even the younger skid seems to be moving away as CS is ending, he still lives with BM so I can only imagine what skid has been told over the years !!

DH never gets even a card from them, for ANY occasion EVER !! He just sends them money now for THEIR Birthdays and Christmas, but apparently he doesn't care about getting anything back, he is jumping with joy if he gets a three lined memail from sd22, once in a blue moon!

The skids used to have two BIG Christmas celebrations, one with BM and one with us, complete with an obscene amount of gifts, I love Christmas, but now I am disengaged I will NEVER buy them anything ever again.... They just want the money.

StepAside's picture

My SD's live 4 hours away.

My SD's live 4 hours away. They have never graced our doorstep for Christmas or Thanksgiving ever. They'd never miss an opportunity to spend it at Grandma's or with their mother.

What does my DH say? That's just how it is. If I want to see them, we'll have to go there.

Regarding the birthdays and other occasions when they have blown him off, he has said that expecting anything from them is not the right thing to do. He usually won't admit that the snub hurt his feelings, because he doesn't want to risk me going into a full blown rant about how selfish, demanding and rude they are.

When he wants to give to them, even after they have shown absolutely no interest in having a relationship with him and have played RA games with me for 2 decades, he says one is not tied to the other. Giving to them is "the right thing to do".

My counselor has said that rewarding people for being assholes is signing off on their behavior. We are giving them permission to continue what they've been doing. Even Cesar Milan knows when to let a dog know that he does not agree with its behavior.

The thing is, nobody is every going to change if they keep getting a stamp of approval for their shitty behavior.

I don't agree with my DH's principle. I have argued with him over the years. He never listened. The outcome was predictable. As long as he's writing checks, they'll occasionally give two cents enough to pick up the phone. When he's not, he is forgotten.

Whatever, I don't imagine that being acceptable for me and my kids ever.

Smooth seas don't make great sailors.

lucy51's picture

After 20 years of giving, I

After 20 years of giving, I stopped last year. Now I only send things to the grandkids who have done nothing to hurt me. My step "kid" turns 50 this year and she doesn't have a generous bone in her body. My other step "kid" (turning 48) has been slightly better, but after the hell they've put me through, I'm so done.

Lucy

WSM wants peace's picture

Last Christmas, after DH made

Last Christmas, after DH made several months of house payments for SD, she came to Christmas dinner early to give us our gifts, school pictures of both grandchildren and a picture of SD and grand skids. No frames because I was told I was too picky with frames. I hadn't thought of me as picky but I guess black and/or white frames are very difficult to find!

forgotten wife's picture

and cheap.

and cheap.

jennaspace's picture

Wow, what a blessing!

Wow, what a blessing!

oilandwater's picture

I am hoping my SD saw the

I am hoping my SD saw the Dollar Store gift she got me 2 years ago, (all she gave me last year was attitude!)when she was going through the drawers in my bedroom last week! Yes, I am the evil SM who set traps to make sure I would know if she snooped...and YES she did! Busted! Note to self: I really need to clean out my drawers. Smiling

20YearsAsAStep-Mom's picture

Last few years I always get

Last few years I always get the same gifts.....pajamas or a small kitchen appliance, like a kettle or fry pan. PJ's don't even fit ever...it's like they walk by a display and grab the cheapest pair and then I have to return them to get the right size or style.

Last year I had surgery and was not able to wear pj's with pants, that is exactly what I received too. PJ's with pants that were way to small and would have hurt my surgical site had I even tried to put them on. Thoughtless and ignorant. This year I think I will leave it to DH to shop for his adult babies.

CailinSM's picture

I have gone out of my way to

I have gone out of my way to get good gifts for the skids... probably to my own fault... I love holidays, I'm a Christmas maniac, I do stockings for everyone including the adults and the whole nine yards... But ever since SD has moved in with us... this will be the 4th Christmas with her living here... I am *NOT* doing jack for them this year. My DH always gets them gifts, and then I usually do a stocking with lots of little beauty products etc and sometimes I get her a bigger gift as well... My SD and SS have never ever bought me a single gift or card for a birthday or Christmas, and even though SD lives with us, she has LITERALLY not even said happy birthday to me once and she freaking LIVES here. I'm not kidding. She has never once given me a gift of any type. Shes in her 20s and works full time, she has no excuse.

This isn't a money thing, I'm sure you guys understand... she could get me a .50 cents card and a $5 gift and that would be fine... it is the lack of appreciation or thanks of any kind in general...

The thing that hurts more is they actually are almost no better to their dad who has bent over backwards to help them in every way... he is only now starting to really open his eyes and start to see some of the things... he has no idea what has gone on behind his back that I am aware of and that I hide from him to save his feelings...

Last year, I got sick and tired of them not doing anything for his birthday or fathers day. I sent them gentle reminders along the lines of "Hey don't forget dads birthday is next month..." and "Hey just a reminder that dads birthday is next week, I'm sure he would love to hear from you...." etc.. Neither of them did ANYTHING for his birthday. So, because I saw how bummed he was, I wanted to make sure they did something for fathers day which was a month later... I actually gave my credit card number to SS and told him WHAT TO BUY, WHERE TO BUY IT, AND WHERE TO SHIP IT... I mean holy god how much more do I need to do? The funny thing is, he typed he ordered it super late so it cost me extra for last minute shipping, AND then he sent it to the wrong address and I had to pay extra again to have the address corrected... AND it ended up coming a few days late because of the address error.... I got into a huge argument with SS about it because I was really mad that I not only picked it out, found it online, AND gave him my credit card, but he couldn't even freaking be bothered to order it on time when I gave him 4 weeks notice... so then he told me "my sister and I are adults, we don't need you reminding us to send cards to our own DAD or helping us buy him gifts..." uhmm okay... fine... see how well you do on your own... The thing that REALLY bothers me is that DH loves the gift, has it featured in the dining room (its a sculpture type thing) and proudly tells anyone who comes over that his son got it for him...

This year, SS who lives with us said happy birthday on her way out the door. No card. No gift. For fathers day she got him a card and a bottle of 50+ Vitamins in a paper bag!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wanted to kill her.

His SS who is almost 30 and is employed full time, sent him a birthday card 2 weeks late, did not call on his birthday and did not send a fathers day card... no gift for either occasion. Again, it isn't about the money. It is the effort to show some kind of appreciation... My DH sends his son money several times a year to help him with expenses and SS rarely even calls to acknowledge and when he does, its after DH has sent him a text asking him to confirm the money didn't get "lost" in the mail...

Also they are the same as in I know they spend at least $100 on their mom for Christmas and always mention what they got her...

So, I'm really sorry for the rant... this is clearly an issue for me... lol... this year I'm not getting either one of them shit and I'm not going out of my way to do a thing for them... and I'm no longer covering for them on holidays or birthdays, if they want to be lazy a**holes towards their dad and he wants to continue splurging on them, I guess that is his fault...

sandye21's picture

I am glad to see you are not

I am glad to see you are not going to be so accommodating with the Skids. You were asked in another post if your SD was intellectually challenged. If she has a full time job and a driver's license she is capable of acknowledging her Father's birthday. I had a nephew who expected Christmas gifts from us when he was in his 30's but his Mother would always pull something out of her closet (that she didn't want - and neither did I) so he could give us a present. One year I told him we were not giving him a Christmas gift because we did not want him to feel obligated to give us one. After years of receiving nothing for my Birthday and most Christmases, I quit giving or reminding DH to give SD birthday gifts and cards.

Obviously, your Skids do not think enough of you or your Husband to give from the heart. It is also plain to see that you do not particularly like the Skids either so are you giving to them because you are either taking on what is DH's responsiblity to handle or you are trying to make them like you? (Believe me - I've been there!) You sound like a very giving woman but like the rest of us, have gotten frustrated and tired of the lack of reciprocation on Skids part. You will be doing a favor to not only the Skids and DH but to yourself if you stop catering to them, and let them do their share as adults. You are right, it's your DH's fault for not teaching them manners. It will be his responsibility to teach them about giving.

CailinSM's picture

I think it is that I treat

I think it is that I treat them the way I want to be treated, or I treat them the way I would treat them if we had a good relationship. I was excited about our "blended family" ... I actually don't have a problem with her living with us, IF she actively participated as a family member... I WANT to have a good relationship with her and every time I kid myself into thinking things might get better, I am reminded of why it isn't...