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Christmas Presents for Skids

FrustratedandLost's picture

Ok, so I have a question. For the past ten years that I've been with DH, I have been the one that has went out and purchased presents for the SKids for their birthdays and christmas's. My SO has never gone out and purchased a birthday card or christmas card or gift for his kids. This year, I haven't said anything to SO regarding what he wants to get for his kids. My oldest SD, doesn't talk to her dad unless she needs something. Youngest SD, keeps in touch with her dad but doesn't live with us anymore, due to going to school 2 1/2 hours away. I know for a fact that the youngest SD asked her dad what he wanted for christmas but hasn't and doesn't ever say anything to me. So, I have decided to not say a damn word to him about what he wants to give his kids for christmas and see if he makes the effort this year. So far he hasn't said anything about what to get his kids. I honestly don't give a darn if they get something or not. Tell me, do the spouses out there that don't have bio kids and are married to divorced spouses with kids, feel like it's their responsibility to get presents for SO kids? This year, I am not doing anything for them. Bad attitude, I know but this year, I just don't care. Anybody else feeling like this this year? Thoughts, comments?  


GrudgingSM's picture

I really don't feel like this is your responsibility. So often women get tasked with these family issues when there's no reason for it to be their thing. Because all the kids are younger in my situation right now, each bio parent is responsible for their own bio, but we also each buy one step present, so my partner buys one present for my kid, and I buy a small present for each of his. We've agreed that in the future when kids are older we stop buying those step presents and bio parents are responsible for bio children and we put both our names on the presents.

I think it's one of those things where there's no absolute right or wrong. There's what works in each situation and what people feel comfortable with. If you don't want to be doing this task, then don't do it.

shellpell's picture

It's not your responsiblity! When skid was young and I didn't have my two yet, I would get him something small like a t-shirt, but that was in addition to what his dad got him. Now that he's older, I just let DH handle things.

tog redux's picture

No, I never felt like it was my responsibility - DH took care of that.  Or if I did help, it was because I wanted to, not because he expected it. 

JRI's picture

I have 2 bios and 3 SKs.  Since they were raised together, i got each the same # of gifts, totaling the same amount.  DH was kind of a 50s-era  dad and we had a mostly traditional division of work, ie, I shopped for the gifts altho we discussed them.  Nowadays, I give cash.

But somewhere along the line, I realized I needed to do less at Christmas and cut back.more each year.  DH didn't seem to care and I was happier.  

YSS had always been DH's fave and in those days, he, wife and 3 daughters traveled here for Christmas altho they stayed with BM.  Suddenly, DH was taking more interest in the holiday plans.  We had already planned for the older girls' gifts when he called YSS asking what to get youngest SGD.  YSS told him she wanted that year's popular doll.  Our local store was out and I planned a substitute but that wouldn't do.  I washed my hands of it.  He called around and found a store 50 miles away that still stocked it.  So there he went on a terrible stormy night, riding off to get that doll.

I do have to give him credit, though.  Lots of men his age just did not get involved with kids gifts.  But once the gkids came, he plunged in and helped shop for them.

SeeYouNever's picture

My DH usually wouldn't buy gifts for SD until I bought her some and he decided that whatever I got her was insufficient. That really made me feel great. Whatever I got he would have to outdo. Of course when SD got her gifts he got credit for all of them.

CLove's picture

My mother has always pointed out that a gift is a gift and its what YOU want to give.

But shes never lived in stepland.

Last year SD22 Feral Forger ruined Christmas with her narcissistic behavior, temper tantrums. I still have her $1oo. a few months later in March, I took her out for her birthday and sent presents and orchestrated a nice dinner with her and her father. 

A few months ago she wanted to move in with us because she was arguing with her mothe, Toxic Troll who she lives with. Husband said no, she needs to work things out, she would have the same issues with us. Plus what he didnt say was that we dont have the room. I took it over completely.

So she texted him "you are not my dad, Clove took you away from me, now you are just the sperm donor. Your just someone that gives me a hug once a year and some $$" Then proceeded to text me something similar, with added accusations and insults and attacks. Not going to engage with her this year. No $$ for her. No presents.

SD15 earlier this year I purchased 400-600 worth of items plus an art workshop. She activated her mother Toxic Trolll against me plus I found out she tells her mother personal information about us. Im still waffling, and will probably give her the standard cash-in-a-card.

ESMOD's picture

My husband is not a great gift giver.. to his kids.. to me.. to his parents.  I am the gift coordinator of our household.. and only recently has my DH actually realized it was hurting my feelings when he wouldn't try to get something for me for "the holidays"... birthday christmas.. etc.. 

I do kind of take the lead on sending out "something" to people we sort of are obligated to send something to.  Like my dad, his parents, his daughers and his grandkids.  I don't go overboard at all.. under 100 each for sure.. many times under $50/person. I don't view it as from me as my effort.. it's just that i'm good at it relatively speaking... my dh isn't and would end up blowing more money on crapola at the last minute if I didn't have something already taken care of.

Cover1W's picture

I opted out of all gift giving help with YSD this year. I went from helping DH buy gifts, to picking some out and giving ideas to him, to giving just ideas to him and now to nada. Last year he bought her ALL of the suggestions. WTH?  No. She complained this year that she doesn't want a lot of "stuff" and refused to tell him what she would like. I got her standard PJs and a donation in her name to an environmental group. My aunt got her a donation to a women's support group. I think my sister didn't get her anything this year....DH told me he got "a bunch of board games."  Ugh. She hasn't wanted to play a board game all this winter and I dread to see how many he bought. I smell a whiff of desperation....

I've not got OSD so much as a card since she PAS'd out.  DH usually gets her something though....she, from what we heard, either throws it out or ignores it (like an online gift card).

Survivingstephell's picture

It's the best when you drop the stuff you don't need to own onto the man who needs to own it.  Gifts for his kids is something he NEEDS to own.  And don't forget for one second and let him guilt you into HIS failure to plan this.  Pour a drink, pop some corn and sit back and watch the show.   Also have handy the reminder that you were just following his lead on this.  This is your year to dump this unappreciated job.  Make it stick.  

ndc's picture

I buy the skid gifts in our household.  DH and I talk about and decide together on their "big" gift, but I am the one who makes sure it's purchased and under the tree, and I also buy the smaller gifts and fill the stockings.  However, my skids are 6 and 9, they're with us half the time, I have a good relationship with them and they always either buy or make me a gift.

In your situation, I would just leave it to your husband.  It doesn't sound like the skids do a thing for you at the holidays, so it shouldn't be your responsibility to make sure they're taken care of.

TheAccidentalSM's picture

If you were feeling really generous, you could give your DH a heads up that you are going to be far too busy this year washing your hair/feeding the homeless/working/etc to manage the gift purchasing and could he be a love and pick up this household responsibility.

I give the SSs cash in an envelope but to be fair to them, they always get me a gift.  They get me pretty much the same thing every year, OSS - coffee table book on fashion designer, MSS - Yankee candles that his GF got free from work (she's a brand manager so has lots of free stuff).  Normally the yankee candles get regifted or go to charity.  I keep the fashion books  This year GF has changed product lines to being in charge of fowl.  I really hope they don't give me a turkey.  *blum3*

bertieb's picture

I bought step grandkids some clothes this year and have left toys to DH. They are super hard to buy for. 2 girls 12 and 11 and a boy 7. They all have  never wanted anything particular, we are told Legos by SS every #$@ year for the last 8 years and hotwheels for GS. One year I picked out a nice basketball pop a shot for them and SS left it at our house so we eventually took it to Goodwill. That was my last waste of toy money on them. All they do is play anime video games now. DH is stressing about their gifts, and I am just letting him. They don't come around except for birthdays and Christmas anyway so no wonder we don't know what to give.

Felicity0224's picture

I handled any and all gift giving for my SDs and in-laws since the second year H and I were dating. H is a very generous gift-giver, but does not have a clue what to buy for young girls. 

When OSD turned 16 and we gave her a car, I went over the top making her favorite meal, which takes 10+ hours to prepare, and spent $300 having the car professionally detailed to the point that it looked like new. Three days later she threw an epic tantrum about some perceived injustice and ALL of her complaints were about how I never cared about her, never did anything for her, etc. So I swore that I wouldn't be involved in any more gift giving for her. Then in October, YSD participated in a huge drama about me getting extremely sick and H having to skip taking them to a haunted house because he needed to take care of DD. So I was done with her too. 

When Christmas rolled around, I relented because I wanted them to have a nice Christmas and so I bought all their gifts, spending about $800 on each of them. The following day they ranted and raved about how unfair it was that DD got so many more gifts than they did (for reference, DD was 6 and she did have more things to open, but her gifts were far less expensive and I spent half as much on her as I did them). So at that point I was really done.

Last year I didn't do anything for them for Christmas besides buy their matching pajamas and that was because DD asked me to. They came over Christmas morning for breakfast and to watch DD open gifts and the only thing they received were the ornaments DD had made for them. H was very surprised that I'd not shopped for them (even though I told him months in advance that I wouldn't), and so he ran to the ATM in a panic and gave them each $500 cash. It hasn't come up this year, but hopefully he's better prepared. I didn't give them anything for either of their birthdays so I think he probably knows I'm not going to change my mind.

Incidentally, I do still do all the buying for my in-laws. But they're lovely people who have treated DD and I better than H and my SDs have, so I don't mind.