You could set your watch by this
It's so predictable. From Thanksgiving to Christmas and the month before her birthday SD will talk to DH almost daily whereas normally it's weeks or over a month between contact. It's obvious it's all about gifts because she won't give him the time of day in between.
She has responded nearly every time DH has reached out to her so far this month. Of course it's because DH has just been asking about what to get her for her birthday. He's already sent a few gifts and it seems like he's planning to send them every few days all month.
The thing is whenever he asks when he can come get her those messages get ignored or she avoids answering. If he asks her about what gifts she wants she will happily respond.
Her birthday is only a few weeks away and DH wants to see her. SD keeps putting it off and as of now she tentatively agreed to having lunch with DH the end of july. Until then she claims she is busy every single day. We'll see if this actually happens.
It's just annoying to watch DH act like SD suddenly wants a relationship with him again when in reality all she wants are presents. He's trying to buy her love and she's using him for gifts. He might get a FaceTime call on Father's Day. He usually does but SD tends to do these calls while out at dinner or some other event and she casually mentions whatever they are doing for her stepdad just to subtly rub it in.
He's sent her quite a few birthday gifts and I haven't seen any money coming out of his account which makes me wonder where the money is coming from. He told me he's been working on paying off credit card debt, maybe he has a bunch of credit limit he wants to use, ugh.