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Christmas Gifts from Skids

CastleJJ's picture

Christmases have always been weird with SS10. We didn't have him for a single Christmas until SS was 7 because our CO never outlined holidays and BM refused to give up holidays on the grounds that SS was used to her family traditions and he shouldn't have to miss them to see DH. When BM moved out of state in 2017, we demanded a holiday schedule and since we are long distance, those breaks are really the only time to see SS. Our holiday visitation equates to alternating spring break and Thanksgiving break and splitting Christmas break in half. So far, we have had SS for three Thanksgivings and two Christmases. This year, we had Thanksgiving, so we have the second half of Christmas break, starting the day after Christmas through New Years. 

Every year around this time, I talk to SS during his weekly calls with DH and I ask him what he wants to buy DH for Christmas. I then go out, buy it, and have SS sign the card when he gets here. It is too hard to have SS buy a gift himself because we don't normally get SS until a few days before Christmas or after Christmas and I don't do last minute shopping. HCBM has never helped SS buy Christmas gifts for DH. Today, during DH's weekly call, SS asks to talk to me alone. He tells me that BM and GF are going to help him buy a Christmas gift for DH but he has no idea what to get him and wanted my input. I was shocked and struggled to come up with anything. I told SS I would think about it and tell him during our next call later this week. Of course, SS did not ask what I wanted, nor did I expect him to. I am not acknowledged by SS for most gift giving occasions unless he is with us and DH helps him buy for me. BM and GF would rather bite off their own tongues than help SS acknowledge me and I have fully accepted this. 

BM has never helped SS get DH anything in almost 11 years - not for Father's Day, not for Birthday, not for Christmas, nothing. BM wouldn't even give DH the Father's Day crafts made at school or daycare; she just threw them out. We helped SS buy BM Mother's Day gifts for a few years before BM met GF. BM was still high conflict back then but DH thought it was important for SS, so we did it anyway despite the animosity. We stopped doing it when BM met GF and their relationship caused BM and DH's co-parenting to go to hell. We figured GF could do the shopping from then on. I wonder what has "changed" that is making BM help SS with gift giving this year. I told DH about the conversation and told him that we should give SS some small token ideas instead of what DH would really want (which are bigger ticket items) - a gift card to a fast food place so DH can buy himself lunch at work, a picture frame for his desk, something handmade, something small that would be appropriate given our relationship with BM and GF.

This change makes me nervous. We still have not heard back about the CS review and BM never emailed DH about any "issues" with our Thanksgiving visitation. Now this. It seems too quiet and friendly which scares me a little and makes me feel like the other shoe is about to drop. 


dragonfly878's picture

Probably because of the CS review she's trying to play nice? I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that it goes down... let her deal with the consequences of her actions...

CastleJJ's picture

That was my thought too. Although, during the call, it was SS and GF asking for ideas, not BM so it makes me wonder if SS is pushing to get DH a gift and GF is supporting it, not BM. Idk. 

advice.only2's picture

Maybe GF is seeing things in BM that for years she figured was a result of DH, or maybe stories BM told GF aren’t adding up as the years go by and GF is beginning to wonder why.  Maybe GF realizes if things go south for her and BM that she would be in about the same boat as DH.  Never being able to see the boy she helped raise and having to jump through hoops to try to get even a moment of time.  Maybe BM figures she’s getting this huge payday coming soon and told GF they will be able to afford X, Y or Z once she gets this CS increase so they are feeling generous.  Who knows the one thing you can know is you will never know the true motivation behind their actions. 

CastleJJ's picture

I know. I don't expect to ever understand the motivations behind BM's antics. I spent years trying to figure her out, but you can't figure out crazy. It's not worth my time or headspace. 

With BM, I prefer to stick to the status quo. I would love to just keep things exactly as they are until SS ages out in 7 years. When BM changes her behavior or starts playing nice, I always feel like we are waiting for the other shoe to drop. 

SeeYouNever's picture

Maybe SS has learned that you give gifts to people you care about and GF is a decent person. I doubt BM has anything to do with this.

Though when it comes down to it BM might find a way to prevent SS from actually giving anything to his dad. You'll have to let us know how it plays out.

ESMOD's picture

I think I would say that he wants a framed picture of his child... no way BM can go too off the rails with that... lol.  it isn't expensive and easy to do.  

I'm guessing at 10.. it's not like your DH needs him to get him some material item right? 

CastleJJ's picture

Oh absolutely not. We don't expect anything from SS at all so this is a surprise. DH just told me to tell him something small like that - a photo frame of SS, a handmade gift, etc. Nothing materialistic. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

There were a few years where the kids bought DH Christmas gifts from their school's Christmas market or made some sort of craft. The gifts were things like a #1 Dad mug, a homemade snow globe (hated throwing that away but the seal broke and leaked everywhere), a money clip, etc. DH displays the gifts on a shelf in our living room with the kids' pictures. 

Once they started doing that, I switched to getting DH a "family" gift from all of us. That way the kids could still get him something separate but there would be something from them and me that I helped facilitate (usually something bigger) in case ET was feeling spiteful or was broke.

Might be something to consider - a gift from both DD and SS or from all three of you. Takes away the pressure in case BM foils GF's plan but also doesn't spoil SS getting something separate for his dad. 

CastleJJ's picture

I bought a small gift today for DH. A little momento for his desk. I am wrapping it and setting it aside in case BM does foil SS' plan. If SS arrives with a gift, great, I will hold onto it for DH's birthday. If not, it is wrapped and only needs SS' name on the tag. I don't want SS feeling like he failed if BM prevented this from happening.