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Step Families & Christmas Presents

still waiting's picture

This isn’t step parent related, but I have a dilemma with my step- sister and her daughter (age 13) and Christmas presents.

Every year, I send a gift for my step-niece. I have never once gotten any acknowledgment from my step-sister or step-niece of the gifts I’ve send. Nothing. Only when I’ve been home for Christmas and actually spoken to them have I gotten any sort of thank you.

I have very little to do with either of them (my dad remarried when I was 29. My step-sister was about 20 at the time and already had a 2 year old daughter). My step-sister and her daughter have lived with my dad and step-mom off and on and I’ve mostly seen them them.

Instead of getting a Christmas present for my step-sister, I’ve always gotten something for her daughter. For the past few years, I’ve gotten her gift cards for Borders, but now they’re out of business. I don’t have kids of my own (only my boyfriend's 22 and 26 year old sons), so I don’t know what’s “cool” for kids now.

I’ve thought of it as a donation to the needy since my step-sister is chronically unemployed and her daughter struggles in school (why I’ve sent the Borders gift cards).

A few weeks ago when I talked to my dad and I asked if there was anything step-niece needed for Christmas, he said he’d get back to me. A few days later, I get an email from my step-mom suggesting I get a gift card to Hollister. I had no idea what this was, looked at their site and my blood was boiling. I never get any sort of thank you’s and yet I’m suppose to get her clothes to some trendy clothing place???

I don’t want to make waves. I’m pissed off about being taken for granted. I’d love to not send anything, but if I do, then I’m sure that will lead to more whining and complaining from my step-mom about how downtrodden they are and how fortunate I am to have a career and be childless and how it makes it seem like I want them to grovel in gratitude for spending money on them.

liks's picture

Send them a card with a letter and a little pic of you.....

In the letter apologize for not sending anything but you have had a little bit of bad luck lately and just cant afford it....

Hopefully you can send something real soon.....

luv xxxes your step sis...

Now...see what she writes back - if ever....

(or you could say you ordered something on line for them and it hasnt yet soon as it does youll send it) LOL....

the_stepmonster's picture

I would just not send anything. If they never say thank you, you don't really want to, and are only doing it out of obligation, I say just don't do it. I can understand when the kids are little and its almost fun to buy them something but once the kid hits their teens its just stressful. Save yourself some cash and buy yourself something instead.

planningMyEscape's picture

I wouldn't send anything. BUT, if I did send something, I would not send a giftcard to Hollister!!! What about a GC to barnes & noble?

still waiting's picture

They don't have a B&N near them. I was thinking Amazon, but you can buy anything there. Perhaps sending nice books of my choice? At least then it would be a gift but not trashy clothes.

I do worry about what kind of future my step-niece will have.

hbell0428's picture

That would get to me too......Send an Amazon one; if you don't get a thank you this time.....I would think you are off the hook for sure this time

Delilah's picture

The thing is, I too would get annoyed at the lack of graciousness and acknowledgement of the gift cards however the fact you continue to give KNOWING this is how they are, and are getting more annoyed about it doesnt make sense to me.

Stop giving to her. Ofcourse she should say thank you, thats good manners. If someone doesnt, you have two choices 1) stop and if anyone says anything about it, mention the lack of manners 2) continue giving and accept with grace that your generousity isnt going to be acknowleged. To me its silly continuing down the same path year in out while expecting a different outcome. NOT going to happen.

I can also appreciate why you are annoyed at the suggestion of this new store, particularly as its not exactly a dollar store BUT you ASKED what she wanted! So she told you. You know she hasnt got great manners and has zero consideration - so what did you expect? That she suggested you donate to charity on her behalf? Nope, shes going to think whats right for her not what you can afford. Again lack of thought on her behalf.

Personally, if you do want to give something to your step sisters child then ignore the suggestion and give her something affordable (btw, even if you did get the suggested departments gift card you dont have to get an expensive one, she should be appreciative of what she gets!)

thefunmommy's picture

Donate in her name to a charity. Send a card stating such. Donate to a tutoring or job training program if you like, since those seem to be their problems. But that's just what I would do }:)