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Not acknowledging gifts


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#1 gracie1978

Posted 28 December 2019 - 09:56 PM

I sent a birthday gift and a Christmas gift to my nephew this year.

I haven't had any acknowledgement for either.  Don't need a huge thank you or anything, just confirmation that they arrived would be good.  Have tried asking SIL and just got no reply.

She started the tradition of posting Christmas and Birthday gifts as my son is older.  I did confirm before Christmas this year that should we just sent kids christmas gifts but not bother sending new baby gifts to each other next year.  She agreed quite happily.  They didn't send anything for my son this year for birthday or Christmas.

He is my only nephew and aside from my Mum's sister and her husband all my other Aunts and Uncles are hopeless.  Three of them I haven't seen or spoken to in 20 years.  So even though I live in another country, I want to be the Aunty that remembers his birthday and sends something at Christmas.

I don't want to bring it up again as I think I'm starting to look crazy.  Maybe they just don't have capacity to do it anymore and don't want to have the conversation.  As much as I love buying him two little presents each year, I don't want to keep it up if I'm annoying them or making them feel bad.  I'm also happy for them not to send something over for my son.  

Also, not a money issue, they live somewhere with very low living expenses and have done very well for themselves.

So EB, what do I do?

#2 Mooples

Posted 28 December 2019 - 10:00 PM

If you like doing it, keep doing it. You say you’re happy not to receive anything so as long as you have no expectations keep going with it. I’m sure your nephew appreciates it.

One of my aunties sent something for my kids for Christmas so my mum sent her granddaughter something little too. None of the others did so likewise my mum didn’t send them anything either.

#3 Riotproof

Posted 28 December 2019 - 10:01 PM

How many weeks now?
I would not worry. Send gifts if you want to.

#4 gracie1978

Posted 28 December 2019 - 10:02 PM

 Riotproof, on 28 December 2019 - 10:01 PM, said:

How many weeks now?
I would not worry. Send gifts if you want to.

36 on Monday, so bored.

#5 Mollyksy

Posted 28 December 2019 - 10:10 PM

36? With twins? And another bigger one?! Yaay you! And same as OP. Just keep doing it. How old is nephew? Maybe bypass SIL and talk to him when old enough. Bonus is you'll get direct (and likely unfiltered!) Present feedback so can get more idea on presents!!

If its a SIL, then is the blood relative your brother? Talk to him?

#6 Kallie88

Posted 28 December 2019 - 10:16 PM

If you want to be someone that remembers him at birthday and christmas maybe just send a card? I mean if you want to nobody's stopping you, but if it made you worry that it was unwanted in some way, maybe a card would be a nice gesture instead

#7 seayork2002

Posted 28 December 2019 - 10:17 PM

I send gifts when i want too and don't when i don't, whether they have 'money' ie 'rich' does not come into it.

Sometimes i find the perfect present for that particular person sometimes becasue they send me something, sometimes becasue i just feel like it

#8 littlepickle

Posted 28 December 2019 - 10:18 PM

I buy birthday and Christmas gifts for my Neice and Nephew who are both too little to respond themselves but it will often take my family member 3-6 weeks to respond that they arrived. I select things that fit with their parenting choices - organic clothing, wooden toys etc. they live in another country.
They do not buy for our kids( or call on their birthdays)
I enjoy selecting gifts for them and it is my way of feeling connected when I cannot physically be there.

It’s the neices and nephews who couldn’t even say thank you on Christmas Day ( in the same room) that really makes me mad.

#9 Bam1

Posted 28 December 2019 - 10:19 PM

Gift giving doesn’t have to be tit for tat - gifts should be given freely without expectations. Be the Aunty you want to be and let your relatives be who they want to be.

#10 Riotproof

Posted 28 December 2019 - 10:20 PM

 gracie1978, on 28 December 2019 - 10:02 PM, said:

36 on Monday, so bored.

You have done so well. Bravo.

Greys anatomy.

#11 Tinky Winky Woo

Posted 28 December 2019 - 10:25 PM

I don't mind buying for others but have stopped doing do as I actually did get a bit sick of never even receiving a "thanks' even a quick text.  But then hearing the people gush over things other people gave to them - kind of felt like my gifts were not important or not wanted.

#12 ipsee

Posted 28 December 2019 - 10:26 PM

I would at least keep sending cards for birthday and xmas, or small gifts, and maybe pictures of your kids. Your nephew will appreciate it. Your SIL probably will too - may be they are just disorganised/busy with kids.

#13 T2Mum

Posted 28 December 2019 - 10:46 PM

Is it possible they are decluttering and trying to discourage gifts? Perhaps try a card / email instead.

#14 gracie1978

Posted 28 December 2019 - 10:56 PM

I think a card with some pictures in it is a lovely idea.

Maybe I will scale the presents down to under $20

There is no way they're decluttering.  Also I've been sending practical things as well as small gifts e.g clothes the next size up in the right season.

I do wonder if the birthday gift from earlier this year (that was sent via the grandma's house) wasn't clearly handed over as being from us.  She has form and that could have started the whole thing...

I might just use registered post and at least I'll know it's arrived.

#15 eponee

Posted 28 December 2019 - 10:57 PM

 Bam1, on 28 December 2019 - 10:19 PM, said:

Gift giving doesn’t have to be tit for tat - gifts should be given freely without expectations. Be the Aunty you want to be and let your relatives be who they want to be.

It's not a tit for tat thing - the OP just wants some kind of confirmation/acknowledgement that the gifts were received

#16 -Emissary-

Posted 28 December 2019 - 11:00 PM

Hmm a tricky one.

I do know how you feel. I’d want to continue sending the gifts but would also hesitate and wonder if it’s annoying the SIL. EB has taught me that sometimes people can be pretty precious about the presents their children get.

Is this your brother’s wife? Could you maybe ask him discreetly?

Do you do FaceTime with the nephew at all? Maybe schedule one and ask if he likes his gift...

Edited by -Emissary-, 28 December 2019 - 11:01 PM.


#17 gracie1978

Posted 28 December 2019 - 11:12 PM

No it's DP's brother and his wife, the brothers aren't close and don't really talk that much.

I'd like the cousins to FaceTime, will try and organise it with SIL next year

It's so tricky, I sent something similar at the same time to my cousin and she replied with a thank you and photo of him playing with it.  I typically try and do the same.  But she's family I grew up with (our Mums are sisters) so we are very similar.

I never did thank you cards after DS was born, wasn't doing so well just after and hadn't kept track of who gave what and the thought of collecting addresses and getting cards printed and posted, seemed as achievable as landing on the moon to me at that time.  I imagine it will this time as well.  I heard later that one of the inlaws friends was very offended.  I pointed out to SMIL that there was nothing stopping DP who hadn't had major surgery from scribbling out a thank you note.

It could be a mental health issue and only the urgent and important is getting done at the moment.

Appreciate the responses :)


#18 Ellie bean

Posted 29 December 2019 - 12:05 AM

Can you organise it/ make contact via your DP’s brother? Do you have to go via SIL? Gotta admit I have backed off and these days i take care of my side of the family and leave DHs relatives to him (he knows this), that means only my family have received thank yous for gifts this Christmas and not his, I’m probably being blamed but it’s on DH not me!

#19 27plus

Posted 29 December 2019 - 12:15 AM

I would expect a simple thank you by text, email, phone.

I have sent gifts to nephews/nieces and have met with silence. Appreciation for a gift does not mean you are close.

To me it is an acknowledgment they received and appreciated the thought (even if they didn't like it, (which doesn't matter).

#20 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 29 December 2019 - 06:46 AM

I forgot to let SIL know that a gift arrived earlier this year. DH was super busy and I didn’t tell him either I suspect! There was a lot going on and I just forgot.

#21 marple

Posted 29 December 2019 - 07:02 AM

Registered post is a good idea. Good luck with the twins!!

#22 Hands Up

Posted 29 December 2019 - 07:05 AM

I’d leave it to your partner next year. A thank you or acknowledgement is not too much to ask though!

#23 JomoMum

Posted 29 December 2019 - 09:21 AM

A quick “thank you, he loves the present!” text isn’t too hard. At the very least, as you say, the sender then knows that it was received and not lost in the post.

We have relatives on my Dads side of the family who send presents for DS’s birthday and Christmas every year, they’ve actually never even met him. But anyway.  I send a nice text every time with a photo. They never have replied though. Once I decided not to bother since I assumed they either weren’t getting them or didn’t care. You can bet they called my Dad to find out why we didn’t thank them for the present though ...

#24 Kreme

Posted 29 December 2019 - 12:01 PM

I think when you send something through the post or order online it should be acknowledged, just so you know it arrived.

I stopped sending birthday gifts to my godson because they were never acknowledged by his parents. His mum is always on social media so it would have been easy to do. I was resenting it so I just stopped.




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