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    • Former MSE Wendy
    • By Former MSE Wendy 23rd Sep 08, 5:26 PM
    • 868Posts
    • 1,782Thanks
    Former MSE Wendy
    MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Should you continue to send birthday presents?
    • #1
    • 23rd Sep 08, 5:26 PM
    MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Should you continue to send birthday presents? 23rd Sep 08 at 5:26 PM
    Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:

    Should you continue to send birthday presents?

    Both you and your sister have 2 children each and you've always sent her kids a birthday card and a small present each year, yet for the last few years your sister has stopped sending anything to your children, even a card. She and her husband have never had a very high income, whereas you can comfortably afford to send yearly gifts. It's her daughters 13th birthday soon, what would you do?

    Click reply to have your say

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    Last edited by MSE Deborah; 23-09-2008 at 6:47 PM.
Page 1
  • DineshAdv
    • #2
    • 23rd Sep 08, 10:39 PM
    • #2
    • 23rd Sep 08, 10:39 PM
    I would still send gifts. Even if she and her husband aren't a great aunt and uncle doesn't mean you should be a bad aunt/uncle.

    Not having a high income isn't much of an excuse.
    • Thunderbird
    • By Thunderbird 23rd Sep 08, 10:46 PM
    • 612 Posts
    • 265 Thanks
    • #3
    • 23rd Sep 08, 10:46 PM
    • #3
    • 23rd Sep 08, 10:46 PM
    Yes, I should. My love to my family is unconditional!
    Be nice, life is too short to be anything else.
  • blueneon
    • #4
    • 23rd Sep 08, 11:14 PM
    • #4
    • 23rd Sep 08, 11:14 PM
    I have this situtation with my sister!!! BUT I still give her girls pressies at birthdays n xmas, coz they are still my nieces and I dont give to receive.
  • buzwad
    • #5
    • 23rd Sep 08, 11:16 PM
    • #5
    • 23rd Sep 08, 11:16 PM
    I don't think that a lower income couple who don't send cards and gifts are somehow "bad" relatives. The issue of how good the relationship is will be borne out in day to day life, not in annually sending an overpriced piece of paper through the post.

    In my opinion, if they are not sending things, it may be awkward if I were to. If the reason behind it is that they can't afford to do this, then I don't think I'd want to embarass them when their kids' birthdays come around.

    Martin didn't enlighten us on the rest of the family tree structure... if these are the _only_ two cousins (on one side at least) of my children, I think I'd make a bigger deal out of them than if I have many brothers and sisters and my children have many cousins. Personally (in real life), I have a LOT of cousins, so we tend to only send cards and gifts on the "big" birthdays or if we are with them at the time of their birthday.
    • Taffybiker
    • By Taffybiker 24th Sep 08, 4:22 AM
    • 917 Posts
    • 499 Thanks
    • #6
    • 24th Sep 08, 4:22 AM
    • #6
    • 24th Sep 08, 4:22 AM
    I would continue to send gifts but only for the next 3 years, until the child is 16. After that it would be "big" birthdays -18th, 21st etc.
  • fad1211
    • #7
    • 24th Sep 08, 4:52 AM
    • #7
    • 24th Sep 08, 4:52 AM
    i would stop being a mug and probably give cards only and stop the gifts. At the end of the day, your little ones would like to receive something from there aunt/uncle. I dont give to receive, and if my kids were to only receive a card, I would continue to get them cards and gifts. But if they cannot even give a card, for whatever reason, it just goes to show you and your kids are not highly valued or even appreciated.

    By looking at the above posts, seems as if i am the only one with these views, but hey thats my opinion.
  • Katyag
    • #8
    • 24th Sep 08, 6:05 AM
    • #8
    • 24th Sep 08, 6:05 AM
    I agree with you fad1211, we are in a similar situation. It was our DS2's 1st birthday last month and DH's brother totally ignored it. He also didnt acknowledge him being born or his christening so we have said enough is enough we arent being taken for mugs anymore so his daughter wont be getting anything for her birthday from now on. Not sure about christmas yet.

    We dont give to recieve but you feel taken for a total fool when you make an effort to look for a gift, wrap it, go to the post office to post it and they do nothing!

    Kids get so much these days are they really likely to notice one less gift??
    Bringing up 2 handsome boys and 1 gorgeous girl the MSE way!

    Joseph born 19th December 2001
    Matthew born 8th August 2007
    Tara born 23rd January 2011
    • Sheepster
    • By Sheepster 24th Sep 08, 6:14 AM
    • 112 Posts
    • 129 Thanks
    • #9
    • 24th Sep 08, 6:14 AM
    • #9
    • 24th Sep 08, 6:14 AM
    Depends on how well I know/get on with the kids, but I'd still send them if I could afford comfortably as it says. After all - it's not the kids fault their parents are self centred.
    • Dorrie
    • By Dorrie 24th Sep 08, 6:26 AM
    • 66 Posts
    • 46 Thanks
    My two sisters and myself have already discussed giving presents. For Christmas we no longer give our nieces/nephews presents, partly because of the problems of exchanging gifts when we don't live near each other (resent paying the Post Office a fortune to send actual presents through the post where you ending paying more for postage than you do for the present - and that's if it arrives at all!), and also because the sister that lives closest to me has three sons and I have two sons and a daughter, and we ended up buying virtually the same thing for each other's children (usually chocolate selection packs) so we decided a couple of years ago to stop.

    Birthdays, however, which are more personal, have continued, but only when the child in question actually acknowledges the gifts and says thank you! My eldest nephew is now 22 and niece is 21 - for the last few years I haven't sent my nephew a present, just a card, because he hasn't had the good manners to thank me! I know my (other) sister reminds him frequently, and I told her a few years back that as he had stopped saying thank you (and lets face it, how easy it is to send an email, which is all I was asking for) he would no longer get the present. My niece was 21 in June - and I actually visited them last week whilst she was there - and she has still not thanked me for the cheque I sent (which was cashed) - so she will no longer be getting any presents. I think that is fair enough. When we were growing up we had to write thank you notes virtually straight away and send them to relatives - it's just good manners.

    So, although it deviates slightly from the question, and it doesn't state how old the children involved are, I would still only send a card in this instance - income has nothing to do with it!
  • englishmac
    I would still send gifts. It is not the children's fault. I would possibly discuss it privately - they may not be aware of how you feel or how it looks. They could be in a dire financial situation and too proud to let anyone know. In my experience, it doesn't always have to be an expensive present but something chosen particularly for the individual. Kids don't understand the value of things; it is only if adults point out to them the high monetary value they take any notice.
    Cheap and cheerful. Preferably free. LBM - more a gradual rude awakening.
    DFD where the light is at the end of this very long tunnel - there, see it? Its getting brighter!!

    DFW Nerd Club Member no. 946. Proud To Be Dealing With My Debts.
    • Lucyeff
    • By Lucyeff 24th Sep 08, 7:02 AM
    • 839 Posts
    • 785 Thanks
    We're on a tight budget but I get my kids to make cards or we do them on the PC or just do homemade ones with a bit of card and glue and cut outs from magazines if we're skint. In fact, the people who know us best prefer the home made ones!

    It shows you care! There's no excuse for no card at all. Presents are another story if your skint. Although we make buns or fudge instead. So maybe there's no excuse for no presents either.

    It's the gesture and thought rather than what's been spent.

    If they're not bothering it's possibly nothing to do with money and more because they can't be bothered. In which case it's probably worth having a chat about not bothering with presents any more for them. I know it's not the kids faults but the parents should be encouraging kids to be nice to folk, even if it is making them things as gifts. Otherwise the one who's giving all the pressies can look a bit of a fool.
  • jonven
    Yes I'd still send a card and present, I can understand them not sending a present if they haven't a lot of money but I think they could afford a cheap card at least but I wouldn't take it out of their kids I would still carry on sending something to them
    Penny Pinching Pauline
    • victoriajj
    • By victoriajj 24th Sep 08, 7:18 AM
    • 88 Posts
    • 1,002 Thanks
    Even on a low income they could afford to send a card, so if they don't even do this then I would stop sending presents.
    • bigpat
    • By bigpat 24th Sep 08, 7:24 AM
    • 266 Posts
    • 134 Thanks
    Your gift (if you give it) is to your neice, not to your sister. This sort of retaliation will only lead to bad blood and family is much too important for that. I would defintely keep giving the presents as long as I could afford to.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 24th Sep 08, 7:25 AM
    • 8,589 Posts
    • 30,243 Thanks
    How I agree with those posters who talk about good manners and saying "thank you". We've stopped sending presents to various nephews and nieces who've received generous gifts in the past and never bothered to acknowledge them. After all, how much does a postage stamp, a phone call or an e-mail cost. I think it's very much a symptom of this materialist age where kids expect so much and take it all for granted.
    • LoveLifeAgain
    • By LoveLifeAgain 24th Sep 08, 7:26 AM
    • 181 Posts
    • 315 Thanks
    I would still send a card and a modest present. They could and should send a card to mine, but their children cannot be blamed for their parents shabbiness, so I would carry on.
    • bigpat
    • By bigpat 24th Sep 08, 7:29 AM
    • 266 Posts
    • 134 Thanks
    He also didnt acknowledge him being born or his christening so we have said enough is enough we arent being taken for mugs anymore so his daughter wont be getting anything for her birthday from now on.

    We dont give to recieve
    Originally posted by Katyag
    It sounds very much like you DO give to receive, even if you wont admit that to yourself. Why else would you take it out on the child for what the parent fails to do?
  • cotsvale
    My children have 3 aunts and uncles.
    1 Very poor, 1 middle income, 1 on £600,000+ per year
    Not only do they all forget my 2 children they forget me too. I'd be happy with an email - just to be remembered.

    I decided I wanted to send because I love my nieces and nephews all 5 of them, but I do have a limit. I send until they are 18 and then again at 21 for birthdays and up to age 18 at Christmas. I only send a tenner as that is all I can afford and £20 at 18 and 21.
  • LittleEarner
    I'm 26, but as a kid, I only got presents from a few of my aunts/uncles. I usually thanked them (at least I hope I did). When I reached 18, the family agreement was to stop gifts, which I definitely agree with. Regardless of the financial position of my family, my parents still bought gifts until my cousins reached 18. However, this was not reciprocated by all of the aunts/uncles.

    There are card shops where you can buy a card for 69 pence, or you can make something or even do something with the child in question. So a poor financial situation is no excuse, particularly when the thought counts.

    One of my aunts was usually tight for cash, and she made one of my favourite dinners for me or a jar full of penny sweets as a present. I loved it! Another aunt completed ignored my brother and I.

    Birthdays, however, which are more personal, have continued, but only when the child in question actually acknowledges the gifts and says thank you!
    Originally posted by Dorrie
    This is an excellent rule, encouraging good manners. I like the idea!

    Last edited by LittleEarner; 24-09-2008 at 8:05 AM.
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