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Mean uncle and aunties during Christmas

  1. #1
    vbel is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Mean uncle and aunties during Christmas

    Really disappointed this Christmas with my kids' uncles and aunties. We've always given our nieces and nephews laisee money for their christmas presents every year but this year my kids received none from their parents. Christmas is a time for giving especially for kids (they're only 3 and 5 yrs old).

    My husband was not happy with his sister - she gave us a small box of Agnes B chocs with a music box at the bottom and said that was for the kids and us. I don't thinks toddlers are interested in this type of pressie. She even had the heart to give her own mother 2 packs of healthy rice as a gift - weird or what. Last year she wasn't any better either.

    My brother and his wife (who do not have kids of their own) were too busy to buy any pressies at all but were free to go on holiday!

    These set of uncles and aunties are pretty well off and can afford branded goods, holidays several times a year and when it comes to Christmas which only happens once a year they are so so mean! Even our maid and less well off uncles and aunties of our kids were able to give our kids pressies - it's not the value but the thought that counts.

    My husband was thinking about getting just a box of chocs for his sister next Christmas to see how she feels - her kids are alot older - 14 and 16yrs olds and they do not show much gratitude.

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    i, personally, think that it is christmas (yes, a time of generosity) BUT you should be thankful that (1) you have a family and (2) they thought of anything at all.

    it should NOT be about what you get, but that people thought about you.

    i would not have a problem if auties and uncles didn't get anything at all.

    as a matter of fact, my kids don't get anything from their paternal grandparents for birthdays OR christmas. It was just not a big deal for my hubby growing up and so, it isn't a big deal for them now. it doesn't mean that they don't love my kids, it means that christmas isn't a big deal to them.

    i think that you should stop adding up who got what and be thankful you got anything.

  3. #3
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
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    Feb 2008

    I agree in principle with Carang, but if you celebrate Christmas with family members and you exchange gifts (to whatever extent), I think it's nice to give something to your family's children, no matter how small. Whether it's a cute pen, some stickers, some bubbles, a chocolate Santa, a little book, something that shows that you have thought about them. It doesn't have to be big, it doesn't have to be expensive at all, but something that shows that you remembered them them, especially your nephews and nieces. Something that shows that you have made a small effort.

  4. #4
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    South District

    Hi vbei, understand your disappointment but perhaps theyve forgotten the importance of Christmas for young kids? since...1) has teenagers and the 2nd doesn't have kids. It's normally people with young kids that remember...because we have to if you know what I mean...I wouldn't take it personally. Perhaps next year you could organize a small dinner fathering with family and remind them that the kids will be opening presets that day so nit to be late...?!? Hopefully they will be reminded in a nice way to bring a gift for the kids.

  5. #5
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009

    When I was growing up, my one living grandparent NEVER bought me anything for my birthday or Christmas even though we celebrate together. My mother comes from a large family and is the youngest so I literally have at least 6 older aunts and uncles and many cousins. We never got much for Christmas from them--really hit and miss--even though we celebrated together and I was quite close with many of them. Then I had a very strange uncle who would give us gifts from the second hand store (not that there is anything wrong with something just because it's second-hand) but like seriously weird and suspect. My brother got a dingy wallet one year with an opened condom in it (and he was like 8-years-old) and I got a hair drying contraption from the 50s that smelled awful (I was 11-years-old). We smiled politely and thanked him for the gifts and then later we had to dispose of them secretly because....well... I still laugh about those memories.

    Y'know, I think the best solution is to not have expectations of people at the holidays. Make it a point to celebrate with people who do celebrate and do give gifts if that's important to you. This year our family was blessed to be part of a holiday party with a gift exchange and one nice older friend of ours was kind enough to give our children some really nice toys. She didn't have to and we were truly touched by that. My own mother who loves and adores my children sent us absolutely nothing for them for Christmas. Am I disappointed? Do I feel like they should be? Not at all. To us, Christmas is a lot more than gifts. Sometimes it's better to just prepare your children and say, "Now, this isn't going to be a gift-getting time...that's later" and then make it a point to get together with some friends with children your child's age and do a gift exchange--that way your children learn the joy of both giving and receiving. For us we really don't want our children to be obsessed about getting gifts at Christmas. This year they each got three small practical gifts (gloves, water bottle, hair clips, book) and one larger toy--that's it and I think that was really plenty for them--anything beyond that was just icing on the cake.

    Just my two cents...

    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  6. #6
    charade is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    I know it's upsetting when you make a big effort and others don't reciprocate but I wouldn't let that negativity spoil the spirit of Christmas for you and your family. Christmas is not just about presents. When I think back to Christmas a kid, I can't really recall whether I got presents from relatives - I vaguely remember there were cash gifts but that only registered when we were older and my mum let us pool the cash and buy a toy. My parents did give us a gift - just one toy and some sweets in a stocking. What stands out for me when I remember Christmas as a child is - a) church (and choosing a balloon from this balloon guy after church... which I think I found more exciting than the present waiting at home) b) big family lunch, yummy food and romping around with my cousins. So there are other Christmas traditions that you could create for your family that will make it a special day for your kids, and often the things we prioritise as adults are not the ones kids do. If there were relatives who didn't give us a gift, I don't even remember.

    Something I have realised recently is that the tit-for-tat approach can be counter-productive - the person you're trying to make a point to probably won't get it, and you have adopted exactly the behaviour you disliked in the other person. Thus, by not giving your nieces/nephews a nice gift, you will have become exactly the mean aunty/uncle which you don't like in the first place. Of course, if you're stretching yourself financially to give that gift, then don't do it but otherwise I'd rather just give the gift since it gives me pleasure to see my niece/nephew happy. That's Christmas - giving and making others happy.

    Honkyblues and thanka2 like this.

  7. #7
    Ureshii3 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Hong Kong

    It never fils gd when others didn't seem to make d same efforts as u do, isn't it There r always people & tgs that dun please us just s there r always people & tgs that we can't please & reciprocate

    I m not saying this is definitely the case but have it occured to u any chance ur sis in law might tnk dat d amount of laisee money for her kids is not totful s wat u deem to b?Or perhaps not s totful s compared to presents for her kids?Cos they still get out thr to get ur fam somtg but u guys didn't?

    U might tnk dat AgnesB choc/music box is no big deal but they cud hv gotten chocs/music box frm neighbourhood stores It is afterall branded which ties in with them affording branded stuff Unless u tnk they should minimally get Godiva's Mayb they tnk it's such special gift in dat ur fam cud eat, play, use s ornament & keepsake by Agnes B
    Personally I luv chocs so I wud b so hapi if som1 gvs me for xmas or any other times:)

    Healthy rice, yes a practical item, but it's supposedly beta/mor costly dan normal rice, especially for elderly rite? Mayb it's somtg her mum wudn't bear to get for herself under normal circumstances

    I m not trying to justify their gifts for them And I cud c y u & ur hub were upset However small or inexpensive gifts, they represents the tots and that's giving in itself My point is sometimes we may think certain ways about tgs, but it may not b what is always the case And we think we noe some ple very well, but there might be other tgs about them that were unknown to us

    My mum always tels us-Always focus on the gd(treatment) received from others

    As the Chinese saying goes 'Forcing things won't bring u hapiness' If u r not comfy w wat this whole xmas exchange is about, u can always suggest suggest an agreed value/range for gifts exchange for the kids so no one fils disadvantaged, or just simply having dinner together and enjoying one another's presence

    At d end of d day, to me, family togetherness and harmony is wat dat truly matters, especially during festivals I envy u having families around I wish mine was...Can't wait to get home nex cny...

  8. #8
    Honkyblues is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Ureshii3 - this is not a text message - please would you write properly. I gave up after the first 3 lines of your post. "Textspeak" is sooooo annoying to read unless you're 15 yrs old, and most of us on the forum are a lot older than that. ;-) Thx!

    thanka2, Liquorice and Gracey like this.

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