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Old 12-12-2007, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 15,419,199 times
Reputation: 3975

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Anyway here's a scenario for you:

My 1st cousin who is in her late 30's is in the process of getting divorced. They are both used to living well on his salary, she hasn't had a real job up until now. The thing is with her now trying to make enough money to pay bills, her lawyer, and everything else that comes along with a divorce, she can't exactly afford to give her kids a nice Christmas. Their ages are 17, 14, and 12; the two oldest are girls and the youngest is a boy.

I know she would never accept any money from me so I'm thinking of buying presents for her kids (never really have before except for small things). Is this an acceptable action, what should I do? I do feel bad for them that this Christmas won't be the same as the rest and I'd gladly buy them each 1 or 2 presents to make it a little bit better but I don't know if she would let me if I told her. What do I do? And I do plan on giving her some cash just to help her out with any unexpected expenses.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:19 PM
 
1,261 posts, read 5,654,731 times
Reputation: 558
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyAZ View Post
I know she would never accept any money from me so I'm thinking of buying presents for her kids (never really have before except for small things). Is this an acceptable action, what should I do? I do feel bad for them that this Christmas won't be the same as the rest and I'd gladly buy them each 1 or 2 presents to make it a little bit better but I don't know if she would let me if I told her. What do I do? And I do plan on giving her some cash just to help her out with any unexpected expenses.Thoughts?
I think it would be very nice of you to give the children a gift or even get a gift certificate for her and the kids (some malls have them so she has a choice of stores). I would just do it and not ask or explain why you are doing it this year. It will be appreciated.

BTW, you probably didn't mean it to sound bad, but raising 3 children is more than a full-time job. Unfortunately, we don't put an economic value to full-time parenthood.
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:31 AM
 
2,141 posts, read 7,224,117 times
Reputation: 1255
This is a tough one. You don't want her to feel inadequate. The kids are going to have to get used to their new economic situation. No good will come out of "sugar coating" it. Life sometimes hands us "lemons" and they're not too young to learn that. I would discuss this with her. Ask her what she's comfortable with. Tell her that you'd like to contribute to the kids' Christmas and see what she suggests.

I don't understand how putting economic value on parenting would work?
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Old 12-16-2007, 05:14 PM
 
1,261 posts, read 5,654,731 times
Reputation: 558
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisak64 View Post
I don't understand how putting economic value on parenting would work?
It was just an observation about the comment "she hasn't had a real job until now." It sounds like she was working as a a full-time mother to 3 children at home until after the divorce. Since stay-at-home parents are not paid and, therefore, do not contribute to the GDP per capita, there is unfortunately no economic value capturing their contributions.
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Old 12-16-2007, 08:46 PM
 
8,314 posts, read 26,602,136 times
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Give a tasteful and heartfelt gift, but do not attempt to 'replace' the type of buying power Dad brought to the family. As was mentioned above, the kids are going to have to get used to some changes and it's not your place to get in the way of that. Besides ... isn't Dad buying gifts for the kids too?

It's OK for a child to get a small present - this country is insane with the over-spending on gifts for children.
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Fort Mill, SC (Charlotte 'burb)
4,730 posts, read 17,894,313 times
Reputation: 1014
My family of 6 was going through some rough times when I was 15. Someone on Christmas Eve left a ton of presents (moslty for the little ones) on our enclosed front porch. We have no idea who it was to this day. Something like that may be a good idea.
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:11 AM
cjw
 
125 posts, read 432,026 times
Reputation: 139
When I was newly single with two young children, a "Santa" left an envelope with $500 cash in my mailbox. This was a gift from heaven (mid 80's when $500 went a long way). I used part of it to pay the mortgage.
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