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Old 12-28-2019, 08:48 AM
 
58 posts, read 12,410 times
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OP, for your next gift to your stepson, get him a copy of this:


Emily Post's Etiquette, 19th Edition: Manners for Today
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Old 12-28-2019, 09:09 AM
 
2,108 posts, read 796,744 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angie682 View Post
Sorry 26 is a little too old to still be getting Christmas gifts from parents and grandparents.

This gobsmacks me, to be honest. I am in my seventh decade and have never known any parent who stopped giving a Christmas gift to their offspring (if they could at all afford to do) so simply because the offspring reached a certain age. My parents were by no means wealthy but they would no sooner think of not giving me or my son Christmas gifts than they would think of jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge. Ditto for myself, to son and DIL and grandchild. Why would you not, if you want to?

Now, if a parent doesn't want to (for whatever reason) then that's another question. But I don't understand the concept of basing gift-giving solely on the recipient's age. My parents (and even my in-laws, who were notoriously stingy when it came to spending money on other people) were still giving Christmas gifts to me and to my then-husband when we were both in our 50s. And if my parents were still alive they would probably still be doing so, lol.

I would think that even in a large family where it may be impractical to give a gift to everyone, the bare minimum of gift exchange (even if no gift was given to anyone else) would be between parent and child, regardless of the age of those parties. Just MHO.
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Old 12-28-2019, 10:15 AM
 
751 posts, read 201,162 times
Reputation: 820
I agree there is nothing wrong with parents giving kids Xmas gifts until the my die. I would think it weird if they suddenly stopped giving gifts. That said at some point the gifts should be reciprocated or it leads to these bitter feelings. It might be different with parents and kids but if I have a gift to my brother and he gave me nothing I’d be like wtf. I’d handle it by not giving him a gift again.
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Old 12-28-2019, 10:57 AM
 
856 posts, read 492,604 times
Reputation: 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBCjunkie View Post
This gobsmacks me, to be honest. I am in my seventh decade and have never known any parent who stopped giving a Christmas gift to their offspring (if they could at all afford to do) so simply because the offspring reached a certain age. My parents were by no means wealthy but they would no sooner think of not giving me or my son Christmas gifts than they would think of jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge. Ditto for myself, to son and DIL and grandchild. Why would you not, if you want to?

Now, if a parent doesn't want to (for whatever reason) then that's another question. But I don't understand the concept of basing gift-giving solely on the recipient's age. My parents (and even my in-laws, who were notoriously stingy when it came to spending money on other people) were still giving Christmas gifts to me and to my then-husband when we were both in our 50s. And if my parents were still alive they would probably still be doing so, lol.

I would think that even in a large family where it may be impractical to give a gift to everyone, the bare minimum of gift exchange (even if no gift was given to anyone else) would be between parent and child, regardless of the age of those parties. Just MHO.
I think you are completely missing my point....The image the O P painted was of a 26 year old MAN tearing into gifts like a little kid. Santa is for little kids. By 26, it's time to grow up and realize the holiday is NOT about the gifts -- unless you are completely shallow and materialistic.

By 26 you should be capable of reciprocating. At some point we all grow up and realize the season is about spending TIME with our loved ones.and GIVING to others.

Who really cares about present exchanges? In our extended family we only do that for the children.

We're all adults who are perfectly capable of buying whatever it is we want for ourselves. We would much rather spend time together as a family enjoying a nice meal and each others company without all stress the materialistic nonsense adds to the holiday season.

My 15 year old actually approached us this year in the fall about instead of exchanging gifts as a family -- taking that money and providing Christmas for a needy family in our area instead. Our kiddo has every material gadget there is. This was the BEST Christmas as a family we have ever had -- helping others who were in need. I am very proud my child came up with this idea. I am glad I have raised a person who sees the holiday season is about helping others and being thankful for the bounty in their own life.

Last edited by Angie682; 12-28-2019 at 11:11 AM..
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Old 12-28-2019, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
3,972 posts, read 9,551,509 times
Reputation: 8031
The step-mother is attempting to control other people and you just can't.She is the one out of line here. If the step-mom doesn't want to buy gifts for her step son, then don't. I think she's out of line for griping to the kid's dad and grandparents. This just isn't her place.

The step-mom cannot control her husband and/or the grandparents and, obviously, they are okay with this set-up. Also, they aren't asking her opinion. She should butt out.

Furthermore, the step-mom may not know the particulars of her step-son's life. For all she knows, he's struggling with student loan debt or has some other financial issues. Who knows?
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Old 12-28-2019, 11:16 AM
 
11,008 posts, read 6,741,611 times
Reputation: 9218
Quote:
Originally Posted by VoxTerra View Post
This has been an ongoing situation over the years, and I finally said something this year. When he came over to his grandparents (where we have dinner and open gifts) I said "Hi! Hey, where are the presents?" And he said "What presents?" and I said "Presents for your dad and grandparents." His response? He just kind of looked down, shook his head and gave me a pissed off look.

He has a job, and he is leasing a brand new car. He has a girlfriend, who he buys gifts for.
He'll sit there on the floor by the tree and happily rip through gifts from his dad and I, and from his sweet and very generous grandparents - but never EVER gives anything in return. Even if he brought a bottle of wine, asked to help clean up the kitchen, or help cook - anything. But he does nothing. not even a freaking CARD! I've never seen anything like it. His girlfriend also received gifts again from us this year, yet she brought nothing for anyone else. My gosh, at least bring flowers for the table. Wow. She also never asks to help with cooking or cleanup. His sister and her boyfriend arrived and brought little gifts for everyone. She is a sweet, appreciative young woman.

The grandparents have been so generous over the years, taking him on trips, giving nice gifts on his birthday and holidays, etc. His dad and I welcomed him into our home rent-free for about a year, when he didn't want to live at his mom's house. He has since moved back with his mom (yes, at 26, almost 27), but was selfish even when living with us.

I made that comment to him and am done with it, but am just still so angry and frustrated at his blatant selfishness. His grandmother and I had a conversation about it and she just sighed and shrugged her shoulders. His dad is upset about it too, but won't say anything to him either. Guess it's easier to just keep cranking out gifts to him than to have a real conversation. As the stepmom, it's not really my place to come right out and have that conversation, and ask him why he never gives gifts to his family. But no one else will say anything. That's why I just finally was like "Hey - where are the gifts?!"

I am at the point where I feel it's ridiculous to continue giving him gifts when he does nothing. Am I overreacting?
You should give gifts because you want to. Not out of habit, not out of pressure and certainly not because you want a gift in return. Sounds like the young man has not learned social graces and basically needs to grow up. If the father is unwilling to do his duties, that's on him. If you not longer want to give him gifts, then don't.
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Old 12-28-2019, 11:36 AM
 
1,260 posts, read 1,589,490 times
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Not helping with the dinner cleanup is just rude. Sounds like dad needs to step in and clap son on the back, reminding him to get up and pitch in.

With regards to presents, I wonder if your family just needs to scale back. In ours, as the family grew, and the annual Christmas celebration grew, the expectation of gift exchanges got out of hand. On my husband's side we had: parents, grandparents, siblings, their spouses, nieces and nephews, then my husband's aunts and uncles, my husband's cousins, their children... it was a LOT of people. And if everyone needed to bring "a little something" which ranged from a small gift for those we weren't close with to something more expensive for a sibling, parent or grandparent, for everyone else in attendance, which was the expectation, it got to be too much.

A few years back, we decided to try a white elephant exchange. Everyone brought one gift of a certain amount. After a year or two of that, we switched to doing a drawing where each person was assigned one person to buy a present for, and that was it. Much more manageable.
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Old 12-28-2019, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
47,898 posts, read 38,518,182 times
Reputation: 68525
Quote:
Originally Posted by bande1102 View Post
The step-mother is attempting to control other people and you just can't.She is the one out of line here. If the step-mom doesn't want to buy gifts for her step son, then don't. I think she's out of line for griping to the kid's dad and grandparents. This just isn't her place.

The step-mom cannot control her husband and/or the grandparents and, obviously, they are okay with this set-up. Also, they aren't asking her opinion. She should butt out.

Furthermore, the step-mom may not know the particulars of her step-son's life. For all she knows, he's struggling with student loan debt or has some other financial issues. Who knows?
The OP has been married to the husband for 15 years. I believe she has every right to discuss her opinion with him. But she also needs to accept the fact that he may or may not agree with her or do anything about the situation.

I think the husband and wife should and certainly CAN discuss anything financial or child related or whatever. In private.
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Old 12-28-2019, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
47,898 posts, read 38,518,182 times
Reputation: 68525
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitkatbar View Post

Quote:
Not helping with the dinner cleanup is just rude. Sounds like dad needs to step in and clap son on the back, reminding him to get up and pitch in.
And Dad needs to LEAD BY EXAMPLE. "Hey, come with me, son - let's help clean up!"

Quote:
A few years back, we decided to try a white elephant exchange. Everyone brought one gift of a certain amount. After a year or two of that, we switched to doing a drawing where each person was assigned one person to buy a present for, and that was it. Much more manageable.
This sounds great in theory and kudos for those families who can pull this off, but it just didn't work in our family. Everyone still bought everyone else presents! It was crazy!

Some people really do simply love giving others presents. I say let them. Others don't - but then I don't feel a burning need to give them anything either. It's not a matter of tit for tat - it's just a matter of "well, it must not mean much to them, so there's that." My brother is like that. I never buy him anything, even though I love giving gifts to people. He simply never shows any interest in giving gifts to others, or even calling on holidays or birthdays. That's him. OK.

The thing that would bug me is the perpetual child thing with the OP's stepson. All take and no give. That's childlike. He's an adult. He needs to learn to act like one.
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Old 12-28-2019, 12:24 PM
 
2,108 posts, read 796,744 times
Reputation: 3872
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angie682 View Post
I think you are completely missing my point....The image the O P painted was of a 26 year old MAN tearing into gifts like a little kid. Santa is for little kids. By 26, it's time to grow up and realize the holiday is NOT about the gifts -- unless you are completely shallow and materialistic.

By 26 you should be capable of reciprocating.
I completely agree that reciprocating is the decent thing for anyone to do. But I didn't get the same impression as you did from the OP's post about her stepson's demeanor other than that he was enjoying getting the presents; who doesn't? (Well, unless they don't like what was given, LOL) But still, receiving and opening gifts is fun, so what's wrong with showing it? I'd much rather see that than watch the recipient acting all blase and bored about it.

I was responding to your comment about 26 being "a little too old to still be getting [receiving] gifts" from parents or grandparents. That is what surprised me because I have never regarded holiday gifts as something "childish" or "for kids only". It's part of the season. Doesn't mean someone is morally bankrupt because they still enjoy that as an adult, or don't engage in any kind of charity work. It's not everybody's thing, and that's the long and short of it.

Again, this doesn't excuse the 26 year old for failing to reciprocate in any way. It's rude. But if he doesn't want to give anything to anyone in the family (does he give a gift to his mom, I wonder?) that's his choice. Of course it makes him (and his empty-handed girlfriend) look boorish but obviously that doesn't bother them in the least. In the end, none of us is responsible for how other adults behave.
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