Speaking of Christmas....

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by PatriotsGirl, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    I have a hard time at Christmas because I have always kept everything completely even between my two children. Which is not fair since one behaves and the other does not.
    Last Christmas was sheer hades because difficult child had gotten expelled from school and ran away so in turn I returned her Christmas gifts and paid bills. Well, she called me strung out on Christmas Eve wanting me to pick her up and when I did, I took her to Wal-Mart to pick out a few things because I was not prepared to have her there for Christmas. I felt so guilty and then on Christmas day (when she finally got out of bed), she threw a tantrum because she didn't have this magical Christmas waiting for her and her brother got so much more (never mind that a lot of the bigger items he received were used but he is grateful for absolutely everything and anything given to him). Anyhow, it was a nightmare. The police were called because she was so out of control.
    Now, this year, she has not gotten any better. She said she didn't want to spend Christmas in rehab (unsure what kind of Christmas she plans on having this year but who knows...).
    But I wouldn't feel right not getting her anything for Christmas but I don't want to go crazy either, because let's be honest, she doesn't deserve it.

    So - how do you handle Christmas with your difficult child's? Do you keep things even between difficult child and easy child? If difficult child doesn't live with you, do you still get them gifts? I am at such a loss how to handle this year....
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    You know, I am struggling with this same issue....

    DS is so helpful around the house, does a ton of chores, straight-A student....and all this despite struggling with ADHD. And he is so grateful for any kind of gift he may receive.

    difficult child is lazy, defiant, does poorly in school, lies about everything, and then is an ungrateful complainer, to boot!

    And as I am planning my holiday shopping....I am wondering why I am putting such effort into difficult child's gifts. I was shopping online for clothes for her yesterday and while I was putting items for her into my shopping basket, she was ten feet away from me writing about what s*****y parents she has....

    Yeah, somethig is wrong with this picture.
  3. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    husband and I were having this discussion over the weekend. Last year difficult child-Steph didn't even show up until the 27th when she wanted her gifts. Both easy child and difficult child-Ant were with us on Christmas. Last year, we kept everything even between the three of them. This year, we decided no to worry about it. easy child and Ant NEED money. easy child has college expenses (like more text books) and Ant is on his own, he needs things like toothpaste and stuff. Steph is getting everything she demands from the in-laws. So, we will get Steph something - I might make an afghan or something. Then, if she shows up on Christmas she has something. Because we do love her and want to get her something. However, we aren't going to worry about fair.

    The boys are still part of our family. They call, they stop by, they offer help around here. They are part of the family. Steph only comes around when there is something in it for her - christmas/birthday. The way we look at it is, why should the boys get less just because Steph might throw a fit?

    Don't know if that helps. It's not easy being a parent, especially to difficult children. {{{hugs}}}
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I understand the concept of keeping things "even" between the kids, I don't agree with it at all. Ever - not even when mine were teeny tiny, little girls, pre-adolescent, teens, and now young adults.

    I ask for a list from both of them, beginning with small little things all the way to the ridiculous. And then I pick and choose what I will get, share the list with their dad so he can do the same. I sometimes spend nearly the same on each one, sometimes not. Sometimes they open equal numbers of gifts, sometimes/usually not.

    I also try not to allow behavior be a part of my personal joy of giving. Although I completely understand how difficult it is to give someone a gift who is consistently rotten and unappreciative, I try to focus on MY desire to give a gift and based on what I think they should have. So, if they wanted a stereo, but need tires for their car, I would maybe give them a GC to the local tire place. If they desperately need clothes but want that cute trashy outfit from Hot Topic, I would go buy some clothing (even if I knew it may not fit or be their style) at Kohls or Macy's and allow them to return it (without a receipt) so they don't get cash. We have never had issues on Christmas, but we have had issues with difficult child feeling like she was gypped for her birthday - an attitude that we basically ignored until she got over herself.

    We can't tell you what to do or how to handle your personal situation, but like you, I would want to have on hand at least a couple of gifts difficult child could use for Christmas - she may not love them, but at least you did the thing that helps you sleep at night. Also, and you don't have to say it out loud, she helped create this holiday angst, so if she's not happy she has no one to blame but herself. Eventually, she may realize that or be old enough for you to say it without the words sending her into a meltdown. I say plan your holiday that best suits you and your needs. Hugs~I wish they didn't make it so darned hard!
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I didn't really keep things even per se. Total amount of gifts were usually .........total cost of gifts usually weren't even close because I did make an effort to find things they really wanted and I'm one heck of a bargain hunter. lol

    difficult child effects never carried over onto holidays. Like if they were grounded during a holiday week........the holiday itself didn't count as part of it. Otherwise during some pretty bad times with the difficult children there would have been few if any happy memories.

    Now that they're grown if I have enough money to buy adults gifts, they get gifts. I use the same principals as I did when they were little........try to get what they want, depending on cost it's not always possible. If money is tight like it was last year and is this year........I usually focus on the grandkids and adults don't get anything unless there is money left over after that.

    Odd though as we were just discussing this issue. lol easy child nor Nichole are feeling very giving toward Katie and her husband. And I must admit I'm not either. But I did tell the girls that if there is money left in the budget for adult gifts.......then I will find them something, however if will probably be super cheap because I expect anything else would wind up pawned. What I'll probably do if I have the cash is buy them a 20.00 walmart gift card to share. lol It's what I did last year. If they waste it on something stupid then it's their decision, but they can pick something they want.
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    We've always tried to keep the actual number of gifts even, so one child isn't opening gifts after the other one. We have an "elf" system - one person wears the elf hat, and delivers one gift to each person. We then open them in turn. It drags things out a little more, makes the holiday last longer.

    After a few insane years, last year husband and I limited gifts to one "big" one and one "small" one for the kids. My parents, on the other hand, just did their thing. Onyxx got Guitar Hero - the software, guitar, drums and a microphone - and Jett got a package with two Nintendo DS games, headphones and a new Nerf case (all in one box, of course). Then the stocking stuffers, basic dollar store stuff.

    This year? Onyxx wants money toward Driver's Ed, and Jett (predictably) wants more video games. I have no idea what they're getting - I'm not thrilled about her driving (lack of: common courtesy, attention, caring at all... Plus behavior), so we shall see on that one. Jett's NOT getting any more video games. Period. Books, perhaps!

    So this year? Who knows. But have to keep the actual numbers even. Don't want to hear it.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    When my boys were small, my step-mom taught me well. I feel very blessed to have had her in my life during that time. She always bought my boys (at least Cory and Jamie) pretty much identical toys but in different colors or opposite figures if they were action figures. They also got the exact same number of toys from them. Sometimes Billy got a different type toy or a slightly more expensive thing but maybe one less toy but he was 3 years older so he understood the concept. As the kids got older, my dad would buy one big "family" gift and then give me money to buy the kids extra presents.

    I always tried to keep things pretty even. Jamie and Cory were so close in age that they pretty much were into the same things for much of their lives. Now as they grew into late teens things got harder. When Cory was a brat and made things so no one wanted to give him a darned thing, we gave him clothes and maybe something small. After the year when we gave him a portable dvd player and a leather jacket and he lost the coat and sold the dvd player...well lets just say the next year he got walmart jeans and a few shirts. I think that was all he got for the next few years too. After he had Keyana he flat told us not to get him anything but to just buy for her. Last year he did ask us to get him some stuff for his kitchen and we got him pots and pans...a nice set and some glass cookware too. He was over the moon happy...lol.

    Billy usually gets some sort of computer stuff, games, one time we got him a cool dragon light. Jamie and his wife get whatever we can think of...last year it was this really nice griddle for the kitchen. I got her a gift basket of Bath and Body works. Of course I do the grand kids.

    My theory is that once you have kids, its time to pass the torch and let me move on to the kids. Of course, my dad always sends me money...lol.
  8. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    That reminds me of the year before last when I was camped out at Toys R Us on Black Friday to get difficult child a Zune and husband ended up calling me and telling me that she ran away. She has managed to make every holiday hoover. Yet I am the one that feels guilty if she doesn't have a good Christmas. Something is wrong with my picture, too!!!
  9. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    My difficult child doesn't live here. Because he is such a difficult child, I never buy him anything frivolous. He is getting clothes and toiletries. I spend the same on all my kids. This year, they're all getting clothes and sneakers. I know what fits them because they come with me, try everything on, and pick everything out themselves. I don't feel like returning anything. I always get them Jelly-Bellys as a fun gift and some candy also.

    The nieces and nephews will get toys and fun things from us.