They don't know me

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by hearts and roses, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I don't want this to come out as a whiney, "oh poor me" post or be perceived as a 'gimme gimme' post either...however, I do understand that based on anyone's perspective at any given moment, it may be perceived that way.

    As the Christmas holiday is almost upon us and I've been trying to find the 'perfect' gift for those I will be spending the days with, I can't help but think of all the bad gifts I've received from these people.

    I love my family, and yes, even though like every one else's family we have our moments of disdain for one another, we always manage to come together. And I can confidently say that I feel fairly 'close' with all of my siblings except maybe my geographically closest sister (loco). I try to get them things I know they will like.

    For instance, I know that my sister who is traveling up from WV is very much into the renaissance period and reads a lot of material from that time. So, I checked out her amazon wish list and sure enough there was a book on there she wanted. I bought it and a CD she wanted as well - $20, done. I am also baking her gluten free cookies and bars because she is celiac. My loco sister is a bit more difficult to buy for (she has everything), but I remembered that she and her H enjoy good strong coffee, so I'm going to buy some designer coffee and also bake them some things (she is celiac as well). For their two adult daughters and my brothers three adult daughters I thought I'd buy some jewelry from the local head shop - they love that stuff and it's inexpensive. And for the boys, I will buy a billfold or something, maybe a knife (they are adults). For my brother and his wife I will also get the coffee for they are also enthusiasts and they will get some things I canned this fall that I know they will like. Anyway, my point is that I actually THINK about what they may enjoy - I do not just simply fill a bag or box with something just so I have something to offer. I mean, I don't spend a million dollars, but I do at least put some thought into what their interests are and what I think they may enjoy. I always get a very nice reception when I give a gift. Rarely (except in the case of H who you can never satisfy) do I ever get the feeling that the gift I gave was not liked.

    So, my beef is that I have never EVER received a gift from one of my sisters that truly spoke to me, that truly reflected who I am or anything. My sister once gave me earrings that plainly were a regift of something she received - they were in no way a reflection of anything I'd ever wear. And my other sister sent me a nice business card holder, but again, just not my style or thing. It weighed a ton and really was not worth carrying around with me. They should know at least some things that I am interested in and they should have a clue what hobbies I have or how I spend my free time. My sister once bought me the hand held steam cleaner thing. Ugh. She figured that since I like to vacuum...please. It is so disappointing to receive a present, especially from the one sister I am closest to, that shows absolutely no thought was put into it. Or, maybe a thought, but of who, or what? I find it so hard to believe that after almost 46 years in one another's lives, not one of my 3 sisters, or my one brother, know of one thing that I would enjoy. I mean really. I feel like my own family doesn't know me. It's hurtful.

    Is it too late for me to send an email telling them to just make a donation in my name in leiu of an actual gift? I would rather see someone else benefit than me just be disappointed. What do you think about that?

    Okay, whiney vent over.
  2. Jena

    Jena New Member

    LOL Jo you are funny. I have had the same experience, ummm just about every christmas at my parents home. The odd gifts they have given me through the years. Which i keep telling them it's ok not to buy me a gift because they have to buy easy child and difficult child gifts. yet they keep giving those interesting gifts.

    One year I got a beautiful box filled with gold silverware. I thought wow. they soo shouldn't of, so expensive. Ok, a week later we tried to use it, let me just say difficult child had gold in her mouth. hmmm lol.

    gotta love them though.

    I'd totally send the email, yet not in a "hey your gifts stink you need not" way, lol yet just stating here's a charity i love, if you are buying for me this year i'd love to just see a donation of your choice go there instead. ??

    How'd that work?? just my thought.
  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Jo, I completely understand. I always dread gift exchanges with anyone except my mom and kids. My dad would go to the store where they sold 'irregular items' and buy clothes for me. The sweats, omg, one leg hit my shin and the other one hung over my foot. The jersey had Illinois written on it backwards (and Illinois? I have no idea.) One year when I was pregnant with Wynter, he went to this thrift shop they have where he lives where all clothes are a quarter (he's not poor). When I was 13, I got a remote control car. Actually, everyone did - my brother, dad's girlfriend, my uncles. Because my dad liked them and wanted to play with them. And you have to act excited so you don't hurt anyone's feelings.

    Devon was just talking about this last night. Every year his dad asks him what he wants for Christmas. And every year, Devon tells him money. His dad wants to get him actual gifts, so Devon tells him what he wants. And every year his dad says that's not enough. Then proceeds to not buy him what he asked for at all anyway. And then they get him clothes. And his dad expects this huge display of excitement. If they would at least include gift receipts it would be ok.

    Now, I'm a firm believer that you never buy clothes for a person unless you were shopping with them, they saw something, expressed how much they liked it AND you know their size. A robe my dad got me one year was a size 22. I weighed 125 pounds. My stepfather wears it. He's not a large man, but it's comfy and he's blind so he doesn't care that it's pink. And buying clothes for teens without them there to approve it is just a bad idea. But, Devon's dad would buy him all of these clothes that Devon would never wear. I don't know if he thought if he bought them that Devon would wear them because they were the kind of clothes he wants Devon to wear or what. All it really ends up being is a colossal waste of money. He'd come home with the clothes and we would parcel them out to friends and goodwill.

    His problem is like yours. They don't know him, nor do they take the time to know him. They have an idea of what they want him to be and don't want him to be himself.

    Besides, clothes are a necessity. To me, gift giving is about giving a person something they might want, but don't need. It's not about the gift, but about thinking about the person and wanting to give them something they would appreciate and enjoy. When you put so much into it and they don't, it hurts.

    I like the idea of the email. I just wonder if it's too close to Christmas and they've already bought.
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    If it makes you feel any better, I have the same stuff happen to me. I think the only person in this world who truly knows me and what I like is my mother, and perhaps one of my friends from college to a much lesser extent. Even husband is pretty clueless at times. I lowered my expectations for gifts from others a loooong time ago! ;)
  5. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Chuckling here. The only person who truly gives thought about a gift no matter what the time of year is, is my daughter. They are treasured. She just brought me the most beautiful hand blown (watched it happen) vase from when she was in Italy. Now THAT is cool.

    That's why I don't do gift exchange. I'd rather spend my time and money in a shelter.

    Last one I got, which totally fuzzled me, was H buying me these expensive earrings with money we didn't have. Now...we've been together nearly 18 years. I have NEVER worn gold. took him well over a year to realize I haven't worn my wedding ring, then didn't even recognize it when I pulled it out of the safe. Everything I have is silver. He buys me these huge gold earrings that make me look like a hooker. I wear very small hippy like stuff. How many times have I worn them? Once for his satisfaction. I appreciate the effort, but not much effort went into it. It's like...oh, it's gold and shiny. I'll go for that!

    I love the pink robe thing. That's a great visual.

  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I've had this happen as well. Now I just have Hubby take me shopping. My former husbands got me the most amazing things...the worst was a Japanese kimono-like thing for Valentine's Day. Sayonara...
  7. ML

    ML Guest

    Might I suggest an after Christmas splurge on yourself? Maybe a massage, a facial or just spend some time at the local wholefoods market. I'm finding that the better I take care of myself the less it bothers me when friends and family miss the mark. I do get what you are saying. I hope you are pleasantly surprised this years. Love, ML
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I would suggest a regifting party.
    You invite a bunch of friends over after the holidays and trade gifts with them. That way, everyone gets what they want. And you get rid of the stuff you don't want.
    It's a blast, really. Most of the gifts have stories ("I've been getting this perfume for 20 yrs and I have asthma ...") and you've got ready made conversation starters.

    I think it's too late ... in more ways than one ... to tell your family to donate in your name. Too close to Christmas. And 40-how-many-years? :)

    by the way, have you tried hinting, in emails ... like, "I'm sitting here eating my favorite M&Ms while I'm typing to you ..."

    So many people don't put thought into gifts, it's pretty common. One of my husband's sisters and her husband got us red wine 3 Christmases in a row. This, after repeatedly talking to them about my migraines and their triggers (red wine, peanuts, etc.) and his not liking alcohol, period.
    What can you do?
    Regift it. :)

    I agree with-ML, splurge on yourself.

    In the meantime, I'll keep my fingers crossed that you actually get what you want.

    My family is big, so we draw names. Then we email the person whose name we drew and ask them what they want. Everyone has a long list so it's very easy! And we always get what we want, with-a few surprises thrown in.
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Naaaah, send it to ME! :D
  10. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Are you sure they're not trying to take you guys out? Are they in the will? :tongue:
  11. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    Jo ~ I understand your frustration. I think that is a wonderful idea to ask for donations to be made to your favorite charity.

    I run an in-home childcare and yesterday (Friday) was my last day of work for the year - we had a Christmas party.

    I hired a lady that comes and reads a story to the children in costume - I invited all the parents.

    Had home made cookies and punch - Had gifts for all the children and their families ~

    They trashed my home for two hours and then most of them didn't even say Merry Christmas as they left.

    It's just one more reminder to me of the selfishness of the society in which we live.

    I agree, it's so not about the "stuff" - it's about showing love and sincere appreciation for the people in your life.

    Hey - I'm an only child - wanna be my sister?

    Merry Christmas! Judy
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Gcv and Heather, ROFL!!!!!!

    Awww, Judy, you two would make great sisters. That's why we're here on this bb. We create our own families. :)
  13. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    You may want to suggest doing what my family does when we get together for Christmas. My sisters' families can not afford much so we came up with a game. It is more special because Dad doesn't really like games but will participate in this one.

    1. Everyone is to bring one home made item (can be anything) no more than 5 - 10 dollars worth. I always cheat on this because I don't homemake anything so husband and I will each bring something less than $10.00. We started a trend for family members who didn't want to make anything.

    2. Each person is assigned a number 1 - 6. Mom and Dad are both 1, husband and I are both 2, My twin sister and her husband are both 3, my younger sister is 4 (she doesn't come - lives too far away), my youngest sister and her husband are both 5.

    3. Mom sets the timer for a random amount of time.

    4. We start with Dad and work down to the youngest.

    5. We each take turns rolling the dice. What ever number you get, you exchange your gift with one of those people.

    6. If you get a 4, you keep your gift (that sister is not there to exchange with)

    7. If you get a 6, you exchange with anyone in the room.

    8. Game ends when the timer goes off.

    9. You get the gift you end up with even if it is yours.

    This has been so much fun. Great fellowship without spending a lot of money. We have had a large variety of gifts - ornaments, homemade cookies/candies, towels, memorabilia from trips, CD's, ect.. Things that are not personal to the receiver because you do not know who will get it.

    You can then each throw in whatever other money you would have spent, fill a bowl with papers of everyone's favorite charities and draw which charity gets the donation?

    Two of my sisters and I did a variation of this when on a trip. We would purchase little inexpensive items from gift shops and play for those items the end of our trip.
  14. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thanks so much everyone for the good ideas and empathy. I know I don't stand alone when it comes to family carp. Hahaha -

    Adrianne - cool idea. I don't think my family is 'together' enough to pull it off, but I will print it out for perhaps when my immediates family get's larger. We're like nomads - we live all over the states. Only loco sister and me live near one another. The rest are all spread out and moody - we really hardly every do Christmas together. Maybe there is a way to do it through the mail?

    I went out with difficult child today, fully expecting to be home in a just a couple of hours. We left at 11AM and didn't get home until 5PM. I needed to get just a few gifts for the nieces and my sister and brother and it took all day just to navigate from my town to the town next door. Normally it only takes about 15 minutes, today it took twice that! The traffic and lines were horrible.

    When the holidays are all through, I plan on taking $100 out of my bonus money and buy myself a full body massage at a nice salon.

    I had a really nice day with difficult child too!
  15. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'm kind of late getting in on this one but I totally understand the frustration but I also understand that some people really can't buy gifts to save their lives.

    My mother is in the category of getting you what she wants regardless of how much you might hate it. When I was little, I really was the all American tomboy. I wanted baseballs and bats, rifles, a shotgun when I was a bit older. I got dolls and kiddie kitchens and sewing stuff. I hated opening my presents from her because I had to ooh and ahh over stuff I truly hated receiving. As an adult, it really got worse. I get cut crystal, tea sets with flowers and birds that cost a small fortune, siliver. My home is Oriental/contemporary. I finally quit oohing and ahhing. I simply say thank you and then sell it on ebay or keep it in the box if it is something my daughter likes -- she's much more girlie than I. At least I make some decent money from her stuff.

    My best friend of 30+ years is in the category of can't shop for tschit. Try as she might and she does try, she can't ever get it quite right. I collect music boxes. Small, large, medium; silver, wood, metal. But they're pretty, elegant. She'll get me ones painted with penguins or some silly theme. I love the mountains. She loves the sea. She gets me beautiful etched pieces with fish in them. I want the ones with deer and trees. lol She loves baroque music. She adores opera. I go nuts for the ballet and Mozart and Chopin fan. I get CDs of stringed orchestral music and DVDs of La Boheme. She tries. She really does. Oh, some of her more memorable gifts: a Pink Panther holding a bottle of my favorite alcohol; a chocolate-scented moose and I'm allergic to almost all scents and I don't do stuffed animals; a large, fluffy Energizer Bunny that actually is remote controlled. As I said, she tries. I treasure her gifts because I know she actually did put a lot of thought and effort into buying them for me. Her love shows in what she gets me even if her taste is questionable.

    So, I consider the source and thought behind the gift. If it is someone who does truly care, I treasure what I have gotten. If it is someone who really doesn't care what I want or need, then I treat the gift accordingly and pretty much do what I want with it. At least I learned a lesson from my mother -- how to get rid of stuff I really don't like.
  16. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    MB...too darn funny, yet real life.

    I remember my mother getting me a tea set when I was around 4 or 5. It even had the wooden play stand. I'm like...what the heck? I'm not cooking any darn tea! I want a sling-shot and a bag of marbles and a can of Root Beer. (We never had soda, or 'Pop' for you Northerners.)

    The other one that sticks in my mind are Barbies. Now, I'm not a girlie girl, but I remember the first one I got. She was blonde, and know the rest of the story. (RIP) She had various haircuts over the month. Then there was the tanning sessions with a magnifyling glass in the middle of the winter in school district. I'm sorry, Barbie, but you didn't make it too long. It looked like someone shot her with a shotgun. Little marks everywhere. I even tried making a pattern but I'm challenged in that area so we'll just do the random thing. It didn't work out so well.

  17. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Okay, let's hijack Jo's thread. Yup, I remember the tea set as a kid. I used the plates to create my own kidding skeet (homemade slingshot and a friend tossing them into the air). I actually got pretty good at it. Of course, I did manage to break two windows trying to destroy that stupid tea set.

    I found that Barbies made great victims in crime scenes. They were kidnap victims and, of course, body parts had to be sent with the ransom notes. One got burned at the stake to reenact Joan of Arc's death.

    Oh, and baby dolls were left at local orphanages because they were bad babies. (The "orphanage" was the garbage can.)

    I got my last doll when I was 12. I didn't ooh and ah over it. I just looked at my mother like she was nuts. I mean it was that serioius look of scorn that only a pre-teen can give.
  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Jo, besides a massage, what would you really like?
    Maybe I'll get it by accident and I can regift it to you!

    Andy, we played that game at my husband's ofc party. It went very well ... one interesting thing was that difficult child wasn't there, so an unexpected person got the Redskins calendar intended for him, and someone else got 2 gifts.
    And difficult child was happy because he didn't have to sit through a brunch where he couldn't eat anything (wheat waffles) and listen to conversations he wasn't interested in. :)
  19. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Okay, Terry, you asked...hee hee hee.

    Terry, I really want one of those medium pieces of luggage that rolls - in all directions. They look like they are metal on the outside, but they are really lightweight. If you get one of those I will take it.

    I want a rocking chair for my new front porch.

    I'd love a lightweight small laptop.

    A nice 35mm camera - non digital please.

    A shopping spree to Ann Taylor or Coldwater Creek or GAP, Macy's.

    A spagetti pot that has the strainer inside while it cooks so all I have to do it lift it out. That is awesome.

    A hand vac, such as the little dirt devil cone or dustbuster.

    Windchimes for my tree beside the patio.

    Any snow people. I collect snowpeople. All of them.

    A cooking class at the local Sur la Table store.

    Warm socks.

    MB. I never EVER received a new doll until I was 9 years old. I always got a 'cleaned up' doll from my older sisters...and barbies? By the time I got them, my brother had bitten off the toes and smushed in the boobies. Hahaha - my dolls were either balding or one of my sister's had experimented her 'hairdresser techniques' and they had crew cuts, one of their eyes didn't blink anymore and the fingers had been nibbled off.

    I played baseball and football with my neighbors who had too many boys. I loved getting dirty, digging holes and running. Since I was number 5 for my parents, they didn't care and didn't try to make me girly, thank God. As a grown woman, I am much more comfortable being girly now. But I still like to get rough and tumble once in a while. Out of everyone, my daughters, by far, always get me something I love and H is usually a close second - last year her was off, but it was only one year. My exh, believe it or not, also gets me good stuff, when he gets me anything at all.
  20. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Now that's a good list!!

    You should have been at my rummage sale before I moved. Hand Vac..done. Camera...done. Wind chimes (oh, I loved those things)...done.

    No Ann Taylor. I swear people who shop there are a size 2.