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Xmas with my husband's family

I found this whole thing to be highly amusing, and I think you will too.

We are at SIL's house (she normally hosts) doing the present-opening thing.  The family does the one-person-opens-a-gift-at-a-time thing.

BIL, who flies in from across the country, gets a picture of the item he has been given.  Item has been shipped to his home as 1) it violates TSA rules and cannot go in carry on luggage) and 2) it's kind of heavy.  He has to complain about this.

Husband opens a gift from me, a new high speed card for his camera.  Has to *** and moan about this.

SIL opens a Celine Dion CD (she likes Celine Dion and doesn't have this CD), and proceeds to crab about it.  At this point, I start laughing and say something like "Why are you all complaining so much about gifts?"  God's honest truth, SIL looks at me and says "Well, what are you supposed to say when you open a present?"  I say "THANK YOU."  Her husband, who is sitting a little ways from me, mutters under his breath "That phrase isn't in her vocabulary."

Later that evening I tell my husband that this is his family's version of Festivus--instead of "the airing of grievances"  we get "complaining about presents."  He laughed and said it's always been that way; that his mother was always critical of anything given to her, and it just rubbed off on all the kids.  To them, that's normal behavior.

 

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Re: Xmas with my husband's family

  • Wow that's funny but really rude.  And if my husband ever complained about a present that I got him, that would be the last present he got.

    To add, the funny part is your reaction, your SIL's reaction, and her husband's reaction.  Everyone complaining was very rude.

  • Wow--that would be very frustrating and I don't know if I could stay around during present opening time.
  • it seems you and SIL's husband are in the same boat.  Probably because this is odd to both of y'all.

    That would be very awkward to me... I'd buy them all coal and listen to them crab about that.

  • If I didn't learn to laugh about it, I'd make myself crazy.

    Later, when we were alone, my husband asked me if I really liked the surprise present he got me.  I then proceeded to complain about everything I could think of about the gift.  He looked stunned--then I said "Now you know how I felt when you complained about the card.  See why it isn't nice?  If the future, keep your negative thoughts to yourself when you're opening gifts"

    Yesterday we went out and took some pictuers and he had to admit that the high speed card was really helpful.

    image
  • Festivus for the Rest of Us!
    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • Next year? Try donations in their name to your favorite charity. What a bunch of wah wahs.
    SO SINGS MY SOUL *WHAM!* MY SAVIOR GOD TO THEE *WHAM!* HOW GREAT THOU ART *WHAM!* HOW GREAT THOU ART *WHAM!*
  • I am cracking up because this sounds like any holiday with DH's family.  Some members of the family will complain about just about anything.  The wrong vegetable was made, the gravy was too runny, the gift was too expensive, too cheap, the wrong color, etc.  I just sit and laugh and look forward to the peace, quiet, and thankfulness of my family.
    Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • That's a very funny story, but.....how come it took you so long to tell your dh that it's rude to complain about a gift?  Honestly, I love giving gifts (although will admit that I don't get it right every time), and don't think I could be with someone who spoiled every gift-giving occasion.  A guy like your dh wouldn't have lasted past one Christmas with me.
  • This was the first time he ever complained about something I gave him (not the first time his siblings have complained, though).  Maybe it's because he didn't get the showerhead he was expecting.  I don't know. 

    Next year we've decided to bring a miniature Festivus pole to the celebration; this way DH, the kids, and I can laugh when his siblings act nuts.  We've also discussed buying the worst possible presents to REALLY give them something to complain about, but I don't think we'll actually go through with it.

    image
  • image Sue_sue:
    Next year? Try donations in their name to your favorite charity. What a bunch of wah wahs.

     Funny you should mention that- DH and I did that this year, and my lovely older step sister said "Oh, so like this ornament isn't the gift? That's cute I guess." We got them ornaments representing the charities we donated to- and apparently it wasn't a good enough gift.

    Perhaps my step sister and and your ILs are related.

  • Thanks for sharing your story - it made me smile!  It also made me realize that I'd rather get the comments of "Oh, you almost didn't get that gift" (meaning: they would keep it for themselves) or "I know you wanted X but I got this for you anyway" (meaning: their way of putting down the things that I like).  At least they are commenting on their own gifts, not gifts that I have spent my hard earned money on! 
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • image dirtyred:

    If I didn't learn to laugh about it, I'd make myself crazy.

    Later, when we were alone, my husband asked me if I really liked the surprise present he got me.  I then proceeded to complain about everything I could think of about the gift.  He looked stunned--then I said "Now you know how I felt when you complained about the card.  See why it isn't nice?  If the future, keep your negative thoughts to yourself when you're opening gifts"

    Yesterday we went out and took some pictuers and he had to admit that the high speed card was really helpful.

    '

    One good job for putting him in his place, giving him a taste of his own medicine, and doing it in private!

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