Family Matters
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Christmas Rant

I'm feeling super frustrated right now about Christmas.  Right now all the "adults" in the family are on a list and buy for one other adult each year at Christmas.  Since DH and I were married this summer I asked that he be added to the rotation since he is part of the family.  I have been trying to get people to add him for at least 2 months and everyone just ignores me.

Finally about 3 weeks ago I sent an email to everyone but my uncle (I don't have his email) and requested they pass it to him.  I also asked if my cousins would like to be added since they are 22 now (adults) and they said yes they would like to participate.

I got an email from my sister telling me off about daring to change it, about how she doesn't want to participate and how NO ONE should since she won't.  I suggested she opt out but that just made her mad.

I got an email from my aunt telling me off for wanting to lump my cousins with the "married couples" and that just because I'm married doesn't mean they should be treated that way, when I pointed out I had been participating since before I even met DH she accused me of trying to start a family fight.  When I asked her to comment about adding DH she failed to respond

Neither of my parents will respond at all, and even though my mom promised to pass it to my uncle I found out she hadn't.  I have called my mom several times since she talks to all the people on a regular basis (several times a week) and I don't and she refuses to even bring it up.  I'm not sure what to do anymore!  The reason that I wanted the situation sooner rather than later is because I started a course yesterday that involves a lot of homework and goes right over Christmas and I wanted to have my shopping done.

After people's initial reaction I am reluctant to call people individually and discuss it since it seems to have everyone all jumpy and honestly I'm sick of all of their attitudes. It really takes away the joy of shopping and finding a gift for someone that they'll really love when everyone is being so difficult.   

Re: Christmas Rant

  • So once again your sister starts drama and everyone else either feeds off it or just puts up with it? If I were you, I would seriously think about limiting contact with the family.
  • I'm confused- all the adults are on a list and you buy for ONE other adult?  How do you know who to buy for?  Are names somehow drawn?  I'm sure it's not material to the story, but I'm kind of confused about this this. 

     

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
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  • image renegade gaucho:
    So once again your sister starts drama and everyone else either feeds off it or just puts up with it? If I were you, I would seriously think about limiting contact with the family.

    Honestly she is being dramatic here, but she only responded to me (same with my aunt) so no one else saw her 2 page tell off email.  I can't really blame her for the other reactions

    Do you think I should just say I won't have time to participate this year? 

  • image EastCoastBride:

    I'm confused- all the adults are on a list and you buy for ONE other adult?  How do you know who to buy for?  Are names somehow drawn?  I'm sure it's not material to the story, but I'm kind of confused about this this. 

     

    Basically there is like an "order" and you just for the next name on the list.  Like if it went mom, DH, sis, aunt1, I would buy for mom this year, DH next, sis the year after etc.  Honestly I think it would just be easiest to draw each year but people aren't open to that.   But I automatically have to buy for my mom, dad, sister, DH, both cousins and grandma, so in reality I buy for all of them plus 1 other person, if I don't have one of their names that year.  The whole thing is a bit ridiculous. 

  • Wouldn't it be easier for you and your DH to opt out rather than trying to convince all your relatives to do things differently? You seem to be fighting an uphill battle here, and it's not worth it. Walk away from this tradition and just buys gifts for the people you want to buy for.
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  • image theshorterstory:
    But I automatically have to buy for my mom, dad, sister, DH, both cousins and grandma, so in reality I buy for all of them plus 1 other person, if I don't have one of their names that year.  The whole thing is a bit ridiculous. 
    I agree - it is ridiculous!  We do a name exchange w/ both our families. in total, we're talking 8 people.  The first year, my DH was like "shouldn't we still buy for our parents?".

    Uh, then what's the point of doing the name exchange if we're STILL going to buy for 1/2 the people on the list?!   So, we dont' do that. ;)

    My take, as you asked renegade, is to just contact the "keeper" of the list and tell them that you're not going to worry about adding DH this year, but in lieu of all of this, you'd actually like your name removed too. 

    This is a WHOLE lot of silly drama over adding people, and I personally would use this as an excuse to just remove myself from the whole process anyhow. 

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • Ok your family is nuts! No matter how many people you add to the list, it's exactly the same! Everybody will still only have to buy ONE PRESENT (in addition to the mandatory ones).

    The only people who will be affected in any way are the cousins, who now have to buy a gift as well... but if they're ok with it, I see no reason for the adults to be upset. The adults will continue buying 1 present and receiving 1 present.

     We do this in my extended family as well. Everyone buys a present for siblings and parents, but we draw names for 1 cousin or aunt/uncle. Drawing names is such an easy system, and it's kinda fun to see who you get!

    The only difference in our family is that married couples count as 1 person and receive 1 joint gift.

    If you can't talk them into reason, I say you can either continue on as before or opt out entirely (although dropping out might cause even more drama).


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  • Thanks for clearing that up. If no one else saw the snatchy emails, I would probably just continue with the plans as usual. Your cousins said they wanted to participate, so it doesn't really matter what your aunt thinks. It's not like you guilt-tripped them into anything.
  • Just don't buy a gift for anyone who was giving you grief.  It'll save you money and annoyance.
    image
  • image loritajean:

    Ok your family is nuts! No matter how many people you add to the list, it's exactly the same! Everybody will still only have to buy ONE PRESENT

     

    That is exactly how I feel!   My sis got married a few years ago her DH and was added, no problem.  When I was added it was no problem as well.  Who knows why everyone is freaking out about DH being added.  It would only even affect 1 person who had to buy for him instead of whoever they would have originally had

    Thanks for listening all.  I will be "quitting" the list today :) 

  • image MarriedWriter:
    Wouldn't it be easier for you and your DH to opt out rather than trying to convince all your relatives to do things differently? You seem to be fighting an uphill battle here, and it's not worth it. Walk away from this tradition and just buys gifts for the people you want to buy for.
    This is how I feel. If they're not accepting of your husband, then I would kindly decline and not worry about it.
  • If they're all going to be A-holes about adding your H and cousins, you and H may as well save the money on that one extra gift and skip the tradition, starting.....NOW.
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  • Not sure how you're going to quit (which is a very good idea by the way), I would send them all an e-mail and say that since sending the original e-mail you have heard from several family members that don't agree with expanding the list to include new or existing family members. Therefore you and your husband will no longer be participating.

    No need to name names, just be honest. And add that you look forward to seeing them during the holidays. And if you're religious you can add something to the effect of "We all know the true reason for the season."

    Good luck and keep us posted!

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  • Another idea (if you want to avoid drama)is to start a separate list for the cousins.

    The "adults" exchange between eachother, and the cousins have their own list. We do this in my family.

    I still think they're insane, though haha

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  • They're being complete A-holes and you need to email them all and politelty tell them you will no longer participate this year or in the future as it is hurtful for them to refuse to allow your DH in their "married couple" swap.  Be sure to refer to their actions as discriminatory and offensive.

    Let them fight and gossip amongst themselves while you have a merry Christmas. 

  • Quit the list, it sounds ridiculous anyways.  Send them all an email saying, "since adding new people has posed a problem to a number of people I am letting everyone know that dh and I are no longer going to be participating in the list."  And just leave it at that.
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  • image emilyj77:

    I would send them all an e-mail and say that since sending the original e-mail you have heard from several family members that don't agree with expanding the list to include new or existing family members. Therefore you and your husband will no longer be participating.

    This.  Do it now! 

  • image trigal:
    image emilyj77:

    I would send them all an e-mail and say that since sending the original e-mail you have heard from several family members that don't agree with expanding the list to include new or existing family members. Therefore you and your husband will no longer be participating.

    This.  Do it now! 

    Right now!



  • I sent the email this morning and explained it didn't make sense for me to be involved and I wouldn't be participating anymore.  My sister is the only response so far, and she is choosing not to participate now too.  Honestly I'm a little pissed that she got mad at me before when I suggested she not participate, but now she's saying it's a great idea, but as long as I get a clean out I guess it doesn't really matter to me what she does.
  • I like your opt out; and I'd make a point of spending the gift money on a charity, in everyone's name, and make sure the charity has their addresses.

    Pick a good one, like Habitat for Humanity, or the Heifer Fund. And send a card to everyone saying "a charitable donation has been made in your name to H for H~Merry Xmas! Love you, Sally and DAve".

     

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