Author Topic: I hate this Christmas Gift but thank you Luise  (Read 1779 times)

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kathleen

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I hate this Christmas Gift but thank you Luise
« on: December 31, 2010, 02:10:27 PM »
Hello all MIL's and Happy 2011, though can you believe it?  I remember when 1980 seemed far out!

This post is a little off topic, but somewhat fits in with our discussions of gift giving, expectations and so on.

This is New Year's Eve, one of my least favorite holidays of the year.  We've stopped all the going out with the dread of drunk drivers and instead have a quiet steak dinner at home, by candlelight and with the tree lights glowing, which my husband cooks (well, the steak anyway.) I don't feel any loss, and I'm going to feel great tomorrow instead of exhausted and hung over.  My husband does always ask if I'd like to go out.

Now that I've established what a good guy hubby is, and how lucky I know I am to have him, I'm going to complain about him just a bit (or more).  Sometimes with his gifts he knocks it out of the park, like the time he gave me two first edition Nancy Drew books worth hundreds of dollars that he bought for nothing (and didn't know their value). I was so thrilled to get those books.  Like the fur coat size 10 he got me for my birthday, two weeks before I found out I was pregnant and couldn't wear the coat that winter. (Actually it was another whole winter later that I could wear it, what with six months of dieting after a baby at age 36.  But eventually I happily wore the coat.)  Lots of other good stuff.  In some big ways he's sweet and thoughtful.

But then there are the holidays and birthdays when his hatred of shopping takes over and he lets everything go.  I always say, "Get me nothing; you've gotten me many beautiful things and I don't need anything and don't want useless things."  So he loves that and coasts along in denial until two days before Christmas when the Christmas Carol movie is on TV and Scrooge sets off a major guilt complex, so he runs out and spends money.  This is where it gets costly, and I know part of it is he doesn't want to be caught short in front of the children giving me nothing but a lump of coal or less  for Christmas.

I know, I know, I should be so lucky as I am.  But, but:  this time he bought me an extremely expensive book; the price is on the back imprinted; I will never read this book, and the more I look at it, the more irritated I get. I felt sick when I saw how much he spent.  There are many books I would love to have this year, instead I am stuck with this stupid badly written thing. It's a big, thick, thuggy book with endless text and gimmicks, the kind some people might leave on their coffee table to gather dust, too small to hide anywhere. It will never get lost on its own.  So it lies there in the bedroom next to the TV, staring at me, daring me to tell him the truth. I cannot put it in the bookshelf already lest he realize I am never going to read it. I'll have to keep it in the bedroom as part of the lie.  I wish I could ask him to take it back; even if the store just gave me an exchange card and not the money back, that would be something good and I could get some new books, probably five or six or more for what this thing cost. I don't want to hurt his feelings, but the minute I think that, I remind myself he let this go again and then did the rush job which always seems to cost money. It gets confusing who this gift is really for: me, or the guy that couldn't invest enough thought to get something I'd really like. (Whoops, there's the resentment.)  Then I get angry at myself for being a spoiled brat again, and the cycle starts all over.  I'm sure you would tell me to gracefully accept this horrible book and that the money or nice books I would get in exchange are not worth hurting his feelings.  PS This is the only gift he gave me this year. 

Part of this is that we are totally different; he hates taking anything back, whereas I am always eager that any gift I give is wanted and useful and fits and so on and if it doesn't, I'm happy to exchange or return it for the victim.  I never get hurt or upset if someone says, "This is the wrong size;" I'm glad to know they won't have a useless item to contend with.  This is where expectations come in; he expects me to not say anything, and I expect anyone to tell me about a useless gift.

The expectations go back to our childhoods, which is significant here in analyzing our children and how they relate to us and to each other in their marriages.  My mother was always the one to say, "I'll take this back if it doesn't work."  His mother never wanted to be bothered and to tell her a gift was unwelcome was considered a major insult and worthy of some terrible Cold War response from her that went on a long, long time.  People in his family didn't talk about feelings, ever.

Except for the book and having to lie about it when I opened it, Christmas was perfect.  My boys spoiled me with a beautiful new camera and my youngest son got me "Marcus Welby," Second Season, one of my all-time favorite shows.  So I wasn't totally left out.  (I spent part of the day after Christmas watching an orgy of three Welbys back to back; aren't DVD's wonderful? And aren't thoughtful sons?)

Our Kutoff King didn't show up, call, or send a card.  Nada. Go for it, Mister Man.  We had a truly great time without you.  We have learned to be a family without you and DIL and GD.  You are reduced to acronyms, whereas, you used to have real names. 

Just venting, but interested in your opinions, also any cheery stories you have about gifts you got this year that you loved, which would be a fun topic, or, of course, any gifts you got like mine that you hated.  Go ahead and take me to the woodshed if I deserve it.

I am so very happy and contented that I found this forum in 2010.  Here's a toast to our friendships in the coming months.  And a special glass lifted to you, Luise, for helping so very many of us in irreplaceable ways, with many special good wishes for you.  I hope your New Year is bright, that Val will be as well as he can be, and that you will find even more peace and contentment in your new and lovely abode.

Happy New Year,
Kathleen

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Re: I hate this Christmas Gift but thank you Luise
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2010, 03:32:03 PM »
I am so very happy and contented that I found this forum in 2010.  Here's a toast to our friendships in the coming months.  And a special glass lifted to you, Luise, for helping so very many of us in irreplaceable ways, with many special good wishes for you.  I hope your New Year is bright, that Val will be as well as he can be, and that you will find even more peace and contentment in your new and lovely abode.

I second that, Kathleen.

And I understand what you said about DH's gifts; all I can say is "footy pajamas" & "chainsaw."

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

kathleen

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Re: I hate this Christmas Gift but thank you Luise
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2010, 04:57:08 PM »
Laurie,

So great to hear from you tho not that you are sick.  I think it's fabulous you got a bicycle from your kids---obviously they connect you with youth.  Thank you for your suggestions about the book; I'll take them to heart.  It may be possible to return this book without telling my husband.  Excellent point about forgiveness vs. permission, real insight! 

Get well soon, and glad your DIL is able to absorb your symptoms,

Write soon,

Kathleen

cremebrulee

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Re: I hate this Christmas Gift but thank you Luise
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2010, 05:34:39 PM »
Buying gifts for someone else is difficult, sometimes you win, sometimes you don't...however, in my opinion, be it I like the gift or not...I would never be able to tell that person, even my husband that I didn't like it...to me, it's like a slap in the face...someone took they're time to pick out a special gift for me...therefore, I accept it if I use it or not, and if that person is coming to visit, I made sure I put it out or use it...sorry, but that is simply my take...

you hurt feelings when you tell someone you don't like the gift they took the time and money to get...but that's just me and Kathleen, I'm not putting you down, simply sharing my thoughts and feelings on the subject, it takes the joy out of giving a gift....and he may think twice next time and take your advice and get you nothing...

please don't hate me.... :)


LaurieS

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Re: I hate this Christmas Gift but thank you Luise
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2010, 07:30:32 PM »
I give a gift for it to be appreciated and used, if something else suits someone better I have no problem with them exchanging an item.  If I had given them a cherished family keepsake and it would not be appreciated I would hope that the receiver would give the item back.  No there would be no hard feelings on my part.

I understand what you are saying Creme, but any person I was close to felt that they had to run through their house an display items on my behalf, I'd feel as if they were perpetually lying to me in the process.

Gifts between my husband and myself, this is the most honest relationship I have.  If I can not be honest and tactful with my own husband then who can I be honest with.  I believe that most husbands would prefer that their wives be truthful, especially when a large sum of money is being spent.  Kathleen's husband just may think twice next time and say, hey let's go out and pick out that special something that you've wanted for yourself. Their goal is to make us happy not show that they have buying power.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2010, 07:39:41 PM by Laurie »

Faithlooksup

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Re: I hate this Christmas Gift but thank you Luise
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2011, 05:24:33 AM »
Hi Kathleen, Happy New Year!  OK...IMHO its OK to feel the way you do about the book.  Honesty is always the best policy......Just tell him, "honey (best to butter him up first) I love the book you chose for me, however would you mind if I returned it for a couple of others I would rather have?" And leave the ball in his court.   I dont understand why, men take it so personally when what they picked out, someone is not tickled pink with it!!!!!    When I buy someone a gift I really want them to like it and use it otherwise to me I simply wasted the money and I dont want to waste money and dont "fib to me" and tell me you like it when you really dont~~that hurts more...  In my Heart there is nothing wrong with exchanging a gift.    So, you go for it and begin your New Year off right!

Let us know how it goes!!!  Love and Hugs, Faith :)

Faithlooksup

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Re: I hate this Christmas Gift but thank you Luise
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2011, 05:48:47 AM »
OOOOPS I forgot to ask Kathleen,  did your DS bring home the new girlfriend?  And how did it go?
Faith :)

kathleen

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Re: I hate this Christmas Gift but thank you Luise
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2011, 07:10:10 AM »
I see all sides of this issue and thank you for your input.  Creme, you definitely have a good point about being gracious.  And Laurie and Faith, I think you are right too on the honesty side. How can everyone be right?  I think I will wait for an opportunity with husband, and see.  I will definitely let you know.

My son did bring his new love home and she is charming.  Very well educated and beautiful manners; comes from an upper-crust family.  Educated in a private school, a world traveler, a writer.  Speaks beautiful English tho she doesn't think she does.  I also found her to be mature and thoughtful.  For example, she was talking about how she had gotten vegetarianism "so deep into my mind" and then eventually realized it was something of a fanatical approach she was taking, so now she eats limited amounts of meat with "healthy food and diet."  Charming!

She did this amazing thing.  She asked to see old pictures.  And then she sat on the couch with me for well over an hour, going through those pictures, and really, really looking at them, and asking a whole lot of questions.  Who is this aunt?  Where does she live?  What is she like?

And then she asked to see a copy of my newspaper column.  She started reading it and then she said, "Can I take this copy home with me so I can really read it?"  (I just happen to have a few hundred extra copies of every column I write.)  And then I showed her a newsletter with a writeup of a presentation I gave, and she asked for a copy of that!  (Didn't have one.)  She kept looking at the newsletter and saying, "This is so interesting!" and it was real, not faked, interest.  She really was lovely.  I hope now they do get married.  I hope she's for real.

Overall, it was very comfortable being with her, a lot of laughter the first night and really great to feel so at ease so quickly.

The Kutoff King's wife/DIL never once sat and looked at our family pictures.  She never read anything I ever wrote.  She had no conceivable interest in me except what amount was I contributing to her latest party or project.  This is so entirely different---so far.

I wish I weren't still suspicious.

Once burned, twice shy, and thank you, Faith, for asking.  It was a lovely Christmas, now we'll see what's going to happen next.

Kathleen

Faithlooksup

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Re: I hate this Christmas Gift but thank you Luise
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2011, 09:14:38 AM »
Greetings Kathleen,   I am sooooo happy for you, she sounds wonderful and I am certain that she is very down to earth~~I like that in a person.  Stay positive about this-ok!!!  She certainly sounds like a Blessing to me.
Hugs and Peace, Faith :)

cremebrulee

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Re: I hate this Christmas Gift but thank you Luise
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2011, 10:05:37 AM »
I give a gift for it to be appreciated and used, if something else suits someone better I have no problem with them exchanging an item.  If I had given them a cherished family keepsake and it would not be appreciated I would hope that the receiver would give the item back.  No there would be no hard feelings on my part.

I understand what you are saying Creme, but any person I was close to felt that they had to run through their house an display items on my behalf, I'd feel as if they were perpetually lying to me in the process.

Gifts between my husband and myself, this is the most honest relationship I have.  If I can not be honest and tactful with my own husband then who can I be honest with.  I believe that most husbands would prefer that their wives be truthful, especially when a large sum of money is being spent.  Kathleen's husband just may think twice next time and say, hey let's go out and pick out that special something that you've wanted for yourself. Their goal is to make us happy not show that they have buying power.

Well, there is the difference, I could never nix a gift anyone gave me b/c I know they took they're time and hard earned money to say, "I was thinking of you and thought you might like this"....but again, we're two totally different people, and as I always say, your not wrong, and I'm not right, it's simply how we both feel and think about an issue.  My foster mother used to do that all the time, and it really hurt our feelings...until we got to the point of not getting her anything any more...sad but true...it's like a real slap in the face...and I couldn't do that to anyone, not even my husband....wouldn't want to hurt his feelings after he thought he was doing something nice for me...so you chalk it up as an experience....sometimes, it's not worth complaining about at the cost of someone's feelings....especially my husbands, if I had one....LOL, when I receive a gift, no matter how ugly it might be, I always act surprised and greatful to make the other person feel as if they did good...and I'm pleased...and flattered that they took the time to pick something out for me and gift it....

and while we're on the subject of gifts, I just want to share, my DIL picked out the most awesome birthday gift for me...I awas so pleased, and she even mailed it to me...I'm so lucky....
« Last Edit: January 01, 2011, 12:05:40 PM by cremebrulee »

cremebrulee

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Re: I hate this Christmas Gift but thank you Luise
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2011, 12:08:43 PM »
I see all sides of this issue and thank you for your input.  Creme, you definitely have a good point about being gracious.  And Laurie and Faith, I think you are right too on the honesty side. How can everyone be right?  I think I will wait for an opportunity with husband, and see.  I will definitely let you know.

My son did bring his new love home and she is charming.  Very well educated and beautiful manners; comes from an upper-crust family.  Educated in a private school, a world traveler, a writer.  Speaks beautiful English tho she doesn't think she does.  I also found her to be mature and thoughtful.  For example, she was talking about how she had gotten vegetarianism "so deep into my mind" and then eventually realized it was something of a fanatical approach she was taking, so now she eats limited amounts of meat with "healthy food and diet."  Charming!

She did this amazing thing.  She asked to see old pictures.  And then she sat on the couch with me for well over an hour, going through those pictures, and really, really looking at them, and asking a whole lot of questions.  Who is this aunt?  Where does she live?  What is she like?

And then she asked to see a copy of my newspaper column.  She started reading it and then she said, "Can I take this copy home with me so I can really read it?"  (I just happen to have a few hundred extra copies of every column I write.)  And then I showed her a newsletter with a writeup of a presentation I gave, and she asked for a copy of that!  (Didn't have one.)  She kept looking at the newsletter and saying, "This is so interesting!" and it was real, not faked, interest.  She really was lovely.  I hope now they do get married.  I hope she's for real.

Overall, it was very comfortable being with her, a lot of laughter the first night and really great to feel so at ease so quickly.

The Kutoff King's wife/DIL never once sat and looked at our family pictures.  She never read anything I ever wrote.  She had no conceivable interest in me except what amount was I contributing to her latest party or project.  This is so entirely different---so far.

I wish I weren't still suspicious.

Once burned, twice shy, and thank you, Faith, for asking.  It was a lovely Christmas, now we'll see what's going to happen next.

Kathleen

That is the kind of DIL's my girlfriend has...all of them well educated coming from very well to do families with a whole lot of manners and maturity....

I'm so so happy for you, what a nice meeting and visit you had...she will become a good friend....

you see, the difference is, this one, isn't looking for someone to take care of her, this one has goals, with or without your son...and she gets it...I bet she is very confident and charming....mature and knows where she wants to be in life...and won't ever be co-dependent on your son, she chose him because she likes him, not b/c she thinks you have to be married to be successful....or b/c everyone else is doing it....

Hugs and blessings...enjoy her Kathleen
Creme
« Last Edit: January 01, 2011, 12:11:13 PM by cremebrulee »

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Re: I hate this Christmas Gift but thank you Luise
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2011, 06:06:57 PM »
Kathleen, that's marvelous news! One can tell a lot about a person by the interest they take in other people's photos and family history. Unfortunately, being well-educated and upper-crust doesn't always ensure good manners and maturity...my SM is from an old-money family and has degrees from three prestigious Ivy League schools; she's still rude, selfish and narcissistic. It sounds as though you have a winner there, though. She sounds charming..I wish you the best of luck!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

cremebrulee

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Re: I hate this Christmas Gift but thank you Luise
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2011, 04:02:22 AM »
Kathleen, that's marvelous news! One can tell a lot about a person by the interest they take in other people's photos and family history. Unfortunately, being well-educated and upper-crust doesn't always ensure good manners and maturity...my SM is from an old-money family and has degrees from three prestigious Ivy League schools; she's still rude, selfish and narcissistic. It sounds as though you have a winner there, though. She sounds charming..I wish you the best of luck!

Your right Pen, being upper class doesn't always mean a person is stable and understands the needs of others, and is able to allow, and I shouldn't have made it sound so general...what I was explaining was, my Girlfriends DIL's....I'm always very enthusiastic and taken back by how loving they are to her....and all of them, were from old money, and received the best education...I just think her son's were very wise in what they were looking for in a wife....and that is one family where I see, the DIL's want to be with they're husband's parents over the holidays....they love her but respect her dearly....

But, yes, your right....

Faithlooksup

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Re: I hate this Christmas Gift but thank you Luise
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2011, 08:15:31 AM »
Hi again Kathleen,   This is in regards to gift giving.  I was reading my book last night and low and behold the two women were having a conversation about giving, along with will he return it will he not.  LONG story short I thought of you with your gift from your husband, and my new reply to you is......GO with your gut feeling...if it feels right returning it, do it!   If it dosen't~dont't!!   Only you can make the decision.....Always trust your intuition for it will never stear you wrong.
Hugs, Faith