August 13, 2020, 05:03:44 am


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Rethinking gift giving

Started by raindrops_on_my_soul, July 19, 2017, 08:09:13 am

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HI wise women,

Both of my sons have August birthdays and I have always given them gifts, but starting this year I don't believe I will be doing that anymore. I know gift giving isn't supposed to be done with the expectation of getting anything in return but I can't help to realize I am the only one doing it. These days they rarely even remember it's my birthday at all. My birthday is in February and my oldest son still hasn't mentioned it. My youngest remembered about a month late and mentioned it nonchalantly. Now this year I know they're going to be wondering why I didn't supply a gift like I always do, but I think all I'm going to do is send a happy birthday text message. I don't plan on giving any explanations about it either, just leave it at that. I don't know what planet people live on anymore but even a fifty cent card shows someone you're thinking of them, even without a gift. But the truth is, even if they remembered it they wouldn't do that. I know they are capable because I see them do these things for other people. My gift and my availability to them has become the expectation they have of me and I've just grown very, very tired of it all. It's been hard for me to face, a very hard thing to acknowledge, but I just don't like them as people. I love them, but I don't like them.


Since the gift giving hasn't worked out, maybe you could try something new like celebrating together over lunch or dinner, going to a nice restaurant.  If your DS will go along with that suggestion, it could start a new tradition. 


R, we get to choose. Tradition used to rule. It seems to me that  there are new traditions we didn't get to vote on. Happy Birthday seems to have evolved into an e-card or good wishes on FaceBook. Your peace of mind and self worth are what matters most! Hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Thank you for the responses. Marina that would be great if everyone would be on board with it. However, they wouldn't and it would only wind up with me having to pay for everyone's dinner. Frankly, I'm not interested in doing that and I've given about all I'm going to.


I agree with Luise that your peace of mind and self-worth should be your first priority.  Maybe it's selfish on my part, but I don't feel the need to expend the time and energy to shop for and choose a meaningful gift for someone who doesn't deem me worthy of their time or attention.  Take the time and money you would have used for their gifts and go do something nice for yourself, like a massage, manicure or a bottle of wine.   ;D


This was the first year my OS didn't call me on my BDay. I thought it would bother me more; but, I'm getting used to the fact that my OS and I are estranged. His BDay is in 2 more months. I'll probably just text a brief message to him. I'm not going to go all out like I used to. I feel differently now. I think it's part of being disappointed.

No more gifts from me. If I ever felt obligated to give a gift, I would give something to charity on behalf of my DS.

Quick story: Before my dad passed away 23 years ago, he and I had a heart-to-heart talk. He thought he was a horrible dad. I thought he was great. The last conversation my brother had with my dad was my brother yelling at my dad in front of (my brother's friends--showing off) friends. When my dad visited me later in the day, I could tell something was wrong. He told me that he was yelled at and felt humiliated.
People would see my brother go into the cemetery grounds at night and stay until the early morning hours. He would scream and cry like a baby while laying on my dad's grave--regret can kill a person.

I always think of this story. My OS will have to learn on his own --how valuable people really are.

Live your life! (I know, easier said than done)... Try to surround yourself with people who truly care about you! Take care of yourself!


How wise, Hollap. It took me forever, it seems now, to get that my job of teaching my sons was over when they left home and that as young adults their learnings would come from their choices and the consequences. Now, my 'baby' is 62 and he says I am still teaching him, as a role model, how to ace longevity!  :)  Looking back, I think my greatest task didn't involve my children, directly. It was to learn to love myself. Mothering taught me to put myself last in many instances and I had to unlearn that.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama