I have been having a bit of a hard time lately as I usually do around the holidays. Every year it's the same old thing. I am always put on the back burner while my son who lives locally celebrates with his wifes family. Christmas day is spent there and they don't come out on Christmas eve either. I am not invited to go spend any time there. Gift exchanging with me has to take place when it isn't interfering with their plans and never with her family present. I am always at the bottom of the rung even though I have done more for him than any human alive. Loans, forget it.......he comes to me for that because her family doesn't have it to loan. If a babysitter is needed for her children ( not my sons ) they only come to me when her family isn't available because otherwise it hurts her families feelings. What about my feelings though, I wonder. I suppose I'm not supposed to have any of those. I feel that if I am not viewed as a member of the family that they want to spend time with during the holidays, why would they want to exchange gifts. And my son that lives out of state never does anything, not even a card. I always make sure that him and my granddaughters have gifts for Christmas but he doesn't even give a card nor does he have the girls call and thank me for my thoughtfulness. The thank you only comes from him and it doesn't seem very genuine. It feels more like it's what he expects of me because it's what I've always done. Nothing about any of it feels good or right anymore, hasn't for a long time. Truthfully, I have nothing to lose by stopping the effort because they haven't given me anything to hold onto. I think this may be the last year I do any gift giving and may not even do it this year. I am tired of the nonsense and the terrible feeling it brings, which is the opposite of what it should be. I don't feel like I'm being true to myself by keeping after it.
That sounds pretty tough, R. I have gotten to where I look to see what brings me joy. If it's gift giving, fine. If not, I don't do it. I've finally gotten to where I give my myself what I feel I deserve no matter what other's think. And I am not going to let others teach the children in my clan that it's OK to be abusive. I no longer set myself up to be a victim. That may be selfish. If so, so be it. I had to give up looking for reasons and hoping for change but I'm much happier. I matter. So do you!
Raindrops, sorry to read about your family holidays -- these times can bring up some of my worst emotions.
I think in many cases our children/GKs have come to 'expect' our gifts, because that's what we've always done. AND, if they have established a pattern of not giving us anything, even 'thanks', that continues, too.
A card? Those things are from another era - bygones.
I know it hurts, but have come to realize that my children/GKs are focused on themselves now. It might change as they get older, and then, maybe not. I remind myself that I give to show love, not to get anything back. But when it becomes a source of aggravation and even anger, I will stop, because I don't want to participate in bringing misery into my own heart.
Sounds like you are at the crossroad already and it feels strange to choose a different way.
For me, I would consider having family gift, such as flowers or food, delivered, letting them all know I was thinking of them and loved them.
Lastly, my town has many who are impoverished and there are ways to help them, so, I am blessed by giving to those who really appreciate it, yet they can give nothing back. It's a matter of the heart.
Blessings and peace to you through holidays!
Oh the pressure we put on December the 25th! For some reason most of us believe that if we are not surrounded by loving family and presents galore on that day every year that we are failures at life, love and happiness. I decided a few years ago that I would no longer be held captive by that particular social phenomenon. After all there were 364 other days every year and a gathering of my loved ones on any of those days is a great occasion for me!! I have actively started avoiding celebrating holidays on the days every other person celebrates them. It is quite liberating to shift the day for celebrating, say Christmas to lets say, December 27th. Why not? That way it doesn't interfere with anybody's plans. I enjoy the holidays much more with this attitude.
Anyway I hope you find a way to make your holidays tolerable and if you don't feel like giving a gift to someone just don't do it. Giving gifts when you don't want to is giving into the hoopla foisted on us by retailers who want to sell stuff.