Unwonted Xmas Presents from Sister-InLAw

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2004
Unwonted Xmas Presents from Sister-InLAw
Tue, 12-28-2004 - 9:23am

Hello, there,
Brief background:
Me and my Sis-in-law are both now married to a diforcees with two kids. We have a similar age, looks(in a way) and obviously, like to dress up nicely, however, at the time she came in to the picture, I was married for some 3 1/2 years. Last year I became pregnant and they announced their engagement soon afterwards. They wed and she is 7 month pregnant now.

Once we learnt she is expecting - I offered her books, pregnancy magazines and my clothes, which I think she liked, as she commented on them when I was preganant ( D&G and Moschino). As I am a mum and I am working - it is very difficult to make time for other things, however, I suggested to her to go out for a coffee once, conversation diverted to the ex-wifes, she also complained of a uneasiness between her husband's ex and kids access (to me it is all old and I am not overeacting to the same staff now). Meeting finished with her saying that it was great that we have similar ex's so we can discuss issues and work things out and that she will call for the next coffee meeting. Not as if she needs a friend - she got them, of course.

As a families, for any occasion we try to choose the day when it is good for all kids to be together( both step-daugters are of a similar age)

The Issue:

I am not sure whether it is her pregnancy, but the present I got from them it is just so not me, and it's looks like she have purposely done to unnoy me - I would have preffered to keep my present to her than hers to me( well, theirs). Whether my husband received a toletries set from Gucci, guess what is in my bag - slipers with a silky nighty from cheap shop -PRIMARK, jewellery set from Wallis - last spring stock ( obviously her's unwanted gift) and AVON bronzing kit (as if I need one - she obviously forgot that I mentioned to her that I already got one from Esteee Lauder). Last Xmas one of the present from her was a silver chain from Argos, which i also though it was her unwonted gift, as when I took it to exchange to the shop - they have stopped listin it! I would have preffered to hold on to YSL goldern compact (selection of shadows and glosses) and the book I gave to her. Now I understand how she manages to drive a Merceders CC - best for herself all the unwanted gifts to the somebody else - and I naively thought we could be firends! Now a remember that she 'forgot' to invite me to the 'stag night' trip to Spain as well or something, whether all the rest of our husbands female friends gone ( of cause I new them). Not as if I would go - I had a 8th month baby then - but then again, I was not invited!

I am pretty sure how I am going to keep myself with her from now on - friendly and proffessional, concetrating on myself and setting my own business. However, i would appreciate any advice on what my next present to her (her baby is due in February) should be. Also, do you think, should I get her something 'nice and cheerfull' from 'Primark' for the next Xmas as a direct reminder? Or shall I just keep myself tall and ignore her 'dirty' tricks and continue give presents, which I would like myself.
Thank You all for attention.

Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 12-28-2004 - 6:36pm
My advice is to take the high road and not play games. Also don't be overly generous with your time or your gifts if she does not reciprocate. Sometimes it works out that family members are good friends and sometimes it doesn't. If the best you have is a civil relationship, then you are way ahead of a lot of people.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-21-2004
Wed, 12-29-2004 - 5:12pm
I have this happen to me for years. Sometimes I wondered if I had done something wrong. The fact of the matter is that sometimes IL's express their anger through gifts or the lack of them. I decided that the best solution for me was to not devote my time or money to extravagant gifts for them, as my heart will only continually be broken. I decided that I could get great gifts for them without spending a great deal of money. Shop the clearance rack in Marshalls, Filene's, Daffy's, TJ Maxx etc. They often have high end designers such as D&G, Prada, Ralph lauren, DKNY etc. for some surprising prices. I have often nabbed great designer gifts for $5-$10. Don't get mad, just even the playing field. I don't tell my husband what I spent since he cares only that I don't spend exorbitants amounts of money on gifts. Now. Christmas costs us no more than $250-$300 for all gifts including our own to each other. We spend more on the children since Christmas is really for them. She'll think, she got me a great gift and only you will know what you paid for it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2004
Fri, 12-31-2004 - 6:32am

Dear Lucy ,

Thank you for your kind word and your support. It is amasing, that a simple , but sound sound advise like yours makes my head clearer and somehow easier to take a direction... Also, I just found out that I am pregnant with my second child and I am delighted; and there is no point, indeed, waisting my time and energy on somebody who does not interested in you (other that on a social gazering, which brings a nice shine to herself). She will give a birth to her child sometime next month - I shall prepare my nice but not generous prezie for her baby, but I shall break the news about my own pregnancy in my own time.

IOnce afain, thank you for the advise and I would like to take thins opportunity to wish you and your family a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 01-06-2005 - 12:56pm

Congratulations on the new baby. How exciting!

What you said about not wasting your time and energy on people who aren't interested is so true. Relationships have to be reciprocal. I was just talking with a good friend last night about this. She is a very generous person and people take advantage of her generocity sometimes. We were talking about the need to be somewhat selfish sometimes and look out for your own best interests and then pick and choose who you will spend your time and energy on.

Happy new year to you too and best wishes for your pregnancy.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2004
Sat, 01-08-2005 - 1:48pm

Hei, there,

How lovely to hear fromyou agin. Many thanks for your support and wishes.

Happy New Year!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2004
Sun, 01-16-2005 - 8:49pm
I think you should grow up. Life is too short for this type of foolishness. I would have Loved to get the gifts she gave you from my family. I got quite a few things that I actually ended up giving to the Goodwill this year but it isn't worth ruining relationships over.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-02-2003
Mon, 02-07-2005 - 10:13pm

First, congratulations on your wonderful news!

I am in a similar situation with my SIL. She got married in spring 2001, and for Christmas 2001, I received a platter that was clearly an unwanted wedding gift. I knew it would make me mad every time I saw that platter in my cabinet, so I returned it. The clerk couldn't find it in the system and asked me if it was from the previous Christmas season. Aha! They finally accepted it back for a fraction of the cost, but it made me feel better!

You think I would have learned my lesson, but I spend a lot of time and take pride in finding well thought out, personalized gifts for members of our family to enjoy. This past Christmas, I had to keep myself from crying on the way home from inlaws. It is just very clear to me now that SIL doesn't want to be bothered to find that "perfect gift" and she feels that any old run of the mill thing will do for my gift. Maybe it is petty and I know it's better to give than to receive, BUT it hurts my feelings.

Next year, let's vow not to spend anymore time selecting their gifts than they spend to select ours!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-23-2000
Sun, 04-03-2005 - 3:39pm

Hi, I might be missing something because I don't understand why youre mad at her. She picked something that you didn't like. Lots of people do that, very rarely do they do it on purpose. It sounds like she likes you so I don't understand why you thought she would do it on purpose. I think it's sad that she just picked a gift that you didn't like and it migh treally hurt her feelings to know that you feel so angry about that.

Just let it go and get her a gift that you think she would like next time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-21-2005
Sat, 10-22-2005 - 12:21pm

Huzzah, Princess!

Ridiculous--saying the gifts one receives aren't good enough. If SIL purchases from a "lesser" store, she may have been in there anyway! Ever read "The Millionaire Next Door"? Saving money is the key to having money.

Donate unloved gifts to a shelter. Someone will be delighted to have nice new things.