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Discussion Starter #1
My siblings and I don't see each other very much, mainly because I moved across country in my late teens so I never have gotten to know any of their children.
My sister has kept me up to date on her daughter-job loss/illness/serious money problems/bad marriage etc and has let me know her daughter always felt "ignored" by relatives in her younger life. For this reason, and because of their difficult financial situation, I have made a special point to remember her and her child on various occasions and have sent money so the child could have back to school clothes etc.
Last Christmas, I spent hours at online sites picking quite a few really unique gifts for this only child (age 7). Mind you, I have never met the child, nor the dad, and the mom I have maybe met 3 times in her 35 years (and haven't seen her in 20 years).
Last year, about a month after Christmas, I got a thank you card from the mom that said (really) "Thank you for the gifts". After all the time I spent selecting the gifts, I would have loved to hear what the child did with them (one was an unusual pedaling thing, kindof like a stand up unicycle).
In the spring, I sent the family some books and heard nothing back. I didn't send the mom a birthday gift after that, but did send the child birthday gifts.
This past summer, the family lost their home and the couple separated and the mom and child moved in with my sister. But, in a month or so, the couple re-united, and finally things are seeming to turn up for them. The dad got a wonderful, high paying job and they moved to a lovely home. They are expecting another child and seem to be doing well.
Now, here is my dilemma. Without saying it in so many words, I sent them so much over all these years because I knew they couldn't do for themselves. Now they have means.
What would you do this Christmas?
 

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what about a u.s. saving bond for the child? or donate in their name to an organization that helps families in trouble, letting them know it is in their honor and because they have overcome such obstacles.
beth, moose and angel
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Two great ideas. I don't want to completely "cross them off my list" but they seem to be doing fine now.
 

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Initially, I was writing how children don't understand financial woes or lack of and how they love gifts, even little ones. However, it appears you have never talked to this child and that the mother is not really receptive to your generosity. Maybe you could send the whole family a Christmas card with how you and your family are doing (like ones of those newsletters), and maybe they will reciprocate so you can learn more about them. And you can send a gift or goodie for the little girl with that newsletter so she knows who she is receiving it from and make it more personal.

I have no idea but their behavior would really bother me even though that is not very Christmas Spirit like.
 

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My inlaws ended up cutting off some of their grandchildren because they didn't send thank you notes or even acknowledge the gifts. They were all in their "upper" teens, so they knew better. It hurt my in-laws feelings that they weren't acknowledged at all. Personally I would have told their son what they were doing and why (in advance) so the son could let the kids know what was happening, but they chose not to do that. The grand kids didn't even notice the lack of gifts. You might find your sister's daughter and family are the same way.
 

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The sins of the parents. :uhoh:

I'll bet the little girl always loved getting the presents. What kid doesn't like presents. Although you don't know for sure if it was acknowledge TO HER that they came from you.

I would find her some nice gift, not too much and send it to her. I would include a card to her, maybe a picture of the puppers doing something funny...dressed up for Christmas, complete with frame. You may not have a relationship with her mom but you can be building one with your great neice.

We never know the impression we are making on children.
 

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Have you ever communicated personally with your niece or her daughter? She may feel like she does not know you at all, which would explain the lack of contact back from her.

If you choose to continue sending them gifts, do it because you want to do it and don't expect much acknowledgement. If you don't feel comfortable with the very limited response, then don't feel like you need to continue to send them nice gifts.

A card with a note saying you have donated to a charity in their name would be still remembering them but putting your money somewhere you are happy with.
 

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I would send the girl something small like hair ties or something similar and write her telling you about your family etc and asking about hers. Hopefully she will write you back.

I think you are wonderful for sending gifts to your sister's grandchild all this time!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think I will do an "in your family's honor" donation to Healthy Families (a program at the non-profit I work for) in a Christmas card. I actually did this for all my siblings a few years ago (no one sent a Thank You but at least I know the donation went to a good cause and a well run program!)
 
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