I too am flummoxed by the unwrapping of the gifts, only to return them. What, if they were really good, they would have kept them? Did the gifts themselves not measure up? Inexplicable. But then again, the whole thing is inexplicable.
So, my husband says every time something happens with them, it's like a punch in the gut. And this was a wallop. He semi-expected it, though, but that doesn't make it any easier.
But, he's not done. Against all logic and reason, he's still trying to figure out what the next step is. I pressed him hard, asking what it would take to realize they won't change and stepping away is the best for now. He countered we stepped away for a year, but that didn't help, and there's got to be something..........
There's nothing. I know there's nothing, except complete capitulation to their way of thinking, that will resolve this with them. But my husband can't walk away. He says he can't fathom they don't want to have anything to do with our son. That no one in his immediate family is willing to welcome him in any way.
I don't know what to say to that. But, then again, once the year turns and things get relatively back to normal, real life will kick in and it won't be the holidays and time will just pass. Part of the problem is I am done. I mean, come on, what else do they have to do to demonstrate how awful they are? But it's not my family.
So, he wants to send the box back. Write that Christmas is a time of giving and we give these gifts freely to them because we want to, and please don't send them back. And that he notes for the second year in a row they've failed to acknowledge their granddaughter, and now grandson, on the holidays.
I semi-joked I wanted to send them a postcard that simply said, I'm sure your grand-daughter will understand your petty sentiments.
I was going to do a post this week about my pettiness. The thing is, I miss their gifts. They are absolutely the worst money managers in the world - already gone through bankruptcy 10 years ago - and part of their problem is they spend extravagantly. Not wildly extravagantly like giving Coach bags or designer this or that, but fairly nice stuff. My parents aren't well off, so Christmas with them is always modest. But it was nice to get a $50 gift card to Ann Taylor or whatever, on top of a nice assortment of knick-knacks and stuff. I'll admit it, I liked it. And of course the overload for our daughter. And I find I am actually resentful there were no gifts last year and now this year. I have to remind myself every extravagance they spend now is just one step closer to running out of money in their retirement and their pending need to be cared for in their old age. And believe me, they're not living in my house when that day comes.
Though there is the first year we were married. We went to my parents house for Christmas, and so made it to the inlaws after the New Year (something they bring up now - we've had to celebrate the holidays with you in January!). We were swept into the living room, where there was a stack of presents. I unwrapped the two for me. You know those quilted boxes that you store china in? Yep - one present of the box for tea cups, the other present was the boxes for dinner plates and salad plates. I still use those boxes, actually, the six sets of wedding china we got are carefully stored in the basement right now. But my husband had about, no lie, 25 presents to unwrap. I sat there as he unwrapped Ralph Lauren shirts, and pants, golf shirts, t-shirts, underwear (yes, my MIL gave him underwear our first year of marriage!), socks - a whole wardrobe of 3 or 4 outfits, plus golf balls and gloves and various other things. About half way through I excused myself and let the dog out back and shed a few pity tears for myself. The next year my husband's brother was married (to someone more suitable, natch) and the gift giving evened out.
But those quilted boxes! What a message that sent in year one. So tell me, what messages have you received over the years in your stocking? Coal comes in many shapes and sizes.
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