Tag Archives: Christmas Presents

“Jaw With John” – Aunt Is A Regular Sue Storm

In yesterday’s mail we received a birth announcement of a new great-nephew, addressed only to my husband.

Christmas cards, wedding announcements, birth announcements, thank-you cards — anything coming from his sister and her children all are addressed only to him.

The most mention I ever get is “and Family.” One wedding invitation actually came to “Uncle John and Family.” Our children are grown so presumably I’m the nameless “Family.”

I buy the presents and sign the cards and checks. There’s no animosity between us. I’ve known the kids since birth and they are all nice people. But each omission makes me feel, well, a bit unwanted.

I’m tempted to have only my husband sign the card that I bought before the announcement arrived. I want him to tell his sister that this makes me feel sad and left out. He doesn’t see it as an issue and thinks I should ignore it, but he also says that since it bothers me, I should tell her myself.

What’s your take? — The Invisible Aunt

Dear Invisible:

Listen to your husband here and talk directly to his sister. I know what it’s like to be slighted, albeit in a different manner.

It was Christmas, the family was opening presents and we had decided to open gifts from a certain friend all at the same time. All the gifts were neatly and elegantly wrapped and there was a note saying that the gifts were all from a recent trip to Africa … except for me. I got a calendar. I looked around and said, to myself, There was nothing in Africa that could be for me? Not one thing? I moved on and now it’s a pretty decent joke I can tell. Your situation is different but similar.

You know you need to bring this to the attention of your brother’s sister otherwise it will continue. Being passive aggressive with the notes and gifts won’t solve anything. Ask your sister-in-law “What’s up?” because unlike my calendar, your feelings won’t go away after January 1st.

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“Jaw With John” – Wrap Your Head Around This

My mother-in-law frequently orders birthday and holiday gifts for my family online, has them delivered directly to our house and then expects me to wrap them.

I don’t want to seem ungrateful — I really do appreciate that she cares enough to buy nice presents for our family. But I have three kids, a full-time job and many other obligations, and the time spent wrapping her gifts adds up.

I totally get why she wouldn’t want to have the items shipped to her, only to wrap them and pay shipping again to send them to us. However, I think if the situation were reversed, I might pay for gift wrapping when placing the order — or at least ask first whether she had the time to take care of it. Am I being an unappreciative grump? — Wrap-proachful

Dear Wrap-proachful:

I like the play on words you did with your name. Cute.

How many gifts is she sending? Is it really too much of your time to wrap a few of them?

I view two options here for you. Option 1: Ask your mother-in-law to have them wrapped by the company she bought them from. That way they will arrive at your house already wrapped.

Option 2: Open them up, remove any receipt and then wrap the box that it came in. I do that A LOT. It saves me from having to wrap an oddly shaped item unsuccessfully to wrapping a box unsuccessfully.

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