Wednesday, January 2, 2008
More problems with Christmas gift giving
Dear Dr. Jim
My sister gave my kids really crappy Christmas presents this year. We all draw names and the minimum was $50; however, they gave him a $5 gift card to McDonald's.
How do I handle the response to this? We bought their child a Wii game that was well over $50 with tax. Please let me know your opinion. I have googled your blog and it seems like you give honest responses to people's questions.
Thank you for the response, in advance.
Trying Not To Be a Scrooge!
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This is a common situation at Christmas or birthday giving time. Both of these situations then can be categorized for advice and adaptation purposes as Inequitable Gifting Syndrome, or IGS. There is a short answer and a long reply to your situation.
The short answer, and I am assuming it is your son's response that is bothering you, is to withdraw from the gifting. Your sister for some reason must feel that $5.00 is quite adequate for her nieces and nephews.
Best would be to leave it like that and with no remarks of sarcasm or hurtful conduct so as to cause any further family friction than may be underlying here.
Also, to treat this scientifically, instead of withdrawing, you would want to rely upon advice of paid professionals such as medical doctors or psychologists trained in family counseling. I am not one of these, merely an experienced problem column writer.
That said, I did do a fairly detailed analysis of your family's situation which is much too lengthy to put here. It is now in my archives, click here if you care to read it. I might warn you, it can be quite boring.
And thank you for telling of your respect for opinions given here in the past.
So, keep on keep'n on, and till then,
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