Post # 1
Hi all, I’m a longtime lurker, first time poster! I definitely want some of your opinions on this matter, as its starting to casue me anxiety and and I’m getting some major guilt tripping from my mother. Sorry if this is lengthy!
My sister in law and I aren’t really close…I see her at family events and we chat then, along with possibly a text here and there regarding random stuff. I invite her and my brother to parties at our place and we hang out, but they don’t really reciprocate with any invites for my fiance and I. I was a bridesmaid in her wedding to my brother two years ago and it was fine, no crazy bridezilla moments and we got along ok.
I was all set to ask her to be a bridesmaid in my October 2014 wedding just beause my mother told me that’s what you’re “supposed to do”, when she sent me a rather nasty message on facebook before Christmas. I had recently graduated from my Masters program and was flat broke with my FI supporting me…I sent out a message to my brothers and SIL saying that I am so sorry but won’t be able to exchange gifts this year due to my then financial situation, but that I would be sure to make up for it the following Christmas when I was gainfully employed (my mother actually told me to send this message, as she knew I was poor lol).
Here is SIL’s response: “Hi Krisdab13, I understand that the finances are tight but I hope you don’t mind me being frank. The holidays are a time to show your appreciation for your loved ones. Some of my favorite wedding gifts were hand made and we treasure them more than some of the most expensive gifts we got. You have sent this same message for the past two years and it’s a little insulting. It’s more about the thought you put into a gift, so even a batch of homemade cookies would be a gracious gift, or a package of chocolate covered graham crackers from the dollar store, or even a handmade ornament made out of a pine cone you found in the back yard. Your fiance has money too and you guys will be married soon so I think it is unacceptable to say you’re not getting us gifts this year. Even a card saying how much you care about us is better than nothing. And, we already got you a gift.“
If I’m in the wrong, please let me know…but I was very hurt and offended by this….I didn’t respond to this message and haven’t brought it up since…but it’s obviously still bothering me and I don’t know what to do—-please help!
Post # 3
Well did you mean you didnt want them to get you anything or just that you couldnt get them something? Be honest.
I think it’s weird but it’s not so bad. Not worth having a family feud over. My family skips exchanging a lot bc of money, but my sister’s mother in law would never be ok with that. It’s prob how she was raised.
Post # 4
And when did you send it?
Post # 5
@Bubbles42: Thanks for your reply! I really did want to get them something, as I love my brothers and I had been getting SIL gifts for years (her and my brother dated in high school, so its been years of buying her gifts)…that’s why it rubbed me the wrong way! I guess I didn’t realize how important tangible gifts are to her….just the wording and her not saying it to my face (and hiding behind the internet) stung
Post # 6
@Bubbles42: I sent the message around Mid-November
Post # 7
@krisdab13: TBH I think sending the message was a bad idea. Why don’t you and your fiance give gifts from both of you?
That said, her reply was b1tchy and unnecessary. Why do adults care so much about gifts anyway? Boy I’m glad I negotiated with my family to stop giving gifts to the adults.
EDIT: p.s In answer to the message title, I’d pretend the message didn’t happen and still invite her to be a BM. Reciprocal invites aren’t necessary, but when it’s family, I think it’s a good idea. She’ll probably be your SIL for the rest of your lives.
Post # 8
I can kind of understand where she’s coming from. If you’ve sent the same message three years in a row that you wouldn’t be getting anyone Christmas gifts, I can see where she might be frustrated. It doesn’t sound like she wants you to buy her a Coach purse or anything, more that she maybe put a lot of thought into your gift and would love for you to do the same, even if it’s just a batch of cookies. People are always more important than things. ALWAYS. However, I think it would probably be nice if instead of showing up empty-handed to Christmas, you could make free/inexpensive thoughtful gifts for your loved ones.
She definitely didn’t express herself in the right way, and I’m not trying to defend her actions, only saying that I can see how she might be feeling.
Post # 9
@krisdab13: In a way I can see her point. I am sorry but you should have never sent that message to her. You could have easily made cookies or DIY something. Her response was rather bitchy but definately can see her point.
This is coming from a woman who has SIL who is very anti Christmas present and I love to give gifts. But my SIL is always DONT GIVE GIFTS TO MY FAMILY. Hello she has a 1 yr old and 4 yr old I am not going to make them miss out on gifts. Fine don’t get her and her DH gifts but the kids, yeah they get gifts
Post # 10
@krisdab13: To be honest, I don’t think your SIL is out of line with her message, she wasn’t rude and she told you what she thought.
I agree that you should bake them some lovely cookies or any other no/low cost DIY gift.
Post # 11
@krisdab13: Hmm, well, while I think her message was a little presumptuous, she honestly wasn’t particularly nasty about it, and prolly has the love language of gifts, and I can see how someone with that love language would react that way. I mean honestly, as a broke recent graduate myself, when I can’t afford to buy people stuff I usually will make things, even if it is just cookies.
I think it was a bad idea of your mother’s to have you send that message instead of offering helpful suggestions to give something on a tight budget, especially if it really is your third year in a row. So while her message was a little pushy, I would overlook it and still just have her be a bridesmaid.
Post # 12
Know what I’d do in your shoes? I’d take her at her word. Next Christmas, I’d give her some chocolate-covered graham crackers from the dollar store, OR a pine cone ornament. 🙂
In case it’s not obvious, yes, I think she was terribly rude. Even if I’m sympathetic to her perspective, it is NO ONE’s place but your parents’ to take you to task and chide you in this way, as though you were some errant child.
Courtesy would have demanded she keep her opinion to herself — or, at the least, replied far more kindly, along the lines of: “Hon, I totally understand. But if you want to give a gift anyway, just know that I’ll value anything I get from you — be it a home-made card or a gift from the dollar store or what have you! Seriously, it’s the thought that counts, and we all understand you’re broke. 🙂 “
THAT kind of message would have left me far more kindly disposed to her. Had she sent that kind of message, I’d be telling you to get over it and definitely include her in your wedding. But as it stands, hell no, do not invite her to be part of your bridal party unless you want her there. And clearly you don’t, and I can’t blame you for it. Who would want a bridesmaid who has appointed herself your etiquette tutor, judge, and disciplinarian? Ugh!
(But while we’re at it, and just FYI — I agree with the others who say you can and should be giving gifts jointly with your FI, at least when it comes to his family. See if he’s willing to donate fifty cents to that box of graham crackers, come December!)
Post # 13
Thanks for the replies guys! I had asked several friends and family members and received many different opinions….I do agree that I could have taken the time to make something like cookies or candy–I do see where she’s coming from in that aspect, and I feel bad about it. While I was busy in school, I wasn’t too busy to make a damn batch of tollhouse!
I want to be able to forget about her response and move on, but my FI was so pissed about it and he’s dead set on her not being in the bridal party (even though I think it’s also my decision)…*sigh*…I just hate these situations!
Post # 14
@calendula: LOL!! I was actually thinking about doing that….my aunt said that she saved a pinecone from her backyard just for me and that she’ll take me to the dollar store to get some glitter/googly eyes/felt xmas hat to decorate it with 🙂
Post # 15
@krisdab13: I think she had good intent behind her message, albeit, it came across majorly bitchy. I think she was just trying to say “stop complaining, we know you’re a student, it’s the thought that counts” but she doesn’t really appear to have the cooth to get that across without a snotty tone in an email. I would let it go, and ask her to be your BM. She’s probably going to be in your family for sometime, and you don’t want to cause WW III over something that she probably already forgot about. I would def make the pinecone gift for her this year, and she won’t be able to complain!! Maybe encorporate that into your “will you be my BM?” gift lol.
Post # 16
@krisdab13: I agree with AirForceWife. She probably didn’t mean for it to come out like it did, but after getting that message for 3 years in a row… I would certainly THINK the same thing even if I didn’t say it. I think you should let it go, and ask her to be a BM.