Post # 1
I had a very bad holiday season last year. (I’m Christian so let’s just just use Christmas here in my example.) I have a step-sibling who really runs the family gatherings. Leading up to Christmas we (siblings) had planned to go in on a gift for our parents. Money was sent to pay for said gift. A few days before we travelled for the holiday, this step-sibling emails me asking for money to put towards an extra gift for the parents. I thought our gifts were already covered, and had to say that we couldn’t afford it. Money was super tight at the time, we were saving up BIG TIME for a downpayment on our home. I had to tell her that we couldn’t afford it and not only was it embarassing for me to say that, she made snide remarks at the gathering about us not pitching in on the extra gift. Basically, I felt like complete shit before I even got there and the feeling stuck around the entire time.
Fast forward a few months – my husband and I finally bought our first home (yay!) and this step-sibling ended up buying a home around the same time. This person has asked us how much we paid for our home, how big it is, etc and when they realized it’s a.) worth less than their new home and b.) smaller they made comments about having the “biggest home in the family now”. (This happened before when they got a new vehicle – they said “I guess I’m driving the newest vehicle in the family now”)
This petty nonsense is constant and never-ending. I’m overly tired of it. I’ve had a few bad holiday seasons in a row now. I know it’s getting to that point where I am dreading Christmas in May/June because I know this bullshit is going to crop up once again.
If you were in my situation, what would you do? I’m contemplating staying here (300 miles from the drama) with DH and doing our own thing. Sending gift or money for our parents and calling it good.
Post # 3
I’d handle my own gifts from here on out and refuse to discuss details about prices of things,etc. It’s no one else’s business. I’d generally shy away from any conversations that seem to spark competition with your step sibling. Clearly they like to keep a scorecard. People like that don’t change, you just have to stop responding to them.
Post # 4
I would just do my best to ignore the comments made by your step-sibling. They don’t matter. If they are really ruining your holidays that stop going but is one person worth a holiday?
My advice, as a Christian woman, pray before you go on these holidays. Ask God to help you enjoy the time with your family and not let these things get to you. Give it to God.
Post # 5
I would just not give that person the time of day. It’s none of their business what your possessions cost or how big, small, whatever, they are. Ditto on the do your own gift- I know how awkward that can be when you are in a different financial situation.
Post # 6
@MrsD41503: This step-sibling can only cause drama if you let them. You control your response to her barbs.
There is nothing to be embarassed about saying “we can’t afford that.” It doesn’t mean you don’t have the money. It means in your budget you are not allocating that much money to that item or issue. Finances are a tough area for many people. Don’t let her push your buttons.
So what if she has the biggest house or the newest car? Who cares besides her? Some of us have other ways we measure the quality of our lives. I would respond with ” I hope you are very happy with it. Ours is perfect for us.”
Post # 7
Wow, how aggravating and useless. I know it’s hard to brush it off when people act like this, but I agree with @MrsWBS: stop feeding them. Don’t tell them how much you pay for anything, and purchase your own gifts for your parents instead of going in with them. Help end the bullshit cycle.
If they don’t have any information, they won’t be able to tell for sure if they’re outspending and outdoing you and your hubby.
Post # 8
@runningcali: VERY awkward! I should mention, that since I’m the ONLY non-blood related step-sibling, I’m about 10 years younger than all of them. I just graduated from college 3 years ago, DH and I got married last summer, we are at the same point in our lives as them, at all.
@Birdee106: that’s all I can do every time I am put in a social situation with them! Pray that it’ll turn out okay, pray that I’ll enjoy myself, and look for the positives.
Post # 9
Some people are just real idiots, too.
Post # 10
@MrsD41503: Yeah, with that additional info, gotta say – they are real assholes for rubbing these things in if they’re 10 years older. Some people never mature.
Post # 11
@MrsD41503: I wouldn’t let her keep you from seeing your parent(s), but would just try to stay away from her. Next Christmas I would buy my own gift and when asked to contribute to a group present simply state I had already purchased something. When asked about cars or houses or babies or whatever she’s going to try to one-up you on next, I wouldn’t engage. It’s none of her business how much you paid.
Post # 12
Sounds like she knows how to get under your skin. I would adopt an “Oh okay, good for you” attitude and brush her off. When faced with stress, our fight or flight instincts kick in. I don’t recommend “flight”, i.e. allowing her to dictate how you spend your holidays…