Post # 1
DH’s family is a large one (6 siblings plus spouses, children and grandparents). We do a gift exchange in lieu of buying a gift for everyone for Christmas. Chldren get gifts from all adults and it works perfectly. However, my DH’s brother is newly divorced and has started dating someone else.
DH’s brother is kind of pushing for us to include his new girlfriend in every event like it’s been years of knowing her. I recently threw a baby shower for my sister and invited all my DH’s sisters and mother. I was told by my Darling Husband that his brother asked if she (girlfriend) could go as well. I invited her but she couldn’t go anyways (which tells me it’s the brother who is doing all the pushing). It’s time for us to assing each other a secret Santa for this year. I only participated in this exchange after Darling Husband and I were dating for about a year. DH’s sisters are weary to include her because she won’t even be there to open the gifts because it’s too soon in their relationship and she will be spending Christmas with her family. DH’s brother is asking who is going to be his grilfriend’s secret Santa so he can tell us what she wants. Icredible!! We have not even done the arrangemetns for the gift exchange and we don’t even know her.
Should we include her or no?
Post # 3
I think it would be a nice gesture. My husband’s famliy is very inclusive and I was invited to particpate in all of their holiday traditions within a couple months of dating. It meant a lot to me at the time, and still does now. It’s a nice gesture of good will that will go a long way.
Post # 4
I would absolutely include her IF she was going to be there with you, but if she’s not even going to be present during the exchange, then that’s silly and no.
Post # 5
My in-laws do siblings only for the gift exchange, but include all girlfriends/boyfriends in the same way as those married in. I say if you were included when dating, she should be too.
Post # 6
I voted yes it’s police, but it depends – how long have they been dating and how serious is it?
Darling Husband and I had only been dating 4 months by the time our first xmas came around. But it was very serious and his family wanted to include me in their secret santa.
Post # 7
I would say if she was going to be at Christmas than definitely yes. Because nothing is worse than being at the event and being excluded from something like that. But being that she won’t be in attendance. I don’t think she really needs to be included.
Post # 8
They’ve been dating for about four months and she will be spending xmas with her family but my Brother-In-Law wants to include her and send her the gift the next day which we find weird. We do the secret Santa and ask questions and make it fun, on xmas night we don’t know who we had until we open the gifts and then we say who we thought it was based on the quesitons that’s why I think it’s not going to work very well until we get to know her better but I know I may be coming off as bitchy LOL.
Post # 9
I also wouldn’t read anything into the baby shower or apart holidays. Your Brother-In-Law wanted her invited to the baby shower to feel includes. She probably declined because she knew you didn’t want her there– she might be trying to stay on your good side because she is serious. As far as holidays apart, families are full of drama. It might be easier for all involved not to spend them together this year. I would say that if you would be included if you weren’t there, she should be too. What is the harm of including her? Your Brother-In-Law sounds like he has had a hard year and this is important to him.
Post # 10
I say yes, it’s polite and will help her feel included, regardless of her being there for the gift exchange. I do think that the gf should be specifically asked if she would like to be included though. It’s not your place to determine the seriousness of a relationship.
FI’s family does the same thing, we each only have to get gifts for the kids and one adult. I wasn’t included our first christmas together because we literally started dating in December, and I only met his family shortly before christmas. I was, however, invited to join them for chrismas dinner if I wanted.
You don’t want to start things off on the wrong foot with this new gf, she may become family one day. Extend the offer, and if she declines she declines, at least she will be made to feel welcome.
Post # 11
If she’s not going to be there, I say no.
Post # 12
Don’t ask her- she might feel obligated. I know I would.
If she was actually coming to Christmas, I’d say include her to be polite. But since she’ll be with her family instead- no! That’s awkward.
Post # 13
Including her would be seen as being polite & inclusive (which is probably WHY your Brother-In-Law is pushing for this)
BUT a lot of this decision IMO would be based on what the family has historically done in the past…
If the family is quick to include GFs then ya it would make sense even if she can’t make the event…
BUT if it is as you say, typically only after a couple is more established (you were aprox 1 year dating, I take it these two are just a few months) then I could see WHY the rest of the family might be “weary / wary” (lol funny typo)
As a DIL you might not want to be the one to go against the grain here (not sure WHO usually heads up / organizes the Secret Santa Family Draws) if you feel that would make YOU yourself look pushy / rude
However, if the family is a fairly open one…
It might be the BIG thing to say in this situation,
“I volunteer to be the Secret Santa for NewGirl as Brother-In-Law Name really wants us to include her”
As someone who has been divorced, I gotta say that I “sort of get” where your Brother-In-Law may be coming from… Divorce is hard. It sucks when you feel like you don’t belong as you once did “in the bigger picture”… true enough it may seem pushy for him wanting this “Barely known GF” to be included in family events (more so if this relationship proves out not to last long)… but I also know that being a Divorced Person, that the Holidays (Christmas – New Years – Valentines etc) are all really really hard… they just seem to scream “You aren’t one of us… in a happy committed relationship”… and if this is the first year post Divorce / Break-Up by far that is the worst.
Hope this helps (some)
Lol… I know not a conclusive answer, like you were probably looking for… needless to say I didn’t vote in your Poll.
Post # 14
@Pollywog: She did not attend because she was out of town for work.
@drummerbride: Exactly! We don’t know how serious it is and if she will feel awkward.
I recently invited them to my home and the guys went to see a soccer match while me and my Mother-In-Law went shhopping, she did not want to go shopping with us and went to the soccer match instead. I think she’s very shy because she doesn’t know us very well (we’ve seen her at the most 4 times) and since we do the secret Santa the way we do it, I felt like someone would be missing out on the fun leading up to xmas night if you know what I mean.
Post # 15
@amoret11: I still say send out the offer, I don’t think she will feel obligated to do so. I definitely didn’t feel obligated to join FI’s family for christmas dinner that first year, and my family doesn’t do any holiday stuff on christmas, so it’s not like I had my own family stuff to do.
Chances are she won’t automatically feel offended if you don’t offer to include her, but if her SO starts complaining or shows that he is himself visibly upset about it she is more likely to see it as a slight. She doesn’t know what’s is normal traditions in the family, but if her SO is getting upset over her not being included, she will likely think that in the past the family always included gfs and feel like she was being left out because you all prefer the ex-wife.
Post # 16
I don’t know how exactly to vote in the poll, but this is how I feel:
If she was going to be attending, including her would be a really nice gesture.
Since she’s not going to be there, I wouldn’t include her.