Guest in debt over gift

posted 1 year ago in Gifts and Registries
Post # 16
1607 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

Your grandmother is the matron of the family and as such I respect her thoughts on the matter.

She chose not to share this with you. 

Do not give the money back. 

Post # 17
6449 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

Unless your uncle said something directly to you, it is hearsay – no more than a rumor. So you act like you haven’t heard a thing about it. If the uncle wanted you to know or needed the money back, he would contact you. And please don’t send a huge amount more than you normally would for a gift for another occasion. Again, what you heard might not be true at all, and they could think it was really odd for you to go all-out when you haven’t in the past.

Post # 18
167 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

Ugh, sorry bee. I totally get it.

Chances are, if you brought it up and offered the money back it they wouldn’t accept it and they’ll probably be embarassed that you found out. I had an aunt who is financially well off gift us what I thought was an obsene amount of money for our wedding (she travelled cross country as well), but she refused to take it back. It made me super uncomfortable. 

Maybe if they have a big event, like a birthday or anniversary coming up you could send them a nice gift? 

Post # 19
2913 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

Don’t do anything with this information, like another PP noted, I don’t think $1000 would have driven them into “debt”, they were likely already in the hole, splurged on your wedding then realized it wasn’t a smart decision and chosing to place the blame on that. 

OR, it’s not true. That’s a very generous gift, especially since they’ve already traveled to attend your wedding, I just find the whole thing hard to believe. 

He could have also made a comment as a distasteful joke to point out how expensive your wedding was- but you should know your uncle if that sounds like something he’d say.

Post # 20
3555 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

rosieposie3 :  do nothing. $1000 is not what put them in debt. they might not have been able to afford that gift (in which case they shoudln’t have given it), but $1000 is not where debt comes from. they have a whole lot of money issues totally aside from your wedding gift if $1000 is what is making or breaking them.

Post # 21
2811 posts
Sugar bee

I agree with PPs that there must be more to it than just the wedding gift. $1000 is an abnormally high amount so if it just wouldn’t make sense for him to gift that amount if it was going to suddenly plunge them into debt. Even if it was then they clearly have major money management issues so it probably wasn’t the only unwise move they made. 

Don’t stress yourself out about it. Just give them some generous gifts going forward. 

Post # 22
439 posts
Helper bee

I agree with the PPs that the $1000 wedding gift is not the source of their money problem. If they make good money as you say, $1000 isn’t something that they should be struggling with a year later. 

I would do nothing. Unless you were approached directly by uncle’s family about this, it is hearsay from your (unreliable?) sister. I would think that your uncle would be extremely embarrassed if you approached him regarding returning the gift. 

Also, I know that several people said that you should generously gift them for birthdays and Christmas. I would personally be against this idea.

A wedding is a once in a lifetime (at least you hope) gift giving event for someone. If you start giving lavish Xmas and birthday gifts you will be setting a precedence for years to come. Also, if other family members find out that you are sending this niece and nephew XYZ presents and only doing ABC for other family members it will not be perceived well. Furthermore, you could be setting yourself up for uncle’s family to feel a need to return your generous Xmas and birthday gifts in kind, thus negating any do-goodery you were planning to try to refill their coffers. I would continue as you have in years past and not increase your monetary amount or frequency of gift giving to them. 

Post # 23
47190 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

No one is in debt because of one $1000 expenditure.

Post # 24
1718 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

 julies1949 :  This. It’s not your fault, bee. 

Post # 25
131 posts
Blushing bee

rosieposie3 :  In my opinion, when you are an adult, one of the most invaluable things you can learn is to budget. You have to learn things you can afford and things you cant, including gift giving. With all that being said-none of this is in ANY way your fault. They should have realized way ahead of time they cant afford a $1,000 gift. But if you have the money and it wouldn’t put YOU in a financial bind, I would probably give it back to them. ONLY because I don’t like the thought of my family struggling financially if I have the means to help them-not because you owe them. 

Post # 26
470 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I have a sister who’s like this, very generous with gift even though she needs that money more than us. We always give all the money back + some at the next gift event (her/her son’s birthday)..  

Post # 27
3837 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Don’t worry about it. Just be generous back at Christmas. 

I guarantee that if they are in debt it is NOT because they gave you $1,000 over a year ago. That just doesn’t make sense. 

Maybe they are in debt because they’re big spenders in general. Maybe they’re not in debt and someone is lying. Either way none of it is on you. 

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