Sister can't afford Christmas for her kids.

posted 3 years ago in Family
Post # 31
Member
2246 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

I’d throw them a surprise Christmas.  They do this on a radio station here every year for a family who can’t afford Christmas. 

Get them out of their house for whatever reason, then decorate the house with a tree and presents.  Then leave. It’ll be like elves did it 😀

Post # 32
Member
474 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

I would do some holiday-related activities with the kids when they are at your house and gift your sister some gift cards for her and the kids early.  Maybe you can give them to her at Thanksgiving so she can take advantage of Black Friday deals or something to that effect?  This would allow her to actually buy some presents for them. I know you want to be sensitive, but there may be no way to hide that you know that she is struggling and needs help.  I would go about it in the least obvious way possible to help her not feel as badly about the situation.  

Post # 33
Member
786 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

Write cards for military men & women serving overseas! So many opportunities to celebrate the season without making a show of it. You can teach these kids some valuable things.

Post # 34
Member
169 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I’m going to put my social work hat for a second and say that there are so many programs that help struggling families with the holidays. Some programs even offer free Christmas trees and dinners to take home. If your sister qualifies for assitance and chooses not take it, that’s being selfishi in my opinion. I would also talk to your sister to see if she is willing to accept some help even if it’s some small gifts from Santa because kids are going to think they did something wrong if they are the only kids not receiving anything for Christmas but everyone else at school is. I liked the one bees idea of giving her a Visa giftcard. I am kind of curious on how she manges day to day with the kids when she’s being evicted alot? 

As for everyone saying that the sister is being wasteful about throwing away Christmas decorations….if you’re evicted multiple times, the last thing on your mind is taking everything with you. Just some food for thought bees. 

Post # 35
Member
2971 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

I’m seconding (or thirding or fourthing, whatever) the suggestion to host Christmas at your place. That way you’re not treating them like a charity case by trying to buy them a bunch of deocrations and stuff. You can just invite them over, have a nice brunch or dinner, whatever, and have a present under the tree for each of the kids (nothing OTT). Some Christmas activities like others have suggested, etc. 

Christmas is more about the time spent with family than the gifts and decor. So have your family over.

(And not to pile on but wtf do people really throw their decorations away every year because they’re too lazy to put them away?! That is such a weird thing to do… I can see it in your sisters case, since she has been forced to move a bunch of times, but the PP who said they literally throw it all away because they can’t be bothered to pack it away- what the actual fuck?)

Post # 36
Member
7584 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

View original reply
skibumlove8 :  ” But my mom said she is embarrassed by this and doesn’t want anyone else but her to know. What should I do?”

Your mother already gave you the answer. You should butt out and do nothing other than whatever (hopefully modest) gifts you would normally give the children. If your sister is embarassed by her financial situation, then having someone swoop in with decorations and gifts and stuff is still going to be embarassing for her, and even if you think she shouldn’t be embarassed by this, it’s not up to you to decide how she feels.  So back off and respect her desire for privacy on this.

You may want to look beyond Christmas and see if you can help your sister get out of her minimum wage job. Watching the kids so she can go to school at night might be helpful, or perhaps helping her research how to get scholarships and grants for traditional or vo-tech school.  She would probably find this much more useful than Christmas presents.

Post # 37
Member
9939 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

In our area the local police department runs “Toys for Tots” for families struggling at the holidays, maybe suggest to your sister to find out if your city has something like that.

Also, I have Christmas decorations and ornaments that my mother saved from my childhood, and some I’ve saved that my son made for me when he was little.  I can’t imagine throwing things like that away, not just because of the waste but because of the sentimentality.  It’s not that difficult to clean up after decorating for the holidays that you can’t put a few things away in boxes.  Don’t you store anything else, do you throw your shoes away after each season?  Or do you put your summer sandals in a box and trade them out for winter boots each year (for example)?  

Post # 38
Member
1337 posts
Bumble bee

I agree with others that you should invite them all for Christmas Eve and a sleepover. Mark all the gifts from Santa so that your sister won’t be embarrassed.

Post # 40
Member
3234 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

View original reply
skibumlove8 :  oh Jesus, this is the icing on the “this can’t possibly be real” cake. You throw away an entire wardrobe twice a year at summer and winter? Not even donate – throw away? Despite your own sister living in poverty? And you didn’t realize it was wasteful? Bless your heart. 

Post # 42
Member
9939 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

View original reply
skibumlove8 :  It’s so wasteful to throw away perfectly good items that can be re-used from season to season.  Do you save winter coats to wear the next year?  Anything?  Maybe I just love my stuff too much.  If anything, when I’m finished with an item I donate it to Goodwill if it’s still in good shape. 

Post # 43
Member
3234 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

View original reply
skibumlove8 :  well we can agree on one thing. 

Post # 45
Member
6123 posts
Bee Keeper

What?! People do this?! If you’re a size 14, you can send your clothes on over here. Damn. 

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