(Closed) Tricky situation… Advice?

posted 7 years ago in Family
  • poll: What would you do?

    Send them back

    Leave them with grandma

    Put them in the attic

    Open them

    Donate them


  • Post # 3
    2452 posts
    Buzzing bee

    @Mrslovebug:  As long as they’re not perishable, I’d probably leave them with grandma for the time being. While it’d be nice to donate them, I’d be concerned your mother could find that insulting and it could strain your relationship further.

    Post # 4
    120 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    I think that if you don’t want to keep any gifts from your mother because of your current issues, it would be a lovely and charitable gesture to donate them to the needy. No need for them to sit around or get returned when someone out there could use them and would greatly appreciate them. 

    Post # 6
    47449 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I would pick them up, open them, and send her a thank-you note, thus modelling good behavior both for her and your daughter.

    Post # 8
    1160 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    @Mrslovebug:  Ive gotta agree with

    View original reply
    @julies1949:  – set a good example for your daughter. She doesn’t need to learn that you ignore people and refuse gifts when you are having a disgreement (ex) Be curteous, open your gifts and send a lovely thank you note/let her give your mum a call.

    What is she gunna do, complain that you received the gifts she bought you to the family? That just looks petty and nasty on her part, not yours.

    Post # 9
    1643 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2015

    I voted for donate them, because if you don’t want them it seems a good thing to do. But after reading posts, I agree that opening them and writing aa thank you note sets a good example.


    My parents split 2 years ago, and at the moment my dad is really melancholy – he told me he “wasn’t doing Christmas” but I still sent him a card and present. And last weekend I got a cheque in the post. 

    Post # 11
    220 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    I voted to donate them. If you don’t want them why not give them to someone who would? I believe that donating is setting a good example for a child.  There are plenty of people who don’t get anything for Christmas and have a hard time getting things they need year round. Leaving the presents with your Grandma just sounds like a hassle for your Grandma. She would be stuck in the middle of the drama and the presents may end up sitting in her attic.

    Post # 12
    2478 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    View original reply
    @julies1949:  +10000

    Absolutely spot on. 

    Post # 13
    1486 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    @Mrslovebug:  How you handle this really depends on the specifics of what boundaries you set, or what you said to your mom, in your last conversation with her. Assuming you told her you would not have contact with her until she did X, Y, & Z, then letting her buy her way back into your life now (presumably without any of the targets being met) is not good.

    I strongly disagree with the Bees saying to open the gifts and send a thank-you. That’s insanely bad advice! Saying “no contact” does NOT mean “no contact except thank you notes when you give me stuff”. If you open the gifts, or keep them, or write her a note, you are completely undermining yourself. 

    Return everything, unopened, with a note reiterating whatever you said before. Just reinforce it until she gets the point: “if you want a relationship with me, these are the terms.” Tell her you love her, too. But don’t let her control the situation through guilt. 

    Giving the gifts to charity is an option, but it is the avoidance option. You need to keep confronting your mom and making your expectations known. Giving to charity resolves the physical problem of the gifts, but it doesn’t resolve any of the relationship issues surrounding them. Plus, returning them to her gives her a chance to get her money back — if you give them to charity she’ll have grounds to feel wronged.

    Post # 14
    982 posts
    Busy bee

    @Mrslovebug:  BPD is a very tricky illness. I have a friend with a sister who has it, my friend has nothing to do with her sister at all. Her sister is extremely toxic, and has made up a whole lot of malicious, hurtful lies – the issue is that she doesn’t realise that she has this condition. While she has been in treatment for it, she goes off medication because she doesn’t see why she needs it because everyone else is the problem. Diseases of the mind can be such a hard thing to understand, and especially when the person who has it doesn’t understand that something isn’t right with them. It is treatable – as long as the person seeks help. I don’t think you’re unreasonable for cutting her out until she seeks that help.

    The Christmas presents totally complicates the situation and puts you in a tricky spot. Either way, I feel you have to acknowledge that she gave them to you – whether you hang on to them or not…

    i just read the advice of

    View original reply

    and I feel that this is really good advice. Send them back unopened, with a note that the best present she could give you is to get the help she needs. It’s acknowledging that she sent gifts, but also reiterating what you’ve told her in the past without breaking your own boundaries, and not giving in due to guilt.

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