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JustaGrandma

I so wish I could just skip the holiday's

17 posts in this topic

This time of year has become so depressing for me. With one dil no matter what I get her for Christmas it's a miss, got her an expensive item I knew they couldn't afford to go with her knew hobby that she loved according to my ds, she hasn't even opened the box it came in. I have spent so many years trying to get it right with her not just this but everything and things just keep getting worse.

So I've just gotten to the point where I'd just like to skip over these two months.

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and no it isn't just about the gift's it's about when everything you do just will not satisfy someone, When everything you do is wrong guess it's just time to not do anymore!

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and no it isn't just about the gift's it's about when everything you do just will not satisfy someone, When everything you do is wrong guess it's just time to not do anymore!

I think you may have hit the answer, Justa! As for the gifts, I would say either don't get her anything for Christmas or just give her a general gift certficate that one can use anywhere. Or suggest that you think it's time for the adults to stop buying for each other and just get gifts for the kids. (Most families seem to come to that point, eventually, anyhow.) Even if they say, "Oh no, we enjoy buying for the adults, too!" I think you should tell them that this is your plan from now on (blame the economy). But you'd have to stick to it and not get anything for DS or any other AC (adult child) or CIL (child-in-law), either.

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That's what I think we are going to do tired of wasting money time and effort. She told my ydil we are hard people to be around during the holiday's? We don't make it hard ODIL does because you have to walk on eggshell constantly and nothing you do or say is right she has to find fault with everything, and she doesn't come out and say what's on her mind she's up in my Ods ear all the time whispering then he's giving dirty looks to me.

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How very rude of ODIL to whisper like that in front of you and your DH (dear husband) and then talk about you 2 behind your backs to YDIL! And in such vague terms! What does "hard to be around" mean? And while I know you love ODS, I hope you don't mind if I say, it's not nice for him to be giving you "dirty looks," either.

Regardless, unfortunately, ODIL could be one of those DILs who just, basically, don't want anything to do with their husband's parents and do whatever they can to drive them away. Or she could have some issues with you that she and/or ODS need to let you know about. Handling problems by whispers, dirty looks and gossip, obviously isn't the way to go.

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As a DIL - I agree with Rose - I'm so sorry that your DIL is treating you this way and I also agree - I would just stop with the gifts. I would either stop altogether and just buy for the grands or if you feel you must buy something for her - perhaps consider something the entire family can use or a generalized gift card. I wouldn't waste any more time trying to do something special for her. Especially if your efforts aren't just met with indifference but with outright veiled hostility now. Your son's behavior appears to be childish as well and quite frankly I'm with Rose - I would likely just suggest doing gifts for the grands from now on.

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I was never in my DH ear about his family while at their house so I don't get that. My kids were taught whispering is rude, I should have called them out on it years ago.

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I think gift cards is what we are going to do. I've been trying to figure out how to answer my odil lastest email about Christmas.

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I think I'd try asking her what she'd like for a gift as a first effort to get past this. If she didn't give any ideas, then I'd say I was going to give a gift card, and do it. It's ingrained in us to give gifts on special occasions. I think if you don't give a gift, you'll feel at least a bit as if you haven't done what is expected. Sure, a person can just do it (give or not give), but that doesn't mean there's not any mental stress attached to an either-way decision. If you don't give anything, and don't tell your son and her that's the plan, when they don't get anything, there could be backlash too, so making sure everyone knows is really important. Remember too, that telling them doesn't mean they'll hear completely.

If someone offends me, I tell them. If my son was whispering about me and giving me dirty looks, I'd ask him about it. If my DIL was doing the same, I'd ask her about it. If it was just my DIL, I wouldn't talk to my son about it. I'd go to the source. If I talked to him about her, it would be like going over the head of someone at work who offended me--the offender is the culprit, not the other person.

I have the right to feel that I matter. Being whispered about and given dirty looks doesn't make me feel I matter. It does the opposite. You have the right to feel you matter. Especially on occasions that are meant to be about caring for each other.

It's possible your DIL doesn't and will never like you, no matter what you do. That's a hard pill to swallow, since most people wish other people, especially those with a family connection, would like us. Sometimes we just have to accept things as they are and go on doing what we can so we don't get entangled in the frustration we feel and others feel too. A very wise person told me once, "don't let another's problems become yours."

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JustaGrandma,

I am so sorry that you have to endure this from your family. It just hurts to have people be ugly to you when you try to do good for them. I feel you have some good advice from above postings. You know that you have tried to do something good for her. Christmas should not be about what someone gets from someone else. It should be about what they can do for others. I may be wrong but I believe even if you gave her something that she wanted she would still be unhappy and hurtful. I hope you will just accept that she may never be happy with you until her heart changes. We can't change others' hearts. It is up to them to change themselves. We can only do what we can to change ourselves. I think that is what Kalana is saying is better than what I said. I just read her post again. Please be at peace in your decision in what to do.

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Gift cards are often the best way to go, Justa, when someone is rude and unreasonable about presents. I suggest getting a general gift card for DIL that she can use anywhere. B/c, trust me, if you pick a specific store, she'll find some reason why she doesn't like to shop there.

Granted, as Kalana suggests, she may find some fault with whatever you give her but, at least, this way, it won't be as if you spent hours, looking through various stores or websites for the "perfect" gift, just to have it rejected. Please be prepared to just give it to her and not worry about her reaction. You'll know you've done the "right thing" by giving a gift and if she doesn't accept it graciously, that's on her.

But you say you've been "trying to figure out how to answer (her) latest email about Christmas." Do you feel comfortable enough with us to tell us what she said? I hope so. B/c maybe we can help you decide how to reply.

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Rosered I was about to say the same. In fact several years ago (at the very beginning) my son told me to send a general gift card because my dil would think I was controlling her by limiting the store she could shop at. I will admit that they were very young then and soon got over it, but I honored the request.

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She asked for some things she wanted and they offered to come here for a family Christmas. Not on the actual holiday, the having the family Christmas on a differant day was something they wanted and got a few years ago. The yds and ydil and us where still keeping our same family traditions that we had done for years on Christmas day and ODIL tone of the email seemed to be bothered by that. So I was trying to figure out to address that or leave it. I choose to leave it alone. Unless something is said to me about it while we are togeather and ODS is present.

So they will be coming down the Sat before Christmas we shall see how that goes. If the whispering starts I will just tell her if it can't be said out loud for everyone to hear she needs to wait to they leave to tell ods what's on her mind. I don't know how she was raised but mine where raised not to whisper in front of people like that it is rude, (guess he's forgotten) yes you whisper at a funeral or in the library in church in places where you can't state something out loud.

If the cozying up to us just for presents is going to be a trend we shall see how this next year goes and how much we hear from them. Time will tell. I want to believe it's not that but the last few years it's kinda looking that way. One more chance

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Maybe they're coming to see you around Christmas because it's traditional to see parents during the season. Maybe you son is pushing for it. Maybe everyone wants to see you.

I would be awful to believe they're just coming to see you for the possibility of gifts. I tend to think it's more than that, and past awkwardness is making things still-awkward.

Since she told you some things she wanted, you have ideas! That's super. I'm hoping for a lovely holiday for you!

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Well that's what I want to believe, so I'm going with that is what it is! You have a Happy Holiday season also.

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I think it's more complicated than just wanting gifts, too, Justa. Even if DIL is just coming for the gifts, I'm sure DS wants to see you at this special time of year, just as much, maybe more. And chances are, the kids are looking forward to seeing you, too.

I'm glad you didn't respond any concerns DIL's may have expressed about your keeping up your traditions with YDS and YDIL. That's totally none of her business! Besides, you say you got that just from the "tone" of the email and it's so easy to misread "tone" when things are said in print. If she says anything about it at Christmas, IMO, you just need to tell her that you and they decided to maintain your old traditions and it's not up for evaluation. That you were happy to make changes necessary to suit them but the whole family isn't going to change it's plans just for one couple.

Hopefully, DIL will accept that, graciously. But I have to be honest and say that there's a chance she'll get mad and want to leave. Even so, I can't see letting everyone else be pressured into changing their traditions. But hopefully, you read her email wrong.

Also, I agree that you shouldn't answer that unless ODS is present. If DIL brings it up when he's not, I suggest either calling him into the room or finding a way to put off answering, even if it's "I don't want to get into that now" or, yes, suddenly having to go to the "little girl's room." :)

I'm also glad you plan to deal with the whispering. Again, DIL may get mad and insist on leaving (especially if she was never taught better). But there's only so much a person can take!

Regardless, I'm wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

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When my kids were young, the holidays were very stressful for me. I was trying to please everyone, and some of what I was doing wasn't necessary, but it was what I thought needed to be done, because that's what other people always did, both family and friends. I love buying gifts and love to cook. However, my cooking isn't gourmet, and I always felt I was competing with those I knew who were gourmet cooks. I always fretted that people wouldn't like the gifts I bought. I always worried that my home decorations wasn't as lovely as it should be. All of it gave me such stress that I hated holidays and didn't enjoy them at all.

Then things changed. Both of my parents and both of my husband's parents died in the course of 2 years. The members of both families split apart, both because of issues surrounding the deaths, and because it was time, since, really, how many people can one home hold at a holiday?? The sadness and anger of the first years after the deaths is resolved now, but we still don't get together as big groups. It's a blessing. I don't have to do what I always thought I "should" do for holidays. I don't have to compete. Really, I probably never had to anyway. Really, no one in my immediate family cares anyway. They just want to pig out on favorites and be together for the fun of it. I love to see faces when gifts are opened, so I still buy gifts, but if the buying bothered me, I'd stop. If someone didn't like what I gave, once, that person would get a gift card forever after, unless he or she specifically told me something that was wanted. Why in the world did I let myself put such pressure on myself? I was pretty foolish, and lots of my stress was all in my "shoulds."

What I'm saying to you is, examine yourself and your traditions here. What truly matters? Focus on that and let the other stuff go. If gifting gives you stress, don't do it, or do it simply. Draw names, give gift cards, give cookies or fudge to everyone, do what's fun for you to do, and let the rest go. Makes your specialty foods if you enjoy making them. If you don't feel what you do is giving the joy you intend it to give, don't do it. It's not worth the stress to you to continue it, is it?

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