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    TIME2BLOOM4ME   131,405
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Forced to by Chirstmas gifts, not trying to be rude, but. . .

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Thursday, December 05, 2013

I confess, I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I enjoy the cheerful Christmas music, the fresh pine smell of a fresh cut tree, the red marbled poinsettias, fragrant paper white bulbs.

I love the sounds of bells ringing, Christmas music playing, cool weather, frost on the ground, snow capped mountains, the cheer, good will, the twinkling, sparkling Christmas lights. They all make me feel so blessed to be alive.

I even love getting presents for my husband and kitty cat, wrapping them up in some beautiful Christmas wrap.

What I don't enjoy is feeling pressured to purchase gifts, things people may not want or need. I feel FORCED TO purchase a gift for my husband's family gift exchange for adults. We tried opting out, but we were pressured. Eventually he gave in, so I did too. So for the last few years, against my will, I have purchased gifts to exchange. It's a sad tradition to carry on, to swap gifts with adults with high expectations of having their desires filled. I could understand if it was a child of a family member that was poor, but adults. Adults who don't even like me??? Why?

Every year hubby's family gets together to share a dinner. After a few Christmas dinners passed I opted out of the tradition. Why? They eat differently, they make fun of how I eat, they say things often that hurt my feelings. Excuse me if I don't eat bread and a plate full of meat. Please forgive me !!! Only a couple of souls dared tried the vegetables I brought to the meal.

It got to where I would dread going to dinner with them not knowing what was going to come out of their mouths. I was accepted when I was healthy, working, with a good income. Once I got sick I was accused of leaching off my husband financially. They accused me of planning my illness.

When I dated him we discussed he had diabetes, heart disease. He had been a smoker and chewer of tobacco, had unhealthy habits. He knew I had symptoms of MS, undiagnosed at that point and time. I had seen many doctors who said it was all in my head over the years. I knew the likely hood of him coming down with a catastrophic disease was more likely than me, as I ate healthier. We both agreed that no matter what happened we would not let the fear of illness frighten us away from loving each other.

Now I avoid Christmas dinner, not wanting to face the judgment of his family.

I would rather spend my time at home, eating what I enjoy, surfing the web, reading a good book, and petting my kitty.

Every year they exchange gifts. It's another worthless tradition.

It's mostly adults who swap presents without knowing what the person receiving would really, honestly want. One year I got a scratchy, itchy lap blanket !!! Just what I would love to have wrapped around my shoulders. Scratch, Scratch. emoticon

Last year I gave away the DVD Fat, Sick, and nearly Dead to my fat brother-in-law, wife, and child. I am glad to say that the DVD had an impact on his life as he lost weight, per hubby.

This year I am getting a motivational coffee cup for his father. It's polite and respectful, uplifting like me. Next year I am going to get this pillow for who ever name gets drawn for me. I am not going to go out searching for scented candles and lotions.

I am going to express myself!

Next year if I get his brother's wife I want to get her this pillow. I hope I get her name so I can give her this pillow. It's so perfect for her. It goes with her loud personality. It's simply perfect.

They say it's the perfect gift so a person can take a nap anywhere. If its perfect I need to get one for her. She is the reason for the Christmas exchange after all. We have had the discussion to quit exchanging worthless Christmas gifts, gift cards, things we have to return but she won't stop her tradition.

I mean it seems silly for everybody to swap $25.00 gift cards. When your done swapping you still end up with the same amount of cash. Right. So why bother?

I mean why should I want to receive a $25.00 gift card to Petco and give you a $25.00 gift card to Starbucks, seems silly right? The other year DH's brother asked for an expensive present. When he didn't get what he wanted he looked disappointed and made comments that weren't so polite. He got Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. HAHAHA. I personally on my fixed income can't afford to spend grand amounts of money to make someone happy when I need what income I have to survive. For gosh sakes, they are adults - behaving like kids. Grow up. Adults don't need presents like children do. When we want something we save up for it and go purchase it.

I FEEL FREE FROM Christmas pressures. I choose whom I want to associate with.
I still participate unwillingly in their gift exchange. Each year I receive a package of stuff to donate to Salvation Army. At least it's tax deductible. emoticon

Next year I am giving out this head pillow. Maybe then they will understand how foolish it is to purchase worthless gifts for each other.

Next year I am going for the naughty list. Oh, I saw the pillow on sale on groupon or some site like that for $25.00 if you have anyone who deserves it, it's a bargain !!!

Thanks for all the ideas. emoticon

Next year I will give who ever name is drawn for me a Signed Christmas card with my autograph. I will add in a note that I took the liberty of donating the money that would of gone towards their gift towards a local church. That's my favorite idea or perhaps a child from the giving tree. emoticon emoticon emoticon
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LORIVIOLA 4/17/2014 9:31AM

    i think you are right to not go. they sounds frustrating to say the least.
take care of yourself!

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GRAMPIAN 2/16/2014 5:37AM

  Great humour!

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URBANAUDREYE 1/2/2014 2:04PM

    I like the autographed Christmas card idea. Here's another one, make some salt dough, make a block and step in it like the stars on Hollywood Boulevard.

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JERICHO1991 12/25/2013 6:28AM

    Merry Christmas.

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ANATASHIKI 12/19/2013 1:47PM

    lol, I'm sorry you have to go through this . I don't know if I have an advice for you , I cut almost completely the ties with some relatives but they were mine , not a partner's ones. don't even try to feel guilty for your condition, what happened to the " for good and for bad"?and if you ask me , that pillow is too expensive for that person , you should give her a pic of the pillow emoticon . I like to give presents and don't expect much if anything back cause I grew up in a scrooge type of family. I give presents to my friends and close family (not to all and not ferrari cars)and the universe always sends me something nice back (universe as God or his right hand). good health or peace and quiet days at work count too emoticon . the things I want can't be bought with money anyway. good luck with your pillow adventure and merry Christmas! emoticon

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EFFRAYECHILDE 12/19/2013 9:03AM


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FRANCES-AGAPE 12/18/2013 1:32AM

    emoticon emoticon

emoticon blog !

great humor
on a rough topic

and awesome pics/cartoons !

the same situation with my family
I am the only one unemployed (going on 4 years)
emoticon emoticon
but family tradition is all that matters


emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MA_DIDDLES 12/16/2013 1:23AM

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 12/16/2013 12:57AM

    Loved this...thank you! I so agree and saw that head "thang" and was so amused!
Now I think it is a great gift for those people you really want to forget exchanging...
And you nailed it on the $25 for you and $25 for me...time shopping, thinking, wrapping and to end up with the same thing...a gift card... lucky if it is from somewhere you really want to shop! This is crazy!
Have a great holiday!

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CONCERNED85 12/14/2013 2:14AM

    I loved this blog. I would defiantly do the angel tree and put in the card the age of the child you bought for and what you got them. We received gifts like that for our children when we weren't doing so well financially. I have done the buying for the kids a few times. My family keeps growing so it is harder to do now, but if I have the spare money I will do that or donate to the salvation army and put it in a bell ringers pot.

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RED_DEVIL_APRIL 12/13/2013 9:47AM

    A lot of people have started donating to.a charity in the persons name they drew & giving them the tax receipt. It brings attention to the true meaning of the season.

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LINDAM.1 12/12/2013 12:58AM

  HE STILL has family to share with. Enjoy what you can . They like you well enough or they would not talk to you or about you at all. emoticon

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SUPERDAD55 12/11/2013 11:43PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
I had the same family issue years ago and what stopped it was when my wife and I gave them a card with the message that we had made a cash donation in their name to a local charity of our choose. We also told them that we would be doing this every year they insisted on the exchange. We now just by gifts for the grandkids, after all this is what Christmas is about, The children NOT the adults.
emoticon Hang in there!

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EGMINGA 12/11/2013 1:54PM

    I would have to say sorry I am no longer doing this like it or not take my name out.
I am so glad my husband's siblings all stopped exchanging gifts once we started having children and just let children draw names for gift exchanges., now it is the grand children exchanging.

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JUSGETTENBY42 12/10/2013 12:04AM


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CAT-IN-CJ 12/9/2013 11:33PM

    Our families think DH and I have taken leave of our senses. This will be our second very Merry Christmas spent at home, just the two of us, and our Yorkie. After years and years and years of trying to please everyone, we've decided to please ourselves.

No, bah humbug . . . just the peace and serenity of the season.

Joy to the World! emoticon

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JITZUROE 12/9/2013 10:46AM

    GREAT blog and so true!!! For years I bah humbug'd that the entire family on my DH's side wanted to give gifts for all. It was making me broke and I didn't understand why putting ourselves in debt for this was a good thing?

THANKS for posting this and giving me a nice reminder that just because I participate still does not mean that I need to go broke doing it.

Homemade oatmeal anyone??? : ))))

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IAMWINNING 12/9/2013 10:43AM

    There are so many things I could say directly relating to your blog, but will let it be with just saying that I hope you will be able to stand your ground, that your DH will begin to stand up for you (sounds like he's not really in favor of the adult gifting either), and that you'll be able to let this go so they won't have such power over you.

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CHERIJ16 12/9/2013 10:01AM

    Bah Humbug! emoticon

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SPARKBJOK 12/9/2013 9:53AM

    Love your blog! We could be good friends if we ever met!

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Make Today the Greatest Day of Your Life

emoticon Until Tomorrow!

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CTUPTON 12/9/2013 8:47AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Perfect! Thanks so much for putting up this fantastic blog. I will be laughing all day long and people will be looking at me funny wondering what I am thinking about!

The green suit was hilarious and the head pillow and...and....

I hope it is OK with you if I share your blog with others?

chris emoticon

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JANIEWWJD 12/9/2013 12:31AM

    I loved your blog, and that pillow; that's another story!!! Have a wonderful day and a Merry Christmas; no matter what!!!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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  Awesome blog!

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MARYJEANSL 12/8/2013 10:53PM

  I am so sorry that these family members are causing you so much stress and anger. My best suggestion would be to let it go, as best you are able. You can feel sorry for them, stuck in their childishness...but don't let them have so much power over you.

Many blessings to you!

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LRUSSELL6 12/8/2013 8:20PM

    It is such a shame that the reason for the season is being lost to such foolishness. I say don't fall to the pressure if you don't want to participate simply don't, too bad for who does not like it. When I was in a similar position I simply told the group I would only participate if everyone would pool the money for gifts and give it to someone in need. To my surprise there were other people that felt the same way and they agreed. We gave about $500 to a lady who was in cancer treatment, she had no idea it was coming but she was overjoyed that we thought about her, she wept. Now that is what Christmas is about, giving not receiving.

Hope you have a Merry Christmas and experience the true reason for the season which is the birth of the Savior who came to give as life! emoticon

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WEGENERCS 12/8/2013 3:00PM

    Well, I do not know whether to belly laugh or flat out cry! Great writing!!!

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JOANNHUNT 12/8/2013 1:07PM


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CELIAMINER 12/8/2013 7:02AM

    Loved your blog. It reminded me of the Kelly Clarkson song "Just for Now" on her "Wrapped in Red" album. I don't want to put the copyrighted lyrics here, but the words about dysfunctional Christmas can be found at

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REGILIEH 12/8/2013 6:51AM


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ILOVEMALI 12/8/2013 1:19AM

    such truth!!

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WRITERWANNAB 12/8/2013 12:53AM

    I LIKE YOU! You think a lot like I do! If you married into my family, I think we'd be laughing together all the time. Stay strong! emoticon

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ROXYCARIN 12/8/2013 12:31AM


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ZANTEL 12/7/2013 11:44PM

    I certainly agree...Last Christmas we decided to have a "Make it yourself" Christmas. We couldnt spend more than 10 per person (Except for the Grandchildren) and we had one of the best Christmas's ever...It,s amazing what you can come up with !!! Much better than spending money on something that,s going to be put in a drawer never to surface again!!! Needless to say the same is happening for this year too..... emoticon

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SAMMI-SAM 12/7/2013 11:08PM

    that was hilarious! Thank u-

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PHILLYGIRL2012 12/7/2013 10:24PM

    I loved reading this blog! I stopped buying gifts a few years ago and it really gave me the feeling of freedom. I never subscribed to buying my siblings ever growing families gifts either on account there was just too many people. I too am content with being at home, on my cat for company though.
Happy Holidays!

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    LOVE the picture of the wrapped up kitty.

We haven't done adult gifts since my grandmother passed away, which also coincided with additional children. Before that, we drew names between the four of us adults, my mom, grandma/aunt (lived in the same house), my husband, and I. Now it is all about my three boys, and Hubby and I exchange on Christmas morning after Santa has come.

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FANTASM01 12/7/2013 9:43PM

    I haven't purchased gifts for nieces or nephews, siblings in years. The only people I gift to is my dad, my in-laws and my 2 boys, DIL and grandson. Where then are more grandkids my children will stop getting gifts so I can give to my grandchildren. We don't have a lot of money to spend. My kids understand that and if I ask what they want usually I hear nothing mom I'm fine. We all know what the true meaning of Christmas is and while we're not churchgoers we still know it's about Christ's birth not how much crap you can get on one day. My youngest sister complained to my mom that I didn't buy her kids gifts and mom told me. So that year I went out of my way to see to it her kids got nice gifts from the online Discovery store that were age appropriate. I never got a phone call or thank you card. I finally phoned my sister a couple weeks after Christmas to see if the package arrived. It had and she said they liked the gifts but I never got them a thing again. I made it clear that I was more than a little ticked off at the rudeness especially when I went to financial expense that we didn't really have to spare. I made it clear there would be no gifts in the future as it was a financial burden to us. I never heard of any complaints again. So I agree with other posters...opt out of the gift giving and stick to your guns. Tell your hubby to grow a spine and stick up for you. That he allows the mistreatment of you by his family is a form of emotional abuse and trust me the apple doesn't fall very far from the tree. If he doesn't stand up for you now he never will and eventually he'll begin making disparaging remarks to you or about you as well. Goof luck and try to have a Merry Christmas anyway! emoticon

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SCHADWE 12/7/2013 9:39PM

    Fully understand. My In-Laws are just starting to understand me. In my case it helps that my Mother-In-law has the same fight to stay healthy. My sister-in-law on the other hand has the "world revolves around me" complex.

I hope your holiday gets better. emoticon

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IAFERRETMOM 12/7/2013 9:16PM

    I laughed the whole way through your blog, not because you must endure the torture...err tradition of exchanging gifts but because of your good humored approach to the whole situation. Hang in there...

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GRANDMAWESE 12/7/2013 8:23PM

    Our minister made the suggestion to spend only 1/2 as you planned to spend..including gifts, meals etc and the other half donate to a favorite charity. My daughter has also asked that grandparents please cut back on the giving as they really can get too too much and how much stuff does a 3 and 5 year old really need. To me what really doesn't help is the emphasis on family togetherness all sweet and perfect. Don't forget the stores that have pushed that one must buy buy buy.

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MISSLISA1973 12/7/2013 7:43PM


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HEIDI777 12/7/2013 7:19PM

    Totally agree...I think the donation is a wonderful idea...I am sure the person getting it would not understand the idea!! Their loss!

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SARAHTAIT 12/7/2013 6:35PM

    Just say NO! No to gifts. I have (except my 2 grandkids) and feel liberated. Just can't afford it and don't want to do it anyway!

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JMARIES51 12/7/2013 6:31PM

    Your blog made me so happy to say that my family gave up the gift giving when the recession hit. I think that was around 2002 in our household - way before the rest of the United States. Since then I have enjoyed the holidays a lot more. We also gave up the need for the big meals together. Now if we do it, like we did last year, it is just because we haven't seen each other in a long time.

But if I did have to buy a gift, that pillow looks like an awesome idea. :-)

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NEWTINK 12/7/2013 5:57PM

    Your family sounds like mine emoticon

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SUNNYARIZONA 12/7/2013 5:56PM

    Oh boy, SARCASUM! ha.....right now I feel for ya toots....and can offer my own crummy fun....but won't.....your blog today, really hit MANY spots I am sure. Thanks for the time it took to create this post....and hope you have a much better holiday, than you have described!!!

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    Great post

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LSIG14 12/7/2013 4:41PM

  I am so sorry that your relationship with your in-laws is so troubled that it spoils a family Christmas. Maybe sometime, other than the holidays, you could talk to them about how hurtful their comments are. I am lucky that I have never been pressured into giving gifts I can't afford. We have always given what we are willing and able to give, I wish you and your husband - and his family too - the joy and peace of the holiday season!

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SAMMI-SAM 12/7/2013 4:35PM

    it's funny how people that do nothing for u for an entire year expect a gift at Christmas... It blows me away. bishes.....

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