Brother-in-law and nephew didn't acknowledge handmade gift


#1

I made 2 throws with matching pillows for my nephew and brother-in-law and there was no thank-you or acknowledgment of the gifts.

My mother told me not to expect anything from them and I didn't think it'd bother me, but it does. My sister usually says thank you for them -- but she didn't even say anything.

I'm angry.

She's long apostacized from the Catholic church. She's seriously broken my trust before -- I've let that go, but no longer trust her with any sort of sensitive information other than the weather.

Would it be wrong to only send her a Christmas card for Christmas and birthday card for birthdays from now on -- and simply keep her and her family in my prayers?

Any thoughts?

Thanks for listening.


#2

Hi Crenfro
It certainly hurts when family members are so rude and ill mannered doesn't it?
I have also been in your position a few times & it hurts.
I know we are called to forgive those who hurt us (trespass against us) and
eventually I am sure you will.Give yourself a little time to come to terms with the thoughtlessness
your sister & brother-in-law have shown & Im sure you will feel better about this situation

Maybe a little gift to the whole family instead of personal gifts would be the way forward as regards Christmas?
Perhaps a box of sweets to the 'family',this shows kindness and thought without it costing you personally or too much money.What does your sister do for your birthday or Christmas?

If she does not usually bother then I would suggest sending a lovely holy Christmas (nativity scene type) card.Birthdays the same with the opprtunity for you to show love to her and her family via a card which is very thoughtful.When I receive cards I think that is so thoughtful that someone bothered to remember me on my birthday etc.

It is good to be thoughtful and kind and we do not have to be too materialistic in oder to show our loving traits.

I would so love to have had such a personal gift from my sister.How lovely you made those throws and matching pillows.I am sorry they did not thank you and try to forget this and in time you will be able to forgive them.Your family are very lucky to have you.You are a wonderful example of Christ's love and by continuing to send cards even if they don't, leads them by a good example.

This is all just my humble opinion

God bless


#3

Jesus,our Lords peace be whit You.
I feel so sorry for You,a big job doing the present and no thank what so ever. And I know how it feels. Sadly to say,but welcome to the world.
What ever will happend,You need to be nice to them,as a christian should. I have one issue I can't forget nor forgive,and it haunts me every day,so I am maybe not the right one to ansver You,but it is so sad and wrong towards You. Here faith comes in,God saw what You did,and what the response wos,so pray silently to Him and listen to the ansver,it will come,and act as God wants You to.


#4

A gift is something freely given, it’s not a *right *and it’s not an obligation.

So, no, it’s not wrong for you to give a card.


#5

I learned something a long time ago, and that was that if I was giving something with a free heart, I was not to expect anything back from the person I was giving to. Not even a word of thanks is to be expected. It's then given with strings. If I can't give without those strings of obligation, then I should wait until I can. that is why I never loan money to anyone, I only gift it to the person if I can let it go. I found I got resentful if the person didn't pay me back when they said they would, and all sorts of yucky stuff happened after that.

If I want to give someone a gift, it must be clean. Many times we think "Well, I will give, but I expect them to acknowledge it by (fill in the blank)."

It's very nice if you get thanks, but if you can't give with no obligations, then yes, send a card. They will appreciate that more.


#6

Dear Crenfro,

You sound like an awesome relative to have. You are definitely not being appreciated by some of your relatives, and it sounds like you are suffering for your Faith.

That said, God appreciates you!

Sending a card would be fine, and praying for your family is very loving.

:blessyou:


#7

OP, your gifts were very nice I'm sure. However. Unless the nephew is 16+ he really isn't responsible for thankyou's, especally if his dad dosn't enforce thankyou's.

What you are wanting is affirmation. And what you're suggesting doing is more than "just sending a card" but revenge for their lack of thanks.

I give things to people who cannot say thank you.

The only thing I can suggest is give what you think they need. If they need food, send a care package....if they want nothing then send a card. But don't send a card because you won't be thanked for a gift.


#8

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:5, topic:216747"]
I learned something a long time ago, and that was that if I was giving something with a free heart, I was not to expect anything back from the person I was giving to. Not even a word of thanks is to be expected. It's then given with strings. If I can't give without those strings of obligation, then I should wait until I can. that is why I never loan money to anyone, I only gift it to the person if I can let it go. I found I got resentful if the person didn't pay me back when they said they would, and all sorts of yucky stuff happened after that.

If I want to give someone a gift, it must be clean. Many times we think "Well, I will give, but I expect them to acknowledge it by (fill in the blank)."

It's very nice if you get thanks, but if you can't give with no obligations, then yes, send a card. They will appreciate that more.

[/quote]

I second this...if in your heart you can't give a gift freely...than don't do it...because the moment you expect anything in return, it ceases to be a gift.


#9

Just wanted to add however, that I acknowledge your pain and hurt feelings...and I'm sorry for you. It is a sad occasion.


#10

Is there any reason you cannot directly ask whether they liked the gift, adding that you hadn't heard and were wondering? People sometimes send thank-you-notes that get lost or that don't get mailed. It is charitable to assume that this may be what happened, even in cases when you don't think there is a snowball's chance in H-E double toothpicks that it did.

If the "thank you" is at all lukewarm, then don't send another similar gift. If there is a gift exchange in your family, either keep sending gifts--but something less personal--or else be open that you are opting out of the exchange in the future. You don't have to give reaons if you don't want to, but dropping out without notice in order to make your displeasure felt is covert aggression. If there is not a long-standing exchange, feel free to stop. Don't let your hands give more than your heart means to give. It only causes resentment. Besides, if they haven't been reciprocating, they may actually wish that you would quit sending stuff. I hope you won't hold that against them, even though their manner of letting you know they are cool to your generosity was rude.

Remember, too, that it is possible to appreciate the work that went into a gift without actually liking the gift itself. Home decor tastes are very individual. There is no gracious way to tell someone that you don't like their taste in home decor gifts. I would not send this family any more gifts of that nature, if they were not wild in their appreciation. If they wanted to keep it coming....well, that's their loss. Better that than that you shower them with comforters that someone could have loved but that they don't.

Incidentally, we have a local group that gives homemade blankets to abused children. Many of them are in foster care and only own what goes into their suitcases. Even the older ones find it very special to have a personal blanket all their own to put in whatever bedroom they have. This might be a better destination for your talent and generosity.


#11

this is another family story that is simply beyond my understanding.
when you give a gift, to truly be a gift, it should expect no return, be contingent on no acknowledgement or thanks. If you expected something, it was not a gift so why the resentment?


#12

I'm very sorry they did not acknowledge your gift. It can be very hard to have a relationship with someone when they don't acknowledge the time you took to show how much you care for them.

Gifts should be freely given but there is something important missing in the act when the recipient does not acknowledge the gift he is given. The giver feels objectified (unimportant) and that is never a good way to make others feel.

You can't help feeling hurt by the lack of gratitude. Time will heal the sting. In the mean time, you can make an act of will to forgive and when you feel this hurt again, ask the Lord to help you feel forgiveness, sometimes He will, but don't be surprised if He lets you continue to hurt because sometimes He wants you to offer it up, maybe even for the person(s) who hurt you.


#13

[quote="m_crane, post:12, topic:216747"]
I'm very sorry they did not acknowledge your gift. It can be very hard to have a relationship with someone when they don't acknowledge the time you took to show how much you care for them.

Gifts should be freely given but there is something important missing in the act when the recipient does not acknowledge the gift he is given. The giver feels objectified (unimportant) and that is never a good way to make others feel.

You can't help feeling hurt by the lack of gratitude. Time will heal the sting. In the mean time, you can make an act of will to forgive and when you feel this hurt again, ask the Lord to help you feel forgiveness, sometimes He will, but don't be surprised if He lets you continue to hurt because sometimes He wants you to offer it up, maybe even for the person(s) who hurt you.

[/quote]

Plus

sum up my position exactly.


#14

Being a guy, I know 'thank yous' are difficult. My mother always wrote thank yous, my wife writes thank yous. Many men fear showing any emotion to people other than their mothers and wives - even if it simple gratitude.

Other than one friend, I know of no men who actually write out thank yous. This not give us guys a valid excuse - it is just who we are. Was it mailed to them or hand given? What kind of throws were they? Were they painstakingly crocheted or were they fleece and have their favorite team's logo on them? Give us a new accessory for our grill or the latest action hero movie and the response may be different. That's just who we are.

I do not understand the line about not trusting her. Your mom or your sister? If it is your sister, you have written her off and she knows it. Loosing your trust over unwritten thank yous seems a bit harsh.

But then again, I am a guy - and it's who I am.


#15

[quote="dconklin, post:14, topic:216747"]
Being a guy, I know 'thank yous' are difficult. My mother always wrote thank yous, my wife writes thank yous. Many men fear showing any emotion to people other than their mothers and wives - even if it simple gratitude.

Other than one friend, I know of no men who actually write out thank yous. This not give us guys a valid excuse - it is just who we are. Was it mailed to them or hand given? What kind of throws were they? Were they painstakingly crocheted or were they fleece and have their favorite team's logo on them? Give us a new accessory for our grill or the latest action hero movie and the response may be different. That's just who we are.

I do not understand the line about not trusting her. Your mom or your sister? If it is your sister, you have written her off and she knows it. Loosing your trust over unwritten thank yous seems a bit harsh.

But then again, I am a guy - and it's who I am.

[/quote]

I don't think she's lost trust over the thank you. I think the trust issue with the sister was raised in answer to the obvious question: Why don't you ask your sister if they got the gift and if they liked it? The answer is: Because I cannot trust that this will be a simple direct communication in which I get a simple straight answer. I wish this were a rare situation in families.

If you get a gift and can give a verbal thank you, fine. Otherwise...if someone takes the trouble to send a gift, it is not too much to let them know that you got it and appreciate that they were thinking of you. Write, call, say something when you see them, but acknowledge the gift. This does not put anyone in an emotionally vulnerable position.

I am terrible at writing thank you's sometimes, not because they are difficult but because I get some idea that the reply needs to be some big deal. It does not. A prompt and simple thank you is much better than a "better" one that is late. Better to send them right away than to have to send an apology with the thanks. I am thinking that this aunt/in-law would be happy with a phone call that actually came from the recipient, too. No stamp involved, no stationery, and not a lot of time. It's just a matter of doing it. There is nothing on the "Y" chromosome or the modern socialization of males that prevents that.


#16

[quote="crenfro, post:1, topic:216747"]
I made 2 throws with matching pillows for my nephew and brother-in-law and there was no thank-you or acknowledgment of the gifts.

My mother told me not to expect anything from them and I didn't think it'd bother me, but it does. My sister usually says thank you for them -- but she didn't even say anything.

I'm angry.

She's long apostacized from the Catholic church. She's seriously broken my trust before -- I've let that go, but no longer trust her with any sort of sensitive information other than the weather.

Would it be wrong to only send her a Christmas card for Christmas and birthday card for birthdays from now on -- and simply keep her and her family in my prayers?

Any thoughts?

Thanks for listening.

[/quote]

You've learned a very difficult lesson, but it sounds like your mom already learned the same lesson some time ago and warned you this could happen. Sounds like mom really knew best.


#17

It actually sounds like the whole lot of you would only give your cloak to the beggar or walk the extra mile if it meant getting front row seats in the heavenly extravaganza.


#18

[quote="Epistemes, post:17, topic:216747"]
It actually sounds like the whole lot of you would only give your cloak to the beggar or walk the extra mile if it meant getting front row seats in the heavenly extravaganza.

[/quote]

Actually I thought it was the opposite, that many posters were advising the OP to give without expecting anything in return, that you should give out of the goodness of your heart and not for the anticipated gratitude afterwards.


#19

It is common courtesy to thank someone who gives you a gift. The OP has not asked to have the gifts back. She is not looking for praise from us, let alone from Heaven. She asked if it is wrong to discontinue gift giving to people who, strictly speaking, do not need what she is giving and do not bother to thank her for what she has given in the past.

For all you know, she knits and afghan a month for the poor and never asks for a word of thanks from them.

“Do unto others”…well, I don’t particularly want to be treated as if it is too much for me to observe the rules of common courtesy. If someone were to quit sending me nice things because I was too lazy to be courteous enough to say thanks, that would probably get me closer to heaven than treating me like I have no capacity at all in the social graces. An invitation to “wake up” can be a gift, too.


#20

[quote="Epistemes, post:17, topic:216747"]
It actually sounds like the whole lot of you would only give your cloak to the beggar or walk the extra mile if it meant getting front row seats in the heavenly extravaganza.

[/quote]

There is a difference between donations to the poor (charity gifts)and gift giving to beloved family members. Although the poor may offer thanks, we are not concerned with thanks because we are focused on their needs. That is our obligation.

But gift giving in our society is not charity in the purest sense of the word. It is more like communication. It is saying I love you, I care, I celebrate with you, or just a simple hello.
As a form of communcation, I would say it requires acknowlegement. The exception would be persons unable to communicate. A very ill person is one example.

I can see that some folks worry that a simple thank you over the phone won't be good enough. I can't imagine any gift giver ever thinking that way when someone calls,writes or emails them a thanks. It would be very wrong if they did.

And I would like to add that it is my observation that for some folks,especially the elderly, gift giving is their main mode of communcation with their family. Is it charitable to ignore their loving gestures?


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