Xmas present for adult son who doesn't return the favor????

peg_in_oregonDecember 12, 2007

I have a son, age 34, who has NEVER bought me a Xmas present. I don't even get a card from him. He claims to hate Xmas. Every year I usually buy him a gift, or send him some money -- but this year I'm thinking of doing absolutely nothing. What are your opinions on this?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am 70 old and my kids have never gotten me a birthday present. It's no big deal. I can only remember one birthday party when I was a child. My husband worried so much over trying to find something special for me, I told him to take me out for dinner. That is the only present I wanted. It's no big deal in our family. After a few years we stopped buying the adult kids a Christmas present. We told them we have every thing we want. We still bought for the children in the family until they turned 18 or graduated from high school. When I buy a present for someone, it is given to them because it brings me pleasure.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 9:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A gift should really be about you wanting to give something. It shouldn't necesarily be contigent upon you getting something back in return.

Now, if as a mother you are trying to teach your son a lesson in reciprocation, well, then maybe you should hold off on giving but I would think if he's 34 and hasn't gotten it yet, it's probably not going to click. Still, maybe the guy has a lot of good manners, but really hates the commercialism of Christmas and doesn't like giving gifts because of it, and only accepts yours to be gracious. I don't know, do what you think is right. Maybe try a year off and see what happens. Is he generally a selfish pain in the as# or more like a radical thinker who often marches to the beat of a different drummer?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 11:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with carla.Does he show you love the rest of the year though?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 12:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well I think if you WANT to give him one, go for it, if it gives you pleasure.

I think he is mean...I don't like the commercialism of Christmas, but I still feel that I should buy gifts for people, just small ones. The commercialism dictates that you spend LOTS of money, but you don't have to get into that.

Its about creating happy memories.

I remember one year, my family did the $5 present. Its amazing what you can get for that money, and everyone thought it was fun.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 1:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I can understand peg's point of view.

It's very hurtful when things are one-sided. I don't think she is asking for the gift as much as the thought behind it.

I would love to receive a card from my daughter or little grandchildren. It's never happened. My friends all get those cute little homemade "grandma" cards and pictures. Have to admit; it makes me feel sad.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 8:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the responses. My son was raised to write thank you notes & to buy little "gifts" for G'Ma & such. I would be happy to get a Xmas card with a heartfelt note in it.
My son is self-centered. When I asked him what he wanted for Xmas last year he asked for a TV & a computer & living room furniture. I can't afford those big $$ items &, of course, he knows that. He said he already had all the "little stuff".
We live across the country from one another. I don't hear from him very often as he's now busy with his father -- who didn't have anything to do with him for 15 years. I'm hurt by that also. I was the one who was always there for him.
I guess I've made up my mind. I'm not doing anything for him this year. I too hate what Xmas has become & I'm not terribly interested in it -- except for the lights & decorations.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 9:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

peg, your son and my daughter could be twins.

If it will make you feel any better, my daughter wanted me to "gift" her a huge downpayment on a home. I, too, could not afford to do it. She knows all that but keeps pushing and pushing.

As a result, she is not speaking to me at the moment. I refuse to let her ruin my Christmas. Don't let your son ruin yours. Make new traditions. Get together with your friends and have some fun. Treat yourself kindly.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 2:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Charro,
I think these "kids" don't believe us when they tell them we don't have the money. I truly believe they think we have money stashed away somewhere -- just hiding it from them.
I made reservations at a nice restaurant for my husband & myself on Xmas Day. Maybe we'll even take in a movie afterwards. Keep ourselves occupied.
And to think I used to work full-time, plus also worked 2 part-time jobs, just to give my son a decent Xmas when he was little & his dad walked out on us.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 6:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My parents tell us every year to please not get them anything. They have everything they could possibly want -- they are in their late 70's and don't want anymore "stuff." Also, as my father says, he would rather we spend money on our families or even better save it. They are very generous with us, giving each adult child $500.

That said, we are a very close family. I think the OP's real problem is her son doesn't call or visit which is way more valuable than any gift.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 8:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

peg, If your son hates Christmas and has never gotten you a gift or sent you a card and if you don't feel like sending him a gift, then you are entitled not to send him a gift. Knowing how he feels about Christmas, if he really feels that way, I don't see how he'd have any problem over your not sending him anything. He'd have a hard time explaining why not getting a gift would bother him!

But I'd do whatever makes you happy. Whichever feels better to you is what makes sense to do.

I hope you do something for Christmas that you LOVE doing. That would make the most sense!

One option for gift giving is to give a donation to a nonprofit. They'd appreciate it and you'd know you had done something that truly was appreciated.


    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 10:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For a person who hates Christmas soooooooo much, he has no trouble asking for such expensive items. It is sad to hear that your son does not give you the little things that most of us take for granted. Have you ever told him how much it hurts you? Yes, i know at his age he should already know that. But maybe telling him will help. It couldnt hurt! Good Luck and Merry Christmas!!!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2007 at 12:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would send him a card only. And if you want to do a "gift". Donate some $$ to your favorite charity in his honor and let him know that in the card. (local homeless or women's or animals shelter. Or American cancer society etc.) and take the donation on your taxes (bonus!) It will be money well spent.

Only a truly clueless person could NOT figure out how rude it is to not reciprocate a gift to HIS OWN MOM!! He should not need to be told - he is an adult.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2007 at 3:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

yes, I agree with SC gardener...turn a negative situation into a positive one...give the money to a charity.

Don't dwell on the past, and think about how you did so much for him...dwell on TODAY and how you can have a lovely day.



    Bookmark   December 14, 2007 at 10:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

He's your son....buy him a Christmas present. You are just mad because he is spending more time and effort on his father than he does on you and afterall, you raised him.
Let it go...buy him a gift, unless you are looking for another reason to feel self rightous and resentful toward him. But think of the look on your ex's face when he learns you didn't send your son a christmas present.
As for what Christmas has become....how did that happen? It happened because people seem to be giving gifts for the expected return, not for the pleasure of giving to soemone you love!
He's your son....give him a gift.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 11:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would love to see all gift giving abolished at Christmas time. Instead, make it mandatory to visit those you hardly see and share a meal with them. How much more meaningful than a bottle of perfume or a pair of socks.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 3:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Why can't you do both?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 7:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

He's 34 years old;
he understands that Christmas gift-giving is a reciprocal kind of custom.

I would honor his feelings:
he says he hates Christmas, I wouldn't force him to participate!

I'm sick of "gifting", too, & I think lots of other people are, too.

This year my brother is hosting Christmas dinner, & that's his gift to all of us.

I've had reproductions made of old family photos for the relatives.

I have only 1 sister-in-law, & she is a very modest person who doesn't need much & who has a heart filled with love & compassion for other people.

I'm thinking I'll get her a gift card or something for *her* sister who is disabled & cannot afford such luxuries as new clothes.

Take care of yourself, do something that makes you happy, & have a happy Christmas.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 8:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I gotta agree with lindac. It seems like maybe you are mainly mad about your son becoming close to his father. It doesn't really matter how good of a mom you were, or how much of a deadbeat his father was. Fact is, you son will probably love his father no matter what. Instead of being hurt about that fact, just be happy and hopeful for your son that they can have some sort of decent father-son relationship now. I know it's natural to feel hurt and feel as if you son is taking sides, but I'm sure deep down he knows you're the "good one"; he's probably just longed for his father his whole life and may just be making up for lost time.

I'd go ahead and get your son something. Heck, you could always make a donation in his name to his favorite charity. Don't stoop to his level of not giving a gift. You're better than that.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 8:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't get the impression Peg feels the way she does because her son is busy with her ex-husband.

I think she's hurt because her son doesn't bother to acknowledge her during the holidays except to ask for $$ items. Even though her son son hates Christmas, it's obvious Peg doesn't and it would cost less than a couple of bucks to send his mom a card.

I'd send the kid a card and let him know that a charitable donation was made in his name.

It shouldn't be a competition between the parents, but let Dad "win" and buy his son the furniture or TV and save your money for someone who shows he cares.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 11:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Peg here. I ended up sending him a musical Xmas card with a note in it. For those who think it's about the ex, please know it's not. He left us in 1978 & I've been happily remarried for 19 years now. My son was deeply hurt, & we were all very confused, when his dad had nothing to do with him for those 15 years. He probably still wouldn't had my son not found the courage to go knock on his door one night. They do not discuss the subject with one another so it remains a puzzle. I do understand how my son missed his father & was deeply hurt by what he did, & that he needs to reconnect with him.
Having said that, also know that my son has been like this for ALL of his life & I've just grown very tired of it. I'm 57 & have always been "the giver". I think I've just reached a stage in my life where I finally woke up & realized that. My passion now is for rescue dogs & that is where my money will go.
Thank you all!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 9:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Peg and others!
I think the card with the note is fine! I'm going to sound corny here, but you gave your son the "Gift of Life" 34 years ago.

Your musical card, any card, IMO is MORE than adequate for an adult who lives across the country anyway.

Your passion for and financial help to a rescue dog campaign is wonderful and no doubt will keep your heart filled with compassion, love, and joy. Gee, a ?NEW? meaning of Christmas!?

Have a wonderful dinner and movie with your hubby!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 8:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi. Thought I'd jump in here. My oldest son used to be terrible about remembering Christmas, birthday, Mother's Day etc. I always remembered him, of course. He'd come up with the usual excuses -- hates the holidays, doesn't think gifts really are important, etc. The real reason was that he hadn't bothered to remember -- just self-absorbed and thoughtless.

So finalyy I decided the heck with him. I sent him a card and that was all for his birthday. Hos birthday comes soon after Mother's Day and My b-day. Boy, was he surprised. Best of all he couldn't even mention it because he knew why he had gotten nothing.

He's remembered every b-day, Christmas and Mother's Day since. Just small gifts but all I want is to be remembered. I don't really need stuff but I think it shows that he has learned to be thoughtful and remember the people who remember him. He remembers his grandmother, too.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What a good ending to your story! Personally I don't like christmas gift giving to excess either. If it was up to me, if I had the time, I would just bake stuff and make things for people for christmas. And to heck with all the commercialism. it is a religious holiday for us mostly.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 2:55PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Coping with the Estrangement of Adult Children
Sadly, my adult children and I are estranged from each...
estrangement from adult children
There seems to be a very common thread with all these...
My 21 year old daughter
My daughter has her first boyfriend at 21. Now she...
Need iOS app for my kids.
I bought an iPad for my kids. Please guys suggest me...
18 year old daughter disrespectful
I am hoping to get some advice. My daughter who is...
Sponsored Products
Christian Ulbricht Snowman in Xmas Ball Ornament - 10-0451
$16.99 | Hayneedle
The Butler by micklish
$120.00 | Lumens
Christian Ulbricht Nutcracker in Xmas Ball Ornament - 10-0452
$16.99 | Hayneedle
6-foot Glittery Bristle Pine Teardrop Garland with 3 Drops with 100 Clear Light
Richard Glaesser Xmas Forest Pyramid - 16083
$139.99 | Hayneedle
Christian Ulbricht Xmas Market Ornament - 10-0580
$24.99 | Hayneedle
Christian Ulbricht Santa in Xmas Ball Ornament - 10-0450
$16.99 | Hayneedle
Orii 20 Jar Bamboo Spice Rack
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™