Christmas and stepfamilies and gift
Hope you all are having a nice holiday.
How do you handle the gifts thing? In our family, we have one child that is bio-child of one parent, and another who is a bio-child of both parents. Naturally, my wife and I are both buying for our child. My wife usually gets the gifts for my SD. She has, in the past, not wanted me to get anything for her child, and so I've stayed out of it.
Now, most Christmases, our biochild ends up with a bunch more things to open than my stepchild. Keep in mind that my SD gets to open more gifts at her father's house. But my wife feels very guilty every year, even though both children are now grown adults. She now wants to go out and get more gifts and mail them to her to "even it out."
When both children were younger, my wife did do more of an even-Steven thing to make sure her daughter was not "short-changed", but I'm not sure now it should make a difference.
In some sense, she is to blame, because she wanted me to stay out of it. And to be honest, my relationship with my SD has been so frayed at times that I didn't feel like buying her a gift-- the few times I did venture out, I felt neither my wife or SD really appreciated the effort and seemed to resent it. My wife resented me "butting in" and my SD seemed to resent my gifts (a few of the ones I got her ended up in her wastebasket, so I knew her resentments were too great to appreciate the thought).
In any event, I wonder how other stepfamilies handle this issue. It probably underscores how commercialized things have gotten...and how number and expense of gifts are used to measure love...I think Little House on the Prairie had it right...each kid got a shiny penny and some little candy!