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Feeling hurt over unappreciated gift

(145 Posts)
willa45 Sun 12-Jan-20 18:47:35

Our Son in Law seems to have everything so it's very hard to find him a good gift. He enjoys family game night (board games) and when on vacation he often goes to casinos where he usually wins.

After an exhaustive search in the stores and on line, I found a (rather expensive) and very well made, (beautiful) wooden roulette wheel, complete with green felt play pad and other accessories...perfect for game night with (adult) friends or family.

At Christmas he unwrapped the box, looked at it and made no effort to open it or even take it out to examine it. He thanked me politely then put it aside. Mortified, the next day, I asked my D if he hadn't liked his gift. She told me NO, that he wanted gift cards so he can buy some things that he really needs. I later saw my gift sitting by the garage door, as though it was about to be tossed or donated, so I told them I would return it and brought it back with me. I intend to buy him his much coveted gift card with the money but I'm now changing my mind. He made no effort to even open it, so why make the effort to appease him either? He got a gift..he didn't like it, he rejected it..... so be it. I should add that we have a good relationship and he's a wonderful Son in Law. His one flaw is that he can be insensitive to the feelings of others.

Now that I've returned it, I"m doubting my own expectations and my actions. Have rules changed when it comes to gift giving and receiving? Was it presumptuous and selfish of me to give something of MY choosing? What do polite people now do when they are disappointed with a particular gift....Is it now OK for a gift to be 'thrown back' without any show of appreciation or pretense? What do you think about all this? What would you do?

Ilovecheese Sun 12-Jan-20 18:52:22

Now that you have gone to all the trouble of returning it, I think you should keep the money. Buy him a gift card next year (for about 50p)

sparkii Sun 12-Jan-20 18:52:26

I would assume an adult doesn't believe in Santa Claus , ask them if they have any preference for a small gift, but said gift. donate to charity of funds allow and get on with the other 364 days ofthyear.

Summerlove Sun 12-Jan-20 18:56:51

You gave a gift.
Unfortunately it wasn’t as well received as you’d hoped. It happens to us all.

I think you were wrong to take it back from him to return without his prompting. Not providing a replacement is off to me as well. It will be as though you didn’t get him a gift.

I’d have left it to him sort returning it.

I’m sorry you are hurt, but you’ve completely over reacted. He thanked you. He wasn’t rude. The gift just didn’t hit the mark.

Sparkling Sun 12-Jan-20 19:00:20

Why get gifts at all, if he has everything, you say he's a good son in law so just get him the gift card and forget it, you are not going to alter him. He was probably going to donate it to charity, probably didn't want to say he didn't want it.. I had books bought me that have gone to a local hospice. A pair of pyjamas, no receipt two sizes too small, indicates no thought been put into it. I would never say anything, but will suggest next year that we stop gifts as I am running out of ideas of what to buy, I wouldnt cause an atmosphere about it.

Daisymae Sun 12-Jan-20 19:02:52

It's OK to make a mistake - we have all done it. You have returned the gift so can now buy the gift card. He will appreciate it and you will go up in his estimation as a caring, thoughtful Mil and it won't cost a thing. If he had raved about your gift and then disposed of it, it would just be money down the drain.

Callistemon Sun 12-Jan-20 19:04:17

Although I do buy gifts for female members of the family, I give tokens or give money to DD so that she can buy SIL and DGS what she knows they like.
DS gets tokens too, usually for somewhere he has requested.
The only male I buy presents for is DH and some of those end up redundant.

Oh dear, you put thought and love into that gift but it obviously didn't hit the mark.
A voucher or a gift to charity in future.

Hetty58 Sun 12-Jan-20 19:06:26

We only buy gifts for children in our family - so much simpler!

Camelia3 Sun 12-Jan-20 19:06:31

Your SIL was rude not to make a show of appreciation. However, I believe once we give a gift we no longer have any rights over it. Try and let go this time. You have both learned from the experience. Next birthday or Christmas give a voucher or tell everyone that they can choose their own charity and you will make a donation in their behalf. Especially apt if they are comfortably off. Don't beat yourself up any more. You're kind person who was momentarily mistreated x

lavenderzen Sun 12-Jan-20 19:07:13

Willa you have done absolutely nothing wrong. What you did was with the best of intention and your son-in-law is rude to say the least. We all receive gifts that maybe we wouldn't have chosen but accept with good grace.

I'm with Ilovecheese on this, keep the money and send nothing next year not even the 50p gift card.

Don't be upset please.

curvygran950 Sun 12-Jan-20 19:08:36

I always keep all the receipts and let the recipient know ( in a kind and friendly way) that if a gift isn’t suitable for any reason, they can take it back !

Maggiemaybe Sun 12-Jan-20 19:09:49

You put a lot of thought and effort into getting him something you thought he'd really like, and from your description of him, it should have been a surefire winner. A bit of appreciation of this wouldn't have come amiss. If your SIL wanted gift cards only, he should have made that clear before Christmas, and saved you the trouble of finding something for him.

What would I do? Well, what I'd like to do is keep the cash and not bother getting him presents in future, if he is, as you say, the man who has everything. What I know I would do, for the sake of family harmony, is grin and bear it and send him a voucher. And stick with vouchers only in future years.

Callistemon Sun 12-Jan-20 19:40:52

You could give him a card in future saying you have donated to a charity, eg Gamblers' Anonymous, The Donkey Sanctuary, on his behalf?

Spend the refund on something lovely for yourself.

Bobbysgirl19 Sun 12-Jan-20 19:43:17

I would have been a little disappointed but not in the least bit bothered. I would have probably given my daughter the receipt in advance so they could have taken it back in the event that it was unsuitable.
He accepted the gift politely you say, I really don’t see the problem.

TrendyNannie6 Sun 12-Jan-20 19:56:48

We ask our family what they would like and generally it’s gift cards that way they get things they would like , it’s easier all round that way, i can understand you being hurt after you bought him an expensive present and he hardly looked at it, but I do think if he had said that he would have liked gift card or whatever in the first place it would have saved your feelings

hugshelp Sun 12-Jan-20 20:12:24

I think that's really rude of him. It's not like you didn't put thought and effort into buying him something you thought he'd like. Would it have been too much trouble for him to say, 'thank you, that's a lovely gift but.... would you mind if I exchanged it this time?'

Having said that I do usually ask what people want these days, and/or give them the receipt saying, 'if you don't like it please feel free to exchange it'.

Certainly wouldn't fall out with him over it. Would probably give him a gift-card but not spend too much on it.

love0c Sun 12-Jan-20 20:18:15

As you said he is a wonderful SIL I would give him the money. Next time ask what he would like or give money again. He is selfish like so many people. But when reading of the unhappy people on this site who suffer terrible heartache caused by IL's do not spoil your relationship with your SIL. It really is not worth it! Believe me!!

rockgran Sun 12-Jan-20 20:30:08

My family use an Amazon wish list. You don't have to buy from Amazon but it gives a good indication of what is really wanted and still offers the surprise element.

notanan2 Sun 12-Jan-20 20:35:54

I think having said you were taking it to exchange it for him, I dont think you can now keep the cash.
I wouldnt have offered to do that in the first place but its done now so I think you should do as agreed.

You ASKED and were answered honestly. Had you not asked they prob wouldnt have outright said it was a disappointing gift.

It sounds like too elaborate/large a thing to give without consulting the recipient but live and learn.

I think perhaps you invested a bit too much in the gift. He wasnt unreasonable to not like or keep it and you were only told bluntly because you asked the question

Hithere Sun 12-Jan-20 20:41:38

I am with Summerlove

Your sil was perfectly polite. Unfortunately, it didn't give the effect you wished the present to have.

With individuals that have everything, why not ask them? If they give you clues or even point you to an item, everybody is happy.

Hithere Sun 12-Jan-20 20:43:09


Good post too

callgirl1 Sun 12-Jan-20 22:47:07

willa45, I can empathise with you. Last Christmas, I bought my 10 year old grandson a Star Wars toy that I thought he`d love, seeing as he`s mad on Star Wars. A few months ago my daughter spotted it for sale on my DIL`s Facebook page, as "unopened, unwanted, present", along with a few other items bought my the family for him. So this year, as he`s now 11, I gave him a gift voucher instead, and he looked up at his dad, seeming disappointed, and said "What can I buy with this?"

mumofmadboys Sun 12-Jan-20 22:48:39

Give him a gift card with the money you got back and forget all about it

mumofmadboys Sun 12-Jan-20 22:54:55

My mum bought my DH a number of years ago a Charlotte Church CD for Christmas. It came through the post. My DH is not keen on CC. I thanked mum over the phone for his present and said that was lovely or some other platitude. We managed to swop said CD for a classical music CD which DH wanted. Of course my mum then asked me a few weeks later if DH was enjoying the CD so I confessed and said he decided he would prefer something else. Well I didn't hear the end of it for quite a while!!My mum thought he was hugely ungrateful. After that any exchanged presents were never mentioned. I just fibbed!

V3ra Sun 12-Jan-20 23:08:40

My daughter used to moan if people asked for a gift card, but they want to replace their bathroom so this year they've asked for B&Q vouchers...
My adult children know perfectly well just to buy me gin ?