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Grandparenting

Christmas and Birthdays

(63 Posts)
Nansypansy Tue 20-Nov-18 08:51:31

I hope this post isn’t going to end up sounding mercenary, so please say if that’s what you think. I send to my grandson every birthday and Christmas ..... also to his 10 year old half brother. They live 300 miles away and up until my last birthday, they have sent me flowers by post or similar, courtesy of my daughter-in-law I’m sure. My grandson is now 22 and has been to Uni and is now working. He also has a car. When I send to them, I usually receive a very brief text of thanks from him. I haven’t seen him for over 5 years since we had our tenth and last family get together to remember my son, his father who died in 2003. He has never visited me since I was obliged to move over 4 years ago since my (second) husband of 40 years dumped me (his step Grandfather). I am finding it increasingly difficult to buy presents, or send money at Christmas or birthdays and just had a card from him for my birthday in June. My daughter in law is very thoughtful and texts me on the anniversary of my son’s death, and also sends me a card on Mother’s Day. Should I stop sending to the boys except for cards in the future?

M0nica Tue 20-Nov-18 08:55:25

Many people have a rule that in these circumstances presents stop at 18. It is certainly the rule in my family. I think it would quite reasonable for you now to send a card but not a present.

Explain this to your DiL, who sounds a really nice person, and your GS, I am sure they will understand.

Teetime Tue 20-Nov-18 09:05:43

I think it would be OK to just send cards with a nice message in now that they are adults.

stella1949 Tue 20-Nov-18 09:49:18

He is sending you a card - so he thinks that this is fine. You send him a nice card with a few cheerful words inside, and that will be just right. Don't feel bad - he is a man now and surely wouldn't expect a gift .

Cabbie21 Tue 20-Nov-18 09:58:16

I have reduced from card and present, to card, and now only an e- card or Facebook post on my great- nephew’s birthday. He seems fine with that. However I am more in touch with his sister so I continue to give her a Christmas present and send cards. It makes sense to me and to them.

Jaycee5 Tue 20-Nov-18 09:58:44

I don't think it is mercenary and it is common for presents to stop when people reach adulthood. Nice cards aren't exactly cheap nowadays nor is postage and frankly that is enough to spend on someone that you don't see for someone who doesn't have money to spare.
Your dil sounds understanding so you might want to let her know but it is unlikely to cause any upset either way from the sound of it.

Jzpap Tue 20-Nov-18 10:01:25

Totally agree with the previous respondents. You’ve done your bit and I’m sure it was appreciated. You could have a word with your DIL just to clarify the situation and maybe she can talk to your Grandson and explain that in future it will just be cards.

MaggieMay69 Tue 20-Nov-18 10:11:54

Personally I wouldn't make a thing of it at all, cards only is just fine!

My grandsons send me lots of lovely letters and texts, but they still only get a card, they know if I could afford presents they would get them, just as I did it the whole time they were growing up.

Honestly, you don't need to justify it, you have always sent gifts, now they are adults, and I am sure it won't cross their mind if they only get a card.

I print my own cards too lol, I call myself stingy but the huge family I have it costs a fortune to send something that will be thrown away the next day! :-)

CassieJ Tue 20-Nov-18 10:13:19

Completely agree with the others. In our family once they hit 18 they no longer get presents, just a card.
I don't understand the need people feel to continually give presents to adults.

DotMH1901 Tue 20-Nov-18 10:14:03

We had a rule that it was presents and cards up to their 18th birthday then just a card after that. Worked out well and I continued it with my gt nieces and gt nephews and now with my gt gt nieces (no gt gt nephew yet!)

CarlyD7 Tue 20-Nov-18 10:17:19

In our family, it was annual presents until 18, then a special one for 21, and that's it. I'm afraid they don't even get cards anymore. The only exception is if we are going to see them around their birthday - but that seldom happens.

catta5 Tue 20-Nov-18 10:19:39

Well I have only seen my grandchildren twice and not in past 8 years so I do not send in fact when I learnt when babies my gifts were not wanted they only wanted designer expensive items I stopped and said as I do not see them so never have to worry about birthday or Christmas gifts When money is tight one has to make priorities and giving gifts that are neither wanted or appreciated is a no brainy so nansypansy do not worry keep a text message going if you can

GabriellaG Tue 20-Nov-18 10:21:16

Yes. smile

J52 Tue 20-Nov-18 10:26:51

I agree with stopping ‘children’ gifts at 18. We have done so with nieces and nephews.
We still give to our ACs and DILs, usually towards something they’re saving for.
Our GCs are little so presents are still appropriate and to be honest we probably will continue after they’re 18. ( if we’re still here!)
In your position I think I’d send a small amount of money for a birthday or Christmas drink, on me.
If that’s not possible, then just a lovely card with some sincere sentiments written inside.

humptydumpty Tue 20-Nov-18 10:27:06

I agree that it seems perfectly reasonable to only send cards in future to the older boy, since he is now working, but perhaps continue to send a small gift to his half-brother, since he is only 10 and you are in the habit of sending him presents.

NemosMum Tue 20-Nov-18 10:28:22

You know what Nansy, it's fine to drop the gifts, but I bet he would like it if you texted him from time to time (not just on birthdays) asking how he was getting on and sending a bit of news of your own. He may not need your material gifts, but I bet he would love your interest in his life.

BRedhead59 Tue 20-Nov-18 10:28:28

I stop at 18
When children are small I send a nice book
Teenagers get a tenner

Parklife1 Tue 20-Nov-18 10:28:38

I agree that when they become adults, it’s probably a good time to stop with regular presents, especially if you don’t see them. Maybe for special birthdays, but not every year.

anti Tue 20-Nov-18 10:34:03

We have done the same in my partner's family, we just send them a card at Christmas and on their Birthdays.
They are both young adults and presents should be for the younger ones. So, don't feel guilty, it's not like if you've forgotten them.

Robinsong Tue 20-Nov-18 10:40:23

I agree send a lovely card instead of a present I’m not sure how to choose a present for someone you haven’t seen for so long. The importent thing is to stay in touch. X

GreenGran78 Tue 20-Nov-18 10:41:20

I agree. In the circumstances just a card would be fine. I will still give presents to my teenage grandchildren for a while, as they are both at university, so money is tight. Once they are earning, they will just get a card. They are both kind to me, so I'm glad to be able to help them out with a bit of cash and a small gift. When they are getting a good income, maybe they can start subsidising me! smile

Doty123singing Tue 20-Nov-18 10:45:57

Regular contact is more important. Explain your reasoning e.g. financial but that you would like to keep in touch and they are welcome to your home for a visit any time.

justwokeup Tue 20-Nov-18 10:48:53

I think you should let DIL know as you are sending both of them just a card, she can explain to younger child. Agree it's time just to send a card.

Purplepoppies Tue 20-Nov-18 10:49:36

I agree with everyone else, a card is fine. How lovely that you include his half brother too. You sound very thoughtful, definitely not mercenary!! 💐

Babsbada Tue 20-Nov-18 10:50:27

What a very nice DiL. I totally agree with everything that's been said. A nice card with a message and personal update would be completely acceptable but keep in touch.