So. I got an email today from an in-law of mine. Asking me to please send a Christmas list for the dutchkid. I have been irritated by this all day today.
My dh’s family lives on the other side of the country. The majority of us abide by the “if you aren’t celebrating Christmas here, no need to send gifts” understanding. They don’t send my kid a gift, and I don’t send theirs one either. And every year, unless she’s told very bluntly otherwise, this person decides to take matters into her own hands and force the issue. Of course, because once she sends my kid a gift I feel obligated to send hers gifts. And she has three to my one. Then I start to think, well if I sent hers gifts I have to send everyone else who is there gifts as well. Because I do love my nieces and nephews very much, and I would never want someone to inadvertently say something and for them to be hurt by that. It’s all or nothing with me, either you all get gifts or nobody does. And equal opportunity offender, if you will.
BUT. I realized today that am not equally offensive to everyone, I have a double standard. On my side of the family, I tend to give gifts to my nieces and nephews without thinking about it. Granted, there are far fewer of them, and we’re going to spend Christmas with them this year, anyway. But I like to send them a little something, even if we’re not there. Why do I feel so differently on dh’s side?
Sigh. So I will be sending a small present for each of my nieces and nephews this year. Trying to ease my guilty conscience about how I like my own family so much better. I think next year I’m going to try the philanthropic route and send an email out on December 1st to say, “This year, in lieu of gifts we will be making a donation to XYZ charity in your family’s name.” Or is that just as bad? I don’t know. Sometimes I hate Christmas.
Now if you’ll excuse me, we are celebrating Sinterklaas Eve a day late (ah the joys of a child who has no idea what the actual date is) and I have to go eat a carrot and put candy in some shoes and think happy, festive thoughts. I am sure Sinterklaas would not actually be leaving candy for me, just coal.