I get so stressed out this time of the year. My brother and his whole family gets together with my family and our mom and have a party at the club house where mom lives on Christams Eve each year. The trouble lies in the whole present thing. My brother always goes over the top for thier grandson so anything we could come up with is paltry in comparrison. I am talking the newest and most exspensive game systems and gas powered racing cars and now every guitar hero thing out there and this is for a 10 year old boy. My brother also seems to feel like he has to go over the top for my grandchildren and always buys them at least 3-4 presents each and I have four grandkids!! Same with exspensive gifts for Jay and I and mom. When it comes to buying for them what the heck do you give someone who already has everything? We sure cant afford to go all out and it makes me mad that I feel like the poor one out of the bunch ya know? like oh thats the best Karen could do blah blah.
I do alot of baking this time of year and some of the gifts I give are homemade breads and jams and such but this has gotten too expensive with the high costs of food now. I usually end up giving my brother and his wife a 50 dollar gift certificate to a favorite resturant and gave Randys step daughter a gift set from the liquor store with some fancy glasses in it. As for Nathan,Randys grandson for awhile I was just buying him clothes but I know that can get to be a bummer when all the other kids are opening toys so I decided last year to find him a game he wanted,a board game and not something electronic. I just feel so uncomfortable during the gift exchange after they have all opened their one gift and Jay and I and my family are all opening gift after gift.
They say it doesnt matter that it makes them happy to give a lil more if they can but I know they are going into debt buying these gifts. And of course I am always the worst person to shop for as I usaully ask for something for around my house and ppl keep saying no not for the house but for you but having something that makes cleaning easier or a new towel is what makes me happy. I just dont feel comfortable asking for expensive gifts makes me feel guilty I guess. I hope that all the work I put into these parties is looked on as a gift in itself because I am pretty much on my own for setting everything up and I make a bunch of food ahead of time,the only thing my brothers family brings are expensive desserts. I try to get everyone to eat something more then just crap all day so I put out lil sandwich breads and deli meats and cheeses. My brothers wife thinks I am mean because I have my grandkids make a plate with "real" food on it and they have to eat that before any treats and then treats are limited. My brothers grandkids,he has 2 can get into whatever they want to if his wife and daughter had thier way but I try to make the rules the same for all the kids.
Its just a long day of ppl in a power struggle with each other. Last year my mom took so long even coming over to the club house that she got there about 30 minutes before everyone left. I got tired of checking on her constantly and finally told her oh well if you miss it then thats your fault. I had already offered to help her in anything she needed to get done but the woman chose to be in the shower when everyone was showing up and that can take her a couple hours!!! So this year I am just kinda going with the flow and not letting ppl put me in charge of mom. Hey if they want to hurry her up then they can walk over to check on her lol I am going to just enjoy being with my grandkids and if Randys wife wants to let thier grandkids fill up on crap then whatever? I am still going to have my grandkids eat their food before treats and act in a polite manner during gift opening. I know my daughter will appreciate the extra help with the kids and she has alot of the same rules I do for kids. As for shopping for our grandkids Jay and I are buying them each one toy they really wanted and we already have some books for them which they love and maybe some jammies for each one. We just cannot afford to buy them everything they want and they wont learn to appreciate things if they are givin it all. As it is my daughter goes overboard for birthdays. I am like hellooooooooo they are getting gifts from everyone and dont need 20 gifts from her to make her look good? Its overkill and just overwelms the child. Well I think I vented enough. sorry to take over the thread.
Waterbaby, I am so sorry things are so rough for you right now. You know if you and your hubby are having trouble with bills right now that there are tons of agencies out there that can help you get gifts for your kids this year. You can add them to a local giving tree in most banks and also some drugstores or you can call toys for tots. I know a few years ago when Jay and I had the kids through the holidays and thier mom was in the hospital taking care of a very premature baby that Jay and I couldnt handle it all on our own. We went through the kids school to sign them up for a giving tree and then a family "adopted" them for x-mas and shopped for all of them. It turned out to be a great x-mas and the kids never knew where the gifts came from as we got to pick all the gifts up and wrap them ourselves and you list 3 needs and 3 wants for each child even if that want is a new bike they try and come through for the kids. Its just a thought till things get better but you have to sign them up around thanksgiving time. I hope all goes well for your holidays and that whatever your decision about work that it all turns out for the best.
Mom of one gramma to 4 lover to One
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