Discussion Topic

Christmas presents???

Posted on 10/03/13, 07:39 am
I have been estranged from my son (33 years old) for 10 months. I am wondering what others are doing about giving Christmas gifts. My son has not bothered to call me on mothers day or acknowledge my birthday. I invited him to a birthday party I was having for his father and he did not acknowledge my invitation nor did he show up. I phoned and wished him Happy Birthday but he did not pick the phone up so I left the message on his answering machine and his father dropped a card off with money inside. . Again, no acknowledgement. My husband feels we should send him a Christmas card and that is it and give my daughter (31 years old) a Christmas gift. In raising both children I was always careful to treat them equally so emotionally I am having difficulty in knowing what to do in this case.

I do not want to have the same relationship with my son as I have had in the past. Respect has only gone one way and I have never been on the winning end of that. I will no longer allow him to have a response of F*** you mom to my opinion that he disagrees with and then punish me by not calling me on special events or speaking to me again. Like others I believe I have spoiled him over the years all in the name of love. I still love him but I am also trying to learn to love myself and respect myself.

I would like some feedback on how others are dealing with giving Christmas gifts to estranged adult children. Help me through this first Christmas holiday gift giving dilemma please.

Thank you
Showing 1 - 10 of 41 Replies
  • Reply #1 10/03/13  8:18am
    The "first" of everything is very difficult. In our case, his Dad & my birthdays both came before his......so we followed his lead. He mailed us a card....we called to thank him, but he didn't pick up nor return our calls. There will be no more calls from us. We sent him a birthday card...no gift/cash...he sent us an email to thank us....and that is how we will thank him in the future, assuming it continues in this manner. That's the total extent of our current situation. At Christmas, I will send a card, but with no money. That would be my suggestion to you. Cards keep the door open.....but "not rewarding" our ES's dispicable behavior keeps our respect.
    Like you Cathy, we do not want the same relationship with our son IF he ever "comes around".
    I love my son, but I do not like him and will never put up with walking on eggshells or being disrespected again.
  • Reply #2 10/03/13  8:46am
    Thank you Ricki360. I appreciate your input. Sounds like we are in the same situation.
  • Reply #3 10/03/13  8:52am
    My son doesn't acknowledges our birthdays or any special occasion so it has come to a point where I just send him a email with two words in it ex". Happy Birthday" he sends one back with two words" thank you" .It's been two years since we have seen or spoken to him . The ball is in his court but we to will not put up with his disrespect or vulgar language ,
  • Reply #4 10/03/13  8:59am
    This will be first christmas without daughter, she didnt send card or acknowledge my birthday and hasnt contacted for over 6 months.I have decided to send card and thats it! )Other children and GD the same as usual...she has decided to walk away,not me.I have come to grips with the fact she doesnt want me at present and have also realised to have her in my life now [the way shes behaved and is ignoring me]would only drag me down.I will make the most of what I have,and give my love to those that love me.I was prepared for her forgetting my birthday,so although sad was bearable.
  • Reply #5 10/03/13  9:07am
    This will be our first Christmas and probably will send a small gift and if there is no thank you or acknowledgement the message is clear to us. after that it will be cards only.
  • Reply #6 10/03/13  9:39am
    Well, I'm gonna play it by ear. Her dads birthday is the 23rd of this month and mine is the 23 of next month. If she calls or sends a card then we know she is reaching out to us. If not, then she has completely written us off. Her birthday was in April and I sent a card and a text message with no reply. My GD birthday was in August and I personally delivered gifts to her workplace (daycare) and my granddaughter attends there too. She told me that the gifts would be thrown away and the boyfriend won't let her except them. WOW!!!!!- I sent Easter gifts to my GD (spent over $200.00) and since this estrangement has become completely estranged due to the controlling, I'm assuming he threw them away. I am not going to buy anything and have my money thrown in the trash. Christmas was always a big deal in our house. Her dad used to wait until we were both fast asleep and bring in his gifts and they filled the whole living room. The house was decorated from top to bottom with holiday cheer. I am not even gonna put up a tree or decorate this year. It's too much and I can't see a reason to do it. This is not gonna be a good year. Her dad will be going away and I will be alone. So why bother.
  • Reply #7 10/03/13  10:06am
    Cathy, yes, having to modify your traditions/beliefs to deal with an EC's behavior & disrespect is heartbreaking....especially the first time, as you agonizingly try to figure out the 'right' thing to do. (Is there ever really a 'right' way with these kids?!!...they manage to find fault with most everything we do.) If you have no positive interaction with him between now & Dec., I would send a Christmas card only.... no gift or money. Although you raised your children by treating them equally in the past, unfortunately circumstances have changed. And it is not your fault at all. It is your son's choice to act inappropriately. You will respect yourself the most by not rewarding him with any gifts. I know it's a difficult decision, but I think you will have less doubts & regret by doing so....just speaking from my own experiences. (Think of it like he is a small child having a major blow-out tantrum in the store....would you buy him a toy....let him associate bad behavior with gifts? No, you leave the store.)

  • Reply #8 10/03/13  12:17pm
    Life totally agree,my own experience validates what you have said.....Im in a much better place now than when I was tempted to grovel.and kept going over and over what had gone wrong.If ED comes back she might respect me more because I didnt join in her drama.A christmas card will be quite sufficient and at least let her know my thoughts are with her[even if she does throw in bin etc,.]
  • Reply #9 10/03/13  1:23pm
    My counsellor told me do not reward poor behaviour, your are reinforcing it. Just like with a child. He said you last wrote a very lovely letter, and left the door open. Now it is up to your son to walk through it in his time.
    So this year, I will be giving to the needy instead. It makes be feel very good to help those who need it. And possibly appreciate and deserve it more.
    If he makes a step toward change, any step, perhaps that behaviour will be acknowledged and rewarded, so-to-speak.
  • Reply #10 10/03/13  1:24pm
    Just to be clear, he said very brief letter of acknowledgements are ok, NO gifts! Simply, We love you, thinking of you.


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