Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Straight Talk for Teens The rules of gift giving in a blended family

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012 6:46 am

Dear Straight Talk: My friend thinks she doesn’t need to get her stepdaughter much for Christmas. She says “Emily” will get gifts from her own mom, and her kids won’t get anything from their dad, so buying less for Emily only balances things. I see the logic, but I was that same girl and it was horrible to receive less on Christmas day than the other kids. Yes, I also received from my “other family.” But when everyone opened gifts and there was comparatively little for me, I felt like I didn’t really belong there. My friend is a generous, warm person, so I am taken aback at her stinginess. — “Santa’s Elf”

Taylor, 15, Santa Rosa: At my house, there are three kids from my stepmom and two from my dad. We are old enough to understand value, so rather than equal numbers of gifts, everyone is “spent on” equally. The different houses are separate entities. What the “other” parent is buying is a matter for that house. Each house is a fair house where nobody feels left out.

Lara, 21, Concord: When I was eight, my mom married my stepdad and we had Christmas with his large extended family. We drew names to simplify things and my name wasn’t put in the envelope. My sister and brother got amazing gifts, but nothing was under the tree for me. I didn’t mention I’d been forgotten until we were flying home. The moral of this story: I still have some upset about that Christmas.    

Kira, 20, Moraga: Excuse my language but your friend is an idiot. Who cares what she gets from her other family? She should get equal presents for ALL her kids — INCLUDING her stepdaughter.   

Colin, 19, Los Angeles: The premise of this letter is so disgustingly materialistic I feel like burning everything I own and living in the forest like Thoreau. Too much is taken for granted in this society. Nothing illustrates that more than people who think not getting enough Christmas gifts is a severe violation of human rights. Rant aside, if you give one kid lots and the other little, you’re sending a pretty strong message.

Brandon, 20, Mapleton, Maine: I’m stepfather to a son whose biological father is absent, but his three sets of grandparents (my parents, her parents, biological father’s parents) all buy him gifts. Having only one spoiled brat (!), I’ve never shopped for a blended family, but it occurs to me that if we have our own children, they may be jealous of this. Main rule: keep everything fair (this also means not competing for who gives the most).

Christina, 20, Marysville: Yes, stepchildren may get gifts from their other parent, but that isn’t their fault or choosing. No matter their age, kids will compare — even if no harm is intended. Children of divorce have been through something. Feeling less loved leads to both personal and family problems. Is spending less money on them really worth that?

Dear Santa’s Elf: I couldn’t agree more with the panel. Like Taylor said, each house needs to be a fair house where nobody feels left out or slighted. Let’s hope your friend reads this — or a certain elf delivers the message. —Lauren               

Ask a question or join our work with a donation at www.StraightTalkTnT.org or P.O. Box 1974, Sebastopol, CA 95473.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.

Readers Choice Awards 2014

Video

Popular Stories

Poll

Loading…

Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Featured Events

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists