Intentionally Insulting Christmas Gift

This is a question about how to respond to a gift worse than nothing.

My nouveau riche inlaws palatial mansion has never been my favorite place to spend the holidays. In over 20 years of marriage I have gotten used to having absolutely nothing under the tree for me - the not-by-blood relative. (I say nothing except the gifts I buy for my kids to give me or what my husband and I have agreed to give each other)

Their tree is always overflowing with lavish gifts for the parents and siblings and children. This year however there was a gift that was actually accomplished the concept of 'worse than nothing'for me.

Instead of nothing, I was given a lively Christmas gift bag with rubber gloves, plastic sponges, dishwashing liquid and a scrubber. I contrast this to state of the art electronics, designer clothing, fablous jewelery given amongst themselves.

I didn't say a thing one way or another and should have just left the gift there or thrown it away there. Coulda shoulda woulda. These folks are shallow and self absorbed and I would like to do something to communicate that I need not ever darken their door again.

Would it be OK to send it back saying that I just can't accept such generosity and please give to someone else?

What I would really like to say can't be published. Any suggestions?

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Jan 19, 2015
Why are all comments dated before the original post??? NEW
by: Anonymous

If there was some drastic Space-Time Continuum distortion, I missed it...but the original post is dated December 2014, and all of the "responses" are dated several years earlier.

Dec 27, 2014
Expired Tea Bag Gift NEW
by: Anonymous

My son's live in girlfriend, who he is looking for a ring, has never been close. For Christmas, I received a candle, my favorite tea in a small tin, and a boxed assortment of tea. The boxed tea assortment had an expiration date of June 2013. Although one would hope that this is an oversight, there have been other situations of rude behavior. Because her action have been subtle, I gave her the benefit of being young or shy or tired. Most recently, while visiting their home after calling before hand to arrange the visit, she came home after I had been there 30 minutes and sat on the floor out of my line of sight with her laptop. We continued to have a conversation but I felt awkward. Although she would answer questions, it was one way communication. When I moved closer, so we could see each other, the first thing she said was I would be in my pajamas by now. It was 8 PM. So I left. I did text her that I felt uncomfortable when she sat where we could not see each other on her laptop and asked if we have a problem. It was my son that called the next day stating that I was creating problems where none existed. I insisted that her behavior was rude and that she could have taken 5 minutes to excuse herself if she needed to get something done, and that I did not feel welcome. Now with the expired tea, I again feel so hurt and that it was intentional bad behavior. I was not raised in the art of this kind of subtle backstabbing. I have been very generous in my gifts to both her and my son on birthdays and at Christmas. My son has also had his pick of furniture from my home including a table and six chairs, artwork, and a small antique bar with three stools for his basement and numerous antiques totaling thousands of dollars all freely given. To have received an expired food item, has felled me so low. I do not know how to handle this.

Dec 24, 2011
one gives what one has. NEW
by: Anonymous

Is obvious that they have very little class. Send them flowers as a thank you give and write it on the note. From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks and one gives from what one has. Happy holidays. Decline all future invitations. They will get the message.

Jul 14, 2010
No Way!
by: LA

Do NOT ignore this no matter what! How insulting. People like that should be put in their place. Don't start a fight but say something that will cut off the conversation, or them inviting you over, ever again. I agree with comment #1. Your husband should stop speaking to them as well as you.

Mar 31, 2010
try this
by: Anonymous

First discuss this with your husband. He should be as insulted as you are with their behavior. He should also be defending you and calling them out on the rug for their bad manners. Next Christmas, decline their lovely offer to spend the holidays with them and take your family to Hawaii, Aruba or someplace equally pleasent away from them. Just remember, that while they have bad manners, they are also showing YOUR children that this behavior is okay. In my book, it IS NOT nor ever will be okay. Let me also add that in my family we do give gag gifts. One year we gave my brother-in-law scraps of window moulding (he had been commenting for 2 years over the fact that a window didn't have any after the addition was put on the house). But this was in addition to the clothing, golfing items, CDs and DVDs that were given.

Mar 03, 2010
Dump the presents and Ignore
by: Anonymous

That sounds really mean and RUDE!

I'd say don't respond. Ignore them and just dump the present in the bin or give it away - not because you can't use them but because of how they make you feel.

You won't stoop that low to do it back to them. Since they are so self absorbed, I don't think they will even realize or worse still - create more tension.

You are way better than them!

Regarding gifts for them in the future...let your husband handle it.

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