How would you feel if you got a text from somebody telling you that, unfortunately, their situation is such that they won't be able to buy your kids presents for Christmas this year?
You could react the way we did and reply that it's no big deal and that the kids get too much anyway and offer help to that person, in as big or small a way you can.
Or you could react differently. We weren't the only ones to get the text, and I was really shocked by somebody else's reaction. Well, shocked at first and, now that the shock has worn off, rather pissed off about it. Somebody else, after getting the exact same text we did, complained about it! Yes, you heard well, complained or rather said that they were quite annoyed over it. Their reasons for reacting that way were the following:
- ''We already bought presents for the kids.''
Good for you. You are obviously extremely organized and, unlike me, get your Christmas shopping in by the end of August. Although, personally, I think Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without that mad rush of last minute shopping. And I thought Christmas was all about giving! Obviously not for some people, you seem to give to receive.
- What's €10?.
€10 in itself is not much but multiply it by 5 that's €50 already. And that's without counting their partner, their own kids, and their parents at least.
- How can you explain that to the kids?
I know my kids, and I know that Marie (at least, because Noelie is too young) is told not to expect presents off everybody at Christmas. And if she was to be told that such and such can't buy them Christmas presents this year because they don't have enough money, she would understand it and, knowing her, she would probably even go and get her piggy bank and give it to them.
Which way do you bring up you kids? So that if they give a present, they expect one in return? In such a way, that they don't understand that sometimes people don't have enough money? In such a way that they feel entitled? Way to go! I'd hate to see you in a position where you can't afford it, how would you explain that one to the kids!
- We are all in the same boat.
Well obviously not, otherwise we would all have gotten our Christmas presents already, or we would have all sent the same text. Yes, it is hard on everybody this year but you have to admit that it is harder on some than it is on others. Everybody's situation is different. You were in that boat a few months back when you couldn't afford to chip in with a special celebration because you were only back from holidays. Did we say anything? No.
It took a tremendous amount of courage for that person to send that text, to publicize to a point that they are having difficulties. I am sure that to come up with such a decision must have hurt them immensely, especially knowing how much they adore the kids. But they are being realistic and I applaud them for it. I can only imagine how hard it must be for them not to be able to buy the kids something for Christmas or how hard it will be for them on the day. And bitching and moaning about it behind their back is not going to help them either or make them feel any better about it.
So don't worry, your kids will get presents from us this year. One thing I know though is that I won't enjoy buying them or giving them. Actually, I wonder how they would feel about some homemade present or is that not good enough either?
As you can tell, I am rather annoyed at them for reacting that way but what about you? How would you have reacted?