Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I wasn't sure I was going to publish this one...

I finished "shopping" for my older sister and her four teenagers yesterday. I ended up getting her and her girls gift cards to a favorite store. As much as I love my sister and adore my nieces, I struggle with what to do with them for Christmas. When they were younger, I went in with my mom and younger sister on complete sets of bedding for each of them. The shipping that year was horrible. One year I put together "spa treatment" kits for them. There was the year of books and the time I sent them each their own little tree with packages of decorating items so they could each decorate their own. Last year, I shopped for a long time to carefully pick out cool clothing for each of them. But every year, after they open their gifts 2000 miles away, they never take 30 seconds to call and let me know if it fit, if they liked it, if they even got it. Never mind a phone call, we're all "friends" on Myspace, I'd be thrilled with a two word note that said "Got it!". It's not that they ask for anything (because they don't). It's not that I expect great kudos and outpourings of eternal gratitude (because I don't). It's that somewhere along the line, they didn't get the memo about common courtesy. They've had a tough life, being raised primarily by a single mom that sometimes acts more like their friend than their mom. But being gracious and acknowledging other people is a required skill in this world. And I worry that without that skill, they're not going to get as far in life as they could have. My sister is a good person who has done the best she can and I love her dearly, but I worry about what she's instilled in her daughters for skills to get through life. When I started this post, I wasn't sure I was going to publish it because I didn't want to come across as being judgmental towards my family. It seems like such a stupid thing to be worried about. But I am.


K-Mom said...

Those are some pretty good gift ideas! I'm sure your nieces are very grateful for your thoughtful gifts every year.

Miss Manners says it's okay to call and ask if the gift was received. Maybe you could do that? It seems like a subtle way to drop a hint.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you Mirth, by the way need your new address for a Christmas Card. Left back in Omaha.

Grandma AKT