I won't give my stepdaughter her Xmas present from her late mum's parents unless...
Wouldn't be Christmas without family complications.
A woman has drawn major criticism online for revealing she won't give her stepdaughter her Christmas present from her grandparents on her late mum's side... unless they also give one to the woman's son.
In a recent post to Reddit's Am I the A**hole forum, the 31-year-old woman shared that she and her husband Dan have two kids: a 4-year-old son together called Nick, and Dan's 11-year-old daughter Mel, whose mum passed away during childbirth.
The pair met when Mel was just a year old, and have now been married for 7 years. Up until last Christmas, they went years without contact with Mel's maternal grandparents, Tim and Kim.
"They never supported my relationship with Dan. They told Mel I was trying to replace her, I didn't love her, and other comments," the mum wrote. "Dan decided to go [no-contact] as he didn't like how they treated us in front of Mel and how Mel began replicating that behaviour."
They all reconciled last Christmas given the current world events.
During the gift exchange, the mum was annoyed to discover that Tim and Kim only brought presents for Mel and Dan.
"Me and my parents were also present and we both bought presents for them but it wasn't reciprocated," she continued. "Nick noticed that his sister and dad got a present but he didn't. I didn't like the behaviour and knew as he got older it'll become more apparent and I don't want him experiencing that.
"Me and Dan sat down with them to explain how we felt but they just acted surprised. I suggested we lay down boundaries and how we'd like to approach any gift-giving holidays to be better prepared in the future. We agreed that for birthdays and Christmas we'd give gifts to everyone and it was the thought that counted."
But in 2021, Tim and Kim again only bought gifts for the birthdays of their granddaughter and her father.
"My birthday was in March and Nick was born in April but we didn't receive anything, not even a card. Sent a text asking if everything was alright but they said they were busy and wished us a happy birthday," the mum said.
Her nose was also out of joint as her parents allowed the couple to spend a holiday in their second home for Kim's birthday, but Kim and Tim didn't mark or acknowledge her parents' birthdays. "At this stage we were all pretty frustrated and my parents felt like they were taken advantage of as Tim and Kim were only nice to them until after their holiday," she said.
Tensions reached a boiling point last week when the couple came to drop Christmas presents over for their grandchild.
"They dropped off two boxes, both labelled Mel. I texted assuming that they'd accidentally written Mel's name twice and asked which was which but they told me both were for Mel. I asked where Nick's present was but they said they weren't giving him one, no explanation.
"I was fuming so told Dan the situation before responding. We told them that we would not be giving Mel the presents from them unless Nick got one as it wasn't fair and we'd already agreed to gift everyone gifts.
"They claimed that wasn't fair and we were showing favouritism, and said how could we withhold a gift from an innocent child."
The mum then told them she'd rewrap their gifts and claim they were from Santa, which infuriated the grandparents even more.
"They posted on Facebook about how I was favouriting my child and punishing their grandchild for no reason," the mum said. "This was met with criticism directed towards me."
The woman sought advice from Reddit users, asking if she was being unreasonable in refusing to give Mel her gifts from Tim and Kim unless Nick also received one.
Most comments on the post said that while the couple's early comments about the woman trying to replace Mel's mum or not loving Mel were inappropriate and unacceptable, the mum was unfair to expect them to try build a relationship with their late daughter's widower's family beyond their grandchild.
"Nick isn't related to them at all. These are Mel's maternal grandparents," one user replied. "Her mother died in childbirth and you are now trying to cut her off from the rest of her mother's family because you want them to pay the toll of buying presents for you, your son, and your parents. That's unreasonable when their only family in your household is Mel.
"The comments about replacement/etc were not acceptable but you did not mention those as having continued or being the issue right now – your issue is them not buying your entire family presents. As long as they're now cordial with you, that's really all you can ask for."
Another agreed with this comment and added: "I have a half brother and half sister, we all have the same mom but different dads. I never expected gifts from their grandparents or got any, even from a young age I knew they weren't related to me and it's weird to me she is expecting this from them... they also sound like the kind of family that only gives gifts in the expectation they get them in return."
"Tell us just how Mel is really thought of. My GOD, lost her mother and a stepmom who feels she and her child need to be included in Mel's relationship with her family," one user wrote.
"I could maybe MAYBE see them asking to do gifts with Mel privately, not in front of her brother, but demanding that they also give the the brother, herself, her husband, and her two parents gifts as well is some next level weird shit," someone else said.