Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Should I ask for the $ back?

CJ2008

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
4,750
At my house we do like a Secret Santa thing and we set the amount (some years we've done $75 others $150, etc.)

I ended up laying out the $ for my DH's gift on my mom's behalf because what he wanted was very specific and you could only buy it through the Internet, and she doesn't feel comfortable with that.

She's usually / always really really good about paying back anything...but she hasn't...I really think it must have slipped her mind. I feel bad/embarrrassed asking, that's why I haven't...and I know they're not doing great with money. But then again neither am I and could use it. :confused:

On top of it if it were up to me we wouldn't do any gift shopping for the adults at all because of the $ situation - but we do it because the elders (mostly my mother and my aunt) always push for it.

It's kind of like a "to do" on my mind I hate not having closure on things - so either I need to ask or I need to decide not to ask and just let it go.

Should I ask? Or just let it go...
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
3,160
My sister does this - and sometimes I get "here's a check but can you wait until Thursday to cash it?". Sounds like this is unusual for your mom and not habit like my sister. Here's my take. I wouldn't ask for the money back but I would be hesitant to participate again.
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
5,904
puppmom|1454679554|3987145 said:
My sister does this - and sometimes I get "here's a check but can you wait until Thursday to cash it?". Sounds like this is unusual for your mom and not habit like my sister. Here's my take. I wouldn't ask for the money back but I would be hesitant to participate again.

I agree with this. It would probably makes things awkward if you were to ask. Maybe she is having serious money troubles and is embarrassed so I would let it go and just not participate next time.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
33,882
That is a difficult situation. It depends on the relationship you have with your mom.

I know my parents would be mortified if they forgot to give me money they owed me. However I also would not take the money from them because they have done and still do so much for us so personally I would just take the loss. And be good with it because of what my parents have done for us all our lives. No big deal for me. Your situation sounds different however.

Now if this situation was happening with my sister instead I would have no problem reminding her she owed me the money and vice versa. It would not feel awkward at all to ask my sister for what she owes me and vice versa. No weirdness at all there. So again it absolutely depends on your relationship and how you have dealt with money issues like this in the past with the parties involved.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
33,882
CJ I just reread and see you wrote they are not doing well regarding finances right now. I wouldn't ask. If things change with them you could always ask at a later date but right now I would hold off. And if by next year she still hasn't paid you back and her finances have not improved I would skip the whole holiday secret santa gift giving.
 

kgizo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
1,590
It sounds like there is a good chance she forgot so I would nicely bring it up. Perhaps let her know your cc bill is due and you need the money or give her a copy of the receipt for her records (sometimes people wait to know the exact amount to repay). Depending on how things go maybe you could even approach the subject of lowering the $$ amount for next Xmas to make it easier on the both of you.
 

CJ2008

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
4,750
It would create such an upheaval if I chose to not participate :|

I've been trying to not participate for years. :/

I'm the one that came up with the idea of doing a Secret Santa to begin with rather than the crazy thing we were doing every year buying gifts for every adult. It got old and stressful after a while (and expensive too since we normally spent that amount on EACH person) even though we're a very small group (6-8 adults plus DH and me).

And I'm the one that pushed for $75 instead of $150, but then every year it keeps creeping up again - we did $125 this year.

Again, not because I *want* to but I'm trying to not be the one always wanting to do something different or having something to say :???:

But honestly my parents don't have the $ and they shouldn't even want to do this but Christmases have always been so gift oriented in our family. It really was fun for a large part of my growing up (although it was always stressful) but isn't so much fun in the last few years.

I guess I try to say to myself that $125 is waaaaaaay better than $125 x 6 :???: - so every year I'm like...fine I'll go along with it.
 

CJ2008

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
4,750
missy|1454680002|3987148 said:
That is a difficult situation. It depends on the relationship you have with your mom.

I know my parents would be mortified if they forgot to give me money they owed me. However I also would not take the money from them because they have done and still do so much for us so personally I would just take the loss. And be good with it because of what my parents have done for us all our lives. No big deal for me. Your situation sounds different however.

Now if this situation was happening with my sister instead I would have no problem reminding her she owed me the money and vice versa. It would not feel awkward at all to ask my sister for what she owes me and vice versa. No weirdness at all there. So again it absolutely depends on your relationship and how you have dealt with money issues like this in the past with the parties involved.
missy I *should* feel like you do - with all they've done for us all our lives, etc. And that really is at least in part, how I feel, although that feeling used to be much stronger for me than it is now. Not sure why. :(sad maybe it's knowing that their financial problems WILL affect us and in one way or another will fall on us soon. It's a little bit resentment that they still want to do gifts when they shouldn't be spending on anything they don't need. But yet how can I blame her/them to want a Christmas with gifts, you know? It's complicated. I feel so conflicted about so many things having to do with them :(sad

My mother would be mortified too - if it really slipped her mind - and based on everything she has ever shown me, it probably did. She is very careful/diligent about paying $ back. If it slipped her mind it truly would be a first - which makes me think maybe her memory is starting to fail, too. :blackeye:
 

CJ2008

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
4,750
kgizo|1454680318|3987150 said:
It sounds like there is a good chance she forgot so I would nicely bring it up. Perhaps let her know your cc bill is due and you need the money or give her a copy of the receipt for her records (sometimes people wait to know the exact amount to repay). Depending on how things go maybe you could even approach the subject of lowering the $$ amount for next Xmas to make it easier on the both of you.
I was thinking of that too it's the perfect/most neutral way to ask...but in a way I feel that time has passed and the longer I wait the more awkward it feels.

But yes I agree maybe it's the perfect springboard to mention making it less next year (without mentioning that I never got paid back of course. But in my mind will justify it so I feel less like a scrooge for bringing it up to the group).
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
33,882
CJ2008 said:
missy|1454680002|3987148 said:
That is a difficult situation. It depends on the relationship you have with your mom.

I know my parents would be mortified if they forgot to give me money they owed me. However I also would not take the money from them because they have done and still do so much for us so personally I would just take the loss. And be good with it because of what my parents have done for us all our lives. No big deal for me. Your situation sounds different however.

Now if this situation was happening with my sister instead I would have no problem reminding her she owed me the money and vice versa. It would not feel awkward at all to ask my sister for what she owes me and vice versa. No weirdness at all there. So again it absolutely depends on your relationship and how you have dealt with money issues like this in the past with the parties involved.
missy I *should* feel like you do - with all they've done for us all our lives, etc. And that really is at least in part, how I feel, although that feeling used to be much stronger for me than it is now. Not sure why. :(sad maybe it's knowing that their financial problems WILL affect us and in one way or another will fall on us soon. It's a little bit resentment that they still want to do gifts when they shouldn't be spending on anything they don't need. But yet how can I blame her/them to want a Christmas with gifts, you know? It's complicated. I feel so conflicted about so many things having to do with them :(sad

My mother would be mortified too - if it really slipped her mind - and based on everything she has ever shown me, it probably did. She is very careful/diligent about paying $ back. If it slipped her mind it truly would be a first - which makes me think maybe her memory is starting to fail, too. :blackeye:


I'm sorry CJ. I understand how you feel. Resentment has a way of building up and eating away at us and believe me I am not exempt from that feeling.

We stopped participating in the Secret Santa my dh's family always engaged in every christmas. That was my SIL's doing and I am forever grateful about that. She threw a hissy fit (to my MIL and to all of the SILs) that she had to do all the shopping for her, the kids and her dh and she was done. Yay that meant we were all done. :appl:

Back to you. I get it and honestly I would leave it be right now. She might remember. She might not. See what happens and next holiday the situations may be different and you may not have to participate or you may want to depending on how finances are for everyone involved. Also our parents are getting older and I don't like to look too far ahead yanno? Take it one day at a time and wait and see. No need to decide right now. (((Hugs))).
 

CJ2008

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
4,750
Thank you to each one of you for all your thoughts and advice.

I think I won't ask for the $ and just let it go.

Thank you. :wavey:
 

CJ2008

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
4,750
missy|1454681212|3987158 said:
I'm sorry CJ. I understand how you feel. Resentment has a way of building up and eating away at us and believe me I am not exempt from that feeling.

We stopped participating in the Secret Santa my dh's family always engaged in every christmas. That was my SIL's doing and I am forever grateful about that. She threw a hissy fit (to my MIL and to all of the SILs) that she had to do all the shopping for her, the kids and her dh and she was done. Yay that meant we were all done. :appl:

Back to you. I get it and honestly I would leave it be right now. She might remember. She might not. See what happens and next holiday the situations may be different and you may not have to participate or you may want to depending on how finances are for everyone involved. Also our parents are getting older and I don't like to look too far ahead yanno? Take it one day at a time and wait and see. No need to decide right now. (((Hugs))).
Thank you missy (((hugs))) back to you.

(and you are so lucky for your SIL's hissy fit!) haha

I'm the "SIL" in my family although I try to be tactful with how I present ideas for doing things differently. But inside it's terrifying haha
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
7,025
I don't loan money anymore, nor I do not borrow money from family. Ever. I've been on the short end of that stick and very burned more times than I have fingers. And its not just a little bit here or there. Its not just 20 dollars.

Callous? Maybe but it avoids issues and sore feelings.

If I have it and it doesn't put me out, put me in a position of where I can't pay my bills isn't earmarked for a project I may have, its a gift; you're welcome. If I don't have it, if that money is earmarked for something else; I'm broke, I don't have it.

That's in all situations, emergency or not, because its just its too convenient for people to "forget" they owe you that money back. I don't need that in my life frankly.

I started this ages ago after I got burned so bad I ended up eating beans and peanut butter for a solid month; and that last incident, I was NEVER paid back.

That includes my parents, and my siblings and especially my friends. They know the deal. Letting the word "borrow" come through their mouths gets a NO from me. You want a loan, try a bank.

If that money means that much to you, then ask for it back. Otherwise consider it a gift and move on.
 

telephone89

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
3,794
I probably wouldn't ask for it back, especially so far after xmas.

I would not participate again - why is your mother pushing for a gift exchange when they are having issues with money? I'd probably try to move away (or lower the $ amt drastically/do homemade gifts) from that in the future.
 

asscherisme

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 6, 2006
Messages
2,734
CJ2008|1454681541|3987160 said:
Thank you to each one of you for all your thoughts and advice.

I think I won't ask for the $ and just let it go.

Thank you. :wavey:
I think thats a good choice.
 

Rockinruby

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
2,740
I don't think I would ask for the money. However, I would bring up the subject of not doing expensive presents for Christmas this year. Pinterest and other websites have tons of things you can do together as a family. :dance: (make decorations ,bake,) I would tell your Mom that things are tight and you really need to save money this year. Instead, can we spend time as a family? I've always wanted to organize the home videos, family photos, decorate ornaments together, write a meaningful letter to each other, fill in the blank....,etc.

If they won't accept anything but the expensive gift exchange then start a Christmas savings fund now. Put $4 a week in it and by Christmas you won't have to worry where the extra funds will come from. Family dynamics are different for everyone so none of these ideas may work for your situation. No matter what you decide just figure out something that makes you happy so you can enjoy the next Holiday Season. :wavey:
 

lambskin

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
2,270
Maybe for next year suggest that the Secret Santa be a white elephant or gag gift for under $10. You can play it up that it would be fun and is a great challenge since adults really do not need anything and everyone should be saving for a rainy day. In regard to your Mom, unless she pushes for the high end gift exchange then , in private, gently remind her that she has not paid last year and that your suggestion was a way to minimize the cost of those (including yourself) who can not or do not want to buy such extravagant gifts. If they do not want to participate then tell them that they are free to exchange gifts but that you will not be doing the same and will not be expecting gifts. Everyone is at a different economic level and the across the board limit can be fine for some but not for others. It may be harsh for those who may feel that you are a 'party pooper' but at least it will be over and you do not have to deal with it again. You have many more Christmases to come. Nip it in the bud now-the earlier the better before people get swept up in the holiday hype.
 

rainydaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
2,831
lambskin|1454703044|3987333 said:
Maybe for next year suggest that the Secret Santa be a white elephant or gag gift for under $10. You can play it up that it would be fun and is a great challenge since adults really do not need anything and everyone should be saving for a rainy day. In regard to your Mom, unless she pushes for the high end gift exchange then , in private, gently remind her that she has not paid last year and that your suggestion was a way to minimize the cost of those (including yourself) who can not or do not want to buy such extravagant gifts. If they do not want to participate then tell them that they are free to exchange gifts but that you will not be doing the same and will not be expecting gifts. Everyone is at a different economic level and the across the board limit can be fine for some but not for others. It may be harsh for those who may feel that you are a 'party pooper' but at least it will be over and you do not have to deal with it again. You have many more Christmases to come. Nip it in the bud now-the earlier the better before people get swept up in the holiday hype.
This x1000! On all counts!

Another idea: One side of my family is huge. The original adults - i.e. great-grandmother, he children, and their spouses do a progressive dinner. Everyone is 'assigned' a course (different each year) that they bring to a dinner a few weeks before Christmas. They spend the evening enjoying the courses from wine through dessert and then decorate great-grandma's tree together. Your mother sounds like a tough sell, so maybe you could add in that everyone brings an ornament for the hostess' tree, or you choose names from a bag and get the person whose name you picked an ornament for their tree.

Then, on Christmas day the whole bunch of us (almost 40) do a $10 limit, expect-a-gag Yankee Swap. It's a miracle that there are no sourpusses and everyone has fun, but it's an amazing bunch of people. Some gifts are funny, some are clever, some are useful, and some are ????. It's so much fun - that's the real gift, along with being together.

ETA: I jumped right into giving you an idea, but it wasn't lost on me that you've made attempts to change how things are done before to no avail. And that you're 'that SIL'. I'm sorry for that, it never feels good to be the lone voice of reason and opposed. I hope your mom and family will open their minds to alternatives, but if not I hope you find the strength to unburden yourself and the peace that comes with it.
 

azstonie

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 1, 2014
Messages
3,758
FWIW, my perspective on this is that it's not about dollars/cents, its about control and who has it in the relationship.

My parents are well off and I've been screwed over countless times buying stuff online at the direction/control of my mom: "I don't know how," "I don't want to give my credit card info (but I'm okay with you giving yours," "It's too hard." They never pay me back or even acknowledge any gratitude for me doing all the leg work online, taking delivery, and paying.

I just stopped one day. The next time a gift giving occasion came up and my mom asked me what DH wanted, I said he didn't want anything, we buy what we want when we want it or its on sale. Told her to spend their money on themselves, enjoy it! Bwahaha.
 

CJ2008

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
4,750
rainydaze|1454704420|3987339 said:
ETA: I jumped right into giving you an idea, but it wasn't lost on me that you've made attempts to change how things are done before to no avail. And that you're 'that SIL'. I'm sorry for that, it never feels good to be the lone voice of reason and opposed. I hope your mom and family will open their minds to alternatives, but if not I hope you find the strength to unburden yourself and the peace that comes with it.
rainydaze thank you so much for these words - yes it's hard to always be the one questioning things.

Again, thank you all for your all your ideas - I am definitely not going to say anything/ask for the $ back - but I *will* suggest a lesser amount next year, or no gifts at all (depending on my level of courage at the time and whatever else is going on with the family).

The idea of a gag gift won't work in my family (even though of course I appreciate the suggestion!)...gifts are serious business in this family ::) trust me, there used to be a lot more pressure come Christmas time. It's only in the last several years I got the courage to fight back that expectation and then suggest the Secret Santa thing.

When I am feeling compassionate I just try to remember that some people's love language is through gifts...that's why even though I would prefer to do no gifts especially given my parents' situation I just go along with it. I can't make them not spend $ if they want to spend it they're going to spend it. But at least through my efforts the Christmas gift thing is way better now and more affordable than it used to be.

Kristie - if I had to go on history ONLY I would say definitely NOT did my mother do this on purpose/knowing. HOWEVER - I've seen people change when their financial situations change. So I could also see that maybe she remembered at one point but then just kind of let it go and then really forgot. But before I say that this is a new pattern/behavior I'd have to see it happen again (I won't though - because I will make up an excuse why I can't lay out the $ next time, unless it's a small amount I wouldn't mind testing.) I know it sounds harsh over just one time but if it happened again with something like $125 it would bother me.

Thank you all.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    June’s Birthstone Trinity
    June’s Birthstone Trinity
    Memorial Day Jewelry 2020
    Memorial Day Jewelry 2020
    Van Cleef & Arpels Perlee Clovers Bracelet
    Van Cleef & Arpels Perlee Clovers Bracelet

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top