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First Christmas

Incarnate posted 12/9/2019 06:57 AM

So. The holidays are coming up. Christmas, Yule, Solstice, whatever you celebrate.

I'm taking care of my kids for Christmas. I am not bothering asking what the ex is getting them; she spends all her money on bullshit frivolous pampering shit for her. Toys and clothes and cosmetics, whatever.

I'm getting my girls a Nintendo Switch bundle for Christmas, as well as individual gifts. My oldest daughter has gone hardcore Goth in her aesthetic, which is fucking -awesome-, so I got her a bunch of Goth themes accessories from her Amazon Wishlist. I wanted to go goth so bad when I was her age (16) but my parents shot that down because we were in the wake of the Columbine shooting and Goth culture was under fire.

... probably a bad choice of words. I don't give a fuck. Moving on.

My other girls are either young (9 and 11) or autistic (13 and 14), so their gifts are going to be a bit simpler. The ex said she is working on getting the youngest a laptop so that she can play Minecraft with her sisters (I host the servers), and I'll get her the Minecraft account. So on and so on and so on.

My ex hasn't gotten me anything for my birthday or Father's day for years. I always did my best to take care of her on hers. Christmas was always little trinkets here and there with occasional years of things that were thoughtful, but they were few and far between. I appreciated every single one of them.

This year, I do not expect anything from her, but she might be the kind of person to get me something anyways to save face while expecting me not to get her anything and then bitching about how cold and heartless I am to forget her on Christmas.

Should I get her some token bullshit? Costco has these Starbucks mug and coffee gift sets that are... reasonably priced. I could wrap it up and put it under the tree for her so that my kids see that Mommy got something, and if she gets me something we're even. If she doesn't, well, I'm not gonna be heartbroken, and the kids will see that. However, she might also mock me for being "unable to accept that we're over" and still getting her a gift.

I know I shouldn't be obsessing over this shit, but it's almost 5:00 Am, I'm awake, and I'm ruminating while I wait for my pills to kick in.

What is your take? Should I take the high road, or should I ignore the cheating harridan?

Maudlin posted 12/9/2019 07:25 AM

Dude. The high road is not buying her gifts. The high road is not fucking blowing up the family.

That said, kids and family peace and in home separation...I get it. But gifts? No. She buys you one, say a curt thanks you, put it aside and be all excited about the next kids turn to open something. Because if she does itís just all about playing Happy Family, not about any real change and fucking screw that.

Then later alone set it on fire or run it over or whatever.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 12/9/2019 09:05 AM

My parent had an ugly divorce. Not infidelity related but ugly nonetheless and they still managed to always take the time to make sure WE (the kids) had gifts for them but I have no clue if they exchanged gifts. I doubt it but honestly I didnít notice either way so Iíd say do whatever you feel like you want to do/need to do.

ShatteredSakura posted 12/9/2019 10:15 AM

I'd say no considering what I've read with what she's put you through.

But if you want to avoid any manipulations in either of your scenarios, buy an emergency gift. Something small (like your costco mug idea), but make it something you'd be able to use. Keep it hidden or out of sight. If she gives you a gift, go and get yours to give, and if she doesn't make a move then you have something useful for yourself.

landclark posted 12/9/2019 10:31 AM

I would help the kids buy presents for mom if they want, but probably wouldnít get her anything beyond that.

crazyblindsided posted 12/9/2019 10:50 AM

I would help the kids buy presents for mom if they want, but probably wouldnít get her anything beyond that.

This is what I'm doing just getting gifts from the kids to him.

MamaDragon posted 12/9/2019 11:03 AM

Give each of your kids 20 bucks to spend on You and her (or whatever you can afford) and allow them to purchase Christmas gifts for the both of you.

If you want to be nice, get her a gift certificate. I don't know if you are moving out of if she is, if she is - get her a gift certificate from u-haul. if not, get her a gift certificate for condoms or lube. (sorry, I get snarky)

You don't have to buy her anything though. If you know she will pitch a fit and use it against you, buy her something inexpensive - to show you were thinking of her but she is not worth to much in the long run. Don't expect anything from her.

IrishGirlVA posted 12/9/2019 13:31 PM

Give each of your kids 20 bucks to spend on You and her (or whatever you can afford) and allow them to purchase Christmas gifts for the both of you.

I like this idea, BUT, since you are providing the money and the car ride to the store, you pick the store. Here are a few ides -

1) Pep Boys (or the like)
2) Foot Locker
3) Men's Wearhouse
4) Spencer's

LifeDestroyer posted 12/9/2019 13:51 PM

My BH does not want us exchanging gifts, but we will have gifts under the tree for us so our daughter can pass them out. We will buy our own gifts and place them under the tree.

If you do not want to exchange gifts, then you can place your own under the tree so your kids see that you two also get gifts. They don't need to know that mom got dad that or vice versa.

[This message edited by LifeDestroyer at 1:56 PM, December 9th (Monday)]

Muggle posted 12/9/2019 21:41 PM

You are a SAINT. I took the high road and told my young adult kids that IF they want me to give them money for their father for a special occasion I will give them a nominal amount of money to spend. I hate that spite and cruelty becomes the "normal" when dealing with this sort of thing.

After all this isn't about ME, it's about THEM having something normal, even if I'd like to give him boils, pestilence, and fleas for Christmas.

The first year he spent with our daughter and kids in Denny's. She's born on Christmas Eve. He spent most of the time there on his phone outside talking to his 28 year old playmate. Our daughter cried, and had a miserable time with him.

Last year I offered the money, and they all refused. They said he didn't deserve anything, that they would wish him Merry Christmas. By then he was married to the serial bride (different woman)

He did NOT take the same road. He gave them all cash for Christmas, with the stipulation that not one penny could be spent on me. They all went out and bought me gifts, while he received ZERO. He whined that he didn't get a single gift for Christmas, Father's day, or his birthday. I signed his birthday card and he made our daughter hide the card from his wife. It was a simple signature, no endearment, or sentiment beyond "Happy Birthday".

Continue to be a good example for your children, but you don't need to buy her something. You owe her NOTHING, no sentiment, no gift. Your children are the only ones that you should worry about. I think the lack of gift from you will give her a strong message that she needs to get. You ARE over, and who cares what she says or thinks.

Enjoy Christmas with your kids, and make new traditions with them. Change it ALL up, do things you've always wanted to do but didn't. It will be liberating.

[This message edited by Muggle at 1:19 AM, December 10th (Tuesday)]

demolishedinside posted 12/10/2019 01:05 AM

Iím doing the same as crazy blindsided. I bought two small things from the kids. If I have to spend Christmas with him, then itís for the kids. I am hoping this will allow us to be cordial in the future.

DoinBettr posted 12/11/2019 16:46 PM

Why not buy the coffee gift and ask the younger ones to make cards. The older ones should wrap it.
Then it is you being the better dad, not you thinking the relationship isn't over.
Maybe pick up a spare lump of coal to stash somewhere (pocket) and if she gives you shit, hand it to her and mention it is to warm her cold heart.
Smile, laugh about having a Merry Christmas, maybe mention you were the adult in the relationship because you didn't tattle to Santa and get her on the naughty list.

doggiediva posted 12/12/2019 14:54 PM

I canít live with my WH as married, but we arenít enemies either..We are still family members..Granted heís no longer my companion of choice to take to a museum or on some trips.On the other hand, he has helped me with my car, etc..
I make woven potholders to gift/ sell..I plan to make him some this year for his place..He and my grown boys plan to help me get the headliner in my car fixed..
Do what feels right for you and your family..Separated and divorced people arenít always enemies, they simply canít live as spouses together....I am 10 years out from knowing our marriage was toast..

[This message edited by doggiediva at 3:05 PM, December 12th (Thursday)]

Incarnate posted 12/19/2019 20:53 PM

I took the two youngest out shopping. They got her some presents (the 11 year old got her something thoughtful; chocolate molds to use for making samples for her scented wax business, while the 9 1/2 year old for her a small wooden box that she is going to paint), and I went ahead and went by Costco. They didn't have the coffee gift set, but they had a popcorn movie snack set with a ceramic popcorn bowl, so I got that. She's always wanting popcorn with the endless stream of movies she ignored me for.

Yeah, I'm feeling super bitter about it. I really am. I got angry after I bought her a gift. But my girls asked me if I had gotten her a gift yet, so I know they're watching. I have to set a good example for them

StillLivin posted 12/19/2019 23:01 PM

You're divorced, that usually means no more gifts and minimal, civil conversation only when necessary.

JadedByItAll posted 12/20/2019 01:23 AM

I have to set a good example for them.

A better example would be to show them that you do not reward people when they do bad things.

JadedByItAll posted 12/20/2019 01:23 AM

I have to set a good example for them.

A better example would be to show them that you do not reward people when they do bad things.

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