“Thank you” is a little word but it can be powerful if used correctly.
My sister-in-law has yet to master this, to illustrate; my husband and I got a “thank you” card for her children’s Christmas presents arrive on the last day of February. This in itself is almost funny – in an AT her sort of way, however at the weekend the mother-in-law mentioned that s-i-l thought she had posted the card previously but was turning out her bag last week and found three cards at the bottom of it.
If that had been me I would have popped a quick text message over to the three people concerned BEFORE the cards arrived, just to set the scene, but nope the sister-in-law instead asked her mother to make a half-assed apology on her behalf.
My husband’s response was that we might buy the children presents in future (including for the birthday a couple of weeks ago where we sent a card though the post but hadn’t posted a present – although we were considering handing one over the next time we are up). My response can be summed up as “screw this!”
I am not sure what we will actually do for presents ongoing, but I’m not seeing the appeal of giving if “thank you” is such an afterthought for these people.
‘ParaNorman’ is a stop-motion animated horror comedy with a PG rating. That combination should mean that it is aimed at children – or at least accessible to them! However the plot revolves around Norman who is an 11 year old boy who speaks to ghosts – including his grandmother, and the town’s execution of a witch 300 years ago.
Oh yes and zombies, lots of zombies.
It is a fun film and nicely done but due to ghosts, zombies and witches I’m not sure that it would be suitable most children under 10 – although my parents wouldn’t have batted an eyelid.
The other thing to note is that there is an openly homosexual character in it, personally it was fab to see their sexuality mentioned in passing and be treated as being an entirely unremarkable, however I am pretty darn sure that my sister-in-law would freak out at her children being ‘exposed’ to this. Although given she is keeping them away from Scooby Doo because it is too scary and she doesn’t want them to know about monsters perhaps she would freak more at the zombies and witches…
Which makes me all the more inclined to buy it for them so that their minds are broadened as much as possible!
The Sister-In-Law has now changed her mind about what she has randomly askeddemanded that we buy her children for Christmas.
This message was also passed through the mother-in-law, just like the last one. In the same way as the last time we didn’t ask for suggestions, so I haven’t bothered looking at the list.
Unprompted I might have bought them presents willingly and they would have been good presents, I might even have wrapped them – despite my inability to wrap neatly as I get bored and want it over with. (Photo from Pinterest)
I think that we will end up buying them something, however it won’t be a carefully considered present given with love and it won’t be wrapped with care. It may even still be manure…
We have not given any particular thought to my Husband’s sister’s children and Christmas presents. Partly as it is nearly October and secondly because I have no interest in Nel* or anything to do with her – Husband has many virtues but not necessarily the organising and buying of presents.
Bearing in mind that we give and get nothing in return – not even a thank you card.
We also have next to no contact with them apart from Nel forcefully and artificially inserting herself into anytime that we visit Husbands’s parents; to the degree that it feels like she is terrified of Husband having anytime with them and thus breaking her monopoly on them.
Anyway, a random email from Husband’s mother arrived a day or so ago, Nel has no ideas what the children would like or need so wants “money in an envelope”.
In December the children will be 10 months old and four & a half years. My views on her suggestion can be best summed up by my going onto the Oxfam website and being delighted that I can buy manure for some impoverished farmer and get a card saying this has been done.
However I am aware that this could potentially not be met with a warm reception so am leaving the decision up to Husband – who I am rather hoping fails to organise something as that might be funnier than manure… Although less of a statement!
*This may not be her real name but it far politer than what I normally call her.
Overly pink and with vague blobs that look like peace-signs, this could be the new baby’s room decoration, assuming the s-i-l’s useless partner gets rids of his collection of rugby socks and shirts that are currently filling the room!
Kid’s birthdays are hard to cater for, it isn’t so much due to the children – give them enough e-numbers and they will be too wired to do anything but run around trashing the venue.
It is the parents who will poke, prod and judge anything served. The food needs to be healthy, fancy and look like you’ve spent hours on it.
Fortunately one source of inspiration could be the great many crafty food things that other people have made and have ended up pictured on Pinterest.
Alternatively, my sister-in-law has managed to sucker her mother into doing the donkey work and slaving over a hot stove for every passing whim.
The latest one is she was expected to cater a Christening – including a home-made four tier Noah’s Ark with 3D animals on sponge cake, however I have my doubts that this event will come to pass.
There are two reasons for this, the first is my sister-in-law is all mouth and no trousers; the second is the church has an attendance card with a stamp system accompanied by a policy which requires my sister-in-law to attend 6 times before the event. The event was due to be in a couple of weeks and the card is still blank!