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Thread: Question About The Gifts.....Women Only

  1. #1
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    Default Question About The Gifts.....Women Only

    So...WE are not going to the DR for Christmas afterall. I was just there for a family wedding at an AI in Puerto Plata the end of October and we were planning to return for my husband's family reunion on New Year's Day, but things got complicated and difficult so he is going for a quick trip to make the reunion.

    Here's my thing. I have tried for a decade to wrap my head around this whole 'present' culture; with inlaws and their families reaching out to tell us what to bring them for a present; and them expecting elaborate presents. Don't get me wrong, I ADORE my inlaws (most of them, which I think is perfectly normal) and recognize it as a cultural difference. We help with household expenses and his mother's medications. And of course, like I would do in my own country, we typically do Christmas presents if we are there for the holiday.

    This year, WE are not there. And my husband doesn't arrive until 3 days AFTER Christmas. We have been picking up things here and there since our last trip (If I see stuff on sale I know anyone in my family would like, I pick it up) and that stuff will be taken to them. This week, my husband's childhood best friend asked him to bring him a stand mixer. Cost? Almost $200. Then his sister (who is middle class, business owner and whose husband never wears anything unless it is Ralph Lauren or Burberry or what have you), texts me today asking for a pair of Nike sneakers for their son, men's size 10. This same sister already knows about the cute shirts and dresses and shoes we've already purchased, that will be delivered when he gets there on the 28th. The sneakers he wants are $255.00.

    Here's my dilemma. I have no problem ignoring the 'asks'. We buy what we want to buy for them and when we want to buy it. And I make no apologizes. However, I have a hard time not getting enraged - especially when I know this sister has money, yet asks for this stuff! Not that I begrudge anyone's kid anything...but this sister knows there are so many others in the family that have nothing. Yet tries to put her kid at the top of the list.

    I'm almost happy I won't be there to have to deal. How do you ladies handle this kind of a situation? I can't be all alone in this, can I?

  2. #2
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    You are not alone! My foster kids ask for Christmas for ipads, iPhones, Jordan and Nike sneakers - luckily we can't get them! But I think they only ask as they a. Have no idea of the price, and b. It is just what everyone else asks for. Let me tell you the favourite things people have brought my husband: a catapult (yup was for Chivirico and he nicked it), a pineapple thingy which takes the middle out and slices the pineapple (we have to eat 2 pineapples a week now), a whoopie fart making cushion.
    Most of the stuff here is rubbish (well it is in the campo) so forget the list and find something which they can't buy here and is unique and different (and cheap).
    Get the son something educational -much more useful than yet another pair of sneakers.
    Hope that helps.

    Matilda


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    I’ve never encouraged anyone asking for anything, and we’ve been exceedingly lucky with his family, as they never ask for anything.  One brother handles all our bills and banking when we’re not there, so we make it a point to bring things for him and his family.  It’s everybody else that drives us crazy.  The electrician wants Nike sneakers, the maid asked for a television for her house “because they are so cheap in USA” (!), the gardener, the inverter guy, the colmado guy, the alcalde, they all want something specific.  I rarely converse with any of them, they’ve all asked Mr AE directly, and he’s not Mr Personality when they do, lol.  I remember one year the maid was incensed because the electrician, when he came to visit, boldly asked me what I had brought for him.  

    In your case, I’d ignore the ridiculous requests like those Nikes and the mixer, especially since you’re not going down yourself.  We certainly won’t mention the TV the maid asked about.  Sooner or later they’ll get the hint.  

    One problem is that many Dominican men like to look like successes, and I think they secretly worry that these people might think they couldn’t afford the requested gifts. 

    Like you, we buy what we want, spend what WE want, and if they aren’t satisfied, too bad.  




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    Also the Dominican government has given you a good alibi since they cut the gift allowance to 50% of the former amount allowed. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abuela View Post
    Also the Dominican government has given you a good alibi since they cut the gift allowance to 50% of the former amount allowed. 


    Very true!  I like it.

    In our case, doesn’t help, because everyone knows we send everything via mundanza a few weeks before we fly.  




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    Thanks ladies, it helps to know we’re not alone! I shouldn’t let it enrage me...but sometimes it just does. I’m going to follow your advise and my gut and send what I send. Maybe adding a pineapple corer and a whoopie cushion hah!  

    My most successful present, for anyone interested, was the game Jenga! Young and old love it and it’s always in play at some point during our time there (unlike other gifts that just disappear). 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jelly View Post
    Thanks ladies, it helps to know we’re not alone! I shouldn’t let it enrage me...but sometimes it just does. I’m going to follow your advise and my gut and send what I send. Maybe adding a pineapple corer and a whoopie cushion hah!  

    My most successful present, for anyone interested, was the game Jenga! Young and old love it and it’s always in play at some point during our time there (unlike other gifts that just disappear). 


    Funny you mention a game.  I had a Tri-Omino game at my house, and last year I brought it out to play with my sister-in-laws while the guys were playing dominos.  They went nuts over it, their 20-something daughters started playing too, then one of their mothers. Each time they came over to visit, they wanted to play. The young guys liked it too.

     The last weekend before we flew back to US, I had them each pick a tile, and whoever had highest points got the game.  You’d think she won the lottery!  I’m bringing each of the others the game next trip, already packed in the box.




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    I cant help but laugh at the request for a stand mixer. Back in the day when you could carry everything on the plane I actually hand carried a Kitchen Aid mixer to the DR as a gift. So glad times have changed...lol. Seriously early on I was always asked to bring something back with me and it was always something expensive. We went through the stage of buying gifts for everyone and lugging down all that luggage. Did until we found out that some of our gifts were being sold. That ended it for us. Now I may bring back a little something special for someone but NEVER like before.

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    I can relate to everything I have read here. I now let my husband take care of bringing presents for his family and work real hard on not feeling guilty when I bring very little with me in person. It was easier and cheaper to bring more years ago. I do help him buy /gather items for the tanks he sends every year. We always bring huge quantities of vitamins for all immediate family members. We both bring big bags of candies/ chocolates to disperse on arrival for all of the kids at home and neighbourhood. I do bring first aid items and toiletries; band aids, antibiotic creams, tylenol, toothbrushes...I always get the sense they expect more when they admire my sandals, shoes, go through my belongings when I stay with them (loud silent AArrrgggHHHH! breathe, Oohhmm I have to say to myself)... This year I'll check out those games although my mother and sisters in laws really enjoy playing dominoes.

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    That's the problem when they get used to receiving gifts. It's never enough. I would go without gifts one year and just say you can't afford them. Or just a few things for the kids. People tend to think money grows from the trees in "los paises". Unlimited supply!

    Sent from my BLN-L24 using Tapatalk

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