Tuesday, November 28, 2006

deep thinking...

I've been sitting here playing a game of Bejeweled and thinking about things. Wondering about why things are. Mostly about why some things bother me so very much. And of course it all boils down to my parents. Everything is about them right?

Here's the deal...

My birthday is coming up. It's 10 days after Christmas. My mother likes to buy me a large gift for Christmas and say it's for my birthday too. She doesn't seem to mind much if I do a similar thing to her... her birthday is Dec 1st. And I'm pretty sure that it didn't bother me so much at one point. But now it really iritates me.

No one would ever think to do that to a person with a birthday in say... July. Right? Is there anyone out there with a birthday in July who has gotten a Christmas/birthday gift???

So I've been pondering why this bugs me so much. I'm sure that folks who have birthdays closer to Christmas get this all the time and have learned to live with it or perhaps even enjoy it.

And I think I've got it figured out. It's two fold.

The first part is that my father never remembered my birthday. He doesn't remember anyone's birthday unless it's his own. He barely remembered Christmas...in fact I know that one year he had me go with him to do the Christmas shopping for my brothers and myself. That is the WORST thing a parent can ever do to a kid. I went to the store, picked out everything for my brothers...got my own gift, wrapped them all on Christmas Eve and put them under the tree. The following morning there was just what I put under the tree...nothing more. Not even a card.

Of course this man had done plenty of "Worst Parent on Earth" worthy deeds. But that's another blog.

The second part is when I first moved out on my own, I lived with a boyfriend. And he could never wait for Christmas. The first Christmas that we were together, he had given me my Christmas gift probably the day he bought it or the following day and gave it to me. Told me to open it right then. Thinking that I might be getting more gifts on Christmas, I opened it. It was a cute stuffed animal...and it was all I got that year. My friends were as confused as I was. They thought he was being cute and doing a 12 days of Christmas thing...where I would get something each day until Christmas... NOPE. He did that every year that we were together...and worse when my Mom sent me my Christmas/birthday gift...he forced me to open that too. (when I say forced, I mean he bugged me endlessly about it until I opened the gift.) So on Christmas day there was nothing for me to open. And of course for my birthday there was nothing to open either.

So now that it has been over 20 years since that happened, one would think that I would have gotten over it. I wish I had thought to bring this up when I was seeing the counselor. I would sure like to be over it.

Luckily, I have a wonderful DH who while he teases me about doing the Christmas/birthday gift thing would never seriously ever do it. He knows how much my Mom doing it buggs me, so he doesn't. Besides, he's smart enough to know that everything goes on sale after Christmas and he can get me a much bigger gift for my birthday...which makes me happier.

Okay, after hearing from Carmen, I've decided that perhaps my perturbance at this issue might not be out of line. So to test my theory, I'm asking for folks to tell me what month their birthday is in and if they have ever received the combo Christmas/Birthday gift.

January - Me gets combos, Carmen gets combos, Better Safe than Sorry no combos!
February - goofy girl sometimes gets combos, Bone got degifted!
March - Jake & Bathsheba's mom no combos
April - Cheysuli doesn't normally get presents at all,
May -
June -
July - Chickadee (Colleen), Barbara no combos either!, Samantha no combos
August -
September -
October - the big man, Mar, Dawn
November - Denise gets combos, Veronika no combos!
December - Holly gets combos, Rascal's big brother no combos ('cuz mom wouldn't allow it. YAY MOM!), Samantha's twins used to combo but not any more.

Thanks for helping me conduct this poll.

I've learned the term for this is "Double-gifting" although that sounds a little like I should be getting twice the gifts. Perhaps "Combo-gifting" fits better. And poor Dawn's parents who get combo-gifted for Mother & Father's days.

I wanna thank all y'all who don't get combo-gifted who support us who do get this.

And Colleen asked "does she (my mom) know how I feel?" Yes, I've told her. But she feels that since it's her money and she doesn't have much that I should be looking a gift horse in the mouth. To tell you the truth, I would prefer if she gave me the combo-gift on my birthday instead.

So I'm seeing her that those of us who get combo-gifted, don't like it and those of us who don't get combo-gifted completely understand our feelings. So YAY! That's a good thing.

Jake & Bathsheba think my Mom has a control thing about my birthday and I think they're right. She's got some severe control issues (that's another post!), and for much of our lives we were very poor. She's always been proud of how she was able to keep us all well fed and clothed on such a tight budget. However, part of that was taking advantage of the fact that two of us had our birthdays near Christmas and two had birthdays in the summer...so she did not throw us birthday parties at all.


  1. My birthday is in January and I still get birthday/Christmas gifts. I'm like "you get 2 separate gifts, why shouldn't I?" Grrr.

  2. Okay, first if you enjoy bejeweled, you'll love Magic Match. ;o) Second, I get three days betweeen Christmas and my birthday. My parents were always very good about separating it, but my friends were terrible! That would really irk me. On the first birthday after being married, dh forgot - I was working - and he bought himself a new computer program, even though we were broke students! LOL That night I was lamenting it being nearly 10 p.m. without a single happy birthday wish from anyone (the family called at 10:30 so they did come later), when dh asked me what was wrong I just said I was thinking someone would have called by now. It took a few minutes, but when it registered he got physically ill. He kept saying he'd take the program back, but I told him not to. Needless to say he's never forgotten my birthday again. LOL

    Holly's Corner

  3. Followed you here from Bone's blog.

    My birthday is at the tail end of October, and I have received birthday/Christmas presents. It's only one friend of mine, but he seems to have a hard time picking something up for me. So he usually buys something at Christmas that covers both that day and my birthday.

  4. Well, I have had to use a different address. Zeus is my reason for the season-Cheysuli mysiamese.com/wordpress

    At any rate, we have a bunch of April birthdays here and no we don't get combo gifts... I'm lucky to get a gift at all!

  5. My birthday is in Feb. I only get combined gifts is they are too large for the one holiday alone.

    I think it's fair enough that you want two presents, I think people get tired of shopping, but I think that if it is important enough to you then it's ok to ask for it.

  6. My bday is in November. As a child, I always got bday/xmas combo gifts. I hated it!!!!!! It's like I got cheated out of a special occasion. It doesn't happen anymore though...not I get nothing for either day.

  7. The question is, have you ever re-gifted?

    My birthday is in February, two days before Valentine's Day.

    I'm not sure if I've ever gotten one gift for both. But yes, I feel there have been times when I have gotten shafted because the two are close together.

    My favorite is when an ex-girlfriend took back what she'd gotten me for Christmas after we broke up. Degifter!

  8. My bday is in october. I never got a Xmas present together with the bday one...my friends's daughter's bday is on Dec 25th and the mom was really upset when family members would give the little girl one present for both occasions...The girl is 19 now and I don't know if the relatives are still playing the same game... it isn't fair, it isn't polite.

  9. My birthday is in July. Thankfully I have never been double-gifted or degifted.

    I can understand why you don't like the double gifting thing...that really sucks. I think your mom is being a wee bit inconsiderate. Your birthday is a special day, a ME day. Christmas is EVERYBODY'S day.

    Does she know how you feel?


  10. Okay, yep, same problem for my DH who was born Jan 3rd--his parents always combined gifts. However, I don't do that to him...I enjoy shopping half price sales TOO much after christmas! He always gets a gift on his birthday and it feeds my need for bargain shopping as well.

    However, here's a funny one: My brothers do it to my mom and dad. My mom's bday is june 6, so one or both of my bros show up in between Mother's Day and her bday and give her a combo gift. They've also given my dad a combo Father's Day/Birthday (his bday is March 22nd), usually in between each date. It's soo sad.

    Luckily, my bday is in Oct...not much to combine there!

  11. Awh, I feel for you.
    My sisters birthday usually falls on or around Thanksgiving. My birthday is 11/02 and I'm lucky if I get a phone call from my family-
    sniffle, sniffle
    I've missed you!!!

  12. i'd be tempted to combo gift simply because i hate finding gifts for people. i always have the "surprise me" people. "if you love me, you'll just know what to buy me". yeah. you're getting a mcdonald's book of gift certificates...

    i do totally understand your gripe and think you're justified though. i think it'd be one thing if they ASKED you. "hey, i found a great gift, but it's expensive. and i won't be able to afford a christmas and a birthday present for you. do you mind if we count it as both?"

    i haven't really been combo-gifted, but there have been a couple times when mom and dad have told me just how badly i screwed up and they money they'd use to bail me out was what would normally be used for christmas, birthday and graduation presents....

  13. Anonymous6:59 PM

    my birthday is in january and i get separate gifts, but when i was a kid, my mother would buy that yule log cake and stick it in the freezer and it would be my birthday cake. i always think of my birthday whenever i see that cake this time of year but to this day, i have never bought one for christmas. my husband and kids always have a cake ready for me, usually something spectacular from the bakeshop.

  14. Renee - My birthday is in July and I never, ever got combo-gifted. No one has even mentioned combo-gifting me. I have enjoyed two huge gifts every year (just kidding).

    Thanks for keeping me healthy by commenting on my blog!

  15. My bday is July 6, so when I was a kid, it was celebrated on the 4th of july because everyone was already together. So I never got "combo-gifted", just had to share another holiday celebration! NOW, I have my twin daughters birthday 3 days AFTER christmas, and my husband 4 days BEFORE christmas! When my girls were 1 and 2, we did the whole "combo gift" thing, but when they turned 3 and now that they'll be 4 this year, we have a whole seperate party and gifts. Same with my husband, we do a seperate party and gifts.

  16. Renee, our Mom's birthday is in March and she's never gotten a combo gift. Her significant other's birthday is a few days after yours and she always makes sure that he gets separate gifts.

    Mom thinks that it's important to recognize the ACTUAL DAY, else what's the point? She hates office "celebrations" where they pick one day a month to celebrate everyone who has a birthday that month. She thinks everyone should feel special on his/her own day.

    And why do parents have to be so insensitive to one's desires? It's a control thing.

    Oh, and "Zeus is our reason for the season."


  17. The College Kid's birthday is Dec. 30th. Mom made it clear to the entire family, from his very beginning that combo gifts weren't allowed. "Get him 2 little gifts, one for each, but NO big gift for both." And she always put her foot down and refused to allow anyone to give him combos.

  18. Our Mom's birthday is Dec 17th & she has gotten many combo gifts also. She also has a pet peeve about birthday gifts wrapped in Christmas paper. She said everyone has heard her gripe enough & they don't do it very often any more. Her comment has always been if you can't separate them don't bother with either.

  19. I was born on December 10th, and I never got combos' but my birthday gift was usually worth about 10.00, while my siblings and other family members were usually worth 50.00. My niece was born on the 21st or 22nd of Dec. and she got combos, if anything.

    Now that I'm with my plus-one, whose family does not celebrate christmas, I get good B-day presents, although he usually lets me pick what I want from a select group of options.

  20. My birthday is in June - exactly 6 months from Christmas, but I don't get a combo Birthday/6monthfromchristmas gift. I always thought I should though. I also thought I should get a "half birthday" gift on Christmas. - Meezer Mom Mary

  21. Two of my girls have birthdays in Jan. and I've given them Christmas gifts and told them it was for their birthday too (this is with large gifts) but I can never really do it, so I always end up getting them gifts on their birthday too.

    My birthday is in Sept. and I've never gotten a birthday/Christmas gift.

  22. My birthday is in July so I don't get a combo gift. Baby Bug's birthday is 4 days after Christmas so I'm afraid she'll get overlooked.

    Local Girl (Kailani)

  23. That's bad. But, it's worse for Maya and Sage. Their birthday is 5 days after Christmas Sometimes they get combo birthday/Christmas gifts to share with each other! One year a relative sent one stuffed animal to Maya AND Sage, to cover their Birthday AND Christmas.

    Mind you, these children don't need 4 separate gifts or anything, but that's just really cheesy...