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Woman Complains About Getting 'Joke Gifts' For Christmas -- Commenters Inform Her She's Being Abused!

Woman Family Christmas Joke Gifts Reddit AITA

This time it turned out AITA stood for “Am I The Abuse victim?”

A woman took to the Reddit page on Monday after a truly awful Christmas, in search of objective opinions about who was in the wrong — and got quite the shock from commenters!

She began by explaining how her family “likes to play pranks with Christmas and birthday gifts”:

“I (f21) as well as my 5 siblings (from 29 to 37 years old) have all been pranked on our birthdays and on Christmas and usually it’s one or two gifts.”

OK, that could be a cute tradition — you know, when they all know the real gifts are coming afterward. But this Christmas, the 21-year-old brought her boyfriend home — and they walked into an absolute ambush! She wrote:

“This Christmas though, I was the only person to get all joke gifts. For example, I unwrapped a MacBook from my brother, but when I opened it, it was just some chocolate (which I don’t eat so I gave it away) and the MacBook was actually given to my sister inside a bag she wanted. Another ‘gift’ was what I thought was a book I put on my Christmas list was actually just the book cover put on a dictionary. When I asked my mom about the book she told me she gave it to my Sil [sister-in-law].”

Sorry, wait. These “joke gifts” were pretending to give the young woman what she wanted — only to snatch it away and give it to a different family member? OK, what about the real presents? Yeah… not so much.

“This went on with each present my siblings or parents had given me. AirPods was just a charger block? Adapter? gift cards were used and had $0 balance, a card with Monopoly money, and so on totaling to about 12 joke gifts.”

Well, we’re already seeing the problems with this little tradition. Kind of like when you have a potluck but don’t tell anyone what to bring, and you end up with 18 bags of cookies and no actual food. At least, that’s what we’d think if they were at all sorry that no one had managed to get the girl a decent present! They apparently weren’t!

Related: Kroy Biermann ‘Did Not Buy Gifts’ For Kids On Christmas This Year — It Was All Kim Zolciak!

The poster says she “realized I went out of my way to get everyone something they wanted or they’d like” and yet she “didn’t get anything.” Not a single actual gift. Naturally, she was upset:

“At this point I was bummed so I went to the living room to watch TV with my boyfriend. At dinner they were all talking about how much they loved their gifts and when my dad asked why I hadn’t said anything about mine, I said there wasn’t much to say. Everyone but my boyfriend laughed and my mom said it was no big deal as everyone else also got some joke gifts. I told her every gift I got was a joke gifts and that the ones they got was also followed by the real one. My dad told me I needed to relax as I’m making a big deal about it and I’d have next Christmas to get the stuff on my list.”

She says her family “got mad” when she and her boyfriend left, telling her “it wasn’t serious.” But she spent the rest of Christmas with his family, with her phone off. Seems like a good call to us. However, her family had NOT given her space! When she checked it again, she “had several missed calls and texts from them calling me names like ungrateful, sensitive, and childish” — her family told her she “ruined Christmas and made my parents upset cause I left.” Oof. Christmas with her boyfriend’s fam was a different story. But her family managed to ruin that, too!

“The next day, I exchanged and opened gifts with my boyfriend and his family and one of the gifts I had gotten was the book I wanted (the book my mom pretended to gift me). I posted it on my instagram story and not even 0 minutes after posting it, my sister sent a screenshot of my story to the family group chat and they basically got mad at me for leaving and telling me I ruined Christmas over some presents. They told me I owe everyone, especially my parents, an apology because my mom spent new years sad because of my actions.”

All this young woman wanted to know was whether her family was right, whether she really was the one being a spoilsport here. She wrote:

“Am I in the wrong for being upset about the gifts and for leaving? After reading their messages and sitting on this for a few days I’m now feeling like maybe I was upset over nothing and need to apologize to them.”

What she got instead was a wakeup call!

Commenters came out of the woodwork to tell her not only that her family was in the wrong — but it was worse than she realized! Here are a few responses:

“NTA. You were the butt of the jokes by your entire family and got 0 real gifts. How could you possibly feel okay with that? Then they expect you to apologize for their collective insensitivity? Stay away from these people.”

“The biggest irony is calling her ungrateful, when they literally gave her nothing to be grateful for.”

“Your dad told you to wait a whole year to get any gifts that were actually thoughtful or useful to you. He wanted you to be okay with getting what is essentially garbage for Christmas because the rest of the family thinks hurting you is funny. These weren’t joke gifts. They were a taunt. Your family was showing you how little you mean to them.”

“Your present this year was finding out your parents/family are trash, abusive and will never change. My family use to make me cry and say stuff like. What’s wrong with you? Can’t you take a joke. You’re too sensitive and would use me to make others laugh. It hurts and doesn’t go away. Don’t give them anymore chances to do it again. They are too old for this s**t.”

“NTA. What they did was incredibly cruel. It’s not funny to give you something you said you wanted, only to realize it’s only the cover or casing to that thing you wanted, and that they actually they the thing inside the packaging to someone else. Someone who was quite likely in the same room. WTF. And then act like they are wronged because you’re upset that no one gave you something you’d actually wanted? What kind of mind game f**kery is that?! You had every right to leave and they are the ones that owe you the apology.”

“They treated you as a joke for Christmas, A joke is not a joke if the person it is aimed at does not find it funny. Honestly it comes across as bullying. You are the only one to only get ‘joke’ presents, your actual presents were given away to family members. You family sound cruel. And if mommy is oh so sad then maybe she should think about her actions and the actions of the rest of your family, they suck ”

“I think you’re the family scapegoat. Don’t stick around for it. As soon as it starts up, leave. I think you’ll eventually end up leaving permanently. Because they will never admit what they are really doing. Which is abuse.”

Yeah. More than one called the behavior abuse. Another pointed out that the family were bullying her incessantly, then saying she needed to apologize for reacting — Something they pointed out was a little too close to the abuser tactic known as DARVO:

“This looks like DARVO – Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender. It’s a classic manipulation and emotional abuse tactic.”

The young woman responded by saying she’d never considered this was a form of abuse, even though it does make her feel terrible, and always has:

“I will be honest I never looked at it as abuse just pranks that tend to get annoying. But my family isn’t big on apologies and I don’t think I’ve ever been told sorry by any of them. I don’t care for an apology either I just want them to see where I’m coming from.”

She also told commenters she had figured out to cope with it by reacting as little as possible:

“I’ve learned over the last few years is no reaction is the best reaction because if I got angry, cried, or spoke up about how I felt, I would be labeled as I was when I left. I’ve almost mastered masking my feelings until I’m alone or away from them to avoid worsening the situation.”

One commenter pointed out how telling it is that the poor girl needed a coping mechanism:

“I think it tells something about your family that you have NEEDED to learn to mask your feelings around them. Sorry to tell you this but they are bullies and they have long ago made you their target. This is not going to change or get better, you need to start putting distance from them.”

Wow. What do YOU think, Perezcious readers? Do you agree with the commenters? Does this sink to the level of emotional abuse??

[Image via SNL/YouTube.]

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Jan 03, 2024 17:21pm PDT