My brother and I were estranged for 20 years. He wouldn't let me see his five kids. He recently died and his children, now adults, and I have reconciled. I was so excited that I went out and bought them all Christmas gifts. Well, in planning a Christmas get- together, my niece told me not to get gifts as they're struggling financially this year and can't get me gifts. I could care less if they get me gifts, but I want so badly to give them gifts. It made me so sad that I couldn't give them gifts or share Christmas with them when they were children. And I can't return the gifts I've already purchased. What should I do?
Well this can be an awkward thing. It does make people feel bad when they cannot afford to give. The old saying it is better to give then receive doesn’t help either. If you really want them to have the gifts then maybe giving them to each one alone or mailing them would be best. That way no one feels bad about not being able to give. I personally would drop them off on a porch with a note or mail them. I have been on both sides. I wish there was a better answer.
You should give them the gifts. Tell them exactly what you wrote in your question:
"I could care less if they get me gifts, but I want so badly to give them gifts. It made me so sad that I couldn't give them gifts or share Christmas with them when they were children". They'll will appreciate it. :-)
If you are going to be tbere Christmas day then take the gifts and tell them their gift to you is including you in their festivities after decades apart makes your heart so happy that you feel blessed and you just wanted to do a little something for them.
If you aren't going to be there Christmas day then ship everything via UPS with a note saying their gift to you is being back in your life again because family is everything.
Then dont send other gifts for birthday etc. Let it be a one time demo of your love. Individually you could take them out for a meal on birthdays if you wanted to do something nice.