Please help answer this non-travel question

Aug 12th, 2003, 12:54 PM
  #21  
gyppielou
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great advice bennie! I was brought up to always send thankyou notes and always record the book giving on the jacket.
 
Aug 12th, 2003, 03:23 PM
  #22  
 
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Hello--it's me again. Thanks to all of you who have replied regarding my family problem. Here's a little more information: these people are my husband's brother and the brother's wife--so talking to the brother is out for me. It's also out for my husband b/c his family does not talk about things like that--at all (and there's no way I'm pushing him on that)!

My husband is this little girl's godfather (even though we're not Catholic), and he wrote a very nice personal message inside the Bible and the card (a nice card that was very specific to this event and to the fact that she's his goddaughter). The cross was silver,very simple, tasteful, not too big, not cheesy at all. Even the part with the praying little girl was done simply and not some huge, noticeable-type of thing. Trust me on this--I hate gaudy, so I was very picky.

As for the bible, it was the King James Version. I also noticed that someone else gave our niece a bible too--also a white one. I'm not sure who this came from or what my SIL thought of it. I think duplicate gifts are fairly common where babies are concerned, but a bible for a religious event seemed very appropriate to me. I can't imagine that the Catholic/non-Catholic thing would matter with a KJV bible. If I'm wrong on that, please let me know!

What's funny is that on this same weekend, we had to celebrate Christmas with this part of the family, and my SIL did send a thank you note for the Christmas gifts. This is all very weird. I know that with new mothers, they are very sleep deprived and not quite themselves, so maybe that played into all of this.

One more thing (sorry this is so long--y'all know I like to talk/type!): we did not give a savings bond b/c we were not sure what an appropriate amount would be, we wanted something very personal, and also b/c my SIL has told me before that she thinks "gift certificate" type gifts are tacky b/c you know how much $$ the person spent (Our mother-in-law used to give the 2 of us gift certificates for various holidays/birthdays before she died. I loved them and my MIL always liked it if she got one too!). So, I felt funny about giving something with a specific dollar amount.

Thanks to all of you who let me vent and who responded. Good advice from you and you just made me feel a little better too!
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Aug 12th, 2003, 05:27 PM
  #23  
 
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"I can't imagine that the Catholic/non-Catholic thing would matter with a KJV bible. If I'm wrong on that, please let me know!"

Lee, I'm sorry but since you asked: The King James of the King James bible was the leader of the Church of England, not very long after King Henry VIII broke England off from the Catholic Church. (Six wives, no divorce, all that.) It was developed by Puritans and is not used in any Catholic churches. I'm afraid that in giving a King James, you made a rather political statement without intending to do so.
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Aug 12th, 2003, 05:53 PM
  #24  
 
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I don't really know much about christenings, but, in addition to a gift, it might be nice to give the baby something with his or her birthday on it, like the newspaper of the day the baby was born.
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Aug 12th, 2003, 07:16 PM
  #25  
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Lee4
Regarding the King James Bible.
Catholics use a translation with Deuterocanonicals/Apocrypha. These are books that were written between Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament and Matthew the first book of the New Testament. There are 15 books in between. I encourage you to live in forgivness. It hurts to feel your gift was not one of value but your inlaws are young. I was so judgemental when I was young...As we age we become so much more tolerant of others and their beliefs. Your SIL might of thought you should have given a Catholic Bible instead of a Protestant one. Who knows, just try and keep peace in your heart.
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Aug 13th, 2003, 05:16 AM
  #26  
 
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cd - what a beautiful response. And thank you for the education on the differences in the Bibles. I knew that Catholics do not use the King James version, but I did not know the rest of what you posted.
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Aug 13th, 2003, 06:20 AM
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While we're on the subject of gifts, when you exchange Christmas gifts with your family in person, how many of you write thank you notes? After being married 10 years, my mother-in-law let it be known that we should be sending thank you notes for Christmas gifts (that we exchange in person). That's funny - we don't get thank you notes from her! My family has never sent each other thank you notes for Christmas gifts - it's not expected. I asked several other co-workers and friends and they said it's customary for shower gifts, wedding, graduation, etc., but they don't send thank-yous to their family for Christmas gifts either. What about you?
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Aug 13th, 2003, 07:49 AM
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Just wanted to put this at the top to get some replies.
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Aug 13th, 2003, 08:59 AM
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Rachelle, quick reply: I never sent Thank-u's to immediate family (Mom, Dad, Bro) but always to non-nuclear family if gifts were sent, or even given in person. However, being married now and off on my own, I now send thank-u's to my 'rents and bro even if I do see them because it's so special to get together now and after having a few large dinner parties/smaller holidays at my home I appreciate how much work, cooking, cleaning etc. goes into it! As for al, who originated this thread, yes, it was tacky of SIL (who IMHO sounds like a pill with her "G. Certificates are tacky" line) to not send a note, but I plan on following my folks' rule that if no thank-you is sent by the neices/nephews, no gift gets sent the next year. It's all about the manners, you know?? Good Luck!
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Aug 13th, 2003, 09:33 AM
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Lee4 - its hard for me to image that someone would equate a savings bond with a gift certificate. A savings bond is a very traditional gift to give in these situations and assisting in a long term goal such as a college education is hardly on the same level as thinking that gift certificates are tacky because they are perceived to be given without the giver putting any thought or effort into their selection.

I would hope that you won't hesitate to give the baby savings bonds in the future - they are probably the most thoughtful gift to give a child. Long after toys are broken and clothing is outgrown the savings bond will be used and the giver will be remembered. My dad gave all his grandchildren savings bonds on their birthdays, Christmas and Easter. He's passed away now but those bonds and the silly notes he wrote with them will give my kids a tie to their granddad that no toy could ever provide. And when they graduate from college, they will know that their grandfather helped make it happen.
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Aug 13th, 2003, 01:30 PM
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Our family does not write thank-yous for Christmas gifts. Of course, it's customary for special events like a christening, graduation, confirmation, or wedding, but not for a yearly event like Christmas. That would seem like a lot of unnecessary writing and stamps (siblings to siblings, siblings to parents, parents to siblings...)
I think your MIL is being picky, and then on top of it she doesn't practice what she preaches?! Just ignore her.
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Aug 13th, 2003, 01:51 PM
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Thanks for the replies regarding Catholics and the KJV bible. I honestly did not know that many Catholics do not use that version but discovered a little more about the subject myself last night by doing some research. It's always good to learn new things and I certainly never intended to offend.

I have never seen my SIL as being highly religious, so I still wonder if her behavior was more related to being "rude", as opposed to being "offended" by the bible. However, I'm more than willing to fix that if it turns out to be the case. I have to also admit that b/c I am protestant, there may be things about her denomination that I just don't know about or recognize b/c she practices differently from me.

As for thank you notes, I am one of those people who actually writes a note to ANYONE I receive a gift from--even if I opened it in front of them. This includes any relatives, parents, sibling, and friends at Christmas, birthdays, etc. This is not done by many people in my family, but SIL used to be fairly good about it herself. We were with her for Christmas, and she sent thank you notes for those gifts. She also sent a thank you note for her birthday gift, so I think that's why the baby gift and baptism gift omissions stood out so much.

As for savings bonds--bennie--I agree that these are not the same as gift certificates and your points are well made and taken. I still am not sure what an appropriate amount for such a gift would be--any suggestions?

CD--thanks for such a kind response and good explanation regarding Catholics/bibles. I am (somewhat) young myself and have probably let something upset me much more than it should have. SIL and I had been fairly close over the last few years, especially as we dealt with our MIL's illness and then death. However, within 2 months of our MIL dying, I felt that things changed between the two of us. I'm sure my hurt feelings reflect that, as well as my grief over my MIL's death. We'll get through it... Thanks to all for the free therapy!
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Aug 13th, 2003, 02:09 PM
  #33  
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Lee4
You're very welcome.
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Aug 14th, 2003, 06:15 PM
  #34  
 
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Lee4, when I read the part about your SIL being Catholic, I realized that giving a KJV bible was probably not right, given that King James would definitely not be Catholic.

So, I checked with my sister who said this about the gift: "that would be an insult". I'm not religious, but I could understand that reaction. Hopefully, SIL is not also Irish. Might be time to seek forgiveness. That might be a good place for you to start to repair the relationship.


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Aug 14th, 2003, 06:28 PM
  #35  
 
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"I have to also admit that b/c I am protestant, there may be things about her denomination that I just don't know about"

If you do try to smooth things out with SIL and talk about this, please do NOT refer to the Catholic Church as a "denomination" or you'll be worse off than when you started!
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Aug 14th, 2003, 06:28 PM
  #36  
 
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Back to the original question: When my son was born in 1986, the mother of my closest neighbor/friend gave us a bottle of Sherry, with a note saying that "it's a British tradition to give a baby a bottle of Sherry at his/her christening, to be opened on his/her 18th birthday . . ."

Unfortunately, I lost touch with the neighbor (and her mother) as we moved over the years, but we'll be thinking of them when we open that well-aged bottle in January, on Alex's 18th birthday. I wonder if it's drinkable???

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Aug 15th, 2003, 05:34 AM
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Lee4 - I have 14 nieces and nephews and am godmother to 3 of them. The godchildren receive $200 bonds and the non-godchildren (that sounds horrible) get $100. I come from a family of 8 and all the aunts and uncles give the same gift to a new baby. Then when the child makes their First Communion they get the same gift and presumably when they recieve Confirmation (none are quite that old yet) they 'll get the same again. All in all it will add up to a fair amount of assistance for when the child goes to college.

Agree that you should never refer to the Catholic Church as a denomination and never ever give a Kings James Bible to an Irish Catholic. Particularly one who is aware of the history of England outlawing Catholicism in Ireland and forcing starving Irishmen and women to convert to the Anglican church in order to get a bowl of soup during the Famine.
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Aug 15th, 2003, 05:48 AM
  #38  
 
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bennie's right: The Irish, lacking in material goods, instead treasure their memories and their grudges. (I can say things like that, being a quarter Irish myself.)

He's also right in pointing out how handy it is to have a family tradition of what gift to give for a specific occasion. Perhaps the OP could consult with her SIL's family members for advice the next time a gift-giving occasion comes around.
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Aug 15th, 2003, 05:48 AM
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Ooops, just noticed that bennie's a godmother, hence a "she". Sorry!
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Aug 15th, 2003, 06:21 AM
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Any other comments regarding whether you send your family thank you notes for Christmas gifts?
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