My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Gifts that Keeps on Giving

The subject of gift-giving always seems to be a ripe one when it comes to collecting stories of passive aggressive behavior--especially among family members. Passive aggressive persons often select gifts not based on what the receiver genuinely desires, but rather to make a specific statement.

Read below for some great examples, including this one, posted by Robin on 5/10/09:

My in-laws never seem to be happy with any gift we ever give them. And they are not the typical parents/grandparents that are happy to receive a homemade gift from the grandchildren or something with sentimental value. Oh no. They want GIFTS! Gifts that cost money. Gifts that come in a Red Envelope or ones in a little powder blue box. Expensive, lavish gifts that we don't seem to ever produce, regardless of how much we’ve tried.

And yes, for a very long time, we have tried to please. However, this past Christmas, with the recent addition of a baby to our family, we didn't have a lot of time for shopping. That being said, everyone in both of our families received gifts that could be ordered online. And everybody else seemed to be grateful for our efforts. Despite the time constraints and sleep deprivation under which we were working, we thought we had come up with a good one, both thoughtful and costing money, by sending my father in law a gift package from Omaha Steaks. For my mother-in-law, we sent her a gift basket from a company that apparently weaves baskets from gold plate instead of wicker.

They apparently did not appreciate the efforts. When my husband called his parents for our weekly phone chat (notice I didn't say, when my father-in-law called to thank us) he graced us with a not so convincing thank you and proceeded to tell us that, “you know, if you’re looking for gift ideas for your mother and me in the future, we like tickets to shows. You know concerts, Broadway plays, that kind of thing”. My husband was beside himself over his father’s audacity to inform us of what to buy him. I, on the other hand, was not surprised. After all, if tickets are what he wants, tickets he shall Christmas, I hope he enjoys his night out to see THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES.

Have any good examples of bad gifts? Post them here!


  1. Posted on Passive Aggressive Diaries on 9/20/09 by anonymous:

    Every year for Christmas, ever since I can remember, my brother and I have received RC cars from my grandparents. When we were younger, I was very pleased with this consistent gift, because it appealed to me. As I grew older, I started realizing the repetition and began to lose my appreciation for their gifts. Personally, I feel an 18 year old isn’t normally interested in RC cars unless they have some type of hobby concerning them; which a grandmother should know about. To sort of take a silent stab back at them, my family decided to counter act their gifts by giving them sweatpants and sweatshirts each year. I was unaware as to whether they caught on to the reasons why their gifts changed, but my family continues to joke about it to this day.

  2. POsted on Passive Aggressive Diaires on 2/9/09:

    A year after I started dating my husband, I adopted a french bulldog puppy - adorable, sweet, and much loved. My husband's mother is a rampant shop-a-holic, and started plying me with frenchie-themed gifts: tea towels, fridge magnets, coffee mugs, jewelry (no lie!)tee shirts, throw pillows, welcome mat, bumper stickers - I could go on, but I'm sure you catch the drift. I was polite at first, but it soon became difficult to graciously accept the hoards of crap she kept heaping on me, and I was resentful that I now had to find somewhere to unload it all. I was lucky to find a pet-themed consignment store, and gratified to accept the substantial credit they offered me for my frenchie goods. I then redeemed the credit for an entire set of poodle bath towels, comforter and pillow shams. I even shelled out some extra cash to get my mother-in-law's poodles's name embroidered on everything. When she unwrapped her gifts the following month I could tell by the look on her face that I'd never have to visit that consignment shop ever again...

  3. That is extremely passive-agressive. Psychologically speaking, that would be considered hidden but conscious revenge. Pretty high on the passive-agressive scale, but reminiscent of my own experience in this area. A relative of mine was once asked by our grandparents what he wanted to celebrate his graduation from high school. He was typically procrastinating about it and never got around to telling them what he wanted. Since our grandparents had little to go on regarding this occasion, they decided to get him a gift subscription to Penthouse that was delivered to his campus address at a large Catholic university in the Midwest. Also, hidden but conscious revenge on their part.