Giving Gifts

Many Moms have asked about giving their adult child a gift for birthdays or for Christmas when the relationship has become estranged or difficult.  Here are some questions to ask as you make a decision.  

Giving Gifts

December 7, 2020  |   BY KIM DAMON

I take the art of gift giving very seriously.  I love finding that perfect gift that lets others know that I thought of them and cared enough to take the time for that perfect gift.  It might be a fun gift, a handmade gift or something that I know they have been wanting.  Lately, I have noticed many moms in pain and agony over giving a gift to their adult child.  Some moms have blatantly been ignored in the gifts they have given.  Some moms continue to give, while others refuse to give.  There is no right answer, only a well-thought out decision to be made. 


There have been times that I have not received a gift on a special day from my children.  There have also been special days when I had hoped for a call filled with conversation and catching up, but instead, I received a quick call in a spare moment they had that day.  A few times, I received no calls.  Thoughts had run through my own mind like, I must not be important enough or what did I do to deserve this.  In a moment of anger, I might think that next time, I won’t buy THEM a gift.  The hard truth is that I am pretty sure I did the same to my own Mother in those early years. These thoughts are thankfully over for me.  When I find myself slipping back, I have a long talk with myself.  I had decided years ago not to base my worthiness on someone else. Yes, even my own children.  I might not be the most important person to them that day and that is okay.  They have their own families and their own lives and they are not responsible for making me feel good, I am. I continued to give that perfect gift, even if I didn’t receive one that year.  It felt good to me and right for me.  I stopped giving gifts with the expectation that it would be acknowledged with their love and acceptance.  I gave because it felt good to me and it was my way of letting them know that I loved them.


Now, my way is not for everyone.  I made those decisions based on my own circumstances. If either of them had refused to accept my gift, made fun of it, or told me not to bother – I would manage my thoughts around not sending that perfect gift of love.  The beauty is that we get to decide.  Not being able to make a decision on giving a gift or not causes us to agonize over it.  When we agonize over decisions, we create looping negative thoughts.  I call these negative thoughts the circle of doom.  They never provide clarity for us and almost always give us negative results in our lives. 


So what can we do to decide?  How can we be clear, make a decision and move forward with a hard yes or hard no?  I would recommend answering these very thought-provoking questions about your own circumstances.  Once you have all the information, you can then just decide.


·        What do I expect from the other person when I give them a gift?


·        What do I make it mean when they don’t meet my expectations?


·        How will I feel if they don’t acknowledge my gift?


·        What do I fear most about giving them a gift?


·        What do I fear most about not giving them a gift?


·        How would I feel if I didn’t give them a gift?


Answer these questions without allowing self-judgment, confusion or overwhelm.  Write them all out on paper with honest answers.  There is no right decision or wrong decision, there is only a decision.  Decide to make it.


If you want to know the truth, I will tell you that my gift giving is more about me and how it makes me feel to look for that gift.  The feeling I have thinking about them.  The giggles to myself when I see something that might spark a laugh or a smile.  Those thoughts and feelings I have about a sentimental gift that makes me feel warm and nostalgic.  The truth is, they might not think my gifts are that wonderful and I don’t care.


Kim Damon



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