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'I withheld Christmas gifts after my family pranked me and my GF with fart spray and socks.' MAJOR UPDATE

'I withheld Christmas gifts after my family pranked me and my GF with fart spray and socks.' MAJOR UPDATE


When you tell someone you don't want them to do something, they decide to do it anyway, and then call you dramatic for being annoyed? Well, that is a clear lack of respect, there's no way around it.

"AITA for still withholding all of the presents I bought for the family because of their pranks?"

Okay, in the past couple of years, I started making good enough that I bought a house, and I still have plenty after the monthly bills. My family have all been pranksters and at times entitled, my whole life. But Christmas Eve they took the cake. I was NC with them for years. But they convinced me to reconnect after I moved closer.

For gifts, I got them all good stuff. Like tablets for the kids with built in DVD players. Sports memorabilia and camping stuff for my dad, brother and uncle. Specific antiques, jewelry and appliances for my mom, SIL and aunt. I brought my girlfriend with me, as what little family she has is horrid. So she was delighted to spend Christmas Eve with my family. Everything was going smoothly.

And I warned my family, no pranks on me or my girlfriend. AT ALL! They swore none would happen. But they could not resist. We got attacked by silly string from multiple fronts. That stuff reeks and gets everywhere. Somehow we powered through that. But then came the gifts. I wasn't expecting much. But none of them even tried.

I got dollar store cooking utensils, a pair of insanely ugly holiday socks that I confirmed were also dollar store, and a pink hat. And that was just from my parents. They all kept snickering and recording me as I unwrapped random junk. One being a used mirror to a car I no longer own. And the one gift there to my girlfriend was a bottle of fart spray. I told them I'd had enough, and they'd agreed to no pranks.

Long story short, they weren't just gag gifts. They were the only presents there for us. I had enough and just started gathering up all the presents I'd brought. They all freaked out and demanded I give them back. I told them all that they didn't change one bit. And they could kiss all of that stuff goodbye. We bagged everything and stormed out.

The family keep calling and messaging me that I'm being greedy, I couldn't take a joke, couldn't think of anything to get me, the kids are crying. I don't need to go on. AITA? I've refused to return any of the presents.

Redditors jumped on with their thoughts.

Successful_Bath1200 wrote:

NTA. It's not like you didn't warn them. Time to go NC with them again. Anything you can't return to the shop it came from to get your money back or that you can't use yourself, give to a charity and tell them that's what you did!

Aruu wrote:

NTA. What is wrong with your family? A prank is only funny if appreciated by everyone involved and you warned them that you didn't want to partake in anything like that. Furthermore, how is it funny to get a loved one awful gifts without a genuine present at the end? Your family aren't pulling pranks, they're just being AHs.

You did the right thing by taking away their presents and while there's not much hope for the "adults" involved, maybe the kids might learn a valuable lesson about f#$king around and finding out. Not that they're to blame in all of this, but a point must be made.

Erickajade1 wrote:

You're NTA. I'm sorry your family has always treated you like this. You went NC & they reached out and lied to you and then still treated you like a joke. I'd feel just as disrespected as you and I wouldn't want to deal with it either. NGL I feel a little bit bad that the kids had to suffer because of the adults in your family, but that's not on you.

Inevitable-Rhubarb11 wrote:

You gave them another chance and were clear about your expectations and they did this, a time when they could have made amends. This would be so upsetting on so many levels! NTA and although I'm sure it's really painful, you can now leave these people in your past if you choose to.

You've done everything you can. It's tough that the kids missed out on their presents but that's the other adults' fault and they can deal with the fallout.

Months later, OP shared a massive update.

My girlfriend recently saw my original post read on Youtube, and asked that I update here. I previously posted about what my family did to me on Christmas Eve. Back at work, word of what happened with my family spread around the office when it shouldn't have.

I talked about it to just one friend at lunch a few days after making my first post, and the office gossip just happened to be hiding nearby listening to every word I said. Within days it was all over the office. And someone in the office was apparently social media friends with my brother. In short, my family found out about my post. And they went off about how they thought I was a brat who couldn't take a joke.

I told them the 400 NTA comments said otherwise. Then they tried to say I didn't tell the truth. I asked them to read the post over the phone and tell me what in it was a lie. Well their recollection was suddenly quite bad, because I made it clear every detail was on point. I even still have the messages from them confirming numerous details. They tried gaslighting, but I wasn't having it.

I was never going to let them try to rewrite history again. My mother resorted to crocodile tears and guilting. But I called her and my father out as self serving narcissists who played favorites and would rather make me the bad guy so they wouldn't have to feel bad about themselves. They didn't deserve to berate me, or cry for sympathy when they were complicit in my misery since childhood.

Then I hung up on them. They tried calling back again and again. But I refused to pick up, and I deleted all of their voicemails. But I kept the texts just in case I'd need to go to a lawyer. More people in the extended family were made aware after links to my account got around. Initially some sided with my parents and brother. But quickly switched sides when they saw the writing on the wall.

My parents then tried to turn my brother into the new scapegoat for the situation since it couldn't be me. And then it turned into a chicken fight. After about two weeks my parents showed up at my door to try and get me to talk to them. But I refused. I found out later that other relatives called them 50+ year old children, and they owed me a lifetime of apologies.

My brother apparently doubled down that what they did was funny, and refused to admit any wrongdoing. But his wife and even his own kids were furious at him. He was made to delete the videos he recorded of me at Christmas by the rest of the family. And he blamed me for it because I ruined his best prank yet.

My SIL ended up slapping him and calling him a manchild, then saying she'd never been so humiliated to be his wife. She was apparently unaware of what my family put me through growing up until the Christmas prank because I'd hardly seen her before cutting contact with my family. Then she gave him an ultimatum. Marriage counseling and a sincere apology to me, or she would leave him.

My brother stubbornly refused, and his wife took the kids and left for a few days. He then came to my house while intoxicated and yelling that it was all my fault, and I was a b#$ch baby who couldn't take a joke. Then he started demanding I talk to his wife and fix things. I had to call our parents to come get him before I had police take him away.

They showed up mortified and screaming at him to shut the hell up. After a few more days my parents begged me to come over and speak to them. Took me a while to agree. And when I did, my brother was there with them looking like a kicked puppy. His wife had actually gone to get a consultation from a divorce lawyer.

And my brother finally realized this was for real, and unless he acknowledged he was a massive a-hole, his life would be ruined. His wife did come back for the sake of keeping the kids in school. But even after months, my brother is still in the doghouse.

My brother and parents apologized and admitted they never expected me to show up with such nice gifts, and figured I wasn't likely to bring anything since I hadn't seen them in years, and they'd pranked me so much that it finally clicked with them why I'd previously gone no contact.

And even though I showed up with real gifts, they went ahead with their plan anyway since the prank gifts were already there under the tree, and they somehow thought I'd share in the humor. They thought wrong. I told them they would never be apologizing like this if they weren't being humiliated for their actions. To which they actually agreed and started trashing themselves.

Then I asked if the apologies they'd given me before were totally insincere and just a ploy to lure me back into the family. They couldn't say they were or weren't. I'm not sure even they know anymore. So then I had a very frank discussion with them about my childhood, and why I might never want to associate with them ever again. They didn't argue with a single point I made.

All the mistreatment, all the favoritism, all the scapegoating! Why? Because I was the unwanted child! I didn't ask to be born! And it sure as hell shouldn't have taken that long just for them to realize what kind of steaming piles of crap they were as people. They just sat there looking at the floor while I ranted at them. And my mother was crying and blaming herself and my father.

And my father started blaming her, and saying it all started with her. My brother for once in his life knew when to shut the hell up and accept fault. And when he finally did speak, he owned up to everything. Since it was too late to return the gifts to the store by the time I'd made my AITA post, the presents I took back were left in my garage, just sitting in a pile.

I ended up donating all of them to a local church for a charity rummage sale. So all of that stuff went to people other than my relatives. I was chastised by many for taking the gifts back from the kids too. But they were sharing in the delight of laughing at me that day. And now they have a lesson in consequences that it was good to have while still young.

That said, my mother kind of negated that by going rogue and bought the exact same tablet-DVD-combo players for the kids that I did. My father was apparently furious with her at first because she put it all on their credit card. Each of those tablets was around $150. But the fight about it didn't last long.

My brother and SIL have been going to marriage counseling. And it's forced my brother to open his eyes. Our parents raised him to be the way he is. But he also kept it up well into adulthood. I've kept moderate contact with my family for the sake of getting to know my niblings. And they're actually good kids.

They don't blame me for taking the gifts back anymore, because they understand how angry I was at Christmas. I had my birthday in March at a local pizza parlor, and my family were invited. It was literally their last chance. And shockingly they did not blow it. They couldn't figure out what to get me, so they gifted me a large card with $100 cash in it, and a "We'll do better" apology written in the card.

They also gave my girlfriend a set of Sterling silver earrings big apology as a makeup for Christmas since she'd refused to see them in person till then. It hasn't really been long enough since then for me to have any other kinds of details other than things seem to be pleasantly normal now. No more pranks to me. They've even stopped doing them to each other.

The whole situation just ruined what made it funny for them to begin with. Also, for all those who prior commented or DM'd me saying tablet/DVD player combos don't exist, look them up for crying out loud. They do exist, and kids who have them, love them. The ones my mother got my niblings have barely left their hands since getting them.

Lastly, I did report the office gossip that caused me to get ratted me out to my brother to HR. And that was just one thing in a line of complaints against them. So they were finally written up. And has been avoiding me as much as possible at work since then.

T;LDR: Office gossip made my family find out about my original post. A crap-show ensued. Family were forced to admit wrong after my SIL took the kids and threatened divorce. Family finally owned up to their misdeeds against me, and are still apologetic. Office gossip got written up for what they did.

The internet was deeply invested in the update.

JunkMail0604 wrote:

I had no idea that tablet dvd players existed! And it comes right up on google. I’m looking into one for me, lol. OP, I wouldn’t hold my breath on your family turning the corner, just yet. They have a lifetime of that behavior to get over, and it’s only been a few months. But good luck with that!

AtomicBlastCandy wrote:

Yup, it isn't like they suddenly realized the error of their ways. No they are only acting this way because they've been finally been seen as a bunch of immature a$$hats.

Fianna9 wrote:

I’m glad your family finally woke up and saw what d*ks they are being. I hope they are sincere in wanting to fix themselves and the relationship.

But no matter how hard they might seem to be trying, if they f#$k up again they don’t deserve another chance.

DayLily61 wrote:

I never saw your first post, Custard, until I came across this one. What perfectly horrible people your parents and brother must be 😝 No wonder you had no contact with them for so long. 🌹 Here's hoping you and your girlfriend have all the peace and happiness together you can hold 🌹

OP responded:

Thank you.

This family is a trip, that's for sure.

Sources: Reddit
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