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Woman 'ruins Christmas' when her family only gets her 'joke gifts.' AITA?

Woman 'ruins Christmas' when her family only gets her 'joke gifts.' AITA?


AITA for “ruining Christmas” and being upset the only gifts I got from my family were “joke gifts?"

Some background, my family likes to play pranks with Christmas and birthday gifts it’s nothing new. I (F21) as well as my 5 siblings (from 29 to 37 years old) have all been pranked on our birthdays and on Christmas and usually it’s one or two gifts. This Christmas though, I was the only person to get all joke gifts.

For example, I unwrapped a MacBook from my brother, but when I opened it, it was just some chocolate (which I don’t eat so I gave it away) and the MacBook was actually given to my sister inside a bag she wanted.

Another “gift” was what I thought was a book I put on my Christmas list was actually just the book cover put on a dictionary. When I asked my mom about the book she told me she gave it to my SIL.

This went on with each present my siblings or parents had given me. AirPods was just a charger block? Adapter? Gift cards were used and had $0 balance, a card with Monopoly money, and so on totaling to about 12 joke gifts. I realized I went out of my way to get everyone something they wanted or they’d like didn’t get anything.

At this point I was bummed so I went to the living room to watch tv with my boyfriend. At dinner they were all talking about how much they loved their gifts and when my dad asked why I hadn’t said anything about mine, I said there wasn’t much to say.

Everyone but my boyfriend laughed and my mom said it was no big deal as everyone else also got some joke gifts. I told her every gift I got was a joke gifts and that the ones they got was also followed by the real one. My dad told me I needed to relax as I’m making a big deal about it and I’d have next Christmas to get the stuff on my list.

Not wanting to go back and forth I told my boyfriend I wanted to leave and we can spend the rest of Christmas break with his family then go home. My family got mad and told me not to go and to just stay because it wasn’t serious.

I left and put my phone on do not disturb during the drive and by the time we got to bf’s parent’s house, I had several missed calls and texts from them calling me names like ungrateful, sensitive, and childish.

They said I ruined Christmas and made my parents upset cause I left. The next day, I exchanged and opened gifts with my boyfriend and his family and one of the gifts I had gotten was the book I wanted (the book my mom pretended to gift me).

I posted it on my Instagram story and not even 0 minutes after posting it, my sister sent a screenshot of my story to the family group chat and they basically got mad at me for leaving and telling me I ruined Christmas over some presents.

They told me I owe everyone, especially my parents, an apology because my mom spent new year's sad because of my actions. Now I just want an outside party to tell me if I’m TA here?

Am I in the wrong for being upset about the gifts and for leaving? After reading their messages and sitting on this for a few days I’m now feeling like maybe I was upset over nothing and need to apologize to them.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Starsteamer said:

NTA. This is a horrific way to treat anyone. And you were expected to be grateful? For what? When your entire family pull together to make a ‘joke’ of you, that is bullying.

And, particularly as you are the youngest, it seems purposeful and intentionally cruel. Do not apologize. Do not be a doormat. Do not accept this behavior from those that are supposed to care about you.

Crafty-Gardener said:

"Because my mom spent new years sad because of my actions." No your mom spent New Year sad because of the consequences of your families actions. They treated you as a joke for Christmas, A joke is not a joke if the person it is aimed at does not find it funny.

Honestly it comes across as bullying. You are the only one to only get 'joke' presents, your actual presents were given away to family members. You family sound cruel. And if mommy is oh so sad then maybe she should think about her actions and the actions of the rest of your family, they suck. NTA I'm glad your boyfriend and his family didn't suck.

fallingintopolkadots said:

NTA. What they did was incredibly cruel. It's not funny to give you something you said you wanted, only to realize it's only the cover or casing to that thing you wanted, and that they actually they the thing inside the packaging to someone else. Someone who was quite likely in the same room.

WTF. And then act like they are wronged because you're upset that no one gave you something you'd actually wanted? What kind of mind game f-ery is that?! You had every right to leave and they are the ones that owe you the apology.

Regular_throwaway_83 said:

NTA. As you have rightly pointed out jokes are fine when there's balance. Everyone getting some joke gifts followed by real gifts and you getting no real gifts is not balance and an asshole move. The MacBook one where your other family member actually got that laptop particularly sounds very pointed.

embopbopbopdoowop said:

NTA. Open a group chat with them all, list every crappy ‘prank’ gift you got, ask them if they’d honestly be happy if that was all they got as they watched everyone else open actual lovely, thoughtful gifts, then immediately leave the chat.

I’m glad you left. I wouldn’t return next year - they might promise not to do it again then do it again to ‘teach you a lesson in humility’ or some other BS that’s code for being cruel to you then blaming you for your reaction. But if you do, bring fabulous presents for yourself instead and refuse to open anything from anyone else.

Successful_Bath1200 said:

NTA. What they did was cruel. Do Not Apologize, tell them you will be NC until you get a full and sincere apology from everyone of them for ruining your Christmas.

Tattedtail said:

NTA. Your mum SHOULD feel sad. It's a common symptom of guilt, which I would expect most people would feel after they realized that you were hurt by their actions.

BanterPhobic said:

NTA. Normally I’d call any adult the AH, on principle, for complaining about the quality of their Christmas gifts, but in this case I can totally see how it would get to you.

Getting decent gifts for everyone else whilst only getting joke ones for you is one thing, not great but could maybe be put down to a communication failure, but to then get mad at you for not dancing with delight at the situation is ridiculous on their part.

Nobody ever has a right to “expect” gifts of any particular value or degree of usefulness, but singling out one member of the family in this way is obviously going to upset them, and your reaction was reasonable in taking yourself out of the situation.

Everyone agreed unanimously with OP for this one. What's your advice for this family?

Sources: Reddit
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