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Woman opens 'fake' Christmas gift in front of family to avoid jealousy. It backfires.

Woman opens 'fake' Christmas gift in front of family to avoid jealousy. It backfires.


In a perfect world, Christmas gifts wouldn't be stressful. But in reality, the ritual of opening gifts can cause mayhem among family members.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for opening a "fake" Christmas gift. She wrote:

"AITA for opening a 'fake' gift during a family Christmas party?"

Every year, my family does Christmas at my mom's, and she insists that we open all presents together (even gifts between spouses, etc.). It's normally an okay tradition, but sometimes it can spark jealousy or comparisons between families. This year, my husband saved up and bought me my dream designer handbag for Christmas.

I know some people aren't into that, but it's something that I truly love. We're not well-off, but we're not doing poorly either. I knew that the handbag would cause a lot of discussion amongst my siblings and parents. I just didn't want their opinions and criticisms to ruin a special gift my husband worked hard to get for me.

So this year, my husband got me an extra gift that wasn't the "real" gift (it was a moderately priced skincare set). Christmas came and went without drama, but I recently posted a picture of my husband and our kids at dinner, and my handbag could be seen hanging off the back of my chair. One of my friends commented underneath about how gorgeous my Christmas gift was as well.

Long story short, word got back to my family and they totally blew up. Some were annoyed that I opened a private gift separately from the family. Others were criticizing the price of the gift. My siblings are now calling me disingenuous for harboring a secret gift, and they said that I did it because I think I'm better than them.

I didn't open it with them because I didn't want their opinions, but now I'm starting to feel like an AH for keeping it a secret. I knew either way they'd all criticize me though since it was so much more expensive than all other gifts, so I don't know whether or not I'm wrong.

Redditors had a lot to say about the situation.

Thriillsy wrote:

NTA and honestly? It's time you be 100% bluntly honest with them. Screencap all their snarky comments and send a group chat with them stating

"If you all want to know so badly why I 'harbored a secret gift' as you call it, these comments are exactly why. This bag is not something I thought I would ever have as we are not well off enough to make purchases similar in cost to this bag, but my DH worked his a$$ off and saved up to get it for me and instead of being happy for us, you talk s#$t. You call it a waste of money or claim that I think I'm better than you."

"The behavior all of you have around Christmas gifts sucks the joy out of getting something like this and had I opened it at mom's house in front of all of you, I wouldn't even have been able to be happy because I knew you all would react exactly as you did. Honestly, I'm not sure if my family and I will be continuing in this tradition because we are tired of the jealousy, the comparisons and competition."

"It's tiring, it makes it hard to be happy with the gifts we get - even if we would be ecstatic to get them, as I was with this bag when he gave it to me."

Or something similar. Basically, just point blank put your feelings out there, call out the jealousy, the criticism, the comparisons and competition.

If you can, give specific examples of such things so that they can't go "Oh, that's in your head". If they cop to it and say that they're fine with it, tell them that's fine but that you are not. And honestly? After their reaction to the bag, I would tell them that you and your family are considering stepping back from the tradition due to how tiring it's become.

QuietCelery7850 wrote:

Every year, my family does Christmas at my mom's, and she insists that we open all presents together (even gifts between spouses, etc.)

You don’t have to do this. You don’t have to do any of it. You can have Christmas at your home. You can visit other relatives.

You can go away for the holiday. No one gets to tell you when and where you and your spouse exchange gifts. Your mother wants to see what everybody gets? Too bad. And unless you’re borrowing money from them, your siblings get no say on what you and your husband spend on gifts for each other.

squirtwv69 wrote:

NTA. That is just weird to me. Why does everyone drag all of their gifts over to their house to open in front of each other? Why don’t you have your own family Christmas at home and take the gifts for the rest of the family to the folks?

Inallea wrote:

NTA. And considering what some "special" Christmas gifts might be between partners I'd definitely not want them opened in front of me. You did the right thing OP considering the fallout. Christmas is supposed to be fun, not a time to judge everyone on what they got, how much it cost or didn't cost competition.

Clearly, OP is NTA, her family has put them in an impossible situation.

Sources: Reddit
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