In theory, gift-giving should be a feel-good time for all. You're able to show someone how much you love them through a material action, and they're able to accept and feel that love. But when entitlement and miscommunication enter the chat, gift giving can lose all of its joy.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for not replacing her cousin's gift card after she played a trick on her. She wrote:
I have a cousin,16f, called M. M has said that she thinks getting clothes or school supplies as gifts is terrible. Everyone in our family knows that not to buy her anything like this. Her 16th birthday was coming up and I decided to give her a $300 Sephora gift card. Unfortunately, the store said to pick an amount between $10-$250. So, I got one $50 card and one $250 card.
I bought a pair of cute fuzzy socks and put the $250 gift card in it. I put that in a cute gift box and I placed the $50 card on top. Her party was just for her friends so I dropped off her a present a week before the party. A few weeks after her party, my aunt called me to chat about something.
I asked if M liked my gift and my aunt said she did. I started to say things like she can get a whole new skin care routine and my aunt said, $50 would not but that much. I laughed and told her about the other gift card in the sock. She was surprised and thanked me for my generosity.
I got a call from her a few hours later saying M gave the socks to her sister, S 13f. S used the gift card to buy stuff. She had other gift cards and her mom thought she was using those. My aunt said the money was gone and she was going to ground S and asked me to replace the card. She said to just not get S anything for her upcoming birthday.
I only gave M two gift cards since it was her 16th birthday. Normally, I gift $50 gifts. I told her no, I couldn't her afford it. She said I had to or it would ruin the girls' relationship. M found out about the gift card and is angry at S. I refused and she said this whole situation is my fault for playing a stupid joke.
If I didn't replace the card, I would ruin the girl's relationship and my relationship with them. I told her she could replace it herself and she called me an AH.
NTA. The problem here is not that you played a stupid joke, it's that the younger sister, knowing the money was intended for her older sister, spent it. That problem is your aunt's to handle; you have no responsibility. If it f#$ks up their relationship, which I'm sure it will, the discipline lies in her hands, not yours.
NTA. Your aunt needs to deal with it herself. Her daughter spent the card. It's his responsibility to replace it and punish the one who spent it. It's ludicrous that she expects you to buy another $250 gift card so she doesn't have to parent her kids.
NTA... The aunt and her two girls need to have a family meeting (or whatever else one would call it) and discuss the events that led to the situation:
M did not open her gifts properly.
Little sister was selfish and sneaky - she owed it to the birthday girl to tell her about the gift card.
Aunt is clueless how to handle the situation and the girls have this behaviour as role model behaviour So they need to sort this at their end, even though your gift was the catalyst.
NTA the issue is the 13-year-old is a thief and your aunt is not parenting her or managing the situation. Yes, the relationship should be damaged until the 13-year-old makes up for stealing from her sister. Why cant the aunt sell 200 dollars of S's things - or S needs to get a weekend job to babysit and hand over ever dollar until she reaches 200.
OP is clearly NTA here, her aunt is fully deflecting responsibility.