Friday, December 30, 2005

A Gift-Napping Victim Speaks Out

I have a new favorite thing about Christmas. That is, this holiday sure makes for great blogging material! I have tons of things to talk about now! So, stay tuned for the next week or so, I may update often!
Help!!! I was gift-napped! That's the only way I can describe it. I am sure this has happened to some of you as well, but that sure didn't make my reaction any more dignified or calm.

Picture this scene: the family gathers for a belated Christmas. After a wonderful feast, we're all sitting in our usual gift-opening spots. Me, DaddyCat and kids on one side of the room, my Aunt and Uncle on their usual sofa, Mother and Father in their chairs, and my sister and her family across from us. My son, Wildcat, hands out the gifts--barely able to contain his excitement at opening the last of our week-long Christmas "extrava-gift-tanza." (Yes, I seem to like to make up words these days, don't I?)

The presents were distributed orderly and we each admired our stacks. The kids started in opening theirs, as we tried to keep them calm and opening one gift at a time, making sure they thanked the gift-giver before moving to the next box. I happened to notice my mother admiring the large box we'd wrapped for her, which contained a boombox/CD player for her craft room. This was something she'd directly asked me for at Thanksgiving and I had actually gone right out and bought while we were there, because they had it on sale the day after Turkey Day. I had been wanting to give it to her since then, knowing how much she wanted it and would use it. Because I don't live near my folks, when I find something they really want I am really happy because I usually have to guess.

I began helping my Miss Kitty open her boxes. She went from admiring the pretty boxes, to gingerly tearing the paper, to frantically shouting "Oh-pen! Oh-pen! Oh-pen!" when she saw what was inside. So, in the midst of this insanity, while trying to keep up with who had gotten what for my 6-year-old AND trying to take pictures, I missed a sly move by my sister.

Moments later, I glanced over to find that my larger box was now under another box very similar in shape and size. At that moment, my Mom grabbed the new box and opened it. She beamed with happiness at the boombox/CD player and gushed a sincere thank you to my sister and her husband. Still not processing what had happened, I thought she must have thought that our gift was from my sister. For a flash of a moment, I felt angry that my sister and her husband were not stepping in to say that wasn't their gift to her.

Then, I realized it. We had been gift-napped! Below the wrapping and box of her newly opened boombox, was our package...still unopened. My sister shot nervous looks at me and avoided direct eye-contact. As my Mom opened ours, I couldn't help but blurt out "It is the SAME THING. I have the receipt." I didn't shout it, but I was obviously aggravated. Then, in a lack-of-grace moment, I turned to my husband and quietly bickered. "She KNEW we got that for her! I can't believe she DID that!" It wasn't loud enough for everyone to hear, though I know my Aunt and Uncle did.

Now, you might be saying I shouldn't assume this was a sneaky move. It was probably a weird coincidence. But, what you don't know is that my sister was with me when we shopped after Thanksgiving. She asked multiple times what we were getting my Mom for Christmas. I told her, and then later my husband showed her as we gathered up our gift haul for wrapping before my parents arrived. She SO KNEW that was our gift.

Of course, she then back-peddled apologeticall , saying "Oh, I completely forgot that you got that." We played the "No, Mom, I have the receipt too so take mine back" game a few times. My brother-in-law must have seen my frustration. (I'll admit, one of my biggest shortcomings is not being able to hide my emotions very well.) In an attempt to either smooth things over with a joke, or to completely ridicule me, he turned to me and with a smile said, "You know your sister told me she knew you were getting that and she was getting it anyway." I tried to get a chuckle out, even though I felt like telling him that he didn't BEGIN to know what my sister was capable of, and we moved on. My sister then kissed my ass the rest of the holiday, and I avoided her like the plague. My Mom later told me that she knew what had happened and she was sorry. She kept our gift, because quite frankly it was a much nicer CD player and cost a lot more, and it was all over.

But, this gift-napping thing really stinks. You have to know my sister and her history with gift-giving, or should I say lack of gift giving or when she does give a lack of thought into the gift. She doesn't care to spend any time shopping. She will do the easiest and cheapest thing possible. She didn't want to have to think of a gift for our Mom, so she stole mine. And, in doing that, she stole the joy I might have gotten at getting my Mom something she really wanted. She got the smile and the gushing hugs of thank you. Instead, I got the awkward moment and the well-meaning thank you by my Mom trying to smooth things over. Nice.

Have you ever been gift-napped or guilty of gift-napping yourself? If so, share and make me feel better! Less negative holiday updates will be posted soon, I promise!


Blogger Masked Mom said...

I once was accidentally gift-napped--actually it was my daughter who was gift-napped. We got one of her friends a Lizzie McGuire game and then, worried that the girl might already have it, we attached a mini Bratz doll so even if she had to return the game, she would have something new on her birthday. One of the other partygoers (whose gift the girl opened first, of course), bought the same game AND the same mini Bratz doll. I mean what are the odds! It was totally freaky.

4:05 PM, December 30, 2005  
Blogger Northern_Girl said...

What a crappy thing to do - gift-napping. Heh. And I wonder if it is really a 'shortcoming' when you can't hide your emotions...

There is always something on what is overall a great event/day/happening that seems to ruin the whole thing. Your KIDS don't care...they have YOU...Every Day.

4:51 PM, December 30, 2005  
Blogger Vanessa said...

I am so angry for you. I have a family member who pisses me off like that and ruins my day sometimes, but fortunately she didn't ruin Christmas. Your sister must have deep feelings of resentment towards you to do something like that. From now on, don't tell her what you're buying for anyone. Honestly, I don't know how you even spoke to her after that! Bless your heart!!

5:59 PM, December 30, 2005  
Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

I have never been gift-napped. I've never even heard of such a thing. It sounds psycho, really! Why would she even WANT to do that to you? So weird...

You should really call her and talk to her about it. Because if you call her on it every time, maybe she'll stop messing with you.

6:13 PM, December 30, 2005  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:34 PM, December 30, 2005  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

Since a couple of people have commented on my sister, and our relationship, I should explain a little more. We have a very complex relationship. I have almost blogged about it several times and surely will sometime in the future. But, I definitely stand up to her and what she did was less messing with me and more just sheer laziness in gift shopping AND trying to look better than me in my Mom's eyes. It really has more to do with what my parents thing of her and how she feels about herself, than her trying to get at me...although she managed to do that in the process. And, ironically, I think she actually did feel bad about that part in the end, though I didn't give a shit at that point.

Anyway, all of this is water under the bridge because I decided before we even went this year that this would be our last year to celebrate there. I like having Santa come to our house and only have a few years left to enjoy all of that with my kids.

7:35 PM, December 30, 2005  
Blogger Lisa said...

I've never heard the term gift-napped before, but I like it. It's happened a time or two with me and gifts I've given other people, but its usually a coincidence and not intentional like your sister. How mean!

11:06 PM, December 30, 2005  
Blogger scrappintwinmom said...

OOooh yea, that's happened before. I think your sister knows my sister. And you're not the only one with holiday dish...Here via Michele today.

12:26 AM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I can't see that this has happened to me, but I'd be very pissed if it had! Especially given that your sister knew what you had gotten..Forgot it? Well, it's possible, I suppose...but, not probable in this case...I don't mean to judge to harshly but...

I wanted to wish you a VERY VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR, and I hope 2006 is a wonderfully Healthy, Happy Year for you and yours!

12:47 AM, December 31, 2005  
Anonymous Andrew said...

I think the solution is that, from now on, tell your sister that you're getting your mom a Chia Pet. Then, when she slyly slips her Chia Pet gift on top of yours, you can just chuckle quietly to yourself, knowing that your gift is actually a DVD player.

Seriously, I agree with Lucinda. You should ask your sister about it, just to clear the air. If you leave things unsaid, it just causes resentment.

2:31 AM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger CISSY said...

Geez. I have that same sister! And, yes. She's done that to me at Mother's Day, Father's Day and other family events. We just don't ever tell her what we're really buying anyone anymore. I do like the Chia Pet idea though.

9:23 AM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger Karen Rani said...

That's never happened to me, nor would I do it. That sucks! I hope the rest of Christmas was good though!

9:24 AM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Uh, yeah I'm sure this has happened to me...when I was in Junior High!! And this is your sister??? I hope you didn't turn your back on her the entire time you were in your presence. Family - ain't they great?

10:38 AM, December 31, 2005  
Anonymous Angela said...

Oh my gosh! That's horrible! No, that's never happened to me and I've never done it--I would feel so horribly guilty...

Wow, well, I hope your holiday season improves and you have a happy New Year's Eve!

10:47 AM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

Lovin' the Chia Pet idea, Andrew. That's a winner! Oh yeah, and it is probably a good idea to talk to her about it all, sigh, I know. The Chia Pet is more fun to think about though...(grin)

1:32 PM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger Dipu said...

I'm much less optimistic (shockingly) about the "talk to her about it" plan, given her history with you. I'm sure she'll be all apologetic and promise not to do it again, and then "forget" and do something similar again. All I have to say about what she did is: Ugh.

4:49 PM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger Minnie said...

I wasn't gift-napped, but I was card-napped this year.

I made the mistake of telling my friend what we were doing for our Christmas card picture. Since she knows I'm a procrastinator, she quickly went home, COPIED my idea, and sent her cards out that week!!! WTF!!? Needless to say, I didn't come up with any other funny picture ideas because I was too mad, so I didn't get to send out cards this year. UGH!!!!

8:59 AM, January 06, 2006  

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