The family in question have an annual Christmas gift exchange, just between the adults, once the kids have gone to bed. Family members have the option to chip in $20 towards each family member and everyone puts suggestion on a Google document of things they might like to receive.
This year, most of the family chose to get involved, including the woman’s brother and sister-in-law, who mysteriously requested to go last in the exchange.
“When it came to swapping presents, my sister-in-law Kelsey and brother Kyle asked to go last as they had something special they wanted everyone to open together,” she wrote on Reddit’s AITA forum.
When everyone opened the gifts from Kelsey and Kyle they all turned out to be a sonogram picture “in a cheap dollar store frame,” alongside a note which read: “$35 has been donated to the baby in your name,” and an XL t-shirt with “BABY BELLA 2022” painted on it.
“We all said congrats about the baby and talked about if for a bit. My Dad then said, ‘Do you want to finish the exchange? This is great news, but we have to be heading home so if you want to get the rest of the presents,’ and Kelsey responded, ‘That is the gift’,” she continued.
Her brother then got up to go to the bathroom and her dad followed him out into the hallway where they had an argument, prompting Kyle to storm out and Kelsey to follow.
The woman’s dad then told everyone:”Everyone can take their gifts back for Kyle and Kelsey, because this is bullshit, and they knew exactly what they were doing.”
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A few people did exactly that, while others just sat around until things calmed down, then headed home. Two days later, Kyle turned up with a ‘real’ present and apologised for everything, before telling his sister:Kelsey has been crying about it for days now, so thank Dad for ruining the surprise.”
He then turned to his sister and asked if she liked the gift, to which she said no. When he asked why not, she explained: “Well, everyone else got you a real present, with thought put into it. You didn’t even get me a shirt that fit, that was printed professionally, and then spent the majority of the money on yourself. It felt cheap and ruined the spirit of the exchange.”
Her brother then called her an a**hole and left, prompting her to turn to Reddit to question whether others thought she was in the wrong for giving her honest opinion on their baby announcement.
“How is it considered appropriate to gift oneself the money that was supposed to be spent on gifts for others?” one Reddit user asked. “Dad was correct in that it was a bulls*** move by Kyle and Kelsey but think he went about it in the wrong way.”
Another added: “Your dad could have maybe reacted a bit more calmly while still stern, but it sounds like this wasn’t the first time they did that. Community gift exchanges come with rules, they did not follow the ones you guys set up and tried to wiggle themselves out of this – ruining their own surprise here.
“You were being honest, not malicious. They cheaped out on the gift and if it was an issue with affording it, they shouldn’t have signed up in the first place – at this point they were just scamming for gifts.”
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