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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My rule of thumb when accepting gifts has pretty much always been to say "Thank you very much!" and to leave it at that. A gift is a gift.<br><br><br><br>
Last year, my mother-in-law (who "knows" I'm a vegan but still tends to ask me once in a while if I eat fish or chicken or if I can "cheat" on my "diet") presented me with berry scented bodywash and skin lotion that was animal testing free, but contained animal products. I said thank you and smiled. Christmas isn't the time to start nitpicking and such and a gift is a gift. The stuff has been on my shelf since then and only gets used by the spouse if we're out of our regular vegan stuff since the stuff we usually use is unscented and my spouse hates the berry smell of the products his mother purchased.<br><br><br><br>
This year, she asked him what she should get me for Christmas. He suggested a few things and mentioned to her that I don't use lotions or other products that contain animal ingredients. Her response to this was that she's not about to start reading every single ingredient on everything to try to find something that doesn't contain animal products and that she bought me something that was animal testing free again this year and if I "like it" fine, or if I don't, I just "don't have to use it".<br><br><br><br>
I'm thinking that this may have been a little defensive on her part. The thing is, it's one thing for me to smile and take something when I know that she may not have known better and to figure that a gift is a gift and that I should just shut my trap and accept it. What about when someone <i>does</i> know better and still gives you something that they <i>know</i> you won't use because you're ethically opposed to using animal products? Do I just shut up and take it and leave it at that until next year when it happens again?<br><br><br><br>
How would you deal with it?
 

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Well, I guess I would still take it, but I do think if they know and they aren't willing to buy you something you want, what's the point in them buying you a gift at all? You buy a gift bc the person will be happy about it, not just to go through the motions. There are lots of things to buy you.<br><br>
I wouldn't make a big deal, but maybe you could suggest to your husband to help her think of other gifts, like a book, or something from the health food store. Or even a gift certificate.
 

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What a *****. Sorry, but that really ticks me off. I would be livid. If she can't be bothered to read a few ingredients... for a gift for her son's wife... sheesh! I would tell your husband to tell her to either a) buy you a gift certificate to a bookstore or some place w/ no animal items b) enclose a gift receipt with the gift c) give you the cash or d) tell her that if she can't "handle it" then your husband will pick up an appropriate gift for her to give you and your mother-in-law can pay him back.<br><br><br><br>
If she buys you an inappropriate gift in the future, I would tell your husband to ask for the receipt so you can return/exchange it. Or just try to go exchange it for something else without the receipt. You have every right to do this with your mother-in-law. If it was someone else who really didn't know better, then I would say let it go. But she'll be giving you gifts years after year and it's her own damn fault that she's being such a pain in the ass about it.<br><br><br><br>
Sorry. This kind of thing really makes me MAD! (Taking a few deep breaths now. Ok, calming down. Ahhhh...)
 

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Knowing me, I would probably find out something she really dislikes and get it for her. i.e. - if she hates mustard, get her a mustard sampler.<br><br><br><br>
Ok, ok, I wouldn't do that. But wouldn't it be cool?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by PoesÃ*a</i><br><br><b>Knowing me, I would probably find out something she really dislikes and get it for her. i.e. - if she hates mustard, get her a mustard sampler.<br><br><br><br>
Ok, ok, I wouldn't do that. But wouldn't it be cool?</b></div>
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lol<br><br><br><br>
I'd do it.<br><br><br><br>
If she tries to avoid something, I'd get that. Then make sure she knows you can't read every damn ingredient either.<br><br><br><br>
Serious: You could try suggesting a few brand names of things you use. Then maybe instead of getting lotion from company A, she'll get it from company B.
 

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Really, what if you were kosher and she said, "well I am not going to take the time to look for the kosher symbol, or to make sure it's not pork."<br><br><br><br>
I like the mustard idea, too.
 

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I do a lot of "re-gifting;" i.e., giving the gift containing animal products to someone who isn't veg. I usually don't say anything unless it's something obviously not veg, like a can of spam.
 

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Maybe you should say that you are very sensitive to certain lotions (since she wouldnt understand anway), and that it would probably be better if she got you something like a picture frame, a movie, or a shirt.. that's probably what I would do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by Verbivore</i><br><br><b>I do a lot of "re-gifting;" i.e., giving the gift containing animal products to someone who isn't veg. I usually don't say anything unless it's something obviously not veg, like a can of spam.</b></div>
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Yep. Same here. *shrugs*
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by VeggieMonster</i><br><br><b>Maybe you should say that you are very sensitive to certain lotions (since she wouldnt understand anway), and that it would probably be better if she got you something like a picture frame, a movie, or a shirt.. that's probably what I would do.</b></div>
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Yeah, that's what I would do aswell.<br><br><br><br>
It certainly is very rude of her to continue to give you something when you have taken the time to inform her it goes against your wishes, but by the same token, creating family rifts, I feel, is never a good way to deal with a problem.<br><br><br><br>
First: Express your thanks for last years thoughtful gift, but reiterate that for this year maybe something else would be a better choice.<br><br><br><br>
Then try really hard to 'distract her'-- like why don't you get your hubby to back you up in saying, "Oh but Thalia REALLY REALLY wants this great book, she'd love that from you..." ?<br><br><br><br>
-Give her a good out.<br><br><br><br>
If all that fails this year, smile and say thank you (because in her own way she IS trying to be considerate), and then next year develop a mysterious rash!
 

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You should also try to consider whether it's at all an attempt on her part to be passive aggressive.<br><br><br><br>
My friend's stepmother screws her over every year, and it drives her mad. She's has politely made it clear, for, oh, the past 15 years that she HATES turkey, and every year she gets suckered into dinner at their place, where WITHOUT FAIL her step mother serves her:<br><br><br><br>
Turkey, STUFFING (which she also hates) AND cranberry sauce (which she can't stand)... and for a vegetable will often find something that Lisa hates as well- out of all the veggies out there!<br><br><br><br>
Then she piles it on the plate and says: "Don't be ridiculous, everyone likes turkey and stuffing!"<br><br><br><br>
Lisa tries to not go over for meals during the holidays, but if she doesn't they raise an even bigger stink about it, so she gets stuck going just to keep the peace.<br><br><br><br>
She's mentioned it nicely a million times, she's even gotten really impolite about it of late, and her Stepmother STILL does it every year. Lisa offers to bring something else along for everyone, and her SM says: "Oh don't worry dear, I'll make something special for you this year. I'll take care of it."<br><br><br><br>
But NO.
 

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THAT is some serious passive aggressive behaviour. YOUR spouse's mother may well be up to the same thing.
 

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My grandma used to try to get me to "try just a little bit because you love me".<br><br><br><br>
My responce was usually something along the line of, "I do love you Grandma, but please don't try and make me violated my values and beliefs to prove it to you". It usually worked.
 

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yup pretty much. my mom practically has a breakdown every time we get together for family holidays and birthdays, because i'm sooooooooo inconsiderate that i won't have turkey or a slice of birthday cake. a few times in the past since my going vegan, she's convinced me to have some dessert that wasn't vegan, but i've cut all that out of my diet now, i don't "cheat" anymore and she'll have to understand that this christmas.<br><br><br><br>
soooo that's why i'm doing all my own xmas baking, she always buys a huge platter of goodies, brownies and xmas cookies and things, for us to munch on xmas eve. so rather than feel guilty for turning down traditional xmas snacks, i'm just bringing my own veganized version of them.<br><br><br><br>
i'd say when your friend's step mother said not to bring food and she'd "take care of it" she should just take it upon herself to bring something anyways. i'm going to have to do a lot of arguing and convincing to be allowed to bring food to my bf's godparents' party on the 23rd, cause they always make a ton of food and don't let anyone bring anything other than wine. but what they make is a roast, AND a ham, and usually some other form of meat like ribs or seapie, and mashed potatoes made with milk and butter and veggies soaked in butter. oh and buns, with what to put on them? butter.<br><br><br><br>
so yeah i'm limited to, uh, wine. and even that may not be vegan <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":rolleyes:"> i may just eat before i go, which is what i did last year but i got hungry later during the party and didn't really enjoy myself as much as i could've. gifts there will be hard, it's a secret santa type thing where we pick a random gift under the tree without knowing who it's from, chances of me picking something unvegan are quite likely. though i think that happened last year and my bf was nice enough to switch gifts with me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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My family's pretty good about it. I leave them alone about their dietary choices, and they're good about making sure I have something I can eat when we have family events. I know if I made each meal into a heated debate, they would be much less likely to want to accomodate me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
His mom's actually a pretty self-absorbed person. Christmas is about <i>her</i>. If she's not happy, nobody else can be happy. What she gets seems to be more important than what she gives. It's always been that way. She's very childish.<br><br><br><br>
I won't say anything, of course. It's rude of her to more or less say "Well, there you go - you're stuck with what you get" when she knows better, but what's a gal to do?<br><br><br><br>
Maybe I'll sic Poesia on her. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Oh, dear. I fear my big mouth got the better of me. Rich and I have been very lucky in that our families really go out of their way to respect and support our beliefs (ok, except for one little two-hour screaming match with my mother over the wedding menu...) so I get very sensitive when other familes aren't as supportive.<br><br><br><br>
But I'll still sick 'er for 'ya if you need me to.
 

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My mother tells me that when I get married someday, she is going to be the model mother-of-the-bride and stay out of the arrangements as much as practical. She says that both her mother and mother-in-law were nightmare wedding planners (one's a control freak and the other's a worrywart), so she's determined not to wreck my wedding plans. She seems like the type that would understand me not wanting to serve meat and other animal foods at my wedding reception.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Tsila</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
...This year, she asked him what she should get me for Christmas. He suggested a few things and mentioned to her that I don't use lotions or other products that contain animal ingredients. Her response to this was that she's not about to start reading every single ingredient on everything to try to find something that doesn't contain animal products and that she bought me something that was animal testing free again this year and if I "like it" fine, or if I don't, I just "don't have to use it".<br><br><br><br>
I'm thinking that this may have been a little defensive on her part. The thing is, it's one thing for me to smile and take something when I know that she may not have known better and to figure that a gift is a gift and that I should just shut my trap and accept it. What about when someone <i>does</i> know better and still gives you something that they <i>know</i> you won't use because you're ethically opposed to using animal products? Do I just shut up and take it and leave it at that until next year when it happens again?<br><br><br><br>
How would you deal with it?</div>
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Asking an omni (assuming she is omni) to read the ingredient list for animal products on bath products is quite a daunting task. Most people don't even read the lists for things they eat, let alone what they wear and what few have actually done so know that there are a million names that only a chemist could understand so her defensive attitue was probably a way of saying "I'm not going there because I'm afraid/insecure/don't know what I'm looking for/afraid it will be all wrong" and no one wants to face that on the holidays because the holidays are stressful enough as it is.<br><br><br><br>
I like Avalon's idea of "distracting" her with ideas of other gifts that she can give. There are tons of things that mil can go with that wouldn't be out of vegan or problematic. Books, CDs, Movies, Software, Clothing, Gift Certificates are some of the things that hub can suggest to his mother (since she asked). If hubs is familiar with the good companies, he can also say to his mom "if you want to give her bath products this year, then give me the money, I'll do the reading and shopping for you, you can wrap it up and give it to Tsila and Tsila will think it's from you and she won't be the wiser about what happened..." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/deal2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":deal:"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sneaky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":shifty:"><br><br><br><br>
I wouldn't ask for the receipt for the item because a gift is a gift and to ask for the receipt is rude. Especially in the minds of older people who were taught to accept a gift with a "thank you" and don't say anything about wanting to exchange it (that's why some of them stick "bad gifts" in the closet or the basement and leave them there for decades...).
 

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I think I'd tell her once and then let it go. Trying to give her suggestions for gifts like books and movies is good.<br><br><br><br>
If she gives you un-vegan bath products again...smile, say thank you, and either regift it or donate it. A homeless shelter or a battered women's shelter would likely accept a donation of bath products.
 
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