I am the youngest of my siblings and the last to start a family. I always tried to be there for my nieces and nephews and bought gifts or gave them cash for their birthdays, Christmas, Easter, important milestones, and even when they lost their teeth. Now they are all grown, with the exception of one niece, and I only buy gifts for her. I am now married and have two children of my own. While one of my siblings is very generous toward my children, the other two are not. When they do give my children a gift, it’s at a fraction of the value of the gifts I gave theirs. On other occasions, they give nothing to my children. I am trying hard not to be petty and keep a ledger of what I gave, but it is becoming very hard for me to ignore this disparity.
I could understand my siblings giving less or nothing if their financial circumstances dictated it, but they are both comfortable. I have come to the realization that they are cheap. I have had many discussions with my wife about this and what we should do. Should I confront my siblings and tell them how I feel about their miserliness toward my children in relation to my generosity to theirs? Should I say nothing at all? Should I just tell my siblings that we will no longer give gifts to their children nor expect them to reciprocate with ours? I feel that in light of all the generosity that I have shown over the years, to have it rewarded with stinginess on their part is just a slap in the face.
—Dealing With Cheapskates