Child holding Christmas gift box.
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Reddit Sides With Single Dad Who Refuses To Wrap Ex's Christmas Gifts For 6-Year-Old

“She tells-not asks-me to wrap it, put her name on it and buy a card.”

Trying to navigate the holidays can be especially challenging for single parents, especially if there’s tension between the separated parents as there appears to be in this situation on Reddit. A 26-year-old single dad has sole custody of his son, and is wondering whether or not he should set some boundaries with his son’s mother at Christmas time. Specifically when it comes to the matter of gift wrapping. Is he responsible for wrapping the presents she buys their child? According to folks on Reddit’s “Am I The A**hole,” nope, he is not.

In his viral Reddit post, the dad in question shared details about his relationship with his 6-year-old son’s mom. He explained that he is responsible for the “day-to-day” care of their son, including school, doctor’s appointments, soccer, etc. According to him, his ex has said she has “no interest” in pitching in, and has a history of only sending their son gifts sporadically.

“If she does send a gift, she tells-not asks-me to wrap it, put her name on it and buy a card,” the original poster explained. “I did in the beginning until this past birthday. [Their son] is learning how to read and asked why his mom’s card looked the same as mine. I just said that I was helping his mom out. But that made me realize how much labor I was doing for [his mom].”

When it came to this Christmas, the single dad explained, when she told him she was sending their son gifts but told him to buy a card and wrap them for her, he put his foot down. “I told her no, put some effort in and just wrap them as well as write a card herself or at least just put a gift tag. But if she doesn’t, I’ll just give them to [my son] as is on Christmas morning and say they’re from mommy. I don’t think he’ll care that they’re unwrapped. He’ll be happy just to get what he wanted.”

She ignored this request and sent the gifts unwrapped. “I put them in the closet and plan to put them out as is on Christmas morning. [His ex] texted me a reminder to wrap them and I said ‘I already told you what I was doing. I’m done doing all the work for you. If you wanted to put in the effort, you could.’” She got upset with him and hung up, and now he is wondering if he should just wrap the gifts for his son.

Redditors are backing him up. “Stop doing her parenting. Give the gifts to your son and tell him where they came from. If he asks about the wrapping be honest. Your mom didn’t wrap them before mailing them, so they aren’t wrapped. It’s an honest, age appropriate response,” wrote one user.

“Your son is so lucky to have a daddy like you. Don’t wrap them, if it was so easy why didn’t she do it herself? If you do, your son will notice nevertheless that mommy makes no effort, kids are smart,” another added.

This person had a suggestion for the single dad. “Go to the Dollar store and get a big, plastic Santa sack. Put all her gifts in there. You do minimum work with minimum effort and [your son] still gets to ‘open’ gifts from her.”

Co-parenting is not easy at Christmas, and sometimes it’s difficult to know the difference between setting healthy boundaries and being petty because of your own complicated emotions. Asking for advice, even from strangers on Reddit, is not the worst idea in the world to help get you through.