Christmas gifts

Most of us who recovered with AA's program did so with the help of a "sponsor". But what is sponsorship? How do I get one? Who can be a sponsor? What makes a good sponsor?

Christmas gifts

Postby Grateful2bhere » Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:25 pm

I moved to a new area last year and sponsor 5 women. Where I came from, we did not exchange Christmas gifts....but today I over heard someone talking about buying a xmas present for her sponsee's kids. That made me wonder if I may be expected to buy gifts for my sponsees. I have no problem doing this.....but I don't want my sponsees to feel obligated to buy me something or feel awkward if I give them a gift and they don't have something for me. And I'd feel awkward if my sponsees give me something and I don't have a gift for them. Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Christmas gifts

Postby positrac » Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:22 am

Slippery slope topic IMHO: See if you speak up and say no because of personal ethics, and or just that weird expectation of obligation and someone gets hurt over this; then you are in a jam and if you oblige then it is expected forever and then that might become a issue down the road.

So for me I would suggest that you rather stay out of that arena. You know the next question is---> Why? Just rather not and leave it be as it does say a lot about you and your position on sponsoring these ladies. At work the ladies do a lot of nice stuff and rope us guys into areas I'd rather stay out of and I do because it is not comfortable for "me" So in closing ground rules are important because I am a drunk and I am looking for a easier softer way...... Just saying go with what feels right. Guys perspective. :roll:
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Re: Christmas gifts

Postby Spirit Flower » Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:22 am

No, don't buy anything. You are the sponsor, not the friend.

But a middle way might be to get a card and give them the gift of a few words for their journey. And if while giving the card you explain your not material gift position then all will be good.
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Re: Christmas gifts

Postby Brock » Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:51 am

Always seems to be a 'ticklish' problem these gifts. I sometimes find it difficult to figure out lessons I have learned from AA, versus lessons I just learned from living a relatively long time. But whatever way I learned it, the practice of being more frank and open is serving me well.

It seems hard to do, but if in conversation you say just like in your post, 'where I used to live we didn't buy each other gifts, but I don't know how you do things, to save any embarrassment I would like to know how you feel.' It looks kind of rude or 'crass' when written like that, but in my experience the other person would be most relieved even if they don't say so, just like you they probably aren't sure which way to go.

Also, it may still happen that we get a gift from someone we didn't buy one for, as you say we feel awkward, but a simple 'how nice of you, I wasn't expecting anything and am afraid I didn't get anything for you,' works wonders. We aren't kids who will go away thinking I gave her something and she didn't give me anything, but like I say it's one of those 'ticklish' little social problems, best of luck with a happy and joyous outcome.

PS. I didn't notice Spirit's post before I posted this, some good ideas there as well I think.
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Re: Christmas gifts

Postby Grateful2bhere » Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:56 am

Thanks so much. These are great suggestions :D
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Re: Christmas gifts

Postby tomsteve » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:18 am

" Your thoughts would be appreciated."
10th step as simple as I can make it:
check my motives.
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Re: Christmas gifts

Postby Blue Moon » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:17 am

Grateful2bhere wrote:That made me wonder if I may be expected to buy gifts for my sponsees.

If invited to l someone's home for dinner, some sort of side-dish or dessert is appropriate. I may give a card when someone is celebrating x years. Otherwise, no. My status as a sponsor is to offer 1 gift: sobriety. If / when becoming friends with sober people, I could exchange gifts etc., but this has nothing to do with AA or sponsorship at that point.
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Re: Christmas gifts

Postby rose753 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:38 am

Hey,

I think you should buy gifts for sponsees ,your sponsees will feel better . Only your mentality that they will feel awkward ,I mean getting gifts from anyonefeel everyone special . So i think you should give them gifts:)
Thnakyou !
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Re: Christmas gifts

Postby Brock » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:37 pm

Welcome to e-AA Rose, and thanks for reviving an older Christmas topic.

I expect it’s a personal thing and depends on how we go about being a sponsor, some may sponsor in a businesslike manner, and just stick to the job of suggesting to a sponsee how to go about the steps. Others might become friends with the sponsee, and then a gift might be appropriate, it’s one of those AA things which don’t seem to have any guidelines.
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Re: Christmas gifts

Postby Todd M » Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:21 pm

When I arrived to AA I started with one group, a fairly large group with 4 meetings a day 7 days a week. There were over 150 members that filled out an index card and put it in the box, considering themselves a home group member.

When the holiday season arrived we tied a large heavy string across a wall. Thanksgiving and Christmas cards, in envelopes, were loosely taped to it. Anyone who cared to add a card to the string would do so. That first year I received many cards from various members, people who I had no idea were following my progress. This I believe was very critical for my feeling to be a part of the group, a new family. The tradition continues today. I think it’s very important for members to feel a sort of peace with their home group. Cards are not expensive; I can get a box of 12 at the dollar store.

During that first year working with my sponsor I told him how I felt about how I had disconnected from my family. To change, he suggested, I begin sending cards to my family for holidays and birthdays etc… This was a great start a reconnection with family and the world I had withdrawn from for so many years.

Each action I took with encouragement from my sponsor and things I learned in meetings, I believe I have become a better person.
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