What I mean by saying that I lend money for gifts is that I would make the purchase of an item (say a joint gift between my brother and I for our mum, with the promise of having another person's share paid back to me. It's just rarely upheld. It has been the same for me asking for something for my Birthday- I would buy it using my card, being told I would be given the money for it in due course. I do believe the intention is there, but it just ends up not being feasible.
Yeah, it has been for vacation. Uusually only because said vacation has been in relation to a special occassion (e.g. so my mum could spend her Birthday in New York, and needed an early payment on her accomodation.) I'd have felt a bastard if I didn't...
No, I live in my own place. I don't even ask her to try and have any extra food about when I come back home to stay- I'll buy my own. I agree it would be different if I was living at home- I don't think I'd be in any real position to be requesting it.
I have approached both of them, several times in the past, with the offer of cancelling any debts between us, but have always been told 'no', that it will be getting paid back. I don't like the idea of turning down a family member's request for help (financial or otherwise,) which I guess is why I've kept lending or covering costs. I think I have mostly accepted that I will not see the majority of that money again, but part of me is worried about the conversation which will ensue when I refuse the next request for money.