After getting pretty peeved at MIL ignoring me regarding too many presents for Christmas I have been meaning to start a thread about this. What do you do and what are your thoughts on grandparents getting your kids too much for Christmas/birthdays and also ignoring your wishes on it?
MIL emailed a few weeks ago asking for gift ideas, I replied that I thought she had already given DS1 a gift, so did she want just a suggestion for DS2. She replied, 'oh yes I forgot, just a couple small ideas so they have something to open on the day.' I thought I was being considerate replying with a few options for her to choose from, I gave two 'bigger' ideas to be a joint gift for both DSes since we really don't need anything specifically for ds2. And then I gave smaller ideas for each boy, my intention being she either got one joint gift OR a small present each. She replied that she would get one joint gift AND a present each. I replied that that was super generous of her but they really want for nothing and DS1's birthday is a few weeks after Christmas when he will be getting more so please either just the joint gift or just one small gift each. Fast forward a couple days later and DH tells me that she bought everything... I'm genuinely so annoyed, I replied so politely and clear that it was too much and she full on ignored me. The gifts have arrived and I have decided we will just give them the joint gift and save the other two for another time or their birthday, haven't told her this yet. So wwyd?
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12-12-2016 18:58 #1
WWYD about grandparents going overboard with gifts
12-12-2016 19:07 #2
to be honest - I would give them the gifts.
it is hard. My daughter gets soooo much - she is the only young grandchild (other grandkids but all older/adults) for both grandparents - and my sisters (3) all go overboard as well.
BUT ... its their grandchild, and at some point you have to let them be grandparents. you have to let them spoil the grandchild if that is what they want to do.
I have ask the last couple of years (and again this year) for the grandparents and aunties to buy DD an activity rather than a toy. So movie tickets or take her to a show, bowling, mini gold, adventure world ... something they can take her to or if they cant that I can.
I am over all the 'stuff' ... but you also need to let them do things for them. Even if its not what you would prefer
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12-12-2016 19:10 #3Senior Member
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It really makes me mad when mil gives my kids 20 separately wrapped parcels for Christmas.
Firstly Because she gives them so much more than we do. Secondly because we don't need all that stuff and third because it's normally crappily made stuff that breaks in 2 days time and she gets cranky with them for breaking it.
12-12-2016 19:12 #4
It's tough isn't it. I don't want to take away their joy of giving but at the same time I only have so much space in my house and my daughter only has so much time to play with the 5 million toys she already has.
Maybe let her go this year, but let her know after Christmas that you're disappointed that she didn't follow your requests. You could delegate that discussion to your hubby (as long as he says WE are disappointed and OUR request!) to avoid the awkwardness, depending on your relationship with your MIL. Make it clear that you don't want that many toys for future events.
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12-12-2016 19:12 #5
12-12-2016 19:15 #6
Just keep being clear about your preferences - if MIL chooses to go against your wishes then it's up to you what happens with the gifts.
You don't have to keep them all - you could donate to a wishing tree or similar?
It's one of those 'pick your battles' situations - I don't think this is worth getting too firm about. She's just excited and wants to give your children a nice Xmas. Her heart is in the right place and she means no harm.
12-12-2016 19:18 #7
It's difficult. Maybe knowing they have a tendency to go overboard, offer one suggestion for each DS. If you're pressed for more, be gracious but firm. "It's really kind of you but we're trying to limit the amount of stuff/clutter/gifts/whatever the kids get.
Or better yet, say that what your DS's would enjoy most is not more stuff but more memories and suggest she think of some options of activities she could do with your boys as a special Nan and grandkids activity - providing you're ok with that of course. Or something you could all do together.
That may make her feel like she's still spoiling them but they don't end up with "stuff".
I can understand not wanting to go overboard. DS had his second birthday in September. 3 presents in and he got bored. It took us two weeks to get through the unwrapping. He wants for nothing.
This year he's getting a balance bike, a book, an outfit and some new boots like Daddy's. I don't care if anyone thinks I'm being stingy.
12-12-2016 19:19 #8
It has taken me a few years to just accept that it brings grandparents joy to be able to spoil their grandchildren.
My dh's family refuse to listen to suggestions on gifts so we have the problem of double or triple ups and it drives me crazy.
So now all I do is happily accept the gifts and say thank you instead of talking to a brick wall I will put those extra toys in a cupboard until they are forgotten about and I either go on a charity site I like and donate the gifts to children with nothing or a few months down the track I tell mil that we have done a clean out and she can have so new toys at her house for the kids to play with. (I realise the second part you cant actually do) but I would just re- gift or donate to those in need. Especially in the lead up to christmas charities are always asking for gifts to give children.
12-12-2016 19:20 #9
I'm not too fussed about Xmas etc the whole 'I have to buy it'
So I tell them what we would like and then I get something small
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12-12-2016 19:22 #10
WWYD about grandparents going overboard with gifts
I should add there are a couple reasons it bothers me.
1) the blatantly ignoring my email, she's been doing stuff like this a lot lately so my frustration is just building.
2) the amount of money she regularly spends on us/them makes me really uncomfortable. It is often way too much and it ends up making you feel like you can never say no to her about certain things because 'she's so generous.'
3) my parents can't afford to spoil the boys the way she does. I'm not saying it should be perfectly even, or they should spend the same amount or anything like that. More just be conscious about not going overboard when you know the other grandparents can't. Maybe that's not really that big of a deal but it just seems like a considerate thing to do in my eyes.
4) I just don't want the boys to constantly be getting too much stuff, I'm worried what type of message it's sending. After the thread a few weeks ago about what are we getting our kids I realized we should tone it down so have gone back to the original plan of something to wear, something to read, something they want, something they need.
Last edited by HollyGolightly81; 12-12-2016 at 20:40.
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