Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

Do anyone elses parents try to out do them at Christmas?

(40 Posts)

My parents help a lot in some ways but they always seem intent on buying the biggest and most presents than me at Christmas and as grateful as I am it drives me nuts.

They also manage to get out of sen dd her main big present wish and buy it before I've had chance.

So this year dd will have four small cheapish presents from me plus a more expensive one as her main present as that's all I can afford and at least twelve from my parents including EVERYTHING She has asked for. I'm very grateful they help but it makes me feel awful when grandmas pile is huge and they've got her all the things she's asked for and mine are just add ons bought for the sake of getting something.

I have tried talking to them but it made no difference.

Cosmostocupcakes Sat 01-Dec-12 10:17:32

I wouldn't mind at all - my family only see my children a few times a year as we live abroad and I don't work so anything that they get given is things that "I" would like to buy but can't afford too, of course they get lovely things from us - mainly through the year and are rather spoilt but I think it's one of the things about having grandchild - treating them to what they want! And if they can afford to and enjoy it - why not! wink

omletta England Fri 30-Nov-12 20:44:45

Sounds very controlling to me. I sympathise.

MsHighwater Fri 30-Nov-12 20:39:37

I tends to agree that it sounds calculated, the way you describe it. You said you had spoken to them. What did you say and how did they respond?

fourbears Fri 30-Nov-12 20:34:00

You're a better woman than me then wink

apostropheuse Fri 30-Nov-12 20:31:51

No fourbears I wouldn't. Really.

fourbears Fri 30-Nov-12 20:29:48

To all of those saying 'oh, it's fine, should be grateful, doesn't matter' etc. Would you really not mind your thunder being stolen year after year? Really?

apostropheuse Fri 30-Nov-12 20:17:28

I tend to think that they're doing it with the best of intentions. It sounds like they know you don't have a lot of money, so they buy the stuff to take the pressure off you.

I think you should tell your daughter that granny and granda buy these things because they can afford to and they know that you really want to buy them for her, but just can't afford everything she wants. Tell her they're the ones buying the stuff to help you, her mummy, out. Mummy, granda and granny all love DD so much that they want her to be happy and have the presents she wants.

You could go on to explain in terms that she would understand that the things you buy her are very important to you because it took you as much work to get them as it took granny and granda to get theirs. (Because of the difference in disposable incomes).

reallifegetsintheway Fri 30-Nov-12 20:15:34

I have this with my parents too. DD wanted a nintendo DS last year- they bought it but didn't come over till about 11o'clock to give it to her. She couldn't open the main thing she wanted on Christmas morning.

Have similar dilema this year. We are going to in-laws and my parents won't give their gift till 26/27th. I am reluctant to allow them to buy 'top' gift again.

Partly I think they can afford to splash out big but part of me thinks granny (especially) likes the glory.....

iago Fri 30-Nov-12 20:05:17

Mix up all the presents under the tree and hand them out at random. They won't remember who gave what - as I don't as an adult at our family Christmas dos! (Alcohol may be involved!) Save a present from you for later when all the excitement has died down, perhaps days later: a colouring book or similarly low priced item may hit the spot. What about a jigsaw to do together? Biggest doesn't mean best. Be thankful that your parents have saved you a shedload of money on 'stuff' and think of what is really important for your children that you can provide.

ImperialBlether England Fri 30-Nov-12 20:04:51

I agree with fourbears and I'd be reluctant to have them over for Christmas, too.

fourbears Fri 30-Nov-12 20:02:47

I would be so cross about this in your shoes! I would have had a blazing row with them by now, so you've been very sweet about it. If it is a case of wanting to help financially, they could just give you the money!

What I would do is tell them exactly how it makes you feel, in no uncertain terms, with some tears if you can to get the message across. They sound well-meaning but that doesn't mean they are doing the right thing. I think some grandparents want the chance to be the parents again. Hope you can get it sorted x

lovebunny Fri 30-Nov-12 19:55:07

your parents are rude.
they should defer to you automatically, because you are your daughter's mum.
their presents should never match or outdo yours, and you should be consulted before they are bought.
i'm sorry. i didn't bring them up, or they should have known. wink

I have no intention of taking MIL on in the present stakes. She is going to completely overspend on our Dd's (her only grandchildren) and a tiny bit of me is of course snarked, but at the end of the day, it's brilliant. It's not a competition & she has a knack for getting exactly the right things, so I just go along with it and am genuinely grateful.

ImperialBlether England Fri 30-Nov-12 19:46:53

Next Christmas I'd say, "She was saying she would love a new bed/wardrobe/sofa/room decorated" so they can go to town and get her something that's useful.

Are they asking her rather than you what she wants?

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Fri 30-Nov-12 14:57:59

I think they are doing it with good intentions but I agree with you that it would be much better if you could also get your DD some of the things she really wants. I think a frank discussion with parents saying what you want to do and setting a limit on what they do is in order.

Cosmostocupcakes Fri 30-Nov-12 14:49:47

Reading what you've responded I think the reason they are doing it is not to out do you but they think they are helping you so that financially you don't struggle/overspend/worry for the sake of one day - I know my parents do this (worry and spoil!)

wink

LaQueen Thu 29-Nov-12 10:07:56

I agree QLB it's actually very rude, and selfish in a way.

6 weeks ago, I mentioned to MIL that DD2 really wanted the Lego Friends stables for Xmas, and that we would probably get her that. A few days later I get a phone call from MIL telling me she has bought it for DD2 'because I was in Argos anyway, and I just thought it would be easy'.

Yep...easy for you MIL. Tha's great hmm

Now, I'm back to the drawing board, wondering what to get DD2 for Xmas.

QuickLookBusy Wed 28-Nov-12 19:52:03

Gosh, so DD tells your parents what you are buying, then the next day they go and buy it? I'd be livid, it's just rude.

Don't tell them anything in future and dont tell DD. If they ask what you're getting her, say your not sure, or make something up! Only tell them when you've actually bought the present.

deste Wed 28-Nov-12 19:31:03

If I had grandchildren I would probably do the same but the reason I would do it is so that you could keep your money and buy something you need. I wouldn't think of it as a competition.

MamaBear17 Wed 28-Nov-12 18:50:02

I think you should talk to your parents again. I would find it annoying if I were you too. It is nice that they want to spoil her, but I think sometimes GPs need to take a back seat and let the parents have the limelight in their kids eyes for a while.

I think thats probably the case girly, like I said I am very grateful but just once I would like to hear dd say "ohh thanks mummy thats just what I wanted thanks so much" to ME and not Grandparents. blush

Its just quite demoralising when your child puts your presents to one side because they are boring compared to what GP gets them and then asks you why GP always gets her the stuff she wants and not you.

She is not being rude, just her autism makes things black and white.

LaQueen Wed 28-Nov-12 13:54:12

For the third year in a row, in September, MIL has asked the DDs what they most want for Xmas...and has bought it them.

This isn't because she's especially generous. It's just that she hates having to think of what to buy (zero imagination) and just wants to do whatever makes her life easier.

So, three years in a row the DD's most favourite, most longed for pressie has come from MIL...

Sigh...

No, my DS doesnt have any grandparents....I would love it he had someone trying to outdo me!

girlywhirly Wed 28-Nov-12 13:48:11

Do you think your parents are trying to make up for the fact that only you and they give DD gifts?

Do you do a stocking? Could you specify to your parents one large and four other presents from them and the same from you, labelled who they're from, and any other small things they buy go unlabelled into the stocking? They are just from you and GP's together. As long as you can stop your mum saying 'oh, that's from me' or 'that's from Grandad and me" as DD unwraps them!

I should have known though. When dd was born I had chosen and put a deposit on a pram and cot while mum was there and she prefered another one, the week after they turned up with her prefered pram and cot!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now