to think it is strange to change someone's present?

(93 Posts)
JaneFonda Tue 05-Feb-13 18:36:27

I'll try to keep this as simple as possible, without giving away too many details.

For Christmas, MIL and FIL suggested getting something quite expensive for DS1's Christmas present. He would have absolutely loved it, and would have had many years of use out of it. Because it was quite expensive, me and DP offered to pay some of it, but instead they suggested having it as a joint birthday/Christmas present. I thought this was a great idea, then it was 100% from them IYSWIM, and the price was then okay for a birthday and Christmas present combined.

The present wasn't to arrive until around January/February time, but DS was absolutely fine with that, as he knew it was worth waiting for.

However, this evening, they phoned us up to say that they had got DS a violin for the present instead. Which, while lovely, is not something that DS has shown interest in, or said he wanted as a present.

I am genuinely prepared to accept IABU, by the way, I don't want to seem ungrateful but I am a little upset for DS. I know that finances aren't a problem for them (we would have happily paid towards it anyway), so AIBU to think that this is strange of them?

garlicblocks Tue 05-Feb-13 23:44:52

They're being very strange and unreasonable! They gave a violin to a child who doesn't play and isn't learning - and now they're going on about how valuable it is?! What do they expect him to do with it, put it in a glass case and think about how much it's worth? confused

My grandparents gave me genuinely valuable gifts at 8yo, which of course I went on to break, lose and trade for stickers. For a long time I felt very guilty about this, whereas they were the daft ones for giving such things to kids. So the gift they gave me was ... guilt.

With DS's permission, sell the violin.

EndoplasmicReticulum Tue 05-Feb-13 23:45:35

They are being mean. Or at best thoughtless. You don't buy a violin for a child who has not previously shown any interest unless you are trying to annoy his parents. It will hurt your ears. (ex violin player)

RafflesWay Tue 05-Feb-13 23:47:21

Your poor little DS and what a sweetheart for the way he behaved in the circumstances Jane. However I definitely feel your OH needs to be having a word with his parents about this and find out what is the reason for the change of original promise. Very poor behaviour by them IMO. I think it would be far better to explain "diplomatically" how unsuitable the violin would be for all reasons stated on here rather than trying to sell it behind their back which could lead to a tremendous feud as they are bound to ask about it. Far better to be upfront on this occasion I feel. If they insist on still giving the violin as the gift then they have no reason to complain at all when it just ends up in a cupboard. Then perhaps in a year or so you could ask them if they would allow you to sell it to fund something of more use to ds. In the meantime if you can afford to fund the tennis club membership I would do so as i strongly feel your ds truly deserves it.

garlicblocks Tue 05-Feb-13 23:47:52

No, Clytaemnestra's suggestion is better grin

Pandemoniaa Tue 05-Feb-13 23:49:42

That's an extraordinarily weird thing to do. Positively malign in fact since you don't tell a child to expect one thing and then buy them something that's about as far different from the original present as you can get.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Tue 05-Feb-13 23:49:47

YANBU. That's massively strange.

CuriousMama Tue 05-Feb-13 23:53:51

Very odd I'd sell violin.

catladycourtney1 Tue 05-Feb-13 23:58:36

Damn someone beat me to it, I was going to say let him use it as a tennis racket smile

But seriously, that is very odd. And I'm 99% sure they will have got it for free - it would take a serious arse to actually spend good money on such a pointless present. Maybe they decided they couldn't afford what they'd promised, but were too embarrassed to say so or ask you if you wouldn't mind chipping in after all?

deleted203 Wed 06-Feb-13 00:15:17

I think this is awful, TBH. You don't promise a child something they are looking forward to and then replace it with a bizarre gift like this one! Your DS was very polite, bless him. I would get DH to phone and tell them that you are upset that DS was promised tennis membership and that he was really excited about it. Point out that it is surreal to decide that someone else's child should learn a particular musical instrument and go out and buy them one - and also that you can't afford violin lessons. Neither does DS want them. (And believe me, as the mother of a child who actually took lessons at primary school you don't want to be encouraging any violin practice grin).

I think it would be perfectly reasonable to say, given that they had promised to go halves with you on tennis club membership that you would prefer to stick to the original agreement.

And I wouldn't be too worried about offending them. They weren't too worried about offending you.

adeucalione Wed 06-Feb-13 07:03:36

Is it possible that they felt even slightly cajoled into paying for the tennis club membership, and really would have preferred to buy a wrappable gift?

Or that your DS has at any time confided in them that he doesn't really enjoy tennis and/or would really love to learn an interest? Or expressed any envy for a friend who is learning an instrument?

If not, they are being VU indeed.

theoriginalandbestrookie Wed 06-Feb-13 07:51:27

Tell them you have checked and you can't afford violin lessons particularly as you are now having to pay for tennis membership, please do contact them. They are being mean to your son. don't ever let them discuss presents in the future stop them and say you don't want to build your son's hopes up unnecessarily.

theoriginalandbestrookie Wed 06-Feb-13 07:55:52

Yes Bitesthetopoff clingfilm - and my mum kept asking me if I had that type of clingfilm already, bless. But they are generous in other ways and we can afford the Disney tickets so its not like they were blasting DS's dreams. Just slightly annoying as we'd worked our budget around the tickets.

Sorry for slight derail.

Oh and music lessons are v expensive. I'm sure they were around the £20 a half hour mark when I was young, which wasn't today or yesterday.

Pagwatch Wed 06-Feb-13 08:02:58

I think you son is fab. To have thanked the politely when he must have been disappointed is very gracious and well mannered of him.

I agree witheveryone else who has said that you must have a conversation with them and say that a violin will be of no use unless you an afford to pay for lessons - which of course you can't or you and ds wouldn't have been so grateful fr the offer of tennis lessons.

I am tryingto think that they maybe felt it was such a brilliant gift in they we can sometimes. If it is a thing they see as fabulous thy may lack the sense/ability to see that your son might view it differently. Butit is bizarre and unkind when ds was told that he was getting tennis lessons.

jumpingjackhash Wed 06-Feb-13 08:06:13

How about getting your son to practise at your ILs' place? That'll teach them.

Thumbwitch Wed 06-Feb-13 08:06:25

I'm going with the "sell it" option as well. Once it's given to your DS, it's his to do with as he pleases - and he wants the tennis club membership so he can use the violin to fund that.

Apart from anything else, you don't give a valuable violin to a small boy who has never played it and has no interest in it - you give valuable violins to children who have some aptitude for the instrument!

I agree with:
• it's probably been given to them (in which case, HOW tight? to give it as a joint birthday and Christmas present!)
• they are thoughtless arses that don't actually care about your DS or his feelings
• it's really off to let him think he was getting tennis club membership and then replace it with something he neither wanted nor needed

Your DS, btw, is a little star for keeping his manners when talking to them.

RainbowSpiral Wed 06-Feb-13 18:10:10

My parents do stuff like that re changing presents once they are promised. They also don't consider lessons, memberships etc to be proper presents and buy things kids don't want instead. Its all very annoying as they are very rich.

A violin without violin lessons is not much use.

Pandemoniaa Wed 06-Feb-13 18:17:26

A violin without violin lessons is not much use.

But it makes an excellent instrument of torture for the whole family, doesn't it? Which makes me wonder just how many ulterior motives are behind this unexpected change of present.

Kafri Wed 06-Feb-13 18:24:52

That's very random - I play tennis and i'd be gutted if someone decided to swap a present for a violin and i'm supposed to be a grown up. A violin of all things?? What on earth posessed them?

I'm with hissy - have it valued and trade sell it towards tennis club!

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