My first MIL thread - stockings for DCs

(100 Posts)
ceeveebee Tue 24-Dec-13 22:02:33

Go gentle on me - I genuinely am not sure if I'm being unreasonable here
Am staying at PILs for Xmas at their insistence- I'd have been quite happy to stay at home tbh

We have 2 yo (just turned 2) DTs who don't really "get" the whole Christmas thing yet - only saw Santa for the first time yesterday, don't really know much about what Santa is supposed to do/be etc.

MIL just told me she has had two personalised stockings made with their names on and has filled them with little presents, all from them, and wants to put them in their cots. Now of course I appreciate the fact they've bought presents for them but really, I would have liked to arrange their first stockings myself (next year, when I think they'll be ready). And we have been here for the last 3 days and this has just been mentioned now when it's clearly been planned for a while. Never asked me whether I was doing stockings myself.

I said no, they can open them downstairs with their other presents when we've all got up. They sleep really well and I have to wake then at 8 each morning so why risk them rolling onto their stockings and waking up early. And on their birthday 4 weeks ago I had to sit there and help open all presents as they just weren't that bothered.

Don't want to drip feed so will declare now that this is not the first time I have felt my toes being trodden on -I could give a long list but don't want to seem bitter

Am I being precious? DH couldn't care less btw

Changebagsandtinselrags Tue 24-Dec-13 22:46:55

My dad's partner made personalised stockings for our DC last year. They already had their own stockings at home (just generic shop bought ones).

When we got to Dad's on Christmas day last year they were presented with them. I think they mostly had sweets in and small toys.

But they are so lovely.

We ditched the stockings we had and used the personalised ones this year. They're so excited, and my youngest is a similar age to what yours will be next year.

So, think of these as stockings they will use over and over. OK, they are too young this year, but next year is THE year. Your MIL would be so touched if they went on using them.

But yes, not in the cot. By the fireplace where they should be.

Santa goes to EVERYBODY'S house - trying to pretend otherwise will make things difficult for you later. Christmas is exciting and lovely enough for children to believe everything, even if it appears contradictory. No need to over-complicate it.

sarine1 Tue 24-Dec-13 22:49:36

How wonderful for your children to have a loving grandparent to do this for them. The stockings can be used for years. My daughter would love to have her grandmother still around to fill her stocking - she died a good few years ago but daughter still has the hand made stocking that I can fill.
What a lovely addition to your family's christmas.

Bumbolina Tue 24-Dec-13 22:53:56

Remus - I meant it slightly differently.. of course Santa goes to all houses but why would he deliver presents for my Dcs to a house they don't live at?

Because if you tell them that, it means you don't have to manufacture a load of hoo-har about santa only giving x and y. If santa delivers everything, he can deliver it to grandma's house or wherever. And then the dc get lots of lovely deliveries, all over the country. smile

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 24-Dec-13 22:57:10

Yabu.

Changebagsandtinselrags Tue 24-Dec-13 23:18:23

Example: DS1's tooth fell out ten day he was going to a sleepover at grans. He left the tooth under his pillow here and the TF paid up here. However, she also paid up at gran's despite no tooth.

He goes on all the time about the time he got double. Santa etc delivers anywhere he thinks you might pick up. A bit like click and collect...sometimes you end up with two fridges...

DeWe Tue 24-Dec-13 23:30:39

I wouldn't put presents into a cot with children, even of that age.

However mine were certainly aware of Christmas at 2yo. Dd1's birthday is the beginning of November. So she was nearly 14 months for her second Christmas.
About her second birthday, we hadn't talked about Christmas, but we got a catalogue through the door and she saw a photo of a Christmas tree. Well, she set off on "oh we had a Christmas tree last year, it went there, my stocking is red and It was on my windowsill and... " lots more stories that she had clearly remembered from the last Christmas as no one would have told her, nor had we photos.

I do think that it is a parent's job to do stockings, but maybe she'd picked up you weren't doing stockings so thought you wouldn't mind?

My mil produced a (small) bag full of little presents she wanted to go in the stocking the first time we stayed with them-I think dd1 was either 2yo or 3yo. I wasn't terribly happy, because firstly, I'd done quite a full stocking and didn't really feel she needed more, but mostly that the presents were clearly from her (she uses one set of wrapping paper for all, and had written her name on each present in her beautiful, but very distinctive, writing) so would have stood out in the stocking.
What I did was say that was very kind, could we put them in a little gift bag next to the bed and she could open them first in grandma's room before the stocking.
That worked very well for all of us. And, as I expected, dd1 took one look at the presents and knew immediately they were from grandma, so was thanking her all over the shop, which meant grandma very much enjoyed that too.

WorrySighWorrySigh Wed 25-Dec-13 00:13:57

YANBU

Just plain silly (and dangerous) to put stockings in the cots.

Also it is toe-treading. She should have asked what you were doing and how you wanted to play things this year. She has had her children and no doubt got to do things her way with her children. Now she should be taking a back seat and taking the lead from you and your DH.

Of course there will be plenty of posters who will bleat on about how they wish they had a MiL/MiLs cant ever get it right/it is so sweet that MiL has started this lovely tradition/blah blah blah.

This is a lesson learned, stay at home for Christmas.

Mrswellyboot Wed 25-Dec-13 00:19:30

I understand your annoyance but I would let it pass this time. I think she is trying to be nice and is obviously mad about the children so why not just let her so this, they don't have to have those stockings next year, you can do your own.

My mother has a stocking for my son but he is only newborn. I don't intend to get them until I have another baby and I will so matching ones (if I am lucky enough to have another baby )

Just remember, you are their mother, no one can take from that, don't let it annoy you .. Happy Christmas xxxxxxx

mydaftlass Wed 25-Dec-13 00:28:03

Yabu. Although agree they shouldn't be in cots.

In our family, everyone buys a few things for everyone else's stockings and it works well. No one has a monopoly!

RM0104 Wed 25-Dec-13 01:23:49

The stockings shouldnt be in the cot. But YABU, you should think yourself lucky your children have grandparents who love them and want to do nice things for them.

ladymariner Wed 25-Dec-13 01:35:23

Definitely no stockings in their cots for safety reasons, on that yadnbu.

But do people really get in such a tizz about grandparents doing stockings??? I think it's lovely, my ds got a stocking from us, one from his gps and also one from his godparents (lucky boy) We didn't go into the whole ridiculous where does Santa deliver scenario because it just wasn't necessary. Children don't care where he goes, as long as he has left them something. It just sounds like making a problem where there isn't one to me.

And seeing as I'm on a roll, wtf is all this treading on toes shite all about? Some of you sound really hard work, if all you've got to fuss about is who gets to give a child a stocking. Why can't they have more than one? Maybe, just maybe, the gps give a stocking because they think it will bring the child some pleasure, not because they have some devious plan to reenact their own children's childhood.

Lighten up, accept the stockings/advent calendars/etc with good grace and pick your battles. Merry Christmas! fsmile

WorrySighWorrySigh Wed 25-Dec-13 10:36:08

I think that the whole treading on toes shite (as it was so elegantly put) is about a couple of things:

- across the last 30 years we have become a lot more child focused as a society. I grew up in the neglectful 60s & 70s. My DM wouldnt have given a fig who gave us a stocking if it meant she didnt have to fork out. When we had our own DCs we were a lot more interested in our DCs. Now DM as a grandmother wants to join in as it is fun. Sometimes she does over-step and has to be reminded that they are our DCs not hers.

- IME grandparents do have selective memories (once did some thing becomes always did something) and they also tend to remember in their own favour. Now OP's MiL possibly remembers with pleasure GP's doing this that or the other for GCs - completely forgetting her own profound irritation when they interfered rather than helped.

As OP has said this is not the only time she feels that her MiL has over-stepped.

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Wed 25-Dec-13 10:54:06

I think it's a lovely thing for them to do.

oldgrandmama Wed 25-Dec-13 11:04:19

Oh dear - I feel a bit for the grandparents. They obviously love the grandchildren and want to make the Christmas lovely for them, and you too. I've five grandkids and have always done stockings ... now segued into sacks ... for them. Not left in their cots or on their beds, but under the Christmas Tree. Their parents and I get a huge kick out of seeing them open everything.

I've never said that Santa leaves them - he's strictly stockings they open at home, my stockings/sacks are just extras from oldgrandmama. The OP's grandparents sound lovely and enthusiastic about the grandkids. OP - don't fret but enjoy having such GPs, even if it doesn't quite fit in with your ideas.

oldgrandmama Wed 25-Dec-13 11:05:20

Sorry, meant OP's inlaws, the twins' grandparents.

Eve Wed 25-Dec-13 11:06:48

Poor grandparents wrong if they make an effort, wrong if they don't.

whatever5 Wed 25-Dec-13 11:07:28

I would be totally happy for someone else to do my children's stockings. Why wouldn't you be? I don't think it is "toe treading" at all. It's not as if you get any credit for spending time and money filling the stocking yourself (Santa gets that). My mother used to do stockings for my children when we stayed at their house for Christmas. It was great.

I don't think that stockings should be in the cot though.

MiaowTheCat Wed 25-Dec-13 11:21:03

Purely on the grounds I know the chaos that can be generated by playdough and a toddler... NOT IN COTS!

AngelinaCongleton Wed 25-Dec-13 11:28:14

Yes it's toe treading. You are right though at 2 they won't remember.

I'd take them, thank them but not put them in the cot (maybe at the bottom of it?) due to safety. When you pick the kids p- take them downstair to open? How lovely they love the kids so much to get them. Can guarantee she's just excited and not thinking of you ( this is what I hope with my mil)

My mil is mrs Claus and always planning things I feel are my job, ages in advance but it has calmed down a lot now the kids are bit older and we have all found our way to tread on each other less.

PTFO Wed 25-Dec-13 11:29:45

Stockings are parents job. gp stepping on toes again. At least let the parent be the first to do it, if they don't then ask if its ok.

yeah yeah I know it'll be the omg how dare they love their gkids going off on one. Some people like to do things for their kids themselves, make it special, not have someone else swoop in and take all the glory and take away a 'first'.

bitter, me, nooooo oh ok I am. Imight be a tad unreasonable though...

have a good day allll.

thegreylady Wed 25-Dec-13 11:51:59

I'd insist on opening pressies downstairs but assure dgp that the personalised stockings will be hung every year as a precious memory of this year with them.
Have some generosity of spirit smile

CranberrySaucyJack Wed 25-Dec-13 12:14:53

I would've done them one myself at that age....... but regardless. They are your children, so you get to say when and what.

She's had her turn at being mummy. This is overstepping the mark.

Glitterfeet Wed 25-Dec-13 12:16:00

It's great to have parents who care about the grandchildren, who are involved and want to make things special at Christmas. Different families have different traditions and compromise is needed.

but YANBU

Putting them in cots is a silly ideas from a sleep and safety point of view.
It does stink of wanting her stuff to be the centre of attention and the first things that they get. It could be down to her not thinking it through but if these a backstory then there could be more to it.

I would make sure you thank her for the lovely stocking, and tell her you will use it every year for the Santa pressies, then make sure it goes home with you.

My parents and Inlaws used to put little presents in a bag when mine were younger but they were always from them, not Santa. They had fun being Santa when they had chidren but knew when it was mine and dh's turn. They can still be excited at Christmas and try to make it special for my kids but grandparent job.

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