or over sensitive RE: DM giving gifts 'from' me

(70 Posts)
Sonders Tue 22-Dec-15 11:48:07

Long-time lurker, first time poster so apologies if I mess up my acronyms ;)

I have quite a small family, just 10 of us who I think are quite close. Christmas is always hosted by my DM and she does a brilliant job, everyone always has an amazing time.

Apart from one thing. Each year my DM gives presents to my family members and signs the tags from "Sonders and Sonders' DB". These are given alongside the presents that I have purchased, which are from "Sonders and Sonders' DP".

Every year I then have really awkward 'thank yous' from family members for gifts which I have to then hastily work out what they are. Everyone knows these gifts are not from me & DP - mine & DMs handwriting is completely different, they're wrapped in DM's classy wrapping paper (and not my crazy colourful stuff) plus one year it looked as though I'd gotten DGM 2 of the same present as DM and I both bought nearly the same thing!

I've said to my DM for at least the last 5 years that this makes me feel hurt each Christmas - like she has to make up for me not getting the family enough presents. In reality, I put so, so much effort into making sure I get each person something really thoughtful.

Maybe 10 years ago when I was a student it made more sense as I didn't have much money to spend but now I probably buy as much as she does.

So, cut to Christmas 2015, and I find out DM has done it again. AIBU to be hurt, or should I just put up with it? WWYD?

ProcrastinatorGeneral Tue 22-Dec-15 11:52:14

When people think you, just say "thank mum, it wasn't from me" and make it really clear that your mother is batshit bonkers. Should stop her soon enough.

tibbawyrots Tue 22-Dec-15 11:52:47

If I were there when the parcels were handed out I would say "mum, I've asked you to stop buying presents as if they're from me" and let her deal with the embarrassment of explains why she does it.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Tue 22-Dec-15 11:54:51

Yes - tell her again - or buy poundland tat (and i mean real tat) in crap paper and sign from DM ...

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Tue 22-Dec-15 11:56:05

Another though how about chocolate willies for Aunt Edna? Boobs for Uncle Alf?

SaucyJack Tue 22-Dec-15 12:02:23

Or really worriedly announce over the Xmas dinner that you're having some sort of breakdown because you can't remember buying or wrapping any of the gifts.....

YANBU by the way. Assuming you're not 4.

ginmakesitallok Tue 22-Dec-15 12:05:32

We had this sort of discussion with dmil a couple of weeks ago, she buys presents from her son and daughter (one of whom is 26, works and lives independently ) She thinks she's doing them a favour.

Sonders Tue 22-Dec-15 12:09:59

I don't want to hurt DM as she definitely isn't doing anything maliciously, I think it's more just habit from when we were kids. I'm close to 30 now and have been buying gifts for the full family since I was maybe 16/17 (and buying gifts for DM, DF, DB and DGPs far longer).

I do like the losing my mind suggestion Saucy wink

Sparkletastic Tue 22-Dec-15 12:13:25

What does she say when you tell her how awkward and embarrassing you find this?

Tinseleverywhere Tue 22-Dec-15 12:16:02

I think the thing is to ring her before the day and tell her not to do it. Say you appreciate she is trying to be kind, but you have put a lot of effort and money into your gifts and you will be upset if she does it again and if she has bought some already to.relabel them.

Bubbletree4 Tue 22-Dec-15 12:17:33

It is bizarre but if it's the only bad part of the day and everyone knows she does it, I'd just let it go. People aren't perfect but she sounds nice.

Unreasonablebetty Tue 22-Dec-15 12:19:57

Please can I come for Christmas OP? Only if you wrap tat and sign it from your mum or pretend to have a breakdown.
Both would be hilarious!

WhirlwindHugs Tue 22-Dec-15 12:21:16

Very odd!

If there is an opportunity I would be tempted to get hold of them before they are opened and relabel them yourself.

What does your DB think? Could you get him to talk to her too?

Sonders Tue 22-Dec-15 12:22:27

The first time I had the guts to say something I spoke to DF and he said he'd talk to her - I don't know for sure if he did so could forgive the Christmas after this. Then I had 1 or 2 years when DM said she's sorry and meant no harm, and she won't do it again.

Year before last she said she didn't want DB to feel bad for not giving many presents (he doesn't have a high-earning career) but DB is perfectly happy with the gifts he gives - we're normally a really easy-going, drama-free family and everyone knows it's the thought that counts. I said this and she kinda fobbed it off.

Last year I almost got the feeling that she was annoyed I brought it up, like I'm ungrateful as she's doing us a favour - even though I've fervently asked her not to.

Notrevealingmyidentity Tue 22-Dec-15 12:22:52

My mum still does this from me blush the difference being I'm totally ok with it and don't have to get some of the gifts myself when I'm so busy.

I'd just say while she's handing them out "mum why are you still doing this ? You know I get presents for xyz every year ?"

Notrevealingmyidentity Tue 22-Dec-15 12:23:50

I'd say something in front of your relatives. That's the key. Really embarrass her and then they will know exactly how you feel about it and know it's all her issue.

QuiteLikely5 Tue 22-Dec-15 12:24:36

Why not just ask her outright if she would like to purchase the gifts and you pay her the cash?

I don't think you should make any comments to her on xmas day as like you said she is coming from a place of love, not malice.

Badders123 Tue 22-Dec-15 12:25:48

It's about control isn't it?

Sonders Tue 22-Dec-15 12:27:22

DB is extremely anti-confrontation and wouldn't dream of saying anything - from what we've discussed he's just used to it now.

He's also been a boomerang child for over a decade so maybe that's why she thinks of him as a child (even though he's even older than I am).

I don't think I could do the tat thing - about 5 years ago I bought everyone a specific cheapy novelty gift and they loved them so much it's become a tradition fconfused

Fairenuff Tue 22-Dec-15 12:27:46

You have to say, oh no, that's not from me, Mum just puts my name on the label I can't wait to see what you got.

Your Mum won't be upset because she knows how you feel about this and has chosen to ignore you so she'll carry on doing it anyway as she has always done and you can carry on letting people know it's not from you.

I'd rather do that than lie to all my relatives tbh.

Sonders Tue 22-Dec-15 12:33:56

QuiteLikely I don't want DM to buy the gifts because I freaking love choosing, wrapping and giving gifts - it's like a drug for me! This year I've had a career change and so all my money this month has gone on Christmas presents. I promise next year I will be more responsible wink

Badders I think you're probably right, although DM is not consciously doing it she's focused on everything being perfect - house is immaculately clean, beautifully decorated and we have enough food for 2 servings each

ShipwreckedAndComatose Tue 22-Dec-15 12:34:04

Have you tried phoning her a few days before and asking her to remove the presents/change the labels?

RideEmCowgirl Tue 22-Dec-15 12:34:08

She still thinks of you both as children and so is still treating you like it.

Sparkletastic Tue 22-Dec-15 12:39:59

In that case go into hearty jovial mode whenever one of the faux presents is being opened "Oh yes - another gift that isn't from me and DB! What's in that one? Such fun! You do know it's from DM really don't you? Yes? Just checking. I hope you like the gifts that were really from me. Here let me hand you one!" Etc etc etc.

girlywhirly Tue 22-Dec-15 12:40:20

Is it the fact that she can't accept that you are an adult and perfectly able to choose and wrap gifts for relatives? Or maybe with a small family she wants a reason to buy more gifts?

You say your mum always hosts and does an amazing job, perhaps she can't relinquish any control over the preparations as it would make her feel inadequate, including present giving.

If all your relatives know very well they are getting a gift from your mum but labelled from you, are they afraid to upset your mum by saying anything, maybe there are mental health issues that she hasn't revealed?

How did you find out she's done the same again this year, can you insist that she puts what she has bought aside and not give them, or give them labelled from herself? Tell her that no one is fooled and are becoming embarrassed by the charade of the presents that she has bought and labelled from you? But do it before the Christmas get together so that she can stop being upset and sort it out.

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