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MIL and the chocolate advent calendar

(544 Posts)
toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 06:42:49

My MIL has given us chocolate advent calendars for our dc. Dc have seen them. And will want them because of the chocolate.

But I'd already bought advent calendars to give to them ON 1ST DECEMBER!!! Beautiful (non chocolate) ones.

I hate chocolate advent calendars - dc aged 5 can have a small chocolate every day but dc aged 1? No way. But I'd rather the excitement was about seeing which picture they had, not just cramming chocolate into their mouths.

More than anything I'm annoyed that my MIL has (yet again) done things her way without checking with me (the parent) first.

Her other DIL gave the chocolate advent calendars back to MIL and said that no, her children were not having chocolate ones. This has really hurt MIL so I can't do the same - I know she means well. But I feel like our new family traditions are not bring allowed to develop because MIL intervenes.

I know I'm overreacting. But aibu to feel a BIT annoyed about this?!

Tee2072 Wed 14-Nov-12 06:48:43

YABU why can't they have 2? And why can't a 1 year old have a bare mouthful of chocolate a day for Christmas?

BoundandRebound Wed 14-Nov-12 06:49:39

Unreasonable and OTT

NarcolepsyQueen Wed 14-Nov-12 06:51:50

She didn't check with you first? To buy an advent calendar?!!!

My mum does this. I do an activity advent calender and she always come round with some character calender hoping my dd will swoon over it. But i just put it up and then only open it if she remembers to ask for it. Otherwise we just focus on my activity one.

I know everyone will come on saying yabu, its part of being a grandma blah blah but i dont get it myself. My mum always bought mine ironically non chocolate one yet insists in pushing one on my dd. i dont get why they latch on to the advent calender esp if they arent there each day at the opening?

FernandoIsFaster Wed 14-Nov-12 06:52:04

What's the harm in having 2 advent calendars? Really? I know it's annoying and believe me I have been there with MIL issues, but in the grand scheme of things she is just excited about Xmas and isn't trying to hi-jack your traditions.

Could you not just bite the one year old's choc in half and eat half yourself, a tiny piece of choc a day won't hurt.

wouldratherbeonthebeach Wed 14-Nov-12 06:52:13

Save the ones with chocolate to use a reward system during the year. I buy loads now and keep them. If they go to bed well/behave etc they are allowed to open it as a treat. Works brilliantly for my dc age 5 and 7. And yes it is irritating when MIL gets busy wink

lightrain Wed 14-Nov-12 06:52:22

It's chocolate, not poison! Total overreaction - sorry. They can have two.

Follyfoot Wed 14-Nov-12 06:52:59

Mmm sorry but YABU. Some battles are worth fighting, this definitely isnt one of them.

WidowWadman Wed 14-Nov-12 06:53:09

What's wrong with having 2? Why can't a 1 year old not have a small piece of chocolate a day over a limited period of time?

Can't believe then other DIL gave them back!So ungrateful and unneccessarily hurtful.

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 06:53:40

I'd rather they only had 1 because otherwise it's not that special.

I know I'm being a bit ott. It's just that I feel that my mil takes away some of the special parent/child traditions.

lunar1 Wed 14-Nov-12 06:53:54

You are being very controlling, you need to pick your battles. Poor mil, do you really think she should have to get permission to buy her grandchildren a gift. Your reaction sounds like she gave them a box of matches to play with.

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 06:55:46

And my 1 year old is not having chocolate! It's not a treat for her, she doesn't have a clue what it is smile

CailinDana Wed 14-Nov-12 06:57:01

Oh FFS your poor MIL. If my MIL bought my DS an advent calendar I'd be over the moon - it's a lovely gesture. What's wrong with a 1 year old having one small piece of chocolate a day? It's Christmas! I don't get your reference to "cramming" the chocolate in their mouth - are your children not able to eat normally?

Christmas is supposed to involve being nice to people and being grateful for gifts. Try and have a kinder heart, please, just for a month. It won't hurt.

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 06:58:06

Thank you for all your replies. It's good to know that a few people sympathise! To the rest, yes I know I'm overreacting (a bit). But it's not just any old gift. It's part of Christmas. Mil tried to get dd a stocking but I was firm about that because I'd made her one. Mil didn't understand why I wouldn't want a "proper" one from M&S. gah!

lunar1 Wed 14-Nov-12 06:59:36

Is you mil allowed to have any part of Christmas? Is your mum?

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 06:59:37

cailin of course my children can eat properly. I just don't like chocolate advent calendars. I haven't insulted my mil. She doesn't know I'm annoyed.

MummyPig24 Wed 14-Nov-12 06:59:50

Yabu. It's one tiny bit of chocolate, eat the 1yr olds piece yourself if you're that precious about it.

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 07:00:21

lunar um, yes. They're both staying with us for Christmas. And both are very welcome.

diddl Wed 14-Nov-12 07:00:51

My children used to have one of each.

She has bought a different type to you.

It really isn´t worth bothering about imo.

I say this as someone who wasted too much time/energy stressing over what MIL said/did & looking for motives that weren´t there.

We don´t get on-it´s as simple as that-but she doesn´t hate me or wish me ill & she loves the kids.

Are Advent calendars ever that special?

OpheliaPayneAgain Wed 14-Nov-12 07:01:04

Your one year old hasn't got a clue what Christmas is either so there is no point getting all het up about it. You don't even need to give a one year old an advent calender.

Why can't they have two stockings?

You can't control all of Christmas, other people are involved too.

I really feel sorry for your MIL, two quite precious DILs to cope with - don't either of her sons have a backbone?

SugaricePlumFairy Wed 14-Nov-12 07:01:37

I think you are being unreasonable, it's a small piece of chocolate which won't cause any harm.

I feel for your MiL that her other DiL gave them back.

Mine still have one each , they're 17, 15 and 13 grin.

hurricanewyn Wed 14-Nov-12 07:01:50

Why not have a morning & evening one? Open yours just before bed time, then go to bed discussing the picture/activity. Maybe even read a themed bed time story for each night of advent? I think that could be a lovely tradition.

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 07:02:09

Why would a child have 2 stockings?!? That's just weird!

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 07:02:52

Thank you huricane good idea

WofflingOn Wed 14-Nov-12 07:03:49

Well, I think YABU, but it is your family so you get to be as daft as you like.
I have a very odd relative who seems similar in outlook to you and restricts her children's experiences to a narrow band that she approves of, and we all humour her politely without getting annoyed because that's just how she is.
My mum gives all her grandchildren a tacky chocolate advent calendar bar two and the rest of us are fine with it. She's posting DD's to Uni for her.

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 07:04:39

Can I ask another question then. Do you have ANY part of Christmas or Birthday celebrations that you feel you want to have sole responsibility for? As the parent of your dc? That you wouldn't want a grandparent to take charge of (unless you had asked/agreed)?

marriedinwhite Wed 14-Nov-12 07:05:05

And I jolly well hope she will never find out you are annoyed. She is being nice and trying to do nice things for her grandchildren. She has shown her grandchildren kindness and generosity and I am assuming has done so from and with love. How about you behave with a little good grace and teach your children one of the best lessons of all: courtesy and thankfulness.

CailinDana Wed 14-Nov-12 07:05:08

It doesn't matter whether you like chocolate calendars or not, the present was for your children, from their grandmother. And most children do like chocolate. I can understand people not wanting GPs to discipline children, or make other important decisions, but to get annoyed about them buying presents?? That really is going way too far. You are being very mean spirited.

coldcupoftea Wed 14-Nov-12 07:05:27

I bought my two playmobil calenders this year as I wanted to avoid chocolate ones. Then MIL turned up with chocolate ones anyway and gave them to the DC.

I was slightly annoyed for maybe a nanosecond. She didn't know how I felt, and it's not that big a deal tbh.

WofflingOn Wed 14-Nov-12 07:05:39

Second stocking at Epiphany?
On Boxing day, a time to consider relatives and exchange gifts?
On 28th of December, which is The Feast of the Holy Innocents?
Or just tell her no.

LST Wed 14-Nov-12 07:06:59

Yabu. I can't wait for my DS 1 to get his off gp

WofflingOn Wed 14-Nov-12 07:07:19

'Can I ask another question then. Do you have ANY part of Christmas or Birthday celebrations that you feel you want to have sole responsibility for? As the parent of your dc? That you wouldn't want a grandparent to take charge of (unless you had asked/agreed)?'

We do negotiation and compromise big time here, but then my two are 21 and almost 18, so we've had a lot of years to practise.

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 07:07:24

woffling grin

marchwillsoonbehere Wed 14-Nov-12 07:07:25

Why would a child have 2 stockings?!? That's just weird!

Well because they have extended families who want to spoil them. Not ideal but hey, that's how it rolls sometimes.

Honestly OP you just need to relax a bit!

I know AIBU is all about sweating the small stuff, and good on ya for bringing it here, but for Pete's sake if you never have anything worse to get stressed about you will be lucky indeed!

KidderminsterKate Wed 14-Nov-12 07:07:57

I think you meed to get over yourself. People are very snobby about character choc calendars but the kids like them so really what is the harm?

I am lol at them 'getting excited about the picture not the chocolate'.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Wed 14-Nov-12 07:08:04

You did say chocolate advent calenders right? not Cyanide ones?

Yes YABU, it's hardly a big deal.

Give them the calenders at different times of the day? Or you've got a few weeks to go still til advent starts, hide them away (the chocolate ones) and "forget where you put them". then present the "beautful but boring non chocolate ones to your DC on 1st december.

EMS23 Wed 14-Nov-12 07:08:13

You obviously don't think YABU so why ask?!
I think YABU though. My SIL is so mean to my mum who is only ever trying to be a good grandma and I see the hurt it causes my mum. It's heartbreaking, it really is.

Tailtwister Wed 14-Nov-12 07:09:20

I really wouldn't stress about it. Just let them have 2. Surely you can get away with not allowing the 1 yo to have the chocolate?

Christmas is about family. Imo that includes GP's, cousins etc. Try not to get so stressed about such a small thing. Save your strength for the coming years!

CailinDana Wed 14-Nov-12 07:09:44

I think your question about Christmas and Birthdays is strange. You seem to see your role as "controlling" these events when in fact you are one of a (hopefully) lovely group of loved ones celebrating together. These events are not about being "top dog" - it's about ensuring the children/birthday person have the best time they can.

marchwillsoonbehere Wed 14-Nov-12 07:11:57

Can I ask another question then. Do you have ANY part of Christmas or Birthday celebrations that you feel you want to have sole responsibility for? As the parent of your dc? That you wouldn't want a grandparent to take charge of (unless you had asked/agreed)?

Oh FFS it's Christmas, a pagan celebration, and now an over commercialised marketing fest, not open heart surgery! You really are a control freak aren't you? If I were your DM and DMiL I would be arranging a nice relazing break in December well away from you (come to think of it, that's what I AM doing grin

WofflingOn Wed 14-Nov-12 07:12:04

'I know AIBU is all about sweating the small stuff, and good on ya for bringing it here, but for Pete's sake if you never have anything worse to get stressed about you will be lucky indeed!'

Oh yes.
Oh yes indeedy.
Relative is finding that out as her two get older and begin peek over the edge of the nest and see what they are missing out on and asking 'Why?'
We have numerous traditions attached to different festivals, and are happy to add to them as the years roll by rather than see it as an either/or situation.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Wed 14-Nov-12 07:12:13

It's really no big deal!

We always have 2 Advents in this house, that's a nice tradition! 1 choccie, one other type.

Your MIL meant well and want to bring your dc's pleasure, what can be wrong with thatconfused

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 07:12:53

kidderminster but my dc are little. My 5 year old really does get excited about the pictures! In a few years I won't care about chocolate advent calendars but while they're little and I can keep as much commercial crap out of Christmas as I can then I'd like to do that.

I think that if any thought had gone into it I'd be a lot more grateful. But mil just picked up the first chocolate one she saw. Dh and I spent ages (ok, 5 minutes!) chosing calendars we knew our oldest dc would love.

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 07:15:22

march no, no, please come and have Christmas with me!

CailinDana Wed 14-Nov-12 07:15:42

Look you are being ridiculously controlling. Just because your MIL didn't agonise for hours over what to buy doesn't mean her present is worth nothing. And I doubt 1 piece of chocolate a day will destroy the magic of Christmas for your children. You seem determined to think you're right, so good luck to you.

HissyByName Wed 14-Nov-12 07:15:47

Ah, come on.. somehow MIL has had her advent calendar, stocking time, WITH HER OWN DC.

My nan was the best in.the world, but she didn't butt in on my mothers christmas with my sister and me.

My mum is however doing the whole 2 stockings thing, and tbh, I'm going to put a stop to it. She has control/ boundary issues which I've only now realised the extent of.

OHforDUCKScake Wed 14-Nov-12 07:17:09

I have a 5 year old and a 1 year old and we all have a chocolate calendar and Im buying a nice detailed glittery non chocolate one next week because tbh the chocolate ones are shite.

Surely the 1 year old wont even want the chocolate? Mine probably wont and Im not sure Id give him a chocolate Every Day (although they are small so I might).

I think its a fuss about nothing really, its part of the fun.

diddl Wed 14-Nov-12 07:17:17

"Do you have ANY part of Christmas or Birthday celebrations that you feel you want to have sole responsibility for?"

Yes, I did-but then I grew up & realised that I´m not the only one who loves my kids.

DragonMamma Wed 14-Nov-12 07:18:10

YABVU op but you clearly aren't looking for genuine opinions on this, from what I can see.

My DS is 18mo and will be having a chocolate advent calendar bought by my DM and there's a bloody boring wooden one that we crack out every year.

You seem very controlling over events, my DCs are children of the family and we all share and include others on long standing traditions. I certainly don't make up new ones purposely to control the event.

marriedinwhite Wed 14-Nov-12 07:18:28

OK OP: Christmas. This is what I do. Clean the house, arrange the decs, do the cards, put up the cards, buy the presents, wrap the presents, send the presents, order the turkey, buy the food, do the cooking, keep everyone happy, make lots of suggestions. I have been waiting for 20 years for one of the grandparents to say you look after us every year, is there anything we can do to help? Not least because DS's actual birthday is also on Xmas day so try and imagine the double whammy of organisation.

Love is an equation that requires both sides to be equal; to receive it you need to give it to keep the circle going.

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 07:18:35

Ok. Iabu.

Which I knew a bit anyway.

I just would like to establish traditions for MY dc just as my mil established traditions for HER dc.

Is that control freaky?!

bruffin Wed 14-Nov-12 07:19:36

My mum has always given her grandchildren a Christmas box which is full of little knickknacks and sweets like a stocking. She still does it and gc are,21,23,17,15.
She also buys them advent calendars, so they have 2.
Agree with cailindana, you do sound very controlling.

OpheliaPayneAgain Wed 14-Nov-12 07:20:26

OMG I can just imagin christmas day in your house grin your poor MIL, she must be sitting there hoping she doesnt moortally offend anyone.

Can I have your MIL please? Our kids haven't got any live grandparents and I'd adore an apple-pie grandmother to come and do a bit of fussing

CailinDana Wed 14-Nov-12 07:20:30

Yes. If your tradition involves rejecting presents from loved ones, then it's a shit tradition and you need to think again.

EugenesAxe Wed 14-Nov-12 07:20:30

It's hard isn't it? I don't get chocolate calendars from my MIL but will often get a non-religious (can't think of the word) one from her. But then I get a mini one from my DM and another from DH's godfather... those at least will be religious themed.

So we just have lots of calendars and the 'something between my children and I' aspect is lost... but really it's not the end of the world.

I can't really help with the chocolate - the one year old wouldn't suffer from having the occasional choc... and you eat the remaining.

ladymariner Wed 14-Nov-12 07:20:48

Now you're being mean, how do you know it was the first one she saw? As others have said, it's a chocolate advent calendar, that's all, not worth getting het up over. Opening them at different times of he day is a good idea.

Btw, I think your SIL was vile to give her calendars back, what a nasty thing to do. Well done for not following her example. Your poor mil.....

bruffin Wed 14-Nov-12 07:21:42

Sorry cross posted.
You can have your own traditions, but your Mil can have separate ones with her gc.

MrsCantSayAnything Wed 14-Nov-12 07:22:15

Share the joy of your DC OP...share the joy! My Mum does things like this....but really. They just want some of the joy...it's not bad.

EugenesAxe Wed 14-Nov-12 07:23:04

toomanydaisies re your last statement - no I feel the same. I just have to tell myself it's done in kindness and suck it up.

marchwillsoonbehere Wed 14-Nov-12 07:23:18

march no, no, please come and have Christmas with me!

You have a wicked sense of humour Daisies and I am almost tempted but, alas, flights already booked and we are likely to arrive well ahead of schedule what with the tail wind provided by DDiL's sigh of relief! grin

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Wed 14-Nov-12 07:23:28

Advent Calendars, Christmas eve pyjamas, stockings, organising their birthday parties and birthday cakes are for the parents to do. Anything else is fair game for family IMO. But those five things are MINE to choose.

So I don't think the OP IBU. My DC's get ONE advent calendar, and it's the one I choose.

I had issues with my Ex-MIL getting my DS2 an advent calendar (for his second Christmas when he was just 13mo), then moaning when she came round and hers wasn't on the wall for him.

I had already bought him one, and no way was he going to get two when my older DD and DS1 only had one. She's never bothered since. Why a 13mo would need TWO chocolate advent calendars is beyond me, and why she expected me to use her one instead of the one I had already chosen and bought was also beyond me.

So there we go. Different people think different things about issues like this.

And if anyone tried to do a birthday cake for my DC's, I'd be VERY unimpressed - it's my favourite bit of their birthdays, seeing their faces when they get a character cake that I have worked hard to decorate.

Sirzy Wed 14-Nov-12 07:24:11

What an OTT reaction, what harm is a tiny chocolate each day for 24 days going to do? Most one year olds would prefer that to an activity one probably!

Let them have both, it really isn't an issue and you seem to be very controlling

mateysmum Wed 14-Nov-12 07:24:17

OP please keep calm and carry on. If you don't want your 1 yr old to have chocs, fine, invent a little game that means the choc is "saved for later". Your MIL has done what a million other loving grannies are doing. How do you know she picked the first one she saw? Maybe that was the perfect one.
Why not have 2 stockings? One for early Christmas morning and maybe one for after lunch with relatives pressies.
I'm not a big Christmas person myself, because I agree there is now so much commercialised crap, but you can still make Christmas special, your way. If the GP's are staying over Christmas you are going to have to be a bit flexible. You may need to draw a line somewhere, but a choccy advent calendar isn't it. YABU.

marriedinwhite Wed 14-Nov-12 07:24:25

You can't establish traditions purposefully OP - they develop over years without ever being imposed until they become traditional and sometimes without you realising.

ladymariner Wed 14-Nov-12 07:24:40

Sorry, also cross posted.
You can still have your own traditions but tbh you'll find you just fall into many of them, rather than rigorously setting them out xD

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 07:24:56

bruffin that sounds lovely

I am a bit controlling. Because my dc are little. I just don't think that's too unusual.

Both sides of the family are hugely involved with our dc. I know how lucky they are to have a big family. I just want done things to be a special part if our small immediate family. I didn't have extended family growing up (both my parents are only children, grand parents died when I was little) so it was just me, my parents and brothers.

DragonMamma Wed 14-Nov-12 07:25:01

I think it's all well an good wanting traditions of your own, but not to the exclusion of all others. Why can't they run alongside one another?

And why are existing traditions not ok? I get the impression you are making new traditions, just because they'll be 'yours' which makes no sense to me.

charitygirl Wed 14-Nov-12 07:25:21

YANBU - I find choc advent calendars naff, and that's why I'd be pissed off to have to integrate one to avoid hurting someone's feelings. it's nice to have something kids are excited about that doesn't involve chocolate.

Tee2072 Wed 14-Nov-12 07:25:34

"I just would like to establish traditions for MY dc just as my mil established traditions for HER dc."

You are establishing traditions, she's just adding to them! Why does it have to be one or the other? Or your way or the highway?

Unclench. Seriously. It's Christmas. You're suppose to spoil people at Christmas!

ladymariner Wed 14-Nov-12 07:25:53

Ha, great minds married grin

TandB Wed 14-Nov-12 07:26:11

YABU.

Christmas is one of those things where there is a very idealised reality involving traditional red and white stockings with candy canes and wooden soldiers poking out of the top, and the sound of jingly bells in the distance, and beautifully dressed children singing Christmas carols over a pile of perfectly wrapped presents.

But the reality is a massive mish-mash of commercial crap, all sorts of overlapping or conflicting family traditions and a few old tree decorations that belonged to great-granny but are actually spectacularly ugly so get hidden round the back of the tree.

And kids love it.

If you try to control Christmas and make it into a perfect set of traditions you will finish up frustrated and stressed. We've got some family members who try to do the "perfect Christmas" every year and it never works and irritates everyone else.

HissyByName Wed 14-Nov-12 07:26:11

Your only mistake love, was posting this in AIBU.

mrskeithrichards Wed 14-Nov-12 07:27:02

Oh my how precious can you be!

I've been one if the few that agreed with you but came back as the thread is developing more and i can see you have a lot if my thinking.

I dont think its controlling. I didnt add that our parents are all seperated and as such we've often had three calenders on the go. And it does annoy me because it takes the shine off.

Like you say, i'm happy to share in christmas with the grandparents etc but i'd like them to understand that part of the pleasures of being a mum, what makes the drudgery worth it, is making the magic moments etc. My mum/mil can take dd to the panto, a xmas party at their local club, buy an advent calender that will take a backseat, come and see the nativity. But some bits are mine like its me that will take her to see santa, i'll do the stocking (yes i've been given another before-filled). I'll only have what 7-8 years where my kids truly believe in santa and the real magic of xmas. And i waited a long time for these moments and so some if them no I wont share them.

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 07:28:16

She told me it was the first one she saw grin

vvviola Wed 14-Nov-12 07:28:34

I think we'll have 3 advent calendars to deal with this year.

My Mum has bought one (fine)
MIL will probably buy one (fine)
But MIL also bought one for DD last year. In January. DD is a bit focused on the fact that it was an advent calendar, so for the first time ever where chocolate is concerned refused to eat it. She has, however, not forgotten it.

Thankfully DD2's allergies mean we shouldn't have the over-chocolating dilemma for her.

I'm just biting my lip.

As for the "Santa comes to MILs house too", that is proving a little more complex and frustrating angry

marriedinwhite Wed 14-Nov-12 07:28:43

Actually OP; next year you just say "are you going to buy the advent calendars again?" and if the answer's yes then you need to buy any. You can also kindly manipulate a bit; like saying how they loved the advent calendars but how often you forgot the choc before the teeth cleaning and felt so mean not letting them have the choc on the way out and how it might have been easier not to have had choc/sweetie ones.

But for right now your thanks have to be effusive otherwise you will teach a family tradition of bad manners.

pigletmania Wed 14-Nov-12 07:29:53

Yabvvvu and ott. I used to eat my babies chocolate when she got a chocolate one from SIL. Why can't your ds have the calendar alongside your one, it's only one tiny chocolate!

trumpton Wed 14-Nov-12 07:31:37

Do you know what ? toomanydaises I am a grandmother and a MIL and a DIL and I totally agree with you . shock
I do not like chocolate advent character calenders , the chocolate is crap cheap chocolate type stuff and the pictures are garish .
We have always had traditional advent calenders and I think it is the parents priveledge to choose which type they like .

When our children were small they made chocolate coin trees by hanging them on decorated branches stuck into pots . 24 pennies one for each day . But that was our tradition in our time . Build your own she has had her time to do hers .

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 07:35:39

thedoctorswife thank you. That's it exactly. I just want to do the Mum stuff while they're little!

forevergreek Wed 14-Nov-12 07:36:21

I can understand op. it's not a little but if chocolate really though is it as its a piece every day for a month. I also would t want a 1 year old who has never eaten any to suddenly have some everyday. In portion size for a one year old it is big

Mosschopz Wed 14-Nov-12 07:36:26

I don't blame you. We always had the picture type and loved the build up to Christmas opening the boxes each day. It's exciting enough without the need for chocolate. I'll be doing the same with my DS (2) too. All the 1YO will learn is it's ok to eat chocolate for breakfast every day!

Rottenluck Wed 14-Nov-12 07:36:38

YANBU. I remember the excitement of guessing what was behind the door, I loved it as a child. Then i grew up and wanted chocolate ones but it is the picture ones i remember. I would also expect my MIL to check with me first, my feeling is that my two are too young at 4 and 1 for chocolate ones. The one year old does have the odd bit of chocolate but I don't want her to have it every day. I think you have to allow there to be traditions that your MIL will be part off, but I don't think you are unreasonable to not want them to have chocolate calendars yet. I'd give the 5 year old hers after lunch or dinner and probably forget about the other one.

mrskeithrichards Wed 14-Nov-12 07:36:44

What if your mum bought them one?

CagneyNLacey Wed 14-Nov-12 07:36:52

I can't believe people are actually this arsed about chocolate advent calendars.

Crikeyblimey Wed 14-Nov-12 07:36:55

My ds's grandma died this year. He doesn't get to have any gifts from her forever now sad. Get a grip and stop trying to control everything. Ffs let the woman treat her grandchildren once in a while. Life is too bloody short to be so uppity about such things. Christmas is a time for sharing.

juule Wed 14-Nov-12 07:36:56

Toomanydaisies "I think that if any thought had gone into it I'd be a lot more grateful"

While maybe not too much thought has gone into the type of advent calendar, you can't say there wasn't any thought. At the time the calendars were bought she was thinking about your children (her grandchildren).

AngelWreakinHavoc Wed 14-Nov-12 07:37:15

Yabu! It is a lovely gesture from your mil. I read these threads and become so worried sometimes that I have 3 sons, having dil's like yourself and your sil sounds like my worst nightmare grin

Lesbeadiva Wed 14-Nov-12 07:38:18

Crikey. My kids usually end up with about three choc calanders each and we have a non choc one. They love it all! And we have an elf who clauses trouble and sometimes leaves sweets. I think YABU. It is one month. Chocolates in our house get eaten before teeth cleaning. But if they have more than one, they save the others for after dinner. If you don't want to give the one year old it, then that's absolutely fair enough, you eat it!

Having extras will not detract from traditions that you want.

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 07:38:25

trumpton chocolate coin trees! Genius! I might do that with my dc in a few years - my 5 year old would LOVE that!

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Wed 14-Nov-12 07:38:59

Haha my MIL told DD last christmas that FC comes to her's and FIL house too (which is why all their presents said "love father christmas" on them hmm ) To which DD (then aged 4) gave her gran a most pitying look and said "aww Grandma dont be silly now! Ofcourse he doesnt go to your house. He only visits children!" MIL spluttered and looked confused and insisted he had and DD simply said "that must have been Grandad you saw then, dressed up like Fater Christmas". She then made a point of thanking both of her grandparents with every present she opened grin

FWIW I don't get why father christmas would visit 2 different houses (180 miles apart no less) to leave presents for the same 2 children hmm I did try to warn MIL DD may not buy it but she was having non of it. Incidently, neither was DD!

Borntobeamum Wed 14-Nov-12 07:39:59

Yabu.
You only want them to have 1 to open to keep it special?
Surely having a nana who loves them is even more special.
I bet millions of families would love to have caring grandparents.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 14-Nov-12 07:43:07

Threads like this make me dread becoming a grandparent as it seems you cant win. Buy a present for the grandchildren and its wrong, not dropping everything to babysit and you are selfish etc.

She did something sweet for the grandchildren, many woud love their childrento have such nice grandparents. I hope the same rules apply to you and that you check all gifts prior to purchasing.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Wed 14-Nov-12 07:43:12

And no, my Mother a) Wouldn't bother, and b) would understand because we discuss these things BEFORE she does them.

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 07:44:00

To reassure you - mil is staying with us for Christmas. She has no idea I'm annoyed about the advent calendar. Or anything else.

I'm always kind to her. She loves her gc. She also annoys me sometimes and I vent on here because I can't in rl!

CagneyNLacey Wed 14-Nov-12 07:47:38

Can't believe your sil gave hers back! How incredibly obnoxious shock

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 07:51:20

My sil's children are 8 and 10. But she doesn't let then have chocolate unless its a special treat. Yes it was rude to give them back but my mil KNOWS those gc are not allowed chocolate. So it was a brave present for her to give!

YANBU (has this been overrun by Gransnet?)

Chocolate Advent Calenders had n't been invited when I was little, so it was all the fun of a picture of a robin behind the door.

One year I got to cook, shop & clean along with supervising a 4 & 2 year old given a cheap advent calender from each GP side. The relentless questioning of when they could have the next chocolate - the answer was always after breakfast, meant that a week in they had the most memorable breakfast ever.

Yes I had the tantrum and they all the chocs to eat in one go. The chocolate was generally agreed to not be as nice as the special treat frog bar and we focus went back to Advent which is about preparing for the upcoming festival, not extending the present thing for 31 days.

YANBU pick your battles give them/bin them all in one go.

fragola Wed 14-Nov-12 07:52:23

YANBU I hate chocolate advent calendars. Humbug.

katiecubs Wed 14-Nov-12 07:53:41

If I was your kids I would much prefer your MIL's traditions. I hated picture advent calendars as a kid!

As for your SIL ?!?!!?

diddl Wed 14-Nov-12 07:54:30

If I´m ever a GM, I hope to get on well enough with a DIL to discuss things.

But an Advent Calendar is the sort of innocuous thing you might just see & buy thinking-"oh the GC will love that.

Trouble is you have to remember that you are, as MIL-in line behind DIL & her mum!

blackeyedsusan Wed 14-Nov-12 07:55:47

check the date on them. they may have a rrealy long date...and last forr next year. (experience) and then you can use it as briberry though the year.

thank mil and do not make a big deal of it.. next year you may feel different... if mil asks, just say you had bought an advent calander and you ae keeping the chocolate fo next year when dc2 is big enough, and you ae sure they will really love it and of course you did not want to give it to one without th eother as you are sure she did not want youngest dc to be upset and ... blah did blah...

as long as you are positive and thank her she iwll find it hard(er) to strop...

frantic51 Wed 14-Nov-12 07:56:51

toomanydaisies, fwiw I don't think YABU. I never, ever, ever would buy edible presents for anyone's DC if they are aged under 16. In my house, like your sil's, chocolate was always a special treat and I wouldn't have wanted them to be having chocolate every day. Actually, if your mil knew that those gc were not allowed chocolate on a daily basis then she is the one being, "controlling" and she deserved to have it handed back.

OddBoots Wed 14-Nov-12 07:57:16

A dear friend of mine has been quite upset because her parents died without knowing their grandchildren and ill health (and since, death) has prevented her in-laws being very involved. She herself grew up an only child but one who had adults around who cared for her and made her feel part of a wider family and she wanted this for her own children.

They have intentionally chosen god-parents (and I count myself blessed in being one of them) who want to make the little gestures with the children to give them that extended network of love and that includes things like advent calendars.

For what it's worth I buy chocolate (and sometimes toy based) advent calendars for loads of people including my parents, grandma, brother and various single friends because I love the idea that one gift can be a reminder for 25 days that someone cares for them.

My family buy DD an advent calendar. When she was 2 weeks old she got given a chocolate one. I thanked them, and ate it. grin Every year since she's been given one by either my DM or my DSis. Would I like to be able to choose DD's advent calendar, yes, but it's not worth getting het up over. I get to be there and open it with her. Besides, they always buy nice ones with good chocolate in. None of my family would try taking over her stocking though, and if anyone tried taking charge of DD's birthday cake, I would be irrationally pissed off! grin

OldMumsy Wed 14-Nov-12 07:57:28

As others have said on other threads, I hope the OP has put a grip on their Christmas list.

Bananapickle Wed 14-Nov-12 07:58:56

I think YANBU and I don't think the real issue is the chocolate. I have a 21 month old DD and my DH and I are thinking about the traditions we want to start with her. Growing up there were a few things we always did as a family (including a specific type of advent calender) and we still talk about them. Family traditions are important and some can be inclusive of the wider family but some should stay within the core.
OP if you want your advent calender to be one of your traditions then go for it. This year you may have to let it slide but maybe have the conversation with your MIl and explain why you don't want them to have other calendars. Also may be suggest some other thing she could do that is special for the GC at Christmas that will become her 'thing' for them.

But no-ones saying mum/mil cant buy a present for the kids. Get them a decoration for the tree that they can treasure when they are grown. Or a bloody dancing snowman that'll irritate mummy but thrill the child. Or a chocolate reindeer or whatever. But with an advent calender or a stocking or visiting santa how hard is it to say "can i get them their calender/santa sack/stocking/visit to santa this year?" because these are the bits that parents relish in their choosing etc.

StanleyLambchop Wed 14-Nov-12 07:59:09

I am going against the majority to say YANBU. Infact you could be me. I have had this with PIL, they bought the first calender the first year- in October, I was looking forward to choosing one for my PFB but had not got it early enough so they got there first. Trouble is, once the GPs have presented something to the kids, anything after that from someone else is just disappointing, in a 'I've already got one of those' type way. So I did not get to choose one myself, something which a few people have said, gives some Mums great enjoyment.

Trouble is, they then decided that it was their tradition to get the advent calender- so they did, every year for 5 years!!! My Mum had the audacity to buy one for my dcs one year, they were very huffy and turned it into 'competitive calendering', trying to get the children to like theirs better.

Only you know your MIL and whether this scenario is likely, but I had to back you up as I thik you are getting a roasting, purely for wanting to enjoy your childrens christmas's while they are young. As someone has already said, they have had their chance at parenting, now they need to stand back a bit and let you enjoy the special times.

deXavia Wed 14-Nov-12 07:59:11

See could be us but advent calendars are just not a big deal in our house ... Now anyone interfere with my Christmas Eve movie and I'll kill them grin
Seriously did she know you wanted advent calendars to be "your" tradition? Did you say in October or whenever "- I'd like to do this as a tradition in my family" . If not how was she to know? Next time just say and make sure you have a fall back of ... "But it would be lovely if you could do this..." so as grandmother she builds her own tradition.

LadyMargolotta Wed 14-Nov-12 07:59:32

this is the advent calender you need, to help you relax a bit about itsmile

(I'd quite like one too!)

OldMumsy Wed 14-Nov-12 07:59:47

OddBoots, quite. It's the love and thought that counts. They are lucky that they have family that cares and are still alive.

SantasComingFace Wed 14-Nov-12 08:02:27

I haven't read all posts, but it's chocolate!

I really don't get why people are reluctant to give it to their kids confused

My MIL annoys the hell out of me but this wouldn't be a thing to piss me off. Saying that MY Mil is likely to buy one for her house so DS is bugging to go there everyday. angry

But an advent calendar really isn't a big deal. confused

marchwillsoonbehere Wed 14-Nov-12 08:03:02

YANBU (has this been overrun by Gransnet?)

I am paying you the compliment of assuming you are joking Eugene because otherwise this will rank as one of the most unpleasant remarks on this thread. Most grans were mums in the not too distant past (in fact a lot of them still are) but they have the benefit of 'been there, done that, got the tee shirt'

As for me, threads like this make me blush to my roots because they are an all too uncomfortable reminder of what a territorial DiL I was!

Yes yes to their own thing! My mum regales me with stories of going to the panto with her nan then for tea. So this year as dd1 is old enough to get it, ive asked if she'd like to take dd to the panto as it will carry on her own treasured tradition. (altho it must have skipped a generation as i wasnt taken!)

Sokmonsta Wed 14-Nov-12 08:04:33

I think yab a little u and its probably a small thing to pick out in what may be a fraught dil/mil relationship generally.

My 2 eldest dc's have 3 advent calendars!!!! I'm sure the babies will too when it comes to next year. But it doesn't bother me that both sets of grandparents get them one as well as I. All we do is leave them at the respective grandparents houses. We see them a couple of times a week so the dc's open the doors one at a time at our house, and to the correct day at their grandparents houses. Grandparents get to share in their joy of the treat, my house isn't over-run with calendars. Kids are happy because every few days they get a little more chocolate than normal from their calendar. During those periods I tend not to give them other sweets too much though.

At 4 and 2 they know advent calendars are a treat, certain types of chocolate are a treat - coins etc. but I strongly feel that by restricting their access too much, it makes it a forbidden food they are more likely to over-eat as they get older.

CailinDana Wed 14-Nov-12 08:04:49

I wish someone would buy me an advent calendar sad

marchwillsoonbehere Wed 14-Nov-12 08:04:51

Margolotta grin

I want one of those!!! Alas they are out of stock! Can't imagine why!

OldMumsy Wed 14-Nov-12 08:05:28

LadyMargolotta they do a whisky one too. Sends order off.....

OldMumsy Wed 14-Nov-12 08:06:16

marchwillsoonbehere
http://www.masterofmalt.com/gin/drinks-by-the-dram/the-ginvent-calendar-gin/

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 08:06:35

ladymargolotta YES PLEASE!!! That is GENIUS!

marshmallowpies Wed 14-Nov-12 08:06:50

I loved picture advent calendars as a child and would have been genuinely disappointed if I'd been given a chocolate one instead of a picture one- the chocolate is usually nasty cheap stuff anyway. That's not to say if I'd been given both, I wouldn't have eaten the chocolate...but I would have been sad not to have a picture one.

In fact, I liked advent calendars so much I kept my favourite ones and reopened them every year....ending up with 4 or 5 to be opened every morning. This may be slightly OTT but as posters have said below, your family traditions will develop over time and you may end up with a child like me still clinging stubbornly to last years' calendar!

EnjoyResponsibly Wed 14-Nov-12 08:08:13

My DS has 3 blush because I and both his grandmothers buy them.

Frankly, trying to stop either grandmother would be like trying to hold back the tide, and as their adoration of DS transcends any efforts I make to control Christmas I have conceded its just better to let than all get on with it.

But DS doesn't like chocolate so that gets thrown away eaten by me, and I buy a Playmobil one.

Lesbeadiva Wed 14-Nov-12 08:08:36

I want that gin advent calander too! Inspired!

marchwillsoonbehere Wed 14-Nov-12 08:09:13

Anyway anyway anyway, I am very lucky with my DiL has she has only two areas of dissatisfaction with me: everything I say and everything I do. (Ithink she has taken lessons from my mother!) grin

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 08:09:56

Thank you to those who understand. And thank you to those who don't for challenging me!

I know I'm being a bit grumpy about it. I'm trying hard to see it as a kind gesture and get over it.

LtEveDallas Wed 14-Nov-12 08:10:49

DD gets an advent calendar from us, one from DM and one from DMil. She has a stocking here, one at DMs and one at DMils. The dogs have an advent calendar from us, and one at work.

Part of our tradition is that DD gets to gorge herself stupid on arrival at DMs and DMils, eating up all the 'days' she has missed grin. She also has Choc in her stockings and is allowed to eat some before breakfast. She tells everyone that Christmas is the BEST because she gets to eat as much chocolate as she wants!

So shoot me <<shrugs>>

Sokmonsta Wed 14-Nov-12 08:11:30

But just to add, YANBU re the stocking. Stockings are MY territory and woe betide anyone who would suggest they got one too. In our house they are from Father Christmas. I take great delight in choosing all sorts of little things to go in them. Both sets of parents know and respect this. Instead in-laws do a bag. One of those big Christmas paper bags with the children's presents in, an orange, apple and some nuts. They even do it for the adults. It doesn't detract from my stocking because it is their own tradition and I wouldn't dream of telling them not do do it as a 9 month old wont eat nuts hmm.

My grandma used to do the equivalent of the stocking as a package present. Lots of little games, some sweets and a £1 bag of shiny pennies. Oh we loved those pennies, only ever brand new shiny ones. With 4 grandchildren, it must have taken her the whole year to get them. And they were sorely missed when we were deemed to old. Again I don't recall my parents being miffed because it was her tradition to do that. As long as it wasn't packaged in a stocking it wasn't felt that she was trying to detract from our Father Christmas stockings.

LadyMargolotta Wed 14-Nov-12 08:11:52

In my expert opinion even the Cadbury's chocolate advent calender don't taste very nice - the chocolate has a wierd glaze on it and tastes plasticy. The best chocolate one is the Lindt one.

marchwillsoonbehere Wed 14-Nov-12 08:12:42

And thank you to those who don't for challenging me!

Daisies you are a good and self aware woman!

Now, give me your address and I will send one of those gin/whisky advent calendars to each of your dc!

bitsofmeworkjustfine Wed 14-Nov-12 08:12:44

do you think that she is just trying to include you in her family traditions?
traditions are passed down..... thats how they become 'traditional'

Sokmonsta Wed 14-Nov-12 08:14:11

marshmallowpies my 92 year old grandma still has 2 picture advent calendars from my childhood that come out every year. Now the great grandchildren get to open them. I'm 31 and I'm sure she had them before I was born as I have much older cousins.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 14-Nov-12 08:16:04

Yanbu even if you have been convinced otherwise,

There are certain things that parents get to do and gp's don't because they already got to do it with the children they gave birth to.

These include but are not limited to

Rule making
Santa presents
Advent calendars
Birthday cakes
Stockings
Funding

You know that thing that people say about children that are not there's about being able to give them back when they cry or not having to deal with them at 4am?

Well that's the trade off the person with full responsabilities for the children has to make sure they are met, the reward is the nice stuff.

The people without the responsabilities get a rather more limited role and that is decided by the parents.

Gp's got to make there parenting choices with there children they don't get to do that with other people's children unless the parents are happy with it

musicposy Wed 14-Nov-12 08:17:58

Let them have two. You're being a bit precious. It really doesn't matter as much as you think it does. Just put them up and if they forget to open them get your DH to on the quiet. Your one year old certainly won't notice if DH eats the chocolate every day and I'm sure he won't mind!

When my DDs were young I used to get very upset about stuff like this. I know what it's like, you're their parent, you want to be the one to do the special stuff. But as they get older (mine are teens now) you realise this is small stuff really and it's not worth getting yourself upset over it. smile

trumpton Wed 14-Nov-12 08:18:44

marchwillsoonbehere Pretty please may I have one as well. I have been ever so good < tilts head in a whimsome way>

aufaniae Wed 14-Nov-12 08:19:46

Haven't read the whole thread, but annoyed really at the posters who are telling you that you're BU for not wanting to give a 1 year old chocolate every day.

It's a very reasonable stance IMO to not encourage your DCs from getting into eating chocolate every day!

I would accept the gift this year though out of good grace. Your 1 year old is too young to know they're meant to be eaten every day anyway, that bit is up to you!

And then next year let MIL know in advance, tactfully, that you've decided not to have chocolate calendars this year, and suggets something else instead perhaps.

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 08:20:05

march my children don't drink whiskey! Are you crazy! They're SMALL CHILDREN!!!

They love gin though, so go ahead and send me one if those. They can share it grin

CailinDana Wed 14-Nov-12 08:20:18

Toomany I'm in the sad position of really regretting how I've treated my MIL over the years. She was quite sick recently and it shocked me to see her frail as she's normally so lively and busy. I even got annoyed with her when she was sick ffs, for something pretty pointless. I rang her the other day and she just sounded so tired, it really shook me. She's fine now but it was a timely reminder that trivial things don't really matter. One day she'll more than likely be really ill, and realistically she doesn't have a massive number of years left. When the worst happens I won't look back and think "I'm glad I stood my ground over [trivial thing]" I'll just be sad for DS that he lost someone really important who loved him.

It can be tough as a mum to let go and allow others to be close to your children. But by letting your guard down a bit you are doing a good and kind thing that you won't regret.

fluffyraggies Wed 14-Nov-12 08:21:37

I'm not dreading becoming a MIL at all! I'm pretty confident that if i knew one of my grandchildren wasn't allowed chocolate i'd be able to restrain myself from buying a chocolate advent calender hmm

There are some things that are for parents to do yes. Personally, advent calenders are not one of those things for me. But are all different. I think it's the way you handle it that is the most important thing. Wrangle your way through this year without saying anything, OP, then next year as xmas approaches, just say to MIL- ooh, if you get advent calenders this year could you see if you can find the non chocolate ones. I'm having a struggle.Then she'll feel she's helping and you get your way with the choc issue.

Stockings, and therefore Santa arriving, would absolutely be the one parent only zone for me at xmas.

The DDs setting up jeezy creezy the nativity display, complete with star, angels and stable made of twigs, on the living room window ledge (which they still clamour to do even though DDs are now all teens) was a family tradition that sort of grew on it's own. So did the decorating of the tree. Plus the making and decorating of the chocolate log. Its a plain chocolate swiss roll bought from Tesco covered in too much ready made chocolate icing that comes in a tub. But it was, and still is, a task solemnly undertaken by the DDs since they were little, and woe betide me if i forget to include it on the xmas shopping list grin Plus, in fact, now i think about it, the putting out of the now defunct old Father Christmas musical figure! (they used to dance about to the music when it was working, many moons ago)

Don't fret, OP, your own little traditions will grow on their own if you allow your kids to help with xmas. They may not be the ones you expect - but they will mean the most to your kids, and best of all they'll never conflict with GPs as they'll be personal and home grown.

ItsNotEasyBeingGreen Wed 14-Nov-12 08:22:10

Last year my DS was about 20 months and my DM, DMIL and SIL all bought DS advent calendars... he had a few bits of chocolate but for the most part I ate them! smile
DMIL also sent him a stocking.

You can have your traditions, your MIL is not trying to spoil your traditions. She's trying to spoil your DC because she loves them. YABU.

TempusFuckit Wed 14-Nov-12 08:22:50

OP I would have felt exactly the same way as you straight off. But, other than the chocolate issue, you do have to relax a bit. The best Christmas traditions are the ones unique to your family, and these will develop over time.

My MIL has me well prepared for the onslaught of Christmas crap as she has been buying it for us for years now. We have Santa winestoppers, snowman jelly moulds, plastic Christmas cutlery. Tbh, I'm looking forward to her transferring it to the DC (who can conveniently break anything we run out of cupboard space for ...)

I do think that doing two stockings for fear of offending is too much though - not just the expense, but also the diminishing rate of present-giving-fun-return from having to find that many trinkets ...

ItsNotEasyBeingGreen Wed 14-Nov-12 08:23:30

Incidentally the stocking MIL did went downstairs with the presents. Our stocking was the one on his bed... Chose your battles wisely.

LtEveDallas Wed 14-Nov-12 08:23:51

You know what? I don't care how much my DParents or DPILs do for DD. I don't own her. She isn't my property.

She is a much loved member of the whole family. She is spoilt rotten by both sides (she is the youngest). It makes her happy, it makes my family happy. So by extension it makes me happy.

We have different rules at the GPs houses than we do here. DD understands this completely - things she gets away with here are frowned upon there and vice versa. It's never been a problem.

My DSis bought my DD her first ever doll (when she was about 8 weeks old!). Didn't bother me, I was happy that my DSis loved her neice so much she wanted to buy her something special. One of my friends was horrified, thought it was a terrible thing to do. I was bemused confused.

WaitingForMe Wed 14-Nov-12 08:26:32

I don't have a problem with chocolate advent calendars but PFB will be a month old this Christmas and so the first year he'll be allowed one is 2014.

I was a bit hmm at MIL last year as she bought a huge fabric calendar and filled it with loads of sweets and toys. A lovely idea but my DSSs only spend one midweek night and alternate weekends with us so each visit there was loads of stuff and they actually got bored with it. I was throwing away cheap nasty sweets that had gone soft/sticky from their bedrooms in February. But hey ho, I'm planning an activity calendar for them this year based upon knowing what will impress them, I can live with a February clear out of uneaten sweets.

NoTeaForMe Wed 14-Nov-12 08:30:36

I think that being upset by the advent calendar is a bit much. I wouldn't mind that. I think you should ask yourself, and be honest, if it was your mom and not you MiL who bought it would you still be annoyed? (Sorry if that's already been asked, I haven't read all the thread!)

I would say no to the stocking though. In our family the stocking comes from Father Christmas so to have two would be weird. They do some lovely sacks-not sure how big though, poss too big. Maybe you could suggest that your MiL puts the presents from her in one of those. Though I'm guessing it's the actual stocking she wants to do rather than just have her toys in a bag!!

A friend of mine recently told me that she has "to check with her DIL over every little thing she would like to treat her grandchildren too" because DIL has insisted on it and every time her DIL says "no" with her reason. She says it is taking the joy out of her relationship with her grandchildren and she can't do right for doing wrong. My friend is lovely, adores all of her family, wants the best for her grandchildren in all ways but just can't do anything right for her DIL no matter how hard she tries.

One minute some mums complain their children's grandparents don't take enough interest in their children then its a complaint because they are buying them an advent calendar with chocolate in - because the mum had already bought one confused Children are allowed to receive gifts from people, have more than one of the same thing and be given the space to enjoy those things. If they don't want them they will not interact with the item.

YABU - its christmas, your MIL wants to treat her grandchildren and one small chocolate a day is not going to harm your children. I can't believe you even considered returning it - that's just mean and rude.

Your MIL must feel like she is walking on eggshells with her DILs.

Sorry - just spotted this is NOT AIBU.

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 08:38:58

fluffyraggies thank you so much. Those home grown traditions sound a lot like the ones my brothers and I evolved (especially the shop bought Christmas log!)

marchwillsoonbehere Wed 14-Nov-12 08:40:16

*march my children don't drink whiskey! Are you crazy! They're SMALL CHILDREN!!!

They love gin though, so go ahead and send me one if those. They can share it*

Coffee on PC screen via nose o'clock!

Flipping heck - this IS AIBU. Corrected!

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 08:43:29

sparkle I didn't consider returning it...
My mil can buy dc any toy she likes. She doesn't have to check everything with me. Just the big stuff that I want to do as their Mum.

NervousAt20 Wed 14-Nov-12 08:43:33

Sorry but I think YABU and over reacting.

My MIL tried to do DD1 an enormous sack of pressies from Father Christmas last year.

I'd let an advent calendar go. Or eat it myself every day.

By the way - I let her have the enormous sack of pressies I just made sure she knew they were from Nanny and Granddad not Father Xmas.

Startail Wed 14-Nov-12 08:45:37

This really is a non issue
Pretty calendar morning, chocolate with tea.

My DDs are too big to remember when they started eating lump choc, but the bits in calendars are tiny, not going to spoil a 1y for life.

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 08:46:42

The calendar for the 1 yr old I will be eating. Possibly all in one go, a la Miranda Hart...

diddl Wed 14-Nov-12 08:52:26

On the whole though I don´t really like the choccy calendars.

I did love opening the picture ones though.

We owned about 6 that were recycled-never sure if that was because we were poor or mean!

(I´m so old that choccy calendars didn´t exist when I was a kid)

Maybe when they are a little older MIL could buy a selection box or something as a tradition or make a gingerbread house together?

Lavenderhoney Wed 14-Nov-12 08:53:30

Advent calendars are lovely, tbh my dm and mil would do this and we would have them all - the dc love December, it's one long party in our housesmile

And mil sends a giant hamper of sweets and chocolate. Very generous.

What do you do at kids parties op, are your dc allowed to eat or are you one of the mums that enquiries if everything is organic? and brings carrot sticks just in case their dc should see a chip and want one? And what about school where parents bring in chocolate lollies for Birthdays for the class.

We don't use chocolate as a treat, or if you have been good, if you wants some have some- so the dc are not that bothered to honest.

This thread is very funnysmile

bonkersLFDT20 Wed 14-Nov-12 08:53:42

OP, I only read the first and last page of this thread.

I do understand how you feel. We never had choc calendars as a child and I want to continue that for my children. We were excited about the picture and the choc ones are often naff and not even advent (ie they include the 25th).

It's a bit sentimental, but my Mum has passed away and the calendar is a big childhood memory for me. I take care in choosing lovely traditional ones for the children and I'd be a bit sad if someone trumped it by buying them a horrid Simpsons choc one or something.

We also have one of the fabric pocket ones which I put choc coins in and the 2 DS's alternate days. I was able to put smaller chocs in DS2's pockets when he was younger.

"Her other DIL gave the chocolate advent calendars back to MIL and said that no, her children were not having chocolate ones. This has really hurt MIL so I can't do the same"

Sorry toomanydaisies I read the above as though it had crossed your mind.

fluffyraggies Wed 14-Nov-12 08:56:56

Just saying - i'd be really hmm if any of my DDs GPs had tried to 'do' santa at their house as well. I find that really odd tbh! I would have to have put my foot down there. Sympathies for all of you who seem to be having that to deal with.

I understand GPs want to be involved in their GCs xmas. I would forgive (and in the past have forgiven) GPs buying or doing things which i personally thought were a bit tacky or over the top or just odd or whatever, and let them get on with it.

But having Santa rock up at GPs house when the GC live elsewhere? Why would they do that? confused

Jins Wed 14-Nov-12 08:57:22

MIL buys chocolate advent calendars. Normally I'd not have an issue with it but the first year she started doing it was the year that DS2 developed an intolerance to wheat, dairy and soya and was on a strict exclusion diet. The calendar made my run up to Christmas just a tiny bit more stressful smile

CailinDana Wed 14-Nov-12 08:57:57

I agree with you Lavender that the reaction to chocolate is quite hilarious. It's not crack cocaine - there's no more sugar in a small piece of chocolate than there is in a bowl of grapes. Similarly in our house "sweets" are not a treat, they're just one other thing to be eaten now and again. DS will eat half a chocolate biscuit and leave the rest if he doesn't want it - he doesn't feel he has to bolt down every bit of chocolate he gets for fear it'll never come again.

ledkr Wed 14-Nov-12 09:01:28

Poke out the chocolate and replace with carrot sticks or cardboard rice cakes then you can carry on being virtuous.

Dancergirl Wed 14-Nov-12 09:02:03

YABVVVVU

You're not the poster who posted about not wanting to buy a Minnie Mouse by any chance are you?

fluffyraggies Wed 14-Nov-12 09:04:35

Not judging you OP, because it's your 1 year old you're unhappy about being given a piece of chocolate each day for a month, not your older DC. Yes?

But ... i'm sure i saw a study done where it was shown that chocolate is the answer to the worlds problems is much better than sweets for teeth actually as the sugar from it tends not to cling as much.

<wander off to think of more reasons to eat choc>

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 09:06:37

lavender dc aged 5 can eat what they like at parties. Dc aged 1 can't.

I don't ban chocolate. That's not what this thread is about...

WorraLiberty Wed 14-Nov-12 09:07:56

Just open one before school and one after school

Leave the baby's one, she won't have a clue.

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 09:10:01

dancergirl no, I'm not. My dc don't like Minnie Mouse. They like hello kitty hmm

aamia Wed 14-Nov-12 09:13:06

How about you and DH have a choc calendar each and the kids have the picture ones?

I've bought my kids beautiful, personalised Thorntons advent calendars which really pissed off my mum as she'd bought them arty/crafty DIY advent kits from Paperchase.

Ho hum. What cha gonna doo bow dit? <channels inner Tony Soprano> smile

Treats Wed 14-Nov-12 09:17:16

I sympathise with you toomanydaisies and - FWIW - I think you've been very dignified in your responses so some quite rude people on this thread.

I spent hours last year sewing 24 little Santa sacks to hang in a garland across our fireplace and filled them with different bits of the Playmobil nativity scene to build up to the whole scene on Christmas Eve. It's something I got a kick out of doing as a Mum for my daughter (and future children). I'm looking forward to being able to get it out every year, and hope that the children will look forward to it too.

HOWEVER I have resigned myself to the fact that once my DD realises that you can get a Hello Kitty calendar with 25 chocolates in, (a fact I have successfully concealed from her so far) I know that she will really, really want one and I won't have the heart to deny her - it's Christmas after all. At that stage, I will be more than happy to rope in my mum or MIL to see if they want to buy her one, so that I can keep the chocolate tat separate from my own precious traditions (tongue firmly in cheek.....)

I think it can take a bit of time to work out everyone's 'role' in Christmas. If advent calendars are important to you, then think of something else that would be nice for the GPs to do with your GCs that they would both enjoy but isn't so important to you.

Tyranasaurus Wed 14-Nov-12 09:17:23

If it were me I'd politely thank MIL, then once home I'd take the chocolates out and use them in for the kids to decorate christmas buns or something then serve them at a chrstmas party/ feed them playgroup/sell at xmas fair etc. Then if MIL asks after it just say, 'unfortunately I'd already got calendars but we had so much fun decorating cakes with the chocolates' present used and appreciated

Grincherella Wed 14-Nov-12 09:19:45

I have a wooden advent calendar with little drawers that I fill with sweets and chocs for the dcs. My DM disapproves heartily. She loathes the idea of choc advent calendars and will rant at length about them if given half a chance. Every year, she insists on giving the dcs a properly religious advent calendar. Which makes dh twitch slightly, as he is allergic to all that. However, life is too short to get one's knickers in a twist about this stuff. So nobody here does.

pictish Wed 14-Nov-12 09:20:07

No - I'm the poster who hates Minnie fucking Mouse.

I would say the OP is bu, because I don't mind choccy advent calendars at all - so long as they're not Disney. wink

Lynned Wed 14-Nov-12 09:20:51

Just be grateful you have a MIL to buy one. Mine died 13 years ago, and it wouldnt cross my mums mind to buy one!

YouOldSlag Wed 14-Nov-12 09:24:34

OP- unclench.

*But I feel like our new family traditions are not bring allowed to develop because MIL intervenes*- she is not making you go to Lapalnd every year, she is buying a chocolate advent calendar because she thinks her GCs might like it and it might give them some happy moments.

She is not hijacking your Christmas
She is not taking over
She is not giving them chocolate cake every day for breakfast.

Really, choose your battles. Don't waste your energy on the small ones.

marchwillsoonbehere: obviously I was joking, the top of the thread was overwhelmingly pro-MIL, personally I was surprised there was n't more variation in the answers given the richness of the chocolate/MIL/Xmas/tradition material

surfingbabies Wed 14-Nov-12 09:28:46

My ex mil did this ever year knowing full well I'd made them one so I used to let them cut the activity off the back (most tacky ones have them) & pull all the chocs out, we would keep the plastic tray & make more chocs so I didn't look mean!! But I had no where to hang 3 calendars plus the ones I'd made!! one year she asked why I'd let the children cut them up & I said because we'd all made one and they love making extra chocs with the trays......she carried on for another 7 years I'm afraid!!
I always played it as if I was really grateful though as I think she did it to be nice to the kids as she never bought them anything throughout the year!! Bite ur lip and smile smile

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 09:30:49

treats thank you and well done on your home made efforts! V impressed.

tyranasaurus great idea....

5madthings Wed 14-Nov-12 09:30:54

Yabu its a bloody tiny bit of chocolate! They can have both advent calenders, get a grip!

Floggingmolly Wed 14-Nov-12 09:31:06

We have both. It's a complete non issue.

CaurnieBred Wed 14-Nov-12 09:35:59

We do the non chocolate one in the morning and the chocolate one once DD(8) gets in from school. It is now our tradition that MIL buys her her chocolate one (but it has to be a decent one, eg Lindt).

seeker Wed 14-Nov-12 09:37:50

When my mother was alive, she did stockings for her grandchildren that Befana dropped off at her house.

My brothers' partners fortunately didn't snatch them away from their children saying "One stocking only and it has to be the one I provide"

None of her grandchildren appeared to suffer any "myth confusion".

dawntigga Wed 14-Nov-12 09:38:20

Erm, where did you get the non-chocolate advent calendars from?

YABUAndATinyBitOTTTiggaxx

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Wed 14-Nov-12 09:40:08

Yabu.

Two is twice as special.

But if yours isnt chocolate, save yours till next year!

RugBugs Wed 14-Nov-12 09:43:31

YANBU my MIL has some serious boundary issues, she's in a strop with us because we held DDs birthday party at our house rather than hers last week, if your MIL is like mine OP, she takes silence to mean acceptance so I'd rather she be offended in the short term and understand your position than you go on for years quietly seething.

My SIL lets MIL get on with it and she now takes DNiece clothes shopping, to the dentist and hairdressers and has been on to the LEA about which school SIL should put DN down for.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 14-Nov-12 09:46:30

It is an issue if people don't want there own children to have choc, it's a perfectly legit valid choice

Just as letting them have it is also a parents choice

hackmum Wed 14-Nov-12 09:47:59

When someone gives a gift, they're doing it as an act of kindness. It gives your MiL pleasure to do something that will make her grandchildren happy.

I think you should receive the gift in the spirit in which it was given. Returning gifts is a very hurtful thing to do. There is no harm in having two advent calendars (my DD has often had two), and although I'm not a great fan of kids stuffing their faces with chocolate, the chocs you get in advent calendars are usually very small.

valiumredhead Wed 14-Nov-12 09:49:12

Ds has stockings from us and from my mum and when my nan was alive from her as well - he loved them all.

Think you need to unclench a bit OP.

zeno Wed 14-Nov-12 09:54:26

If it makes you feel any better OP, I got annoyed when MIL last year sent a link to an animated advent calendar on the computer. We are a one advent calendar family and that's that.

I don't even hold with the one for each person set-up because when I was a kid we had to share and take it in turns to open the door each day <advent extremist>

Floggingmolly Wed 14-Nov-12 09:56:31

Buying Advent calendars for your grandchildren does not signify boundary issues,
Scrooge RugBugs

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Wed 14-Nov-12 09:58:25

My gm always bought me one, I miss that! Now the mil buys my son one, no problems at all. It's nice, if your not happy about the 1 year olds don't give them that one. But smile and say thank u it's sweet not a move for world domination

whois Wed 14-Nov-12 09:59:19

UABU

MIL wants to be involved, have a gift of advent calendar, not a biggie, get over yourself.

MinnieBar Wed 14-Nov-12 09:59:56

My MIL once sent one of those wooden truck advent calendars, which has little drawers that fall out as soon as you touch the damn thing to put chocolate in.

Lovely.

But she sent 'chocolate' with it that didn't even contain any cocoa solids.

The cow.

libbyssister Wed 14-Nov-12 10:04:15

YANBU

I completely get where you're coming from. And at this age children love the little pictures. I have DSs aged 7, 4 & 2 and they all have pic ones from us and it's the first thing they think of when they get up in the morning. Last year DS2 was bought a choc one by his godmother which caused no end of squabbling. She meant well, I understand that.

On the other hand, my DM bought my 3DS one advent calendar between them "to remind them about the true meaning of Christmas" (DS3 was 1!!). It was a classical painting of the Virgin Mary and Child. And then she checked every couple of days that the children were appreciating it....hmm

diddl Wed 14-Nov-12 10:19:55

Has she done it to be nasty/undermine you?

Jingleflobba Wed 14-Nov-12 10:24:40

YABU. It's an advent calender. She is not trying to take over your life, just biy her grandchildren a little treat! If you don't want the 1 year old to eat chocolate everyday eat it yourself!
Mountains and molehills...

RugBugs Wed 14-Nov-12 10:30:15

You're right floggingmolly but my MIL also likes to be the one to take DGC to buy shoes, get haircuts and to see the dentist. She signed both up for her church nativity last year without either Mums knowledge but knowing that DSIL would be working and not able to go.
It's not that she's concerned for DGC welfare either, she refuses to have stair gates/keep the back door closed because then the dogs couldn't roam the house looking for beloved toys to devour

JKSLtd Wed 14-Nov-12 10:31:17

OP - i do kind of get where you're coming from, I do. I felt that things like stockings & advent calendars were more for the parents to sort out.

MIL loves getting my DC both.

My current compromise is:
i bought a lovely fabric advent calendar that the kids use every year, it's a religious scene (not that we're overly religious but I feel we ought to mention the Christmas story a few times at least!).
If MIL buys them chocolate ones, then fine.
I have stipulated no Kinerton crap
Some years she does, some years she doesn't. I haven't found out if she's got ones this year or not yet.
The kids love them though and MIL seems to appreciate my more relaxed stance.

Re stockings - well this year is fine as we're dong an early Christmas with them so the kids can have stockings on the 8th and then from me (FC) on the day itself.

If PIL are here, well the kids get their FC ones first thing and the PIL ones given to them later on direct from PIL - it's just like more presents really rather than an actual stocking.

So, to sum up, i think you need to chart a course that you're comfortable with within the bounds of what is likely to happen.
Put the DC first and think what they would like/appreciate.

Remember that the GPs won't be around forever and we should value the memories our DC are making of them. You said yourself you missed on GPs growing up, think how lovely it is for your DCs to make those memories smile

plutocrap Wed 14-Nov-12 10:37:33

A hell of a lot of sneering on this thread! "precious", "OTT", "heartbreaking", advice to "unclench" (just above the pelvic floor toner ad, too, which is MEANT to make us clench! grin)

RuleBritannia Wed 14-Nov-12 10:38:17

What did we do before advent calendars and stockings for Santa Claus to fill were commercialised?

We made our own or went without.

When I was a lot younger, we didn't have advent calendars so didn't beg for them. We knew what Advent was because we went to Siunday School. Does anyone go to Sunay School these days?

As for stockings for Santa Claus to fill, I do remember one Christmas when I was admonished. We used my father's socks to hang up for Santa Claus to fill with an orange, some nuts, an apple and a shilling with affordable goodies. Unfortunately, I hammered mine to the top of my bed's oak headboard using a seg! I got a good telling off but Santa Claus still came.

RuleBritannia Wed 14-Nov-12 10:40:04

Sorry - *Sunday

plutocrap - But MILS have had their Xmas moments and traditions with their children, why the hell do they need to play pretend mummy with their gc too?

Kalisi Wed 14-Nov-12 10:57:43

YABVU and ridiculous. Your SIL sounds horrible.
You sound reasonable for venting on here rather than at your poor MIL though smile
Why is it so hard for people to smile and say thank you and then do what you want to do anyway?
I also don't want to give my one year old chocolate, which is why in your position i'd just give ds the calendar but eat the chocolate myself. For the good of the children. grin

Floggingmolly Wed 14-Nov-12 10:58:48

Ok, I withdraw the Scrooge, RugBugs, that is definitely OTT. The haircuts would make me want to take a hatchet to her smile

IsItMeOr Wed 14-Nov-12 10:59:01

OP I agree with you that you're over-reacting a bit, but admit that I would probably have been the same when DS was 1.

In fact, I was the same and then some when DS was 2 and truly lovely DMIL turned up with a second stocking.

It just hadn't occurred to her that I might have an issue with it. I like to do the Father Christmas brings the stocking thing, so I felt it undermined that. I also felt that, while it's great for GPs to spoil GCs, the FC myth is one that should be led by parents imo.

Plus, I know for a fact that neither set of GPs had to deal with this sort of crap input in their day!

IsItMeOr Wed 14-Nov-12 11:00:22

PS I would use the 1 year olds myself. And if you don't want your 5 yo to have choc every day, then could you take it in turns to open with you, him and DH?

treas Wed 14-Nov-12 11:12:22

Talk about micromanaging your dc lives

Jossysgiants Wed 14-Nov-12 11:14:16

I don't think you are being massively unreasonable op. I felt the same last year when my Mil did this. I had already bought them, and didn't want to do 2 so they had mils. My mil has bought the same gifts as us for the dcs several times at christmas and it does irritate me if only for the wasted cash - two bikes, two baby walkers- why not check first? I think there are some things that you can tend to feel a bit protective /precious about. Now the kids are bigger I have calmed down a bit though. I am going to get a trad advent this year and do it at bedtime as suggested up thread as I am sure there will be Disney princess ones appearing shortly. Which I am sure the kids will prefer but that's beside the point... :-)

IsItMeOr Wed 14-Nov-12 11:19:09

OP - I've also suggested to DMIL that she might like to buy DS a choc father christmas or similar from her, so she gets the pleasure of choosing and buying something for DS, but we also don't have a 2/3 yo disappearing under a mountain of choc and plastic tat.

But then I really hate waste.

wispawoman Wed 14-Nov-12 11:24:15

Yet another anti MIL thread. I've read other members saying that as mums of sons they were absolutely horrified by how much DILs disliked/attacked their MIL for the most ridiculous things. I have sons, I have always tried to get on with their girlfriends and accepted that although I adore my boys, they have another woman in their life and she should come first. I got on well with my own MIL and was always thrilled when GPs wanted to spend time and treat my own children. I thought my boys were pretty marvellous and I wanted others to share their marvellousness. I just don't get this possessiveness, unless your MIL is horrendous, for heaven's sake try to be nice and certainly try not to exclude her - she is your grandchildren's father's mother if that makes sense! If this is truly representative of DILs I am really scared of gaining one and unwittingly getting it all wrong.

fuzzpig Wed 14-Nov-12 11:28:18

I don't really mind the cheap chocolate calendars, the DCs love them. I think in the future I'd like to get proper wooden ones to fill myself but that won't happen this year. In any case SIL asked if she can get the choc ones this year.

I never had an advent calendar as a child. I knew everyone else did but wasn't allowed one for some reason. My now-DH was incredulous when he found this out, so on our first Xmas together he got me a picture one, a chocolate one and we exchanged little gifts for every day of advent. I made his advent calendar from little cards on each of which I wrote a song lyric. Soppy thing that I am blush - but he's still got them 9 years on smile

Anyway, I'm really not bothered about them being crappy kinnerton ones, they're just a bit of fun (and gluten free unlike some others) so we all have one, it only costs about £6. When we have the money/energy to do the wooden one, we will stop doing the cheap ones, but probably still put a little sweet or chocolate in each drawer.

Mind you, my friend from college did send us a Hotel Chocolat couple's calendar once - each window had two little truffles in. <fond memories>

diddl Wed 14-Nov-12 11:33:11

Well I do think that it is usual for parents to buy an Advent calendar & not GPs.

But perhaps that´s why MIL got chocolate ones-because she knew that you wouldn´t OP?

I do know how you feel as there was a time I thought about my ILs "oh FFS-you´ve had your chance & done this with your child now let me do it with mine"

But if it´s not done maliciously, & if, as in this case it´s different to what you do, then try to accept it-for the sake of your sanity/blood pressure!

Goodluckbear Wed 14-Nov-12 11:34:00

YANBU (although I don't know the history of your relationship with your MIL!!). I do understand your MIL though - I have a lovely MIL, but she goes overboard with these things so I don't get chance (e.g. I made a stocking for pfb DS, we arrived at theirs for Christmas Day to find she had made FOUR stockings for him. He was one yr old). She buys him a crazy amount of presents, last Christmas they didn't even have enough paper to wrap them all and they took up one half of their living room. DS played with the dog's old tennis ball instead....

I get annoyed because I want to get chance to do stockings, advent calendars, etc and spoil DS from time to time, but I am pipped to the post by MIL everytime, even when I say "please don't buy him x or y as I'm getting that for his birthday" - she arrives with x and y (she brings him presents every time she comes - not expensive stuff, but we have a lot of plastic stuff piled up as a result). So I am mean mummy who doesn't buy DS anything, or indulge in Christmas traditions, because it's all already been done by MIL. I guess I feel she takes the shine off my efforts, but I'm pretty sure DS couldn't care less.

However, this is my lovely MIL's first grandchild and she does try to overcompensate all the time anyway (a separate issue) so I'm hoping it will die down in later years and then I'll get chance to do the special stuff. But I don't think YABU to be annoyed, I feel it all the time as even when I say I'd like to do these things, she just forgets and does them anyway.

Prarieflower Wed 14-Nov-12 11:38:39

Been there got the Tshirt except my mil gave my dc 3 X choc calendars half way through Dec one year when they were merrily opening their German old fashioned picture calendar which they were originally happy with.My mum then started up her own wooden calendar one year-the same year I started a wooden one.

It's a bloody nightmare,no idea what you should do op.Soooo glad my dc are getting to the age that calendargate no longer matters.

I think things like calendars are for mummy to organise only,after all it's what we all dream of doing pre dc however I suspect I'll stuff up too come the time I have gc and won't be able to resist.Hope I rem.

seeker Wed 14-Nov-12 11:39:58

"grandmother wants to do something nice for grandchildren shock"

ChunkyPickle Wed 14-Nov-12 11:43:47

We're not being precious - we just want to be able to have some of our own traditions.

My mum got rather miffed when I started knitting presents for Christmas for my nieces and nephews (because the knitted Christmas jumper was her thing), yet apparently her packing a Christmas stocking for my son was OK (yes, he could have two, yes I could unpack it and give him the presents separately, but <footstamp> this is my son, I want to do his stocking, and you should only have one stocking full of oranges, chocolate and tat at Christmas), and my MIL bought DS his first proper shoes (took him out and got them before I had a chance to do it myself)

I do swallow my pride/disappointment, and take it in the spirit in which it is given, but it doesn't stop me being a bit sad privately that I didn't get to do these things.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 14-Nov-12 11:45:45

I don't think it's anti mil at all I think it's anti grandparent who has forgotten that she is not the parent.

At the moment there is a very simmerler thread about a mums own mother.

Most of these kinds of gp's would have been very quick to challenge this behaviour from there dc's gp's

Coralanne Wed 14-Nov-12 11:46:32

I was at a family birthday brunch on Saturday and afterwards we all went shopping.

My sister had 5 of her DGC with her (and their mothers). She let them all choose their own Advent calendars and the mums couldn't have been more pleased.

Mums were her own DD and two DILs.

I made my DD an Advent calendar when she was small and it is their family tradition to fill each day with a trinket or sweet and taking turns to open them.

Prarieflower Wed 14-Nov-12 11:48:47

Chunkysad.It's sooo difficult as you only get these opportunities once in life and to be fair gps have already had their turn with their own dc.

I have never stayed at mil at Xmas because I know she'd take over.She does dil's kids stockings,calendars,birthday parties the lot.That's fine if dil is happy but these lovely traditions are things I dreamt for years of doing and tbh kids should only have 1 of each-it doesn't teach them to value things if they have several.

StanleyLambchop Wed 14-Nov-12 11:50:14

I am pipped to the post by MIL everytime, even when I say "please don't buy him x or y as I'm getting that for his birthday" - she arrives with x and y

^^ This is the problem. I have learned not to tell the GPs what I am planning for presents, or they will appear with it the next day and present it to DCs, who then are disppointed with the duplicate one you give them on their actual birthday. This is where calendergate ends!! YANBU to be frustrated with it!!

PeppermintLatte Wed 14-Nov-12 11:50:30

I haven't got time to read through this mammoth thread, so apologies if this has been asked, but how often do your kids go to your MIL's house? Might be worth her keeping it and your kids opening it on the date they are there, MIL then gets to share in that nice tradition and your kids won't be eating the chocolate every day?

Prarieflower Wed 14-Nov-12 11:51:52

Sil has never even made a bday cake,mil does them all.

Now I know I may sound daft but staying up late with dp making my dc's various bday cake disasters are things I'll remember fondly.You only prop up a fairy mushroom cake at 2am with cocktail sticks or chisel hamster poo out of licorice once in your life.

Coralanne Wed 14-Nov-12 11:52:04

DGC also get a chocolate Advent calendar which they invariably destroy before Christmas.

They all regard Grandma's Advent calendar as the special Christmas one. This has not come about from any thing that I have said or done. DD just decided that she wanted to continue the tradition of her very own personalised homemade Advent calendar.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 14-Nov-12 11:54:27

It's perfectly possible to treat your gc's without treading on a parents toes with no hard work at all.

Coralanne Wed 14-Nov-12 11:59:30

Prarie you are so right. It's great to see that some things never change.

I used to do the same thing. Why we have to do it at 2 o"clock in the morning, I don't know,

I have often arrived at DGC's birthday parties to find the parents struggling to keep their eyes open because they have been up half the night making beautiful themed cakes.

Their memories will be the same as mine.

I love my DGC to death but I also know I am their Grandma not their parent and sometimes when DCD begs to stay over and her Mum says "Not this time because we are having a family weekend at home" I fully support and understand her.

CornflowerB Wed 14-Nov-12 12:06:27

I too understand where you are coming from and good on you for accepting it graciously. It is coming from a place of love and she probably thinks she is 'helping'. You could always just lose her one behind the sofa or let DC have both.

My DB and his partner came round one time to 'help' me at Halloween i.e. his partner who is 'creative' was going to paint their faces. I can't describe how irrationally angry this made me. I just wanted to scream at them: 'Where the hell are you at 3am when they are puking their guts up, or at 7am for breakfast EVERY morning. Have you ever babysat for me? Have you ever done anything for me? No, nothing, but you want to come round here and take one of the few fun things out of the whole drudgery of motherhood away from me?' Of course I didn't say any of this, because they think they are 'helping' (and I would have sounded like a complete nutter), so we did a child each, but this 'helping' was so far removed from the help that I could actually have done with.

ROUS Wed 14-Nov-12 12:09:24

For 365 days of the year I get to shout at my kids to wipe their arses properly, wash their hands, chew with their mouth closed, homework, shoes on the right feet, etc.

Christmas is my time to be nice to my kids, if I want to stay up late with DH thinking up new and naughty things for the Elf on the Shelf to do well that's so my children might have a just a few memories of me being something more then a shouty dogsbody. Not all the fun stuff has to come from parachuting, purchasing-happy grandparents.

Kalisi Wed 14-Nov-12 12:18:54

On my DS's first birthday, the party was at FIL house with all decs done by his partner, cake was done by MIL, best presents by far were brought by DM & DF, and the food was all done by DGM. I sat back with a cup of tea and glorious smile on my face knowing I would remember this day forever with nothing but fond memories and gratitude. My DS had a wonderful birthday and he still loves me very much despite being a lazy cow

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 12:38:31

Thank you all for replying!

My 5 yr old will have her advent calendar. My 1 yr old won't (will use the chocolates to decorate the chocolate log maybe?!).

They will both have lovely non chocolate advent calendars each morning!

(Oh, and I'll let my 5 yr old open door 25 on day 24 because its an Advent calendar!)

I don't know how I can ask mil not to do this next year. But the chocolate ones can be an after supper thing, the calendar from us can be the first thing in the morning one.

I am grateful for the love she has for my dc. But I am also a bit protective of the fun bits of being a Mummy - as lots of you seem to understand!

Treats Wed 14-Nov-12 12:42:48

Those telling the OP to "unclench" should go back and read goodluckbear's post again. It's quite an extreme example but the issue here is about GPs muscling in and taking over those moments that mothers think should be reserved for them.

We've all got different things - I'd be more than happy for my DM or MIL to take DD for a haircut or to buy shoes. At Christmas time, I don't much care for trips to see Santa, so I'm very happy to delegate those to anyone who wants to do them. Some of you feel the same about advent calendars.

But - for me - hands off the advent calendar, the stocking and her birthday cakes [fierce look]. Whoever is first in the line of fire when it comes to looking after sick children or wiping up their poo gets first pick - afaic - of the "precious moments" that make it all worthwhile.

There's still plenty left for the GPs to get involved in. It's much better for the children if they get taken out on a special treat with Grandma or get a special gift that they wouldn't otherwise have got because their own parents don't care about it, than to have two of everything.

YouOldSlag Wed 14-Nov-12 12:54:25

But she is not stealing precious moments! she won't even be there every morning/evening when they open it!

It's not as if the GM has rearranged Christmas Day or is turning up every day to watch the advent calendar being opened, it's just something nice for her GCs.

I really cannot see it as muscling in on precious moments. It's a bloody advent calendar.

YouOldSlag Wed 14-Nov-12 13:03:46

Incidentally, other relatives buy my DCs advent calendars, so they often have 2 or 3 to open. Does it take the shine off? No! It doesn't make my efforts any less important to my DCs and it doesn't lessen the moment because the relatives who bought them aren't there. It's ME who's there, not them, so buying an extra advent calendar doesn't make a jot of difference to anything.

I really think this is making a mountain out of a molehill.

aftereight Wed 14-Nov-12 13:16:52

What Treats said ^
I am a total bit of a control freak about stuff like this, but when my mum bought DCs a cheap choc advent calendar each this year I gritted my teeth and said thankyou. I told my DCs that this year I will be treating myself to a special non chocolate advent calendar with pictures and (important) glitter grin
My MIL, however, has bought DD1 a "sparkly frock from BHS", and I just know she will try to insist that she wears it on Christmas day. No chance.

fuzzpig Wed 14-Nov-12 13:22:05

I don't really know how I'd react to my mum 'muscling in' - she didn't give a shit about all that stuff when I was a kid and she doesn't give one now either!

Afrodizzywonders Wed 14-Nov-12 13:28:32

Just read the first few pages of replie.....personally there is no was I'd give a 1 year old a chocolate calender, plenty of time for that, the 5 year old I would....can't help but think you have been given a hard time on here. Just be polite about it to GP and ditch one of the calenders.

drizzlecake Wed 14-Nov-12 14:03:36

The chocolate in advent cals is usualy lard with sugar and brown colouring and I wouldn't feed it to my one year old.

Hide Granny's advent until the day or so before xmas or granny's next visit or chuck out.

ElectricMonk Wed 14-Nov-12 14:31:11

I understand, OP - YANBU. I don't have children, but I know that if/when I do have them I will be very protective of the traditions and indulgences that I see as "special". Grandparents have already had the chance to do this with their own children, so it's only fair that the new parents get to choose which moments/objects/experiences they want to share and which ones they want to keep between themselves and their offspring. As sweet as it is that grandparents want to be involved, they should respect that and ask before buying one-off/rare luxuries for children (and be prepared for the fact that their kind offer may be declined).

I don't think it necessarily matters so much from a small child's perspective, but I've seen many times over what a hard, onerous, guilt-inducing and thankless task parenting young children can feel like (especially when both parents are working). The majority of the "parenting experience" can't possibly live up to prior expectations because of the responsibilities and constraints involved, so it's important that parents do get chance to enjoy the things that are important to them and can live up to the preconceived "ideal". Whether or not it matters to others, the fact that it matters to you should be enough smile.

Maybe in the future you could avoid situations like this by highlighting the fact that it's important to you a while in advance. If it's spontaneous, you could make things clear in a sensitive way by saying "I'm really looking forward to getting DD's X - I used to love those as a child, and it's one of the things I've been imagining doing for her since she was tiny." Or if PIL/your parents offer to do or get something that you want to be responsible for, you could say something like "It's so kind of you to offer but I really want to be the one to get/do that. Would you like to help me choose it? OR She'd really love an X though, would you perhaps be willing to give her that instead?" That way you're making it clear that you appreciate their generosity and want them to be involved, but there's something specific that really matters to you - I think most parents will understand that, even if they don't share your perception smile.

SamanthaStormer Wed 14-Nov-12 14:44:47

If yours is a non chocolate one and the MIL's is a chocolate one, why on earth can't they have two?! They'll have a nice pretty, traditional picture one (I prefer those to the chocolate ones, actually) and a chocolate as well.
So what if they'll have a piece of chocolate every day? It's the run up to CHRISTMAS! If you can't have choc at Christmas, then when can you?!
I'm also of the opinion that they're not allowed too much chocolate and they only get it every now and again.
I make an exception to Christmas though! grin

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 15:04:11

electricmonk what a kind and thoughtful post. Thank you!

Ronby Wed 14-Nov-12 15:09:49

If you feel so strongly about this, just take the chocolates out and give them to your child a bit each day, explaining that they are from his nan.
I feel a bit sorry for your MIL really and by returning them to her would have been cruel. Nans love to treat their grandchildren and when all is said and done, a little bit of chocolate is not a big deal to you but rejecting it would be a massive thing to her.

Flisspaps Wed 14-Nov-12 15:15:54

I'm not buying my DC (7mo and 2yo) advent calendars.

DM and DMIL buy them, one less job for me grin

And <gasp> the DC will both eat their two chocolates each day!

Bue Wed 14-Nov-12 15:29:02

The cheap chocolate would not annoy me as much as the fact that the calendar has a '25' on it. I refuse to allow Advent calendars with 25 doors in the house. I think I win the prize for irrationality grin

TiggyD Wed 14-Nov-12 15:32:37

Open all the doors on the chocolate one and empty out all the chocolate. Open all the doors on the other and cut out the pictures inside them. Stick the cut out pictures in the chocolate compartments of the formerly chocolate calender.

Sorted. Respect due.

YouOldSlag Wed 14-Nov-12 15:43:35

If I was a MIL and my DIL wouldn't let me buy a chocolate advent calendar because it was "muscling in" or treading on her toes, I would be absolutely baffled and hurt.

I just don't get it. Nod, smile, and thank, and then do as you will. The MIL is certainly not trying to take over. It's just a Christmassy gift. The MIL has feelings too you know.

Chocolate ones weren't around in my day (old gimmer) so my parents think these are a great treat for little ones. I just think it's kind of them. I don't read any more into than that.

I really marvel sometimes when an act of altruistic kindness is taken as an affront. What's the world coming to? The GM won't even be there when they open it. She's hardly stealing their childhood from the OP.

Floggingmolly Wed 14-Nov-12 15:49:10

D'ont ask mil not to do this next year. Why be so mean spirited?
All this "they've had their turn"... hmm
My mil wanted to buy each of our children their first shoes. We live in a different country, so doing this entailed travelling to see the GP's specially, when each child started walking. We did this, had a lovely holiday each time, and the shoes are framed in one of those box frames as a momento of granny, who died two years ago.
She had indeed "had her turn" at this but the pleasure it gave her was incalculable.
Life is short, and it's Christmas.

diddl Wed 14-Nov-12 15:59:07

Why would it matter if she does it next year-your youngest will be 2-is that still too young for a small piece of chocolate?

You can still get the type that you want to get.

YouOldSlag Wed 14-Nov-12 16:04:23

My children have about 3 chocolate ones but I prefer the picture ones with a nativity scene and no chocolate. Although I prefer the picture one which I buy for myself, (reminds me of growing up), my children prefer the choc ones. I don't insist either way.

Some things you should control like diet and behaviour and bedtime and some things you should let go, like whether GMs can buy a chocolate advent calendar.

Where's the humbug emoticon?

buggerama Wed 14-Nov-12 16:07:39

YANBU - this happened to me and I was annoyed too for exactly the same reason

BertieBotts Wed 14-Nov-12 16:22:44

I find it really annoying if anyone else buys DS an advent calendar, last year he ended up with about four confused Surely it is for the parent(s) to decide whether they have one or not, and it would be nice for DS to get to choose his advent calendar himself, it's what I remember about Christmas.

They only need one and the fun of it is getting to open up that one special door every day, having more than one to open just isn't as special.

I'm really surprised to see that most people are fine with this?

usualsuspect3 Wed 14-Nov-12 16:25:37

This is a good old annual MN Christmas thread grin

OP YABU.

bruffin Wed 14-Nov-12 16:31:32

Why isn't it special.
My dcs often had more than one and look forward to them every year.
Ds 17 was looking longingly at the hotel chocolate one last week .May pop in on 2ND December to see if they any reduced.

TheseGoToEleven Wed 14-Nov-12 16:34:29

We have two in our house, one that is non-chocolate and one that is chocolate.

<think I am missing the point>

BertieBotts Wed 14-Nov-12 16:37:57

I can see the point of having two different kinds, say one chocolate and one non-chocolate.

But the exciting thing about having a chocolate one is seeing what little chocolate shape and what picture you have each day. If you have four, they're going to be repeated and it isn't as fun.

I just have fond memories of having ONE chocolate advent calendar and it being a special thing and think having more than one cheapens/ruins it. That's my opinion, it's just not.

TiggyD Wed 14-Nov-12 16:39:23

Christmas is all about remembering the baby Jesus being nailed to a bar of chocolate by Santa.

aftereight Wed 14-Nov-12 16:46:46

Tiggy grin grin

LettyAshton Wed 14-Nov-12 16:52:40

YABU - what a poxy battle to pick

I don't like that old Kinnerton chocolate in Advent Calendars but kids seem to have less sophisticated palates!

I remember when dd was given a chocolate Advent Calendar by mil. Needless to say dd was up to 23rd December about ten minutes later...

StuntGirl Wed 14-Nov-12 16:54:22

It depends on your personal values dosen't it? You have decided you don't like chocolate advent calendars and have gone so far as to purchase/make an activity based one instead. So for someone to come along and essentially try to bypass and steamroller your plans, even though I doubt its what she intended, is bound to be annoying.

You could have just said "Oh thanks but I've already got them an advent calendar" and returned them if you really didn't want them. Maybe futher elaborate "We're trying to teach the kids to take an active part in doing things over Christmas, and we're using the advent calendars for that" if you think explaining your thought process would help soften the blow.

YouOldSlag Wed 14-Nov-12 17:06:55

*They only need one and the fun of it is getting to open up that one special door every day, having more than one to open just isn't as special.

I'm really surprised to see that most people are fine with this?*

The advent calendar is just one of many Christmas traditions in our family. Hurting grandparents feelings isn't one of them.

My Dad is always buying unsuitable food and stuff for the kids. It's really kind of him, I thank him, I get the kids to thank him, and if they don't eat it, he never needs to know. I would hate to hurt him.

I'm surprised that you're surprised many people are fine with this. Everybody does Christmas differently. Advent calendars are a small part of that, but not the be all and end all. One advent calendar, two advent calendars...whatever. it's hardly going to ruin Christmas. But returning one would really hurt the giver for a long time so if it was me, I would say nothing.

Horsemad Wed 14-Nov-12 17:08:58

YANBU OP, this is YOUR time and you stand your ground! My MIL bought my DS a Thornton's Easter egg when he was 9 months old and then got the hump because I ate it!!! I had told her I would do this if she insisted on buying it, so no idea why she was narked.

OldMumsy Wed 14-Nov-12 17:19:42

YouOldSlag you are a sweetie. I did the same for my DF when he was alive. (He once managed to lose the twins at a seafront fun park too and still we didn't tear him a new one).

The oldies aren't around for ever and Christmas is for them too. I wish they still were here though.

I love a good Christmas thread and it's only feckin November grin

OP YABU and Scroogetastic.

YouOldSlag Wed 14-Nov-12 17:31:40

Thank you OldMumsy. I'm getting a bit disheartened about all the GP bashing just for an advent calendar.

My Dad probably won't be around in five years time so these young years and Christmas memories are precious. I miss my GPs terribly and they were always involved in Christmas in some way. My Mum and Dad would never have dreamed of returning things or telling them not to do stuff.

MamaBear17 Wed 14-Nov-12 17:34:26

My MIL has done the same for my 1 year old and I am annoyed too. On two fronts, firstly because by buying the advent calender for my dd I feel a bit put out because we are getting her a special one (a wooden reusable one) and secondly because I do not want to give dd chocolate, even in small amounts, every day. I completely acknowledge that it was kindly meant, but the fact that my MIL ran out and bought the calenders as soon as they hit the shops at the end of September makes me feel that there was a small element of 'getting in there first' either before me or my mum. (My mum wouldnt get her one anyway as she knows that I wouldnt give her chocolate every day). I don't want to upset my MIL, so will be gracious and accept it and maybe put one or two pieces of chocolate in the wooden calender that we are getting dd, along with grapes, strawberries and raisins. If MIL asks I will just say that daddy is eating the chocolate for dd as she is a bit young. I know that we will be inundated with chocolate gifts for dd over Christmas, we were last year and she was only 5 months! At Easter, she was bought 9 chocolate eggs from family members - 9! I took a nice picture of her first Easter haul and then gave it all away. This year I have just decided to smile and say thank you and then let DH eat it all!

YouOldSlag Wed 14-Nov-12 17:40:26

but the fact that my MIL ran out and bought the calenders as soon as they hit the shops at the end of September makes me feel that there was a small element of 'getting in there first'

Or maybe she was just excited?

People are applying all sorts of unreasonable motives to GPs buying advent calendars for GCs. I reckon they are just buying advent calendars because having a small child in the family at Christmas is incredible.

Mamabear- whatever your thoughts on it, at least you are saying thank you and not hurting feelings.

Madmum24 Wed 14-Nov-12 17:44:35

OP, I have been in your parenting shoes. Wanting to treasure the moments, creating special traditions, gifts made with love, extortionately expensive wooden toys rather plastic.

You are wasting your time though, kids always prefer the tacky, blingy, loud, flashing light alternative.

Don'[t sweat the small stuff, accept the advent calendar gratefully and let the kids enjoy themselves. That's what it's about isn't it?

LittleMissFlustered Wed 14-Nov-12 17:45:16

Lob them in the bin, seriously. It's not December yet so there's plenty of time for the kids to forget about themsmile

BonaDea Wed 14-Nov-12 17:47:27

YANBU. I hate chocolate advent calendars too.

I think you might need to suck it up this year but perhaps for next year tell her long in advance (if she's anything like my MIL she'll buy in the 2013 January sales!) that you would prefer not to have them next year.

seeker Wed 14-Nov-12 17:53:55

Oh, and all of you intent on "precious moments" and " making memories".

You have absolutely no idea until later which moments will be precious and memories will be wonderful to your children until they are older. "Do you remember that granny always used to buy us those calendars with the fake chocolate in them? I remember starting to look forward to them in about September!!!!"

Oh, and you need to beware - "Do you remember how mum always used to try to stop us having them? I think she thought we didn't realise she was cross with granny about it, but I always knew. I hated that bit"

fallingsun Wed 14-Nov-12 18:00:33

Yanbu. Will she know whether you use them or not?I'd be tempted to not use them, or use one between all of you?

Gimblinginthewabe Wed 14-Nov-12 18:05:08

My mum was like you and I really wanted one and was never allowed :-( Its just a little bit of chocolate, they are really tiny! I agree about the one year old, but you can "help" them eat their one!

YouOldSlag Wed 14-Nov-12 18:27:18

seeker- I agree.

KitchenandJumble Wed 14-Nov-12 18:29:47

YABU. It was a nice, thoughtful gesture. Why not just accept it in that spirit without all this angst?

I don't understand the desire to micromanage everyone's contributions to Xmas. And I say that as someone with distinct control freakish tendencies.

Why on earth shouldn't a beloved grandparent express her love for her granchildren with an advent calendar? Your SIL was beyond rude in refusing the gift. I do think you are much more polite and reasonable than her! And allowing your 5-year-old to enjoy the choc advent calendar is a good compromise.

YouOldSlag Wed 14-Nov-12 18:33:48

Yes kitchen, it's ridiculous getting so het about an advent calendar. It's a nice gesture from a loving grandparent at Christmas. OP-you may have bigger issues to bear later in life so save your energy for that.

GPs come with the territory when you have kids. Choose your battles and let some things go. You can't fight them on everything. This is a nice gesture, she's not dictating your Christmas Day plans forevermore.

cantspel Wed 14-Nov-12 18:37:51

All this i planning new traditions seems just so forced

The things that will be remembered for years to come are the spontaneous things that happen and the traditions that start by chance and you carry on because they were fun. Not the planned and over thought about type of advent calender bought.

Remember one day you will be someone's grandparent. Do you want your children growing up to think it is natural to exclude you under the disguise of having their own family traditions?

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 14-Nov-12 18:42:46

So a parent wanting to buy a child there advent calender is forced and micromanaging

But a grandparent doing it isant.

And I would be more than comfortable with my children growing up knowing that when they have children of there own they get to parent them as opposed to me.

cornishsue Wed 14-Nov-12 18:43:25

Oh dear, your post has made me think. I have always bought chocolate advent calendars for my children and certainly intended to with future grandchildren too. I have also always bought one for my nieces and nephews too...never thought that the DN's parents may have not approved. I always thought it was a nice gesture to let the DNs know I was thinking of them in the run up to Christmas (they live a long way away). Whoops....maybe all along I have been offending them. Oh dear!!!

ps my DM and MIL had sometimes bought advent calendars for my children when they were little, and I was always delighted to give them to the children - like you have said one in the morning and one after tea at night.

seeker Wed 14-Nov-12 18:49:27

"So a parent wanting to buy a child there advent calender is forced and micromanaging "

No, a parent insisting thatntheir advent calendar is the only advent calendar is forced and micromanaging.

YouOldSlag Wed 14-Nov-12 18:57:01

And I would be more than comfortable with my children growing up knowing that when they have children of there own they get to parent them as opposed to me.

Oh FGS- it's an advent calendar! They're not trying to forcibly raise the children their own way! Get a grip! If you don't know the difference between parenting and buying an advent calendar for someone then we're all in trouble.

So my MIL buying Hotwheels for my son- is she forcing and inflicting her belief that he should play with Hotwheels on me or is she just being nice because it's his birthday?

You are overthinking and micromanaging! The world's gone mad.

TidyDancer Wed 14-Nov-12 18:57:27

I'm always stunned when threads like this pop up. I know I shouldn't be, but I am.

OP, you keep saying 'a bit', like you're a bit controlling and a bit unreasonable.

If this really bothers you enough to start an AIBU? about it, then you're more than just 'a bit' on both points.

Don't be ridiculous and try to stop this next year. Let your MIL do this nice thing for her GC, it's not that big of a deal and you seem to be doing your best to make it into one. Your MIL sounds like a very nice lady.

Don't sweat the small stuff, really.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 14-Nov-12 19:30:05

It's not a problem at all if a grandparent/ any other relative does anything at all for a child if the parents are ok with it.

It's certainly not a problem if a dc's has so many advent calendars they can start there own shop,if the parents think its ok, it is if the parents would prefer them to only have one.

Some families have no problem with excess some do its a personal choice.

Deciding things like that is part of parenting regardless of you agreeing with me or not. I get to decide that for my children just as my parents did with me and there parents did with them,and my kids will with there own.

Earlier on I was lurking on gransnet thinking if it looked like a thing my friend would enjoy I would point her in that direction as shes a bit delicate for here and I saw a thread that talked about the importance of remembering that no matter how hard it is and how tempting it is to do otherwise its vital to remember that your gc's are not your children. I happen to agree with that, I was also amused to see a fair few rants about the gm's own mil/ DM

Youold did you previously tell your mil that you have issues with hotwheels and don't want your dc's to have them? If not then no it's lovely I hope he enjoys playing with it and you fight the temptation to play with them at 3 am. They are rather good fun.

bruffin Wed 14-Nov-12 19:38:04

The best traditions are the ones that evolve by themselves ie we did this last year and it was nice, so let's do it again.

And those dissing the cheap chocolate,for kids with nut allergies the kinnerton ones are the only ones they can eat.

usualsuspect3 Wed 14-Nov-12 19:41:05

Theres a fair few rants about unreasonable DILs on Gransnet

BustyStClaire Wed 14-Nov-12 19:41:55

It is an advent calender, get a grip woman

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 19:43:57

Wow - just checked back and the debate goes on!

I understand that people may not want to read umpteen pages of the thread, but a few recent posters obviously have t read any of my posts except the first.

It's not about the chocolate.

BertieBotts Wed 14-Nov-12 19:50:19

I would never send one back, I'm not rude hmm

I just said I find it annoying and a bit disappointing TBH, because it was something I was looking forward to, but I don't see the point of buying one if he has one (or more) already. It is always MIL and ex-MIL who buy them - it never happened in my family so poss why I am a bit taken aback by the "gesture".

Horsemad Wed 14-Nov-12 19:52:31

Wonder if my MIL posts on Gransnet?! Probably dissing me as I speak for wanting to do things 'my' way grin I think she's finally got the message that she's had her turn & WE are the parents, not her.

HellothisisJoanie Wed 14-Nov-12 19:54:44

OP you are being a nob

sweat the big stuff man

Flossiechops Wed 14-Nov-12 19:56:00

Meh, my 2 dc have three chocolate calendars, one of each set of grandparents and one from dh and I. I'm grateful they have lovely grandparents who love them enough to think of them. I feel very sorry for your poor mil, how dare she give her grandchildren a treat, wicked woman!

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 19:58:04

hellothisisjoanie you are rude

Pandemoniaa Wed 14-Nov-12 20:02:29

I'm that terrible creature - a MIL and a GM. What I'd add, for what it is worth is that yes, you do need to be sensitive to the views of your grown-up children. I'd not, personally, buy dgd a chocolate advent calendar but then I'm not a great fan of very small children having chocolate. I'd also check with ddil so far as her preferences were concerned too rather than foist anything on her. However, when my dcs were small I wouldn't (and didn't) get irate over things like Advent calendars.

But there is another side to the coin, especially so far as Christmas traditions are concerned. You don't have to guard them so preciously because you don't own them and actually, cannot control what will or won't become a tradition. You may be surprised to discover that things which you find irritating, your dcs find a charming part of Christmas. Or you may find that things you invest a great deal of emotional time over, are not valued as much as you'd expected.

When my dcs were small, they looked forwards, enormously, to the tradition at my PIL's house known as "Grandad's Gravy Game" which occurred shortly before Christmas lunch was concerned and concluded with "Grandma Getting Very Cross". Oddly enough, they were nowhere near as sentimentally attached to some of the more rosily sentimental and customary Christmas traditions.

TidyDancer Wed 14-Nov-12 20:10:10

Joanie didn't phrase that particularly well, but tbf, the sentiment is right.

OP, with the greatest respect, you are being silly and you need to let this go completely.

And fyi, I have read the thread, just in case you think people aren't!

exoticfruits Wed 14-Nov-12 20:13:49

All this i planning new traditions seems just so forced

The things that will be remembered for years to come are the spontaneous things that happen and the traditions that start by chance and you carry on because they were fun. Not the planned and over thought about type of advent calender bought

I agree. Traditions spring up because they are liked.

I understand that people may not want to read umpteen pages of the thread, but a few recent posters obviously have t read any of my posts except the first.

It's not about the chocolate

I know it isn't; it is about parents wanting to control the entire environment once they have DCs -they can only control themselves.
You like Advent calendars with nice pictures and there is nothing to stop you giving them that type of calendar. However you can't expect Grandparents to check with you first. You can have 2 Advent Calendars! (and one small chocolate a day isn't going to harm the one year old)

exoticfruits Wed 14-Nov-12 20:14:56

Pick your battles and a chocolate advent calendar isn't one of them!

InTheNightGarden Wed 14-Nov-12 20:16:22

YABVU - why can't they have a picture one and a chocolate one? As for 1 year old if it's that bigger problem to you why don't you bite a small piece off for him/her and you eat the rest? It's chocolate, not rat poison!

The chocolates have pictures on aswell btw ;)

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 14-Nov-12 20:16:39

pandemonia

Indeed for as long as she was able to do so my eldest has played the 'lets watch mum get all antsi about the Christmas tree whilst we all snigger until she works out what we have done to it' game. It usually involves moving things around and adding things she knows I'm not fond of. All the kids think its great fun.

She didnt think it was so funny when her first Xmas in her own place I took great delight in moving everything on her tree bounced on her bed left my empty tea cup on the floor and talked all the way through bambi.

But she still does it at mine grin

kerstina Wed 14-Nov-12 20:21:48

YABU makes me sad when people get upset by well meaning people. My DS ended up with about 4 advent calenders one year! He was delighted just adds to the excitement. Save your frustration and ill will for people who do more than by DC chocolate. Sorry not read all the thread but might go back and read as apparently it's not about the chocolate hmm

HellothisisJoanie Wed 14-Nov-12 20:22:29

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

HellothisisJoanie Wed 14-Nov-12 20:22:58

Fucking hell.
I'm boggling at the offence people can take.

YouOldSlag Wed 14-Nov-12 20:28:25

Youold did you previously tell your mil that you have issues with hotwheels and don't want your dc's to have them? If not then no it's lovely I hope he enjoys playing with it and you fight the temptation to play with them at 3 am. They are rather good fun.

No, I was using that as an example to illustrate how ridiculous micromanaging looks.I do not expect GCs to check with me about advent calendars. I would expect them to check with me about major purchases, if they want to, but only so we can avoid duplicates, not so I can law down the law.

Also- more than one advent calendar is not EXCESS. it's just grandma buying one as well as Mum and Dad.

And no, OP, it's not about the chocolate it's about the fact that you expect to micromanage even a one pound advent calendar and that you see such a gesture as muscling in on your children's childhood, which apparently, is just for you to enjoy and not for the GCs.

My DSs grandparents add all sorts of wonderful touches to their lives that I wouldn't have thought of or wouldn't have time to do. I don't expect them to check with me.

My mum invariably gives them a big bag of sweets every time they see her. Since it's only twice a year, I don't complain.

usualsuspect3 Wed 14-Nov-12 20:29:45

Every year someones MIL buys a posters children an advent calender and we have a huffy thread about it.

It's an advent calender, get over it.

LittleBlackDress Wed 14-Nov-12 20:30:12

My mum called me about four weeks ago to say that she had bought my DD (but not my DS) two, yes two, advent calendars. One chocolate and one pretty one. Lovely thought etc (apart from the fact that she forgot about my other child!) but I have one wooden one I use each year and my DD had already picked out her Gruffalo advent calendar this year. So this year, I have to open 4 with her every flipping day.

What slightly galls is, couldn't my mum have asked first before getting the second advent calendar and also, my grandparents never got me an advent calendar (it was my mum's special treat to me and my brother each year to give us just one - no way would I have been allowed two!) so I'm not entirely clear on why my mother thinks two calendars from her is necessary. The hypocrisy is slightly irritating more than anything, I think.

But, in the overall scheme of things, it is a nice gesture, my DD will like them and I may just not do my calendars this year and ask mum not to get any for the DC next year. Four seems a bit OTT by anyone's standards!

Megatron Wed 14-Nov-12 20:34:59

Every time I'm on mumsnet I read at least one thread that has me scratching my head. What a non issue. Why do some people get so possessive over their children when it comes to mother in laws!?

Floggingmolly Wed 14-Nov-12 20:35:33

Bet your poor mil can't wait for Easter, op. (It not being about the chocolate, and all that...)

Pandemoniaa Wed 14-Nov-12 20:37:53

grin @ Sockreturningpixie.

You've given me a great idea. This year I will adorn ds2's Christmas tree with plastic soldiers - some of which will have had their legs cut off because "they've been doin' a Christmas war".

ImaginateMum Wed 14-Nov-12 20:39:42

Can't be bothered reading 13 pages, sorry...

(1) Two Advent calendars is fine
(2) It is a teeny amount of chocolate for a five-year-old
(3) You eat the one-year-old's share

Easy peasy.

There are battles worth having. This isn't one in my opinion.

Had actually been admiring the M&S Advent calendars where you build a town and been thinking about sending some to family members where such things are unlikely to be available. I know now what a callous and undermining thought that was!

exoticfruits Wed 14-Nov-12 20:45:48

It makes me determined that if I am a ever a Grandma I am not going to run all my present ideas through the parent! I was never such a controlling parent so I will be very disappointed if they expect to control me.

It is complete non issue.

YouOldSlag Wed 14-Nov-12 20:46:04

ImaginateMum- don't you dare post advent calendars- what are you trying to do? Take over their childhood? "parent" them? You're so insensitive!

(NB this post was sponsored by Heavilysarcastic.com)

PS totally agree with your post. This is a non issue.

cheesesavory Wed 14-Nov-12 20:55:56

My dad made ds a stocking last year when we were staying for Christmas. It didn't even occur to me to be offended or upset, I just thought it was a lovely gesture! Especially as he used the same stocking I always had when I was growing upsmile but then my dad still sends me an advent calendar every year and i am 38 grin

Scaredycat3000 Wed 14-Nov-12 20:56:58

My DS1's first christmas we were staying with PIL over christmas. I know he was only 9 months, and that for this year only it didn't matter. So on the day MIL kept telling him that Father Christmas would be coming that afternoon, she had a huge FC sack filled to the brim. Boxing day she tried to give me an woven Advent calender she had bought at a Christmas market, not child like in the least, that I could fill myself she told me. I was so shocked/bemused that I said No thank you, I don't want to do that, and never even touched it. I know that was very rude, I really didn't mean to be blush She also gave us a babies first christmas tree decoration, after Christmas, why?
The thing is this is in a long line of things. She thought she could decide the guest list to our never happened wedding guess why . When we announced our first pg and she wanted to buy stuff I said please remember I don't like colour X, 90% of what she got was the colour. I could go on, but I'll bore you even more .
So yes OP, you are allowed to not want them. Glad you have more manners than me.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 14-Nov-12 21:08:56

Exotic I wouldn't expect family to run through gifts for Xmas etc via me as the likelihood of duplicates happening is slim its never happened ever,it may come up in conversation but it may not.

I just don't see the harm in saying " are you doing the advent calender or would you like me to" because lots of people will view more than 1 as excess or may have strong views about how commercial some are there could be lots of reasons why.its an opportunity to learn about each others differences or preferences, especially when it's a tinys Xmas.

But thinking about it I'm not really sure anybody else has ever even considered buying one for any of my kids without asking if they already have one.

If you ask and nobody objects then its fair game because nobody can say you didn't or then cause bad feeling.

plutocrap Wed 14-Nov-12 21:14:17

* plutocrap - But MILS have had their Xmas moments and traditions with their children, why the hell do they need to play pretend mummy with their gc too?*

pommededechocolat, sorry, I missed your reply in all the excitement, but actually agree: I was being shocked by the sneering at the OP!

bruffin Wed 14-Nov-12 21:17:50

They are not playing pretend mummy, they are being what they are, grandparents, doing what nice grandparents do, spoil their grandchildren.

Sirzy Wed 14-Nov-12 21:20:47

Exactly bruffin.

It would seem on MN grandparents can't do right for doing wrong!

HissyByName Wed 14-Nov-12 21:25:44

Some of them do do the pretend mummy thing to undermine their Daughters/DIL.

Not everyone is as great at being parents as we are. Just cos YOU may have a loving mother, means jack shit for the rest of us.

It's all about the bigger picture. If the DIL feels that there's an agenda or an edge, there just might be.

HissyByName Wed 14-Nov-12 21:26:43

that post was not directed at anyone in particular btw smile

DowagersHump Wed 14-Nov-12 21:26:52

I can't be arsed to read the whole thead but my mum buys DS an advent calendar every year. Because he's her grandson. And I'm not stingy enough with his love or our traditions to resent her for that. She also buys him a stocking.

Children's love isn't finite - how sad that you want to deny your children her love and affection because you feel so horribly threatened by it

DowagersHump Wed 14-Nov-12 21:31:13

Oh and fwiw - we have 3 advent calendars - one that we share (alternate days), one chocolate one that is his and one lego one that is his.

I might get a 4th one just for me because I like the pretty pictures smile

There is no such thing as too many advent calendars

SantasStrapOn Wed 14-Nov-12 21:32:04

DDs and I are spending Christmas with the XPILs this year. They have unofficially adopted me as their daughter.

They will have a stocking from me, one from XH, one from the grandparents, and one from their very indulgent aunt (XH's sister). They are the only grandchildren, and are very indulged. This does not bother me one jot.

XMIL has always bought them an advent calendar. It has never occurred to me to be annoyed by this, I've always simply thought how lucky my DDs are to have such kind and loving grandparents.

YABVVU, Christmas is a time for family, not petty rules and regulations.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 14-Nov-12 21:32:48

I must be very lucky indeed because my children love there gp's very much and the gp's love them nobody needs to prove or demonstrate this with 24 bits of sponge bob shaped chocolate.

crunchbag Wed 14-Nov-12 21:34:39

I find it sad that your new tradition seems to exclude everyone else.

Is mil even aware of any of these traditions? It's a small gift for your children, they will appreciate the chocolate and why not. They might even prefer it over your one wink

Traditions grow/happen, they are not created.

theoriginalandbestrookie Wed 14-Nov-12 21:37:11

Your post made me laugh scaredycat - why on earth would your DM give you a Babys first christmas bauble after christmas - weird in the extreme.

But generally I feel YABU apart from the fact that it encourages children to eat low quality chocolate. MILs and DMs should be encouraged to buy this www.hotelchocolat.co.uk/chocolate-advent-calendars-P300306/ and who's to know if it ever makes its way to the GCs

SantasStrapOn Wed 14-Nov-12 21:37:42

And chocolate is not evil. It's a God given right of all small children and their mothers.

SoleSource Wed 14-Nov-12 21:40:11

Facepalm

exoticfruits Wed 14-Nov-12 21:47:50

I really don't think you are proving love through chocolate! Unless I missed it, we don't know what sort of chocolates they were. I can't think that a child minds more than one Advent calendar.

Meglet Wed 14-Nov-12 21:54:55

yanbu.

Choc advent calendars are the work of the devil. We have naice paper ones.

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 22:03:19

People are pretty mean here aren't they. I've read every post and am grateful for most of them - both agreeing AND disagreeing with me. A few people have just been very rude. And unkind actually. But hey, says more about them and I'm not upset. If I hadn't posted I would never have discovered the gin advent calendars or chocolate coin trees. They're made this whole thread worthwhile! grin

HabitualLurker Wed 14-Nov-12 22:05:48

I get it OP - YANBU. I also grew up with just my parents and no GPs or Aunts/Uncles and I had ONE advent calendar each year. The anticipation each morning of what the picture would be and seeing the number of closed doors whittle down was a part of the whole christmas excitement for me, and I agree that having several to open just wouldn't be the same. I do think I understand where you're coming from with this.

However, I've just had my first child, and this kid is going to have a completely different family life and christmas to mine. He'll have loads of uncles, aunts, cousins and both sets of GPs to celebrate with and I think I (and maybe you..?) need to accept that I won't be able to recreate my own lovely childhood experiences because the set up is just so different. But what we'll miss out on will be more than offset but lots of wonderful new experiences. It can be hard, but try to embrace the changes!

I have to agree though, choc calendars are shite..!

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 22:10:28

habitualLurker thank you. You're right - got to think positive and having lots of loving family around is pretty amazing.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 14-Nov-12 22:10:41

Well I now want to get a hotel £12 one and dip it in the gin one then finish it before the end of the week

wannaBe Wed 14-Nov-12 22:11:32

I think the answer you're looking for is...

...

...

...

...

get a fucking grip. ;)

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 22:13:51

wannaBe what a way with words you have......

tanteclaire Wed 14-Nov-12 22:14:13

This has nothing to do with chocolate or advent calendars. Your MIL gets up your nose by breathing and anything she does annoys you, I suspect.
YABU.

DowagersHump Wed 14-Nov-12 22:15:35

I was also really excited by the picture thing. But that's the kind of kid I was and also I was a child growing up in the 70s when chocolate advent calendars hadn't been invented.

On the other hand, when I was a kid, my nan used to buy me those selection boxes for Xmas and I used to eat the whole lot by the end of boxing day ( I had to or or a sibling would scoff it). I was very nearly sick on several occasions. DS's GPs wouldn't dream of buying him one of those grin

toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 22:17:14

tanteclaire no, anything you say annoys me though. Get off my thread wink

exoticfruits Wed 14-Nov-12 22:17:47

Either the DC will be excited by the picture or they won't - you can't make them be excited!

Op i'm sorry people have sometimes stooped really quite low on here. It actually reached this many pages because you sparked an interesting debate about peoples xmas traditions and how much we let others in on them. Some of the twatty comments you have received were ill thought out crap from those who didnt read the whole thread.

And i didnt see it as mil bashing because i agreed with you and my offender is my own mother who i get on with. I'd be interesting to see how similar themes would pan out like those on the poncetastic xmas thread how do they react if the dc's are gifted tacky crap like a mooning santa that doesnt fit with their carefully chosen theme? Would that spark the rage?

MsFlippingHeck Wed 14-Nov-12 22:43:06

Op yadnbu.

Multiple advent calendars dilute the excitement. Same with the 2xstockings.

Grandparents are so much more involved controlling now. They expect to behave like parents and it takes away from the parent/child experience.

I have a wonderful Gran who loved me dearly as a child. She read to me, played with me and we have a special relationship, but she never stood on my mothers toes by trying to take her place or her responsibilities.

My own mil is very kind and would never step on my toes. I'm making mine stockings this year and id be really disappointed if she bought them instead.

SantasStrapOn Wed 14-Nov-12 23:40:56

The DDs have grown up getting loads of advent calendars and stockings, it's never detracted from the excitement at all.

I suspect what does detract from the excitement is having all the grown ups round you bitching at each other.

Floggingmolly Thu 15-Nov-12 07:51:22

She never stood on my mothers toes by trying to take her place or her responsibilities
It's an advent calendar. The "controlling" you mention is definitely not coming from the mil. Even if she decided to do a stocking too, where exactly is the problem? I'm genuinely baffled.
Are you the type who doles out lists to everyone, and bitches when anyone dares to freestyle? That's controlling.

toomanydaisies Thu 15-Nov-12 08:09:25

Thank you to the last 2 posters who assume I "bitch" at/to my mil. I don't. I occasionally vent on here.

Some parents are happy for their dc to have multiple calendars/stockings.
Some parents think that detracts from the excitement and specialness.

Each to their own, eh. But enough of the name calling and vile assumptions. C'mon it's Tuesday morning. Go and have an eggnog latte or something. wink

exoticfruits Thu 15-Nov-12 08:10:27

You rather dread being a grandparent when a simple Advent calendar is going to be seen as 'treading on the parent's toes'!
I think that are some pretty insecure parents around if they worry that an extra calendar is going to detract from the excitement!
Use a bit of imagination- open one in the morning and one as you go to bed!
What would spoil it is touchy parents who make it all so difficult - the sensible DC would want to say ' it's not worth the hassle'!

squeakytoy Thu 15-Nov-12 08:10:55

Its thursday actually.. you need a calendar you know...

runs

differentnameforthis Thu 15-Nov-12 08:36:21

Can't a grandmother give her grandchildren gifts any more?

My MIL gets my dcs one each. Usually chocolate. Has done every year for at least 5 yrs. Dds are 4 & 9. When dd2 was a baby, I would eat the choc, or dd1 would have it in the evening.

It's 24 days. Surely they can have that!

exoticfruits Thu 15-Nov-12 08:43:28

The best traditions are laid back ones- if you have one that has to be jealously guarded in case someone 'spoils it' you need to ask yourself whether it is worth having!

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 08:53:01

Anything that happens once in my family seems to become a tradition. So if the Op's scenario happened last year in our house, my kids would be starting to say "when's granny going to bring the chocolate advent calendars?" about now.

Light touch, organic, child led traditions, and you'll still be happily doing them when your children are teenagers.

Contrived, imposed, mother pleasing "traditions" and I guarantee they will fall apart as soon as .the children are old enough to make their own decisions. Particularly if, as children do, they get a whiff of mum being tight lipped to granny about it.

goingupinsmoke Thu 15-Nov-12 09:04:32

Controlling and OTT - I do sometime wonder what's going on in peoples heads it shakes of being a spoilt brat. The poor MIL went into a shop and thought arhh they will love these and bought them firstly be grateful for them having grandparent who care and secondly the choccie issue it one that really get's up my nose as others have said its not poison.

YouOldSlag Thu 15-Nov-12 09:08:13

I agree goingupinsmoke.

I think if you see ulterior motives in simple kindness the world will become a very sad place.

I never know what my DCs grandparents are going to pull out of the hat next for them, and I don't mind. They are loved and the GPs get a thrill out of seeing happy faces now that their own children have grown up and flown the nest. I owe them a lot.

toomanydaisies Thu 15-Nov-12 09:09:18

Thursday. Wow. I DO news a calendar!!

singinggirl Thu 15-Nov-12 09:09:19

MIL used to buy chocolate advent calendars and post them to my DS's. (Lived a long way away). I was always a bit 'meh' about it, but we opened chocolate calendars before breakfast for that 'naughty' excitement of eating chocolate before breakfast. Then we had our traditional calendar, and lit the Advent Candle, in the evening. Our traditional calendars vary by the way, twice we had sticker nativity scenes where the picture was built up one sticker a day, one year we had some mimi crackers that you pulled to get a piece of the nativity scene. So we used both types seperately.

MIL died suddenly when DS1 was 5, he is 11 now and still misses the fact that Christmas parcels don't start with the Advent calendars in late November. I now buy chocolate Advent calendars too because they remember that Grandma used to send them. I guess what I'm saying is that my children's Christmas was richer for their Grandma's involvement, and they (and I) would far prefer to still have that involvement now. I'm glad I let them enjoy the calenders.

YouOldSlag Thu 15-Nov-12 09:12:44

singinggirl- you have just put your finger on why it matters so much. Letting GPs have free, uncontrolled input can be so enriching. It is so important to include them in the golden moments rather than exclude them.

Their future is a lot shorter than ours.

singinggirl Thu 15-Nov-12 09:18:07

YOS - absolutely. After all, most of your child's memories will be based around you. Those memories of grandparents are so important, and you don't know how many years they will have to make those memories. As an aside, I am hosting five relatives at our house over five days for Christma this year, because DS2 said that he had never seen all the family together at Christmas. I am dreading it in some ways - but feel that one Christmas is not much to give for my children to have a memory of everyone together.

Sam419 Thu 15-Nov-12 09:26:26

Oh OP...I can see where you are coming from in that you would like to set your own traditions with your DC and also I wouldn't be that keen on giving my 1 yr old a piece of chocolate everyday for a month (he would get used to it and think that's the done deal!) lol

However by the sounds of it you mil was just getting over excited about Xmas and wanted to do something nice for her DGC.

My DS is first GC to my pil and although he's not even born yet my mil has already bought him a baby's 1st Christmas stocking/cracker/bauble!!
We haven't even bought anything for him yet! But I just smiled and told mil that she can keep those things for at her house as we will be spending Xmas morning there (providing DS and I are comfortable after birth!) she seemed happy enough with that.

Some things you just have to grin and bear it for family sake but you have every right to come on here and vent!

Adversecamber Thu 15-Nov-12 09:28:48

We have a an advent book with mini books in and read one every night, DS now reads them to me sometimes as he is 11 . He is a git and always laughs when I cry at the excerpt from Little Women. I also watch It's a Wonderful Life every Christmas Eve before going to Midnight mass.

Traditions do evolve.

At least your MIL is trying to be nice

singinggirl your post made me a bit tearful. Seriously some posters really do get het up about stiuff that is well intentioned and non harmful. I have had to put up with some really destructive crap from my Mil over the last 15 years that is shocking, this seems tame.

Treats Thu 15-Nov-12 10:35:36

I'll repeat what I said earlier in the thread toomanydaisies - you are being very dignified in response to some quite rude behaviour on this thread.

I think there are gifts, and there are gifts. Some are loving, thoughtful gifts, intended only to make the recipient happy. These should be accepted in the spirit in which they were intended - even if the recipient (or their parent) wishes that they hadn't been sent.

But there are also "gifts" which are designed to control or manipulate or create an obligation - and these are not loving or thoughtful gifts and the recipient is entitled to be more circumspect in their response. I've seen countless threads on here about it. It's why MPs have a register of gifts and business people can't accept anything over £50. Read up on the Native America tradition of potlatch.

I don't doubt for a minute that the advent calendar fell into the first category. And clearly - for most people on here - that's what advent calendars from GPs are for them.

But where you wrote "More than anything I'm annoyed that my MIL has (yet again) done things her way without checking with me (the parent) first." suggests that you get more than your fair share of the second type of gift as well. It's not really about the advent calendar.

Some people have experience of this kind of behaviour and sympathise with you, whereas others - possibly because they no longer have MILs or DMs in their lives - don't see it at all. I know that there are children out there who would love to receive an advent calendar from their GPs because it would show that they thought about them sometimes. Yours must seem like a very first world problem to the parents of those children.

But I still think YANBU for feeling as you do about this. And to let your children have both calendars and respond graciously to your MIL - while venting on here - is exactly what you should do. And you have. So there's no need for the rudeness you've experienced.

Quenelle Thu 15-Nov-12 11:21:25

I like the picture ones and hate the chocolate character ones. But sadly DS doesn't feel the same way. I got him a picture one last year and he was totally meh about opening it. I had to remind him every day. Hardly the magical memories I thought would be created.

The thing I'm realising is you can't manufacture magical memories. They happen organically, by accident usually.

DH and I are in our 40s and our parents are in their 70s. DS is only 3.5 and we are conscious that our parents probably don't have decades left with him, like we hopefully will, so we try to keep out of his relationship with them. We leave them be to spoil him rotten with unhealthy treats as they choose and hope in the future he will be left with lots of happy memories of Christmas and other special times with his grandparents.

YouOldSlag Thu 15-Nov-12 11:37:33

Quenelle- I agree. We are in our 40s too and we just want our kids and their GPs to have great memories, so I relax and let a lot of things go. They have a great relationship which I pretty much keep out of. It's wonderful to give my parents such happiness after they gave my childhood their best shot.

YouOldSlag Thu 15-Nov-12 11:38:20

PS- I always buy myself a nativity picture advent calendar and the kids are similarly not interested! They feel sorry for me for not having a chocolate one!

kerstina Thu 15-Nov-12 11:44:48

You remind me of when my rose tinted specs were firmly on when DS was little. I was really looking forward to watching The Lion King with DS and E.T but he really wasn't interested and I was so upset as was really looking forward to sharing my favourite films with him. I did get over myself though my DS has always had his own ideas. However I am pleased he liked watching the snowman with me smile Sorry slightly off topic I know.

Quenelle Thu 15-Nov-12 11:45:33

And my DH always buys himself a chocolate one. It was always going to be a losing battle with DS.

toomanydaisies Thu 15-Nov-12 11:55:09

Thanks treats

tinkertitonk Thu 15-Nov-12 11:57:58

This is Mumsnet, a forum for mothers.

Every MIL, without exception, is a mother, and many mothers, maybe even including the OP, either are MILs or will become MILs.

So: chocolate advent calendars? The kind thing, for the sake of your children and your MIL, is to smile and accept them.

And for your own sake, be happy about it. You do not want to be the other sort of person.

PrincessFiorimonde Thu 15-Nov-12 12:14:37

In case anyone's missed it, it's now almost 24 hours since OP posted that she's going to open the non-choc advent calendar in the morning and the choc one after supper. And she appreciates that MIL loves the GC. Etc.

So win-win, and well done OP. I agree with Treats that you've handled this thread with humour and dignity.

toomanydaisies Thu 15-Nov-12 13:04:07

I always make my dc birthday cakes. As do most of my friends for their dc. As did my Mum for me. As did my friend's Mum's.

My mil knows that I always make a cake. And she still brings a shop brought cake "as an extra". Is it precious and ott that I object to that? My dh has asked her not to. She still does it. The cakes she brings almost never get eaten as dh and I make huge cakes. I find it really weird, but she finds it really weird that I like to make birthday cakes myself.

This only slightly irritates me now as I've had 5 years of it. She brings a cake, I say thank you, it stays in its box. It gets taken to school/ local hospice/ friends a few days later.

I think she buys the cake automatically. And fwiw it's exactly the same cake for each birthday - and she buys the same cake for every family member. So it's not as though she's found a special cake that fits a gc particular interests etc.

As I say, it doesn't really bother me now because I know how to deal with it. So I hops no-one says I'm drip feeding.

And anyway, if you read up thread a bit you'll see that I now have a good plan for the advent calendar and a better attitude about it.

I do think the responses have been really interesting, so thank you.

Pinkpeacock Thu 15-Nov-12 13:21:10

Does everything have to educational and activity based? Isn't the point that it is a fun thing not a bloody sats exam

Pinkpeacock Thu 15-Nov-12 13:23:52

youoldslag, the most reasonable Mner ever! I feel a bit sorry for you as well, I am thinking of making a mum advent calender that has a slug of something strong behind each door, like those liqour chocolates but just the alcohol not the horrible confectionary. if it comes off I will send you one a year for life...

trumpton Thu 15-Nov-12 13:41:21

like this ?? gin advent calendar . grin (hic)

Floggingmolly Thu 15-Nov-12 13:55:37

Well, you are drip feeding really, aren't you? If I'm not allowed to make it about the chocolate, I'll make it about the cakes...
No child will complain about having two cakes either.

SantasStrapOn Thu 15-Nov-12 13:58:51

I'd read it that your MIL is bringing you a gift of cake. She might be a crap baker, and not want to bake one, not everyone can. I appreciate that you've sorted out the Advent Calendar, but it would be nice if you could accept your MIL's offerings at face value. She will be an important part of your children's life, and really should be accorded more respect.

MILs can be lovely, positive things in one's life, if nurtured and allowed to participate. My DDs adore their paternal grandparents, they are a massive part of their lives, and I would miss them terribly. MIL and I have had our ups and downs, we've not always seen eye to eye, but I always assume that what she is offering is genuine, and we have grown to love each other dearly.

gotthemoononastick Thu 15-Nov-12 14:01:36

The year is 2030...my mother was a spiteful narcissist,who wouldn't allow darling Granny's well chosen Advent calenders in the house.We always knew she hated Granny.Felt so sad for Dad as he was in the middle of all this...am cutting her off now.She can rot alone in the care home.Am I being unreasonable?

SantasStrapOn Thu 15-Nov-12 14:04:21

Be careful, they get to choose your care home too...

<sigh> I have boys and it's always so depressing to read the MIL threads.

Popumpkin Thu 15-Nov-12 14:11:14

After reading the opening post I was going to tell you to get a grip & say that it's only an advent calendar. However, having read the whole thread I see it's not just an advent calendar.

While the advent calendars themselves would not piss me off, the "extra" birthday cake every blooming year would! It is clearly because of other "gifts" over the years that you have taken exception to chocolate advent calendars this time round, which is understandable.

FWIW, I prefer the picture ones too. They were the only option when I was a child & I actually do remember getting excited about what picture would be in the window tomorrow! My own DCs have never felt that way about them however - it's all about the chocolate here sad.

5madthings Thu 15-Nov-12 14:16:50

missbeehiving i agree! My own mil can be annoying but i grit my teeth because ultimately she loves my children; het grandchildren and that is good!!

So many grandparents arent involved with their grandkids i am happy mine are and yes they buy extra advent calenders and cakes when i have made my own, but if a childs bday and xmas usnt the time for a little extra cake/treats and spoiling when is? In the big scheme of things having two bday cakes or advent calenders does not matter!

toomanydaisies Thu 15-Nov-12 14:18:37

gotthemoon ouch! And with that spiteful post I'm bowing out...

SantasStrapOn Thu 15-Nov-12 14:19:42

It's terribly sad, I hope I'm loved a bit more when I'm a MIL sad

LtEveDallas Thu 15-Nov-12 14:25:39

I can't believe this thread is still going on - over a bloody advent calendar!

I firmly believe our children are a 'gift' to be shared. Not owned and controlled by us. The happiness my DD brings to my DPs and DPils is a joy to behold, and she absolutely adores them. SO WHAT if a child has too much chocolate, or two cakes, or too many presents. If the child enjoys them, if the GPs enjoy buying them, it it brings them some love, some joy, some happiness then WHO CARES?

What happens when the GPs die? Are you seriously going to sit at the funeral GLAD that you stamped your feet over this, or will you wonder if you should have been more accommodating?

Someone earlier said Grandparents have already had the chance to do this with their own children Actually, maybe they didn't, maybe money was tighter, maybe they were working all the hours to make sure you/your DHs had a good life. Now they want to enjoy the fruits of their labours.

DMIL had a rotten, horrible time bringing up DH and DSILs. Not a button to her name, and an abusive prick of a husband to boot. Now she is 'comfortable' she spoils all her grandchildren rotten - because she can. I for one am NOT going to ruin that - even if it means my lips are firmly bitten at times.

I barely remember my GPs, maternal side were dead before I was born, paternal died when I was 7 and 12. Some of my friends still have living GPs - and I am jealous. I'm going to make sure DD remembers her GPs with love and affection - and sweets grin

SantasStrapOn Thu 15-Nov-12 14:30:07

toomany, sadly to me you are coming across as spiteful towards your MIL. Please read LtEve's excellent post, and try and understand where we are coming from. One day you will be a MIL, and I'm sure you would hate to be treated this way. sad

I would agree with "picking your fights" however I absolutely understand your wish to develop your own Christmas traditions.
Imo yanbu to not want your 1 year old to have chocolate - that is entirely your choice and you shouldn't feel pressurised into a compromise you are not happy with. You could make 2 calendars into a nice tradition though, perhaps Grandmas in the morning & yours before bed or vice versa? I do see though that the issue is you trying to create new family traditions for your family & not particularly over either chocolate or control and that's not you being unreasonable.

YouOldSlag Thu 15-Nov-12 16:14:35

Oh pinkpeacock, that's made me glow for the rest of the day. Thank you. x

Scaredycat3000 Thu 15-Nov-12 16:22:10

gotthemoononastick
The year is 2011...my Grandmother died, she was a spiteful narcissist, who was deliberately controlling of her children and their new families, she would brag about how she would be more horrible than the other MIL's. She never took a moment of her time to pick ME a present, she refused to pick individual presents, even for her own children, as it was favouritism, so we all got the same. She would ask me how I was then would turn her back on me before I could answer, every single time. My Mum and Dad did their best for us not see her true colours, but children aren't daft, we knew, besides she started to make comments directly to us. She once gave me a bar of chocolate, whilst telling me I was fat. It became harder for my parents to cover up her bad manners. I felt so sad for my Dad, his own Mother hurting him and the people he loved so badly. In the last 15 years I had seen her maybe 4 times. I didn't go to her funeral, I haven't cried.
I'm now having to watch my children's GM treating them almost the same, I'm just glad she's not vicious like my GM.

gotthemoononastick Thu 15-Nov-12 16:32:46

Scaredycat...yes!!....just what I was trying to illustrate.We all have our own perceptions and the saying "life's a bi* and then you die" is not there for no reason.

exoticfruits Thu 15-Nov-12 16:58:59

The thing I'm realising is you can't manufacture magical memories

This is the one fact of the entire thread. When mine look back they have completely forgotten some of the things that I did to make 'magic moments' and they remember ones that I have completely forgotten until reminded.

Fishlaar Thu 15-Nov-12 17:17:05

After reading this thread I asked my DD this morning if she minded that I had bought DGS a chocolate advent calendar. Her reply - have you been reading MN again? blush

I buy them for both adult DD's, and their partners. Can't ever imagine not doing so. They might be grown up but they're still my DC. It's just a silly little way of saying I love you, and to help make their partners feel included in our family. DGS is only five months old but to not get him one would be like saying I don't care about you and I'm sure his mum won't find eating his chocolate for him too much of a hardship. wink.

For me the important thing isn't the calendar, it's the love with which they are given.

Wingedharpy Thu 15-Nov-12 17:29:38

Oh Lord.
I'm quaking in my boots now.
I've just come back from a 2 day break and have bought a most beautiful wooden christmas tree with little drawers in it numbered 1 - 24 - clearly an advent calendar.
I've spent the afternoon filling these little drawers with lovely individually wrapped, tiny, swiss chocolate bars and now I've come on to MN to find out that my Neice will hate me forever for buying this for her DS!
What shall I do?

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 15-Nov-12 17:39:51

Ask her if she minds.

YouOldSlag Thu 15-Nov-12 18:01:03

Wingedharpy- just gibe it to her- I'd be thrilled if someone went to so much Christmassy trouble for my children! it's lovely.

YouOldSlag Thu 15-Nov-12 18:01:13

give not gibe.

5madthings Thu 15-Nov-12 18:10:09

Yes give it to her, its a lovely gift. smile

Floggingmolly Thu 15-Nov-12 18:35:49

Oh, give it to her, WingedHarpy; 99.9% of people would be genuinely delighted for their dc to receive this (I would smile)

luanmahi Sat 24-Nov-12 16:02:05

I think it's fine to not want to give a one year old chocolate. My mil brought 2 choc calendars yesterday for me and hubby (we are both 35 and I have to say I find it a little absurd that she does it every year for grown adults but that's another matter entirely). She made a comment to my 6 month old that she could have one next year and my instant reaction was shock that she would give an 18 month old chocolate. She won't even have all her teeth then.

Floggingmolly Sat 24-Nov-12 16:11:07

shock that she would give an 18 month old chocolate. Oh, ffs. hmm
She'll have plenty of teeth by then.

cory Sat 24-Nov-12 16:18:31

Never mind two advent calendars- we've always had to do two separate Christmases!

Because we travel- by air, restricted luggage + carrying gifts for large extended family- there is no way we can actually take dc's Christmas presents with us to be presented on the appropriate day (apart from a tiny token gift for the stocking). So we have an extra little Christmas ceremony before we go, usually on the 3rd Sunday in Advent. It's become our own special little family tradition. I've been surprised to find it's not taken the shine off anything: my dc have masses of magical memories, just not necessarily identical to the ones I had anticipated.

So OP, I think you have made a wise decision about the morning and evening openings. Nothing will be spoiled, something will be added.

(Perhaps you could create a new beautiful tradition of taking MIL's cake round the homeless shelter, or inviting some disreputable friends around for brandy and cake in the run-up to Christmas?)

bruffin Sat 24-Nov-12 16:50:45

*shock that she would give an 18 month old chocolate. Oh, ffs. hmm
She'll have plenty of teeth by then. *

Isn't the best bit about chocolate is that you dont need teeth as it melts at body temperature grin

shemademedoit Sat 24-Nov-12 17:02:38

My kids' chocolate ones never last longer than the 3rd Dec.....just leave them within easy reach grin

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 24-Nov-12 17:42:48

YABU - it is a tiny piece of chocolate we're talking about here,presumably mil isn't going to have laced them with arsenic.

She was trying to be nice and you are being very OTT.

OK, I know I will be shot down in flames. I am, according to my DM, a sugar Nazi. I'm not. DD (2 yo) has had chocolate and sugar and all that. However, she is a fifth of my weight so one or two chocolates a day would be like me adding 5-10 chocolates to my diet. Not great, I think you will agree. Also, it is only for a month or more than 5% of that child's life at 18 months. So, if I added 5-10 chocolates to my diet every day for 2 years, would it affect my health? Rot my teeth? Maybe. It isn't a good idea, certainly.

Now I know that children's diets are different and my maths are a bit wonky but I just don't think children need chocolate every day. I speak as someone whose DN was just told that she needs 7 fillings at 8 years old. Her DF thinks there is nothing wrong with a bit of chocolate either. My DD has 'treats'. She thinks that yogurt is a treat.

hackmum Sat 24-Nov-12 18:06:02

MrsTerryPratchett - I don't think you are unreasonable in wanting to restrict chocolate to your child. I intended to do the same with DD but without success (essentially, DD is a sugar addict - her first taste and she was hooked).

However, I don't think the OP's issue is really to do with chocolate. I think it's probably much deeper than that - the idea that the MiL is trying to undermine her parenting, in much the same way as when grandparents insist on buying pink trash for your kids when they know you hate pink. I think present-giving can sometimes be an act of passive aggression (in fact I even thought of starting a thread on this, but someone else beat me to it with the "worst present you ever received" thread). I mean, as a general rule, I think if someone gives you or your kids a present you don't approve of, you should accept it gratefully on the assumption it was meant kindly. But if you believe they're doing it deliberately to undermine your authority as a parent or even just to wind you up, I suppose that's different.

psychomum5 Sat 24-Nov-12 18:22:10

it is only chocolate.

it won;t kill them

unless they are allergic....

5madthings Sat 24-Nov-12 18:29:04

mrspratchett if it were a bar if choclate a day i may agree wiyh you but the chocolate in an advent calender us barely bigger than a choclate button, one a day for 24days is fine even for an 18mth old!

PessaryPam Sat 24-Nov-12 18:40:31

Chocolate, the new arsenic!

pingu2209 Sat 24-Nov-12 18:42:20

You are so over reacting it is laughable. Very petty on your part. Very small minded.

*PessaryPam I wonder how many people die of arsenic poisoning compared to lifestyle related 'poisons'. Heart disease, cancer and diabetes all linked to a bad diet and obesity. I'm not saying that 3 weeks of chocolate will cause that but my DD would have an expectation, after that long of chocolate every day that she would forever get chocolate every day.

I don't know about your advent calendars but mine has chocolate bigger than a button. Bear in mind 5madthings that I only have one PFB.

Sokmonsta Sun 25-Nov-12 18:26:06

I know I've written somewhere on here earlier but thought I'd share today's experience.

The inlaws have bought advent calendars. 4 of them. One for dd(4), ds(2) and dts(7 months). Was asked if I wanted to take them home. I was honest, told them I'd already got the elder two their calendars and that the babies probably won't really be eating chocolate in a few days time. Suggested they keep them at theirs as the dc's will enjoy 'catching up' with their chocolates every week. The twins' calendars I've suggested they open themselves. I know they will give them the chocolates from both calendars. But heck, it's once a week, once a year. I'll balance it out by giving them less sweets at home. Thankfully my two are fruit monsters so they never really notice smile

NUFC69 Sun 25-Nov-12 19:28:39

I have always bought chocolate Advent calendars for my two children - and then when they got married I bought them for their partners too. My DGS is 19 months and last year I didn't get him an Advent calendar but this year I asked his mum if he could have a chocolate one, too, (she said yes) so today I took them round. I didn't, however, buy an Advent calendar for my DGD who is only 5 months. We were all together for lunch today and I mentioned this thread - both DD and DIL were staggered to think that anyone would take umbrage at the buying of an Advent calendar.

5madthings Sun 25-Nov-12 19:55:48

oh come on the chocolate in an advent calender even when bigger than a choclate button is never more than a mouthful. certainly no bigger than a ten pence piece!! perfectly fine for a toddler to have.

DiamondDoris Sun 25-Nov-12 20:01:57

I would be upset if someone bought my kids a chocolate advent calendar without consulting me first and I don't see why children can't take pleasure in counting down the days just by seeing a picture instead - I found that exciting as a child. Maybe I sound old-fashioned and a misery guts. I don't thing YABU in the slightest. Anyway, I have a good reason not to get choc. advent calendars for my DC - one of them is diabetic. Another reason is the chocolate is usually of the cheap and nasty variety (snob).

MrsTerryPratchett - I don't really get that argument. She'd just have to start to understand that Xmas is over and no more choc. Im not sure shielding them from life is a reason to not give them a choc advent calendar.

cory Mon 26-Nov-12 11:29:05

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 25-Nov-12 01:07:32
"I'm not saying that 3 weeks of chocolate will cause that but my DD would have an expectation, after that long of chocolate every day that she would forever get chocolate every day."

How could her expectations damage her health? Surely she hasn't got an income of her own at such a young age? If you felt in any way bound by the expectations of an 18mo, I'd say you had bigger problems than her chocolate intake.

no axe to grind, don't think dc ever had a chocolate advent calendar, just don't see the point of managing any part of a toddler's life on the ground that she'll come to expect it- to me, that sounds like what pomme says, shielding them from life

Well, she's two so no she wouldn't understand that Christmas was over, having no concept of what Christmas is grin. I just don't want the whining after Christmas. I just don't see the point of introducing chocolate every day when it's not needed, expected or wanted. Since she is happy to eat tonnes of fruit and veg and has a really healthy diet, why mess with that? I know people like to see children eating chocolate. I like to see mine eating apples. [I know I sound smug emoticon]

5madthings Mon 26-Nov-12 17:04:44

yes but once the advent calender is done with its, empty you can show them its empty and it goes in the bin/recycling. they may moan for a day or two but they quickly forget.

my children are all happy to eat tonnes of fruit and veg and have just got in from school and raided the fruit bowl, they also had a small freddo bar each from the co-op on the way home. i think its possible to have a healthy attitude to all food and that includes some chocolate etc in moderation.

a small square of chocolate from an advent calender counts as moderation!

I remember getting all het up when my MIL did just the same as the OPs, now several years on I realise that its better to pick your battles. I'd just have 2 advent calendars at different times of the day and either have a picture to discuss at bedtime and the chocolate one in the morning or the chocolate in the evening and an activity to do in the morning/ after school. I used to love my picture advent claendars as a child but I haven't seen any really nice ones for years. I remember they all had windows to open (as in, house windows) so you could see what was going on insde the house, rather than a random christmas tree in the sky! grin. I am also trying to get a really nice, but not frighteningly expensive chocolate advent calendar for my DD, as she was diagnosed with diabetes this year and has been so good about it. I don;t think having a small piece of chocolate everyday for a coupel of weeks is going to kill her but don;t want to get one of those crappy cheap chocolate ones, neither do I want to pay £22 in Hotel Chocolat, something inbetween would be good.

bruffin Mon 26-Nov-12 17:23:15

" neither do I want to pay £22 in Hotel Chocolat"

They are £12 not £22 if that makes it better ( or was it a mistype)

jamdonut Mon 26-Nov-12 17:24:25

My youngest 2 are (nearly) 16 and 12. They both have chocolate advent calendars, advent candles and a picture calendar!!!!

When my mum was alive she would by them calendars too...so they had 2 lots of chocolate in the morning! What does it matter? Its just a bit of fun!

BeatTheClock Mon 26-Nov-12 17:29:36

I'm all for chocolate advent calendars. I only had picture ones as a child (choc ones not invented back then).

I wonder if there is a market for organic vegetable advent calendars though? Enjoy the magic of Christmas and feel worthy at the same time with one of your 5 a dayhmm Maybe party bags too.

eyestightshut Mon 26-Nov-12 17:50:10

I'd be interested to know how many family traditions that your MIL instigated with your DH will be carried on?

It's not about feeling worthy, hmm right back at you. I'm not banning them, by all means have them for your kids. I couldn't care less. But if you don't want your kids eating processed, high sugar, produced by slavery chocolate every day, why shouldn't that view also be respected?

SantasStrapOn Mon 26-Nov-12 18:02:00

A raw sprout would fit nicely in each drawer, Beat. Think of the joy lighting up their little faces, as they rush down each morning to see what's in that day's drawer.

Maybe an orange segment for the last day, just to ramp up the excitement.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 26-Nov-12 18:25:14

There are some horrible messages on here. The OP has already said that she won't be telling MIL how she feels, that she will be giving the children the calendar and that MIL is spending Christmas with them. She has taken all the comments on the chin graciously.

So can we stop abusing her now please?

HumphreyCobbler Mon 26-Nov-12 18:26:13

I don't want my DC having chocolate calendars either. I don't want them having more than one. If someone bought one I would do what the OP has done - suck it up but moan about it in private.

funkybuddah Mon 26-Nov-12 18:33:14

I cant imagine a world where I care enough to be pissed off about advent calenders

Ooohh!! Tempted with Hotel Chocolat for £12! (for me that is grin --still not paying that for the kids--). I've setted for Lindt ones!

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Tue 27-Nov-12 14:33:36

haven't read whole thread, OP, but saw that you were getting a pasting.
i loathe chocolate calendars, you open the window and there's a crappy splodge of chocolate and no picture to look at. and who in the world needs two of them, isn't sharing part of the whole Christmas spirit? i hate how the magic of the season is now all about STUFF and immediate consumption.

mil has bought us two as well... <rolls eyes> i'm not grateful in the slightest. she's an avid feeder, that's her thing... we'll probably break them up and put them in a bowl when the kids' friends come round.

emalushka Tue 27-Nov-12 15:38:40

I've not had chance to read through all this, but I'm sticking up for the OP. I do not like cardboard advert calendars at all. The chocolate is crap, they usually all slide down to the bottom of the calendar, they look untidy after about the 4th December, the doors never tear off properly and In the past i have wasted a lot of time propping them back up on the window ledge/mantelpiece for them to slide/get knocked over a zillion times a day.

I know it's only an advent calendar and I do normally I have a relaxed outlook on most things in life (honestly!), but they are definitely not happening in my house. However, my mother in law buys my children one each every year despite us having a very beautiful wooden advent Santa with little drawers in that you pull out every day. I don't give my children the cardboard, mother in law one and she has never noticed it's not up when she visits.

I have suggested that perhaps she might like to buy them some hanging chocolates to put on the Christmas tree instead, but she never has. Bizarrely, every year she also comments on how lovely our wooden advent calendar is and how much nicer it is. I'm sure she just continues to buy the cheaper advent calendars to piss me off.

I cant imagine a world where I care enough to be pissed off about advent calenders

Bloody well said.

Virgil Tue 27-Nov-12 15:44:54

We have a beautiful advent calendar which I was very fortunate to find in the loft when we moved into the house. It is a large wooden tree with drawers underneath and in each drawer is a lovely delicate decoration to hang on the tree. The DCs love it.... But would still be a bit disappointed if they didn't also find a little chocolate in the drawer each day.

Relax, it's a chocolate calendar. If you have a nice one too then they will still appreciate it.