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

(40 Posts)

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

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

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

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

How old is your DD? My DPs add their presents to the pile of things that father christmas leaves in the night, so our DDs have no real idea who bought what as they think it all comes from father christmas...

Janeatthebarre Wed 28-Nov-12 11:37:59

Could all the presents not come from Santa? With maybe one being chosen from each pile to come from you and DGs?

LookMumNoHands Wed 28-Nov-12 11:38:04

I always say that my DD main present is from Father Christmas as that is who she is asking for it from. MIL bought the main present this year - not a problem, its from Father Christmas anyway and means I can spend our money getting her lots of little things.

Maybe instead of presents from grandma and mummy just lots and lots of presents from Santa?

The Santa thing is no good, she is upper juniors but was told a couple of years ago at school sad

squeakytoy Wed 28-Nov-12 11:46:19

Kids are just happy to get the presents, they dont mind who got them!

Cosmostocupcakes Wed 28-Nov-12 11:57:48

Just be grateful that your mum you enough to "spoil" your DD - my parents are super generous to my ds and dd - also to my brother, sil, my husband and myself - I feel very lucky - its not a competition! Enjoy it! Why not save that money and get them small treats throughout the year! wink

shuffleballchange Wed 28-Nov-12 12:00:22

Oh for goodness sake, you are very lucky, some people don't have family to help bear the cost of Christmas. My two get lots of big expensive exciting presents from grandparents that we just couldn't afford, I buy them smaller gifts, often boring things like pjs and socks. As long as your children are happy, does it really matter?.....

I am grateful! I said in OP I was, dd has no other family contact other than me so its the only presents she gets.

Just dd who is autistic so matter of a fact asked me why her GPs are the ones who get her the stuff she wants and it made me feel terrible.

Teafairy Wed 28-Nov-12 12:07:59

cosmostocupcakes beat me to the money and get small treats through the year.

My DD's have 4 sets of Grandparents so there are plenty of presents. We have got them a few small things that no one else will think to get, because no one knows them like me and DH and then given the bigger list to the grandparents-which we've added to, as DD1 (2.5) only wanted cookie cutters and DD2(7 months) isn't at the wanting stage! The first year, when grandparents got more than we did, I found it a bit upsetting but then realised that DD1 didn't know or really care, she was just happy to have something to unwrap, and we used the money throughout the year for more day trips etc.

Also,just because they have got your DD everything off the list, doesn't mean she won't like your presents, sometimes the things you like best are the things you didn't know you wanted, IYSWIM, and a surprise is always fun. smile

CailinDana Wed 28-Nov-12 12:15:09

When she asks why the GPs are the ones who get what she wants just say "because they really like to do that and I don't want to stop them. If they didn't get them for you I would though. It's just nice for them to think that they can treat you, it makes them happy. You're a lucky girl to have so many people wanting to buy you presents."

starfishmummy Wed 28-Nov-12 12:21:07

MIL always goes overboard. (and not just at xmas). Luckily at xmas she gives us the bags of presents beforehand, and nothing is ever wrapped so we can have a look through before we give them to him and we might decide to hold some things back for later in the week. I'll also weed out anything that is really unsuitable - she has a habit of buying stuff that is way too young for him becuse "she" likes it!!

laurenamium Wed 28-Nov-12 12:22:25

My parents just bought and built DD a £900 summer house in the garden, I am grin about it and very very grateful! DD is their only grandchild and they adore her, they can spoil her all they like grin

I know they have got her some presents to unwrap too and in previous years I've felt a pressure to produce a similar present mountain, but this year I've spoken to my DM and explained that as a lone parent I just can't do it so we are going to combine all the presents so DD doesn't know which is off who, with a main present each from us. Could you have a chat and ask to make one pile and a main present each?

Merrin Wed 28-Nov-12 12:30:57

Dont put them in piles. Children never read the labels anyway!

I am very grateful. Just dd made me feel awful.

She will tell them I am getting her a tv/console whatever and the next day I will get a text telling me not to buy it as they've already got it.

I asked last year in a very nice way for them to let me buy something so I had something to buy dd had asked for and they still bought it.

DDS autism means she is very specific and has in past muttered thanks and put the things not on the list to one side never to be touched again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Are they asking her rather than you what she wants?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No fourbears I wouldn't. Really.

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

You're a better woman than me then wink

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

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

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

Sounds very controlling to me. I sympathise.

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

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

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