Sil won't buy ds what he wants for Xmas

(71 Posts)
Picturesinthefirelight Sun 08-Dec-13 15:29:34

I know I sound unreasonable but bear with me

I have two children, ds aged almost 10 & dd aged 12

Sil wants to know what they want for Xmas

Ds has a list he's made with items ranging from £5 to £50. It's quite diverse from books & chocolate to Nerf, Xbox game & a scooter.

Sil works at a major high street retailer so always buys presents from there which was fine when the kids were younger & were into toys & games.

She refuses to buy clothes for Xmas, the Xbox game heaves nets is out of stock at her branch, the only scooter in stock is one designed for a 5 year old. She was looking at action figures like Skylanders & Star Wars but he's not been into action figures for a couple of years now.

I suggested putting together a little gift bag with some boys/men's smellies/hair gel in. He loves his showers & likes pinching a bit of dh's after shave etc but she said that's something she'd buy when he's much older.

Her dd who is the same age as my dd has a hobby & she's asked me to get her a specialist item for that hobby which will cost around £20-30. I have to give her the money & her dd will choose the exact one she wants.

My dd also has a hobby which she hopes to eventually make a career. There is a mon specialist item she really wants (she could do with two or three of them) that costs £7. When I told sil about them she said I'm not buying her that!

She has reluctantly agreed to get dd gift vouchers as dd loves going shopping & having a Girly day out etc. she is also a bookworm but sils shop doesn't sell books.

Would I be bring unreasonable to say lets forget this & just get our own children what they want?

Mrswellyboot Sun 08-Dec-13 15:32:39

This would wad to a fallout and extra stress you don't need. I would let her do her own thing and keep in mind that next year you will each donate a little sum of money to a children's charity on lieu of nieces and nephews gifts.

Mrswellyboot Sun 08-Dec-13 15:33:07

Lead to not wad, sorry

Belugagrad Sun 08-Dec-13 15:35:47

Just get each kid a book and ignore any suggestions- that goes for both of you.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 08-Dec-13 15:38:20

She won't buy him a book - he loves books

Monetbyhimself Sun 08-Dec-13 15:39:34

Really ? Spoiled/over indulged/ materialistic. How about you focus on teaching all of these kids to accept gifts with grace and thanks. (And work on that yourselves )and then perhaps take them to visit a soup kitchen on Christmas day ?

Belugagrad Sun 08-Dec-13 15:41:12

How about you do what you want and she does hat she wants then relax and say thanks. If she asks what I get say 'use your bet judgement'

Finola1step Sun 08-Dec-13 15:41:13

Sounds like she wants to maximise her staff discount! Vouchers for the shop she works in?

Belugagrad Sun 08-Dec-13 15:41:35


whereisshe Sun 08-Dec-13 15:41:51

How odd of your SIL. Why ask for a list if you're going to ignore it? Just tell her to get whatever she wants to get, if she won't buy the things they want.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 08-Dec-13 15:44:05

Well that's fine but ds has aspergers & if he receives a babyish gift will say straight out that its babyish. (We are working on that side of things)

She's always saying she's broke so I'd prefer her not to waste £20 on something he doesn't want when she could but a book from Asda for £5 or a box of chocolates.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Sun 08-Dec-13 15:44:49

Please dont take them to visit a soup kitchen on Christmas Day. Other people's misery isn't a spectator sport or a lesson for MC children.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 08-Dec-13 15:45:39

She doesn't get a staff discount on vouchers - & she doesn't want to get a 10 year old vouchers "birthdays are for clothes & vouchers- Christmas is for toys"

LeBearPolar Sun 08-Dec-13 15:48:00

You choose her DD what you want to get her; she chooses your DC what she wants to get them.

Why do you 'have' to give her the money so her DD can choose her own present? You don't have to do anything! Tell her that, just as she's choosing your DC's presents, you'll choose her DD's present.

Belugagrad Sun 08-Dec-13 15:48:29

Why can't you jut leave her to it? You sound too involved tbh. It's her present buying.

ipswichwitch Sun 08-Dec-13 15:53:00

I don't get why she bothers asking what they want then refusing to get it. Surely it's worse to waste money on something they won't like or use that will languish in a cupboard than to actually get something they want. We have a relative who does this and DS has been given something he is actually scared of (and they knew this) because its what they wanted to buy him and think that's what he should like. It's now in the back of the cupboard awaiting the day he might get over his fear of it enough to actually use it/he gets too old for it and we can give it to someone else.

harryhausen Sun 08-Dec-13 15:53:01

My Mil is a bit like this. She will only shop in Argos and isn't online. She always insists on asking the children what they want from the catalogue (up to £50 each!!!! Which I've told her is way too much). Then she can never seem to get what's in the catalogue in store and goes into a spin about it. This year, I had to order it from Amazon to arrive at her house. She's been banging on and on about what a HUGE big stress it is.

Fine! I wish she wouldn't bother then! They'd be happy with a tiny toy or some chocs, or even a small voucher. A book voucher would be great - it doesn't have to be for £50.

My dd and ds are 8 and 6. She knows ds is really into Dr Who, but because she doesn't like it she won't but it. Dr Who is everywhere. Really cheap. Even a jigsaw, he lives those. Dd really just loves cuddly realistic dogs. If she must spend £50 you could get a lovely one for that, but no - Argos don't do them.

I know it sounds awful and materialistic but I'd honestly, honestly think they'd be happy with the smallest thing. It's just the unbendable way that she approaches it - then moans about it!

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Sun 08-Dec-13 15:53:30

She won't let me leave her to it - she insisted I didn't half an hour hunched over ds's iPad (dh pretended his was at work) in the kitchen on the Internet checking stock.

She keeps phoning me about it too.

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Sun 08-Dec-13 15:55:20

Harryhausen - same shop!

Lizzabadger Sun 08-Dec-13 15:55:35

I think this has become too big a deal.

Let her decide what she buys as presents.

(Fwiw I wouldn't buy a 10-year-old aftershave-type products either.)

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 08-Dec-13 15:56:42

Why dont you just let her choose for herself? Theres no way i would ket Ds write a list for xmas with gifts of £50 on expecting others to buy them.

If i am asked for ideas, then i keep them cheap and cheerful. Mre generic than an exact item so the giver still has some choice.

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Sun 08-Dec-13 15:58:49

Liza - I've bought the aftershave - I suggested nice shower gels in a gift bag

starofbethlehemfishmummy Sun 08-Dec-13 15:59:29

I was prepared to say that yabu but it seems that you expected to buy what her kids want but not the other way round. And why ask them to donating.list and then ignore it.

Don't bother next year

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Sun 08-Dec-13 16:00:03

The list isn't just meant for others. There is only one £50 item on which is the amount his grandparents usually spend.

WhoNickedMyName Sun 08-Dec-13 16:00:52

I think you're both making far too if a deal of this.

If she asks again, say you've given her some ideas, if she doesn't want to buy any of those items them you'll leave it to her to think of something.

And wrt her children, if you don't want to buy them whatever she has suggested, then you think of something.

Ultimately if the children don't like what they've got then e-bay it, return it to the store or give it away.

WhoNickedMyName Sun 08-Dec-13 16:02:16

Has the OP namechanged halfway thru the thread?

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Sun 08-Dec-13 16:03:34

Exactly the same happens every year- I give sil money & she presents me with the gift she's chosen for her dd for me to wrap.

Then she asks me to choose something from this one particular shop but it has to be toys.

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Sun 08-Dec-13 16:04:05

Sorry I've changed to my Xmas name only it's not worked properly.

Tabby1963 Sun 08-Dec-13 16:04:13

OP, you could do what I have done with my brother; we give a sum of money (say £20) in a card to each of our respective nephews/nieces. This they can spend on anything they want in the January sales. Everyone happy.

I can understand that, as you are already giving your niece money to spend on herself on something she wants, why you might consider the same for your children. Hope you can come to some agreement here. If your SIL says "no I don't want to give money", you can point out that you are prepared to give money to her daughter to spend as she likes, why won't she?

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Sun 08-Dec-13 16:04:43

On the soup kitchen idea my DS's class had the opportunity to volunteer preparing vegetables for a local soup kitchen one evening - I thought that was great.

Regarding presents I think you need to retain some sense of them being given/chosen by the other person, even if it's from a list. So if presents from SIL always come from the place where she works so be it - just a shame they don't seem to have much on the dc's wish list this year.

NoComet Sun 08-Dec-13 16:06:35

If you ask the DCs parent, it is daft to then make up massive numbers of conditions, when a sensible, obtainable, in budget suggestion has been made.

We had no spare money as kids, by 10 I absolutely hated having to smile and nod at gifts that I knew I wouldn't use, because it was simply such a waste.

ChasedByBees Sun 08-Dec-13 16:07:23

I think I'd be irritated by her insistence that she gets her DD exactly what he wants but won't extend the same courtesy. I'd just buy your niece whatever you want to buy her, regardless of hobby.

mercibucket Sun 08-Dec-13 16:08:44

you need to be upfront with her

lets both just give money n buy something

if she wont agree then ask why you have to do it for her dd but she wont for yourss
if she cant see that is not fair then just buy what you want next year

you are not being assertive

starofbethlehemfishmummy Sun 08-Dec-13 16:10:42


You are expected to buy what her kids want.

Why ask them to do a list

Wish there was an edit button!!

DontmindifIdo Sun 08-Dec-13 16:10:49

Willl your SIL be upset if your DS just says straight out that he doesn't want her gift to her? Then perhaps you need ot just let this happen. If she says anything about gifts again, don't get involved, just say "I've given you a list, if you want to get something off the list, feel free." Then unclench about it. Hopefully the shop she works at will do returns, will there be anything in there your DS is likely to want?

Oh and if you aren't doing lists next year, then she doesn't get to issue you with a list for her DCs either. It's a good lesson for your DCs, for some people, they aren't interested in giving a gift they know you'd like, they want to give you a gift they want you to like. You should still be polite about it to them, but don't feel compelled to keep it. It's also important to always try to be the person who gives a gift the recipiant wants, not what you want them to want.

Monetbyhimself Sun 08-Dec-13 16:11:37

Lunatic I wasn't just referring to the kids in this scenario.

DontmindifIdo Sun 08-Dec-13 16:13:21

oh yes and I hate the idea that Christmas Soup kitchens are a useful lesson for middle class children, the whole "let's go look at a poor person!" mentality is irritating in the extreme, unless you live in the middle of nowhere, your DCs will probably have seen homeless people anyway. (And if you do live in the middle of nowhere, there's not going to be soup kitchens anywhere near you)

OpalTourmaline Sun 08-Dec-13 16:17:41

I think you say to her that either you both get a surprise for each others' children (and run the risk of it being something they don't want) or you both give them money, or you both select what you want for your own dc. It seems unfair that she gets to dictate what you buy, but doesn't extend you the same courtesy.

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Sun 08-Dec-13 16:25:10

I can kind of understand why if you work in a shop day in day out you might like to make that connection of choosing something from it to give to your nieces and nephews

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Sun 08-Dec-13 16:28:43

I didn't get given a list by the way. At a family party about a month a go she cane up to me & said dneice would like an x. It costs £20. Can you buy it her fir xmas I can get one from y when we go there next week so if you give me the cash ill get it for you.

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Sun 08-Dec-13 16:29:39

I agreed mostly because in the past she's asked for an item that cost a lot more than I could really afford to spend.

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Sun 08-Dec-13 16:34:38

Personally I'd feel that was getting a bit cheeky/annoying - not my style of Christmas present giving.
I don't mind a list whether asked for or offered as long as it's got some variety on it including price wise - in fact they can be a great way of helping everyone get the presents they'd really enjoy and appreciate.
Like your XMas NN Chestnuts - do you like mine? - I Christmasfied it the other day fsmile

formerbabe Sun 08-Dec-13 16:38:43

Very strange that she won't buy him a book!

NoAddedSuga Sun 08-Dec-13 16:43:28

Only read the first page

Sil sounds hard work

I would just say forget buying each others children presents, and you will use the money that you would of bought her children on your children.

Therefore no one is out of pocket, and all children get something that they will use and want.

If a child has asked for something within budget range, its daft to not get them that, but get them something that they dont want.

I would be tempted to say forget it. She buy for hers you buy for yours.

We currently swap vouchers with one family member's DC. I keep telling DH to suggest we don't bother and just buy vouchers for ours and they can buy for theirs. But he says that's not v Christmassy. hmm

Monetbyhimself Sun 08-Dec-13 16:44:50

Yes as long as your naice MC children have actually seen a homeless person begging outside Waitrose then that absolutely absolves you of any responsibility to help them to understand the reality of homelessness, poverty and despair. So IRRITATING when social responsibility gets in the way of Tarquin and Claudias Christmas must have list hmm

OldBagWantsNewBag Sun 08-Dec-13 16:47:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Sun 08-Dec-13 16:47:07

Money- my ds would and has given every last penny of his pocket money away to charity in the past so less of the moralising thank you.

redexpat Sun 08-Dec-13 16:49:34

So it's different rules for your kids and hers? YANBU! And it's not to do with being grateful. What is the point of asking someone what they would like for Christmas to the go and ignore everysingle suggestion, because you don't approve, or it doesn't suit you or you can't get staff discount on it. I'm strangley cross about this.

mousmous Sun 08-Dec-13 16:50:49

I never buy from ny dn (7 of them) whishlists.
I buy what I like and think would suit them.

This isn't worth the time or the thought to argue over.

Just let her buy him what she wants.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Sun 08-Dec-13 16:52:56

Well, DD has seen, spoken to and engaged with lots of homeless people because I know most of them in town (worked in the local shelter for 2 years, currently work in housing) and I chat to them all. Yesterday we were just chatting to one guy outside the book shop. DD and him had a waving competition.

However, Christmas at the shelter was full of plonkers bringing their kids in to 'learn' something. Goodness knows what. That homeless people only matter in December, possibly. Volunteering is one thing but just wanting your children to see it is another. It was over 18 as well but the sign on the door didn't register.

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Sun 08-Dec-13 16:59:11

I think when my DS helped make soup at the soup kitchen it may have helped all of us remember the reality of homelessness a little more. I doubt many soup kitchens are open for spectators of whatever age in any case, but often pleased to have volunteers.

deakymom Mon 09-Dec-13 00:03:33

i had this when i got married everyone insisted i do a "list" i didnt want to be greedy i just wanted people to come really but it did a list and all but one person ignored it! most of them got me vouchers (for fifty quid a time actually so im not complaining just making a point) my point is if you dont want to know dont ask and the list seems reasonable actually x

Mellowandfruitful Mon 09-Dec-13 00:19:37

When you see her next, say brightly, 'I've been thinking, if you don't want to give money or vouchers then of course I won't either. I'll just get your DD something as a surprise instead'. If she argues, just keep saying with an innocent face 'But I don't understand - why am I giving money to your DD when you've said you don't want to give money to mine?' YANBU.

Mellowandfruitful Mon 09-Dec-13 00:21:42

Oh and I loved books as a child and would happily have had books as all my presents for birthday and Christmases. You'd be surprised at how many people would say 'Oh, I don't want to get you just books', or 'You've already got lots of books, I want to get you something different', in spite of me saying that books were exactly and only what I wanted. fhmm

FiftyShadesofGreyMatter Mon 09-Dec-13 01:58:40

OP if you read you first post it is clear that your sister has one rule for her and another for you. Why are you letting her dictate to you??

You don't need to answer that but it might be an idea to have a think about it.

MistressDeeCee Mon 09-Dec-13 04:48:03

Honestly, why make a big deal or even get into discussions about it? Its just a christmas present! You've given her a list - if she doesn't want to buy anything on list, shrug and say that's fine. I'll leave present choice to you. Likewise if you don't want to buy specialist item for her DCs hobby, then don't - buy what you prefer. The 2 of you are nitpicking and its pointless. I do think she's trying to wind you up a bit tho but honestly, please relax about this. Both of you sound as if you have slight control issues..its just way too much over-involvement.

On both sides the DCs will probably be perfectly happy with what they get. & if they're not over the moon & 100% happy with what they're given - so what?! Children aren't necessarily going to be enraptured with every single present they're given. That's life.

Its much ado about nothing. Forget it, and have a nice Christmas

BobaFettTheHalls Mon 09-Dec-13 04:56:00

Can you aak for a reciept or will they not let youvexchange because of staff discount?

This would annoy me. Pil do it with our Ds, why ask for a list,ignore it and then be annoyed when the children dislike or already have a certain toy etc.

myBOYSareBONKERS Mon 09-Dec-13 06:32:38

Have you actually asked her why it is ok for YOU to get your DN what she wants but she will not get what your DC want?

Some people are so blinkered that they don't actually see their own double standards

Are all the posters banging on about her kids being ungrateful / that the op is missing the point of Christmas or that the op needs to stop being demanding and let her sister buy what she likes for a present reading the same thread as me?

The crack as I read it, is that her sister

1) Asks the op children to make a list

2) Moans about it if it does not have things on it that firstly she wants to buy and secondly can be bought in her place of work.

3) When she can't find something on the lust that she deems suitable makes the op spend extra time looking online at the argos website to find something acceptable, then belittles every suggestion

4) but demands that the op gives money so she can buy exactly what her DD wants

I can only see one controlling person here. It is not the op.

Clearly She sees you giving money (which she will then use to buy her DD a physical gift) and her giving money/vouchers directly to your dc different.

Would she think differently if you were to say you know exactly what your DD would like and you can get one this weekend for her if she gives you £x now? You could try that approach.

It sounds from your posts that sil has one dc whereas you have two. Could this be an issue? Is she spending roughly twice what you spend because she's buying for twice as many people? In that case I can understand why she'd be glad of staff discount reducing her costs. Although not why she would insist on buying something your ds feels he is too old for

CloverkissSparklecheeks Mon 09-Dec-13 08:09:40

YANBU, there is no point in asking you what they like then refusing to get any of it.

A lot of our friends/family ask what the kids would like and I give them ideas or they (particularly family) will ask me to get them when I order other bits and they will wrap them. I don't mind this and they prefer it as it mean they know they are spending money on something the DCs really want.

Other friends don't ask and the DCs are always excited with the surprises, even if it is something they are not partuclarly interested in. The only issue with that is that they play with those things over the xmas holidays then never again but that bothers me more than the DCs.

I have one friend who works in a big supermarket (nice one with good toys) and buys all her xmas presents when the big sale is on, that is fine but she just seems to bulk buy without actually thinking specifically about the child she is buying for, she is more concerned about it being cheap (that is another loooong story!). Again, it is me that is bothered about this as I just think its a waste of her money when they would actually love a £5 book token or Amazon voucher which would be even cheaper, they are not spoilt but have just outgrown 'toys' and if they get yet another Star Wars shaker maker from her this year I will actually sob wink

CloverkissSparklecheeks Mon 09-Dec-13 08:13:36

BTW I think some peple have been really rude to the OP, the DCs do not sound spoilt and she does not sound controlling, as for the nasty MC comments I am shock how on earth can you comment about what the DCs do or do not know about charity/homeless people etc and what relevance does that actually have.

My DCs are quite young but are still aware of people who are less fortunate, I don't see this as a reason for them not to have nice things as long as they have some understanding of how lucky they are. I would never expect a child to fully understand and to be honest I hope they never will!

Ginnytonic82 Mon 09-Dec-13 08:19:35

You buy her dd what you want and pop a gift receipt in. Tell her to buy your Dc what she wants and ask for a gift receipt. Kids can then open the presents and IF, (because there is the possibility they might like their gifts, even if they're not off their lists) they don't like them they can easily be returned. SIL should get the message if you ask for a gift receipt, if not just say, straight out, that it's so you can return the gift for something else.

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Mon 09-Dec-13 08:29:39

Can I just say that I don't have any issues with my other sil. We generally check with each other what our children are into & buy what we want. Eg this year I got dnephew a bargain Skylanders set (I'm a regular on the Xmas bargains thread ). Sil told he dneice would really love a first make up set but I have absolutely free choice as to whether I go to Boots, Claire's Body Shop or the Internet

I have no idea what other sil is buying my two but she hasn't been phoning & texting me every 5 mins hassling me about it.

blackandwhiteandredallover Mon 09-Dec-13 09:48:28

If she's your SIL she's either DH's sister or your brother's wife, right? In which case get either your DH or brother to sort it out! Why is it always the women's responsibility to sort out presents?!

myBOYSareBONKERS Mon 09-Dec-13 09:59:40

I always sort out the presents for our families because my DH works full time and I only work two days so have plenty of time. Manbe that is the case for others?

Xmas2013MN7256 Tue 10-Dec-13 17:39:33

I agree with those who've said the SIL sounds controlling.

Giving her the benefit of the doubt instead though, maybe she feels that she will get more money's worth by sticking to her own store.

It's silly that she's insisting on toys when the fact is lots of ten year olds feel too old for them. Could you compromise by suggesting a funky duvet cover or something else for their bedrooms? Am assuming it's Argos from your earlier post to harryhausen, they do household stuff I think?

clam Tue 10-Dec-13 17:53:42

I remember once being given a "list" of exactly what my dnephew wanted. I went to great lengths to get a specific item on it, and was then told he'd changed his mind. "Oh dear," I said, "I've already bought it," I said. "Well he doesn't want it anymore." I was told, "can you get something else?"

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