My first MIL thread - stockings for DCs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RedHelenB Tue 24-Dec-13 22:06:18

Yes, if you haven't got stockings why can't their Grandparents? Used to love staying at my Grans for the very reason that things were done differently. YABU!

phantomnamechanger Tue 24-Dec-13 22:06:41

I do not get GPs doing stockings, its just like they want their babies back, but is massively treading on parents toes.

That said, my DD had stocking from 11month then 23 months - that time she definitely "got" it and squealed with delight at everything, so yes they will enjoy them but YANBU to want them to be under the tree gifts rather then in their bed from santa

I wouldn't put them in the cot but they could be put with the other presents

frenchfancy Tue 24-Dec-13 22:08:40

Stockings for 2 year olds should not be put in their cots. Accept the stockings, but put them in front of the chimney.

usualsuspect Tue 24-Dec-13 22:08:41

How dare they love their grandchildren.

The bastards.

redcaryellowcar Tue 24-Dec-13 22:10:03

not being precious, you should be able to set the pace and mil should be taking a back seat, my pil who i could spend quite some time slating their previous behavior have this year bought a present we suggested and a couple of other things which ds will enjoy, i am pleased not to be overwhelmed by tat!

Garcia10 Tue 24-Dec-13 22:10:06

How lovely that your MIL has bothered to arrange personalised stockings! I would have been thrilled if someone loved my children enough to do that. You are being a but precious wanting to be the first to do it and perhaps just a little bit unreasonable.

However, they are too little to have them on their cots on their own. There may be choking hazards in them.

I would say MIL that's fabulous, thanks so much for the thought but can they open them with everyone at the same time as they open their presents.

Hope that helps. Have a great day tomorrow - they aren't small for long. My 12 year old told me today that she has lost the magic of Christmas! Despite watching endless Christmas movies and being made to listen to Christmas songs throughout the length of December.

HappyCliffmas Tue 24-Dec-13 22:11:15

I'd compromise. Let them have the stockings but make it clear that they are to be downstairs - if the DT are still very young it's probably not a great idea to have them in the cots while they sleep anyway.

The DTs still don't really 'get Christmas' so you can comfort yourself that when you do stockings for them next year, they will be that bit older and able to get properly excited about it.

RandomMess Tue 24-Dec-13 22:12:37

I really wouldn't want stockings in their cots, I'd worry for safety reasons!

Yabu to feel that your toes have been trodden on etc - but I agree that they shouldn't be in the cots. They could be hung on the end of the cots or on the bedroom door and then opened whenever.

RubyrooUK Tue 24-Dec-13 22:15:37

I make stockings for my own kids (including the baby who really has not a clue). It is a lovely tradition and my mum does it for me - still - and I now do it for her too.

I would be thrilled to get personalised stockings for my children and would use this moment to thank MIL profusely. Then say again how much you love the stockings and you will put their stocking presents in them each year from now on, so they will have gifts from "Santa" via you, in the lovely presents their granny made. (Thus telling MIL you will be doing stockings from now on and also appreciating their gift.)

Wouldn't leave them in the cot though - that sounds like it could go wrong. Put them down by the cots on the floor.

pomdereplay Tue 24-Dec-13 22:17:52

Also agreed that they shouldn't be on cots really (assuming the twins are in their own room).

Two is plenty old enough to enjoy a stocking and 'get' some of the magic of Christmas though. My 22 month old DD has been so interested this year in Father Christmas, the reindeer etc interested to the point of bursting with excitement tonight and being very hard to settle I would be thrilled that the grandparents were so excited about my children's early Christmases, and I'm usually always on the side of the daughter-in-law on these threads. That said, they should've run it by you before purchasing and setting it all up.

pianodoodle Tue 24-Dec-13 22:18:41

This is why we stick to Christmas in our own house grin

Personalised stockings sound nice but agree I wouldn't put them in the cot.

Thegrinchishere Tue 24-Dec-13 22:21:44

Yes it's toe treading.

Unless you want to look like a right arse you will have to compromise . Let them have stockings down stairs.

They wont remember them next year so do your own.

BigArea Tue 24-Dec-13 22:24:11

We spend every other Xmas with my lovely dad and he's always done us a little stocking (I'm now 37) smile

2 years ago we had a bit of tension over Xmas eve dinner as he announced he'd done her stocking and I was like 'erm, that's lovely but it's my job not yours!'

This year we're back with him and when DH and I brought her stocking presents down he went 'oh, I've done her a stocking too'

No problem, his presents have gone in too hence she now has a massive stocking!

Next time I shall plan ahead for this, ensuring a) she doesn't get so many stocking presents and b) call me anal but they will all be wrapped the same.

I'd say this year just go with it, but next time discuss in advance and work together on it. Personalised stockings can come home with you for next year.

CaterpillarCara Tue 24-Dec-13 22:24:21

My son had a stocking at one month old. But no-one beside parents should give one in my opinion.

onepieceoflollipop Tue 24-Dec-13 22:25:06

"staying at the pils at their insistence"
That's the real issue imo. Perhaps your pils are quite controlling generally, and in their own home understandably want their own way.

I could not stay at my pils I would kill them

Pidgy Tue 24-Dec-13 22:25:39

Wish my mil would do a personalised stocking for my DS. Last year she bought 2 for sil children but 'forgot' one for my DS. Be thankful that she cares!!

BigArea Tue 24-Dec-13 22:25:41

Farking hell that was long, sorry <pours more wine>

pixiepotter Tue 24-Dec-13 22:26:09

How is it treading on the OPs toes when she hasn't done stockings this year and the DTS won't remember next year anyway.
I would just but the stockings on a chair or leaned up against the wall in their bedroom for them to find when they wake up.

ceeveebee Tue 24-Dec-13 22:29:19

Thanks all for your mostly helpful responses (usual - no need)

I know its great to have GPs who really love them. My family are very different - I never stayed at my GPs and my own parents are very hands off. I do find MIL to be a bit overbearing though but I know my DCs love being with them

I would never be so rude as to "not accept" a gift - it was just whether to put them in their cots - I can see some playdough sticking out the top which wouldn't be the best idea...

I'll do the stockings next year - when it will mean something to them as they'll know a bit more about what's going on. I do feel that its a bit odd not to have mentioned until just this evening still.

And I know a lot of 2 yos would "get" Christmas - my two are quite young for their age and not very verbally advanced so genuinely think next year will be the first time they properly understand Christmas

IThinkThat Tue 24-Dec-13 22:34:28

I would suggest having them open their stockings downstairs but I would leave this to your DH to deal with his parents.

SoonToBeSix Tue 24-Dec-13 22:36:56

Yabu but for safety reason they shouldn't be in their cots. They won't remember next Christmas that they had stocking this year anyway.

Bumbolina Tue 24-Dec-13 22:46:18

My mil does personalised stockings at her house too. I was ok with 'Nana has filled a stocking for you' I'm not ok with her telling our 2 year old that Santa goes to their house too. That spoils it, it's obvious that the wrapping and writing is Nanas.
We do stockings and are trying hard to establish our own traditions... it isn't helping.

I've had to bite my tongue though. My kids will enjoy them, I just have to go with it confused

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

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

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

But they are so lovely.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

have a good day allll.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

mrscog Wed 25-Dec-13 12:22:58

I can see why you're a bit miffed, but it's not a big deal, and just to balance it out my nearly 2 year old hasn't got a bloody clue what's going on - I think the people saying they do understand have fairly exceptional children! I would have a word before next year though (but not now) to make sure that you get to do things how you'd like.

lljkk Wed 25-Dec-13 14:30:16

My kids' first ever stockings came from my cousin when we stayed with her one year. I felt so grateful!

perfectstorm Wed 25-Dec-13 21:38:25

I'd hate anyone else to do my children's stockings. It's a parents' job and my mum and MIL both loved doing it when they had young kids. Now it's my turn, and in fairness I very much doubt either would want to take that from me. It's one of the perks of parenting IMO, and nobody else should seek to take one of the best bits of the childcare year without checking if that's okay. In this house, the answer would be no.

They won't remember or understand, though. Just get in early next year when it actually counts.

soverylucky Wed 25-Dec-13 23:12:05

I have never had a stocking and neither have my children. Didn't realise that stockings were such a big thing till I came on mn.

traininthedistance Thu 26-Dec-13 01:42:20

agree it's toe treading - MIL has been here this Xmas (have just posted on another MIL thread!) and has done the same. She made a big fuss last weekend asking @who was being Santa this year" and I told her firmly that I had done a stocking for DD. Cue this morning and she trundles in after DD has opened her stocking from us with another stocking.

In her case it definitely is (as a previous poster said) wanting to muscle in and be a parent again (we have a lot of trouble with her doing this, she tried to get DD to call her mummy - not kidding! - and is always claiming credit for things DD does ("I taught her to clap", "I taught her to stand up" etc. when it's just bobbins). I try to bite my tongue but the stocking thing did annoy me: it is the parents' prerogative and it ruins the whole Father Christmas thing if granny is in the background proffering another one and saying "look what I - oops, I mean Santa! - got her"..... Arrghhhhh!

CheerfulYank Thu 26-Dec-13 01:55:56

I don't see the harm (wouldn't put them in the beds though) but I'm American and we don't have stockings in beds anyway smile

My parents did stockings for my DC this year as well as me, DH, and my brother, when we went to stay with them last weekend. Santa brought them presents in their stockings at our home on Christmas Eve.

sweetmelissa Thu 26-Dec-13 09:52:39

Oh dear...

I did my baby grandson a stocking for his first Christmas this year (and also one for his parents, and my other children, foster children, and my husband and parents/PIL) and I had no idea that this would be thought of as unreasonable. I just intended it as a loving/fun gesture for everyone. Reading the majority of the replies to this thread though, perhaps I should apologise to my DD...whoops, I hope she forgives me!

Thanks MN, in my own little world here and didn't realise I was being selfish.

I'm going against the majority to say I don't think this is big deal - mainly because they won't remember any of this - in fact all Christmas memories are going to be a bit hazy until they are 4.

So the issue isn't about the DTs - it's about the battle of the mothers and interpretation - and that's something only you can address. You can choose to see someone stepping on your toes or you can see someone over excited about Christmas and trying to be nice.

My own DM is a pain for over stepping the mark and undermining and controlling so I get the issue. But pick battles and let the nicer gestures go. Especially when the kids aren't even going to have any recollection of Christmas let alone the stocking.

Retropear Thu 26-Dec-13 10:04:34

It would bug me.I have twins too,had all of my 3 dc in a year.Maybe when having your dc all at once it is knowing you won't have many other firsts ie when each thing goes that is it.

My mil is a major bulldozer and we've never spent Xmas day there with the dc for that reason.I think any non parent should ask re stockings. Grandparents have had their turn and I'll never spoil important traditions for my dc.Would never dare to tread on dd's toes now or in the future,she is major feisty.grin

My mil has made stockings for Dp's kids every year so not saying anything has meant she has taken over and sil has never done one.sad

I think you handled it well op but tbh having Christmas in your own home is the way to go if you want to make sure you have full control over your own traditions.

Anniegetyourgun Thu 26-Dec-13 10:04:48

Doing a stocking for your GC is not unreasonable and I don't think anyone on here intended to imply it was. However, checking with the parent first so as not to tread on any toes, and to avoid wasteful duplication, is a good idea, and ignoring their known plans in favour of your own is selfish, even when it's about giving. I'm sure you didn't do it the "wrong" way. No need to be prickly.

Anniegetyourgun Thu 26-Dec-13 10:05:57

(That was to sweetmelissa btw.)

Sweetmelissa - Christmas at your place sounds ace. My DPs haven't bought me a present for years let alone done stockings!

sweetmelissa Thu 26-Dec-13 10:24:43

Thanks for your thoughts, Annie - and sorry did not mean to come across as prickly. I have always done stockings for anyone that comes here for Christmas and therefore included the baby in that this year too - you are right though I should have asked my daughter first. I can certainly see that it was selfish and controlling of me not to - thanks again!

sweetmelissa Thu 26-Dec-13 10:29:07

Thank you, Sauce! Sorry about your DPs - hope you had a nice day though!

Bodicea Thu 26-Dec-13 10:35:24

My mum did my 8 week old baby a stocking which we opened in the afternoon when we came round. I didn't bother but got a couple of presents. Next year I will do a stocking but I imagine she will still do one anyway. Will just say santas been twice when we get to hers. I can't see a problem with two. I suppose if we were staying there I wod just put them together in one stocking, whichever was biggest.
Having said that She is my mum. I might feel my toes were stepped on a bit more if it was mother in law. Don't know why so get where op is coming from!

SillyMillyOnAHilly Thu 26-Dec-13 10:37:02

As always communication is the key grin

MavisDee Thu 26-Dec-13 10:38:52

Yanbu, this would really annoy me. Stockings is a job for parents, we did one for our 8 month old and it might be silly but it was a really special little moment for us. It may not seem a big deal now and some may see if as precious but what happens if she wants to do this every year and your twins do understand about Santa? It will just confuse them. Very toe tready! I probably am being precious but silly little moments like that really matter to me.

DziezkoDisco Thu 26-Dec-13 10:42:38

I would be over the moon in my PILs gave even a little bit of a shit compared to that. FIL has met them once in 6 years (his choice) and MIL is playing serious favourites with BIL kids and gave them all about a third of what she gave the other DGs.

Lt them enjoy being GPs and let your DTs enjoying having GPs that love them.

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 26-Dec-13 10:54:58

I think people underestimate the potential for attachment between GCs and gps. It's harsh to say that when ppl do lovely things for the little ones that they just want their own babies back. I could not be more in love with my dcs. It's a deep and fierce and at times, overwhelming feeling.
I understand that some grandparents experience a similar/ same level of love for their grandchildren.

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 26-Dec-13 10:56:42

Oh, and what sauceforthegander said.

fluffyraggies Thu 26-Dec-13 11:07:50

Neither my parents or my (now X) ILs ever tried to do 'Santa coming to their house as well'.

I would have been a bit miffed i think. Trying to understand why exactly ...

... and i think it would be to do with the fact that XDH and i always made quite a big thing about santa coming (separate wrapping paper, leaving out mince pie and a note, putting fire out early so he could get down chimney, making sure you are asleep, did you hear him on the roof??! ... all that malarky) Excitement levels were at fever pitch by bed time grin

My parents did it like this for me when i was a kid, and the magic and excitement for me was amazing. I felt so special that santa was coming to our house. My parents wouldn't have tried to do it for their GCs too. It would have just been odd.

traininthedistance Thu 26-Dec-13 11:10:11

AmandaClarke of course, and I think most GPs on this thread mean very well and then it's a nice gesture. In my MIL's case though she has longstanding and intractable issues being controlling and having poor boundaries with DH which have affected him deeply (she was a suffocating parent and still overrides his autonomy on anything she can). So the stocking issue is an extension of that which, even though she thinks she means well, is actually very undermining. It's not just in isolation, it's of a piece with her inviting herself to stay for days on end without asking, lots of deeply PA behaviour, especially towards me, and a fair few eccentricities of her own as well! What she would dearly like would be that I would disappear somehow and that she could move in with DH and become surrogate mother to my DD (and has said as much).

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 26-Dec-13 11:12:52

traininthedistance well some ppl really do take the piss, I can't argue with that.

sweetmelissa Thu 26-Dec-13 12:17:26

Mavis Dee - so glad you had the special moment opening your babies first stocking. A lovely special time to treasure.

My DD and SIL did that too and also said how special a moment it was. As I said earlier I did the baby (and everyone else) a stocking when they came to us for dinner later on. Although I had not considered it at all before reading this thread I do now understand many parents do not like grandparents to do this. Trouble is I have always done it for anyone who visits us at Christmas, this year baby grandchild included. As you are a new mum could I ask your advice on what to do next year so as not to tread on my DD's toes? A serious question btw, hope this does not come across as sarcastic, it isn't meant to really. I wondering now if the whole stocking thing for everyone is a bit silly and if I should drop it for next year completely - just doing big presents instead.

Nanny0gg Thu 26-Dec-13 12:48:17


It's a lovely tradition which presumably your DD knows you do?

So carry on!

NoComet Thu 26-Dec-13 12:55:21

What's it matter who does stockings or indeed if DCs get two stockings or no stockings.

I didn't have a sticking until DMIL did me one at 20. My Nan sometimes did bags of bits, My DM fought stocking fillers were an utter waste of money.

It's a total non issue.

NoComet Thu 26-Dec-13 12:56:08

I need a drink, my spelling might be better blush

traininthedistance Thu 26-Dec-13 12:57:57

Well my feeling is that when children are the right age for the whole Father Christmas thing (2/3 to 10-ish?) then the stocking for the whole family thing runs the risk of blowing the cover of it all. Great in a house full of adults and/or teenagers, when it's a really nice gesture - but how do you keep small children from getting suspicious when everyone is getting one (at different times of day) and everyone's got to keep up the pretence?

I'd suggest asking your DD what she'd rather do for next year - she may not mind at all about an extra stocking or she may worry it detracts from the whole mythology of family traditions.

fluffyraggies Thu 26-Dec-13 13:15:08

sweet - i'll be a new mum (again grin) in 3 weeks. Would my advice do?

To my mind I think problems only occur when the GP are saying the stocking is from Santa. Which doesn't sound like something you are doing. You give everyone's presents to them encased in a stocking. Adults and kids alike, so no santa stuff involved really.

If my (new) ILs wanted to convey all their prezies to my baby/child in a stocking, but were obvious about the fact that the prezies were from them, then would be no probs. My feathers would only be ruffled by the 'santa came here too' thing. I would've found that odd as a kid, i recon, and i think my kids would've too.

fluffyraggies Thu 26-Dec-13 13:16:38

xposted with you train (phone call in middle of writing post), yes, that's what i'm on about too. As a kid i would have been suspicious and it would have been a shame.

sweetmelissa Thu 26-Dec-13 13:46:38

Thank you Train and Fluffy,

When my children were little stockings were in their rooms by morning, left by Santa. My husband and I gave each other a stocking over breakfast and the children were always told they were from each other "because Santa doesn't come to grown ups and we didn't want to be left out." Once the youngest child stopped believing in Santa we all opened them downstairs and they knew they were from us. This year my young foster children were left stockings in their rooms, and the adults one given before lunch and from us. Obviously the baby didn't know or care, but in future years will make him a stocking from us, while Santa will come to him at home.

Good luck with the new baby Fluffy - how different and wonderful your Christmas will be next year!!! Congratulations!!

gotthemoononastick Thu 26-Dec-13 14:09:06

I know of ladies who make stockings in their quilting guilds especially for their grandchildren.They are exquisite, embroidered, quilted and embelished little masterpieces and could never be mass produced for sale.True heirlooms.Some of these children are now teens and treasure them.How sad if they should make mums feel insecure.

Mutley77 Thu 26-Dec-13 14:19:32

Yanbu. The stocking is fair enough but it should have been given to you weeks ago to sort out the presents. Christmas is magical for such a short time and it is up to the parents to have that enjoyment of making it special. (not the grandparents ). Although of course gps should share in it if they take the lead of the parents. We will only ever do Christmas in out own home so we set our own traditions etc. Anyone welcome to come and join us if they are happy to respect our way of doing things...

traininthedistance Thu 26-Dec-13 14:23:09

gotthemoon I don't think anyone is suggesting grandmothers shouldn't make/give the physical stockings - this is a thread about MILs filling extra stockings from Father Christmas and giving them as well as/instead of the GCs' stockings done by parents.

fluffyraggies Thu 26-Dec-13 14:26:27

Thank you so much sweet grin Yep, xmas next year will be different! I have 3DDs already - but as the youngest is 15 i haven't done santa stuff for years! This baby is DHs first - so of course this will all be new for him next year and he cant wait. DDs are looking forward to 'doing it all properly with santa' again too, bless 'em.

It sounds like you have the balance spot on in your house. I think stockings for adults is a lovely idea btw.

somewherewest Thu 26-Dec-13 14:31:17

DS has also just turned two and absolutely loved his stocking, but putting it within a thousand miles of their cots is VU. Sleep is precious grin.

ceeveebee Thu 26-Dec-13 15:08:47

Wow lots more replies and opinions still seem split

They slept till 9 and then got their stockings downstairs with their other presents - which was good because as well as playdough there was a chocolate lollipop each which would have been nice and messy! They were more interested in trying to undecorate the Christmas tree tbh though. Still haven't opened all their presents as they're just not bothered. Looking forward to next year when they'll hopefully be more excited.

Enjoy the rest of Christmas all!

differentnameforthis Thu 26-Dec-13 15:23:07

It's such a shame when other family members aren't allowed to think about their nieces/nephews/grandchildren's happiness at Christmas.

really, stocking at 2 won't do them any harm & as you said yourself, they weren't interested in their presents 4 weeks ago for their birthdays 4 week ago, so it won't be very different.

Just let your ILs enjoy treating them.

WorrySighWorrySigh Thu 26-Dec-13 15:38:35

It isnt saying they shouldnt do anything at all just that they should ask first (and listen to the answer).

Surely not hard?

SillyMillyOnAHilly Thu 26-Dec-13 17:12:58

They slept till 9 !!!!! shock fshock shock

What a lovely Xmas present for you. fsmile

FestiveYoni Thu 26-Dec-13 17:29:22

The best thing here op is your mil has shown her hand early, who knows what she would be preparing next year fconfused.

Your lucky in that they are not old enough yet to know whats going year do exactly what you want too, if that means NOT using their mil stockings so be it.

any time you spend xmas with them in futire YOU TELL THEM what will and wont be done.

FestiveYoni Thu 26-Dec-13 17:31:02

different where does it stop?

is it unreasonable tat a mother wants to sort out her own childrens xmas?

why do GP's have to show their love in these ways? my GP would have never gone anywhere near tings like stockings and so on, did i live them any less?

TaraLott Thu 26-Dec-13 19:11:36

any time you spend xmas with them in futire YOU TELL THEM what will and wont be done. shock

perfectstorm Thu 26-Dec-13 19:23:59

I know of ladies who make stockings in their quilting guilds especially for their grandchildren.They are exquisite, embroidered, quilted and embelished little masterpieces and could never be mass produced for sale.True heirlooms.Some of these children are now teens and treasure them.How sad if they should make mums feel insecure.

I can't imagine that would make anyone feel insecure, though - that isn't what has been described. I would utterly love it if a GP (or any other relative) did something so loving and thoughtful, as it helps create a tradition in a very warm and meaningful way. What I would not love is to have a filled stocking presented to me on Christmas eve as done for the gc and the only argument being whether it went in cot or under tree. My kids have a tradition my DH and I created, and it's the full port and mince pie and oats for reindeer, hung by the chimney, colossal excitement at 7 am when Santa has been. I choose what goes in the stockings and I love it. It is not appropriate for a gp or anyone else to seek to hijack that without consultation or consent and bluntly if they tried (which they wouldn't) they'd be told no. I don't expect my children or their partners to want me to do it, either. It's one of the best bits of being a parent IMO so no, I don't anticipate filching it from them. If they find it a bind then that's a bonus for me, but I would be surprised if they did!

FestiveYoni Thu 26-Dec-13 20:34:36

YY Perfect, I really would never suddenly present my old DD's DD's with stockings, full and ready to go. its so over bearing.

It is not behaviour I would exhibit to my DD's, unless they had reason to particularly ask me too, I would help and support them in anyway, I would happily pay for every item in the stocking, I would sew them one and let them tell their dc They did, I would not be wanting praise or reward....

I would support them or be there for them, if they wanted me too and I am sure I could find millions of other ways to bond with my GC that didn't involve stealing precious parent/child traditions and pleasures...

DoubleLifeIsALifeOfSorts Thu 26-Dec-13 21:50:30

It's all about the way it's done isn't it?

For the people saying its a shame that gp can't love their gc... That's really not the point, of course they can and it's something to be treasured and encouraged.

But grand parents trying to take over and be more parent than grandparent is a problem! It's about not asking and collaborating with parents, and trying to compete and override parents. And also, a small thing becomes a big deal when it's in a context of many many small things adding up to feel unpleasant.

I too was going to write a stocking thread fgrin. So I'll write it here in solidarity with you! sorry here follows a rant...

My parents, especially my mother has massive overstepping boundaries history. Last year she had a hissy fit as 'shes jealous of me (her only living daughter), and why did I have to come up to theirs with my dc, aparently i 'push her out' as its much nicer when she's allowed to be Ds's mum!!!' she saw nothing wrong with this, totally blatant and expected immediate sympathy due to her being jealous'.

She even said 'it's ok for my dad (her husband and Ds grandpa) as Ds father is not around, so that gives him a role in Ds life, but because I'm around she doesn't have a 'role'" '... Err my h isn't around because he was horribly abusive to me and neglected his baby, and then left me when I became ill and couldn't pay for him anymore. But she'd rather Ds had no daddy and preferably no mummy either. Nice woman, always was a b*tch. I had to have strong words with her when she started to physically hold Ds back when he was crying 'mama mama' and trying to get to me. I can see my dad wince whenever Ds cries for me as he knows he ll get it in the neck later - she has to take it out on someone, of course.

I told her one more thing like that and she'd never see him again, be foul to me all you like, but do anything to harm my child and that's it. so she's backed off that at least.

She then gave me one cheap and rubbish present, and Ds a huge amount of presents, piles and piles... And refused to speak to me as i also gave him lots of pressies (like err, a parent does). Even at 2.8 yrs, Ds was upset and kept trying to give me his presents... He's an adorable little boy who always wants everyone to join in and share and be together.

She is soooooo disgustingly self centred, and no amount of including and kindness ever make up for the fact that I won't conveniently push off and let her play mummies with my child.

So this year, they came to mine, and I did stocking for everyone (to avoid last years unpleasantness), which is told them I was doing from about oct onwards.

My mother waited til I went to bed and then filled Ds stocking up completely with her presents! I tried not to fall for this ludicrous behaviour, but did end up taking some out and putting a few of mine in. Oooh the looks of thunder and death that were pointed in my direction in the morning. Ugh.

Now that is a woman who does indeed Is over stepping!

differentnameforthis Fri 27-Dec-13 00:31:00

But they are STOCKINGS!!! Fabric oversized sock type things with presents in them. The children are 2, they really don't care of their presents are in stockings or bin bags.

Sorry, I guess I just don't see stockings as something so special, that only the parents must do them.

ESPECIALLY as the op said that the babies didn't care about presents on their birthdays, and that they were 'they're just not bothered' It just goes to show how unimportant it is. They aren't going to notice if the op does her own stockings next year, are they?

We has this exact same thing last year when we stayed with relatives. We flew so we didn't take much, certainly not their stockings, but the relative we stayed with bought them. I was silently thankful that she had thought of that for them!!

There are going to be SO many things that the op can't control in years to come, getting het up over over-sized socks is silly in the grand scheme of things.

The best thing to do is to let MIL have the stocking she arranged at her house & op has others that she sorts out at her house.

I think this is more to do with the fact that op wants them (the children) to be more 'bothered' about their presents. I think she is more disappointed that they wanted to fiddle with the tree than open presents & that she had to open their birthday presents.

My dd's were exactly the same at 2, didn't understand the fuss & just wanted to play with the toys they already had! But it sounds like the op is taking it personally that her dc didn't want to open their presents & was worried that they would enjoy the stockings more.

Oh my, I had no idea that a simple stocking could cause so much
fuss confused. When i was a kid our mum got us all personalised stockings with our names on, they weren't very big so would have satsuma & sweets in & weren't that big a deal. Santa delivered them along with copious amounts of toys (from parents/Santa, family gifts were from family not Santa)
With my own kids they have all had stockings purchased for 1st Christmas whcih get hung on the wall when tree goes up & filled with sweets, small toys, socks, gloves etc by Santa when he delivers the proper pressies. The stockings are just a nice extra. Also they are all different so get put with each child's pressies so they know whose is whose!
Most ppl I know in RL are similar, stockings aren't a massive deal here maybe it's a regional thing (we're in Scotland)??

I would be pleased if my DPs or PILs were so excited about my DCs Christmas cos they're really not all that interested sad. I have to choose my DPs presents for the kids (every year , DS1 is 11) and ILs have bought them unsuitable cheap crap for years but gave them cash this year. Oh, that sounds ungrateful but hey ho.

OP I would gratefully accept the stocking, take them home & make hanging them part of your Christmas tradition from next year!

MavisDee Fri 27-Dec-13 15:16:24

Sweet Melissa, sorry for late reply, just caught up with this thread. What you and your family do sounds lovely as other posters have said- I think it's a personal thing and if the parents are happy with any arrangements then fantastic! I agree with train and fluffy- it's the Santa confusion that would annoy me personally, but it seems you have a lovely separate tradition going on. You sound like a very loving nanny smile

Moreisnnogedag Fri 27-Dec-13 15:29:44

Threads like this make me feel like a very neglectful parent. This is the first year that DS got Christmas. We got him presents from Santa (from us) but My pil (well, MIL really) did a sticking for DS. She does one for DH and, more importantly, for meeeee. I couldn't really give a fig. My parents did a stocking. We did a stocking. DS was inundated with tat grin.

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