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Thank you cards for DCs/inappropriate presents

(36 Posts)
drspouse Thu 31-Dec-15 23:08:01

We got a rather poor selection of presents from my DB and though I don't much mind for myself, we appear to have got (I am reading through tissue paper) an age inappropriate book (subject matter tedious rather than X rated, but maybe for a young teenager, not just 1-2 years too old) for my DS Christmas present (we suggested books it is true). He's nearly 4.

The suggestion from friends is that we ask them to switch to children only presents in future which I think is great advice as it saves thinking up something for DB who already told me he didn't like a book I got him.

I will not be telling DB that I don't like the book he got me, but I'm considering saying something mild about the book he got for DS being something we'll save for a few decades years ahead.*
Or just wait till he's older and can write his own passive aggressive notes?**

MarchEliza Thu 31-Dec-15 23:20:51

Why though?? Will it make him suddenly turn into a thoughtful and switched-on present-buyer?

I wouldn't bother - it will generate ill feeling for no benefit.

Drquin Thu 31-Dec-15 23:23:11

"Thank you very much for DS's book .... How did you know it's an A-level text? How marvellous! Saves us buying a copy in 15 years' time."

Floggingmolly Thu 31-Dec-15 23:23:12

Why haven't you opened them yet, instead of reading through the tissue paper?

Canyouforgiveher Thu 31-Dec-15 23:23:59

Don't do it. The correct response to any half-way decent present is "Thank you so much" not a lesson on present-buying.

the response to a great present would probably be more along the lines of "that was a great book, thank you so much DS LOVED it, you are the best"

Really why care so much about a present or a book?

ShatnersBassoon Thu 31-Dec-15 23:27:08

Be more specific in your present requests if you're likely to be upset by someone missing the mark.

NerrSnerr Thu 31-Dec-15 23:28:18

There is only one response, 'thank you'. You never know, the subject of the book might become your son's passion.

Ditsy4 Fri 01-Jan-16 01:14:07

Get DSL to draw him a picture with a simple thank -you. Next year suggest he gets some guiding by the assistant in somewhere like Waterstones.

Pancakeflipper Fri 01-Jan-16 01:25:09

Just say thank you.

anyoldname76 Fri 01-Jan-16 08:23:55

why cant you just say thank you?

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Fri 01-Jan-16 08:32:33

Maybe your brother has more things to do than seek out the perfect present for you and your kid.

VashtaNerada Fri 01-Jan-16 08:39:58

Yes, all you can say is thank you. We have some relatives who always buy DD and DS toys along gendered lines (think Princess and Superhero) even though they're completely innapproppriate for my DC (& would possibly be better being given the other way round!) but there's no polite way of saying it.

ByThePrickingOfMyThumbs Fri 01-Jan-16 08:45:35

Gosh no, don't write a passive aggressive thank you note. How will that help? Just say thank you.

If you think he'll be receptive, you can be more specific next Christmas - 'DS would love this exact book' but other than that, just leave it.

ClemFandagoDoesTheTango Fri 01-Jan-16 08:57:21

The only appropriate response when someone gives you a present is to say thank you.

Anything else makes you look like an ungrateful tit. Bit like when your brother told you he didn't like the present you got him.

I think presents for dcs only is a good plan. And maybe suggest a voucher for next year so dc can choose their own. Makes it easier for you DB too.

drspouse Fri 01-Jan-16 09:11:40

Why haven't you opened them yet

DS birthday is very shortly but only one present was sent, with my mother as she was coming to visit after Christmas Day but before birthday, so we decided to designate it a birthday present, even though it says Happy Christmas, as DS can't read yet.

Vashta we've had those for younger ages when it's easier just to remove them, this is the first age when he will care more it's a present he can't really understand.
But he has heaps so won't notice if one vanishes.

Ditsy he can't draw yet beyond scribbles so I can get him to contribute to thank you cards but they will all look the same!

My DB would not be receptive to specific present suggestions, I actually made a general suggestion of "children's books on X, Y or Z theme", so we got a basically adult book on an entirely different theme. They live in another country so vouchers wouldn't work.

SitsOnFence Fri 01-Jan-16 13:51:45

I'm curious to know what the book is, perhaps it's on a subject that your DB was interested in as a child? Some of DS's favourite books are adult reference books; tanks of WW1 was a bedtime favourite when he was 3, one of those magazines where people list their vehicles for sale, but for farm machinery, was his favourite at 2. To be fair, he's an unusual child hmm

Anyway, unless you think the gift was given with ill intent, the only acceptable response is "thank you"

hownottofuckup Fri 01-Jan-16 13:54:59

As above, just say 'thank you' or say nothing at all.

5Hearts Fri 01-Jan-16 15:03:48

I agree - just say 'thank you' unless you feel that is was sent with ill-intent?

Good plan to get out of the adult-gift swap though.

I've been suspicious about SIL's presents for several years (she is very wealthy but has sent many slightly inappropriate & second-hand gifts). She surpassed herself this year by sending a child some rotten fruit, a packet of tissues and a puzzle book (a third of which has been completed). She won't be thanked for that. All presents from her will go straight in the bin now (but this was the final straw - we've no interest in maintaining a relationship with her).

Hellochicken Fri 01-Jan-16 16:47:08

Dont say anything about it. The "only presents for children" sounds sensible, especially if you are essentially both getting each other presents you don't want.
I doubt a 4 yr old would be upset or offended by any present, possibly will just open it and move onto the next one, he might surprise you though, DS was fascinated at a similar age by a book on bees that he couldnt understand at all, other than it was about bees.

Cressandra Fri 01-Jan-16 17:51:42

Looking at what my 6 year old reads, you might be surprised when he grows into it. Just say thank you. There's no way of making the point you want to without it being a dig, and committing it to writing is worse than just saying it.

Does your DB have children himself? Sorry if I've missed that in your posts. If not, isn't it a bit presumptuous to suggest just buying for the children, ie DS? Other options that avoid being one-sided are to just get him a couple/few bottles of wine, or suggest that you have a meal out together instead of exchanging presents.

drspouse Fri 01-Jan-16 19:24:52

He has two children and I have two. His are a lot older so we've been buying for his two for years, and they always love their presents, at least as far as I can tell, he's obviously not shy about saying if he doesn't so I assume they aren't either! After he said he didn't like one of his books, one of them told me a fun fact and said "that's from the book you got Daddy". So somebody has read it. I love buying for them, and obviously I've been doing so for years before having our own DCs, so I'm not expecting "something in return", just curious how to handle unsuitable presents with DCs who will be aware they are unsuitable.

DB also has form for a) writing me a letter to tell me how dreadful a branded item was that I got his DC1 (guess the brand... revealed at bottom) and b) asking me if I could please make another toy exactly the same for one of his DCs right now because I'd made one for one DC for their birthday and the other one liked it and wanted one now, and he "was encouraging his children to ask for things they wanted" (sorry to say I declined to do this immediately but said I could do for the other DC's birthday in 6 months, he didn't take me up on this).

There is obviously a lot more history here and the relationship is poor but my DNs are lovely and love my DCs. So no wish to cut things off entirely; DS would be heartbroken.

I cannot say the topic of the book because it is REALLY esoteric and it would almost certainly out me. It is about individual varieties of something I am pretty sure DS has never, ever heard of. I am happy to PM anyone curious...

(Branded item was... wait for it... Fair Trade. As Fair Trade was once endorsed by Tony Blair, it is evil, and giving anything branded to his DCs would lead to them clamouring for it at the shops and therefore I should never give anything branded to them).

drspouse Fri 01-Jan-16 19:26:54

(As I say, I agree it's unlikely that DS will realise quite how unsuitable this present is this year, he'll probably forget about it - we tend to rely on this when given presents that are age-appropriate but really annoying! But it won't last forever sadly).

balletgirlmum Fri 01-Jan-16 19:31:26

He sounds a bit of a nutcase

drspouse Fri 01-Jan-16 19:36:34

He sounds a bit of a nutcase

This is the family consensus... But I will try and grit my teeth and rise above it, my DM thought that just buying for children was a good move too so we will definitely go with that.

Floggingmolly Fri 01-Jan-16 19:41:26

He's encouraging his children to ask for things they want... From everybody? He'll be raising bratty little feckers (chips off the old block, by the sound of it).

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