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Grandparent buying presents for dc

(31 Posts)
poooooooop Tue 21-Nov-17 10:27:30

Does anyone feel like they don’t really have to buy dc much because the gp go crazy buying instead?

It used to really bother me, but now it bothers me less, but still a little bit.

I’ve tried over the years to give ideas of what they could buy, which works a little as in she’ll buy it alongside lots of other things too.

I tried restricting her to just 3 presents as I don’t think she realised (but she must have!) that other people including dh & I buy them stuff too. And it’s just so overwhelming for all of us.

Due to this I have restricted what I buy for dc and I hate it! We never went overboard, generally 3 gifts from us, one from FC and a stocking. But now we buy just 2 from us and just fill the stocking with chocolate, as gp will buy them socks, underwear, wash stuff and toothbrushes.... I wish they didn’t as dc don’t get a choice in what type of character, plus the body wash stuff is crap!

This year I have given her an experience idea, which she has bought and ds will love! But then she’s text me saying she needs other stuff for him to open. I’ve once again explained that he will have plenty to open, but she’s not getting it.

I’m not complaining (well not too much) as I know it’s great that she loves buying them stuff, and I can kind of manipulate it a bit.

But oh the amount of tat! I’m tempted not to buy dc anything just to level the amount out! But I too enjoy buying dc stuff, but generallly I buy better, thought out gifts.

Novemberblues Tue 21-Nov-17 10:30:04

its really hard isn't it when they wont listen to gentle hints. how old are the dc?
can you side line some of it for ebay, charity shops? children in need, christmas boxes?

poooooooop Tue 21-Nov-17 10:37:23

They’re 8 & 4.

When you think of who is actually buying for them: GP on both sides, SIL, GreatGP. Just one from each is enough, and everyone does except on this one set of gp. I think they do think that no one else is giving presents!

I usually give the wash stuff away, and some of the toys go to charity after about a month. But I feel really bad! As they have been gifted to dc, so is it really my place to be taking them away. But at the same time the d haven’t really noticed, which makes me sad as I then worry that due to gp they are being brought up to not give a shit about stuff.

budgiegirl Tue 21-Nov-17 10:44:01

It's really difficult, isn't it? My PIL are just the same. My DC only have to say they want something, and a week later it appears.

It has got better though, as eventually I did lose my temper. When my DD was about 8, the only thing she wanted for Christmas was a pair of PJs for her toy rabbit. She was obsessed with the idea of it. So I bought a PJs, slippers and a dressing gown for the toy, and put them away for Christmas. DD happened to mention to MIL that she wanted these, and THREE DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS my MIL gave her toy PJs that she'd gone out and bought. They weren't a Christmas present, she just gave them to my DD because she wanted them. I did get very cross, and I was actually quite upset about it as I was looking forward to giving DD the ones I'd bought on Christmas day.

But then she’s text me saying she needs other stuff for him to open. I’ve once again explained that he will have plenty to open, but she’s not getting it Put your foot down a bit, it is lovely that they want to buy things for your DS, but it does get too much. Tell them they can buy a couple of chocolate selection packs or similar.

CoffeeChocolateWine Tue 21-Nov-17 10:47:44

My in-laws do this because my 2 DC (9 and 5) are their only grandchildren. My parents are far more restrained because they have 9 grandchildren. I've tried reining PIL in a bit but they love to spoil them.

I remember a few years ago in the run up to Christmas they asked me for ideas for Christmas presents. I usually get asked this by all the extended family at some point so I put together a wish list for each of my DC on Amazon and shared it with them. I then got a reply from from my MIL saying "Thanks Coffee, we have bought everything on the lists!" shock This was the list I was going to share with my parents and five set of aunts and uncles as well and had expected them to pick one thing off the list! I was horrified and actually pretty pissed off as I didn't have any other ideas to give anyone else and I told her as much (not the pissed off bit...I know their hearts were in the right place!)

They have been a bit better since then but they still spend a lot on them. I just accept it now and I know that they are happy to buy the things that my DC would love but we can't afford.

poooooooop Tue 21-Nov-17 11:15:17

Oh budgie that would infuriate me!
They are also the type to just buy whenever something is mentioned.... it’s actually become a running joke between dh & I! Like if we see something we like we joke that we’ll just bring it up in conversation next time we speak to her!

She did similar when ds was younger. I bought him a couple of avengers figures and asked her to get Ironman, well she bought all of the figures in 2 different sizes and gave the others (same as what I’d got) before his birthday and the Ironman on his birthday!
I had to scrabble around to find something else for him at short notice!

I suggested the silvanian family car to her for dd birthday in Oct, well she bought the car, about 12 animals, the house and the tree house! Bearing in mind we already had about 6 animals and a different doll’s house. I suggested the car as that would have been a nice addition!

Luckily they don’t live close by (I think sil has it a lot worse! Her dh is constantly battling the gifts coming in to their house. She bought a birthday present for dd and my 2yr old nephew saw it and got upset as desperately wanted to open it (fair enough, he’s 2!) So she went out that afternoon and bought him one! That kid’s going to have gm wrapped around his little finger when he’s older.

poooooooop Tue 21-Nov-17 11:18:00

shock coffee that’s crazy!

I do understand that their heart is in the right place but it’s not them that has to live with the clutter afterwards. Plus, as you say, other relatives (including us!) need a chance to buy stuff for our dc too.

I have relaxed a lot, and do try and aim the more expensive stuff like bikes and scooters at them. But initially it did bother me more.

poooooooop Tue 21-Nov-17 11:19:21

Dh did go crazy at her once, that’s were the 3 present rule for her came in! But it didn’t work. She bought presents under 3 themes! So 6 gifts related to paw patrol, 6 related to craft etc. It was comical!

ProseccoMamam Tue 21-Nov-17 11:24:00

Sounds harsh but I write a list of things DC need/want for Christmas and birthday and my family and friends know that if they buy any other crap it goes either back to them or to the charity shop.

Just for the record, I don't demand that every person who has looked my kids have to buy them amazing and expensive stuff. It's just to give people who want to get them gifts an idea of what they actually need. I'm not having tatt in my house just because someone wanted to feel good by buying gifts

Novemberblues Tue 21-Nov-17 11:31:40

Your lucky op, we have one set of GP who give a few gifts but certainly don't spoil the DC.

No one else buys for them so its all us. However this comes with plus too as I know what they like and even if gifts are not immediately played with they usually come into play at some point during the year which is is my aim as we buy for the year.

Mil buys really cheap stuff for the dc which we already have plenty off eg t shirts in the sale, so I immediately take to charity or this year a charity was going to orphanage in Africa, I didn't feel bad at all grin same with some toys and books etc.

Mil has shown no prisoners when it comes to displaying how much she does or not like gifts she gets!

I would just try and be more frank in your situation. I would also try and get better stuff like NT membership or local farm etc, or vouchers towards disney and so on.

poooooooop Tue 21-Nov-17 11:31:47

That’s a good idea prossecco I’m going to suggest it to dh

BertrandRussell Tue 21-Nov-17 11:36:57

"Sounds harsh but I write a list of things DC need/want for Christmas and birthday and my family and friends know that if they buy any other crap it goes either back to them or to the charity shop."

Yep. That sounds harsh.And control freaky.

Bellabelloo Tue 21-Nov-17 11:37:14

Ugh. YESSSS! My in laws are all about quantity rather than quality. For all of us. It’s like they go to the pound shop and busy us all loads of cars from there, whereas we’d all just prefer 1 decent gift rather than 20 tat gifts each. I have tried to reign them in this year and we have sent a wish list! Bet it doesn’t work!!

HamishBamish Tue 21-Nov-17 11:38:53

The GP's tend to give money or presents to the same value. They never go overboard, but generally ask what the DC might like. They do end up with some tat, but only a small amount from stockings.

Now the DC are getting older (7 & 9) their presents are getting fewer, but more expensive. DS2 is quite sporty so there's always something he needs for that and DS1 shares a hobby with his grandfather so is also quite easy to buy for.

We tend to buy things they need throughout the year (new bikes etc), so don't go overboard at Christmas. Usually they get 1 big present from us (e.g iPad), and another 5 or so other presents. Then there are stockings and some cash. They always have new pyjamas and a book, but they get those on Christmas Eve.

CoffeeChocolateWine Tue 21-Nov-17 11:39:19

pooooop, yes it was crazy and I had a really honest chat with my MIL that it was OTT and I didn't want my DC being spoilt with so much stuff. In the end they did share what they had bought with my DC's 2 sets of aunts and uncles on that side of the family so it was spread out a bit. I remember telling my Mum about it afterwards and she was really shocked and a bit hmm as she felt they were trying to 'buy' their affections!

They are a bit better now but generally if my DC have a wish list DH and I pick what we want to buy for them, and then request that PIL buy the most expensive thing that's left and then they'll get some other bits too. I reckon they now spend about £100 on them each as opposed to my parents who spend about £30 each at Christmas because they have 9 grandchildren.

Kelsoooo Tue 21-Nov-17 11:45:48

My PIL are the same.

Last Christmas there were over 100 gifts from them to us four.

At one point I had a HONDA CRV car and I did a charity shop run, with the seats down and it was still full from back of the front seats, to the roof and then the back of the boot. Was ridiculous.

As the kids get older it does get easier I swear. Their wants change, my 8 year old is into books and art and her tablet. So now she gets focussed gifts at least.

Saying that, I picked them up on Saturday and they had two new coats and three new jumpers each.

It used to annoy me, but then I realised it was out of love and compensating for what they couldn't give DH when he was younger.

So now I focus on getting them things from us that no one else can, so we kit our their playroom, decorate the bedroom, days out, movie nights .... Things that as a full time employee, student and parent....I run out of time for usually.

Other than that...I don't have any suggestions.

goose1964 Tue 21-Nov-17 18:19:52

I would love to be able to afford to buy too much for my grandchildren but I can't. It's what grandparents are there for. If you think they get too much for Christmas why not do a 12 days of Christmas where they spread the opening over the festive period

poooooooop Tue 21-Nov-17 19:18:59

goose I would love to have the same size house that the gm has to house all the gifts that she loves to buy. But I don’t.
Spreading the gift opening over a few days isn’t going to make a difference to how much stuff we are going to end up with.
It’s stuff, stuff and more stuff which is also an issue alongside my dc becoming expectant of lots from go, therefore not learning to respect what they are given.

poooooooop Tue 21-Nov-17 19:38:05

coffee* I did wonder initially whether gm was trying to buy my dc affection as they don’t live close by. But she spoils her only other gc** and he lives 5 minutes away!
I do wish that when they visit they would suggest a nice day out with the dc (and us!) rather than buy lots of stuff then sit and drink tea for 2 days!

The other gp, my mum spends about £30 too, she has one extra gc but also had a much lower income. I wonder if she could afford it she would go overboard too. But then again I know that she is better at listening than mil

Ecureuil Tue 21-Nov-17 19:40:47

My parents, and IL’s, buy my DC (age 4 and 2) 1 gift each. I can’t imagine them buying more than that, it would feel weird! We don’t really go in for ‘present piles’ though, just a few well thought out things we know they’d like.

poooooooop Tue 21-Nov-17 19:42:12

Thanks kelsoo
It is hard as they are definitely doing it from the right place, and once they’ve handed the gifts over we can’t exactly take them off dc.

We drive to there’s before Christmas each year to spend a week with them, they load our car up with gifts and we take them home. Couple years ago I warned them in advance that we would have the bikes in the car so can’t fit too much in. It worked, but then this year she phoned us in advance and told us not to bring the bikes as we’d need the boot space shock

poooooooop Tue 21-Nov-17 19:44:13

Same here ecure dh & I have never been in to the whole pile of pressies either. Which is why the amount she buys is so hard to swallow.

Ecureuil Tue 21-Nov-17 19:48:29

Yes I can imagine how annoying it is!

TheBlueMeaniesAreComing Tue 21-Nov-17 19:49:46

We only have this problem with one grandparent. She tries her hardest to out do Santa and it drives me insane. I go overboard and I know it but as their Mum it’s my choice. They only get it their birthdays and Christmas. My oldest is 6. From he was 2 until last year we fought about him getting a tablet. In my opinion he doesn’t need one and I’d rather he played with toys. Last year no mention of a tablet. Thought she’d finally given up. Christmas Day and Ds is opening his mountain of presents, he opens a tablet. She knew I was furious. She left the room. Ds left the tablet there and it’s still there. This year she talking about getting them bikes. I have told her no. My Ds barely uses his bike. Dd1 is three and had a trike and a scuttlebug so doesn’t need a bike. Dd2 is 16 months and we’ve bought her a scuttlebug for Xmas. I’m dreading MIL coming on Xmas day because if she lands in with bikes I will go through the roof. She can get them for the 5/6 times a year she bothers to show an interest in the kids but they won’t be coming to mine

whoareyoukidding Tue 21-Nov-17 19:59:27

I kinda feel mixed about this. I do get that it's actually nice to be able to give your own children presents that you've lovingly bought and wrapped, but I just remember when my kids were little - there was no money and only one not very generous grandmother, so my kids never really had very much at christmas. I would have loved it at the time if there'd been a generous granny or so lurking in the wings.

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