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Any tactful ways to stop the tat??

(46 Posts)
Anotherdayanotherdollar Tue 21-Nov-17 15:03:31

Right so, definitely a first world problem but how do you tactfully ask people to stop buying tat for the kids??

Not stuff that I just don't like, but stuff that is age inappropriate and kids have no interest in! It's such a waste of money!

MIL is the worst, ds was 3 recently. She asked for present suggestions and I suggested books or pyjamas. She bought both, pjs a size too small that she had removed the labels from so can't be exchanged, and not 1, not 2, but 4 baby books!! Along the lines of "my first colours", "my first animals" etc. Ds has an extensive vocabulary and is long past that sort of book!

I try to be grateful that she is thinking of them, but I get so worked up about it. It's like she has never met them before!! Or perhaps just has never taken an interest in them.
Is there any way to ask her not to bother??

girlywhirly Tue 21-Nov-17 16:24:15

Do you think that MIL thought that DS was 2 rather than 3? Would account for the too small PJ’s and babyish books.

I had the opposite problem with DS’ great aunt, who gave 2 yo DS a battery powered train set (not Brio, a plastic one) aged from 4yrs. It was a disaster, as he kept wanting to push the engine and it kept derailing. It was put away in it’s box and TBH, forgotten about.

Maybe suggest gifts suitable for a wide age range, for example 3-7yrs; be specific about sizes of clothing, you could add that DS is having a growth spurt at the moment, and could she get size for 4-5yrs? Which would mean he could wear them eventually, I used to find that pyjamas in particular shrunk after washing anyway.

Or you could just specify a book title or the name of a game or toy if Mil is a bit clueless.

nocutsnobuttsnococonuts Tue 21-Nov-17 16:25:26

My girls have amazon wishlists with books and a few toys they would like. Mil gets steered in that direction as she can still choose but know dd's will like the gifts. She prefers it as it's easier for her and I'm not stressing about inappropriate gifts although she does tend to buy way too much!

monkeywithacowface Tue 21-Nov-17 16:28:42

It's annoying but honestly I just nod, smile, say thank you and send it straight to the charity shop if it is totally unsuitable and not exchangeable

4forksake Tue 21-Nov-17 16:30:11

Definitely have a list of more specific ideas. So if suggesting pj's or books, actually show her some you think you he'd like & give sizes if necessary (too big I could understand cos at least he'd grow into them). Does she actually like shopping for him? If not maybe you could get the present on her behalf (my dad bites my hand off at this suggestion as he hates shopping, mil on the other hand loves looking for tat stuff the DGC would love hmmgrin).

woollychimp Tue 21-Nov-17 16:32:13

One of my DCs grandparents was like that - it's not done on purpose, some people are just crap at presents

I wouldn't tell her not to bother- that would be unnecessarily rude. Just try to be a bit more specific about what your DS wants.

Lovemusic33 Tue 21-Nov-17 17:07:33

I dropped hints about 'how the dc's love shopping in the sales' so grandparents have decided to give them money rather than buy more tat, though I expect they will still buy them one item of tat so they have something to open.

IJoinedJustToPostThis Tue 21-Nov-17 17:13:15

I love my younger relatives dearly, but even so I find it hard to remember exactly how old they are and what they're into (constant change on both counts).

Sounds like your MIL did try to follow your instructions, so just be a bit more specific next time.

MissWilmottsGhost Tue 21-Nov-17 17:17:29

I wish I had an answer to this. DM is terrible for buying age inappropriate stuff. It's such a waste of her pension and I just can't get her to listen.

She bought 3+ toys for DD when she was a new-born, and 12-18months clothes when she was nearly 3 confused

Last christmas when DD was 5, DM regressed to baby toys again. I'm dreading it this year.

Like PP, I normally smile and say thanks, then take it all to the charity shop and hope someone else's children get some use of it.

poooooooop Tue 21-Nov-17 17:28:30

My mil is the culprit in our family. She’s good at buying appropriately aged stuff, just she buys way too much and most of it’s just tat.

Nyx1 Tue 21-Nov-17 17:32:41

Tell them gently "we aren't doing Xmas gifts". It's easier than any other way and cuts down massively on plastic tat!

Fueledwithfairydustandgin Tue 21-Nov-17 17:50:43

What about asking for a years pass to something or asking for an experience for her and your DD. Something like an afternoon where they have lunch together then can go and chose a toy from a toy shop?

Anotherdayanotherdollar Tue 21-Nov-17 17:52:26

She definitely didn't think that he was 2. She bought him a "3 today" birthday card. She sees them probably at least every fortnight. She asked for, and was given, present suggestions, including specific books/authors.
I have previously offered to do things like Amazon wish list, or pick something up while I'm out anyway.
She's pretty young, definitely not older and forgetful or anything. I wouldn't even mind as much if she didn't ask for suggestions. But this way she's pretty much told what to buy, wastes her money on loads of cheap tat that either falls apart within the first few days or doesn't get used at all, the kids get upset and I still have to shut up and be grateful!!

Nyx1 Tue 21-Nov-17 18:01:47

OP "But this way she's pretty much told what to buy, wastes her money on loads of cheap tat that either falls apart within the first few days or doesn't get used at all, the kids get upset and I still have to shut up and be grateful!!"

Yup. Hence my suggestion.

bumpsadaisy11 Tue 21-Nov-17 18:06:01

I feel your pain, my MIL buys each of us a christmas bag bulging with loads of presents, all individually wrapped, along with an envelope with a £10.
The bags look fantastic, but we have learnt that that are all complete & utter tat. Mainly from Poundland, but all completely useless. I usually get second hand stuff, last year I was given a used nail file, face cream that was half used & general gifts that she has been given & doesn't like!
Before I am flamed I do understand that she goes to an awful lots of effort, but we have asked her many many times to save her the effort, to just give us the money instead, so we can have a lovely family day out!

ParadiseCity Tue 21-Nov-17 18:09:21

I have a relative like this. It has helped the DC to learn tact and manners. They know they will get a crappy present with no thought used. But they smile and say thank you and we all are v polite and then go home and relax.

SpeckledyHen Tue 21-Nov-17 18:25:36

My MIL bought my boys a load of useless stuff every year without asking for ideas . At least 80 % of it went to the charity shop straight after Christmas and the rest of the stuff that they had a minor interest in followed shortly after . Some of the stuff she repeated over and over again - money boxes , wallets , matching !! stripy T- shirts .
Hopefully somebody got some use from it . I was so pleased when they reached their teens and she stopped doing it .

Whatsthisabout Tue 21-Nov-17 18:54:20

My mum buys the dc stuff they’re just not interested in. Not tat though - she spends a fortune. I box it all up and it goes on eBay the next Christmas. Feel awful about it as she does try.

somanyusernames Tue 21-Nov-17 19:01:32

It’s not worth hurting people's feelings over - the 3 you won’t care. I leave things I know they won’t use or duplicates in the box and just donate them. Must be nice for charity shops to occasionally get totally unused things - one person's trash is someone else’s treasure.

TBH id love for 60% of the spending on my kids by family to go directly to charity but it’d never fly as too grinch-y

somanyusernames Tue 21-Nov-17 19:03:13

Yes you see speckle I struggle to resist the odd matching outfit and dd loves wallets so I’m sure it’s all used in the end.

Anotherdayanotherdollar Tue 21-Nov-17 19:45:48

nyx1 that might just be the best thing to do!

Paradise city every cloud and all, a lesson in everything!

Nyx1 Tue 21-Nov-17 20:30:01

somany "Must be nice for charity shops to occasionally get totally unused things - one person's trash is someone else’s treasure."

the charity shops really struggle with overload here, they have big signs up saying "we cannot take any more tat" and people still leave bags of tat on the doorstep when they are closed. The recycling banks are all full - I mean the ones in public areas.

I don't live in a "naice" area either. It's just bonkers.

In terms of hurting people's feelings, I think asking them to think is a fair ask. If they believe in Christmas for religious reasons, there's no need for a tat mountain. If they don't, there's still no need for a tat mountain.

I actually found the reaction to me putting my foot down this year was better than I thought (I did it in summer). Some people might ignore it but that's their lookout. Though if anyone buys stuff and then starts "blue planetting" at me I will lose my rag! grin

poooooooop Tue 21-Nov-17 21:24:37

Double hypocrisy nyx most people don’t think that pollution directly effects them and it’s sad. I really worry about global warming in my dc’s future and I hate consumerism.

The only reason I partake in Christmas at all is for dc, but it’s so hard when people around them insist on buying them meaningless tat!

Nyx1 Tue 21-Nov-17 21:44:30

poooooop - wrong spelling, i know grin

so say no to tat! Could you just do "immediate family only" and then secret Santa that?

it was a bit odd saying to people "please don't buy us anything" but tbh most of them know me well enough that they weren't surprised. They weren't pleased (!) but they weren't surprised. Stopped cards ages ago because I just think it's such a waste for people that you actually see - not so much if they live the other side of the country, sure. But my parents have tons of siblings and all exchanging cards - what for?!

poooooooop Tue 21-Nov-17 22:14:43

Yeah we don’t bother with cards either (except dc do gps a home made one)
We already do immediate family only. Me and my sis don’t but for each other or kids as no point! My dc and her dc just love spending time together as we don’t live close by, they don’t need more than that!

Dh & I do one present each, we buy the dc 3 and a stocking.

Dh’s side are the hardest and dh agrees. I feel like I have to reciprocate their spending so I buy them shit loads of food! I spend more on pil & sil than I do on my own dh and dc!

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