Anyone else dreading Christmas because of THIS

(179 Posts)
themadcatparade Wed 20-Oct-21 11:15:45

Anyone else dread Christmas with kids because they end up with a load of SHITE on January they haven't got room for?

We have two kids (one each) so naturally they have a set of grandparents each and another home to have Christmas at so they get spoiled. So we have the girls and then they go to my grandparents where Santa has been and then my partners parents for more presents and then their other home. Every Christmas, every birthday, Easter, Halloween, bonfire night etc we end up with a massive pile of crap that we can't find a place for or we need to Chuck things. Sweets, chocolate, plastic shite, every fucking year when we say every year not to spoilt them with too much and it's never adhered to.

I wouldn't mind but we live in a tiny two bed rental with no storage (we were due to move this year to a family home but 'covid') so we are stuck with another year homing gifts from two birthdays and Christmas and Halloween shite and we just can't do it. They will come home Christmas Day with a big bag from my mums and a bin bag from my partners parents because they refuse to keep the stuff they have bought the kids in their tidy homes when we struggle to find places for the stuff we have got them for Christmas. Hence the effort of a massive clear out every year and my stomach drops with how much money in material we have to throw in the tip every year because it's been played with once or not bothered with.

It's my DDs birthday and my mum told me she bought her a sowing machine for some reason and as great as it is that she's encouraging such activities I absolutely lost my shit when she said that I can take home her small dining room table to place the sowing machine on when our house is literally cramped! I sent her a picture of the corner of the living room (where the bloody tree normally goes no idea how we are going to manage that too this year) and there's a large armchair, a large cupboard full of their shoes, two large cardboard boxes of sport stuff we don't have room for, a cabinet we can't decide where to put, a gymnastics mat which keeps marking the wall as we have to cram it behind the armchair, a Henry vac which won't fit in a cupboard and two boxes of books and documents we can't find space for. Do you know what she said?

"It will fit under the window still surely..."


I still have a large LOL house which is just over waist high from last birthday which was bought for them and expected to be kept at ours (I begged them not to buy as it was an 'extra' present) which is blocking the couch and the doorway you have to squeeze past it when you come in the front doorway. We have a cupboard full of sweets and chocolate from over the year which they haven't eaten or else they would be having sweets and chocolate every day (SD's mouth is full of fillings at 7 year old and the reason why we only let them have chocolate and sweets as a treat) and they will still come home with buckets of sweets and crap for Halloween, which is pointless because we are taking them trick or treating and they will come back with loads anyway. I'm literally clearing out bin bags and then the house is filling up again.

I know I sound like a right Scrooge but it literally is every single year this happens even though we warn them not to because it's all expected to come home with us and it's never listened to. I know grandparents want to treat their kids but do so at your own avail and don't expect us to accommodate crap they will not use when we physically can't in the first place. We have our own Christmas shite to deal with.

My DD even got sent home from her dads the other year with a bag full of stuff from his house that he didn't have room for in his three bed new build, it was impolitely declined.

Please tell me I'm not the only one but I'm dreading it this year again. I don't know it it feels worse as in now work from home and I don't have time or energy to sort out all the rubbish and find a place for everything before Christmas just to go through it all over again, but it's my working environment and I can't work when it's so messy and full of junk that other people keep bringing in to our lives 😭😭😭😭

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Glitterybug Wed 20-Oct-21 11:17:21

Can you ask them to give money to be put aside to pay for things like days out instead of masses of toys?

themadcatparade Wed 20-Oct-21 11:19:15

@Glitterybug honestly, if I asked for money instead they will end up with money AND toys

I don't mind them buying stuff it saves us buying loads for them it's the expectancy to bring it all home and keep it here when we can't.

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themadcatparade Wed 20-Oct-21 11:20:22

It's that 'Awh but they need things to open here too' attitude, there's no way they won't buy presents to open

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Cindi85 Wed 20-Oct-21 11:20:41

YANBU I absolutely hate clutter. I have a big clear out before Christmas and donate or sell any toys that don't get played with. But it is a big effort, I know. We have well-meaning, stuff producing grandparents too. They are gradually learning over the years to tone it down - we are grateful, we just don't have the space.

PrincessesRUs Wed 20-Oct-21 11:21:47

What happens if you say to parents/partners parents sorry we're not taking that home with us - it will have to stay at your house to be played with? They surely can't make you put it in your car?

Firesidefox Wed 20-Oct-21 11:22:09

I know what you mean. When my DC were young the excess sickened me.

I tend to get rid of excess stuff in the house in the run-up to Christmas, taking a load to the charity shop or putting it out on bin day. The DC don't notice if I pick what I offload carefully, and it means there's room for the new stuff.


PrincessesRUs Wed 20-Oct-21 11:23:16

Can you try and keep some stuff boxed, put it away and it can be presents for other children's birthday parties?

purplesequins Wed 20-Oct-21 11:23:33


we stopped giving dc christmas presents for that reason.
they get a big (ish) and useful present from us in the summer.

TurnUpTurnip Wed 20-Oct-21 11:23:39

I think they are lucky to have so many people buying for them, my kids get fuck all from anyone only me so I feel I have to over compensate. Maybe donate it if you don’t want the presents?

HTruffle Wed 20-Oct-21 11:23:40

Same here, drives me insane. People buying bag after bag of stuff as if it’s quantity over quality and don’t store a thing at their places. Infuriating!!

PrincessesRUs Wed 20-Oct-21 11:24:30

Could you give ideas for useful things that are still unwrappable - like this year I'm asking grandparents for a ballet bag for one and pjs for the other

00100001 Wed 20-Oct-21 11:25:14

Why are you chucking things out instead of donating?

Give all the sweets and chocolates to the food bank.

1Week Wed 20-Oct-21 11:25:20

God its so annoying.

Though one year MIL took it on board. I said the kids were dying for swimming lessons but we hadn't the cash, so they sent money for them with a set of goggles to unwrap.

Do you think hobby stuff might work?
They might like being the one to send them to something fancy like Pony Club, and maybe the gear to unwrap at birthdays or whatever

SuperbOwls Wed 20-Oct-21 11:26:04

God yes, I'm dreading it. We did gently point out to the in laws (the worst offenders) that we live in a small house and we don't have room for tons of massive toys. Their response? "You need to move to a bigger house then" hmm

PrincessesRUs Wed 20-Oct-21 11:26:13

I'd also say sell stuff but if you're like me I've no time to do that!!

00100001 Wed 20-Oct-21 11:26:18


Could you give ideas for useful things that are still unwrappable - like this year I'm asking grandparents for a ballet bag for one and pjs for the other

They sound like the type of people to go "that's not a real present, I'm getting them some random unthoughtful generic gift instead".

00100001 Wed 20-Oct-21 11:27:51

If they genuinely get a ton of stuff, can you not strategically store them and donate them when they haven't asked for random game A or generic gift B?

theclockticksslowly Wed 20-Oct-21 11:28:00

I can completely understand this. Actually about to embark on a big sort out. My DC very luckily I know get tons of gifts from family/friends and there is no room.

My advice would be - if you can while they’re at school/at your parents, go through and everything that hasn’t been used or opened give away to charity/toys for Christmas appeal perhaps. If you’ve the time and inclination you could sell on eBay and put the money into an account for them (I wouldn’t put on Facebook marketplace - although it would probably be easier/quicker your relatives might see!).

I do this - initially I felt guilty but now I’m ruthless about it. If anyone mentions where an item is just say it’s in the attic/storage cupboard whatever and you like to rotate their toys.

GiltEdges Wed 20-Oct-21 11:28:37

I'm completely with you OP, we get this too. FWIW, having a bigger house doesn't help, people just presume you can fit in more stuff!

DS is an only grandchild on both sides and he gets absolutely spoilt by his grandparents. I know it comes from a good place, but honestly sometimes there's so much that it actually ruins it a bit, IYKWIM?! Last year he wasn't quite 2 and by mid afternoon wading a huge pile of presents at my mums he just started crying and saying "home" because he was so overwhelmed sad

I've asked both sides to tone it down this year and given suggestions for gifts of things he actually needs/would enjoy. Can guarantee he'll get those, plus a truck load of extra stuff as usual. But I've given fair warning we'll be purchasing toy boxes for them each to keep the surplus at their own houses for when he visits this year and intend to follow through.

FreeBritnee Wed 20-Oct-21 11:28:57

Oh yes, I’ve lived this, luckily we did have the space for it all but MIL honesty bought them a toy shop. I went round Smyths for the first time this year and I couldn’t believe how much of the contents of the shop had been through their hands since babies. It was astounding. If they ever get to their teenage years and try and convince me they were never given anything I swear I’ll have to leave the house and go and roar in a wood somewhere.

The only way to sort this is say your house is full and anything else they purchase must live at their house. That’s what we did with MIL.

Fallagain Wed 20-Oct-21 11:31:36

We used to have this issue but now I’m really strict with grandparents. This year each child is getting one substantial toy and family membership to a local attraction from my parents. Now I speak to the PILs who like to buy lots of cheap crap instead of smaller more expensive (but less than they would normally spend) toy which they would really enjoy.

themadcatparade Wed 20-Oct-21 11:32:47

Don't get me wrong I am grateful they have people to provide such things for them but I hate waste and it's they money thing -

My mum will literally get a loan she can't physically pay back to spoil them at Christmas. She doesn't work and struggles to pay her bills enough as it is and is always asking for money and I tell her every single year not to buy or we will say some stuff is from her that we bought. That's on her for being the way she is, I know. I told her not to get that house last year because she could afford it and she was begging me to help her pay a bill for her come January it's so frustrating!

The other grandparents, well can you imagine how this conversation goes down

"Are you taking your presents home?"

"No sorry, we don't have the roo it will have to stay here..."

The girls "Awh but we want to play with it, can we take our presents home, please!"

The grandparents "Awh they want to play with it at home, they've only just gotten it today"

Every. Single. Year.

When I say 'chucked out' stuff is tipped, donated, given to people, but it's sorting it all out over Christmas and January and my partner is one for 'but my mum spent money on that we can't get rid of it' and then I find myself sneakily getting rid months later when it's cast aside and it's forgotten about.

The main point is, it's a huge effort and money wasted all around when we warm them in the first place every year.

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TheCountessofFitzdotterel Wed 20-Oct-21 11:33:32

Yanbu particularly as my MIL managed to take it on board so yours have no excuse.

MIL explained to us that as she was a child during the war she felt deprived of toys. And we said to her that what we really wanted from her and what our children valued was for her to spend time with them doing things individually and building a relationship with her and making memories, so rather than buying them stuff she started taking them on trips to expensive places they wanted to go like aquariums or shows.
We focused on what she COULD do rather than what she mustn’t and that made it easier for her to stop iyswim.

themadcatparade Wed 20-Oct-21 11:34:35

@PrincessesRUs I literally have a pop up bed tent that has been relisted on marketplace too many times from three years ago - easy enough to say you can sell it but it's not so easy to actually sell is it 😂

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