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controversial Christmas present from MIL

(19 Posts)
parakeet Sun 04-Nov-12 19:51:57

My very nice MIL has always gone mad on Christmas presents (think a full binbag of stuff per child) and this year she has outdone herself. We've just seen her and she agreed (in fact suggested) the children should write out a Christmas list for her and post it. Two days later she told us by phone she couldn't help herself and has bought them a massive wooden doll's house.

Thing is, we already have a lovely wooden doll's house for them, and she knew that. I think she just saw it and fell in love with it. I seriously think she has a borderline shopping addiction, judging by previous form. I suggested to my husband we ask that the new one is kept at her house but he says they don't have room and it would hurt her feelings. So now we'll have to give away the old one, which was perfectly lovely (and passed down to me by my sister).

I can't stand the waste and we literally struggle to find room in the children's (small shared) bedroom for all the stuff she buys. I am already annoyed about her tactics this Christmas and it is only November. Please, someone help me put it in perspective...

Bogeyface Sun 04-Nov-12 19:55:29

You are right, your DH is wrong.

You need to say to her that it is a lovely gift, but "as you know, we already have a dolls house here and dont have the room for another one. So, why dont you keep it at your house so they have it to play with when we visit?"

And do not be moved on it!

Why should you have to go through the hassle to accommodate her addiction?

FryOneFatManic Sun 04-Nov-12 19:55:54

No suggestions other than sorting out the stuff the DCs don't use/need and discreetly disposing/ebay/etc. In fact I am clearing stuff out before Xmas myself.

atacareercrossroads Sun 04-Nov-12 19:56:31

Sell it, bnib on eBay.

NinaHeart Sun 04-Nov-12 19:56:42

Agree with bogeyface.
Alternatively, sell it on ebay and buy yourself some diamond earrings.

MrsCantSayAnything Sun 04-Nov-12 20:00:19

I sympathise MASSIVELY. My Mum recently bought my DD TWO prams because I said I was getting her one for christmas...she then handed them to DD.


Agree with Bogey too.

Bogeyface Sun 04-Nov-12 20:00:39

I should add that my IL's are the same. My late MIL would use the kids as an excuse to indulge her shopping addiction, it got to ridiculous levels....3 bin bags EACH per child for each Xmas and birthday.

I had to put my foot down in the end and said one main present each and no more than 5 stocking type presents. Well you should have heard the row after that! There were tears and sulks and shouting, and thats only what I witnessed. But I stuck to my guns and the following years were fine. I had to do the same with Xmas day too, she would brook no discussion on dinner as "Our son ALWAYS has dinner with us". Well yes, that was when he was single and still living at home! We (exH agreed that we should have Xmas day at home as a family) knocked it on the head the year that dd was due on 15 December and was actually born on the 19th and I was very very ill. She was fine about that too, eventually.

I think that she just need to assert her authority and then when she realised that she didnt actually have any, we got on fine! I miss her sad

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Sun 04-Nov-12 20:03:51

What Bogey said. You don't 'have to' give away the lovely dolls' house you already have that was already in the family.

Ithinkitsjustme Sun 04-Nov-12 20:07:33

Stick to your guns on teh dolls house, suggest that the local hospice might be very grateful fo the one she has bought if she doesn't have room for it in her hown house. Fro the future, could you buy some Christmas Stockings for her to fill for your children, that way you would limit the size if the not the number of presents she buys. She needs to respect your wishes on this and you should not have to sell a much loved item because she cannot control her spending.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sun 04-Nov-12 20:07:36

It's kind of DH not to want to hurt his mum's feelings and I can see it's not easy to tell MIL your children don't need a second outsize toy without looking ungrateful.

Or one could say, MIL has brought this on herself and why does he not just say your DCs have a perfectly good doll's house already, let's change it for something else? The trouble is this could escalate.

YANBU and why not suggest a couple of alternatives your DCs' list would have included. It can be handled gently but firmly.

doctordwt Sun 04-Nov-12 20:09:03

No, the first thing you do to start tackling this is to NOT enable her behaviour by getting rid of the lovely one you already have!

Your DH is totally in the wrong here and is only setting you up for this to ramp up and up.

Do as the poster above suggests and be upfront that this is a problem. Could she keep it at hers? No? Then very sorry, but it's going to have to go back. Here are the childrens' lists, time to rethink.

It's the only way to at least rein it in a bit. Don't let it get to the point where you start resenting a nice and caring person- that would be a shame. Tackle it now in a nice way and don't ever back down!

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Sun 04-Nov-12 20:11:21

If your mil is doing this because she is lovely and wants to make her grandchildren happy then I'm sure she will understand if you explain the problem

If she throws a strop about it then it shows that the gift buying is all about her and not whats best for everyone

So by bringing it up with her it will be win win, she will either apologise and say she forgot about the other one and keep it at her house, or she will show her true colours and you won't have to feel guilty about putting your foot down wink

SpectralMissSpooky Sun 04-Nov-12 20:12:35

She has a receipt. You do not. Tell her to take it back!

SavoyCabbage Sun 04-Nov-12 20:17:27

My MIL bought my dd a massive toy kitchen when we told her we were getting dd a kitchen for Christmas. We hardly has space for one kitchen.

I gave it to the playgroup dd went to. My dh was a bit like yours about it all. He didn't want to upset his mother obviously but I wasn't going to have two kitchens!

My MIL is definitely addicted to shopping.

parakeet Sun 04-Nov-12 20:33:31

Hmm, I don't want to mislead here, it's not like our existing dolls house is a family heirloom. It's just a bogstandard doll's house. (I get the impression the new one is more palatial. ) We don't even have room for our existing one out at the moment and it is in our loft. However we were planning on bringing it back down in future.

OK, you lot have emboldened me. I'm going to have another chat with DH.

CrapBag Sun 04-Nov-12 21:41:54

I would not get rid of something I already had because someone else bought a new one, especially when they knew you already had one.

Let us know how the chat goes. smile

sashh Sun 04-Nov-12 22:39:35

I would not sell the old one, your children might prefer their old one.

Let it stay at her house, if she doesn't have room, well tough.

givemeaclue Sun 04-Nov-12 22:39:48

Remind her yet already have one, perhaps she forgot if is in loft. She can keep it at her house

Mollydoggerson Sun 04-Nov-12 22:42:48

Donate her doll's house to charity, she will be pissy about it, but it'll teach her a lesson.

To save her feelings you could put it in the attic for a year and donate it as new next year. Then she will think they got 1 years use out of it.

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