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MIL and the chocolate advent calendar

(544 Posts)
toomanydaisies Wed 14-Nov-12 06:42:49

My MIL has given us chocolate advent calendars for our dc. Dc have seen them. And will want them because of the chocolate.

But I'd already bought advent calendars to give to them ON 1ST DECEMBER!!! Beautiful (non chocolate) ones.

I hate chocolate advent calendars - dc aged 5 can have a small chocolate every day but dc aged 1? No way. But I'd rather the excitement was about seeing which picture they had, not just cramming chocolate into their mouths.

More than anything I'm annoyed that my MIL has (yet again) done things her way without checking with me (the parent) first.

Her other DIL gave the chocolate advent calendars back to MIL and said that no, her children were not having chocolate ones. This has really hurt MIL so I can't do the same - I know she means well. But I feel like our new family traditions are not bring allowed to develop because MIL intervenes.

I know I'm overreacting. But aibu to feel a BIT annoyed about this?!

BrittaPerry Wed 28-Nov-12 01:05:09

To me, its not a chocolate issue. This year, I sat with dd looking through the advent calendars on Amazon, we chatted about which one to get, it was a thing we were excited about. We were going to go and have a hot chocolate, look at the decorations etc and buy the calendars as a bit of an event.

Then my mum, my nana and MIL all bought calendars and gave them to the DDs. None of which were the one that we had spent all that time choosing. I would be more than happy for them each to do or buy a 'thing', but we had already made plans and none of them thought to even ask. Not for permission, just for co ordination.

I took them out anyway and got fancy lego ones, PLUS the poundland ones we were going to get. Possibly immature, but also, LEGO! grin

I will just stick to my strategy when faced with excessive/noisy presents and leave them at the givers house so they can enjoy them with the dds when they visit grin

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 28-Nov-12 01:29:25

If its just a tiny little bit of chocolate so shouldn't matter if they have it then equally as such why is it so bloody important that they do have it, surely it is also no big deal if they don't have it.

Some people really don't mind stuff like that but some people do. When your kids are little it does get to be your choice.

MollyMurphy Wed 28-Nov-12 02:52:53

I will say that I think it is sad that you cannot even buy a picture advent calendar anymore where I'm from - they literally don't make them. I enjoyed the picture ones as a child and its a shame that such simple pleasures are overrun by the need for everything to have a candy/chocolate treat.

I think MrsTerryPratchett has made a compelling point which I myself will think about. How much does all our "treating" really add up?

exoticfruits Wed 28-Nov-12 07:17:59

If you can't find advent calendars where you live you only have to look on Amazon or similar- there are plenty of traditional ones.
If you really only want one that you buy it would be sensible to discuss it with people around October and not wait until they have bought one.

bruffin Wed 28-Nov-12 07:39:51

It is trivial in the scheme of things.
My dcs are teenagers (15 and 17), they are not jaded or spoilt enough to think cheap chocolate is a let down or to be disappointed in they got one with the wrong picture on. And as I pointed out above kids with allergies are often just left the choice of the Kinnenton one anyway. oies it matter if its chocolate or a picture, not it doesnt either way you are marking the countdown to christmas.

They are not and never been any were near overweight or malnourished and we dont do the Xmas excess or gluttony in our house. They go to parties and have alocohol and know when to stop etc

Having two advent calanders with cheap chocolate a year from babies has not lead them down some terrible path of gluttony or excess.

exoticfruits Wed 28-Nov-12 08:00:14

Exactly! Mine have all grown up slim and don't eat many sweets. We ate a healthy balanced diet as they were growing up and didn't get in a state about having a small chocolate for 24 days in a row.

Liketochat1 Wed 28-Nov-12 08:29:36

One choc a day for 24 days is hardly going to kill them. Good grief some parents are unbelievably precious. Must be fun being your child!

exoticfruits Wed 28-Nov-12 08:52:56

Now that mine are older they don't like much sweet stuff- you don't achieve that by getting upset by a few chocolates near Christmas!

tjah04 Wed 28-Nov-12 08:53:25

Please take a word of advice....

I have been there and done that. I felt it neccessary to assert my authority over MIL - Got annoyed when she did things without asking me first. Got angry she took kids to see santa without consulting me first etc.... This was when I had two kids and they were young.

I now have 4 kids and realise that actually all that matters is that the Kids feel loved and wanted. They were especially please when they got two advent calenders which I missed because I was too busy seething about the cheek of it.

My kids now see nanny maybe once a month if not less, their grandad maybe 4 times a year. They spend all their time with their other grandchild and have frequent days out etc. I have to accept some responsibility for that because I always insisted on keeping her at a distance when they were young.

In the grand scheme of things grandparents should be allowed traditions also and this should be encouraged. Your children will grow up feeling a circle of support around them.

YouOldSlag Wed 28-Nov-12 09:56:31

tjah- wise words and a good post that says it all.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Wed 28-Nov-12 10:07:48

totally disagree. crappy chocolate advent calendars by the bucketload just AREN'T a 'tradition'. they're just consumption. I take it that if your MIL had said 'hey i've found a lovely advent calendar for the kids to share, will i bring it?' there would be not a hint of a problem (any one you'd bought could be quietly shelved).

it's the total LACK of thought, the excess of buying two because asking kids to share and take turns is too difficult, the fact that all they did was sling some more junk food into their trolleys... that's the problem.

that AND the fact that you somehow have to work in them opening their advent calendar before brushing their teeth every morning for a month, which is a monumental PITA in anyone's books. grin

Floggingmolly Wed 28-Nov-12 10:14:31

God almighty, Britta! Maybe your mum didn't realise you had spent months "planning" which advent calendars to buy (most people don't), and that's why she failed to understand your permission was required hmm

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Wed 28-Nov-12 10:19:00

hang on, it's not a selection box, it's an advent calendar... of course some co-ordination with the parents is required. otherwise the kids could end off getting them from four grandparents, aunties, uncles etc.

BeatTheClock Wed 28-Nov-12 10:25:07

'it's the total LACK of thought, the excess of buying two because asking kids to share and take turns is too difficult, the fact that all they did was sling some more junk food into their trolleys... that's the problem.'

She was just trying to do a nice thing. What a miserable thing to say sad

ReshapeWhileDamp Wed 28-Nov-12 10:25:52

Look. We all know chocolate advent calendars are a bit shit. They have no imagination in the layout, sometimes the doors are in numerical order <gasp>, the chocolates inside are cheap, crappy and often the same shape every day. There are no enlightening pictures inside. And they usually have Hello Kitty or Ben 10 on the front. (bad bad bad and NOT CHRISTMASSY at all.) And MIL love to rot our children's teeth and give them entitlement issues about having sweets every day. Of course they do.

However. It is fricking Christmas. (Soon) Your MIL gave her GC these in the spirit of that festival, and god knows, the run-up to Christmas is hysterical enough already, so making your DC feel 'entitled' to a small piece of cheap chocolate every morning is not really going to tip the scales over into total chaos.

They can have more than one. It is ok, it's allowed. smile

DS1 has three - playmobil one (my stupid fault, I got him one last year because I wanted it, and now he wants one this year), MIL's chocolate one, and the pretty, aesthetic picture one I bought him. He will open them in that order, with that order of diminishing enthusiasm. Maybe next year I'll finally sew up an advent calendar with stockings or something, and he'll have 4. Madness yes, but in the context of the season, not that mad.

pommedechocolat Wed 28-Nov-12 10:33:07

mrstp - well control is a diet including whatever you want in moderation and lots of fruit and veg, evidenced by being neither overweight or underweight I guess. As my husband and I (and every member of the extended family) are healthy weights and eat a variety of foods I am figuring that will be fine for my children too.

I feel absolutely no need to ban any type of food to ensure that they are not obese - the rest of our lifestyle ensures that. Or genes maybe, who knows.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Wed 28-Nov-12 10:35:02

my mil is a feeder, as i said. she never really does the nice thing, she does the easiest and sweetest or most crisp-filled thing. emotionally she's barely there at all, tbh.

agree, reshapewhiledamp, that three advent calendars you describe is doable. four crappy chocolate ones, though, two each from two grandparents, plus something nice from their own parents, is a bit ridiculous.

also ime the chocolate ones look like shit after a few days as the kids raid them and pull the doors off. there's no comparison with a nice-looking pictures one (which i've never had because of aforesaid grandmother issues and the difficulty of getting mine up and out in the morning plus chocolate plus tooth-brushing).

toomanydaisies Wed 28-Nov-12 11:10:11

This thread has revived itself!

Ok, an update. Friends and godparents have now also given dc advent calendars. They have 4 each. 4!! None of the givers will see dc open them. So we have 8 advent calendars grin

I've completely relaxed about it. Who can argue with 8 calendars?!

(Only the calendar from my mil has chocolate...)

toomanydaisies Wed 28-Nov-12 11:14:51

Thanks to all the people who have posted. Just in case anyone can't be bothered to wade through PAGES and PAGES of this thread, I'm not anti chocolate. My 5 year old has chocolate. It's not a big deal. My 1 year old does not have chocolate. Again, not a big deal.

Mintyy Wed 28-Nov-12 11:18:55

Great post tjah.

exoticfruits Wed 28-Nov-12 11:57:58

It is no big deal at all then-the 5yr old has the chocolate and the 1 yr old doesn't-problem solved!

Mosman Wed 28-Nov-12 12:01:52

Is nobody selling organic dried fruit calendars yet ? Waitrose is missing a trick

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Wed 28-Nov-12 12:04:15

OR! and i know this is crazy-bonkers... just have on advent calendar with pictures in it, so that the children can take turns and count down to, ya know, the birth of the ickle baby Jesus. as the name advent suggests.

Sirzy Wed 28-Nov-12 12:14:35

Ds has an advent box with a lovely nativity scene on. He will also have a peppa pig on he chose himself. Both will let him count down to christmas and I will make sure he knows the Christmas story.

Of course though the Christmas story doesn't play a part in everyones Christmas so some people may not want a nativity scene

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 28-Nov-12 12:22:19

So your only fun if your kids have chocolate?

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