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To expect PIL to pay for the presents they bought the DCs for Christmas?

(63 Posts)
Virgil Wed 09-Jan-13 13:59:42

Bracing myself.... I don't usually do AIBUs!

PIL asked what the Dcs would like for Christmas. They do this every year and I have no problem with providing suggestions to fit their budget (even though I struggle to think of gifts myself!). This year it was something they wouldn't have a clue about and it was an ebay store selling and so I offered to order the gifts to be delivered to their house. In total they came to ninety pounds which I have paid for.

The money for these has not materialised. We have seen them three times since then. AIBU to ask for it? This has happened twice before. I ought to have learnt my lesson!!

They also then bought the DCs a book each but when we left their house on Christmas Day the books had disappeared and I couldn't find them. We subsequently went to their house and I saw the books upstairs. DS2 has been asking for his and was disappointed when I told him I couldn't find it. He then also saw it at PIL house and said that he'd asked to bring it home and they'd then said it didn't belong to him it belonged to them and he couldn't bring it home.

AIBU to say "oh did we leave the DCs books here on Christmas Day" or would you just drop it over a book?

buggerama Wed 09-Jan-13 14:04:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 14:06:24


Make your DH ask them for the money, and if he won't, then he doesn't get to spend a penny on anything nice for himself until he has reimbursed you your £90.

alarkaspree Wed 09-Jan-13 14:06:43

Of course you're not unreasonable to ask for the money. But they may have just forgotten. Did you ever ask for it?

Re. the book, that's just weird. I would ask them for those too. Say 'DS2 was so excited about the book you got him, but we left it at your house by mistake. Please do remind me to bring it home next time we see you, he is desperate to read it again.'

They should be delighted that he likes his present so much.

Virgil Wed 09-Jan-13 14:06:54

I know that if I mention to DH he will say he's not asking them for the money that they're his parents and they've done enough for him over the years.

Which is true and fair enough I guess.

I would have asked for the books until DS2 told me about the conversation where they'd told him the books were theirs and he couldn't take them home. Now it feels difficult.

Am I just being a wimp.

Astelia Wed 09-Jan-13 14:08:03

I agree, ask for the money and the books. Or even better get DH to do it as they are his parents. And don't buy stuff for them again.

alarkaspree Wed 09-Jan-13 14:08:25

But the PILs don't know that DS2 told you about that conversation. Just proceed as if you still believe they are rational people.

AmberSocks Wed 09-Jan-13 14:10:17

they dont sound very nice.ask them yanbu.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 14:10:52

Do they know that you had the conversation with ds about the books? If not, there's no reason you can't still ask them.

Do it innocently with a smile on your face, compliment them at the same time by saying that they did such a great job choosing a book that their GC love so much, and if you remember exactly where you left the book, mention that too.

AmberSocks Wed 09-Jan-13 14:11:06

not too impressed by your dhs reaction either!

HerRoyalNotness Wed 09-Jan-13 14:11:09

Next time you're at the house just pick up the books and oh them in your bag. They belong to your DC. If questioned just say you keep forget the DCs books and they want them at home for bedtime reading.

BadRoly Wed 09-Jan-13 14:13:07

I ended up buying Christmas presents for my 4 from both my mum and mil. They both asked what they owed, I emailed each one with what I'd got and how much (they knew, I'd checked budgets first then emailed links to what I thought which they both okayed).

Both have since said, oooh I owe you £x, I'll send a cheque because I forgot to give you it when we saw you. I'm still awaiting the cheques. To those who suggest an open request, how do you deal with this when mil is 150miles away and m is 400miles away? I cannot physically walk them to the postbox...

BadRoly Wed 09-Jan-13 14:14:08

Sorry, got carried away with my own woes, but I sympathise Virgil grin and have no suggestions...

Virgil Wed 09-Jan-13 14:14:24

I should have made it clear actually that DH and I share all money. It just goes into one big pot regardless of who earns what and who is earning more at any particular time, so when I say I paid for them it was really that we paid for them.

BadRoly Wed 09-Jan-13 14:15:53

As for the books, I'd leave it unless dc mention it again. If they do, say that pil got them for them to read when they are at theirs as they don't have many books there maybe?

mathsconundrum Wed 09-Jan-13 14:20:10

In future ask for one of the things you'd planned to get dcs yourselves then no extra spent.

CheeseStrawWars Wed 09-Jan-13 14:22:00

Why not just ask "DC2 says you won't let him take his book home - why is that?"

Is it possible it was some weird joke they were making? My FIL does things like this, thinks it's hilarious but doesn't actually mean it...

CheeseStrawWars Wed 09-Jan-13 14:24:26

If it is your DH's argument that "they've done enough for me, I'm not asking them for money", can you ask your DH what the policy is then on buying presents? Is it to be assumed that the PILs will never buy presents for the DC as they have done enough? Fine if that is what it is, but clarify and then you know where you stand.

Otherwise, you say you thought of suggestions to fit their budget - next time, get them to give you their "budget" in cash before you spend it?

CheeseStrawWars Wed 09-Jan-13 14:26:13

And it is actually deceitful for them to give your DC books and then tell them they are not theirs. I'd be asking them to explain themselves, politely. angry on your behalf.

Headinbook Wed 09-Jan-13 14:26:44

We're still waiting too, from two family members. Same happened last year, so I'm not doing it again. Both have more time & money than we do & I checked before buying each gift, so they know how cost etc.

Am too much of a wimp to say anything, so can't really encourage you to :-(

WildWorld2004 Wed 09-Jan-13 14:30:53

My exMIL used to buy my dd toys & clothes and keep them at her house. This was because she expected my dd to basically live with her. 8 yrs later exMIL doesnt see my dd because of this.

I would ask for both the money and the books. Its quite cruel to give a child a present that they cant take home.

pigletmania Wed 09-Jan-13 14:31:27

Bloody hell that is well out of order regarding the books. You don give a child a present and want it back hmm. I would talk to them about th book as its nt right. Regarding the present, I would not feel comfortable asking for money, and let that be a mistake not to trust them. Tey have to buy the dc presents themselves or gift card

MaxPepsi Wed 09-Jan-13 14:31:56


I'm a bit of a snippy cow sometimes so would have to say something

Ideally something along the lines of, the dc would like to take home their xmas gifts from you.
When they mention that they already have - say, sorry, you misunderstood, I was referring to the books you bought as the others haven't actually been paid for yet whilst all the time smiling sweetly

Virgil Wed 09-Jan-13 14:32:46

They are lovely books too. DS2 is struggling with drawing and his was a really detailed how to draw book with step by step instructions etc. he would benefit from having it at home so that he can sit quietly and do it. It's not something he is likely to do at theirs since we tend to pop over for half an hour.

I will see if I can mention to it and if not will probably end up replacing them myself.

I think I'm officially a wimp however after two years of them not speaking to me when DH and I first got together (all fine now, fifteen years on) I'm reluctant to rock the boat.

ChasedByBees Wed 09-Jan-13 14:33:33

Next year give them them perfume / aftershave but insist they leave it yours as its not theirs to take home.

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