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Sil won't buy ds what he wants for Xmas

(71 Posts)
Picturesinthefirelight Sun 08-Dec-13 15:29:34

I know I sound unreasonable but bear with me

I have two children, ds aged almost 10 & dd aged 12

Sil wants to know what they want for Xmas

Ds has a list he's made with items ranging from £5 to £50. It's quite diverse from books & chocolate to Nerf, Xbox game & a scooter.

Sil works at a major high street retailer so always buys presents from there which was fine when the kids were younger & were into toys & games.

She refuses to buy clothes for Xmas, the Xbox game heaves nets is out of stock at her branch, the only scooter in stock is one designed for a 5 year old. She was looking at action figures like Skylanders & Star Wars but he's not been into action figures for a couple of years now.

I suggested putting together a little gift bag with some boys/men's smellies/hair gel in. He loves his showers & likes pinching a bit of dh's after shave etc but she said that's something she'd buy when he's much older.

Her dd who is the same age as my dd has a hobby & she's asked me to get her a specialist item for that hobby which will cost around £20-30. I have to give her the money & her dd will choose the exact one she wants.

My dd also has a hobby which she hopes to eventually make a career. There is a mon specialist item she really wants (she could do with two or three of them) that costs £7. When I told sil about them she said I'm not buying her that!

She has reluctantly agreed to get dd gift vouchers as dd loves going shopping & having a Girly day out etc. she is also a bookworm but sils shop doesn't sell books.

Would I be bring unreasonable to say lets forget this & just get our own children what they want?

WhoNickedMyName Sun 08-Dec-13 16:00:52

I think you're both making far too if a deal of this.

If she asks again, say you've given her some ideas, if she doesn't want to buy any of those items them you'll leave it to her to think of something.

And wrt her children, if you don't want to buy them whatever she has suggested, then you think of something.

Ultimately if the children don't like what they've got then e-bay it, return it to the store or give it away.

WhoNickedMyName Sun 08-Dec-13 16:02:16

Has the OP namechanged halfway thru the thread?

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Sun 08-Dec-13 16:03:34

Exactly the same happens every year- I give sil money & she presents me with the gift she's chosen for her dd for me to wrap.

Then she asks me to choose something from this one particular shop but it has to be toys.

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Sun 08-Dec-13 16:04:05

Sorry I've changed to my Xmas name only it's not worked properly.

Tabby1963 Sun 08-Dec-13 16:04:13

OP, you could do what I have done with my brother; we give a sum of money (say £20) in a card to each of our respective nephews/nieces. This they can spend on anything they want in the January sales. Everyone happy.

I can understand that, as you are already giving your niece money to spend on herself on something she wants, why you might consider the same for your children. Hope you can come to some agreement here. If your SIL says "no I don't want to give money", you can point out that you are prepared to give money to her daughter to spend as she likes, why won't she?

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Sun 08-Dec-13 16:04:43

On the soup kitchen idea my DS's class had the opportunity to volunteer preparing vegetables for a local soup kitchen one evening - I thought that was great.

Regarding presents I think you need to retain some sense of them being given/chosen by the other person, even if it's from a list. So if presents from SIL always come from the place where she works so be it - just a shame they don't seem to have much on the dc's wish list this year.

NoComet Sun 08-Dec-13 16:06:35

If you ask the DCs parent, it is daft to then make up massive numbers of conditions, when a sensible, obtainable, in budget suggestion has been made.

We had no spare money as kids, by 10 I absolutely hated having to smile and nod at gifts that I knew I wouldn't use, because it was simply such a waste.

ChasedByBees Sun 08-Dec-13 16:07:23

I think I'd be irritated by her insistence that she gets her DD exactly what he wants but won't extend the same courtesy. I'd just buy your niece whatever you want to buy her, regardless of hobby.

mercibucket Sun 08-Dec-13 16:08:44

you need to be upfront with her

lets both just give money n buy something

if she wont agree then ask why you have to do it for her dd but she wont for yourss
if she cant see that is not fair then just buy what you want next year

you are not being assertive

starofbethlehemfishmummy Sun 08-Dec-13 16:10:42


You are expected to buy what her kids want.

Why ask them to do a list

Wish there was an edit button!!

DontmindifIdo Sun 08-Dec-13 16:10:49

Willl your SIL be upset if your DS just says straight out that he doesn't want her gift to her? Then perhaps you need ot just let this happen. If she says anything about gifts again, don't get involved, just say "I've given you a list, if you want to get something off the list, feel free." Then unclench about it. Hopefully the shop she works at will do returns, will there be anything in there your DS is likely to want?

Oh and if you aren't doing lists next year, then she doesn't get to issue you with a list for her DCs either. It's a good lesson for your DCs, for some people, they aren't interested in giving a gift they know you'd like, they want to give you a gift they want you to like. You should still be polite about it to them, but don't feel compelled to keep it. It's also important to always try to be the person who gives a gift the recipiant wants, not what you want them to want.

Monetbyhimself Sun 08-Dec-13 16:11:37

Lunatic I wasn't just referring to the kids in this scenario.

DontmindifIdo Sun 08-Dec-13 16:13:21

oh yes and I hate the idea that Christmas Soup kitchens are a useful lesson for middle class children, the whole "let's go look at a poor person!" mentality is irritating in the extreme, unless you live in the middle of nowhere, your DCs will probably have seen homeless people anyway. (And if you do live in the middle of nowhere, there's not going to be soup kitchens anywhere near you)

OpalTourmaline Sun 08-Dec-13 16:17:41

I think you say to her that either you both get a surprise for each others' children (and run the risk of it being something they don't want) or you both give them money, or you both select what you want for your own dc. It seems unfair that she gets to dictate what you buy, but doesn't extend you the same courtesy.

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Sun 08-Dec-13 16:25:10

I can kind of understand why if you work in a shop day in day out you might like to make that connection of choosing something from it to give to your nieces and nephews

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Sun 08-Dec-13 16:28:43

I didn't get given a list by the way. At a family party about a month a go she cane up to me & said dneice would like an x. It costs £20. Can you buy it her fir xmas I can get one from y when we go there next week so if you give me the cash ill get it for you.

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Sun 08-Dec-13 16:29:39

I agreed mostly because in the past she's asked for an item that cost a lot more than I could really afford to spend.

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Sun 08-Dec-13 16:34:38

Personally I'd feel that was getting a bit cheeky/annoying - not my style of Christmas present giving.
I don't mind a list whether asked for or offered as long as it's got some variety on it including price wise - in fact they can be a great way of helping everyone get the presents they'd really enjoy and appreciate.
Like your XMas NN Chestnuts - do you like mine? - I Christmasfied it the other day fsmile

formerbabe Sun 08-Dec-13 16:38:43

Very strange that she won't buy him a book!

NoAddedSuga Sun 08-Dec-13 16:43:28

Only read the first page

Sil sounds hard work

I would just say forget buying each others children presents, and you will use the money that you would of bought her children on your children.

Therefore no one is out of pocket, and all children get something that they will use and want.

If a child has asked for something within budget range, its daft to not get them that, but get them something that they dont want.

Sparklingbrook Sun 08-Dec-13 16:44:45

I would be tempted to say forget it. She buy for hers you buy for yours.

We currently swap vouchers with one family member's DC. I keep telling DH to suggest we don't bother and just buy vouchers for ours and they can buy for theirs. But he says that's not v Christmassy. hmm

Monetbyhimself Sun 08-Dec-13 16:44:50

Yes as long as your naice MC children have actually seen a homeless person begging outside Waitrose then that absolutely absolves you of any responsibility to help them to understand the reality of homelessness, poverty and despair. So IRRITATING when social responsibility gets in the way of Tarquin and Claudias Christmas must have list hmm

OldBagWantsNewBag Sun 08-Dec-13 16:47:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Sun 08-Dec-13 16:47:07

Money- my ds would and has given every last penny of his pocket money away to charity in the past so less of the moralising thank you.

redexpat Sun 08-Dec-13 16:49:34

So it's different rules for your kids and hers? YANBU! And it's not to do with being grateful. What is the point of asking someone what they would like for Christmas to the go and ignore everysingle suggestion, because you don't approve, or it doesn't suit you or you can't get staff discount on it. I'm strangley cross about this.

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