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My first MIL thread - stockings for DCs

(100 Posts)
ceeveebee Tue 24-Dec-13 22:02:33

Go gentle on me - I genuinely am not sure if I'm being unreasonable here
Am staying at PILs for Xmas at their insistence- I'd have been quite happy to stay at home tbh

We have 2 yo (just turned 2) DTs who don't really "get" the whole Christmas thing yet - only saw Santa for the first time yesterday, don't really know much about what Santa is supposed to do/be etc.

MIL just told me she has had two personalised stockings made with their names on and has filled them with little presents, all from them, and wants to put them in their cots. Now of course I appreciate the fact they've bought presents for them but really, I would have liked to arrange their first stockings myself (next year, when I think they'll be ready). And we have been here for the last 3 days and this has just been mentioned now when it's clearly been planned for a while. Never asked me whether I was doing stockings myself.

I said no, they can open them downstairs with their other presents when we've all got up. They sleep really well and I have to wake then at 8 each morning so why risk them rolling onto their stockings and waking up early. And on their birthday 4 weeks ago I had to sit there and help open all presents as they just weren't that bothered.

Don't want to drip feed so will declare now that this is not the first time I have felt my toes being trodden on -I could give a long list but don't want to seem bitter

Am I being precious? DH couldn't care less btw

NoComet Thu 26-Dec-13 12:55:21

What's it matter who does stockings or indeed if DCs get two stockings or no stockings.

I didn't have a sticking until DMIL did me one at 20. My Nan sometimes did bags of bits, My DM fought stocking fillers were an utter waste of money.

It's a total non issue.

NoComet Thu 26-Dec-13 12:56:08

I need a drink, my spelling might be better blush

traininthedistance Thu 26-Dec-13 12:57:57

Well my feeling is that when children are the right age for the whole Father Christmas thing (2/3 to 10-ish?) then the stocking for the whole family thing runs the risk of blowing the cover of it all. Great in a house full of adults and/or teenagers, when it's a really nice gesture - but how do you keep small children from getting suspicious when everyone is getting one (at different times of day) and everyone's got to keep up the pretence?

I'd suggest asking your DD what she'd rather do for next year - she may not mind at all about an extra stocking or she may worry it detracts from the whole mythology of family traditions.

fluffyraggies Thu 26-Dec-13 13:15:08

sweet - i'll be a new mum (again grin) in 3 weeks. Would my advice do?

To my mind I think problems only occur when the GP are saying the stocking is from Santa. Which doesn't sound like something you are doing. You give everyone's presents to them encased in a stocking. Adults and kids alike, so no santa stuff involved really.

If my (new) ILs wanted to convey all their prezies to my baby/child in a stocking, but were obvious about the fact that the prezies were from them, then would be no probs. My feathers would only be ruffled by the 'santa came here too' thing. I would've found that odd as a kid, i recon, and i think my kids would've too.

fluffyraggies Thu 26-Dec-13 13:16:38

xposted with you train (phone call in middle of writing post), yes, that's what i'm on about too. As a kid i would have been suspicious and it would have been a shame.

sweetmelissa Thu 26-Dec-13 13:46:38

Thank you Train and Fluffy,

When my children were little stockings were in their rooms by morning, left by Santa. My husband and I gave each other a stocking over breakfast and the children were always told they were from each other "because Santa doesn't come to grown ups and we didn't want to be left out." Once the youngest child stopped believing in Santa we all opened them downstairs and they knew they were from us. This year my young foster children were left stockings in their rooms, and the adults one given before lunch and from us. Obviously the baby didn't know or care, but in future years will make him a stocking from us, while Santa will come to him at home.

Good luck with the new baby Fluffy - how different and wonderful your Christmas will be next year!!! Congratulations!!

gotthemoononastick Thu 26-Dec-13 14:09:06

I know of ladies who make stockings in their quilting guilds especially for their grandchildren.They are exquisite, embroidered, quilted and embelished little masterpieces and could never be mass produced for sale.True heirlooms.Some of these children are now teens and treasure them.How sad if they should make mums feel insecure.

Mutley77 Thu 26-Dec-13 14:19:32

Yanbu. The stocking is fair enough but it should have been given to you weeks ago to sort out the presents. Christmas is magical for such a short time and it is up to the parents to have that enjoyment of making it special. (not the grandparents ). Although of course gps should share in it if they take the lead of the parents. We will only ever do Christmas in out own home so we set our own traditions etc. Anyone welcome to come and join us if they are happy to respect our way of doing things...

traininthedistance Thu 26-Dec-13 14:23:09

gotthemoon I don't think anyone is suggesting grandmothers shouldn't make/give the physical stockings - this is a thread about MILs filling extra stockings from Father Christmas and giving them as well as/instead of the GCs' stockings done by parents.

fluffyraggies Thu 26-Dec-13 14:26:27

Thank you so much sweet grin Yep, xmas next year will be different! I have 3DDs already - but as the youngest is 15 i haven't done santa stuff for years! This baby is DHs first - so of course this will all be new for him next year and he cant wait. DDs are looking forward to 'doing it all properly with santa' again too, bless 'em.

It sounds like you have the balance spot on in your house. I think stockings for adults is a lovely idea btw.

somewherewest Thu 26-Dec-13 14:31:17

DS has also just turned two and absolutely loved his stocking, but putting it within a thousand miles of their cots is VU. Sleep is precious grin.

ceeveebee Thu 26-Dec-13 15:08:47

Wow lots more replies and opinions still seem split

They slept till 9 and then got their stockings downstairs with their other presents - which was good because as well as playdough there was a chocolate lollipop each which would have been nice and messy! They were more interested in trying to undecorate the Christmas tree tbh though. Still haven't opened all their presents as they're just not bothered. Looking forward to next year when they'll hopefully be more excited.

Enjoy the rest of Christmas all!

differentnameforthis Thu 26-Dec-13 15:23:07

It's such a shame when other family members aren't allowed to think about their nieces/nephews/grandchildren's happiness at Christmas.

really, stocking at 2 won't do them any harm & as you said yourself, they weren't interested in their presents 4 weeks ago for their birthdays 4 week ago, so it won't be very different.

Just let your ILs enjoy treating them.

WorrySighWorrySigh Thu 26-Dec-13 15:38:35

It isnt saying they shouldnt do anything at all just that they should ask first (and listen to the answer).

Surely not hard?

SillyMillyOnAHilly Thu 26-Dec-13 17:12:58

They slept till 9 !!!!! shock fshock shock

What a lovely Xmas present for you. fsmile

FestiveYoni Thu 26-Dec-13 17:29:22

The best thing here op is your mil has shown her hand early, who knows what she would be preparing next year fconfused.

Your lucky in that they are not old enough yet to know whats going year do exactly what you want too, if that means NOT using their mil stockings so be it.

any time you spend xmas with them in futire YOU TELL THEM what will and wont be done.

FestiveYoni Thu 26-Dec-13 17:31:02

different where does it stop?

is it unreasonable tat a mother wants to sort out her own childrens xmas?

why do GP's have to show their love in these ways? my GP would have never gone anywhere near tings like stockings and so on, did i live them any less?

TaraLott Thu 26-Dec-13 19:11:36

any time you spend xmas with them in futire YOU TELL THEM what will and wont be done. shock

perfectstorm Thu 26-Dec-13 19:23:59

I know of ladies who make stockings in their quilting guilds especially for their grandchildren.They are exquisite, embroidered, quilted and embelished little masterpieces and could never be mass produced for sale.True heirlooms.Some of these children are now teens and treasure them.How sad if they should make mums feel insecure.

I can't imagine that would make anyone feel insecure, though - that isn't what has been described. I would utterly love it if a GP (or any other relative) did something so loving and thoughtful, as it helps create a tradition in a very warm and meaningful way. What I would not love is to have a filled stocking presented to me on Christmas eve as done for the gc and the only argument being whether it went in cot or under tree. My kids have a tradition my DH and I created, and it's the full port and mince pie and oats for reindeer, hung by the chimney, colossal excitement at 7 am when Santa has been. I choose what goes in the stockings and I love it. It is not appropriate for a gp or anyone else to seek to hijack that without consultation or consent and bluntly if they tried (which they wouldn't) they'd be told no. I don't expect my children or their partners to want me to do it, either. It's one of the best bits of being a parent IMO so no, I don't anticipate filching it from them. If they find it a bind then that's a bonus for me, but I would be surprised if they did!

FestiveYoni Thu 26-Dec-13 20:34:36

YY Perfect, I really would never suddenly present my old DD's DD's with stockings, full and ready to go. its so over bearing.

It is not behaviour I would exhibit to my DD's, unless they had reason to particularly ask me too, I would help and support them in anyway, I would happily pay for every item in the stocking, I would sew them one and let them tell their dc They did, I would not be wanting praise or reward....

I would support them or be there for them, if they wanted me too and I am sure I could find millions of other ways to bond with my GC that didn't involve stealing precious parent/child traditions and pleasures...

DoubleLifeIsALifeOfSorts Thu 26-Dec-13 21:50:30

It's all about the way it's done isn't it?

For the people saying its a shame that gp can't love their gc... That's really not the point, of course they can and it's something to be treasured and encouraged.

But grand parents trying to take over and be more parent than grandparent is a problem! It's about not asking and collaborating with parents, and trying to compete and override parents. And also, a small thing becomes a big deal when it's in a context of many many small things adding up to feel unpleasant.

I too was going to write a stocking thread fgrin. So I'll write it here in solidarity with you! sorry here follows a rant...

My parents, especially my mother has massive overstepping boundaries history. Last year she had a hissy fit as 'shes jealous of me (her only living daughter), and why did I have to come up to theirs with my dc, aparently i 'push her out' as its much nicer when she's allowed to be Ds's mum!!!' she saw nothing wrong with this, totally blatant and expected immediate sympathy due to her being jealous'.

She even said 'it's ok for my dad (her husband and Ds grandpa) as Ds father is not around, so that gives him a role in Ds life, but because I'm around she doesn't have a 'role'" '... Err my h isn't around because he was horribly abusive to me and neglected his baby, and then left me when I became ill and couldn't pay for him anymore. But she'd rather Ds had no daddy and preferably no mummy either. Nice woman, always was a b*tch. I had to have strong words with her when she started to physically hold Ds back when he was crying 'mama mama' and trying to get to me. I can see my dad wince whenever Ds cries for me as he knows he ll get it in the neck later - she has to take it out on someone, of course.

I told her one more thing like that and she'd never see him again, be foul to me all you like, but do anything to harm my child and that's it. so she's backed off that at least.

She then gave me one cheap and rubbish present, and Ds a huge amount of presents, piles and piles... And refused to speak to me as i also gave him lots of pressies (like err, a parent does). Even at 2.8 yrs, Ds was upset and kept trying to give me his presents... He's an adorable little boy who always wants everyone to join in and share and be together.

She is soooooo disgustingly self centred, and no amount of including and kindness ever make up for the fact that I won't conveniently push off and let her play mummies with my child.

So this year, they came to mine, and I did stocking for everyone (to avoid last years unpleasantness), which is told them I was doing from about oct onwards.

My mother waited til I went to bed and then filled Ds stocking up completely with her presents! I tried not to fall for this ludicrous behaviour, but did end up taking some out and putting a few of mine in. Oooh the looks of thunder and death that were pointed in my direction in the morning. Ugh.

Now that is a woman who does indeed Is over stepping!

differentnameforthis Fri 27-Dec-13 00:31:00

But they are STOCKINGS!!! Fabric oversized sock type things with presents in them. The children are 2, they really don't care of their presents are in stockings or bin bags.

Sorry, I guess I just don't see stockings as something so special, that only the parents must do them.

ESPECIALLY as the op said that the babies didn't care about presents on their birthdays, and that they were 'they're just not bothered' It just goes to show how unimportant it is. They aren't going to notice if the op does her own stockings next year, are they?

We has this exact same thing last year when we stayed with relatives. We flew so we didn't take much, certainly not their stockings, but the relative we stayed with bought them. I was silently thankful that she had thought of that for them!!

There are going to be SO many things that the op can't control in years to come, getting het up over over-sized socks is silly in the grand scheme of things.

The best thing to do is to let MIL have the stocking she arranged at her house & op has others that she sorts out at her house.

I think this is more to do with the fact that op wants them (the children) to be more 'bothered' about their presents. I think she is more disappointed that they wanted to fiddle with the tree than open presents & that she had to open their birthday presents.

My dd's were exactly the same at 2, didn't understand the fuss & just wanted to play with the toys they already had! But it sounds like the op is taking it personally that her dc didn't want to open their presents & was worried that they would enjoy the stockings more.

failingatlife Fri 27-Dec-13 14:37:51

Oh my, I had no idea that a simple stocking could cause so much
fuss confused. When i was a kid our mum got us all personalised stockings with our names on, they weren't very big so would have satsuma & sweets in & weren't that big a deal. Santa delivered them along with copious amounts of toys (from parents/Santa, family gifts were from family not Santa)
With my own kids they have all had stockings purchased for 1st Christmas whcih get hung on the wall when tree goes up & filled with sweets, small toys, socks, gloves etc by Santa when he delivers the proper pressies. The stockings are just a nice extra. Also they are all different so get put with each child's pressies so they know whose is whose!
Most ppl I know in RL are similar, stockings aren't a massive deal here maybe it's a regional thing (we're in Scotland)??

I would be pleased if my DPs or PILs were so excited about my DCs Christmas cos they're really not all that interested sad. I have to choose my DPs presents for the kids (every year , DS1 is 11) and ILs have bought them unsuitable cheap crap for years but gave them cash this year. Oh, that sounds ungrateful but hey ho.

OP I would gratefully accept the stocking, take them home & make hanging them part of your Christmas tradition from next year!

MavisDee Fri 27-Dec-13 15:16:24

Sweet Melissa, sorry for late reply, just caught up with this thread. What you and your family do sounds lovely as other posters have said- I think it's a personal thing and if the parents are happy with any arrangements then fantastic! I agree with train and fluffy- it's the Santa confusion that would annoy me personally, but it seems you have a lovely separate tradition going on. You sound like a very loving nanny smile

Moreisnnogedag Fri 27-Dec-13 15:29:44

Threads like this make me feel like a very neglectful parent. This is the first year that DS got Christmas. We got him presents from Santa (from us) but My pil (well, MIL really) did a sticking for DS. She does one for DH and, more importantly, for meeeee. I couldn't really give a fig. My parents did a stocking. We did a stocking. DS was inundated with tat grin.

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