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to think this isn't entirely the spirit of giving...?

(16 Posts)
InspectorNorse Tue 22-Dec-15 15:47:03

I'll try to keep it succinct...

I live in a very poor country. Huge unemployment, lots of people living on the streets etc. We are comparatively very rich.

We don't like to do lots of presents at Christmas because it seems so inappropriate when there are so many who won't even eat on Christmas day, and we've managed to convince my(extremely numerous) inlaws to do a secret Santa style Christmas, where we will all buy and receive one gift. Perfect!

With the money we save, we have bought food and gifts for a few families that we know who will not get presents.

My parents in law suggested to the whole family that we put together a big hamper to "treat" a family that they know. This was fine by us, it's a bag of extra groceries that we can happily afford. As I'm into making things pretty, it was decided that everyone would deliver their contributions to me, and I'd make up the hamper.

So, yesterday we received bags from everyone - lovely treats of food, toiletries, scarves etc from all aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings etc... Then I get to sorting out the bag from my parents in law... The ones who suggested it... The ones who know the people it's going to...

I kid you not, they've had a spring clean. Not even a "we've got extra of this" spring clean, but a "we don't want this crap" spring clean. It included: Out of date flour, out of date beans, a sticky gross bag of out of date rice (with spiders webs on it??!!), a tin of mussels that expired in 2012, and a half used tub of aqueous cream...

I've removed them, and went to buy a few extra things to replace them, but does that not seem incredibly stingy to you?! Why even suggest it if you don't want to do it properly?! Is it just to look generous?

I'm sorely tempted to say something, but I know I'm too polite to really sad damn my sense of proprietary! Would it be hugely unreasonable to give them back their things, gift wrapped, as Christmas gifts..?! wink

WorraLiberty Tue 22-Dec-15 15:50:35

Sounds like they probably forgot and had a last minute panic.

CigarsofthePharoahs Tue 22-Dec-15 15:53:40

But I'd just put the stuff in a cardboard box, put it on their doorstep, ring the bell and run away. grin
What did you dh say about it?

DreamingOfThruxtons Tue 22-Dec-15 15:55:49

Tempting, to gift wrap them. wink

I'd probably just mention to them that perhaps the shop they bought their gifts from should be told they are stocking out of date produce- luckily, you checked, and the items were really out of date. Tell them you advise them to check they don't consume anything from that shop without checking either- as a dutiful daughter in law you are concerned for their health, yadayada.

knobblyknee Tue 22-Dec-15 16:03:06

YANBU. I'd put them in a bag and return them, and ask for cash to refund you.


OnlyLovers Tue 22-Dec-15 16:11:47

I'd just leave their contributions hmm out and not mention it.

Although I do admire Dreaming's marvellously passive-aggressive suggestion. grin

Nice thing to do, BTW!

thelaundryfairy Tue 22-Dec-15 16:14:46

Agree with you that they´re not in the spirit of Christmas. I think this is a lovely idea in general, though.

Sansoora Tue 22-Dec-15 16:22:37

Sadly there are people out there who think the poor don't deserve anything nice and in my experience people who have themselves come from poor background/countries etc they're the biggest culprits.

witsender Tue 22-Dec-15 16:23:15

I work at a food bank, and you'd be surprised how much of this sort of thing we get. Personal record is something from 1997. It costs us to get rid of out of date food as well, a real problem.

LizzieMacQueen Tue 22-Dec-15 16:25:20

I think there has been a mix up. The bag with the goodies in is in the bin.

SisterMoonshine Tue 22-Dec-15 16:25:48

Our school harvest collection has this happen all the time too.
They have to state that they only want food items 'in date' now.

InspectorNorse Tue 22-Dec-15 16:26:41

You're absolutely right, I should warn them for their own sake... It would be the right and proper thing to do...grin

My husband is still slightly attached to the umbilical cord, so defended them. We're working on that too...sad

Yanbu, can only think it's as suggested- to appear generous. Even if they'd forgotten it would have been just as quick for them to have picked up a few things from the shops than to go through their cupboards for such inappropriate items.

Speederman Tue 22-Dec-15 16:35:47

Surely if it was a last minute panic you'd put the best stuff you had in the house and not out of date cobwebby crap?!

Definitely pull them up on it using PPs suggestions

InspectorNorse Tue 22-Dec-15 16:40:26

1997 witsender??!!

How do people not clean their cupboards out more frequently than that?!

Sansoora, you're very right, and my in-laws are a perfect demonstration of this, so so often sad it's not that they don't like to give, it's that they give the stuff that isn't good enough for them. Someone gave them a phone to passed on to anyone they knew who was in need of a phone, so they took the phone, kept it and have away one of theirs which was a less nice phone... Because "the poor" don't need (or want, or deserve, apparently) nice things.

InspectorNorse Tue 22-Dec-15 16:44:00

That's what I thought, speederman! They didn't even grab anything half decent, and I know they have things that are more recently purchased, as my MIL shops almost every day.

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