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To not want my children to open there presents the week before Christmas?

(183 Posts)
katsucurry Wed 20-Nov-19 10:53:34

My children's one set of grandparents like to come and collect the children the week before Christmas, take them to theirs and will give them all of their presents from their side of the family and allow them to open every. single. one. And we're talking over ten presents each! I hate this set-up and have now made plans for the weekend they would have them to avoid this but they've asked about an earlier week now which is even worse! Have yet to reply.

I have made comments about them opening everything in front of GPs in earlier years hoping they'd get the hint but the next year it happened again. Last year I sent the children with specific instructions not to open presents but to bring them home because it wasn't even Christmas for over a week and I got a text asking if they could open just one (OK, fine) then another saying so-and-so has popped round to see them open theirs specifically, (OK...) and then a call to say now Great GP has turned up can they please just open their gift too! Children then come home with bags of gifts that they've started playing with already and Christmas seems so devalued.

For context the family are no longer my family. I left their son due to DV almost ten years ago (children we're babies) and he has had no contact with them since. The family are good people and love the children so I have facilitated contact with his family myself. They see them every month, all year with occasional sleepovers. I've since married and have another child with my husband, so have both of our families to consider at Christmas. Everyone wants a piece of the children from all angles and honestly I'm fed up. Never mind not having my wishes respected regarding the gifts. So I'm thinking in future children are only free after Christmas then they can open as many as they please. I feel uneasy about the whole situation but I don't want to be unfair.

GreenyEye Wed 20-Nov-19 10:55:56

I think YABU.

Them having their own little xmas with their GP's family should not devalue the Christmas you make with them in your house on Christmas day.

Stop being mean.

Pilot12 Wed 20-Nov-19 10:57:14

Could the grandparents have the children after Christmas Day, then it wouldn't be an issue....

TeenPlusTwenties Wed 20-Nov-19 10:57:22

I agree.
Could you fix a date, eg 28th Dec for them to go round, so still in the 'Christmas period'. The family can arrange for as many people as they like to be there that day. Then it doesn't devalue the run up period or the day itself, but rather extends the excitement?

MildDrPepperAddiction Wed 20-Nov-19 10:57:39

i think YABU. They are the children's grandparents and want to see them open their gifts. We don't live near either of our families but see them before Christmas. The kids all open their presents and GPs see the joy they get from that. It's once a year, presumably they will have Santa to look forward to on Christmas day. I'd let them continue.

Sirzy Wed 20-Nov-19 10:58:14


They are having their own Christmas with them and it’s good that even with their son being an araehole they still care enough to make sure they are part of the family

Thehop Wed 20-Nov-19 10:59:22

Them going after Christmas seems a good compromise

Travis1 Wed 20-Nov-19 10:59:33

YABU. They are effectively replacing the childrens father and if he was still involved the children would have 2 christmas's. We're in the same situation, we are the only part of the extended family that currently have contact with my nephew and I would be very hmm if his mother tried to dictate when we could give him gifts and that we couldn't see him open them.

nectarina Wed 20-Nov-19 11:00:45

I understand - just say they’re not free until after Christmas this year.

Thenextnamechange Wed 20-Nov-19 11:01:49

YANBU wanting them to do this after Christmas rather than before. Just agree a date afterwards, saying you are very busy in the run up this year. I would hate this as my kids would be much less interested in actual Christmas of they had a massive pile of presents the week before.

Ayemama Wed 20-Nov-19 11:04:51

I think YABU.
Having it over a week before Christmas would actually work better I think you can call it pre Christmas or mini Christmas and make a tradition of it. They won't get it confused with actual Christmas.

AloeVeraLynn Wed 20-Nov-19 11:05:40


Courtney555 Wed 20-Nov-19 11:06:43


They see their grandchildren in the run up to Christmas as they can't see them on Christmas Day, and you want them to not see their grandchildren open the presents they've bought them because it "undervalues" your Christmas. hmm

You sound both jealous and self-centred.

prawnsword Wed 20-Nov-19 11:10:00

I think YANU & can see why this feels likes Xmas is devalued. 10 presents each is a lot. It’s not like this is one present each from grandparents ...

Arguably for a child opening 10 presents is more than lots get at Xmas. I think if it’s limited to one gift each then that’s more reasonable.

But i imagine this set up means you have a lot of pressure to make Xmas day big enough in comparison

blindmansbluff Wed 20-Nov-19 11:10:02

I also think YABU. I get that you think it devalues your own Christmas but really it doesn't. Kids are happy with presents at any time. Part of the joy of giving is to see the smile on someone's face when you've got them a great gift and and as you say they are good people, I feel it's a bit mean to try and take that away from them. If it's really a deal breaker for you, definitely change to a couple of days after Christmas instead.

katsucurry Wed 20-Nov-19 11:10:34

Just noticed typo in title hmm Thanks for the replies so far.

@thenextnamechange that's exactly it! They literally have piles of presents they're not interested in by Christmas.

Just to clarify I don't want to stop them seeing them open them I just don't think it's appropriate to open 10-15 gifts per child before the actual day. I am more than happy with them doing it after the 25th so not dictating they can't have that experience at all.

When we see one set of in-laws after Christmas because we're spending the day with the other side it's the same thing for those grandparents with regard to my youngest.

TeenPlusTwenties Wed 20-Nov-19 11:12:05

Courtney I think that is unfair. if she was jealous and self-centred she wouldn't be putting in the time and effort for her DC to see her exes family?

I can't see a good reason why the meet and present exchange has to be before Christmas. It can just as easily be a few days after.

You could just as easily say that the ex-family are self-centred insisting on spoiling the anticipation of Christmas day with early presents.

katsucurry Wed 20-Nov-19 11:12:15

In answer to pilot 12 I suppose that's my actual question!

Is it fair to set a date they do this after Christmas instead?

DriftingLeaves Wed 20-Nov-19 11:12:48

YABU. The joy of giving is to see the children's faces when they open what you have bought. Why would you spoil that for the GPs? Seems very spiteful.

ColdTattyWaitingForSummer Wed 20-Nov-19 11:13:15

I think you are being a little unreasonable. I’m divorced and only have my kids on Christmas every other year. If they’re away for the day itself I do a mini Christmas, including gifts, before they go. It doesn’t devalue the Christmas they have at their dads’.
However you have been very reasonable facilitating contact with your ex in-laws for so long; I don’t think I could have done that. So they should be recognising that you’ve already gone above and beyond. The weekend after Christmas might be a good compromise.

UndertheCedartree Wed 20-Nov-19 11:15:30

YABVU - sounds a perfect set up so they can have a Christmas celebration with their father's side of the family and then have the whole of Christmas eve, Christmas day etc with you. I think it is nice that the relatives can see the dc opening their presents. It also spreads the presents out so they don't get overwhelmed on Christmas day.

My parents live abroad and if they are not over for Christmas they come at the beginning of December and we have a little celebration with them and my DB family. Sometimes we meet with extended family too. We open all presents in front of each other - it's lovely.

OneAutumnMorning Wed 20-Nov-19 11:16:36

I get it. ExMIL wants my boys for Christmas day and kicked up a right stink about it as 'you have them full time' (her son walked out on us). I wouldn't like then getting all their presents the week before. It'd be like they'd had Christmas already. Their family can afford better gifts than me too and purposely show off with it. Ater boxing day they can have them for a week. It's taken so damn long to get over what their son put us through they have no rights to start making demands about my children. Christmas and present opening starts Christmas morning.

These are your children. You do most of the hard work.
What you say goes.

CookPassBabtridge Wed 20-Nov-19 11:19:06

I wish people would read. OP is not against the experience, just wants it to happen after Christmas. So all the same apart from the date. YANBU OP.

itwasalovelydreamwhileitlasted Wed 20-Nov-19 11:19:45

I have the same issue with my ILs except still married to DH - We usually go to theirs a few days before Xmas where all the presents are opened and I hate it. I think it detracts from Xmas especially as it's the first year DC getting into the whole father Xmas thing and he's only supposed to come ONCE a bloody year not twice in a week!

I asked opinions on here and the overwhelming response was let the GP see DC open presents what's the harm so I feel like i just have to grumble to myself now 🤣

throughmytrees Wed 20-Nov-19 11:21:13

You are being very unreasonable and a little selfish.

And I'm speaking both as someone that can from a broken home and had two Christmas' and someone that now has two very far apart Christmas for my ds as I live abroad.

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