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Who is being unreasonable - MIL at Christmas

(188 Posts)

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beth1991 Tue 05-Nov-19 05:52:59

Hi all
To cut a long story short my MIL is a maternal narcissist (just to put some context around my feelings about her!) my husband also isn't her biggest fan and has purposely rota'd himself on to work some days over Christmas to have an excuse not to see her 🙈

We live about 1hr 15 away from her and have a little girl who has just turned 2. Last year we hosted Christmas, she came down for the day with other family and some of my family also came for dinner. This year we just want to spend it at home just us 3, no exceptions.

She has insisted that she see us on the 27th December and gives our daughter her presents then. I am not ungrateful at all for anything our daughter receives but this has really annoyed me as it's from her completely selfish point of view that she wants to see her open them not that it may confuse our daughters concept of Christmas. I do understand that she's want to see her open them but with my daughter maybe not fully understanding Christmas but starting to, that way she's not going to think nannas presents were delivered by Santa.

Birthdays are obviously different, I have told my husband that it's not going to happen which he agrees. Opinions on do you think we're being unreasonable especially because of my opinion of her. Or do you think I'm being a complete cow and we should allow this for one more year? X

GCAcademic Tue 05-Nov-19 05:57:48

So, you don’t want your MIL to come in Xmas day, but you expect her to have dropped off presents for your daughter by then? And you don’t want your child to know that the present is from her grandmother? Yes, you are being unreasonable.

Anise7438 Tue 05-Nov-19 05:59:19


I know everyone does xmas differently but Santa only delivers Santa's present here. Other people leave gifts under the tree or bring them after Xmas. We don't send all presents to Santa for him to deliver. So yes, YABU. It's one day, one lot of presents. I prefer my kids spacing them out anyway.

MeanMrMustardSeed Tue 05-Nov-19 06:00:36

YAB SO TOTALLY U! And incredibly precious.

Nidy Tue 05-Nov-19 06:01:52

Seriously ?? Precious really sums it up! YABU ... massively

MaybeitsMaybelline Tue 05-Nov-19 06:02:17

Yabu. Go see her for one day.

You don’t have to have her to you and if you do it’s only one day at Christmas for the GP to see her granddaughter. Don’t be mean, you live about 60 miles away, it’s not like she drops in five times a week.

Reachedsohigh Tue 05-Nov-19 06:02:39

YABU. I has a terrible relationship with my mil but what you are expecting is ridiculous. Now us the time to introduce the concept that Santa only brings a stocking, presents from family are bought and brought by family.

Toooldtobearsed2 Tue 05-Nov-19 06:03:44

Sorry, YABU.

Firstly, Santa cannot possibly deliver every present and secondly, of course she wants to see your daughter open her gift. Sounds to me like she is being very reasonable, suggesting the 27th. A truly awful MiL would be on your doorstep at 9am Boxing Day!

Just let the pr woman enjoy some time with her granddaughter.

beth1991 Tue 05-Nov-19 06:04:47

At no point did I say that she wouldn't know presents were from her nanna? Presents delivered by Santa but from named family members just to clarify

minesagin37 Tue 05-Nov-19 06:06:46

Sort your Christmas philosophy out now. Every present from Santa is ridiculous and diminishes the gift giving and receiving experience for everyone else.

I don't know about anyone else but it seems to me that everyone gets labelled a narcissist on Mumsnet these days when actually they just annoy the person.

Cordial11 Tue 05-Nov-19 06:07:25

YABU. Santa doesn’t delivery everyones presents only the ones from him to! Not heard it any other way?!

TheSecretJeven Tue 05-Nov-19 06:07:40

Sorry but YABU unless Santa brings ALL the gifts in your house. Not all gifts can be opened on Christmas Day for various reasons; it's nice to share these moments with the person if you can. It's not like she's asking you to wait until March. 2 days is neither here nor there.

BendingSpoons Tue 05-Nov-19 06:11:17

It's a reasonable request to want to see her grandaughter open presents from her. I really don't think at 2 this will confuse her. When my DD was 2 we opened presents over several days as she was overwhelmed. We didn't even mention Santa. I think even in future years you can say something like 'oh granny wanted to bring her present so santa didn't deliver that one'.

ukgift2016 Tue 05-Nov-19 06:12:41

YABU. Unbelievable and can't believe your husband taking your side on this too.

Nice way to treat your mother.

finn1020 Tue 05-Nov-19 06:12:50

Huh? What’s the problem, that your MIL wants to give your daughter presents on 27 December and you’re unhappy because ... your daughter is “not going to think nanas presents were delivered by Santa?” But they’re not from Santa, they’re from MIL. Santa gets no credit for them.

Never heard of Santa delivering presents from anyone except

MsChatterbox Tue 05-Nov-19 06:15:33

Yes yabu for what everyone else has already said. I was really ready to support you with the terrible MIL but nope!

FiveGoMadInDorset Tue 05-Nov-19 06:16:48

Someone’s batshit and it isn’t your MIL

CodenameVillanelle Tue 05-Nov-19 06:17:36

Oh god noooooo
I get that you don't like her and I'm sure that's justified but you CANNOT dictate that nobody gets to see DD open their gifts because it will 'confuse her idea of Christmas'. That is so unbelievably precious and ridiculous.

WelshMammaofaSlovak Tue 05-Nov-19 06:19:08

What is all this guff about your daughter becoming confused and not understanding Santa - she's 3 and she doesn't really understand any of it yet but this time next year she will and no amount of presents from Dg will change that. If you really dislike the woman that much and she's so awful that you don't want her to have the pleasure of seeing her dgc opening the present from her then own that and say that you don't want her her in the house but that you are greedy and still want your dc to have presents from her. Personally, if she's that awful I'd be be going nc but I wouldn't then accept presents. Regardless, don't hide the fact that you don't want to have to see her behind some weird nonsense about it confusing your daughter about blooming Santa.

wibdib Tue 05-Nov-19 06:19:18

Not sure why it would confuse your dd’s view of Christmas? Everybody I know has Santa deliver some presents and everybody else exchange presents too so would have thought that it helps to reinforce that plus spreads out the present giving and doesn’t become overwhelming on the day itself.

Most of the people I know have Santa bring a nice present or two and the stocking. But some people prefer to have him give just the somtocking while others have no stockings. Or they have Santa give the main present or all the presents under the tree while. They just give the main present. While the child is little lots of people I know - particularly those who have Santa bring a nice present or two and/or a stocking - tend to use a special paper that just Santa uses that you make sure is well hidden and separate from the other paper so your dc don’t spot it!

There’s no right or wrong answer in all of this - everyone has their own way of doing things. However this time this is actually one time that I would prefer your mil’s option.

I used to get upset when mil wanted to send presents before Christmas to go under the tree - when we were seeing her a day or two later; would much prefer her to save her money on not posting and to have the pleasure of seeing her go open her presents. Also meant fewer presents under the tree - too many and little dc can be overwhelmed, it becomes all about the unwrapping rather than looking at what you get and enjoying it, if you see what I mean.

So as long as you are happy to see her at some point over the festive season I would let her have her way - there will be other bigger battles to pick with her that are more important! Plus it’s sometging to do when you see her and reduces the amount of effort you need to make in chatting to her - you can all just watch dd open her presents.

Is 27th the day you want to see her? I would be more concerned with that if you wanted to see her on the 29th for example. If you don’t end up seeing her until March then it might be a bit confusing but around Christmas it should help to reinforce Xmas rather than confuse!

KRAmum Tue 05-Nov-19 06:20:14

Your dd is only 2! She probably doesn't even fully understand who Santa is yet! You need to learn to relax and pick your battles. Just for clarification, yabu.

BillHadersNewWife Tue 05-Nov-19 06:20:16

Oh OP bless you. You'll be in for a LONG haul if you're going to tell DD that Santa delivers all the presents!

Don't do it.

When she gets things from others, it's NICE for them to hand them over.


A child doesn't get "a confused concept of Christmas" because someone gives her a present they've bought!

Telling her Santa delivers them all is confusing!

MindyStClaire Tue 05-Nov-19 06:21:49

This was completely normal in my family, and I suspect most families. Presents given and opened on the meeting closest to Christmas Day.

I think it's really mean to expect her to drop off the present and not get to see your daughter open it.

AJPTaylor Tue 05-Nov-19 06:23:42

Keep it simple. When mine were small, santa filled the stockings. Everything else was from whoever gave it. Very handy when the toy of the year has sold out.

GoFiguire Tue 05-Nov-19 06:27:31

OP just tell DD that Santa doesn’t exist and that Christmas is all about the birth of the Christ child and the season is all about love, sharing and forgiving and you’ll be fine.

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