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mother-in-laws gifts

(15 Posts)
BBLucy1891 Sun 22-Nov-15 20:28:30

Not exactly a matter of life and death but...quick question I would appreciate some advice on. My mother-in-law is a shopaholic and always buys something for me or for the house whenever she calls. I know its so nice and kind of her, the problem is she buys exactly the opposite things to my taste, every time.

At first I accepted the presents graciously and then, well, often put them in a cupboard, but then it just got ridiculous - such a waste of money on things that (i) I don't need and (ii) I don't like.

At the heart of it - she doesn't like my taste and wants to change it to hers. For example she not-so-secretly disapproves of the ethnic food I often cook and drops hints about how it makes my OH's skin bad or how it smells. When he visits home she sends him home with a load of "proper" food like roasts and potatoes - which of course is great, and I cook them and enjoy them, but the underlying message is that she doesn't like what I cook.

She arrives with curtains, rugs, cushions, bedcovers, all of which I have already. I explain that I don't need them and she needn't keep buying things, but she says "oh but these are SO much smarter" or "purple is a dead persons colour, you'll want these for if you have any guests". I have so much polyester cream and gold in my cupboards I could go into business selling it!

Is there a point at which I can refuse these gifts? It'll be a long life, and require a whole lot of storage space, if I keep accepting!

Boomerangs Sun 22-Nov-15 20:56:50

Accept everything and either exchange it for something else of possible or sell it on eBay

MissApple Sun 22-Nov-15 20:58:42

purple is a dead persons colour Lol!

OnceAMeerNotAlwaysAMeer Sun 22-Nov-15 21:03:19

Warn her that if she keeps giving you stuff that isn't to YOUR taste in YOUR house, that it'll have to be charity-shopped as you havent got any more room.

Or start giving her purple clothes as presents.

pocketsaviour Sun 22-Nov-15 21:04:16

Where is your DH in all this? What does he say about it?

RiceCrispieTreats Sun 22-Nov-15 21:20:57

If she's an otherwise well-meaning person, just bite your tongue, say thank you, and give to a charity shop at your earliest convenience.

Yes, it's pretty tone-deaf to assume your taste is superior to another person's. But unless there's a bigger backstory to this (is there?), I would just let it slide.

Joysmum Sun 22-Nov-15 21:41:58

As always, the problem is your DH's to sort out.

Beachlovingirl Sun 22-Nov-15 21:50:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsWembley Mon 23-Nov-15 10:46:52

I thought you were going to say little knick-knacks but curtains, ffs! Who does that?!!!shock

If she's normally lovely then sit her down and say as kindly as you can, please stop. If she's not then she's just being rude. Respond in kind, or (as others have said) get your DH to sort it out.

MrsWembley Mon 23-Nov-15 10:49:35

Actually, with what you've told us she says to you when she brings you these things, whether she is normally lovely or not, she is being very rude. I would feel obliged to tell her, 'Actually, I don't think so.'

Notagainmun Mon 23-Nov-15 11:29:36

My MIL used to do this. I have hundreds of pieces of Old Country Roses china. Hate the stuff.

Indole Mon 23-Nov-15 12:24:33

I think you just have to say politely 'I'm really sorry, but this isn't my taste and we don't have the storage space for it so why don't you get your money back?'

Or get your husband to say it.

And if she can't return it, wrap it all up and give it to her for Christmas.

BBLucy1891 Mon 23-Nov-15 12:36:50

Thanks everyone. Its weird because I actually have said, as clear as I can, that I don't need these things, that I already have them and that it's not really my taste. She'll say "I know, I know, but I saw this and it was SUCH a bargain, and it would look lovely on your guest bed". DH just laughs and says "you know what she's like, she's just loves shopping" and he has told her but probably not clearly enough. Its just a serious generational gap regarding taste. She has plates of all the royal family up on the wall in her place, so at least she hasn't tried to buy me one of those!! I wonder how uncool I'll seem to my daughter when she grows up? Scary...
If only I could convince her to go to IKEA and pick me up some things I really do like!

Northernnights Mon 23-Nov-15 12:50:49

I frequently buy my DIL clothes as presents. I hope I get it right though I suspect that occasionally I might have missed the mark. When I can, I'll take her with me to buy her gift so she can choose exactly what she wants. This works best because we are both happy with the gift.
When I buy a gift for the home, I ask what they want, ask the price and either give them the money or make a contribution. Win win.
She is so lovely that even if I have got the wrong thing, she never says. I don't deserve her.

Indole Mon 23-Nov-15 12:54:53

It is kind of rude not to listen when you say these things! My PILs once bought DH and I some truly horrible china - we didn't ask for any china, and they had bought us some that we liked to add to our existing matching set the previous Christmas so they did know what kind we had and where to get it from. We politely told them that we didn't really like it and was it possible for them to get their money back, so they did and gave us the money to spend on china we liked. Nobody got offended (as far as I know) or ignored anything anyone else was saying.

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