ARRGH! My MIL is a Xmas nightmare!!

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by mookie, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. mookie

    mookie <font color=FF6666>Wow, am I in a wierd mood tonig

    Mar 30, 2005
    :furious: :furious: :furious: :furious: :furious:

    Okay, I guess that is being harsh. But I swear it happens every year. DH mom is very generous at Xmas. I mean VERY generous. At least 1,000 on each grandchild. There has been many talk about how hard it is to teach your child values when "Mimi" is always buying gifts at the drop of a hat. When DH and I went on vacation a few weeks ago, DD got over 200.00 worth of stuff while she stayed there!!!! (She was only there 4 days!!) So, you can imagine how Xmas is...

    Anyway, back to my point. Every year, my MIL starts shopping early. She swoops up everything that she possibly can for these kids that's in their age group. The tough part is that it leaves my mom and even us without anything to get our kids!! My dd is now starting to finally "get" Santa. She's been really excited about making a list, etc. Well, MIL asked "what is Maddie asking Santa for Xmas this year?" Guess what?!!?! DH told her!!! You guessed it, she then went out and bought everything. This would be nice if she then gave it to us or to "santa." But she keeps it for herself, and says it's all from her!!!

    I swear MIL might as well be Santa Claus. Nobody else can even touch her, and the kids get more stuff there then they do from Santa, because Santa has nothing left to give them..."mimi" has swallowed it all up.

    Okay, just had to vent...I should be used to this by now, but it still irks me every year. And no matter how many times we say something to her, she never listens. :sad2:
  2. klfrech

    klfrech DIS Veteran

    Apr 1, 2000
    I'd fix her wagon. She sounds like a control freak to me. Why can't you buy the "Santa" presents first, have your daughter open her presents from Santa first, and have dear grandma give her anything that Santa hasn't already given her? Yes, it will cause tremendous trouble, but how else do you get through to someone like her? I swear, these MILs sometimes forget what it was like to be a daughter-in-law themselves. They want to be the biggest, the best, etc... Guess what? Their son married you and your children will always love you more. That's the part they can't accept.
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  4. HLAuburn

    HLAuburn DIS Veteran

    Apr 26, 2005
    Hmm I think if this is the only problem you have with your MIL, you should count your blessings! :thumbsup2
  5. patsal

    patsal <font color=FF3399>I've discovered I don't need to

    Jul 10, 2001
    My Mom is like this. FOr my Mom it is making up for a lack of things she can't control with what she can. For years it was a huge problem. As your children get older they will change how they ask for things making this bunches easier. My Mom used to ask me what I was getting the kids and then she'd run out and get it call me and tell me I'd better remake my list because she had it all so ha ha ha. :confused3 She would do this for Birthdays, Chrismas, anything that had a gift attached to it. Now that my Dad is retired and the kids are older we have a more organized way of handling it. Each child comes up with a list, I prescreen it, and email it to my Mom. I only let her "have" so much and now she has 4 other grands and a more fixed income so it works out.
    I would have a heart to heart with your DH explain the dilemma, and ask for his support in shortening the grandma list. Even if he starts slowly with giving her half the first year and then down to a quarter the next year. Besides with $1000+ per year you can't possibly be able to walk through the toys in your house! The other thing that seemed to work for me was a threat my Mother made and I called her on it--something like "you sold something I gave you, now I won't buy you anything else" Yup I sold the 12 year olds little tikes preschool ride on toys--I think he would have looked funny trying to ride them down the street! SHe stopped buying quite so much and now realizes that I am not storing what amounted to about $12,000 in toys for eternity. My thought--buy half of what you were going to buy and bank the rest for your child's education or even for a luxury like a car.
    It is sweet that she want to buy for your child, but if you can, talk to her about putting 50% of what she would have spent in savings. Good luck. I know it is hard!
  6. patsal

    patsal <font color=FF3399>I've discovered I don't need to

    Jul 10, 2001
    That was always difficult for us. The control freak in my mother knew how to circumvent Santa. SHe has always has a huge get together at her house on Christmas Eve. THere she gives out all the out of the house presents. When I was little I used to think how cool Christmas Eve was at our house, the out of the house stuff would get moved out to make room for Santa. When I was 35 I realized her tactic--I'm a slow learner when it comes to my Mother--it has only been the last four years that I have come to terms with her tactics and motivation. Never underestimate the tactics of the manipulative control freak! :lmao:
  7. NY Disney fan

    NY Disney fan DIS Veteran

    Jun 16, 2005

    Next time tell her "Maddie told Santa she wants a college fund." :rotfl: Then lets' see what Grandma does.

    GOOFY4DONALD DH finished his plate at 50's Prime Time. They wer

    Aug 22, 2006
    I can understand your frustration. My MIL is a control freak as well. BUT... since she got a divorce my MIL (who by the way get her nail & hair done weekly) says she can't afford anything so my kids get nothing. absolutly nothing. She will drop by on Christmas Eve to get her present from us but comes by empty handed. Even 1 item from the dollar store would let the kids know she cares.
  9. mrsboz

    mrsboz DIS Veteran

    Jul 27, 2003
    I wish I had your problem. My kids only have one grandmother. I, also only had one grandmother. They are not the warm and fuzzy type and don't extend themselves in any way. My kids get a check for $50.00 each for Christmas and that is it. No, she is not poor. She is a millionaire. I'm not seeing your problem. I'm not trying to be mean. I guess I just wish I had the problem. Maybe you could return some of the stuff after Christmas and get the money and put it in their account.
  10. mum of two pirates

    mum of two pirates This is how I cook

    Jul 16, 2004
    Tell her the only thing on the list is a week at disney. Tell her that every year. The kids said santa brought it last year and he will bring what I ask for this year. Come on people. My mom would buy the kids tons of stuff and still be in the bedroom christmas eve wrapping more just so they would have more things. My DSIL tried for years to get her to change her ways, Then when I had my kids, I also found it hard to have them with so much stuff becouse I waaaaaaaaaaay overbought also. So now she puts money in my boys accounts she opened for them for collage, on birthdays and christmas and then gets them a bottle of soap for the bathroom (the clear kind with an animal on the inside) and one small thing. It used to be a beanie babie when the kids were into them. They and I love the soap every time and then they take better care of the toy.

    Maybe you should talk to the kids about the santa list and then not tell DH and only tell him about half of the list. Start making the kids santa list a secreat. Like as soon as they write it or finish it mail it off to santa and tell them if they tell, santa will know. Tell her things like a laptop. A new sister, :rotfl2: or a cruise. That might get her, or if not you get a familey vacation. Its a win for you as long as she doesnt come. Good luck.
  11. Disneyglobegirl

    Disneyglobegirl DIS Veteran

    Mar 16, 2002
    Maybe you should tell MIL that the kids want a Disney trip for Christmas :)
  12. ogreenlee

    ogreenlee <font color=green>i surely didn't want to have to

    Jun 6, 2006
    My MIL has always spent a fortune on the entire family for Xmas. She has two sons, and my dd makes two granddaughters, and that's it. Well I had to sit down last year and tell her the truth about trying to keep up with her. We were going into debt making sure that we got each person in the family a whole lot of stuff.

    She was so relieved. She felt like since she was the Grandma/Mom that it was her duty to get more for the family than her own son. She was trying to make sure each year that she had more than what we were going to give. We've all been going broke. :lol

    So, starting this year, we've said that we'd let her get us one nice gift each, and stuff our stockings... but she was welcome to do whatever for the grandkids.
  13. bamamom

    bamamom DIS Veteran

    Jul 5, 2005
    At least she buys MIL will ask what they want and then say I'm getting the item. THen come Christmas Eve the kids will open their gifts and that item or items want be there. We will quietly ask "Where is whatever?" and she will say oh I never made it to the mall or where ever to pick that up :furious: but she has time to buy them junk that don't want or are too old for or something like that!!
  14. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

    Aug 29, 1999
    I feel your pain. My mother is on a fixed income but that doesn't stop her from buying lots of expensive crap that we don't want or need. We drive to Chicago with presents for 7 people and our car is even more packed on the way home with presents for 3! When we used to go to my mom's for Christmas she would still be wrapping at 2:00 AM. Now we visit my in-laws in Tampa over Christmas (neither we nor they are Christian) on our way to WDW so my DD gets a pile of crap to open in January when we come back. Hannukah is sometimes 3 weeks earlier!
  15. Skatermom23

    Skatermom23 DIS Veteran

    Mar 11, 2004
    I will assume your kids are young now? Just wait till they are teens and she can buy them all the designer stuff they want. I wish my kids had a grandparent who did that!
  16. imsayin

    imsayin DIS Veteran

    May 27, 2004
    I too would love this problem. I would let MIL buy everything, and I would give the kids money for their college fund. My kids also have only 1 grandparent left. She used to not buy them anything for x-mas or their b-days, now she sends something minimal. MIL was more generous when she was alive. My kids have learned that some people give more, some less, some nothing. They accept it, and they know how to properly react to it.
  17. tinan

    tinan DIS Veteran

    Feb 9, 2005
    I would try not to let it get to you too much. I mean I understand your frustration, but seriously if that is the only problem you have with her than I would say you are doing pretty well. You know she could be buying the kids so much because she misses raising her own, perhaps she can now afford for the grandkids what she may not been able to for her own kids, or perhaps she realizes she is getting older and no one is around forever. I'm not sure what her reasons are for wanting to do this. What I would suggest is that either you or your husband talk to her and ask her if she would mind/be willing to sign some of the tags from santa and tell the kids that he left some presents at her house from him. When mine were younger, at first, I too was upset that this or that was coming from this person or that person, but in all honesty does it really matter who it comes from? I think it's the adults that worry about that more than the kids. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.
  18. disneyvacalover

    disneyvacalover Mouseketeer

    Mar 20, 2003
    No offense, but must be nice. My MIL gives my kids $25.00 each. And she is not poor. My husband and I get NOTHING!!!!!
    You wouldn't believe what she did for our wedding!! CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP!!
    I agess with many other posters. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!!!!!
  19. mickeyfan2

    mickeyfan2 DIS Veteran

    May 21, 2004
    Buy what Santa was going to and make sure the MIL does not see your DD until after Santa's and your Mom's presents have been opened. Then when DD gets a duplicate gift you can just return the one from MIL with the receipts from Santa and put the money into her savings account.
  20. Love the Mouse

    Love the Mouse Mouseketeer

    Aug 15, 2006
    It isn't right that she purchases all of the things that "Santa" should be getting your children for Christmas. I know it is hard enough trying to figure out what to get w/o someone else buying up everything.

    She could be like my MIL. We will be visiting my SIL next month and she told my DH mom that she should get something for my DD. She has seen her 2x since she was born (2 yrs. 5 mos ago).

    She actually had the nerve to complain to my DH...said that she was told to get her own GD a gift.
    I have learned not to expect much from her (although I am surprisingly shocked each time)...this is a woman who purchased a pair of tweezers and gave a check for $10 for my Dh for his Birthday/Christmas/Hannuka presents one year. LOL

    Michaela [​IMG]


    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  21. HeatherC

    HeatherC <font color=blue>Alas...these people I live with t

    May 23, 2003
    I think more of what you're saying has to do with a "respect" issue than the actual presents themselves. She just doesn't seem to respect your feelings and ignores them completely. People like this can't be controlled, but remember its your children. Be firm....tell her that if she continues to ignore your wishes she won't even see the kids at Christmas. I know...sounds really mean...but maybe laying it all on the line will finally get through to her and make for many more "Happy" times with her. You can always be polite, just let her know you're not kidding around this time.

    Best of luck to you.

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