View Full Version : inlaws taking over Santa duty
12-15-2008, 05:54 AM
Hi I'm looking for some advice. I am on my own for 7 days at christmas while my family go to the in-laws in Jersey. I have always done Santa since they were born. This year they have decided to do Santa and add to my bits with out asking me. I am really furious as this was my only thing i can do for my children solely and put a smile on their faces. I spoke to my MIL yesterday who cannot understand why i am so upset. It is likely to be the last believing Santa trip as my 10 year old is off to senior school in September. Am I over reacting. The family has taken it as i am standing them up as i am not going over, they fail to see nurses have to work christmas. Please help with some advice because it looks like this is going to be a permenant rift. :-( My hub is more worried about upsetting his mum than me. AAAGGHH!!!!
12-15-2008, 10:28 AM
I am sorry, this situation sucks. I think the first one you have to deal with is your husband. He has to be on your side, he is married to you not his mother you have to come first, especially if you think this is going to be a permanent rift between you. I have a lot of trouble with my in laws and I think a big part of it is that my husband was not very supportive of me in the beginning and they were allowed to get away with a lot of things they should not have been. Even now, he is better but has a tendency to ignore things that happen rather than address them so I am stuck dealing with a lot more than I probably should. My sister is a CNA and has to work holidays too, I understand how much it must stink especially when you have children. So, are your husband and kids going there without you? Can I ask why they don't stay home and celebrate with you while you are home? What is your shift like that day?
12-15-2008, 07:25 PM
I have a similar problem. My parents have been buying Christmas presents for my kids all year! They are going to get so much stuff! Not only am I worried about overload, but what is left for me to get them? I feel really bad, but don't want to say anything because they spend so much money and I don't want to seem ungrateful. I wish they would ask me what the girls would like instead of just getting them everything under the sun. Thankfully the girls are only two- but I'm worried that when they grow up grandma's presents are going to overshadow ours! I'd like to see the joy on their faces from something I got them.
Am I really being ungrateful and selfish?
12-15-2008, 10:05 PM
I have been struggling with this for months now. My MIL has been buying, buying, buying, and it's driving me crazy for several reasons. First, I don't want my son to have everything that exists. Second, I want to buy him certain stuff. Third, he doesn't play with half of the stuff she buys him so it's usually a waste of money. Fourth, my husband and I don't have a lot of axcess money right now and instead of buying my son toys constantly I suggested she buy him diapers. I have told her ALL of these things SEVERAL times and she still keeps buying toys. Just tonight she called to tell me she bought him another Christmas book (he's gotten 3 already) after I just told her two days ago to please stop. I'm tired of feeling like an ungrateful brat, but I AM MOM and this is stupid. Like some people, my husband seems to always take her side over mine which is a whole other issue entirely.
*sigh* I guess that's why we have places like this to get things off our chests, even if we are powerless to change anything!
12-16-2008, 08:03 AM
Maybe you could ask your MIL to give you a gift receipt so that if the kids don't play with the toys you can return them "to get something they will really love so that the money isn't wasted" (or so you can get the $$ to buy something useful like diapers). If she won't do that, try to find out where she got the stuff and just return what the kids don't play with or what you don't want them to have for store credit. If both of those things don't work, just donate the extra toys to charity.
The grandparents are buying so much stuff because that is probably the only way they can think to interract with the kids. Maybe your husband can suggest to them that they take the kids to the zoo or DO something with them rather than buy stuff. Have him try to explain your family's non-materialistic values. Just like tierrajo1 said, you MUST have the hubs on your side in order for this to work.
12-16-2008, 09:22 AM
My grandmother did that too my step mother in the sense that she would spend alot of money on my sister. More than my step mother could afford to do. The solution was easy. She asked my grandmother to take half of the budget that she would spend on my sister for Christmas and her birthday and buy her savings bonds each year with that money. This way my sister has alittle college money in the future in stead of a ton of toys she doesn't play with now.
12-19-2008, 08:52 AM
It almost sounds like your ILs are confusing love with material items. Are they long distance? If so, maybe it's their subconscious way to make up for time they're not spending with their grandkids.
As for the ILs playing Santa, hopefully your husband will support you. Would it help to point out to them that you and your husband can't keep up the level of gifts that they're planning on? Or, maybe just send a bunch of unused toys up with your husband saying the toys are to stay at grandma's for when the kids visit?
Growing up, my mom and her family worked out a budget on how much was to be spent on the tiers of relatives (parents, immediate family, nieces & nephews, grandkids). If grandparents wanted to give more than that, then they bought a savings bond or something similar that we could use when we got older; or, contributed to a "Santa" present. This was _really_ helpful when we got older because one grandparent had asked that the money be used for investment items such as college or a house down payment and another had asked we use it for a big ticket wish (I used part of mine for study abroad and the rest to start a Roth IRA). It was also a nice ongoing present from one grandparent who died when we were at an early age.
Additionally, when it came to Santa, we never received everything we wanted. Typically we received 3 Santa presents (within a set budget) plus a couple smaller relative/parent presents. This also helped my parents out when money was tight because we didn't expect to get everything.
The other thing my parents did was coordinate presents. They knew what everyone was giving us to avoid duplicates. My sibling now does something similar where they provide a very short, different list of varying price ranges to each person so things aren't duplicated but still a nice surprise. It makes it a lot of fun and items not purchased are kept in mind for future present possibilities.
In seeing how much my nieces & nephews are receiving from their other relatives (in-law side), my husband and I have already established that once our future kids have xz number of toys then for every new toy s/he gets an old toy (in good condition) needs to be donated to a child who needs one. Hopefully, the side effect will be instilling the spirit of Christmas with a 'Santa was nice to you, now you get to be like Santa for someone else.'
01-08-2009, 12:47 PM
Your hubby should support you emotionally, not his mom. In addition, he needs to take it upon himself and discuss this with his parents as he has had the longer relationship with them, not you. Of course, since not only do you work this holiday, but it might be the last you can take joy from playing Santa, that this is so important for you. Perhaps your IL's can just give the kids gifts from them, instead of Santa. Unfortunately, it smacks as if your MIL thinks she knows better than you (and your name is on your kids' birth certificates, not hers!) and is quite arrogant enough to step over appropriate boundaries. Why wasn't just giving the kids gifts from their grandparents enough? Perhaps she is doing the passive-aggressive thing because she's upset you're not joining them for holidays? God bless and good luck!
01-26-2009, 08:58 PM
Wow, I love this place! I thought I was the only one that goes through all of this! My MIL buys and buys and buys and buys. One day, I JOKINGLY said "Wow, there is nothing left for me to buy him!" And she got pissed. Drives me NUTS!
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