Post # 1
No, this is not a rant of ungratefulness lol. We did a big house cleaning and threw away a million pieces of junk that my Mother-In-Law has given us (well, me actually) over the years. Nasty smelling candles, Easter baskets, neck pillows, knicknacks, doodads, and whatchamacallits. Token gifts basically. It’s what she does and I know her intentions are good, but how do we get her to stop? She’s already talking about the plethora of Christmas decorations she’s been hoarding for us (face palm). I don’t want to be rude, but we’re adults and we don’t need little presents from our parents. Household items that we can put to use are always welcome, but trinkets and dust collectors we just don’t have the room for. So what’s a tactful way to tell her to stop buying stuff for us without hurting her feelings?
Post # 3
You can choose to be honest with her and tell her that your tastes are very different.
You can tell her that you want to stop exchanging gifts and sponsor a family together year round instead.
Or, you can keep a box in the closet and put everything into it to donate to your favorite thrift shop, like I do.
Post # 4
- Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California
My Mother-In-Law does the same thing. We humor her & promptly donate them. They usually don’t even make it into our house haha. We don’t say anything because we don’t want to hurt her feelings so we just smile & thank her for thinking of us :]
Post # 5
I wish the stuff was donatable, but they really are items that no one would want. Who the heck wants a used plastic snowman figurine? Not me, and until a few days ago I had dozens of them! Clothes and blankets are donatable absolutely, but this is JUNK.
Post # 6
@Aquaria: Ugh, my parents do this! They are very generous people and have given us some nice things as well, but they are constantly sending me worthless crap- i don’t even know where they find some of this stuff! Last year they sent me a bunch of gumby toys, little plastic wind up monkeys and a plastic tiara on my birthday (along with a bunch of nice Chanel makeup lol!!)- it’s like I’m 28, it’s been at least 20 years since I’ve played with gumby toys.
It is hilarious, and I can always give that stuff away, but last time they came to visit I had to say, “I love you guys, but no more junk! No more trinkents or bobbles or knick knacks, I don’t have the space!” They weren’t mad, they understood. And the junky stuff has slowed considerably, although not stopped entirely.
Post # 7
SInce it’s his mom, I’d ask your SO to talk to her about it.
My mom is super generous and always wants to buy me things, but I”m just really honest wtih her that I don’t want anything I don’t need and that she doesn’t need to buy me things.
Post # 8
My mom is bad with this. I beg her for gift cards for holidays. It might be easier coming from your husband though. I have a hard time throwing stuff out so I usually donate it if I can.
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2010 - parent's backyard
@Aquaria: ugh, I hate that too, so wasteful and bad for the environment. I give them to a thrift store. I’m sure somebody will be happy: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. it’s easier than hurting somebody’s feelings by telling them to stop.
Post # 10
This made me laugh because I would feel the same except I wouldn’t take it.
I HATE clutter and crap in my house. I’d sent it right back hehehe
Post # 11
My Mother-In-Law loves to collect things and loves giving gifts of miscellaneous crap to people.
While I recognize this is her love language, I ascribe to the William Morris philosophy of having nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
Fortunately my Mother-In-Law and I are close enough that I flat out told her last Christmas when she tried to have us leave with boxes full of crap that was DH’s that she had been saving, that we were going to donate or toss most (if not all) of it. She was pretty horrified, but after subsequent conversations about storage space and organization, she’s cut back a lot on gifts and random donations of things from her house. For that I am truly grateful.
But yeah, Darling Husband freaked when I said I was going to tell her what we had been doing with the stuff. It helped that the blow was softened with: this is lovely/very thoughtful/etc, but it’s not my style/we have no room for it/etc.
Post # 12
Ugh, I hate this too. I also feel bad that these people are spending their hard earned money on a bunch of junk I have no use for and don’t even appreciate.
I usually accept it, says thanks, and then toss it in the closet until the next time I move when it gets purged. We bought a house last year though, so I don’t imagine we’ll be moving anytime soon.
Post # 13
Future Mother-In-Law does this too.
She went up north for awhile, and when she came back she had this beer-bottle-shaped (like with amber-colored liquid inside and everything) bottle opener, that was also flat on the back with a magnet to hang on the fridge. It said something liked “Moose Head Beer” with a cartoon moose face. She was all like, “You can use this to open the beer bottles at your wedding!”
It has since mysteriously disappeared….
Post # 14
Hahaha, we have this problem too, but it’s MY mom. Same thing as PPs–it’s her love language. Maybe this is a bit self-serving, but I have tried to start telling her stuff that we actually NEED that’s fairly inexpensive (“Wow, my vegetable peeler is so worn out! Where did you get that awesome one you have?”) so that she will get us stuff we might actually use, lol. But yeah, lots of stuff got donated when we moved to NYC. 🙁
Post # 15
I feel for you. My Future Mother-In-Law (super sweet lady) does the same. Fiance and I are definitely minimalists and we get so much kitsch from her. I dont even know what to do with it all.
Post # 16
@Aquaria: We negotiated with all our relatives to stop giving adults gifts at birthday and Christmas. All of them except my mother agreed without hesitation, and my mother came around eventually, I think they all realised that giving and receiving junk was a waste of time and money. So it’s not “please stop giving me junk” but “I think we’re old enough that we don’t have to give and receive gifts twice a year”.
My mother still occasionally gives junk, mainly stuff she doesn’t need but somehow thinks her daughter will love to have. But it’s not very often so I roll my eyes, accept it and (depending on its size) throw it out or hide it.