How do in-laws treat you for Christmas?

posted 2 years ago in Holidays
Post # 16
5643 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

You need to step back and accept that them choosing to buy you Christmas gifts does not mean they don’t support you marriage. 

Your parents are giving you money towards your wedding and that’s great, that’s very generous . However many parents hold back on paying for their kid’s wedding not because they don’t have the cash or because they don’t support the marriage but because they believe it is the couple’s responsibility to fund their own wedding that they have planned.

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megm1099 :  

Post # 17
2121 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

“Honestly, the overall guest count is fine, but his mother and stepfather have been a thorn in our sides for a long time.”

So I get the feeling there is more going on here than discomfort for the perceived extravagence of the gifts. It sounds like you would prefer that they help you with the costs of the wedding instead. Fair enough, but I don’t think there’s much you can do about it.

Post # 19
774 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

Ok, slightly different take on this. My in-laws are not wealthy, but really love being able to give tons of presents. They don’t want to help in practical ways, but do want to stretch their budget to giving tons of gifts that no one wants. I get earrings (my holes closed up before I even met them due to non use), jewelry (I don’t wear jewelry), fancy scarves, head bands, knick knacks, and lots of prayer vouchers (I’m an atheist). It’s like the fact that they give lots of gifts is more important than I am or even recognizing that they know me. I do have a son and he is the only grandchild. They want to give him the biggest, cheapest stuff they can find so it will make a big splash and 100% ignore what we suggest when they ask for ideas. I don’t sympathize with this desire. Some humility is called for.

At the end of the day, it’s their business what they do. I still give them gifts that are within our budget (we don’t try to match the level to which they go) and just don’t feel any obligation to hold onto what is given to us. Suffice it to say we do not have a close relationship, but it is polite.

I really don’t understand the need to show generosity with numerous unwanted gifts that show zero knowledge of the recipient. The first year or so it’s understandable, but after knowing people for several years…thoughtful gifts are kind. Gifts just to be gifts …that’s more about the gift giver feeling good about themselves than displaying any actual care about the recipient. 

Post # 21
2310 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

You can’t stop someone from giving to you. Some people love to give.  I’m one of them. I put so much thought into my presents & I get so much excitement from them upwrapping them.  Let it be 

Post # 22
333 posts
Helper bee

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megm1099 :  my grandparents are like this.  They buy us lots of crap we dont need and waste their money on nonsense.  It may sound ungrateful, but its flat out annoying to get stuff you cannot use and do not want.  They dont respond to specific requests because they like picking out the gifts they like.  We recently were gifted an entire pot set when we already had a pot set that was of higher quality already. That round we also got bubble bath and a pop corn maker for the microwave.  (We don’t own a microwave or a bathtub.)

These gifts take up space.  I have to find a way to get rid of them, and my grandmother expects effusive praise for the gifts.  I would prefer they stop with the gifting as they do not have much money.

However to say any of this to my grandparents would deeply wound them.  They do this to everyone.  It makes them happy so everyone in the family ooooohhhs and awwwwws over their gifts.  Just be polite and dont say anything. 

If anyone were to say something, it should be your Fiance.  However based on my experience, your FIs family will not change their behavior.  I would just accept the gifts with grace and donate or get store credit for the things you can.

Post # 24
842 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

OP, I totally get it. My in-laws are the exact same. I grew up in a lower middle class family with only one parent who worked.  I have 3 siblings so our christmases were usually pretty “humble”. We got about 50$ in gifts per child.

My husband on the other hand is an only child and comes from a pretty well off family, and his parents spoil the shit out of us at Christmas. Last year they dropped probably close to 500$ on me alone, and another 1000$ on “couple gifts” for us. It makes me uncomfortable because it’s almost like an overwhelming amount of stuff and I feel like I “owe” them for getting me so much… even though I know they just spend that much cause they enjoy giving gifts and they love me, and they’re not expecting anything in return. I’m lucky though because they usually will ask my husband what I want for Christmas, because I always tell them “nothing, honestly!” Because I feel awkward telling them what I would like. 


However, I think your main issue is that you are probably not so much uncomfortable with the fact that they give you gifts, but what the gifts are.. and if they are being this generous spending their money at Christmas that you would assume (read: not expect) that they would help with the wedding. Of course bees are going to tell you it’s their money, they don’t have to help fund the wedding, be grateful etc.. etc.. but I do understand your frustration. Unfortunately I don’t think there’s much you can do about it except maybe return/ sell the gifts that you don’t want and use that money towards the wedding haha.. 

Post # 25
324 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I don’t understand why you’re complaining that even as a Girlfriend, they gave you the same gifts as their own daughters. 

Personally id be flattered by the gesture. 

I’ve tried to reach my kids to be gracious, not matter what the gift.

I understand that perhaps you can’t use everything, however you come off a bit ungrateful. 

You can “wish’ they’d put that money towards your wedding instead, but it’s not your place to dictate how they spend their money.

If they enjoy sending you 50 gifts, let them enjoy it. Really seems like something silly to get upset about. 

Post # 26
699 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I think it’s probably a generation or a traditional thing here. They are treating you like family and doing the same for you as they do their kids, which is a lot more than some in laws do. So I say just put up and shut up and donate what you don’t like or need or can’t give to your sisters. 

As for the wedding thing again yes I agree it would be better for you for them to contribute but maybe they come from a traditional family where the brides family pay and that’s it. Yes it’s the 21st century and life isn’t like that anymore but some of the older generations still work to those old traditions. 

I struggle with my in laws at times like Christmas because they insist that I ask for something specific and I was brought up in a household where it was rude to ask for specific gifts, you just be grateful for what people want to buy you, especially as you don’t know peoples budgets or incomes etc… it was really hard for me to adjust to that, I’m very conscious of being too greedy or asking for something out of their budget, but if I ask too cheap they insist I ask for more, so now every year I ask for something about £20 in value and they get that and usually some other things to go with it. I’m not comfortable with it still, however I have adjusted to it because they won’t change and the one year I didn’t ask , I got some random junk I donated to charity.

Post # 27
2443 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

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megm1099 :  This will be our first Christmas as a married couple but before we were married my in laws got me gifts, small things like candles, or like a chrome cast which was actually very useful. 

These things obviously don’t cost much, I would feel really uncomfortable with my in laws spending $300 on me so I feel you there. 

I would prefer that we just skip the gift giving, or even just gift receiving. My husband and I don’t mind giving gifts (although we suck at figuring out WHAT to get anyone) but we both hate receiving gifts from his family.

I’d probably just keep accepting the gifts… you can’t really tell her how to spend her money and she’s obviously just trying to be sweet and treat you like family.

Post # 28
324 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

Looking back at your history OP you’ve posted several times complaining about your in laws. 

Sounds like you’ve got multiple issues with them so as far as the gift thing………LET IT GO! 

Post # 30
1482 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

They obviously get enjoyment out of giving you things that they took the time and care to pick out, rather than cold hard cash.  That’s part of Christmas spirit and not being a Grinch too, to not begrudge gift-givers the warm fuzzies they get from gifting people, even if it’s not quite what you’d like.  

I’d rather get all gift cards too. Yet every Christmas I come home with a box full of objects that I don’t even open for months because I didn’t need or want them.  I just let it go because I get it, I get a larger hit of dopamine too out of giving a hefty box beautifully and painstakingly wrapped (I spend a lot even on artisan wrapping paper, ribbons, gift bags etc.), than I do a card with a gift card inside.  There’s just something about a biiiiiiig pile of colorful boxes!

Yes it’s selfish in the way that a big part of the reason I gift people is because *I* love it, but there are worse vices, no? Plus I’ve been told I’m really good at gifts 😀 

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