How do in-laws treat you for Christmas?

posted 2 years ago in Holidays
Post # 31
Member
4842 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

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megm1099 : 

My Mother-In-Law is a like this. Her love language is gift giving. It’s also very cultural as well for her. People from the Philippines follow the custom of gift giving in a strong way and she just follows the custom from her culture. We don’t live near my in-laws but I get boxes of stuff from her periodically. They are filled with nicknacks not to my taste. One year she got me a jade bracelet with  a carved Chinese dragon/lion/dog?? Not sure what it is but suffice to say its not my taste nor my culture. She told me it was a basically a talisman of sorts and if anyone but me touched it I had to cleanse it with salt water to remove the other person’s spirit or juju! 🤔 She sent me home on an airplane with a lot of small bags of special salt to cleanse it. They were in little baggies that drugs are sold in and let me tell you i was very worried at border security because of these baggies of special salt. 😱

My point is just accept it graciously like I do with my mother in law. Its a gift at the end of the day and you have no obligation to use it. My Mother-In-Law lives in another state so I keep things in a box and when she comes I display a few of her gifts. I actually think it is very sweet that my Mother-In-Law thinks of me and treats me like she does her biological children. Throughout the year she takes time to by me things she thinks I need or like. I take it at the value that she loves me and supports her sons relationship with me. 

You are honestly reading this all wrong and not seeing it for what the gift giving is supposed to be. Your Future Mother-In-Law sees you as her family and an extension of her children. She thinks of you through the year when she sees something she thinks you’d like. That’s a huge compliment and I think you need to start seeing it as that and being gracious when she gifts you. It sounds like it’s the not the amount she spends but more what she buys you that bothers you. If it was a gift you liked you would be not so bothered by the cost…. 

Also being able to afford a $300 gift is very different to being able to contribute to an expensive wedding so I don’t really understand you bringing it up here and your logic behind it… 

Post # 32
Member
1250 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

Their behavior about insisting on inviting double the number of guests to your wedding, paying nothing, and threatening not to come if the extra guests weren’t invited is unforgiveable from beginning to end. This is bullying and selfishness and entitlement, and it cost you a lot of money and a lot of guests you don’t want.

It’s a shame you didn’t say, “Fine, don’t come. You don’t get to tell us what to do.” That is a message you’re going to have to get across if you plan on living as independent adults instead of letting them run your lives when they feel like it.

Post # 34
Member
117 posts
Blushing bee

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megm1099 :  Not sure why you mentioned the divorce here – do you feel uncomfortable about the gifts because you feel you are being used as amo for the father during Christmas? Do you feel they give you extravagant gifts to make the father feel insignificant? Or are do you just want to dictate what they give you for Christmas?

Honestly, if the former isn’t accruate, I would do what PP stated and be grateful and move on. Consider yourself lucky that you have in laws that actually care about you during the holidays. My Future Mother-In-Law literally regifts things to me and buys me one or two things that she likes without considering whether or not I would like them, while she gives my boyfriend 30 gifts. 

Post # 36
Member
105 posts
Blushing bee

I’m in your boat, I hate the “but she loves buying stuff for you” words. This is consumerism at its best. Buying unpractical stuff just for the sake of buying. I wouldn’t start a fight at it but for next year, try strongly suggesting Secret Santa or something and recommend that everyone say general ideas of what they would like to get. I understand that for some people it’s hard to let go of their ideas that a cutesy stuffed animal is a great gift but you know, it’s terrible how much junk we have in the end. In my family, we fought to do this Secret Santa with great resistance at first but everyone is very happy with it now. Good luck to you! 

Post # 38
Member
4233 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY

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megm1099 :  Both my mother and in-laws are very generous with gifts, so we’re used to it. I have a great relationship with my Mother-In-Law and she buys me tons of things that I will never use along with really great things that I have enjoyed. You can nicely say that you feel the gifts are too much, but that likely won’t stop it. Graciously accept what you get, keep what you want, and return or donate/re-gift the rest. 

Post # 40
Member
4233 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY

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megm1099 :  Oh, I do. A couple of my friends aren’t so lucky and I hear their nightmare stories all of the time. I’m beyond grateful that I love my in-laws and they love me back, and the same is true of my husband and my family. 

Post # 41
Member
7398 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I see nothing wrong with this at all. They clearly love you and want you to feel like an included part of their family. I think way too many people get hung up on thier inlaws being “bad” simply because they do things differently than how their own family does. Just because your parents give only a couple of nice things doesn’t mean that’s how everyone else does it. Accept the gifts graciously and be glad you have inlaws that don’t hate you or treat you like a stranger.

My Mother-In-Law has always gone all out for Christmas, even back before DH and I were married. She LOVES Christmas and making sure everyone has a lot of presents to open. Can it get annoying to get stuff you don’t want/need? Yes, but it’s the thought that counts. On the flip side my parents, while they love Christmas, aren’t the same when it comes to gift giving. My parents like to put thought into getting you 1-2 really really nice things they know you’ll want/use. Neither parent is better than the other – they’re just different.

 

Post # 42
Member
1579 posts
Bumble bee

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megm1099 :  You just gotta let them do what they are going to do. My boyfriends parents and extended family seem to get each other A LOT of gifts for Christmas. In my family at my age my parents usually just get me plane tickets to come home for Christmas and then a few little things, and a stocking full of little items. His family is a bit much. This is our first Christmas visiting both families and i am bracing myself for his family gift giving. He is spending about 100+ on his brother, sister, brother in law, mom, dad, cousins, and godson. For me I spend 30-50 max on each person in my family. I also don’t mind not getting much which is why i think i am used to giving smaller gifts. But I just let it go. If my boyfriend and his family want to be intense that is fine. I have learned in this process that it isn’t worth being annoyed about. I am getting them what gifts I think is appropriate and i can’t control what they get me. I think it would only be an issue if we get married and I don’t want our family to continue to shell out 500+ dollars a year for extended family gifts. 

Post # 43
Member
851 posts
Busy bee

I don’t see how people think it’s selfish or ungrateful to get a bunch of stuff you don’t want. Why does their desire to give you gifts, again that you don’t want, trump your desire to not get these unwanted gifts? Saying it’s how they show love is a cop out to me. If you don’t even take the time to get to know what someone would like or at the very least ask then I don’t find that very loving. 

Post # 44
Member
4758 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

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megm1099 :  My MIL’s love language is gifts, and I completely understand how you feel. I’m also not really a “things” person (except books, but she laughs when I tell her books when she asks what I want). Unfortunately, though, there’s not a way to slow it down without hurting their feelings. Sometimes the gifts are spot on, more often, I thinks she buys things and THEN decides who to give them to, so they can be pretty far off the mark.

My Father-In-Law is slowly reining her in a bit, but I had to get over the guilty feelings I got for getting rid of gifts and started donating or regifting items I wouldn’t use or didn’t have room for. Once I got past that, I was/am more tolerant of it.

Post # 45
Member
962 posts
Busy bee

I didn’t read all 3 pages but I think on the first few pages people have been a little hard on you.

One thing I’ve learned about gifts (especially with wedding planning) is that for a lot of people it’s not really about the recipient, it’s about the given and how they want to show their love/appreciation and how it makes them feel. Being a gracious gift receiver is an important and not always obvious skill, because while some of the bees are like, “zomg someone bought you something you must show all the gratitude” sometimes it can feel kind of crappy to want or need something simple like “wow $20 would really help out right now” and instead be given $300+ of stuff you DON’T need because that’s what makes the giver feel good. 

For example, some people will need help with the wedding but the grooms family will be intent on only contributing to the rehearsal dinner or something because that’s “their” event. You might think “hey $1000 is a $1000 they should want to help where I need it” but the giver doesn’t always feel that way. 

We kind of have a similar issue with Future Sister-In-Law – she goes crazy with christmas buying us all loads of random crap we don’t really want or need and spends a ton of money on it. Then she’ll spend the rest of the week bragging about how she “won” christmas, so you know the whole thing is all about her though. 

The best way to handle christmas or any gifts (Shower, wedding, etc) is just to remember part of the gift is for *them* and just be gracious. Yeah sometimes it can sting in a weird way, but just remember it’s not all really about you, and also just remember when GIVING gifts to really think about the giver and not play to your own ego if giving good gifts is important to you, you know?

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