If I didn't care about their feelings, would I have bothered to post here for advice?
No, it doesn't bother me that they have different interests than me. I don't think that they are hypocritical or pathetic. I think that they are human. But they aren't used to me doing anything differently from the way they think is best, so they would get upset and jump to the conclusion that I think so. My whole life i have had a hard time disagreeing with them. They are very hard to disagree with. They are so certain that their way is best, and so critical of anything different. Even as a teenager, I did exactly what they wanted all the time.
My dad had a real problem with it when my husband and I gave up drinking for a while. He jumped to the assumption that we were judging him for drinking. He got very upset that we didn't want any alcohol in our home. So, when we invited them for dinner, he mixed his own drink in a jar and brought it.
There is really no easy way to do anything differently from them without causing a problem, unless you don't let them KNOW that you are doing something different.
When I use the ornaments as a teaching tool, I would say something along the lines of how sneaky marketing campaigns can be and how their mother fell for it for a long time before she realized it. Just a warning to look out for anything tricking you into buying something.
And I really can't see myself breaking anything. That doesn't do any good for anybody.
|The more you decide that your life has to be only "your" traditions, the more you destroy your relationship with others. It sounds like you don't feel you have anything in common with your family, but by rejecting their attempts to share in a tradition you both can share, you are just pushing them away. You're effectively saying you don't want to continue the relationship anymore because there is nothing left in common that gives you reason to continue it. They find joy in purchasing items to show love while you don't. The relationship can continue if you both would be willing to compromise. It sounds like you don't want to compromise. You're shutting out your family when you shut out the things they find important. I can understand shutting out someone because they endanger your child physically, but it's a gift. I would just say thank you, knowing that someone loves you and your child enough to make notice of you and gift you something. If you reject their gifts and their traditions, and discount the things they enjoy, you may just find they don't call as much, slowly stop visiting, and eventually Grandma and Grandpa are just some strangers you see once a year, if at all (because typically you don't spend time with people you don't have anything in common with).
They're ornaments. Pretty, decorative, things that you put on the Christmas tree, to remember the year, and to remember the person who cared enough about you to give you it in the first place. They prefer the Hallmark ones. If that's what they find most beautiful, then I don't see it any different than someone saying that they prefer to get wooden toys over plastic toys. Each has a reason for wanting what they want.
I would find a way to compromise, in which you don't discount their choices. We all put stuff on our wishlists. Apparently Hallmark ornaments are what your family wants. When you get someone a gift, it's typical to get them something they want and will enjoy. So I don't think it's evil to buy them a Hallmark ornament when that is what they were asking for for Christmas. And while you didn't really want a Hallmark ornament for a gift, it's still nice that someone considers you important enough to spend their money on. I'm sure they get a thrill out of picking out the perfect ornament to give you and your child. Why deprive them of that joy?
Wow, a lot of assumptions there. There are a lot of family traditions that we think are great. In fact, this is the only one I can think of that I am not thrilled to participate in anymore. Who said I am not willing to compromise? I have compromised on everything my whole life. I have been a pushover. If I can't ever do one thing differently from what my parents would do, what kind of pathetic person am I? And no, it isn't really a gift. It isn't about someone selecting an item and giving it to another. It is more about each person selecting for themselves. Also, we see them all the time.
|And I would not "drop" them. I know they are yours and you are technically free to do whatever you want with them, but I am guessing your mom would rather just take them back if that is to be their fate.
I don't know if they would want them back. I don't think they envision them as having any value to anyone but me.
|DH's family had traditions, and my family had traditions...and with our own famly we are doing some, but not many of them. Instead, since we are a new family, we have chosen to have our own traditions. I don't think either family feels offended by that. If we hapen to spend the holidays with one family or the other, we would participate with THEM doing THEIR traditions, but when we celebrate, we do our own.
I could be very content with that. My ILs aren't offended if we do something different from them. But my parents are. Their thinking is "what is wrong with the way we do things?" My sister visited me after I wrote the OP. She told me my father made some comment to my mother about being fed up with me doing things DH's culture's way. I asked my sister what we do that way? She said as far as she could see, only the baby's name.
|There are plenty of corporations more insidious than Hallmark. It's not worth hurting your parents over.
It is not the specific corporation. It is the idea of some kind of loyalty to a corporation whereby you must go out and buy their product on a schedule.
|You have to remember, they grew up in a very different time, when advertising and large corporations had less of an impact and people were less aware.
Yes, and I grew up in a different time from my son, and I hope he will be more aware than I am. I hope to raise him in a way that he is not gullible and preyed upon by corporations, or anything else. I hope he can grow up with his eyes sharply attuned to it, and point out to me the chains on myself that I can't see.
P.S. I think my parents are great. I think they were virtually ideal parents. Both are interesting and intelligent and exposed me to so many different things. They had a lot to teach. I credit them for me turning out the way I did. I can count on one hand the things about them that I don't want to find in myself, but think of thousands of things about them I wish I have in me.