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#31 of 48 Old 12-27-2010, 07:12 PM
 
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In the 17 Christmases dd1 has had, and the 11 dd2 has had, want to know how many gifts they have received in total from one side of grandparents? None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing.

I think you need to be grateful that your kids' grandparents are involved enough and care enough to shower your children with gifts at Christmas. Being ignored is a whole lot worse.
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#32 of 48 Old 12-27-2010, 07:37 PM
 
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i think at 1 and 2 the kids don't need to have a say in what is done with their toys. what would they even say to 20 toys a piece anyway? i mean really that is just nuts. 

i get the whole loving the child and wanting to express it in a material way, but that is just way way too much. even if it was all wooden and natural it would still be over board.

plus i am not a HUGE fan of things used to express love, it is a bit worped and not what i want my kids to know as a way to express their love for someone or how to expect people to love them. 

 

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#33 of 48 Old 12-27-2010, 11:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Irishmommy View Post

In the 17 Christmases dd1 has had, and the 11 dd2 has had, want to know how many gifts they have received in total from one side of grandparents? None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing.

I think you need to be grateful that your kids' grandparents are involved enough and care enough to shower your children with gifts at Christmas. Being ignored is a whole lot worse.


I agree 100%. Your children's grandparents obviously care very much for their grandkids & I highly doubt that they are being generous with gifts just to make you mad.

Is it really a burden to store a few Thomas trains as opposed to just one? My nephews both adore Thomas & they can sit & play with those trains for hours.

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#34 of 48 Old 12-28-2010, 12:53 AM
 
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Another idea is to use it as an opportunity to donate toys to kids who really need the distraction, at Ronald McDonald Houses.

 

http://rmhc.org/how-you-can-help/other-ways-to-get-involved/toy-and-food-donation-program/


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#35 of 48 Old 12-28-2010, 04:23 AM
 
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Can I have your MIL??? PLEASE!  My MIL got my 1 year old socks and the 2010 version of a bear she already has the 2008 version of. She has visited me 3 times in 20 months and she lived across the street. My IL's were so excited.. "there are SO many presents for her!" and there were 2 toys. Two. From 3 families of 4. I could only afford to get her 2 weeble dolls and some dollar store wooden train. This is my whine. I'm not superficial. When I was little my mom use to wrap everything up including the kitchen sink in newspaper so it looked like I got sooo much even if I really didn't get anything. The fun part is the excitement. Maybe I just miss my mom :(

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#36 of 48 Old 12-28-2010, 04:52 AM
 
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I'm going to come back and read the rest of the replies, but I have to say that I can truly relate to this.  I spent time this year looking at magazines of natural, organic, and fair-trade toys and wishing that people would just spend the money and buy one or two of those items rather than 50 cheap gifts.  Both my mom AND my MIL do this.  Mom gave me 4 bags of gifts to put under the tree.  MIL has Christmas at her house at 3pm every year, despite my protests to DH.  She buys all the grandchildren a TON of gifts.  For example, I mentioned Mr. Potato Head this year because my kids are 4, 3, and 2, and like to put things together and I know no one will actually take the time to buy the gifts I really want...and the kids got 5yes.gif plus tons of accessories.


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#37 of 48 Old 12-28-2010, 01:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eepster View Post

The toys belong to your DC, I feel they need to have say in what is done with them.

 

 
Given that the kids are 3 and 1, I can't agree. How is a twelve month old or even a three year old going to answer, "Would you like to keep this doll or that doll? Would you like to donate that one to charity or Freecycle it?" Edited to add: And the implied question of: "Would you rather make your grandmother happy by keeping everything or  make your mother happy by getting rid of it?" The kids don't need to be in the middle like that.
 
And even if they were old enough to choose between toys, I think that a huge inflow like this is just too much of a burden of choice to put on them. The grandparents need to respect the parents' wishes, and if they don't, I see zero problem with the toys going straight to charity without so much as entering the home.
 
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#38 of 48 Old 12-28-2010, 02:07 PM
 
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My ils also overwhelm the kids at Christmas time. Even when my mil consciously "cuts back," it's still waaayyy too much.  This year, I stashed a bunch of the gifts (unwrapped even and the kids didn't care) in a closet to give as birthday gifts to little friends throughout the year.  


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#39 of 48 Old 12-28-2010, 02:12 PM
 
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OP, you have my sympathies.

My Story:
When my oldest 2 were newborn and 2 yo this happened to us. The details were slightly different in that we were living in Germany and flew to the inlaws for the holiday. Dd open zero presents obviously and ds1 opened 1 or 2 presents, declared that he was happy and wanted some food. So we fed him. eat.gif Later, dh and I opened the rest of the gifts, packed them in boxes, put them in my in-laws basement and flew home (without the boxes). Years later we still hadn't gotten to the boxes. For several years after than she gave a book, a toy, and an outfit or coat. It was lovely. This year we have five children ages 3-14 and she sent the family a check so we could get what we wanted. I felt a little put out because she declared that we were just an item on her to-do list and this was the easiest way to cross it off. Maybe I just can't be pleased?

Why I told it:
I think you can affect change. You might even like it. Relationships take work for the duration, just because you take action once and it seems to have helped doesn't mean that the situation or your outlook won't change again. I wish parts of my extended family situation was different but I don't have it so bad, mostly because we are so spread out geographically.

You don’t owe them an explanation, just a response.
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#40 of 48 Old 12-28-2010, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babygirlie View Post

Can I have your MIL??? PLEASE! 


Yes.  When can you fly out and get her?  lol.gif

 


Quote:

Originally Posted by clutterwarrior View Post

Another idea is to use it as an opportunity to donate toys to kids who really need the distraction, at Ronald McDonald Houses.

 

http://rmhc.org/how-you-can-help/other-ways-to-get-involved/toy-and-food-donation-program/


Lovely idea!  Thanks!

 

As to the rest of your posts, it's sooooooo validating to hear that as the OP, I'm not the only one with these (ahem!) issues. 

 

Your responses are quite......diverse!  I've been mulling over my own guilt and questioning whether I am indeed ungrateful.  After giving it much thought, however, I think I'm more with the "set-your-boundaries" people than the "suck-it-up-and-be-grateful people."  There's no offense intended to the latter camp. ( In fact, that approach might work better with your family, and you should definitely stick with it if it does).  Here's my own reasoning: I made a polite and fair request, and she chose not to respect it.  So my frustration is fair.  It's based on her boundary violation, not my ungratefulness.  The issue is more than an invasion of gifts; it's an invasion of our family and the values that we hope to instill in our children. 

 

Thank you again for all of the replies.  I had no idea that this was as tender of an issue for others as it is for me. 


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#41 of 48 Old 12-28-2010, 06:08 PM
 
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Quote:
 

It's based on her boundary violation, not my ungratefulness.  The issue is more than an invasion of gifts; it's an invasion of our family and the values that we hope to instill in our children.

 

Quote:
 

I get what you're saying, I really do. But I also think one needs to choose one's battles. With my first baby, I was rather precious (not saying this is you -- it was me) about him only playing with Waldorf-type stuff, non-licensed merchandise etc... etc... And I used to get mad when other people didn't get that and repeatedly gave us stuff outside the boundaries that I had set. After baby #4, I'm just happy that people think of my kids at all, and I no longer feel like I need to control how they do that. If we get stuff I really, really hate or just don't have the space for, I have no trouble getting rid of it. But I don't get all worked up about plastic (which was my big issue) anymore -- I just relegate it to the sandpit until it breaks. I guess I just feel like I have bigger fish to fry now that my little ones are getting older and exposed to all sorts of different influences and perspectives in the big, wide world. I'd get worked up if the relatives gave us racist or religiously intolerant stuff, but if they just want to ship way too much material stuff at us, then I just feel grateful for the opportunity to teach the kids about need vs. want, crap vs. quality, sharing personal wealth with charities by donating useful possessions etc.. etc... It can be a great learning opportunity, and maybe you could be grateful to your MIL for funding that IYWKIM? That might help ease some of your angst, which is ultimately hurting you more than it's hurting anyone else, and save you from having another miserable Christmas if your MIL doesn't change.

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#42 of 48 Old 12-28-2010, 11:20 PM
 
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it didn't sound like it was a type of toy issue as much as a mass amount of stuff issue. it's one thing to get a couple toys a piece another to have the kids overwhelmed with stuff. you can't even enjoy any of it when there is so much of it. 

 

OP i have to agree with you, it is more of a boundary issue then being ungrateful. (at least that is how it sounds to me).

 

 

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#43 of 48 Old 12-30-2010, 06:42 AM
 
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Growing up, we only got 3 or 4 gifts from our parents and *maybe* a family gift from an aunt.  I don't really understand how people find such an overload of gifts enjoyable or desirable.  We'd much rather have things spread out so we can appreciate them...  My ds took days to open gifts when he was 3.  And this year, he wanted to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas instead of getting all his gifts on the 1st day.

 

OP, I'd totally just go through the toys and put away things for a rainy day.  Since they are so young and changing, some of those things might be nice later during the year.  You can break up the train set (you did say they got an extra train set or am I thinking of a different thread?) and add new pieces every so often to keep it fresh and interesting.  If there is something redundant or something I truly don't think dc will like, I'd return it or donate it.  Yes, these gifts were given to your child, but it's ok in my book to protect your child from being overwhelmed.  It's ok to prevent your home from being filled with an excess of toys.  You are the one that has to clean and organize them, after all.  The bottom line is whether your child is happy.  People might project how they or their children would feel if their toys were donated but what matters is how your kids feel.  This year, they probably don't care.  They may care in future years and you can be sensitive to their opinions at that time.    


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#44 of 48 Old 12-30-2010, 06:31 PM
 
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hug2.gif

 

I totally understand. Dd and I had just gone through her room and gotten rid of a lot of plastic stuff and little tiny choke-hazard type things (ds will be crawling soon), and what did she get for Christmas? A lot of plastic stuff and little tiny choke-y things. She did get some absolutely wonderful items that dh and I would not have been able to afford that she will definitely use (like a little pottery kit and rock polisher), but it's just the mass number of presents for the sake of presents thing . . . presents that are there to fill up  space or bought out of guilt or just there to check off a name on the list, when really we'd be happy with a family night together or activity or so SO happy with a handmade item or even smth gifted to a charity in lieu of a gift---but that's all way too "far out" for our extended fam, gotta love 'em!

 

I don't have any solutions, just wanted to let you know that I relate.

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishmommy View Post

In the 17 Christmases dd1 has had, and the 11 dd2 has had, want to know how many gifts they have received in total from one side of grandparents? None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing.

I think you need to be grateful that your kids' grandparents are involved enough and care enough to shower your children with gifts at Christmas. Being ignored is a whole lot worse.

 

See, we have grandparents on my side like that too, which I'll not go into, but yeah, it hurts, esp. when they are so involved with the "other" grandkids. So I get where you're coming from. But if my dp's parents (or my parents) basically filled my living room with way too much stuff for my kids to even handle, then I still would be overwhelmed and upset, regardless of absent grandparent situation.

 

Too much is too much and zero is zero! We seek the middle road! ;)


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#45 of 48 Old 12-31-2010, 08:25 AM
 
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Quote:
 
 If we get stuff I really, really hate or just don't have the space for, I have no trouble getting rid of it. But I don't get all worked up about plastic (which was my big issue) anymore -- I just relegate it to the sandpit until it breaks. I guess I just feel like I have bigger fish to fry now that my little ones are getting older and exposed to all sorts of different influences and perspectives in the big, wide world. I'd get worked up if the relatives gave us racist or religiously intolerant stuff, but if they just want to ship way too much material stuff at us, then I just feel grateful for the opportunity to teach the kids about need vs. want, crap vs. quality, sharing personal wealth with charities by donating useful possessions etc.. etc... It can be a great learning opportunity,

I have taken this view...for the most part, though after 8 years, my MIL finally got it through her head not to go crazy with the craptastic toys.

 

I have felt the SAME way in the past about being completely overwhelmed with the junk.

 

I even had lists of things for people to buy and NOT to buy on both sides of the family.  My side understood.  My SIL emailed me back and told me how UNChristian I was to be dictated what people shouldn't buy for my kids.

 

This year, though, thankfully, it was much less of a problem.  We just had a slightly different problem (which really isn't a problem).


MIL spent about 3-4 months making these huge, child-sized, Raggedly Ann dolls for my three girls and the two oldest aren't into dolls so much anymore.  They are nicely constructed...but a tad bit creepy.  My 5 year old kept crying about it when we brought them home and would NOT go in the same room with one of those dolls.  She's better now about it (I think).  But these things are HUGE...take up a lot of space, were played with for one day.

 

On the one hand...a lot of time and love went into those gifts.  On the other hand...they just lay around the house getting tripped over.  We will NEVER be able to get rid of them...because so much time and love went into them and they are personalized with each of their names...but I think they are creepy too.

 

Oh well...maybe they can make their way under the beds to be pulled out when Grandma comes over.

 

 


 


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#46 of 48 Old 12-31-2010, 12:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Miss Information View Post


I have taken this view...for the most part, though after 8 years, my MIL finally got it through her head not to go crazy with the craptastic toys.

 

I have felt the SAME way in the past about being completely overwhelmed with the junk.

 

I even had lists of things for people to buy and NOT to buy on both sides of the family.  My side understood.  My SIL emailed me back and told me how UNChristian I was to be dictated what people shouldn't buy for my kids.

 

This year, though, thankfully, it was much less of a problem.  We just had a slightly different problem (which really isn't a problem).


MIL spent about 3-4 months making these huge, child-sized, Raggedly Ann dolls for my three girls and the two oldest aren't into dolls so much anymore.  They are nicely constructed...but a tad bit creepy.  My 5 year old kept crying about it when we brought them home and would NOT go in the same room with one of those dolls.  She's better now about it (I think).  But these things are HUGE...take up a lot of space, were played with for one day.

 

On the one hand...a lot of time and love went into those gifts.  On the other hand...they just lay around the house getting tripped over.  We will NEVER be able to get rid of them...because so much time and love went into them and they are personalized with each of their names...but I think they are creepy too.

 

Oh well...maybe they can make their way under the beds to be pulled out when Grandma comes over.

 

 


 


 

As you children get older, they will start to appreciate the dolls as a symbol of love from their grandma, instead of just the not so great toys that they are at this point.


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#47 of 48 Old 01-02-2011, 07:13 PM
 
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Oh, I feel for you.  I cannot have any kind of discussion with my mom about gift giving--even if I try hard to be tactful she gets very defensive about it.  I've just come to the conclusion that for some people (who usually have a shopping issue) gift giving is very complicated and something I'm not going to change. 

 

That said, I do chuck some new things after the holidays.  I donate.  I drop off boxes of things at the dump, too.  MIL gave my DD, 5, a bag of "little goodies" that included a Disney princess light up necklace and some kind of weird dollar store toy.  I'll put those in a bag in the closet and when we go on our next long car trip they will be a welcome distraction for a few hours. 

 

One thing that helped me come to terms with weird giving was quitting my job a few years ago.  I'm back at work now, but during the months that I was home and on a supertight budget, I became very grateful for the generosity of my family.  Even though it wasn't always what I wanted or how I wanted it...being, for the first time in my adult life, in a position of need put their gifts in a totally different perspective.

 

I'm sorry your family overwhelmed you!

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#48 of 48 Old 01-02-2011, 09:45 PM
 
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Too much is too much and zero is zero! We seek the middle road! ;)


This. If I were dying of thirst, drowning still wouldn't appeal to me, yk?

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