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Opening Gifts Early

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by blacktitleist, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. blacktitleist

    blacktitleist Member

    I've got a problem with something my mother-in-law continues to do.

    Here is how my X-mas festivities unfold. Mrs. Blacktitleist, and our two munchkins head to church and then to my step-mother's house Christmas Eve for our celebration there. My parents were divorced, and my dad got re-married and we always spent Christmas Eve with him. He died six years ago, but we still carry on the tradition with my stepmom, who helped to raise me since I was five.

    Christmas morning, we do our own thing at our house in the morning, then head to my mom's for Christmas breakfast and presents.

    Then we head home and rest before heading to the in-laws for dinner and more gifts. It's the good and bad about having all of our families within about a 15 minute ride of each other.

    My issue with my mother-in-law is that last Saturday, she drops off three gifts each for both of my kids because "she doesn't want her other kids to see how much stuff was purchased for our two." Full disclosure--wife's brother just had a baby four months ago and also has a step-son. They won't be making the trip to her house for Christmas, however, so that kind of shoots her logic down right there.

    Yesterday, she gave my kids two more gifts each to open while they were visiting her at her house for a few minutes. And no, my children did not ask to open the presents. Mother-in-law doesn't think they need to wait for Christmas to open their presents.

    I think she's grandstanding a bit to be the first one to give my kids presents. It's not the first time she's done this, either. Happens about every year for the last three or four years. (kids are 6 and 3).

    Am I making too much of this? I'm all for my kids being happy, but I'm also trying to teach them about Christmas traditions and the art of being patient. The mother-in-law seems to be all about instant gratification, and it bothers me immensely.
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I hear you, went through that a lot and finally put it in the "not a battle worth fighting" category. That's not saying you are wrong but you're not going to do anything to change it and anything you say is likely to piss someone off. So grin and bear it.

    My late mother-in-law had an irritating habit of saying, "Now you can always take it back if you don't like it" for EVERY gift she gave you. Then my wife took something back once and her mom went apeshit.

    One other bit of advice. Avoid saying "because she's a whack job" when your kids get older and start asking why their grandmother does things a certain, annoying way. Talk about stepping in it. Not that I've ever done that.

    YGBFKM Guest

    Let the kids enjoy the early presents. They don't know of any ulterior motives.

    The subject of early gifts reminds me that for a few years during my youth, my mom and I lived in one state while my dad lived in another 600 miles away until he retired. Because of the odd setup, my mom allowed me to open my presents from her and my dad on Thanksgiving. Then, my mom and I would travel to where my dad and the rest of the family lived for the regular Christmas celebration. No idea why my mom did that, but I never argued with early presents.
  4. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    i understand how this would be irksome, but it sure isn't a battle worth waging. now, if grandma DIDN'T give out xmas presents at all, that would be worth a battle.

    but not this. grandparents have their reasons, and yes, ulterior motives are sometimes attached. my advice: turn the other cheek on this one. what, you want to call the xmas police or penalize her for jumping offside?

    just have another eggnog and soak up the sight of your kids opening their presents -- early or not.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!! 8) 8) 8)
  5. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Tell Grandma,

  6. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Yeah, doesn't sound like you AT ALL.
  7. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Agree. Not at all. I would never, ever say anything so insensitive.
  8. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Remember the reason for the... ah nevermind.
  9. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    I'm in Kentucky with the family and we opened our gifts last night for the first time because a.) My mom and I had something to do super early this morning and b.) I had to work right after that. So we did gifts on Christmas Eve. It felt...weird. Like I'm used to doing gifts, then eating breakfast, etc.

    Just felt off.
  10. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    My mother-in-law does the same thing, without any request from our kids. She just enjoys it and it's inconsequential in the overall scheme of things.

    Tell your kids to say "thank you" and don't worry about it.
  11. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    Always remember that "early" for you might not be early for someone else.
  12. Wenders

    Wenders Well-Known Member

    We've got so many families that we're trying to work around that we open gifts when we have the time to open gifts. My parents and I did our gifts on Wednesday night, we did Mom's family last night and we're getting ready to do Dad's family.
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