I suppose it is, joraemi. It's more than thoughtlessness and it isn't just towards me. Her `I can't be bothered´ has cost her friends and family and as she hasn't seen it by now, she never will. The chocolate hurts me more than anything else because I love it so but can't eat it AND because she knows why I can't eat it. It really isn't the same as liking one cookie less than the others.
Magdalena, can we swap MILs? I like yours more
What you described isn't the norm I know and I've been here 30+ years, on and off and up and down. The usual thing in DH's family is to ask a close female relative of the birthday person for present ideas or ask the person themselves if there's anything particular they'd like. MIL used to do that but every single suggestion just got, "I can't be bothered, I'll give you money."
The only other person I know who gave chocolates and money was MIL's mother. But she was bedridden at the time.
It was my 50th last month, we had all the family over for a big do. 2 elderly aunts gave me flowers and money. SIL and I had drawn up a general suggestion list because we knew she'd be the one people would ask. They did and she loved having a list to work from, so I don't think it was bad ettiquette.
Two elderly aunts who can't drive both gave me flowers and money but both also took me to one side and said they hoped I didn't mind not having a present but they thought money was a safer bet. They were so sweet and I didn't mind a bit! MIL gave me money and chocolate. Everyone else, friends and family, gave me presents and insited I open them there and then. It was such a fun time with everyone laughing. MIL sulked. My best friend quickly hid the chocolate so that there wouldn't be a scene. She thought a room full of people saying, "What???!!!" wasn't the best memory to have. I love my best friend
I think your friend is taking a chance with the Kinderschokolade. It's made by an Italian company called Ferrero, did you see the programme `Ferrero-Check´last month? They're one of the biggest buyers of hazelnuts in the world, if not the biggest. Almost everything they make has hazelnuts in them. I've checked their website and it doesn't have any nutritional info, I'll check the packets. But I'd be very surprised if it's safe.
Some of the Rewe supermarkets sometimes sell McVitie's chocolate digestives and they're safe. McVitie's has some of the best allergy info I've ever seen but that's the only product I've ever seen over here and then only occasionally. Cadbury's are another good UK company for allergy info and you can sometimes find them. I discovered the other day that the Maltesers website doesn't list traces of nuts in the nutritional info, so I'm going to keep an eye open for them. I have seen them occasionally but not where I live.
If your friend is into baking, these brownies taste fantastic! I made them at the weekend and nobody could believe there wasn't chocolate in them. http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Fudge_Brownies
There's one left and I've hidden it!