Author Topic: Eating a present you gave someone  (Read 10791 times)

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Yvaine

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Re: Eating a present you gave someone
« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2014, 10:42:25 AM »
I agree with what a lot of other people have said. It's fine to bring shortbread as a hostess gift for everyone to eat during the visit. It's fine to bring shortbread as a gift specifically for your daughter. It's totally not fine to present a hostess gift as a gift specifically for your daughter.

If they give it specifically to her, they shouldn't be eating any of it without asking your daughter for permission to have some first. If they don't want to do that, they shouldn't tell her that it's specifically for her. She's too little to understand anything except that all of her treat disappeared unexpectedly.

I also think it was pretty inconsiderate to eat the last two pieces even if it was presented as more of a hostess gift, especially without saying anything to you about it. Presumably, your MIL can make shortbread whenever she wants it. It's a special treat for your family precisely because you can't (or at least, you can't make shortbread that tastes as good). So polishing off what was meant to be a special treat even for your family without so much as a heads up was not a nice thing to do.

I also agree that there's no need to hide your daughter's reaction to finding all the shortbread gone. And you should definitely, in an obvious way, set aside some shortbread for your daughter if they present it as a gift for her the next time they visit. I think you should tell them very plainly that you're setting it aside because your daughter was so upset not to have that last little treat after they left, so you want to make sure you save some for her to eat after the visit is over. If they're behaving this way out of cluelessness, that would hopefully be enough to stop them from eating that share of it.

I agree with all this, plus the bolded. Even if it's a hostess gift, the guest isn't supposed to nom it all--just like if it were wine, the host is not required to serve it while the guest is there, and the guest shouldn't just pop open the bottle and drink the lion's share of it. It's not really a gift to anyone then, it's a BYOB.

Coley

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Re: Eating a present you gave someone
« Reply #31 on: February 18, 2014, 11:02:12 AM »
I agree with what a lot of other people have said. It's fine to bring shortbread as a hostess gift for everyone to eat during the visit. It's fine to bring shortbread as a gift specifically for your daughter. It's totally not fine to present a hostess gift as a gift specifically for your daughter.

If they give it specifically to her, they shouldn't be eating any of it without asking your daughter for permission to have some first. If they don't want to do that, they shouldn't tell her that it's specifically for her. She's too little to understand anything except that all of her treat disappeared unexpectedly.

I also think it was pretty inconsiderate to eat the last two pieces even if it was presented as more of a hostess gift, especially without saying anything to you about it. Presumably, your MIL can make shortbread whenever she wants it. It's a special treat for your family precisely because you can't (or at least, you can't make shortbread that tastes as good). So polishing off what was meant to be a special treat even for your family without so much as a heads up was not a nice thing to do.

I also agree that there's no need to hide your daughter's reaction to finding all the shortbread gone. And you should definitely, in an obvious way, set aside some shortbread for your daughter if they present it as a gift for her the next time they visit. I think you should tell them very plainly that you're setting it aside because your daughter was so upset not to have that last little treat after they left, so you want to make sure you save some for her to eat after the visit is over. If they're behaving this way out of cluelessness, that would hopefully be enough to stop them from eating that share of it.

I agree with all this, plus the bolded. Even if it's a hostess gift, the guest isn't supposed to nom it all--just like if it were wine, the host is not required to serve it while the guest is there, and the guest shouldn't just pop open the bottle and drink the lion's share of it. It's not really a gift to anyone then, it's a BYOB.

I think the wine as a hostess gift is a good comparison. I couldn't imagine bringing a bottle of wine as a hostess gift, opening it myself, and drinking most of the bottle. Or bringing flowers from my garden as a hostess gift and then picking out the lilies to take home with me because I really like my lilies.

The shortbread isn't a gift for the granddaughter if the grandparents are eating most of it. I agree about setting some aside for your DD next time and explaining why you are doing it. They may be oblivious to what they're doing, but to a 3-year-old, "gift" is a rather concrete word.

YoginiSaysYes

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Re: Eating a present you gave someone
« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2014, 11:09:10 AM »
Now I REALLY want some shortbread.  :-[

tinkytinky

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Re: Eating a present you gave someone
« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2014, 11:24:01 AM »
"MIL, the shortbread that you make is delicious! It isn't any wonder why DD love it so much! It is a great treat to have with tea as well, and we love that you bring it! Would you let me know the recipe so I may have the ingredients on hand when you come to visit? We seem to run out so quickly, and DD gets so disappointed when they run out and she has had so few. Maybe you and she could get the dough ready to bake so we can replenish them. She would love to have that experience with you!"

Even a child at 3 years old can help by stirring the ingredients a few times or helping pour them into the bowl. I believe the dough can be refrigerated/frozen so you could just bake a small amount at a time as well.

It doesn't sound like she does this with a vicious agenda, just sort of thoughtless? I think if you come to her from the direction of help me/DD it can be a win/win.

another option is to give her two smaller tins and ask her that if she makes the shortbread, to split them, so when she gives one to your DD she has her own tin that can be put away.


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GreenHall

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Re: Eating a present you gave someone
« Reply #34 on: February 18, 2014, 11:32:40 AM »
I wonder if MIL doesn't eat shortbread at home, either for health reason (sugar, etc); diet reasons; or like me too often, just not bothering to make something for myself at home.

Then the shortbread is a treat for her as well, and she may not consciously realize HOW MUCH of her granddaughter's 'gift' she is actually eating.  (Kind of like the 'if I don't order dessert, it doesn't count if I eat half of yous' mindset?)

Doesn't make it less rude in general, or less upsetting for a 3 year old (or a 33 year old, I assure you).  And I like the idea of asking her to either have a separate container just for the granddaughter, or to not call it a treat for granddaughter specifically.  I also like the idea of Grandma and Granddaughter making shortbread together.

jaxsue

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Re: Eating a present you gave someone
« Reply #35 on: February 18, 2014, 11:51:19 AM »
It strikes me as particularly crazy making that Grandma took the last two (TWO) cookies for herself. She made these treats "for her granddaughter" and then she eats the last of them, leaving nothing for the little girl? It's thoughtless on a level I don't understand.

ITA. I love to bake, and since I'm diabetic I eat very little of what I make. I share with friends/neighbors. However, let's say for argument sake that I could eat my baked goods. If I took it to the neighbors, then proceeded to sit down and eat 95% of it, how is that not rude - especially after making a big deal of it being a gift.  :o

Mikayla

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Re: Eating a present you gave someone
« Reply #36 on: February 18, 2014, 01:29:48 PM »
The grandma taking the last ones when she knows your DD loves them and when she presented them to your DD as HER present is just....wrong.

I agree with the pp who sort of said that this is a matter of perception.  MIL thinks of them more as a hostess gift for your family, but like people do with a lot of little kids, they make things more 'personal' for the child.  So she said they were for your DD when she doesn't really intend that at all.

I don't think it should be hidden from your MIL what happened when she ate the last couple of pieces and left none of your DD's supposed present for her.  Let her know about how upset your DD was and how SHE is perceiving it.  I've had to do this with people (even my DH); "Look, she's a little kid.  She believes you when you say X.  She doesn't understand that you're joking/she doesn't understand the nuances of a household gift."

So before the next visit, I might call MIL on the phone when plans are being made and say something like: "Hey, MIL?  I was just wondering....are you planning on bringing shortbread again like you often do?  Oh, good, that would be wonderful.  Yours always turns out better than mine; you have that touch!  But hey, can I ask a favor?  Usually when you come, you give it to DD and say you made it for her.  When she hears that, she thinks the whole batch is exclusively for her, not that you just happened to make THAT particular thing because she likes it.  She's THREE, and she takes those types of statements very literally and expects that it will all be hers; that it won't be shared among everyone.  Last time, right after you left, she opened the tin to find it all gone, and she was SO disappointed.  She started crying and I just couldn't console her because she wanted HER treat and she didn't understand why it was all gone, already.  Yeah, she REALLY likes your shortbread.  So for the favor .... when you bring it, please don't say it's all for her unless that's really true.  I just don't want her to be disappointed again if she sees everyone eating what she thinks is just HER present. Or if you want to portion some out just for her, and some for the rest of us to share, that would be fine too.  But she needs to know that if someone gives HER something and specifically tells her that, that the thing really is for just HER and other people won't take it."

Sometimes people just need a reminder of the three-year-old mindset, and how they are coming across.

I've read to the end, but I think I like the direct approach best.  For one thing, OP can't control how MIL reacts if she uses hints, like announcing she'll save some for DD.  I think MIL is well intended, but is just unaware of how a 3 year old perceives her statements. 

OP could ask her husband to do it, as well.  It's his mom and his child, too.

QueenfaninCA

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Re: Eating a present you gave someone
« Reply #37 on: February 18, 2014, 01:59:42 PM »
It doesn't matter if its a present for the daughter or a general hostess gift. If you give food as a hostess gift, you don't consume most of it. If the hostess passes it around, you take something, but you don't dig it out of the cupboard. I'd talk to MIL about it (of have DH talk to her).

turnip

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Re: Eating a present you gave someone
« Reply #38 on: February 18, 2014, 02:18:50 PM »
I'm going to go completely against the other posters here...

My MIL visits a few times a year - it is a considerable drive, she stays with us, she often brings food and treats with her.  Frequenlty she brings cookies she knows I am particularly fond of.

I would be _mortified_ if she thought that during her stay she wasn't allowed to eat the cookies she lovingly prepared and brought to our home.  Completely mortified - it goes against all of my ideas of what is required of a gracious hosts.  And I do believe that my children are 'hosts' also.  I would be discussing with my _daughter_ how to graciously accept gifts and how important it is that your guests are comfortable in your home.  I would be working with my _daughter_ on saying "Thank you Grandma!  Let's both have a cookie together!"



TootsNYC

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Re: Eating a present you gave someone
« Reply #39 on: February 18, 2014, 02:21:47 PM »
My problem with her eating them is that she has mislabeled them. She specifically gifts them to the child.

If she just brought them along "for everyone," all would be good.

So i might call and say, "MIL, DD was distraught to discover that there weren't any cookies left; she had been thinking of them as hers alone, since you gave them to her and told her they were for her. Next visit, could you set aside her share in its own, smaller box? Separate from the ones that are for us all to eat? And we'll put it somewhere safe, so she can enjoy the feeling of eating Grandma's cookies 'just for her.' "

Yvaine

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Re: Eating a present you gave someone
« Reply #40 on: February 18, 2014, 02:29:24 PM »
I'm going to go completely against the other posters here...

My MIL visits a few times a year - it is a considerable drive, she stays with us, she often brings food and treats with her.  Frequenlty she brings cookies she knows I am particularly fond of.

I would be _mortified_ if she thought that during her stay she wasn't allowed to eat the cookies she lovingly prepared and brought to our home.  Completely mortified - it goes against all of my ideas of what is required of a gracious hosts.  And I do believe that my children are 'hosts' also.  I would be discussing with my _daughter_ how to graciously accept gifts and how important it is that your guests are comfortable in your home.  I would be working with my _daughter_ on saying "Thank you Grandma!  Let's both have a cookie together!"

Nobody's saying she can't eat any of them! Just that if Grandma is eating the majority of them, and digging into them without asking the person she ostensibly brought them for (whether that's the OP as hostess, or the 3yo to whom she's presenting them), they're not really a hostess gift or a gift for the child.

YoginiSaysYes

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Re: Eating a present you gave someone
« Reply #41 on: February 18, 2014, 02:30:20 PM »
Quote
I would be _mortified_ if she thought that during her stay she wasn't allowed to eat the cookies she lovingly prepared and brought to our home.

I don't think it's necessarily that OP or other posters think MIL shouldn't get ANY cookies, it's merely the fact that she's presenting them as a gift, then treating them as her own. If it was "Hey I brought cookies for the weekend!" there would be no problem.

Sophia

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Re: Eating a present you gave someone
« Reply #42 on: February 18, 2014, 02:41:43 PM »
I would ask my MIL to bring a double-batch next time.  "Since DD never gets enough to really enjoy it much, and MIL's is soooo much better than yours, and made with Grandma love.  "

That way, she has have some and DD will have enough leftover.  In fact then you would have an excuse to hide half of whatever she brought for DD for later. 

esposita

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Re: Eating a present you gave someone
« Reply #43 on: February 18, 2014, 03:09:26 PM »
I'm going to go completely against the other posters here...

My MIL visits a few times a year - it is a considerable drive, she stays with us, she often brings food and treats with her.  Frequenlty she brings cookies she knows I am particularly fond of.

I would be _mortified_ if she thought that during her stay she wasn't allowed to eat the cookies she lovingly prepared and brought to our home.  Completely mortified - it goes against all of my ideas of what is required of a gracious hosts.  And I do believe that my children are 'hosts' also.  I would be discussing with my _daughter_ how to graciously accept gifts and how important it is that your guests are comfortable in your home.  I would be working with my _daughter_ on saying "Thank you Grandma!  Let's both have a cookie together!"

I agree with this very much.

turnip

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Re: Eating a present you gave someone
« Reply #44 on: February 18, 2014, 03:38:54 PM »
My problem with her eating them is that she has mislabeled them. She specifically gifts them to the child.

If she just brought them along "for everyone," all would be good.

So i might call and say, "MIL, DD was distraught to discover that there weren't any cookies left; she had been thinking of them as hers alone, since you gave them to her and told her they were for her. Next visit, could you set aside her share in its own, smaller box? Separate from the ones that are for us all to eat? And we'll put it somewhere safe, so she can enjoy the feeling of eating Grandma's cookies 'just for her.' "

"Child, Grandma loves to make your favorite cookies, but a batch of cookies are made for sharing!   Be sure to thank her graciously and offer her one!"

If my child was particularly distresses - well first I'd try to explain that we don't cry over cookies.  But I think I'd work with her on what she expects - if she was particularly set on having a couple for desert, than she can put a couple aside for later.  But no hording, no hiding.