Mods, is it OK if I ask people to take the strict etiquette out of this dilemma? Because I know what strict etiquette dictates. I'd like to find out what people would do in this situation, regardless of etiquette rules.
Disclaimer - I realize that once a gift is given, the recipient can do what he or she likes with it.
The situation - When my brother and I were children, my grandmother made Christmas stockings for us. They were unique and lovely and still hang on my parents' mantle. When my daughter was born, my mother decided she wanted to continue the tradition. She bought a stocking with blank cross stitch fabric on the top and embroidered "Merry Christmas Lorisdaughter." I think she ran out of motivation after that, but she said she preferred to keep it simple. She was quite proud of it.
When my second daughter was born, Mom couldn't find a cross stitch stocking. So she bought a fuzzy red and white one and embroidered my second daughter's name in awful, block stitch writing. Still, she took pride in seeing her creations over my fireplace.
My kids are 10 and 8 now. Every year, I sort of cringe inside when I see their stockings. I wish I could replace them, but I'm almost sure this would hurt my mom's feelings. My mom has had a lot of health problems over the years, and we almost lost her a few times. She's very precious to me, and I care about her feelings. But gah! The stockings are really kind of hideous.
So WWYD? I've considered accidentally losing them. I've also considered buying custom-made stockings for the girls and us, so we have a matching set over the fireplace. The girls could hang the ones by Grandma in their room. Does anyone have any other suggestions?