Author Topic: S/O Family Gifts....Taking over the holiday  (Read 5736 times)

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Venus193

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Re: S/O Family Gifts....Taking over the holiday
« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2010, 08:09:36 AM »
30-40 gifts per person?  This is insane.

I think you need to find a cluvuzela and couple of allies among your peers and stand up to your MIL.  If she hands everything out one by one and everyone's opening is on display that would have gotten old for me years ago.  She sounds like a control freak who needs a reality check on how bad this is.

Suze

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Re: S/O Family Gifts....Taking over the holiday
« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2010, 08:25:59 AM »
does she have to take apicture of you with the "present" as well

I HATE THAT

each and every present you have to hold up and someone take a photo of you with it -- that photo will never be seen by anybody

just developed and shoved in a drawer

one year dad set up the vidio camera and made us all sit in a special chair to open each gift - so in a tiny house we had to shift for each present

I feel your pain - really
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mj

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Re: S/O Family Gifts....Taking over the holiday
« Reply #32 on: September 06, 2010, 12:45:55 PM »
Yes, gifts are handed out 1 by 1 and they are scattered all throughout PIL's house so we'd spend quite a bit of time just looking for them if we were to take them and go.  Sometimes pictures, sometimes not but it is definitely one at a time opening which drags it all out with the spotlight on the opener and talking about it etc.

All of the big presents come from the PIL's. The sibling exchange is much more conservative but it adds onto the time.

Thank you all, DH and I read over all the suggestions and we are going to opt out this year.   We are talking now about how to approach everyone since most start buying gifts now.  I think a casual heads up that we are planning a low key Xmas this year and not go into details is the best route. 

Nora

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Re: S/O Family Gifts....Taking over the holiday
« Reply #33 on: September 06, 2010, 12:47:55 PM »
does she have to take apicture of you with the "present" as well

I HATE THAT

each and every present you have to hold up and someone take a photo of you with it -- that photo will never be seen by anybody

just developed and shoved in a drawer


one year dad set up the vidio camera and made us all sit in a special chair to open each gift - so in a tiny house we had to shift for each present

I feel your pain - really

Really?! This is not just my family?? I'm still angry at my stepdad for doing that with the pictures of my 6 month old son opening his very first christmas presents! Those pictures have been sucked into the black hole that is my parents house, and they will never be seen again. If I'd known I would have taken pictures myself, even if all we had to take them with was a camera phone. The little guy looked so cute with his baby fat in a Santa suit!  :'(
Just because someone is offended that does not mean they are in the right.

sparksals

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Re: S/O Family Gifts....Taking over the holiday
« Reply #34 on: September 06, 2010, 12:59:51 PM »
Are any of the other siblings or siblings-in-law also frustrated with the 8 hour giftapalooza?

Slight o/t, but I love that word!!!!! lmao!! ;D

sparksals

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Re: S/O Family Gifts....Taking over the holiday
« Reply #35 on: September 06, 2010, 01:09:51 PM »

You're going to have to brace yourselves for MIL's displeasure. But she is keeping 14 adults under her thumb--what would happen if someone had to work on the 26th and couldn't come to the second day of opening? Seriously, someone needs to stand up to her. Because even with the large amount of gifts, it shouldn't take that long to open them all. Sounds like the opening of each gift is being dragged out and I suspect large amounts of thanks must be given--that isn't the spirit of Christmas; it's taking hostages.

You raise a very good point.  I wonder if this is more about MIL controlling the holiday than the sheer enjoyment of giving all the gifts and watching everyone open them.

OP - what about your family?  Do you ever get to spend Xmas with them or does dh's family monopolize?  What about the other inlaws?  Surely they have their family too.  Don't they get to spend any part of Xmas with their families?  How did Xmas get to be solely at MILs?  To me, it sounds like a huge form of control. 

You need to put your foot down.  I'm sure there is alot of resentment building with the ILs.  Just like your DH is afraid to approach his mom, it sounds like everyone else is too.  MIL has succeeded in completely controlling the situation and holding the family Holiday Hostage. 


sparksals

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Re: S/O Family Gifts....Taking over the holiday
« Reply #36 on: September 06, 2010, 01:12:35 PM »
30-40 gifts per person?  This is insane.

I think you need to find a cluvuzela and couple of allies among your peers and stand up to your MIL.  If she hands everything out one by one and everyone's opening is on display that would have gotten old for me years ago.  She sounds like a control freak who needs a reality check on how bad this is.

What is a cluvuzela?

sparksals

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Re: S/O Family Gifts....Taking over the holiday
« Reply #37 on: September 06, 2010, 01:15:08 PM »
Yes, gifts are handed out 1 by 1 and they are scattered all throughout PIL's house so we'd spend quite a bit of time just looking for them if we were to take them and go.  Sometimes pictures, sometimes not but it is definitely one at a time opening which drags it all out with the spotlight on the opener and talking about it etc.

All of the big presents come from the PIL's. The sibling exchange is much more conservative but it adds onto the time.

Thank you all, DH and I read over all the suggestions and we are going to opt out this year.   We are talking now about how to approach everyone since most start buying gifts now.  I think a casual heads up that we are planning a low key Xmas this year and not go into details is the best route. 

I think this is the best course of action.  How did you handle the meltdown when you and dh decided to stay home in the morning?  How do you plan to handle the loud objections and meltdowns that are sure to emerge from your wise decision?  You and DH will need to present a unified front and remember that "No" or "that is not possible" are complete sentences.

sweetgirl

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Re: S/O Family Gifts....Taking over the holiday
« Reply #38 on: September 06, 2010, 01:26:13 PM »
you called always just ask for gift cards. Lol.That way al you will receive is envelopes.

mj

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Re: S/O Family Gifts....Taking over the holiday
« Reply #39 on: September 06, 2010, 01:33:24 PM »
Sparksals, we actually haven't spent one holiday with my side of the family since DH and I engaged and DH never has.  And my parents live on the other coast and they know we aren't comfortable traveling at holiday times. Even in getting in a phone call to my parents can be tough with the holiday schedules that we are expected to follow lol.

My family is different in that the holidays aren't that big of a deal, come if you can make it, call if you can't -- but have a good day no matter what you do.  They aren't upset about not seeing us at holidays however they do notice the kids attitudes towards gifts lately.  

To be honest, the more this goes on the more it feels like a competition.

camlan

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Re: S/O Family Gifts....Taking over the holiday
« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2010, 01:49:52 PM »
Sparksals, we actually haven't spent one holiday with my side of the family since DH and I engaged and DH never has.  And my parents live on the other coast and they know we aren't comfortable traveling at holiday times. Even in getting in a phone call to my parents can be tough with the holiday schedules that we are expected to follow lol.

My family is different in that the holidays aren't that big of a deal, come if you can make it, call if you can't -- but have a good day no matter what you do.  They aren't upset about not seeing us at holidays however they do notice the kids attitudes towards gifts lately.  

To be honest, the more this goes on the more it feels like a competition.

Even though you aren't comfortable traveling at holiday time, is it possible for you to go to your family this year or next year? MIL sounds controlling enough that she'll probably still have a meltdown, but any normal person will accept, "I haven't spent the holidays with my family in ten years" as a pretty good reason for missing one Christmas celebration. That would give you the clean break I think you're looking for. I think it would be a nice memory for both your kids and your parents to spend at least one Christmas together.

And even though your family is laid-back about the holidays, I'd bet that they'd be delighted to see you for Christmas, even if it's just once.

I'm starting not to like your MIL. It seems like none of the in-laws ever get to spend the holidays with their families. And you have a hard time finding a moment to call your parents on Christmas Day? Seriously, this is not normal. MIL must have a very tight grip on her children for them to allow this level of control to continue.
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sparksals

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Re: S/O Family Gifts....Taking over the holiday
« Reply #41 on: September 06, 2010, 02:01:41 PM »
Wow... I'm with Camlan - that is pretty bad if you can't even get a call in to your family on Xmas day. 

Please keep us updated with this situation.  I'm dying to hear MILs reaction to your change in plans. 

I also think you should try to get to your family for Xmas sometime.  That may give the other ILs the courage to do the same. 

Venus193

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mj

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Re: S/O Family Gifts....Taking over the holiday
« Reply #43 on: September 06, 2010, 04:00:56 PM »
Sparksals, we actually haven't spent one holiday with my side of the family since DH and I engaged and DH never has.  And my parents live on the other coast and they know we aren't comfortable traveling at holiday times. Even in getting in a phone call to my parents can be tough with the holiday schedules that we are expected to follow lol.

My family is different in that the holidays aren't that big of a deal, come if you can make it, call if you can't -- but have a good day no matter what you do.  They aren't upset about not seeing us at holidays however they do notice the kids attitudes towards gifts lately.  

To be honest, the more this goes on the more it feels like a competition.

Even though you aren't comfortable traveling at holiday time, is it possible for you to go to your family this year or next year? MIL sounds controlling enough that she'll probably still have a meltdown, but any normal person will accept, "I haven't spent the holidays with my family in ten years" as a pretty good reason for missing one Christmas celebration. That would give you the clean break I think you're looking for. I think it would be a nice memory for both your kids and your parents to spend at least one Christmas together.

And even though your family is laid-back about the holidays, I'd bet that they'd be delighted to see you for Christmas, even if it's just once.

I'm starting not to like your MIL. It seems like none of the in-laws ever get to spend the holidays with their families. And you have a hard time finding a moment to call your parents on Christmas Day? Seriously, this is not normal. MIL must have a very tight grip on her children for them to allow this level of control to continue.

Most of the adult siblings like this, a lot.  Any deviation that another in law brings up results in massive meltdowns, not just from MIL.

Some of the siblings in laws celebrate on another day with their family or one set is able to do every other year, but that's ok with MIL b/c they live out of state.  Which is why I don't think it'll make a difference if we do visit my family this year.  She'll get upset about it, we'll have to deal with that and next year she'll expect us right back and gives us grief about that.  She always organizes another Xmas with the one set of in laws that go out of town and everyone must come to that too.  It just never stoooooooops.

That's why I'm just leaning towards a flat out NO b/c going anywhere, doing anything to stop this train this year won't stop the train for the upcoming years.  We just need to put the brakes on.  Now that's easier said than done lol.  DH and I have been talking about how to approach this, what to do when the meltdowns happen etc.  I think we've come to the agreement that we are just not going to engage, the guilt trips start...we leave. 

sparksals

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Re: S/O Family Gifts....Taking over the holiday
« Reply #44 on: September 06, 2010, 04:14:24 PM »