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Mommy Dearest: Plenty of Gifts, But Nothing Under the Tree

Mommy Dearest,

My mother-in-law buys our children lots of gifts, but gives them all to them well before Christmas. So when the holiday finally arrives and we head to her house for dinner there's nothing to open under the tree. My daughters are always sad when they have to sit and watch their cousins open their presents. Their grandma also pre-gifts their birthday gifts, which drives me crazy. How can I get my husband's mother to change her ways without coming off as ungrateful?

— Wishing for Wrapped Presents

To read the response from Mommy Dearest,


Wishing for Wrapped Presents,

I suggest sitting down with your mother-in-law and letting her know how much you appreciate her generosity. Then, ask if she has a reason behind giving your kids their gifts prior to occasions. If so, you can take it from there. If not, say that you prefer that she keep her presents to be opened on Christmas or the children's actual birthdays.

— Mommy Dearest

Submit a question for this feature at the Mommy Dearest Group on TeamSugar.


Join The Conversation
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
Does she send them in the mail? than hide them. If she gives them to you guys before say "lets wait" I dont understand why thats difficult.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
i was thinking what psterling was thinking - just say "oh great, thanks! we'll keep this to open under the tree on christmas!" and stash all the presents
krae85 krae85 8 years
this is a little strange... but as the mom you have the authority to take control of the situation. Tell Grandma the girls are sad when they have no presents on christmas and that they will wait and open presents with their cousins.
Greggie Greggie 8 years
That's a really good idea.
psterling psterling 8 years
Or...when she brings out the gifts you can tell her, "thanks, we'll save this for the big day" and keep them wrapped.
Greggie Greggie 8 years
I'm also not understanding why the cousins have gifts and your kids don't. Do the cousins not see her at all before Christmas? I'd do what Mommy Dearest suggested, and if she wasn't open to changing it, not go to her house until after gift-opening.
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
If you are at her house for Christmas, why do their cousins have presents? From her?
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