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Xmas presents

(75 Posts)
carol123 Sat 22-Dec-12 02:05:14

Ok am I being unreasonable or oversensitive about this? Our son and DIL have moved to the other side of town - they previously lived locally. Everyone in our extended family used to just drop in to each others homes - theirs included during the day or early evening and it was a nice easy visiting time at any time.
Since they moved they have shunned any ad hoc visits and its all appointments - even then the DIL does not really want most members of our family around and is conveniently busy when anyone wants to pop in.
We have lots of presents here for the grandchildren from us and our family aunts cousins etc. I text her today to ask when its ok for us to drop off the presents and cards. She has replied Xmas Day which is when we are being invited for lunch with them. I feel so sad that the kids will not get anything from us until the afternoon in this case. And the fact that she doesnt want us around for any time except for lunch. Is it me or do others see this as a snub.

CHEELU Sat 22-Dec-12 05:20:23

Carol123 I am afraid IMHO you are right to think it is a snub,she moved away from it all, which is a shame because it sounds brilliant to me that you all pop into each others house's. Its such a shame for the children to miss out on that lovely extended family but isn't that the worse bit about being a Grandparent you don't get that much say!! To say something in her favor, it was a good gesture on her part to invite you for Christmas Diner..The good news is that the older the children become the more say they will have themselves, and I think that's when you will see them wanting to be around everyone, do your best to keep in touch with grandchildren and it will all work out, best wishes to you x

baubles Sat 22-Dec-12 07:14:47

Carol123 the upside of that is that you can see the children open their gifts from you. That way your gifts don't just get 'lost' in the excitement of opening everything at once. I'm sorry you feel snubbed, perhaps she is just really busy?

Nanban Sat 22-Dec-12 07:38:04

Maybe there are problems going on that you know nothing about and that they are trying to deal with best way they can. Maybe they are so involved in that, they can't see the impact it's having on you and have absolutely no intention of snubbing.

And Carol is so right in that you can enjoy the children unwrapping their presents with you there. We have left our presents for unseen grandchildren with an ex neighbour of the in-laws who will deliver for us - we have no clue where they are. I would love to be in your shoes.

MiceElf Sat 22-Dec-12 07:45:24

Different families have their own traditions and ways of interacting. One family's friendly warm 'dropping in' is another family's 'being overwhelmed by visitors'. One way isn't better than the other, just different. I think as grandparents we have to let our children and their spouses, in the new families, make their own traditions and ways of socialising. It's sometimes hard to come to terms with the change, but it's not disloyalty or rejection, just a new familiy's way of doing things.

You are going for Christmas dinner which is lovely and shows that you are welcome, and, as Baubles said, you will see the grandchildren open their presents and they will know who gave them.

Have a lovely time and make sure they know your door is always open. There may be a small shifting of position as the months and years go by.

wisewoman Sat 22-Dec-12 08:44:19

I think micelf has made a good point. Everyone's traditions are different and while some people may think big extended family dropping in unnanounced at any time is bliss, for others it would be awful. Frankly it would hate it. Young families are so busy nowadays and need time to themselves to make their own traditions. How lovely that you are invited for Christmas dinner and get to see your grandchildren open their presents. Lots of grans on here would be over the moon to be invited to spend Christmas with their grandchildren. carol123 have a lovely Christmas with your grandchildren and try not to turn Christmas into a cause for dispute. I know it can feel hurtful that their traditions are different but focus on the good stuff - Christmas with the

Nanado Sat 22-Dec-12 08:52:18

We're all under some kind of stress at this time of year and there's so much to get done, especially if you DiL is hosting the family Christmas lunch. Don't allow yourself to feel snubbed, it's not a healthy emotion, and it may not have been intended that way.

As others have said enjoy the day, you'll get to see the presents being opened.

It might be that your DiL would appreciate help on the day, though be very careful you don't make her feel inadequate. I always find asking 'is there anything I can do?' a good question both before and after the meal.

Have a great day.

petallus Sat 22-Dec-12 08:54:04

My daughter used to live in the same town as me until a few months ago. We always texted or phoned each other before dropping in.

Neither of us would like the uncertainty of never knowing when we were going to have visitors.

We all get on very well and love seeing each other, by the way.

Bags Sat 22-Dec-12 09:03:57

If you have been invited to lunch on Christmas Day, I don't think you have anything to complain about. Christmas Day with small children is hectic for parents. I expect they want to minimise the morning stress so they can get on with preparing the meal without having to cope with visitors. Seems perfectly reasonable to me. They might even have time to have a quiet cup of coffee mid-morning [hopeful!]

annodomini Sat 22-Dec-12 09:21:08

i think it's a good thing for children to have some of their presents later in the day. Small children get quite confused, and certainly over-excited, confronted with mounds of gifts after breakfast on Christmas morning. Far better to spread the present giving. And why on earth are you complaining about them moving to the other side of town. Spare a thought for the grans whose families are on the other side of the world. I'm lucky - I only have to go a couple of hundred miles. Happy Christmas. smile

Anne58 Sat 22-Dec-12 09:47:56

My Son & DIL lives in the same town as many of her very large extended family, who are all "droppers in". It is very rare indeed for there to be no one else there when Mr P and I visit (we only live about 15 miles away).

Both my son and DIL have said that it drives them mad to be used as a convenient cafe for the family!

So, perhaps your DIL is just enjoying the fact that she has a bit more control over who visits and when?

I agree with the point about the presents too. When my boys were younger they opened presents from FC sort of first thing, but the ones from my mother and step father were opened either when they arrived about an hour before lunch, or if we were going to them for the day, once we had arrived at their place. It does mean that they are more focussed on looking at each thing rather than just turning onto a frenzy of opening!

Ana Sat 22-Dec-12 10:51:30

I agree with the majority - your son and DIL want to have some control over their family life and I really don't blame them for not wanting family members 'popping in' whenever. Some people love that sort of casual arrangement, others don't, and I think you should just enjoy the time you have with your grandchildren on Christmas day and not regard what your DIL has said as a snub.

Butty Sat 22-Dec-12 11:08:53

I wouldn't consider it to be a snub at all.
You are going to have Christmas lunch with your son and family - tick
You will be seeing your grandchildren - tick
Your grandchildren will enjoy opening your presents - tick
You do not have to cook - double tick

Doesn't sound too bad too me. smile

I have just made a time to visit via gvid/skype with my family in the States. The presents will be hidden until we manage to get on line - and Monkey will help them seek and find. Should be a riot!

Bags Sat 22-Dec-12 11:12:28

Monkey sounds lovely, butty. I'm going to check it out.

Butty Sat 22-Dec-12 11:15:57

Anno I also mean to say thanks for the spare a thought - much appreciated! smile

petra Sat 22-Dec-12 12:20:57

I think my DD and myself must sound strange (to some of you) I ask her what time she wants us there and WHAT TIME TO LEAVE. And then we laugh about it because we are both the same.
Years ago when I had a lot of parties I would tell people what time it was going to end. Most people appreciated that.

Ella46 Sat 22-Dec-12 12:38:50

I like that petra, some people overstay their welcome just because they aren't sure when to go! grin

soop Sat 22-Dec-12 12:57:10

My late father, ex-army, would ALWAYS greet visitors [including family] with - Good of you to call. When will you be leaving? When we lived in Cornwall and he was in Northants, we'd phone when we reached a village some six miles away. This was because, regardless of the weather, he needed to open and stand by the gate, well in advance of our arrival. He was a stickler for routine. wink

vampirequeen Sat 22-Dec-12 13:06:58

Have they moved to a posher part of town. I only ask because my cousin suddenly didn't want to be visited so much when she thought she'd moved up in the world.

crimson Sat 22-Dec-12 13:09:57

I very rarely get visitors [billynomates, me] but, when I do it's usually when I'm busy [or, most likely when I'm watching Ch4 racing on a Saturday because everyone knows I'm in then..that's when the phone rings as well sad]. I love seeing people but when my front door is shut it's shut; I couldn't cope with people dropping in all the time. Bit it's not because I don't enjoy peoples company or care about them; it's just me. Maybe it's the 'only child' thing again? And young families are so so busy and stressed these days; I realised that when I had the fall out with my daughter earlier this year. Also my son's new girlfriend said to phone them if I planned to go round [I used to just drop in when passing when he was on his own, although it happened very rarely], but I have made a mental note and will always do so from now on. It's their life and their right to say so and I will honour it. I'm sure it was meant in a 'just to check we're in' sort of way, and was just an of the cuff comment, but I'm happy to go along with it. But I also understand how easy it is to feel hurt by htese things. It's the 'eggshell' syndrome yet again.

gracesmum Sat 22-Dec-12 13:31:23

I think it saves embarrassment on both sides if you have even a little warning anybody is on the way. I remember the time friends arrived for lunch on a Sunday - only a week early, we were in PJs! Crimson's son's new GF might be in even less so a phone call there would def be wise!
Carol123 I do not see it as a snub, they are going to be very busy if they are hosting Christmas lunch, it is always a good idea to "pace" opening pressies where young children are concerned, you will get the pleasure of seeing them open them and I honestly don't see the other side of town (I don't know where you live, but apart from London, nowhere is that far away) as a significant distance. Don't feel sensitive - just enjoy your day, The DGC will be delighted to see you!

Ella46 Sat 22-Dec-12 15:38:01

crimson I have 'only child syndrome' too, I hate people just dropping in, I like to be prepared! blush

Ana Sat 22-Dec-12 15:51:54

Me too, crimson and Ella! smile

grrrranny Sat 22-Dec-12 16:01:39

I hate unexpected visitors too - didn't know it was perhaps because of only child syndrome. And I can't drop in to see anyone without either invite or phoning first to see if it's ok. And as for 'you can stay in the flat' which some very kind friends with a pied a terre place in London always say - I just couldn't and they think I'm weird when I try to explain. Perhaps I am but I feel a bit better now I know about this syndrome grin

crimson Sat 22-Dec-12 16:17:20

It's a funny thing, having guests/visitors. Now, I'm the sort of person that will say 'there's the kitchen, there's the kettle..just make yourself totally at home and make yourself a cuppa whenever you feel like it'..but some visitors might be offended by that. And it's still fresh in my mind how disappointed I was when, just after I'd had my first child, some friends of my husbands were going to visit us and they cancelled at the last minute. Even fresher was the visit from another friend of my husband's who came to see us when my son was a couple of days old [I'd had him a few days early and had left the hospital almost straight away]. He handed me a bottle of wine as he came in which, to my mind means he was expecting a meal to go with it. Not sure what he thought of the fish fingers he got blush.We lived in student houses for years and it was so wonderful having a house of my own, but sometimes I think how nice it would be to go down to the kitchen and wonder which housemate I could have a natter to. I'm just one of those people that's difficult to please I guess. In our 'political days' my ex used to go to the pub with a group of mates on Tuesdays and I loved it when they'd come back here afterwards and we'd smoke and drink into the early hours of the morning putting the world to rights. I know I've said this many times before but the only child thing makes me crave solitude but often feel lonely confused. That's why the internet is so wonderful; a social life with an on off button [and knowing that people can ignore me if they want to wink].