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Christmas stocking has to be from Santa

(60 Posts)
mclaysmith Sun 31-Dec-23 17:46:50

My son and DIL found out I was planning to give my almost two year old granddaughter a stocking when she visited my house after Christmas. My son told me they come and get the stuff I’d bought for it, and I said it was for my house. There was no further discussion. All went well on Christmas night, at their house, as they refused to have dinner at ours.
Friday was my Christmas dinner. DIL seemed unfriendly, but she’s pregnant, so…. After dinner we opened presents, and I asked my son to open his, and his daughter’s stocking. He sat at the end of the sofa, and put the stockings on the floor. Then, one by one, the toddler’s stocking gifts appeared with no connection to me and my generosity.
They had come with an agenda, it seems. They don’t want her to know that a stocking doesn’t come from Santa. He could have taken me aside, and I’d have put the gifts in a bag so she could have something from me.
I am devastated that they would treat me like this. My husband was supposed to be with us, but was taken to ICU the day before. They also attacked my daughter for helping me decorate the stocking with wee one’s name.
I could get over the stocking, but not how I’ve been treated. I don’t recognize my son anymore.

RosiesMaw Sun 31-Dec-23 18:19:28

Well it does (come from Santa) doesn’t it?
If you wanted to give your GD presents you should have done so from you.
Did you really want to destroy your GD’s illusions just for the sake of feeling good about it yourself?
I can appreciate why you are feeling extra sensitive and hope your DH makes a speedy recovery, but grandparents should not muscle in on a parent’s place.
So, you are entirely out of order here and while I am sorry you feel “devastated” you have only yourself to blame.

muffinthemoo Sun 31-Dec-23 18:21:18

Your son clearly knew beforehand that that was something he was going to do, and he absolutely should have told you, or told you why so that you could have put things in a bag, like you say.

You sound blindsided by this incident and how he behaved. Is this all out of the blue? Did you have any inkling this was going to happen? Has there been recent trouble or arguments before this incident?

Germanshepherdsmum Sun 31-Dec-23 18:26:17

‘No connection to … my generosity’. That doesn’t come across well. It’s about the child, not you. You should have put the presents in a bag to give her when you saw her. A stocking has obvious connotations for a child doesn’t it?

wildswan16 Sun 31-Dec-23 18:37:10

Santa has a monopoly on stockings in our family. Everything in the stocking is from Santa. Your son had already asked you to add your gifts to theirs for the stocking.

Don’t let silly differences like this disrupt your relationships with your family. I’m sure your husbands illness made you a little more emotional than normal.

Dickens Sun 31-Dec-23 18:39:44

Firstly, sorry to hear about your husband mclaysmith, that must be hard to deal with and isn't exactly conducive to a 'merry' Christmas atmosphere. I hope you hear some positive news, it's probably playing on your mind.

So basically, your son and DIL want your grand daughter to believe that Christmas stockings come from Santa? And you want her to 'know' that one or two of the gifts are from you? Which is understandable.

I doubt the wee girl will hold it against you that there's no present from Grandma - she's too young and is probably overwhelmed with presents and the whole Christmas razzamatazz to even be aware of who and where they are from.

Parents have their own ideas these days - about everything - so you, for your own peace of mind, will just have to go with the flow. It doesn't make much sense to me I must admit - a child of two will quite happily believe that both Santa and anyone else can give them a Christmas stocking if you tell them that. Usually, the father is 'guided' by the mother in such matters, so I suspect your son is just going along with the whole ruse. I don't think the majority of men are as intense about parenting issues as much as women are. Although of course, some are... and maybe your son has developed his own way of deciding how 'things' should be.

I think you might have taken it all too much to heart - because you have other things on your mind. There's many more Christmases to come and eventually she will learn the truth about Santa, and you can give her gifts which she will know come from you. Try not to dwell on it, because it will just fester and further alienate you, and them. It's really just another of those issues that crop up between sons and daughters who've become parents and want to do things their way. Don't let is spoil your relationship with them.

Cabbie21 Sun 31-Dec-23 19:28:56

I agree that your son could have been more transparent with you in advance about the need for a bag rather than a stocking, but as Dickens said, it really isn’t something to get upset about or to spoil the relationship.
I understand that your son and his wife have their own way of dealing with the Santa myth, and in the long run, you will be pleased that your granddaughter knows the gifts are from you as, when she is a bit older, she will say thank you to you.
I also understand that this family want to have Christmas in their own home, so to say they “ refused” to come to you is a bit harsh. So is the word “ attack” - it seems you are overwrought, understandably, with your husband in ICU. I hope he makes a good recovery, and that you are able to maintain good relationships with the young family.

My son- in- law called me Kofi Annan (.sp?) at Christmas as my role was to calm disputes ( over games) and be conciliatory, not controversial!

Bella23 Sun 31-Dec-23 19:48:32

My MIL once did this when we visited her on Christmas day without warning. We had said everything came from Santa and kind people sent them to him. I was annoyed but kept quiet and DH said Oh he must have known you were coming to visit."
Could you next year suggest Santa will be leaving a stocking at your house for her?

Callistemon21 Sun 31-Dec-23 20:35:43

They don’t want her to know that a stocking doesn’t come from Santa

She's not even two.

I'm sorry about your husband. You must be stressed because of this and everything seems overwhelming at the moment.

Put her presents in a bag next year, clearly labelled from you.

nightowl Sun 31-Dec-23 20:36:31

I’m sorry you have found this so upsetting mclaysmith and like others, I think it’s understandable that you are feeling very emotional at the moment. I think we have to accept that our adult children will make their own traditions and we have to respect their wishes around this, including where presents come from and Christmas stockings. Our time is past, and we are no longer the ones who are centre stage in the little ones’ lives, which is as it should be.

When I first became a grandparent, I would have liked to do a stocking for my grandchild but my daughter made it clear that there would be only one stocking and this would happen in their home. What I did, with parents’ approval was buy a beautiful personalised stocking for each of them, including ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’ and these have pride of place every year, and are filled of course by Father Christmas. The children have no idea who bought these stockings, nor does it matter.

This idea may not be appropriate for you, but I think the important thing is to talk to your son and dil, acknowledge that you made a mistake and ask them what they would like from you in the future. I’m sure they will appreciate your consideration and this could help you to find your own routines for the years and grandchildren to come. Quite honestly, as I now have more grandchildren I’m glad I am not the one having to think of stocking fillers as well as main presents.

JaneJudge Sun 31-Dec-23 21:36:55

I wonder if you are taking things personal, your husband is in ICU and you are obviously under a lot of pressure? How is he?

mclaysmith Sun 31-Dec-23 21:59:21

My husband is quadriplegic, and gets septic with infections that send him to ICU. Thanks, muffinthemoo. It was the underhanded way my son dealt with it. They could have said something on Monday, but I wasn’t told it couldn’t happen, so, yes, I was blindsided, and yes, my daughter was accused of lying, and threatening their relationship, so I call it an attack, as that’s how she felt.
Grandparents do stockings for their grandchildren. Mine is too young to understand the Santa only idea. At least, if Santa couldn’t do it at my house, then she could have known these things were from me. I’d given her main gift on Christmas Day, and, being new to grandparenthood, was excited about giving her a stocking, as I still do, or did, for my three adult kids.
“Only yourself to blame” It was how I was treated that was devastating. I was completely blindsided. And no, all had been fine with us, before they walked in the door.

Sara1954 Sun 31-Dec-23 22:10:30

My daughter or son in law collect all the presents Christmas Eve, and they are put with all the others from Father Christmas.
Between us we buy their gifts, we don’t have any gift tags on anything.

You give for the joy of giving, not to be acknowledged for being generous.

Grams2five Sun 31-Dec-23 22:14:08

I’m sorry but you’re out of line. You want to do stockings for your grandchild. But her parents don’t want you too. Your son and his wife ahve chosen that stockings are from
Santa. They may also decide that Santa only comes to their house. You’ll simply have to deal with this

GrannySomerset Sun 31-Dec-23 22:33:14

I always had things to add to GC’s stockings whichever home we were in, and wouldn’t have dreamed of trying to usurp the parents - I had had my fun when they were children, and in any case blending the traditions of two families is quite enough without Granny wanting to take control. Sounds like over reacting when already under pressure.

Shelflife Sun 31-Dec-23 23:30:56

My GC always have a Christmas stocking from me and Grandpa. Their main present is given to my DD and SIL before the big day and of course that comes from Santa. They know their stockings come from us , that works well. Stockings are small gifts, felt tip pens , craft paper , chocolate coins, ball, book, etc. Main gift ( from Santa) is waiting at their home on Christmas morning. Their stockings from us are here for when they visit - they love Grandma and Grandpa's stockings!

mclaysmith Sun 31-Dec-23 23:37:26

I wasn’t trying to take anything from them. I said I’d give a stocking at my house, and they didn’t argue. Come the time to give it, and they do a 180. Had I known it was a problem, I would have put the things in a bag. Some responders need to read the initial post. Also, she’s not 2, and isn’t aware of what’s what yet.

Callistemon21 Sun 31-Dec-23 23:41:42

I've re-read the OP - do you mean you did a stocking for your son as well as your granddaughter?
Did you do one for your daughter-in-law too?

Greyisnotmycolour Sun 31-Dec-23 23:48:00

There's all sorts of things I'd like to do or buy for my grandchildren but if they don't fit with the parents plans I don't do it. I've had my children and although I dearly love the grandchildren, they are not my children. You have to accept this if you want a good, solid relationship with minimum friction. It applies to everything, toys, clothes food, days out, presents etc. Always ask before you do anything and do as requested. Its not always easy to do but it shows respect for the parents.

mclaysmith Sun 31-Dec-23 23:52:19

Also, wow! Telling me that I should admit I made a mistake, and apologize, when they’re the ones who turned on me for trying to do something nice. Give your heads a shake!

Shelflife Sun 31-Dec-23 23:56:18

mclaysmith, you are having a tough time , your DH is very ill and some people here are being rather harsh. Almost midnight, raise a glass of something and look forward to 2024, don't let what has happened damage your relationship with your son and DIL. I am thinking of you and hope your DH makes a good recovery - be kind to yourself and good luck for the future.

Callistemon21 Mon 01-Jan-24 00:26:40

Oh, this thread is taking a familiar turn.


grannyqueenie Mon 01-Jan-24 01:50:37


BlueBelle Mon 01-Jan-24 04:27:21

mclaysmith I ve read through your post twice to make sure I got it right
…..And first very sorry about your husband you must be very worried I hope he’s ok
You start off by saying they refused to have a meal at yours so already your back was up but they obviously wanted Christmas Eve at theirs and that’s their prerogative

BlueBelle Mon 01-Jan-24 04:36:13

Whoops posted too soon sorry
Then, one by one, the toddler’s stocking gifts appeared with no connection to me and my generosity that sounds pretty petty don’t you want her to believe in Santa at least for a few years obviously her parents do, so you will be wise to go along with it .
After dinner we opened presents, and I asked my son to open his, and his daughter’s stocking so obviously left the daughter in law out ohhh you are stocking up trouble here
I m truly sorry about your husband and hope that s the reason you were overreacting but I don’t really think this bodes well for you Your son is no longer your child he’s a fully grown man and wants his child’s Christmas to be done his way not yours Be wise and do it their way next Christmas if you want a good time and a good relationship