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What should I do about DIL giving me unsuitable presents?

(145 Posts)
Cabbie21 Thu 28-Dec-17 09:37:22

I know I am difficult to buy for. I don't need anything really and can afford to buy what I want, so a few years back I suggested that we stop exchanging presents between adults. It didn't last, as DS and DIL felt it was wrong not to give us anything. However since then almost every year I receive something unsuitable. This year it was a Mrs Bridges Hamper containing a load of sweet things. Now DH is diabetic, and I am overweight, so giving us all these jams, shortbread etc is really inappropriate., from someone who know us well.
Any advice how to break this cycle?

MawBroon Thu 28-Dec-17 09:40:40

Smile sweetly and regift it and/or say to your son that your willpower is being put to the test, how about a voucher/pot plant/book token/bath and shower gel (name a favourite) in future ?

Nannylovesshopping Thu 28-Dec-17 09:44:57

I don't know what you can do about this but, your local food bank would be grateful for the contents, and you could use the hamper as storage, I keep all my dgds treasures in one I have, paintings cards postcards and lovely stuff from over the years that I couldn't bear to throw away

kittylester Thu 28-Dec-17 09:51:14

Say 'thank you' and be grateful that they give you a gift at all. Either donate to a foodbank or use when you have visitors.

NanaandGrampy Thu 28-Dec-17 09:51:15

If they are determined to give then I think the solution is to tell them what you would like. Something as simple as a voucher as Maw suggests. You don't even have to keep them if you don't want to but could gift them on.

For myself, Id just smile, accept and regift :-)

Eglantine21 Thu 28-Dec-17 09:58:03

Is there something you'd really like that they could add to each year? I was thinking as I set the table for Christmas dinner that I'd really like matching cutlery. A few bits of a classic design every year would do the trick.
Bird food is my other standby request.

tickertape Thu 28-Dec-17 09:58:37

It is annoying. I ask for takes but still get wine, chocolates and biscuits. I don't want that or smellies or candles as gifts. I smile but feel it is such a waste of money. I really have everything I need but id like my favoutrite perfume or a book from my book list etc. If it is the thought that counts then I think not much thought went into the choices.

tickertape Thu 28-Dec-17 09:59:05


tanith Thu 28-Dec-17 10:10:45

Secret Santa is the answer we started this 2yrs ago and it works well. We set a limit and we each get a person to buy for, everyone does a wish list of things that they would like and instead of 12 presents I only have to buy one it's such a relief. This year I asked for a holdall I was going to buy anyway and a game I like.

mrsmopp Thu 28-Dec-17 10:15:25

Smile sweetly, say thanks then pass the goods to charity shop or homeless shelter.
It's not worth upsetting anyone, least of all your DIL and son.

GrandmaMoira Thu 28-Dec-17 10:16:54

My sons and I do a Christmas (and birthday) list for adults. We don't get surprises but do get something we like. Other people have learnt gradually that I really don't like chocolate but I do still get more toiletries than I can use but do re-gift.

glammanana Thu 28-Dec-17 12:30:39

My grown up children and I always buy a special little gift for the tree either their favourite perfume or aftershave it is just a token gift for them to open when they visit on the day.
There are so many people who receive nothing and have no families to visit them I'm sure they would be grateful for anything especially a visit.

Baggs Thu 28-Dec-17 12:49:09

Ask them to buy you a tree from the Woodland Trust or a donkey for a poor farmer in a poor country, or a toilet for someone, again in a poor country, who hasn't one.

Christinefrance Thu 28-Dec-17 12:50:39

Say nothing and pass on the unwanted items to a food bank.
It's not worth causing a rift, lots of parents don't receive anything from their adult children.

OldMeg Thu 28-Dec-17 12:53:12

Yes, suggest something you’d like or as everyone else has said, smile and regift it. I’m off to the charity shop soon with my unwanted presents.

willsmadnan Thu 28-Dec-17 13:00:26

Try smiling and saying thank you. And if you really can't face a Mrs Bridges hamper, just post it on to me. I'll email you my addresstchgrin
(some people are sooo ungrateful !!)

Norah Thu 28-Dec-17 16:08:52

Regift hamper food to the shelter or food bank.

MissAdventure Thu 28-Dec-17 16:10:41

I agree. Things are never wasted if they can be given to someone in need.

Cabbie21 Thu 28-Dec-17 16:48:48

Many thanks for all the suggestions. I shall gradually use two or three of the items. I have already given two away and will do so with the others. I am grateful, but I wish we could go back to not giving or receiving presents either way. Previous years' presents were impossible!
I have never spent Christmas with this part of the family, as they are always with DiL's parents. DS tries to keep in contact, but it is not easy.

eazybee Thu 28-Dec-17 16:58:23

Think of something specific you would like, such as a plant, bulbs etc for the garden, music DVD, there must be something, or vouchers for a favourite shop. They want to give you something; let them and accept gracefully.

Madgran77 Thu 28-Dec-17 17:41:19

Give the food to a food bank. Start talking about things you would like but would probably never buy to yourself ...drop things into conversations. Talk about how you/hubby are trying to avoid sweet things. Talk about what a treat very special bath products are!!1 And so on

PamelaJ1 Thu 28-Dec-17 21:45:42

As other posters have said. They need gentle guidance. If you protest that there is nothing that you need/want then you are probably going to get something that you certainly could do without.
If they don’t take a hint next year then give whatever it is away.

SpringyChicken Thu 28-Dec-17 22:22:56

It's probably DIL who buys the present and at least she has cottoned onto the fact that consumables are the way to go. Better than lumbering you with an ornament which you'd have to keep for a while.
Why not suggest that some flowers would be nice for future Christmases, something both you and your husband can enjoy.

Cabbie21 Thu 28-Dec-17 22:40:30

Yes, Springychicken, it is DIL who buys the presents.
I sometimes get flowers for my birthday which I really like, but the last three Christmasses have been totally unsuitable objects, not just this years. I don't actually see her that much to have a conversation about what I (or they) might like, as she nearly always goes out when I go there, or stays in another room.

Feelingmyage55 Thu 28-Dec-17 22:49:32

I deliberately hold off buying things I want so that those nearest and dearest who really want to give me something can be given clear guidance. I also have hobbies which mean that I need to replenish stocks of certain things. Regift and say lots of items have already been enjoyed! Take items first footing??? They obviously care about your you so beware of making them feel the love they are showing is not hitting the mark.