Gransnet forums


Why can I not give my grandchildren presents?

(129 Posts)
Liverbird66 Wed 04-Nov-20 08:49:25

Hi I am looking for advice. My son has told me that they will be following his partners family tradition in respect of Christmas presents. Any presents bought for my Granddaughters will be from Santa, this includes presents from grandparents, Great grandparents, aunts and uncles. Nobody is allowed to put gifts under the tree to our girls. I also have a grandson with my older son, how can I watch him open all his presents from us all whilst my Granddaughters sit and watch with nothing from us. They are 2 and 7 months old at the moment but as they grow older they will wonder why we buy presents for our grandson and not them. My sons partner will not compromise with me on this.

Witzend Wed 04-Nov-20 08:55:41

At the age they are now, your Gdcs won’t be remotely bothered, but I do sympathise - I’d feel the same.

I don’t understand this ‘everything from Santa’ business. In our family (and many others from all I gather) it’s always been little things in stockings only from Santa, other presents from family or anyone else are labelled as such and the givers will be thanked.

Iam64 Wed 04-Nov-20 08:57:32

The children are too young at 2 and 7 months to differentiate between gifts from you and gifts from Santa.

Do you mean that your grandchildren will be opening presents at your house, from under your tree, as well as the presents Santa leaves at their houses? Our very young children believe Father Christmas goes to grannie's as well.

Really it is up to your son and his wife how they do Christmas. Grandparents support parents and something like this isn't worth conflict.

LovelyCuppa Wed 04-Nov-20 09:00:36

You can't change it if that is what your son wants, so I'd try to embrace the new way of doing things instead. I understand that this will be hard but you are probably more resilient than you realise! It has obviously worked just fine in his partner's family so try to go with it and save yourself some heartache 😊.

dragonfly46 Wed 04-Nov-20 09:04:33

This will only be for a few years. They will not always believe in Santa.

GrannyLaine Wed 04-Nov-20 09:05:25

I would find that extremely difficult too Liverbird66
Not much you can do really as its up to the children's parents what they choose to do around beliefs about Santa. They may need to re-think their strategy when the children are older and understand the concept of 'giving' at Christmas. I tend to give generously on birthdays but at Christmas I try to give much smaller but carefully chosen gifts.

Daddima Wed 04-Nov-20 09:09:00

Didn’t you post about this the other day? What is the compromise you’ve suggested? I think I suggested on your other thread ( which seems to have disappeared) that you give your grandson his gift when the girls are not around, and maybe their parents would agree to them getting a small present from under your tree?

LynneH Wed 04-Nov-20 09:23:55

Why don’t you give the presents to your other grandchildren in private, away from those who will only be receiving gifts from Santa?

Coco51 Wed 04-Nov-20 09:27:59

So what happens when they realise there is no Santa? No presents at all?

Coco51 Wed 04-Nov-20 09:28:46

I’d give money.

nokkie Wed 04-Nov-20 09:31:22

I'm afraid it's not your call. My friend went through a similar thing so started just buying one present for each child and she bought Premium Bonds for each child with the money she didn't spend so when they grew up they would know granny had been saving for them at Christmas. Don't cause a row over it I'm afraid you will regret it.

Froglady Wed 04-Nov-20 09:33:41


I’d give money.

Will you be allowed to give money to them? If not, you could always save money for them to be given in the future, when they start asking questions, or you could buy premium bonds for them as grandparents are allowed to buy premium bonds for their grandchildren again.
I do feel for you in this situation but you do have to go along with their wishes as they are their children. Please don't risk doing anything that might rock the boat otherwise the situation may suddenly become far worse. Good Luck with everything.

Blackcat3 Wed 04-Nov-20 09:34:13

“All his presents” how many do you give!?

Froglady Wed 04-Nov-20 09:34:38


Didn’t you post about this the other day? What is the compromise you’ve suggested? I think I suggested on your other thread ( which seems to have disappeared) that you give your grandson his gift when the girls are not around, and maybe their parents would agree to them getting a small present from under your tree?

I think that may have been someone called sparkling?

Alioop Wed 04-Nov-20 09:44:30

A friend of mine used to say all presents were from Santa and when I used to ask if they liked their present from me they told me I didn't get them anything. I didn't like this at all so I then started to call at their house, just quickly on Xmas morning, and gave them their present. Probably sounds silly, but I hated the thought of the kids thinking I was mean and not buying them a gift.

JanCl Wed 04-Nov-20 09:53:09

It's all very well saying it's up to them. If it didn't affect anyone else in the family, that would be true. But it does. Even if you give your grandson (and any future other grandchildren?) their presents in private, as they get older, they will talk to each other, and discover the discrepancy. I would be asking questions like 'What do you want me to say to them when they ask me why we don't buy them anything like we do our other grandson?' If they are forcing this on you, it's their responsponsibility to help you come up with a suitable answer. In the meantime, I'd suggest a small present for all grandchildren (attributed to Santa for your younger son's children) plus money in a savings account for them and cash for your other grandson that his parents can either use to buy another present or save. Then you can be happy that they can see you treated them equally.

Liverbird66 Wed 04-Nov-20 09:54:13

Yes that is how it has always been in our family. I dont want my girls to grow up thinking I buy presents for my grandson but not for them.

chris8888 Wed 04-Nov-20 09:54:31

That must hurt, I would hate it. Think I would have to give money and give money to the other grandchildren saying that you think maybe they would like to choose their presents now. If son and DL didnt want that then as others have suggested just save money for them. Families, they are a minefield.

polnan Wed 04-Nov-20 09:55:50

oh thank you for that Daddina... I thought I was either dreaming, or going mad... I have such a recollection of this post.
anyway,, it is , or can be hard on grandparents,, we have to let go, it is our childrens decisions how they bring their children up, not ours... provided they are not being harmed,,

we just have to let go and do it their way, other than that risking a split, and do we really want that?

Lilyflower Wed 04-Nov-20 09:55:59

Buy the children something very cheap and small to put under the tree and unwrap 'from Santa'. Then, when you appear, bring your own presents and give them to the little ones.

Your son and DIL are being, as they say on Mumsnet, 'CFs' where the 'C' stands for cheeky.

If you cannot get away with this you will only have a while to wait before the children become aware that 'Santa' is a benign fiction and someone else coughed up for the generous gifts.

BabyLayla Wed 04-Nov-20 09:56:13

I grew up believing all the gifts were from Father Christmas and carried the tradition on with my own children. My in laws refused to give the presents before hand and would give them to the children when they saw them. As my children grew older they did voice confusion about why Nana ( my parents) didn’t give them anything but Nanny did. It used to make me sad.
Only this year I have read a post on the same thing and it’s really made me think. Basically that some children think Santa doesn’t care about them as they don’t get the lavish gifts that others do.
So maybe it’s time to have a chat ( kindly) but remember Christmas is a high stress time anyway and this year it’s even worse.

montymops Wed 04-Nov-20 09:57:08

Agree with Witzend -can’t understand the Santa thing - we always had little things from Father Christmas and then other presents later in the day - one of my sons hopefully put out a duvet cover once on Christmas Eve- sadly a bit disappointed in the morning!!! However none of my children had the vast array of ‘stuff’ that my grandchildren seem to have these days - it is almost obscene. I really don’t think anything gets genuinely appreciated in the rush to open them all.

Ellet Wed 04-Nov-20 09:58:08

Difficult situation here. Each family has traditions they wish to keep. However, traditions have to start somewhere.
Pretty (preferably made by parents) stocking from Santa with small presents and the rest under the tree from family.
Children are never too young to be told that Mummy and Daddy (or any combination of family) buy the main presents. There must be many children who wonder what they have done to upset Santa if they have a very small pile of presents from him.

Purplecatlover1 Wed 04-Nov-20 10:03:11

When the kids were little everything they got went under the tree after they were in bed on Christmas Eve. They were too excited to even look at what tags said or who presents were for.
Now they’re all at school Santa only bRings a few inexpensive things. Anything else, particularly anything expensive, is from parents or other people. Only because so many children’s parents can’t afford the expensive stuff so I’d Santa brought them a Nintendo switch (this years wish which they may or may not get) but Santa didn’t bring their classmate one then it’s not fair on the classmates.
I don’t know if it’s worth pointing out the inequality in what Santa can afford to bring some other children.

trisher Wed 04-Nov-20 10:04:32

What about presents from other people? Don't you buy for the others in the family? Children should learn it isn't just about Santa bringing them things but about everyone thinking of others and what they would like. My GCs have stockings (huge things!) first thing on Christmas morning (which I send little things for) and then family presents from under the tree. Opening the presents and saying thankyou to the person who gave it is something every child should do. And as they grow older they should be giving things as well. One of the prized jobs in our family is dishing out the presents from under the tree.