Christmas And Family Pita

Lounge By michellenj Updated 30 Oct 2008 , 1:30pm by michellenj

michellenj Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 1:38pm
post #1 of 18

Can I complain about my mother for a minute? She does this to me every year, but October is unusually early for her to begin her ridiculousness over Christmas.

We live in PA, the rest of my family is in south GA. We make it home like every other year. My mother is disabled and can't drive any more, so she just sits around and orders things from catalogs, QVC, and the Franklin Mint for the hell of it, with no idea in mind who will be receiving the gift. My dad has no clue about all of these things, because she has their housekeeper hide them in various spots in the barn and house for her. She's had a chandelier in the barn for a few years now that Daddy doesn't know about, and can't figure out how to bring it out and have it installed without Daddy finding out about it. icon_eek.gif She has thousands of $$ worth of clothes w/ the tags still on them in her closet. Every summer she'll box them up and send them to me for my birthday. icon_confused.gif I never wear them, because no matter how many times they are washed, can't get the cig smell out of them.

So last night she called wanting to discuss Christmas. She has bought a Noah's Ark toy made of maple and birch and it's fairly large, and she wants to give that to my kids-but keep it in GA and it will be a gift for my brother's kids, too. icon_confused.gif Is that the stupidest thing you have ever heard? And she says that when they die, we can all just work it out on who gets it.

How dumb is that? A communal gift that will probably never be used by my children! Also, she had given my son a huge, metal firetruck toy when he was 1, and we've never given it to him because he's just getting big enough to use it, and she said we could give that to him again, and say it's from them.

Last year she had no presents for me and dh at all, and later she said that she bought us an ornament "for her tree". icon_confused.gif

Do y'all think that I should tell her that the communal Noah's Ark toy is ridiculous, or just let it go?

17 replies
mlynnb Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 1:48pm
post #2 of 18

I can't tell you what to do, but I can sympathize....when they were little, my MIL bought my boys a huge lego firetruck-one of the giant block ones-the truck part was large and they could actually ride on it. Needless to say, they loved it! Anyway, when we were packing up to leave (we live in OH and they live in PA), she says, oh, the fire truck stays at my house. icon_confused.gif Kids were unbelievably disapointed, but I never said anything in the interest of peace. This would be the same MIL that bought my husband a table saw at Christmas and I got---wait for it---a paperweight and potholders!
Sorry, didn't mean to make this about me....I guess I just ride it out since we only see them 2x a year....yeah!!

sarahpierce Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 1:49pm
post #3 of 18

Just laugh about it. That is so crazy it's funny. (Sorry, but it is). Your best bet is just smile and nod and write everything down. When your mother is gone you can write a very funny novel. And that will be the greatest gift she will ever give you. Seriously, laugh about it.
It makes a great story. icon_smile.gif

michellenj Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 1:55pm
post #4 of 18

I could write a novel about her antics. I didn't even go into the fiasco of Christmas last year! That was enough to make me never go home for the holidays again.

Chippi Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 4:26pm
post #5 of 18

Wow there's two mothers alike! The bad part is that my father kept my mother honest and fair even when she didn't want to be, he passed away this year. I have argued with my mother many times about treating our family fair. She doesn't even treat her grandchildren fairly. Sad Sad I definitely know what your going through. There is nothing we can to change it but just stay away from it which I am doing also this year. I am thrilled to say I have my first new grandbaby and I can't wait for Christmas with my family this year!

indydebi Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 4:39pm
post #6 of 18

yeah, I'd just laugh and tell her, "That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard, but if that's what you want to do, go ahead!" Don't make a big issue of it because I dont' think you'll change her. It falls under the heading of "Oh, you know how gramma is!" (Or "pick your battles") icon_wink.gif

i do think your dad needs to know about the out of control spending, though. This could really cause problems down the road.

michellenj Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 5:39pm
post #7 of 18

Debi-I think you told me the same thing last year when I was pi$$ing and moaning about how she gives the kids "collectibles" that look like toys, but can't be played with. I seem to remember you telling me to tell her that if she wanted to throw her $ away on that kind of thing, then go for it.

Regarding my dad and the spending, he knows, but doesn't want to know, if that makes any sense. He's an accountant, for God's sake, I don't know how she hides it from him. A couple of years ago, my grandparents gave them our Christmas checks for her to mail to me. She deposited them and spent the money, then gave me the money in April (a lot less, actually) when she got some $ from investments. Then she lied to me about the amount that the checks were for.

jammjenks Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 5:57pm
post #8 of 18

What a hoot! Your mom is unbelievable. I'd just write it off and laugh about it too. What do you get her for Christmas? I think this year she needs a new cake related item that she'd have to drive to your house to use!

Pookie59 Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 8:01pm
post #9 of 18

I'd skip the Christmas visit and go some other time of the year.

michellenj Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 9:57pm
post #10 of 18
Originally Posted by Pookie59

I'd skip the Christmas visit and go some other time of the year.

I should just send her some of the clothes in my closet that still have the tags on them. I wouldn't dare give her a reason to visit here. She smokes her ciggies on the front porch in her gown.

TC123 Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 1:22am
post #11 of 18

Wow, that's kind of tough. If it were me, I would just let it go. But if that's what she's really going to do, I'd be sure to mention to the kids at some point that it's a gift that stay's at Grandma's. If anything, I might mention to your Mom if she can please have a little something for them to take home, because they'll be sad not to have her gift come home with them.

I know the spirit of Christmas is not about the gift-giving. But I do not think most children will understand when they open a gift that they can't take it home with them.

michellenj Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 2:12am
post #12 of 18

I know that I should just let it go. Maybe I will buy them gifts myself and say they are from my parents.

-K8memphis Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 2:42am
post #13 of 18

I don't know about covering for G'ma--I think I'd just tell the munchkins that Grandma is kinda 'creative' or 'eccentric' when she goes shopping and therefore blablabla relate whatever caveats she places on the gifts--they will catch on. I think protecting them from it will leave them open for possible frustrations/misunderstandings later.

The biggest deal is they ain't gonna hear what you say over how they see you respond to her craziness. So mostly guard yourself and try to keep their precious holidays sweet and memorable and nostalgic and try and let the issues go as best you can.

Blessings on you, Cake-Buddy. Ain't easy.

-K8memphis Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 2:50am
post #14 of 18

When they get old enough to realize the oddities, then I think I'd start a special gift giving thing that they can do on the years when they go to G'ma's. Have a cookie session and take them to neighbors. Take a friend to the ice cream shop --something for others.

So even though she is not the warm example you wish she was --the kids get something real special for it. Make it a plus somehow. Maybe a homemade gift from them to her--an ornament or something. A light switch for the dang chandelier. I don't know spin it for the kids.

TC123 Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 3:14am
post #15 of 18

Oh, Michelle, I didn't mean for you to spend money on things and say it was from her. Goodness no, and I'm sorry if I left you that impression. icon_redface.gif

I don't know how old your children are, but I just adore k8memphis suggestion of doing something to give to others (like when she said doing a cookie bake for neighbors...). icon_smile.gif

Carolynlovescake Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 5:48am
post #16 of 18

What is good for the goose is good for the gander!

Buy her gifts then say "these are for you but they are for my house".

Bump, set, spike! SCORE!

chutzpah Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 6:00am
post #17 of 18

This is not mentally healthy behavior (I mean the purchaseing of stuff and hiding it, etc). Why haven't you discussed this with your father? I assume that these are also his funds, and that he'd maybe like to get some help for your mom.

michellenj Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 1:30pm
post #18 of 18
Originally Posted by TCarra

Oh, Michelle, I didn't mean for you to spend money on things and say it was from her. Goodness no, and I'm sorry if I left you that impression. icon_redface.gif

I don't know how old your children are, but I just adore k8memphis suggestion of doing something to give to others (like when she said doing a cookie bake for neighbors...). icon_smile.gif

LOL I thought it was funny.

Chutzpah, you're right. This behavior is not mentally normal, but she's not mentally normal and NOBODY LISTENS TO ME!!!!! I have given up talking to anyone about it, because "That's just her" and "You know she has problems." I tried to talk to my dad about it when I had just delivered my son, and he ran right back to her an told her what I said, but made it sound gossipy and mean. I had found a notebook full of crazy-CRAZY-rambling writings of hers.

God only knows what we'll find when she dies. My dad is gonna flip out with all of her things. They live in a large, 6 bedroom Victorian that has 2 barns and an attached flower shop. She has filled every single space she possible can with her purchases. And since she is hiding them, she doesn't know what any of them are.

The kids are 3 and 5, and they can already tell that she's not right. Last year we were on a cruise, and Lily told me that at dinner GG told her that I was lying when I said that I bought the dress that she was wearing. DD said that she knew GG was wrong, because she remembered going online and ordering it together. I told her then that sometimes GG gets gonfused and has "a boo-boo in her head that nobody can see." Maybe I shouldn't have said that but she was 4 at the time and got what I meant. Knowing her, she'll probably blab it to her the next time we see my parents. icon_redface.gif

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