My MIL is mad I told her not to send anything for Christmas...AITA

Why don’t you let her send the gift and get in the habit of doing a video call so they can watch the child open the gift? Then encourage the conversation and allow your kids to say thank you and give updates on what they’re doing in school etc. A nudge to get it going in the desired direction is worth it before becoming bitter about it. :heart:


Some people are fucking insufferable :roll_eyes:

U sound like a bitch really… Ur far away…

I would be devastated if my daughter in law told me that. I think it’s really mean.


Sometimes gift giving is ⏃ persons love language perhaps she doesn’t know she can call and talk to them and why not say hey why don’t you call so you can ask them yourself … ⟟ had long distance grandparents and ⟟ loved knowing they were thinking about me even if it was just my birthday or Xmas and it broke my heart when the cards stopped coming. Why limit the love that is there instead of trying to use that as ⏃ foundation and build and foster it?? Also people aren’t mind readers … have you expressed your feeling to them about this ??

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Maybe instead ask she use the money to come for a visit

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Why not have the kids call them? It’s a 2 way street with communication :two_hearts:


I’m in this type of situation and I feel grandkids could call me. They’re are all 7 busy so I hate interrupting them . I give anything to talk to them.


Lord, help. Let her send some money and put it in an acct for them! Sheesh

If she wants to send gifts why not? The only one stopping it is the mom.

Phone works both ways. I see this all the time. You ever sit down and dial the number for your kids to call? Doubt it. Something you both need to admit y’all slacked on and figure a solution then overtime whoever don’t stick to that solution is when it’s okay to play the blame game.

It is NEVER a kids or parents responsibility to make them have a relationship with ANYONE. If they want a relationship they will make the effort!!

Doesn’t seem like you or your husband make much of an effort. Haven’t seen either family in years? Load up and go

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Why not ask hey how about this year instead of sending gifts we try to meet up? Say you think they would appreciate being able to spend a little time with them over a item.

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Maybe you could suggest she use that money for travel expenses to come see you all in person for Christmas. It would be a more meaningful and memorable gift for everyone.

Ma’am. I WISH my family sent anything at all


Just put from Santa on those :rofl::rofl:

i think that’s nice of her asking what they want :woman_shrugging::woman_shrugging::woman_shrugging:

We have both families upset this year. We have opted out of “doing Christmas” outside our household. We were tired of going in debt every year and doing the gift card exchange and all that jazz.

You do you .

I think it’s rude to turn away a gift from the grandparents… especially since your main complaint is not enough interaction. :thinking: so you’re going to cut off the interaction they do have? And then your kids miss out on that too? Do you and your kids make an effort to call them or FaceTime them? It is a two way street. You say they’re old enough… if they want to call then they should call them as well. I’d continue accepting their gifts and continue to encourage both parties to reach out more often. Make it a weekly thing pick a day and time that you call each week to update each other. My aunt lived in a different state the majority of my life and we always made time to talk multiple times each week! Both sides have to put in the work.

Be grateful they at least send gifts. Why would you be petty and spite your kids out of a gift ?


Open bank accounts for them, ask for money gifts, put them in the bank accounts for the kids for the future.

Wow. You don’t live near them. DO YOU make an effort to video chat or call? 2 way street here . They are trying to do something nice from a far , get a grip it’s you hurting your children


I grew up super far away from my grandparents in a different country so they couldn’t call a lot. The gifts they sent made me feel more connected to them as a child and made me feel like they remembered and cared about me. Kids don’t really notice the absence of anyone they don’t interact with daily anyways- you do because you’re an adult but for kids it’s different.


I don’t think you’re thinking of your kids in making that decision. I think that’s about your feelings. Even if kids are far away from relatives and don’t see them or speak to them often, kids adore presents being sent to them and knowing that they are remembered and thought of during special days and events. It may not be the effort you imagined or want and you may not think it’s enough, rightfully so you think your children deserve more. But taking something away from them to prove your point isn’t what’s best for your kids. We always teach them it’s the thought that counts.


TBH, do you make an effort to go and see them ?? It’s a two way street I’m afraid. Some families do live far away. If she she wanting to send them a card or a gift, I see no issue with that. Do you phone them, or get the kids to phone them?? It sounds like a nice gesture, I think you are being very one sided by all of this.

Have you had your of age kids call/facetime their grandma?
Grandma’s schedule is probably more open than a young families.
Be thankful she thinks of your children.


Most of my family has always been this way with my kids. My sisters kids are top priority. My kids used to get at least a card but they haven’t even done that in years.
I just let the kids decide if they wanted to try and maintain contact and they didn’t. They called my son 2 months after his birthday in June. He ignored it. Kids know who’s there and who’s not.

I’m on both sides here. I can 100% see why your upset and agree but I also see the kids side of things. My grandma lived in another state and always sent a card with money for birthdays and holidays. While I never got to establish a real relationship with my grandma I looked forward to the mail around birthdays and holidays. I never really spoke to her on the phone or anything. But, given that grandma is likely older you guys should definitely make the effort as well. Why don’t you guys take the kids to visit? Especially since they’re old enough for phone calls. They’re old enough to take a trip to see grandma. Remember she is making an effort and they are your children not hers. You are not entitled to dictate how she makes her effort.

That phone works both ways. You say the children are old enough for phone calls so why don’t you have them call her?

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When a child receives a gift from anyone (family or not) they should be taught to send a thank you in some form.


Have a conversation with her about it. Encourage MIL and grandkids to call each other.

Sounds like you moved away and you are younger, maybe you should make the effort to visit them.

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Your kids may not feel the same way. They may feel worse if they don’t get a gift from their grandparent at Christmas. And may resent you if they later have a relationship with their grandparent and are told that you cut off that one small part of the relationship. I would take steps to foster the relationship rather than say no to gifts for your children. Or tell them to save money on gifts to save up for a visit.


Do you ring her… shit happens both ways least she trying what you doing other than knocking her least she sends gifts maybe you should try picking up the phone and calling her or like you say your kids are old enough to receive calls so why cant they ring her also x

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Maybe suggest the kids don’t need gifts they need their grandparents and to spend their money on airfare to see them at some point

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If she talked to the kids she would have an idea what they wanted… that’s all I’d say. Wouldn’t tell her nothing, I’d tell her to know the kids.

Have you tried calling them??? It is a two way street.

Why wasn’t she in her feelings about the fact she hasn’t seen or spoken to her in years?
I might my first instinct was to say, st least she’s getting them cards and gifts. We haven’t even had that since our 11 year olds first birthday. And we have 2 more kids…
But hell nah. You are NTAH. She is. Screw her.

The question should be to your MIL. Why doesn’t she see them? Is it because she cannot afford to travel to see them? Does she have a fear of travel? Is she not well enough to travel? Then there is a very important question to the OP, why haven’t you and your husband made and effort to travel to see her? It goes both ways.


Y’know… I had a far away grandma growing up. She basically only contacted me on holidays and birthdays. I never met the woman, don’t really remember much about her, but I love my grandma Barbara. She thought of me every single holiday and birthday, every one.

I saw my other grandma only on Halloween. Didn’t even know she was my grandma. Never bonded with her. She could die today and I would not care at all.

I never saw or spoke to my dad EVER. He missed it all. I hate the man and refuse to talk to him.

My point is let your kids make their own decisions. It’s their relationship with their family members, not yours. If they aren’t dangerous people you have no right to act this way. If they wanna fuck it up that’s on them. Don’t you talk about them in front of the kids though, and don’t go making problems for no reason. Pick your battles. You can address this so much nicer and you know it. If you’re done addressing it then just let it tf go. You can’t control every aspect of your kids lives, and it’s really unhealthy for everyone for you to try.

What’s worse is when they don’t even care enough to send so much as a birthday or Christmas card or call them on the phone, but proclaims to the rest of the world how much they love them, making it all for show.

Maybe ask for a visit for Christmas?

As a grandma who lives far away from my kids. I don’t call them often because they have their own lives. I do send gifts for birthdays, Christmas and I often send cards saying thinking of you with a little cash card. It’s important to understand that not all parents want to crowd you and be annoying. You can call her anytime or ask if she has texting or anything that she can talk to the kids more often


Im confused, she asked what your kids want and you said don’t send anything. Then complaining of why they don’t contact your kids. At least they make an effort to do something. My in-laws lives 5mins away from us and if j don’t make my daughter to call them, they don’t make any effort to do so. Maybe you should reach out of have your husband reach out to them.

Yes I think you are the asshole here

Maybe you need to reach out to them.

I feel you. There is family that I stopped talking to because of this situation. It is not my job to make sure they have a relationship with my children. Relationships work 2 ways, if they cared about your children they would call them. So many people are quick to say you are wrong in not contacting the grandparents. If it was a father of one of the children would they be saying the same thing?! If anyone doesn’t try to have a relationship with a child, it is not only the parent’s responsibility


Yes you are, my in laws live 4 states away and my kids don’t talk to them much. We are busier then my in laws so it’s up to us to call them not the other way around since they don’t know our schedules. A gift is a gift why on Earth would you turn down something that could definitely bring some joy to your kids?


Back in my day the parents took the grandkids to visit grandparents especially when they lived far away, I never had gifts or cards from grandparents but loved to visit them an listen to their wisdom and have a yummy meal with them. Most grandparents are older, dont feel well and probably on a fixed income. I think grandparents are given a raw deal


Let her send the gifts it’s not hurting anyone.

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Are you making any effort? Do you have your kids call them? I mean they are making a point to show they care and are thinking about your children by sending gifts. Do you have your children call and thank them?

It’s just a gift, calm down and accept the nice gesture

As a kid I didn’t want to be bothered talking to old people, what kid wants to sit on the phone with their grandparents? Kids are too busy with being kids.

I dont think you wrong.on the other hand u do phone her of travel to her works both ways.she raised her kids.her son.maybe talk to her instead of refusing the presents.if she travels one occasion and ye the her to understand.instead of doing that.just my be grateful she thought to buy them a gift.

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Spot on why send gifts at Christmas :christmas_tree: and no visit or any contact through the year?
You have every right to say no Thankyou.

Not everyone has money to travel to see family. Maybe they’re older and can’t really get around or maybe they’re just honestly tight on money. FaceTime and enjoy your kids getting gifts and let the kids enjoy it! Sorry but you definitely come off as snobby… It’s not their fault you guys moved that far away.

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People communicate in different ways. Have you told them that you prefer to communicate by phone? Is there are any barriers preventing them from communicating this way? Maybe a conversation is in order. I know some people would love to receive a card in the mail.

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Can she visit in lieu of a gift? Tell her WHY. Its confusing to kids. Explain face time, phone calls and visits are better than toys.

So when she tries to connect you just shut her down cause you feel she doesn’t give your kids enough attention? Phones work both ways.

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You’re wrong and your reasoning behind it is wrong. Long distance will put a strain on any relationship. Times are hard right now for everyone. The fact that she is thinking of them for Christmas is heartwarming within itself. My son has a grandma that doesn’t even do that much… never called and never came by when we did live close. I always took him to visit her and even then she would say hi and hug him and then he would be in the living room while she stayed in her bedroom. She doesn’t even know how to spell his name correctly. She has been the true definition of an absent grandparent. I have no grandparents left. They have all passed away and I would give anything just to call them or go see them. The children are the ones that will suffer in the long run because they will feel like their grandma doesn’t care at all and even if you did tell them your reasoning behind it, they may grow to resent you. I was always told that the road goes both ways and so do phone calls etc. Its give and take. I don’t live close to my family anymore and haven’t gotten a chance to go visit in a while nor do we talk as much on the phone as we used to but I still encourage my kids to call and talk to their grandparents and have a relationship with them because they won’t be here forever and everyone has their own lives with their own problems. Just like it would make their day to hear from her or it would make your day to hear from your family and to know that you’re being thought of- the same can be said for her. Our parents aren’t getting any younger. Do you expect your parents/grandparents to reach out to you all of the time to nurture a relationship between you? Seems like there is a much deeper issue here other than what’s stated.

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Wow! Your post sounds so angry. You even said your husband has a job very far from his family, which I’m sure makes it hard for the in-laws to be in contact. Maybe you are the AH? :woman_shrugging:t2:
It’s a two way street. How often do you or your kids reach out to them?

Phones work both ways. Why don’t your kids call her if theyre old enough? Or you dial and they talk. Both of y’all are in the wrong.


If your children make that choice, I think it’s better. This is coming from a woman who was in your kids shoes. My grandparents did the same and at some point, I chose to refuse the gift. Ten years later, we all have worked towards an actual relationship and I enjoy their company very much. Give it as many chances as it takes and don’t be bitter. It will only encourage your kids to be bitter.


The phone works both ways. You should have encouraged your kids to keep in contact with their grandparents. Shame on you.


It’s time for an ADULT conversation. I feel there is a lot more to this. Pull up those big girl panties and talk to her. This could be a simple miss understanding. Assuming just makes an ass out of you both.

Yes. You’re in the wrong. Your kids get little to no contact and now your cutting off what they do get AND cutting off gifts!? A fraction of an effort is better than none at all. Why punish your kids. Additionally PHONES WORK BOTH WAYS

I’m sorry but I feel that she’s at least thinking of them. It swings both ways you can always contact them. In not doing so may feel that you guys like your space. My grandmother lives three maybe 4 hours away and sends my children cards in the mail every holiday. She runs her own business and is always busy. We actually don’t FaceTime or anything we just message each other. She’s doing what she can…

Absolutely not cuz that’s how I am with my own family.

It sounds to me like they’re trying. You said they live far. I think they just want to let your kids know they are thought about

You know whats unfair to your children? You denying thei christmas presents from their relatives. Wtf girl. :sweat_smile: Please ask if they want to know your children better and if not, then just let them send the gifts. Your kids will remember and be happy for the gifts. Let them have it.

I think you are wrong. Let her be whatever type of grandma she wants to be or is able to be as long as it isnt emotionally or physically hurting “them”. Yes they are your kids but they are also her grandbabies. What will your children see when they open a gift from grandma? That she cared enough to send that or a card. Dont you want to see them smile?Some children don’t have that and at least a call (i know you said she doesnt do this either) a card or a gift. Let them decide some day what they want or don’t want from her. Ppl need to stop thinking of themselves and instead think will this make my kid smile? This is a kind gesture, a show of some sort of affection or even just attention? Let her do what she feels in her heart to do.

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Works both ways. If your kids are more than old enough, then have them make the phone calls, write letters, FaceTime, send gifts. I don’t get it. :thinking: Family is family. Be grateful they want to send your kids gifts and don’t just ignore them on holidays. :woman_shrugging: How would you feel if the roles were reversed and they told your kids not to send them anything- they don’t want anything from your kids? Just accept and be grateful.


I don’t necessarily think you’re wrong, I completely understand your feelings, but at the same time, it’s something for your kids, not something for you. I have many out of sight out of mind relatives, but even a little something is better than nothing. Why deny your kids a new toy? :woman_shrugging:

Definatly wrong , stop beig childish, at least she wants to send them something, give your head a wobble


She lives far and she’s trying to make a connection instead of sending a bunch of crappy toys that they either 1) don’t like or 2) take up room and will never play with.
She wants to get something they will enjoy, I always say Amazon or Barnes and noble gift card or if it’s something special like a theme park your saving up for or aquarium experience gifts are always welcome :slight_smile:

Maybe if she lives far away set up a time weekly do a zoom call or something to build that relationship

Um… They are trying from far away. They are thinking about your kids and willing to send them gifts for holidays and you are declining? IN MY OPINION… You are blocking your children from knowing they have a family that is thinking about them.

Why don’t you reach out? I encourage my son to call Opa and Oma regulary. He is 5 yrs old and has a God relationship with his grandparents.

Honestly no you’re not your feelings are valid and if you feel that they’re only in your kids then speak up about it. I feel for the kiddos on this one my kiddos have almost the same thing going on but without any contact or calls or gifts or anything for that matter. But it’s okay because kids aren’t dumb they see and hear what’s going on and who really cares for and about them.

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Why haven’t the grandparents made a trip to come see all of you?! I find that crazy, especially since you said y’all haven’t seen each other in years.

I think you should let her do whatever she wants to do. Don’t be petty. Let her live your kids however she can.

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I’m sure it works both ways do the kids call to thank them for the gift

I don’t think that you’re wrong for saying it, but I think your reasoning is wrong. If you live that far away from them it’s not like they can just show up and spend time with your kids. And maybe they don’t feel like they can call your kids because of how maybe you react to them “half loving them “. I personally would allow them to send gifts and cards because it’s for your children and not for you, and maybe they might feel a little more connected to them by receiving something from them occasionally. But you also have a phone and can make effort yourself… But it’s your life and your kids to do what you want that’s just my opinion

I have a granddaughter in the other side of the country from me and I love her very much but I don’t get to call her when ever I would like so I have to just hope she still loves me when she comes to see her daddy (my son). All I have is the ability to send a gift.I can not afford the travel nor would I be able to as my health would not allow for a plane ride and by car would take a week one way due to my swelling. Just because you don’t see them trying doesn’t mean they don’t care. Let them send the gifts and let your kids decide for themselves how they feel about it.

I mean… Sending a gift is effort.

Since you are the one that moved away, do you make an effort to take your kids to visit them? You all made the decision to move away so they aren’t obligated to come to you anymore. Maybe you could call them, video chat them or even visit them especially on holidays instead of being isolated.

Soooooo you’re mad cause they want to keep in touch from far away? :thinking:

I mean do y’all call them?

She’s being nice and trying to connect this way. Your wrong. And disrespectful honestly.

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That works two ways, did you have your children call her?


The phone goes both ways. I am constantly sending videos and pictures of my kids to my husbands family. I feel like it is up to you to keep them updated as well. At least she reaches out in certain occasions. Do you?

Let her send the gifts or have your kids call them. I understand where you’re coming from but at the end of the day they’re your kids grandparents.

Why not let them get free gifts?

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Sooooo you moved far away from family and are mad that you can’t see them? So them sending gifts isn’t even good enough? Why is everyone in this whole “if you don’t do things my way, you’re cut off” cancel culture mentality?! These are the same people who then complain that no one makes time for them. I just don’t get it.

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You aren’t wrong I let this go one for months now my mil comes and goes the last time we seen her she locked us out of the house for and hour knowing we were coming and my 2.9 year old son turned around and said grandma hates me and now I said nope I am done I she is no longer allowed to send gifts or nothing because that broke my heart like a mother focker

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If they are old enough to get a phone call they are old enough to call her. Have them start that trend. Maybe she thinks they are too busy for phone calls.

You’re a jerk… if people wanna send your kids presents let them… shame on you

You are the asshole.
Them sending cards and gifts IS a level of involvement a lot don’t get and you’re trying to prevent your kids from experiencing ever feeling any expression of thought, care or love from their extended family.

Also, why is all of the responsibility on everybody else to contact you or your children? They are YOUR extended family, if you want a relationship with them, YOU have to foster it. Relationships, all relationships, are a two way street.

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My MIL also does not contact my kids very much, we are also hundred and thousands of miles away. But I put my feelings aside and will video call them here and there to say hello to the kids. Should i be doing this? Probably not but I am not gonna be bitter about something I can not change. I only get to control what I can do and that is to make sure I do my part and give them a chance at something. Whatever it may be. Them sending them a gift is also a way of trying to be involved they could very well not even send anything and them be forgotten. But your children your choice.

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This sounds to me as if an in-law with a chip on the shoulder or a not good relationship with the in-law. If grandma absolutely did not care, she may be offering nothing. Most kids, especially at certain ages, do appreciate a gift at any time. That could be something that they may remember as they grow up. My older kids didn’t much connect with their father’s relatives, but as they grew, they did remember especially their grandmother. When she became sickly as she got older, I took them over to visit with her and I felt they both gained from it. In fact, she changed her ways towards all of us (I was not her favorite person) and my children were the better for it by learning that not all do as others and to care about them, anyway, if so inclined which they did.

I don’t think gifts ever hurt children regardless of how close they are to that person :joy: I understand that gifts don’t buy love OF COURSE. but as a kid, I was never really close to my grandparents or anything like that but I always loved to get a gift :joy: you could always tell her about things that they actually need and she could get them those things. It seems as though you’re taking it more personal and now your kids are gonna miss out on things that they could have really wanted (plus saves you from having to buy everything). If they want to spend their money, why stop them?