5 Ways to Keep Grandparents' Gift Giving Under Control

LOL 52

opening Christmas presentsOMG. If your kids are anything like my son, then they're absolutely beyond spoiled by their grandparents. And when I say spoiled, I mean, "If Mommy won't buy it for me, I can probably talk Grams into getting it the next time we're out shopping" kind of spoiled. (Yep, that's my kid.)

And while it's understandable for grandparents to want their grandchildren to have everything (and anything) during the holidays, oftentimes they tend to go overboard and buy them gift after gift after gift -- to the point that you just want to look at them and say, "Enough, already!"

Being that I'm an only child, and my son is an only child, thus making him the only grandchild -- my parents definitely do way more than their fair share of making his adorable little face light up brighter than the tree on Christmas morning.

But now that he's getting a little older, it's probably high time that I tried to reel them in a bit as far as how many presents they wind up giving him. Here are a few tips I may even have to try this year in the hopes that they know when to "just say no" to giving their credit cards a beating.

1. Have them clean your playroom -- Yes, literally have them come over to your house and clean up your playroom at the end of each day. When they realize just how much stuff your kids have, odds are good that they'll get the message.

2. Set a gift limit -- If your children's grandparents tend to be really stubborn, laying some ground rules as far as how many gifts they are allowed to give might help keep them in line. (I said might. It's at least worth a shot.)

3. Set a dollar limit -- Simply tell them that you'd prefer they don't go over xyz dollars when it comes to what they get your kids. (Again, this one is easier said than done, but worth a try.)

4. Give them a list -- If you want to try and control how many presents the grandparents buy -- then give them a list of presents to buy and insist that they stick to it. (Easy enough.)

5. Have a heart-to-heart -- Sit them down and explain to them that you are hoping to teach your kids that giving is just as much fun as receiving this year, so they can help you instill this message in the kids by keeping the presents to a minimum.

What other tips do you have for keeping the grandparents under control this year?


Image via Mary Fischer

holiday gifts, toys


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fave82 fave82

How about just being grateful?

Maias... MaiasMommy619

I don't have that problem With my Inlaws... They are a little too frugal so they will probably end up with one thing.

nonmember avatar Kristi

We encourage family to buy our daughter experiences instead of toys if they want to get her something. Last year we had an aquarium pass from my parents for christmas and this year we have a zoo pass. My grandma gave her a pass to the children's museum and my inlaws this year are paying for a class she's taking. It is so much better than toys because it is a gift that keeps on giving and opens my daughter up to new ideas and experiences.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Having cheap grandparents is by far the easiest method. My mother goes for one big thing, last year it was one of the large Lego Creator sets which was about $40. My ILs do a smaller gift, a $20 Lego set last year, and a couple of small things like a jigsaw puzzle or a small toy car.

nonmember avatar Rach

My in-laws go overboard as my two kids are their only grandkids, but then so do I. I love Christmas, and while I know it isn't about presents, I get swept away and always end up buying too much for everyone, even when I say that this year will be different!

LSeab... LSeabolt1982

To the person that said how bout being grateful...you obviously done have grandparents that go WAY overboard. My sons first Christmas between my aunt inlaw and mother in law the boy had about 65-75 gifts to open. He was 10 flipping months old. I am pretty sure he had every Fisher Price toy out there. It was obscene. I had nowhere to go with the crap.

Akash... AkashaGermaine

I don't have this problem either. The in-laws give token gifts (books, puzzles, etc) while putting money into a college fund. And my parents 1) are struggling financially and 2) ask what they should get the kids.

nonmember avatar amanda

My three year old daughter has far more toys than is "necessary" and while grandparents can get a little (or a lot) nutty when it comes to gift-giving, I am with the parent who said, "be grateful." When we get a lot of gifts (and we do), we think of it as an opportunity to share our good fortune with others. The more gifts our daughter gets, the more we have to donate of toys she's out-grown and/or never really played with. I would never set a limit on gift-giving because it comes with the best of intentions and so much good can come of it. I do wish it were less sometimes, but really it's okay that it's so much. My daughter has an opportunity to see how good it feels to give thanks to getting so much...and that is a great thing.

Kendall Bean

My In-Laws tend to go overboard all year, not just at the holidays. We are grateful, but eventually when our house started looking like a toy store, I had to try to curb the gift giving. There are a couple things that have worked for us, and not all of them deal directly with the grandparents.

First, when we go to the store, my mother-in-law takes our son to look at and play with the toys, but when it's time to go home, I help him put the toys away and tell him that we have to leave them there for him to play next time. If my MIL has put anything in the cart, I usually say something like "Oh he has one of those and doesn't really play with it" or "you know wer don't have room for that right now". Shopping together gives me some control.

At Christmas and his birthday, when I know there's no way to stop the presents coming, we let him open all the presents, and thank everyone like normal. Instead of taking all of the toys out of the package, though, I put some of them in the closet until a few months later. That way I can get rid of the ones he's bored with, and he's much more interested in the "new" ones. Sometimes I even take the unopened toys that he's too old for, or that we already have duplicates of, and use them as gifts. Some people may not approve of "re-gifting" but I figure a new toy is a new toy either way.

MamaM... MamaMandee

LOL I love the cleaning the playroom one!! 

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