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Old 12-14-2009, 11:21 AM   #1
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WWYD regarding this gift situation?

When DS was very little, we were given a TON of the Geotrax set. It has been in storage since then and now that DS is a little older and OBSESSED with trains, we planned to set it all up for Christmas morning. We also got him some of the Take Alone Thomas set because he likes to bring trains with him everywhere. Ok great, it's a choo choo Christmas!

Then DS and I come home from the gym this morning and there is this huge box on the porch. FIL sent DS a Lionel die cast metal train set. I looked it up online and it is $200. Now, first off this isn't something DS can play with on his own. He is only 21 months and throws everything around. It looks like something geared towards an older child or maybe something to play with with a parent. We also don't have the room to set up 2 big trains. It's just a matter of logistics. And lastly, FIL is currently going through bankruptcy hearings. He tells us all the time how he has no money and is broke. We even paid for his ticket to fly here for Christmas. I found out this morning that FIL bought his other grandson two ornaments for Christmas. That's it. It's like he's trying to make a point to them that he is broke. (They went through a greedy phase a while ago...but still, shouldn't he be fair with the kids? But he doesn't know I know this info.) He really and truly doesn't have the money. I know he had to pay for this in cash but it came from somewhere. Some bill was short changed this month.

He has always had a mindset where money = love and if I love you then I am going to buy you the best things. (That is what led to the greedy situation with SIL and her son.) I know that deep down he just wanted to do something nice for DS so I feel bad even saying anything....but he REALLY shouldn't have spent that money. Also, knowing that $200 is a lot for him, if I didn't say anything I would still feel guilty that the train would have to be put away for a while until DS was old enough anyway.

So, what do I do? Do we say thank you and just shut up and keep it? Or do we bring it up to him that it's really not something DS can use right now and maybe he could get him something else (for a fraction of the price). He is going to be here for Christmas so if we keep it we will have to set it up along with the other sets!

Thanks for your advice!

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Old 12-14-2009, 11:32 AM   #2
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Re: WWYD regarding this gift situation?

oh geez. I have no idea. But that is a sticky situation!!
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:40 AM   #3
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Re: WWYD regarding this gift situation?

He's a grown man. I would say thank you and keep it. We have a similar situation with dh's grandma. She wasn't going through bankruptcy but she had to take out a loan to pay her bills and was still buying us stuff. I finally told her that gifts do not buy our love, but she still hasn't stopped. DH told me to just leave it because she's a grown woman, so that's what I do.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:01 PM   #4
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Re: WWYD regarding this gift situation?

When you looked at it online, does it have a recommended age? I would be honest & tell him that you won't be setting it up this year because your son is too young for it. Then I would tell him what a generous gift it is and since it won't be used for a while, give him the option to exchange or return it for something more age appropriate this year. I'd be honest but leave it up to him ultimately. Keep money out of the conversation. Afford it or not, it's his money to spend how he wants.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:09 PM   #5
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Re: WWYD regarding this gift situation?

If he is going through bankruptcy typically money is "freed up". For instance, when we went through it at the start of the year we were told to stop paying the medical bills and car payment. By doing that, we had the money we needed. So thats where the money may have come from.
Maybe he saved the money for a while in order to get that set for your DS.
I would graciously say thank you and leave it at that. I would say let DS open it and then maybe display it somewhere....maybe get some shelves for his room or play area and put them out. That way he can enjoy them but not destroy them.
I wouldn't get into the while SIL situation. Sounds like he has a different relationship with you guys. Just let it be. Its between him and your SIL. I certaintly wouldn't go bragging and flaunting it but if it comes up then just non-chalantly mention it and then leave it be.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:20 PM   #6
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Re: WWYD regarding this gift situation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakari View Post
oh geez. I have no idea. But that is a sticky situation!!
Thanks!

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Originally Posted by cassieJJ View Post
He's a grown man. I would say thank you and keep it. We have a similar situation with dh's grandma. She wasn't going through bankruptcy but she had to take out a loan to pay her bills and was still buying us stuff. I finally told her that gifts do not buy our love, but she still hasn't stopped. DH told me to just leave it because she's a grown woman, so that's what I do.
You're right, he is a grown man.

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Originally Posted by nakedbabytoes View Post
When you looked at it online, does it have a recommended age? I would be honest & tell him that you won't be setting it up this year because your son is too young for it. Then I would tell him what a generous gift it is and since it won't be used for a while, give him the option to exchange or return it for something more age appropriate this year. I'd be honest but leave it up to him ultimately. Keep money out of the conversation. Afford it or not, it's his money to spend how he wants.
I just looked again and it doesn't mention anything about age. Perhaps because it's not really meant for children?

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Originally Posted by mycdsqueaker View Post
If he is going through bankruptcy typically money is "freed up". For instance, when we went through it at the start of the year we were told to stop paying the medical bills and car payment. By doing that, we had the money we needed. So thats where the money may have come from.
Maybe he saved the money for a while in order to get that set for your DS.
I would graciously say thank you and leave it at that. I would say let DS open it and then maybe display it somewhere....maybe get some shelves for his room or play area and put them out. That way he can enjoy them but not destroy them.
I wouldn't get into the while SIL situation. Sounds like he has a different relationship with you guys. Just let it be. Its between him and your SIL. I certaintly wouldn't go bragging and flaunting it but if it comes up then just non-chalantly mention it and then leave it be.
Well, I know it's not a matter of freed up money. I mean, he's telling us all the time about his bills. hehe.

You're right though, it's not a money thing. I think I'm more upset about that because he is always claiming poverty. We even bought him his ticket to fly here for Christmas this year. I feel like we help him out and then he spends his money like this on something DS can't really enjoy until he's older. It's such a nice thought, but in reality doesn't make too much sense.

Oh, and we would NEVER compare the gifts of DS and his cousin. We don't even talk to SIL right now anyway so that's a moot point. But I can't help but wonder why he's making such obviously different purchases ya know? Like he's making a point.

Thanks for your opinions mamas! I am going to talk to DH about it all when he gets home tonight.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:24 PM   #7
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Re: WWYD regarding this gift situation?

Actually, I was even just thinking....this is an heirloom kind of train. Maybe it could be something we put around the tree at Christmas. Doesn't have to be a TOY, right? Hrm.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:28 PM   #8
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Re: WWYD regarding this gift situation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mycdsqueaker View Post
If he is going through bankruptcy typically money is "freed up". For instance, when we went through it at the start of the year we were told to stop paying the medical bills and car payment. By doing that, we had the money we needed. So thats where the money may have come from.
Maybe he saved the money for a while in order to get that set for your DS.
I would graciously say thank you and leave it at that. I would say let DS open it and then maybe display it somewhere....maybe get some shelves for his room or play area and put them out. That way he can enjoy them but not destroy them.
I wouldn't get into the while SIL situation. Sounds like he has a different relationship with you guys. Just let it be. Its between him and your SIL. I certaintly wouldn't go bragging and flaunting it but if it comes up then just non-chalantly mention it and then leave it be.
I agree with this.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:53 PM   #9
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Re: WWYD regarding this gift situation?

Is the set brand new? Maybe it's in it's original box, but it's possible your FIL has had ti for a while. Maybe he didn't buy it at all, just had it already and knew that your DS loves trains so he wanted to send it?
Just a thought..........
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:57 PM   #10
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Re: WWYD regarding this gift situation?

If it is the same Lionel train set that I am thinking...we bought one for DS (age 3.5 at the time) because he is REALLY into trains. It is much too advance for him so several times a year, DH will set it up and they will play together. DH put it up around the tree this year (we have a gate around the tree since we have 3 little ones) and they love to sit and watch it run. We consider it a family heirloom.
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