there are better places you could go, but here are my biggies:
Santa is not real and lying to your children might make them trust you less later on. I don't actually remember ever believing in Santa, but it was a game we could play and I imagine we'll call it a game as well. The actual Christian holiday is about Jesus, not Santa, so uhm, huh right.
Have I mentioned that I hate the commercialization of everything (goes back to me hating everything)? So, Christmas and gifts and me...well, it makes me cry (see also, Vicki's gift). I like giving gifts to people who really need them. I do not like receiving gifts that I do not need and do not want. Truth be told, I take back all clothes that I am given because other people buy for me what they like not what they think I would like (see also, Vicki's gift, last Christmas gifts from my MIL and mother and just about everything else I have ever received, ever). I try to buy gifts for people that I think they would like - not things I would like. For example, I got my mother an aqua and brown blouse. I would never in a billion years wear that, but she;ll love it. My buying it for her will undoubtedly convince her that I love it too, so I can expect a clone of it for my birthday. Also, I would never ever buy myself a one-hundred dollar garbage can, but I got one for my MIL. And, I would never buy a FIsher Price Annoying Animals Choo Choo for my home, but I got one for someone else.
Back to what I was saying. I have been pretty specific with the grandparents when they ask what Chuckles needs for Christmas. I have forbidden battery-operated toys from my home (and no, mom, not because I am too cheap to buy batteries...I am trying to foster creativity here). Chuckles does not need anything. The child has adoring and loving parents, a warm enough home (66 deg-F during the day, 62 overnight), plenty of organic, whole grain food to eat (or not eat as the case often is), clothing to wear, sixteen hats, a billion books but heaven forbid we can't find Pumpkin Patch Puppy, balls, blocks, The Farmer Says See N Say, and so on. He does not need anything.
So, I suggested to my mom that she just make a donation to his college fund. She says she is obliging, so that is good. I told my MIL that he needed size 7 gym shoes (and yes, in the midwest we call them gym shoes, call them sneakers or tennis shoes if you wish). My mother in law will undoubtedly buy him toys that are objectionable to me. I think they will either go back to the store or be donated to the Salvation Army. And in fact, I think next year, I will ask that everyone skip Christmas and we just adopt a family or two because I just cannot take the commercial aspects any more. No more. I am a grinch who wants to do good things. So, I will. Or maybe, we can put a $10 limit on the gifts and do the rest to Toys for Tots. Then, we can give/receive gifts and have fun bargain hunting and we can give to those who lack the things we take for granted. Yes, I think I will suggest this at Easter so they all have time to stew on that.
I love my mother-in-law dearly. My mother too. It's just both of them disregard the rules I have set for my child. ANd to a certain extent, I think that's OK and normal and healthy because it is great to go somewhere where that person loves you a lot and you can do whatever and they will still love you. That's what grandparents are for. I just think those annoying battery-operated toys need to live at Grandma's house.