Home › Forums › Advice & Chat › Daughter in law rejects our gifts?
- This topic has 110 replies, 16 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 9 months ago by Morecoffeeplease.
Wow…just wow. I’m not even sure where to start. Why on earth did you ask your son what his wife wanted for her birthday, if you actually didn’t care what she wanted? Oh, bubble bath is silly, how about her TWO DOZENTH PAINTING! What does she want for Christmas? Some lovely candles? NOPE! PAINTING IT IS!
I just mentally counted, and on the walls in our home, we have a total of 12 pieces. A couple of paintings, a few framed posters/prints/photographs that we have collected over the years that have special meaning to us as a family. Did it occur to you that maybe your son and DIL have OTHER things they might want to display in their home, rather using your cast-off surplus art as their wallpaper? The fact that you have the nerve to think your DIL is “spoiled” because she has been trying to avoid hurting your feelings is mind-boggling. She probably dreads holidays with you, having to feign surprise at opening…ANOTHER PAINTING! Let me guess, if/when they have a baby, you’ll give a painting at the shower “for the baby’s room”, then a painting for every birthday and Christmas thereafter, such that the child will suffocate under a pile of canvas before its sixteenth birthday.VathenaGuest
Also, if “a gift is a gift” that means if you’re going to keep giving them art, it’s theirs to display or dispose of as they see fit. You can’t inspect their house every time you come over, or complain that they didn’t wedge that 30th piece in above the fireplace.CyndiGuest
You still don’t get it. She was honest. Your son handled it, as he should have. No more artwork!CCLGuest
If the art means a lot to you, and obviously it does – why not have the art professionally scanned and made into nice birthday cards. Then gift people an actual gift, but then accompany it with a nicely designed, thoughtful card that reflects the art? It’s way less in your face but still has a personal touch to it. If you have enough of them, there’s always the option of selling them too. I agree though with everyone however, don’t push your art onto other people.PortiaParticipant
Goodness! I say this as someone whose hobby is art and I love giving it to family and friends – 20 pieces of art??? Are you kidding me? If your husband’s art is good, why doesn’t he sell them at craft fairs? Then he can find people that will appreciate it and everyone wins.
Your DIL has tried to redirect your gift giving, but you don’t listen. So your son clearly hammered home the point, yet you still don’t get it and continue to place all responsibility on your DIL. It’s not about your DIL being honest, it’s about you not listening. Please listen to what they’re saying and stop giving them art.dinocerosParticipant
20 is a lot. I don’t even have 20 pieces of art in my entire home. The perplexing thing to me is that if your husband is an artist, shouldn’t he also be an art enthusiast? Meaning that he has artists of his own that he likes and displays. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the idea that an artist would expect another person to hang paintings of only one artist in their home. My artist friends hang a few of their own in their homes, but they also display art from artists who inspire them because they love art.
Anyway, tangent. Your DIL chose not to tell you directly because she probably knew you wouldn’t listen anyway. Because you know she doesn’t like them and you keep giving them to her. Who does that? How can you act like you and your husband treat gift-giving like this super thoughtful kind gesture when you knowingly give someone something they don’t want? When I give gifts, I do it because it makes me happy to give someone something they like. I don’t use it as a power play or a way to try to guilt someone. And if I’m too lazy to actually put thought into a gift, I do something useful like a gift card.
You’re being sort of hypocritical here, though. You’re mad that your DIL won’t tell you directly she doesn’t like the art. But you’re also mad that she won’t just shut up and accept dozens of paintings she doesn’t want. Honestly, it really just sounds like you don’t like her and you’re trying to nitpick and find something to be mad about. You cannot imagine how many conversations she and your son have probably had about how to deal with you. Don’t make this harder than it has to be.BittergaymarkGuest
PS — The daughter in law never even directky ASKED for bubblebath. That was literally just the grasping at straws for ANYTHING else…TaraMonsterParticipant
I gotta say, your art giving actually seems passive aggressive. You are purposely giving her gifts she doesn’t want and then acting like SHE is the problem when she politely declines. It certainly sounds like you are trying to elicit an inappropriate response from your DIL just so you can go “See! She’s so ungrateful/dishonest.”
I’m genuinely curious as to what more you want from her. What would “honest” look like to you? Do you want her to call you or sit you down and say “I don’t like this art. Stop giving it to me.” Because trying to force her to say something like that is EXTREMELY manipulative and hostile. Back off.TaraMonsterParticipant
And for god’s sake, stop giving her art!!RonGuest
Everyone wants to furnish their house in their style, to suit their taste, because they spend such a huge part of their lives there and because they and their friends see how they furnish and decorate their house as a reflection of their individual personality and taste. A few paintings by FIL on the walls is a way of expressing pride in FILs artistic talent, but 20 pieces is overwhelming and absolutely destroys her and your son’s ability to make their own home a reflection of their style and taste. You are trying to force them to either live with your and your husband’s style or to furnish their house in a way which suits them but clashes horribly with the art. We have a lot of art on our walls, almost entirely by local artists, and much of it by friends. We like a particular style of abstract modern art and would be unhappy living with highly representational art. Even having the art we want, we need to pick furniture colors to suit the art. I’d be terribly unhappy if someone force me to structure OUR home around their taste in art. Your husband may be a great artist, but he may not be a style or school of art that appeals to your much younger son and DIL. Having lived amongst your husband’s art growing up, your son may see the opportunity to choose a different style of decoration as a mark of adulthood and individuality. Certainly, as the wife of an artist, you should be able to appreciate the importance of each individual, including your son and his wife, developing their own aesthetic and style. Young adults don’t want to be clones of their parents. They want to set themselves apart as individuals, while still maintaining a loving connection, which one or two pieces of your husband’s art would do, while 20 would be suffocating. How do you suppose your husband would react if his MIL has pushed as strongly as you are pushing to fill your family home with art of her choosing.KateGuest
I’ve noticed a lot of parents (baby boomers I guess) have become, if not hoarders, then at least comfortable with having a lot of stuff in their houses. My dad keeps my mom pretty under control, but they still have way more stuff than I would want around. Like, my mom found a bag of pictures of people from 100 years ago behind a chair and couldn’t even ID any of them. And they’ve started buying all these vinyl records again. My in-laws and some other people’s parents I know have really let the possessions take over.
I like mostly bare walls and no clutter at all. I donate or sell things so they can’t pile up. 20 pieces of art in total would make me uncomfortable even if I liked each one. 20 by one artist is completely ridiculous. Like people said, your husband should be selling the paintings at shows and fairs. If he can’t, and he can’t stop, don’t make the accumulation your family’s and friends’ problem.ele4phantGuest
You can give thoughtful gifts that are somewhat directed.
Your son in law says she wants bubble bath. That doesn’t mean you literally have to go get her just a bottle of Mr Bubbles bubble bath and call it a day.
You could expand on that idea (DIL likes relaxing baths) and get her a whole bath time/relaxation kit. You could fill it with several options of fancy bubble bathes, some different bath beads and bath bombs, fancy soaps and lotion, maybe even some aroma therapy candles or fancy soft towels. You know, create her a whole kit for the most souped up, relaxing bath one could have.
Or, you could take the idea of bath time relaxation and get her a gift certificate to a spa. Or a gift certificate for a mani/pedi.
Take the direction, but be thoughtful in expanding it in a way that seems meaningful to you and the gift receiver.
You’d be hard pressed to find a gift that requires less thought on your part than plucking some art off your own wall each and giving it to her every time.