Very recently, I had a conversation with my soon-to-be mother-in-law about mine and my fiancée's Christmas plans. As per usual, she and I will be spending Christmas with her family - that is, her parents, her older brother and his husband, and her younger sister.
One thing that I've always found very lovely about her family is that they are all very keen about (and good at) gift-giving during the holidays even well into everyone's adulthood, and I am the same way.
I absolutely love to get my fiancée lots of presents that she will absolutely love, and her family does the same thing. I make more money than her parents and siblings (and I do not have to pay for housing, barring property taxes), and I certainly like to splurge on my fiancée.
While I was talking to my soon-to-be mother-in-law, she mentioned that she and her husband were hoping that I would "tone down" Christmas this year. I didn't know what she meant, and she said that the number of gifts I get for my fiancée makes her and her husband feel a bit uncomfortable.
I asked for clarity on what she was asking me to do, and she asked if I would give fewer gifts to my fiancée on Christmas, and keep the rest of what I wanted to get her for before or after we visited.
I was a bit confused about what she wanted, so first I asked if she wanted me to just get her, her husband, and my fiancée's siblings more presents. She declined. I then asked if she would like me to give her and her husband some more money to get my fiancée (and her siblings) more gifts. She declined that offer as well and seemed a bit irritated with that.
After that, I asked if she wanted to write that some of the presents I got for my fiancée were from her and her husband (none of us actually sign the "from" label, but my fiancée of course knows the difference in our handwriting). She said that wouldn't be necessary, and that she just wanted me to give my fiancée some of her gifts before or after we visited them.
I found this very irritating and unreasonable, and told my soon-to-be mother-in-law my feelings. She then said that she and her husband felt guilty that they couldn't get my fiancée and her siblings more gifts, so they didn't want to see the extent of what I will get her, but they don't want me to hold off on getting her all that I will altogether.
I still voiced that I didn't want to hold back or split up gifts, and we essentially decided to finish this discussion later. It seems bizarre to me that they'd want me to spoil my soulmate less in their presence, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder whether I'm just not getting something and am just being obstinate. So, am I the asshole in this scenario?
I'm confused about why you're so confused. They aren't asking you to do less or enable them to do more. Simply don't bring a ton of gifts to their house to be opened. Bring a handful of gifts to participate with everyone else. The rest to be opened at your home prior to or after visiting. It's a pretty standard practice. YTA.
YTA. When you visit someone's home for a gift-giving celebration, it's polite to gift at the same level as everyone else. For example, if you know your hosts are comfortable with hand-made or inexpensive gifts, it would be inappropriate to gift everyone a new car. If you want to indulge your SO, don't do it at their house.
I don't understand why you give them all to her at her family's home to begin with. My husband and I have Christmas at my sister's, but the only gifts we exchange are for their family and vice versa. The gifts we have for our own nuclear families, we give when it's just us.
I think it's lovely that you like to spoil your partner, but they're right that it's embarrassing for the rest of the family to watch. YTA, not for the gifts, but for arguing when you were asked nicely to tone it down.
YTA. Life is about reading the room and adjusting behavior accordingly. You insulted her family and came off as a pretentious snob. It’s tough to undo that impression and her family will soon be yours. My advice, go to them, apologize for being so rude and agree to their request.
It’s lovely that you want to spoil your fiancée and PLEASE continue to do so. Just give less in her family’s presence and make the rest about just you two. It’s SERIOUSLY not a big concession. If you can’t abide by that then it’s clear you just have a commitment to largesse and making sure everyone knows you’re doing better than them. Not cool. YTA.