Etiquette

FMIL signing FI name to Christmas cards

My future MIL asked me yesterday (Very sadly) if she could still sign her sons name to the family Christmas card. He, my fiancée, is nearly 30 years old, no longer lives with her and we are getting married in 6 months. He and I plan on sending our own Christmas cards to our guest list with our engagement photos featured.

She has had a hard time letting go of both of her grown boys (neither of which live at home) and I don't want to take away the small things, but I find it strange that she's signing their names to the Christmas card, considering their age. It's time for he and I to start our family and represent separately. Even if he wasn't engaged, I think 30 years old is a little aged to be included on the family Christmas card.

I think if she signed the card 'Love, the Smith family'  that would be fine, but she wants to list their names.

Christmas is all about warm greetings and celebrating the birth of Christ and family so I don't want to make a huge issue. But I want to establish some small boundaries and I thought maybe this would be a gentle place to start?

Thoughts? 
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Re: FMIL signing FI name to Christmas cards

  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake
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    My future MIL asked me yesterday (Very sadly) if she could still sign her sons name to the family Christmas card. He, my fiancée, is nearly 30 years old, no longer lives with her and we are getting married in 6 months. He and I plan on sending our own Christmas cards to our guest list with our engagement photos featured.

    She has had a hard time letting go of both of her grown boys (neither of which live at home) and I don't want to take away the small things, but I find it strange that she's signing their names to the Christmas card, considering their age. It's time for he and I to start our family and represent separately. Even if he wasn't engaged, I think 30 years old is a little aged to be included on the family Christmas card.

    I think if she signed the card 'Love, the Smith family'  that would be fine, but she wants to list their names.

    Christmas is all about warm greetings and celebrating the birth of Christ and family so I don't want to make a huge issue. But I want to establish some small boundaries and I thought maybe this would be a gentle place to start?

    Thoughts? 
    This is odd. I agree with you that he shouldn't be on his mother's card. However, I don't currently have ideas on how to broach this. At least she asked; some polite form of, "Well we'll be sending our own cards..." would get the conversation going. 
    I can't imagine you'd have identical card lists though- maybe a compromise is keeping his name on the ones that aren't going to the same people on your list. But, I think she should stop completely. Cut the cord, MIL! 
    ________________________________


    short+sassySP29
  • Yeah I definitely think it's weird, but it is absolutely not something I would make a big deal out of with my FMIL. Sure, it's probably a sign of things to come, but I'd probably roll my eyes (internally) and move along. There are (likely) going to be bigger battles you'll have to have in the future I'd let this go. 

    Also, where is your FI in this, what does he want?
    short+sassylnixon8OliveOilsMom
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
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    Yeah I definitely think it's weird, but it is absolutely not something I would make a big deal out of with my FMIL. Sure, it's probably a sign of things to come, but I'd probably roll my eyes (internally) and move along. There are (likely) going to be bigger battles you'll have to have in the future I'd let this go. 

    Also, where is your FI in this, what does he want?
    I do agree with this. If it were my MIL, I'd just say "sure, you can sign his name"  or I'd tell her to ask him directly. 

    short+sassycharlotte989875InLoveInQueens
  • Yeah I definitely think it's weird, but it is absolutely not something I would make a big deal out of with my FMIL. Sure, it's probably a sign of things to come, but I'd probably roll my eyes (internally) and move along. There are (likely) going to be bigger battles you'll have to have in the future I'd let this go. 

    Also, where is your FI in this, what does he want?
    I do agree with this. If it were my MIL, I'd just say "sure, you can sign his name"  or I'd tell her to ask him directly. 
    All of this. Does your FI want to be listed on her cards? I find it strange but at the same time if I received a card from you and your FI plus a card from MIL I wouldn't put much thought into seeing his name twice but that's my opinion.

    short+sassycharlotte989875ahoywedding
  • My first thought was "mother doesn't wanna let go over her baby" - which you confirmed in the post.

    Agreed with @charlotte989875 , what does your FI think?
    I do agree he shouldn't be on it, but might be easier for him to tell her instead. That way he can tell her in a way she needs to hear it without her getting upset {yep, there's 100% chance she'll be upset about this}
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  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
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    I had to laugh. In my circle, Christmas cards include pictures of the entire family - kids, spouses and grandkids so everyone is listed. I include DD, SIL, SD1 and DIL when she was his FI along with DS2. I will do so this year because the card will include a picture from the wedding (as it did the year DD and SIL were married). I guess it just depends on your circle.
    charlotte989875ernursejMobKazholyguacamole79
  • I had to laugh. In my circle, Christmas cards include pictures of the entire family - kids, spouses and grandkids so everyone is listed. I include DD, SIL, SD1 and DIL when she was his FI along with DS2. I will do so this year because the card will include a picture from the wedding (as it did the year DD and SIL were married). I guess it just depends on your circle.
    But then FMIL should sign OP's name.

    @AeroGal619, I'd tell your FMIL to ask your FI.    The real answer is "no" but the bigger answer is pick your battles.

    You can still send out Christmas cards from the two of you and sign your names together.   He's not an income tax deduction.   His name can be signed twice. 
  • STARMOON44STARMOON44
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    edited October 30
    She did ask, so just say no if you don't want her to do it. Or tell her to ask him. 

    I don't think including pictures or news is weird, but I do think signing other adult's names to a card is weird. 
    charlotte989875
  • First off, I'd find out what my FI thinks.  She should have asked him to begin with, but that ship has sailed.

    I would follow his cue but, if my opinion were asked, I'd tell him that "even though I think it's a bit odd, let her have this".  I'm assuming this will be her one, last season to face that the family dynamics are changing.  And, by next year, it won't even be an issue anymore and she automatically won't include his name.

    ...Or she'll sign both of your names :), lol.  JK (hopefully).  Like other PPs have mentioned, I wouldn't give a second thought to receiving a X-mas card from you all and also one from his mother, with his name also signed on it.

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    charlotte989875
  • Ro041Ro041
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    I think it's weird but I wouldn't say no.  I would let her know you are planning to send out your own cards (and even send them one).  If anyone gets cards from both and they notice that FMIL signed her son's name, they will side-eye her, and not you.  

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    I agree that it's weird, but I'd handle it delicately.

    I'd tell her that you and your FI are planning to send your own cards together but suggest that she ask FI if he's ok with it. If he is, then I'd ask him to ask her to include you in her cards. If she says no to that, then I think he needs to tell her that she needs to leave him off her cards and you two send your own cards together.
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
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    banana468 said:
    I had to laugh. In my circle, Christmas cards include pictures of the entire family - kids, spouses and grandkids so everyone is listed. I include DD, SIL, SD1 and DIL when she was his FI along with DS2. I will do so this year because the card will include a picture from the wedding (as it did the year DD and SIL were married). I guess it just depends on your circle.
    But then FMIL should sign OP's name.

    @AeroGal619, I'd tell your FMIL to ask your FI.    The real answer is "no" but the bigger answer is pick your battles.

    You can still send out Christmas cards from the two of you and sign your names together.   He's not an income tax deduction.   His name can be signed twice. 
    I guess I didn't catch on that she wasn't including OP's name. Yes you are correct spouses and FIs should be included.
    eileenrobSP29
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska
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    edited October 30
    My mom includes family photos in her Christmas newsletter. But she just signs her and my dad's name. I think she included the kids who were still at home. 

    ETA: However, she doesn't sign my grandparents names, even though they have lived with my parents since my grandpa's Alzheimer's worsened. 

  • H’s Mum does this and I honestly don’t care. He doesn’t care so I don’t need to care. Provided that other behaviour isn’t linked, I would let FI answer the question. You could always ask to have your name signed next year and see what she does!
  • "Why don't you ask him?"
    This. The fact that she asked you stinks of the concept of transferring a man child from the care of his mom to the care of his wife. I mean, really? Like you said, OP, he's a grown man. Let him deal with this (non)issue with his mom. 
    That sums it up nicely.

    I'd tell her "He's in charge of what to do with his own name not me, haha! Last we talked about it we were planning to send out cards together from the two of us, but you can ask him if he wants to be on your card, too."

    And, when you talk to your FI to give him a heads up that his mom is going to ask him this, you might want to ask your FI to remind his mom that the two of you are a pair now, and that you'll be married soon, so she should consider adding your name also if she wants to send cards from her whole family. 

    I agree it's not a hill to die on, but it does set some precedent. I remember being at my now-husband's house for Christmas one year, and his parents got excited because they could get a picture "of the whole family!" in front of the christmas tree...because I was there to take it from them. It was very awkward. Luckily my husband was like, "let's get some with her in them too".
    mollybarker11kimmiinthemitten
  • I don't really think it's weird that she signs his name on her cards (some folks just send cards/letters as a family*), but I think it's absolutely crazy that she asked for your permission to continue. @MandyMost's proposed answer is perfect and exactly what I would say.

    As far as I know there's no rule about transmitting your Christmas greetings through one source only. I find it baffling that anyone would care either way.


    *If she does opt to continue signing off each family member you should be included too. I would find it weird for her to write "From FIL, MIL, DH, and BIL" if your future husband and his brother both had wives and/or kids of their own. But even this is not an issue I'd bring up with her. I'd just raise by eyebrows and set the card on the mantle with the rest.

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
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    I have to say I totally panicked when I first read this post.  I thought, "Uh oh.  I sign everyone on the cards ", even though both DD and DS have been married for at least 5 years".  

    I pulled out my old cards.  Phew.  I guess I stopped including their names once they married.  However, the first year my first grandchild was born, I noticed I did include everyone's name on that card.  I am guessing it is because it did include a "whole family photo", and I did it more as a "who's who" versus actual signature.  I feel similar to @ILoveBeachMusic.  I think the implication is more a listing of people in the photo versus who the card is "from".  

    @MandyMost, DD's MIL deliberately tries to keep my daughter out of photos.  In fact, in her Christmas card/letter, MIL not only mentioned the birth of her grandson without mentioning my DD (the woman who birthed said grandson), she also stated that they enjoyed having Thanksgiving with their son and grandchildren.  There was again NO mention of the fact that the dinner was prepared by my DD.  DD just practices "giving MIL up for Lent" 365 days a year!
    MairePoppy
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
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    MobKaz said:
    I have to say I totally panicked when I first read this post.  I thought, "Uh oh.  I sign everyone on the cards ", even though both DD and DS have been married for at least 5 years".  

    I pulled out my old cards.  Phew.  I guess I stopped including their names once they married.  However, the first year my first grandchild was born, I noticed I did include everyone's name on that card.  I am guessing it is because it did include a "whole family photo", and I did it more as a "who's who" versus actual signature.  I feel similar to @ILoveBeachMusic.  I think the implication is more a listing of people in the photo versus who the card is "from".  

    @MandyMost, DD's MIL deliberately tries to keep my daughter out of photos.  In fact, in her Christmas card/letter, MIL not only mentioned the birth of her grandson without mentioning my DD (the woman who birthed said grandson), she also stated that they enjoyed having Thanksgiving with their son and grandchildren.  There was again NO mention of the fact that the dinner was prepared by my DD.  DD just practices "giving MIL up for Lent" 365 days a year!
    That's fucked up. IDK what people think they gain by doing stuff like this. I mean at best, you isolate the mother of your grandchildren who ends up disliking you because you're a deliberate bitch and the end result is less time with your son and grandchildren. It's hurtful and really not even self-serving. But hey, if you get to show your power in exclusion with a Christmas card, go on with your lonely self!
    Totally agree! I put everyone on there because I am so excited about our family growing and want to share our joy!
    short+sassycharlotte989875eileenrob
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    5000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    MobKaz said:
    I have to say I totally panicked when I first read this post.  I thought, "Uh oh.  I sign everyone on the cards ", even though both DD and DS have been married for at least 5 years".  

    I pulled out my old cards.  Phew.  I guess I stopped including their names once they married.  However, the first year my first grandchild was born, I noticed I did include everyone's name on that card.  I am guessing it is because it did include a "whole family photo", and I did it more as a "who's who" versus actual signature.  I feel similar to @ILoveBeachMusic.  I think the implication is more a listing of people in the photo versus who the card is "from".  

    @MandyMost, DD's MIL deliberately tries to keep my daughter out of photos.  In fact, in her Christmas card/letter, MIL not only mentioned the birth of her grandson without mentioning my DD (the woman who birthed said grandson), she also stated that they enjoyed having Thanksgiving with their son and grandchildren.  There was again NO mention of the fact that the dinner was prepared by my DD.  DD just practices "giving MIL up for Lent" 365 days a year!
    That's fucked up. IDK what people think they gain by doing stuff like this. I mean at best, you isolate the mother of your grandchildren who ends up disliking you because you're a deliberate bitch and the end result is less time with your son and grandchildren. It's hurtful and really not even self-serving. But hey, if you get to show your power in exclusion with a Christmas card, go on with your lonely self!
    Totally agree! I put everyone on there because I am so excited about our family growing and want to share our joy!
    When DD married, an outstanding family photo was taken.  Everyone in the picture looked awesome!  I was so excited.....until I realized it was SIL who took it and was NOT in the picture.  That ruined it as a family photo for me.

    DD has tried taking the high road with SIL's family but to no avail.  In the beginning, they "pretended" to like her and appeared to be all about inclusivity.  But over the years true colors have shone through.  It makes me feel irrationally guilty when SIL calls me for things that he could easily use as an excuse to call his own mother.  I'm just grateful he and my DD are on the same page.  And, true to her nature, MIL always denies any wrongdoing and says DD and her son "must be misunderstanding". 


    charlotte989875ILoveBeachMusiceileenrob
  • I should have mentioned how HE feels, sorry!

    He would have rathered her stop putting his name on Christmas cards years ago- not because he doesn't want to wish every Merry Christmas, but because her level of over-mothering is a constant source of stress and annoyance to him. She asked me because he was in another room and I'm sure my answer to her would be much more polite than his, because he has no patience for the way she treats him.

    I don't believe she has intention of signing my name, but we are not yet married. She is really a wonderful lady and is very good to me. Her motive is not to exclude me or agitate him-- its just a by-product of many years of her sons allowing her to baby them and let it go.

    Like I said, if she signed it 'Love, the Smith Family' and included a big family photo, that would be okay. Theres just something about signing your grown sons name that stood out.

    THanks all!
    charlotte989875flantasticSP29kimmiinthemitten
  • Actually, you're getting married in 6 months. It is a bit inappropriate to put your FI's name on the family Christmas card. In my opinion, you may ask your FI to tell her mother about this thing. 
  • In the end this is all about your FI. If he doesn't like it then he needs to grow up and tell her that. 
  • If your fi doesn't want his mom signing his name on the Christmas cards, he should tell her, not you.  At the end of the day, if she signs his name on a card, it's NBD. It doesn't preclude you and him from sending out your own Christmas cards. 

    MobKaz said:
    I have to say I totally panicked when I first read this post.  I thought, "Uh oh.  I sign everyone on the cards ", even though both DD and DS have been married for at least 5 years".  

    I pulled out my old cards.  Phew.  I guess I stopped including their names once they married.  However, the first year my first grandchild was born, I noticed I did include everyone's name on that card.  I am guessing it is because it did include a "whole family photo", and I did it more as a "who's who" versus actual signature.  I feel similar to @ILoveBeachMusic.  I think the implication is more a listing of people in the photo versus who the card is "from".  

    @MandyMost, DD's MIL deliberately tries to keep my daughter out of photos.  In fact, in her Christmas card/letter, MIL not only mentioned the birth of her grandson without mentioning my DD (the woman who birthed said grandson), she also stated that they enjoyed having Thanksgiving with their son and grandchildren.  There was again NO mention of the fact that the dinner was prepared by my DD.  DD just practices "giving MIL up for Lent" 365 days a year!
    OMG! My DD's MIL does the same damn thing. Her whole side of the family does this to their ILs. When they take photos at family events, they request only the blood relatives pose for the photos. On their first visit 'out there' after their wedding, my daughter, who thought she was now family, was asked to step out of the photo. My daughter felt so insulted. She said IF she ever has a child, she will not allow the child in the photos.

    I think my SILs sister straightened this out after she married. I notice that my DD and the sister's husband have been included in recent photos. And they don't even stand them on the end so they can be photoshopped out. LOL


    H’s family does this too.  I’d always found it strange, now more than ever watching H and our kids pose for group photos when his grandmother comes to town.  At the last party I actually joked “are we the in laws or the outlaws?”.  It’s the opposite of my inclusive family. 
    MairePoppy
  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    I think it's a bit odd- more so that MIL isn't including your name as well.

    But this if your FI to decide, not you, so I'd re-direct her to him.
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