DEAR AMY: I am a 30-year-old man. My wife and I just purchased our first home.
Recently, my mother started returning some of the craft projects I made for my parents when I was very young. At Thanksgiving, she gave me a turkey crudely made of colored construction paper from first grade and a Pilgrim's hat with a big buckle I made in second grade. At the time, I told her I was not interested in having these things returned to me and added that I would likely just throw them away. She asked why I would consider doing such a thing, because some of them were so "good." Returning from an out-of-town trip today, my wife and I were greeted by more of my holiday-themed elementary-school crafts spread throughout our home. (My mother checked on our cats while we were away on vacation.) According to my mom, I should proudly display these things as decorations in my own house. But frankly I think that's weird. I don't have kids and don't have any emotional attachment to the objects. I don't want or need the clutter. I resent her returning them to me (combined with shaming me for considering throwing them out). Amy, what do you suggest I do?--Not a Child
DEAR NOT: You seem to be hyper-aware of your adulthood, and so now you should act like one.
I assume background tension exists and there is (perhaps) a history of your mother not respecting boundaries. However, this is not necessarily a malicious act on her part, and you could easily change the dynamic simply by acting like a mature human being.
Make sure your spouse has no interest in these childhood art projects.
You should do whatever you want with these leftover objects (including setting a bonfire in your new backyard) and ask your mom not to decorate your house while you are away.