You should have taken a lesson from me and told him that Grandma Peg left you the table when she died, but I had it at my house until the last time we visited you. You had it in the extra room for months and had to take it to the antique shop to have the leg repaired. Now THAT'S sneaky. Feel free to substitute any item and use this story!
That may not seem too funny to you, but it's a story that has worked before. Our Grandma Ryan (the other kids called her Grandma Peg, and we find this hilarious. Grandma Peg, really now) was an avid antiques collector, refinisher, seamstress, knitter, crocheter, gardener, etc. If you could say it, she could do it. Betsy and I LOVED her house, and I can say that without even checking with Bets to make sure it's true. I know it! It was clean and neat, and it was full of blue stuff. Bits of blue everywhere. I don't think my house has a single blue thing in it. And I like blue! Anyway, back to the story. Grandma passed away a few years back, but she is still very much alive when it comes to the "Oh my God he can't know I bought this" problem. There was a situation awhile back when someone who shall remain nameless bought some Thanksgiving china. This person loves tableware and serving pieces. So much so that she packs it away because #1) no one person should own that many dishes and #2) her husband would want to put an end to the dish thing. Sooooo, when she bought the new pieces (enough for 12 people, if I'm not mistaken) she didn't make any big annoucements about it. Come Thanksgiving she brought out the "new" dishes, and told the story about how they came to live at her house. Seems that these beautiful dishes once belonged to Grandma Peg, and I was storing them at my house. Until the holiday, that is. Never mind that they were in their brand spanking new packaging. I guess they just don't make stuff like they used to, even the boxes.
edited later: This is part of the comment left by the guilty party:
Oh, and by the way, I really don't think that 7 sets of china is excessive. It's certainly not a sickness or anything!