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Christmas dilema

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  • Christmas dilema

    Right I need some advice about Christmas presents for little ones. Every year my daughters get spoilt with bag full after bag full of gifts - how can I (very nicely) say to grandparents and aunts etc that we only want one present each for the girls from them? We have mountains of toys, loads of books (although I don't mind books as presents) wardrobes full of clothes and hair bobbles etc galore. Will I sound ungrateful if I only ask for one present each for them?
    Advice on presents to get for the girls too that doesn't actually involve physical stuff would be great too!
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  • #2
    will be watching this thread as my MIL goes mad every christmas too

    A mind is like a only functions when open


    • #3
      Perhaps you could ask for things that can be used then disposed of rather quickly, funky kids soaps, bath jelly, that kind of thing.Or some sort of crafting gift, something that looks quite impressive but when its all finished with ect you end up with something small that your children have made themselves!? I used to love crafty christmas presents, and i still do!!!
      When I was younger my FAVOURITE present ever was a little basket that my grandma made for me full of tiny boxes of cereal (small people sized!) Tiny pots of jam, Tiny everything, it made me feel very special and grown up!!
      Or get the children to write a small list of things theyd really love, then pop it in a Christmas card or letter, that way they'll have an idea, rather than buying LOADS to make up for the fact that they dont know what to get!?
      Ive kind of rambled sorry!!


      • #4
        That's a tricky one - and also it's down to the size of that one present too - what if that's huge!!!

        Maybe get hubby to speak to his side of the family and you speak to yours letting them know the girls have loads already and it would be great if they cut down on the gifts. Don't know how you would approach but I said to my mum the kids would prefer to have 1 good gift rather than lots of little bits and pieces - it worked they get what they want now (Nintendo and playstation games generally).

        What to get the girls - my two are a bit older I'm afraid so pretty out of touch with what the current girly trends are.

        Good Luck


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        • #5
          Yeah, I'd like to know too!!

          Plus even when it is just the one pressie but it is really pants...... and they don't play with it but it takes up way too much room!


          • #6
            Oooh tricky one. My hubby still struggles with the concept of buying gifts that people would like rather than spending x amount. To him the value of the gift is more important than what it actually is - he'd rather spend £40 on loads of commercial tat than risk looking 'cheap' and spending a tenner on something she'd really love. I'm slowly training him and I think this year with money being a bit tight he'll tow the line a bit more. Besides his S-I-L (who I don't really see eye-to-eye with) bought me a hideous fairy ornament which I strongly suspect cost 50p from the cheapy shop last year so we could never look that cheap however hard we tried

            My friend's little girls are 5 and 7 and love anything crafty (especially if there's glitter) so we usually get them craft kits of some description so how about a sewing kit so Anya can be just like mummy...although suspect she may already have one.
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            • #7
              We've only got a small family and have never had much money to splash out on the children. At times there Christmas present from us has been £5.00.
              With the boys they've never asked for much or expected it. i think they've been quite conscious about the financial situation.
              However, Eden is a little different. it's probably a girl thing, but her expectations are a little larger. (although they are never met!!)
              The other day i was made to feel awful walking to school with another mum. She said openly in front of Eden, "what's eden getting for her birthday? X an Y are both getting a bike and a DS lite." I could've died.
              i just muttered that we'd not decided yet.
              Our families are very sensible present wise.
              I do remember when I was young and my friends would compare notes about how much christmas money they'd got compared to my £3.00 from my grandma. I did used to feel jealous!
              I remember once one of Josephs friends at playgroup gave him an invite to a party and on it it said please don't buy presents as he is a fortunate child and has a lot of stuff. Instead, please donate to a charity. I thought that was quite a tough lesson for a three year old.
              A few years ago one of the teenage girls at churh asked all her friends and family not to give her any presents at all, but to put the money they'd have spent towards a pregnant cow for a third world family. At that age I can fully understand her independantly making the descission. she still says it was her best christmas ever.
              it's difficult with relatives though, hurt feelings etc. I'd love to hear what you decide to do.

              PS> I think this probably gets the waffely post award!
              full time mum and very very part time crafter.


              • #8
                Presents for Christmas

                My own experience of this would be to handle this carefully. I said this to my own parents once.... you know they have so much etc what would be really nice if... books are good, pencils, crafty making sets, things to do type presents.

                I thought I handled it really well but they sulked to the point where I didn't even know unitl late Christmas Eve whether they were coming to Christmas day lunch or not. The children were getting fraught about whether they were coming or not - it was awful, Then it ended up a very tight lipped, straight faced affair and they left about 30 minutes after lunch having arrived ten minutes before it was ready. Dreadful.

                Apparently, my children are THEIR grandchildren and what's it do with us anyway. It isn't an easy relationship.



                • #9
                  Hmm tricky. Now I am a new grandma and I think that it is my privilege to indulge and spoil a little but as a Mum I can see exactly where you are coming from. Not sure of your girls ages (and I only have experience of boys) but what about suggesting that they take them to a Xmas panto or show instead of pressies this year. My son has always loved live theatre or those "on ice" Disney shows. Or maybe a special day out to somewhere they love, a trip to London to see Lion King or maybe adopt a pet for them through a donkey sanctuary that they are close enough to visit. OK thats me done!


                  • #10
                    Im lucky my MIL 2 b asks what they need which is usually clothes and they get chocolates to share oh and Kitty always gets some colouring stuff !!

                    We dont go mad at Christmas as i dont like getting into debt over it !!
                    My eldest boy is getting something made for his flat , my eldest girl is getting a bike as she wants to get a paper round to pay for next years surfing lessons !! Not sure yet about the twins or Kitty !!

                    As my DP has just started uni we are on a budget this year so i am making as many presents as possible , more than normal !!
                    It is difficult to keep the peace about presents maybe you could ask them to open a savings account as a college fund or premium bonds or pony riding lessons !!
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                    • #11
                      Oh gosh you make me feel like a mean Grandma because I only buy one present each for my grandkids at christmas (2 sometimes)! To be honest its because I know my kids want it that way and I'm not about to argue with them over that <winks>.

                      I buy the kids stuff all year round when I feel like it but have to admit that 90% of the time I ask their mums if its what they would like them to have or if they already have it.

                      Because the grandchildren have so many toys we have taken to writing christmas lists and it gets sent round the whole family who in turn tick off what they want to buy. This way I think is great because the mums put down what they know their kids would like, what they feel will be educational for them and everybody is happy!

                      We do the same with birthdays as well otherwise they would end up throwing away so many toys to find room to get the new ones in.

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                      • #12
                        When the boys were little my sisters and I used to arrange a shopping trip when we bought presents for each others children together. The mums would help pick out what their kids really wanted and it worked well.
                        Most of the other relatives sent money or vouchers.
                        A friend of mine gives everyone her children's bank accounts and asks people to pay money into them or send Cheques. Another friend has big parties for her two and invites loads of adults as well as the children, and gets loads of presents. Then she goes through all the bags the next day and sells what she doesn't want on ebay. A bit naughty I thought.
                        If they like a certain thing like lego, barbie, playstation etc you could get people to buy different accessories to go with them. Maybe you could write a list like a wedding gift list and ask people to cross things off before sending it on to the next person.



                        • #13
                          I suppose i'm one of the lucky ones in that my family have never gone mad when it comes to spending on gifts. It most definitely stems from childhood as there were 7 kids in our house, Dad is disabled and although he always worked, his wages did reflect this so money was always tight. We were lucky if we had £3 or £4 spent on our "main" present and usually had 4 or 5 smaller items such as colouring things etc.

                          Being frugal was a way of life much out of necessity rather than choice and the lessons we learned early in life have lived on into adulthood in our family. When we all started our own families we limited the amount spent on presents to between £5 and £10 and although my parents are now financially secure in their retirement and can afford to spoil their grand children and great grandchild, old habits die hard and they have always adhered to our (my brothers and sister) wish to not spend silly money.

                          Perhaps you could try explaining to the grandparents that the children have so much stuff already that you struggle for storage space and also that you'd like to try to teach your kids not to "expect" loads of presents and to appreciate that money does not grow on trees.

                          Another idea is to get the kids to have a clear out and make room for their new things. There are loads of charities that have special christmas campaigns with the onus on children's gifts and most kids love the thought that they're doing their bit for someone less fortunate than themselves.

                          I really like the idea of sponsoring an animal - you could have some fun days out going to visit them and it wouldn't cost you a fortune.

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                          • #14
                            Do the read any magazines as perhaps they could have a subscription, this way the mag could be 'lost' when the next one arrives. Or how about swimming tokens or other sports activity for the year. Just a thought at least it would not be toys.


                            • #15
                              My MIL buys a small gift and them she puts money into the child trust fund for both of our boys; whereas MY mother buys the BIGGEST present she can find ie 'sit-on diggers', fire engines, this year she is threatening to buy a drum kit for them. To use one of my son's favourite phrases - 'NO CHANCE'. My mother is not interested in what I say the boys need, she buys what she wants without any thought of where these giant toys are going to go, and then complains when she 'never sees the boys playing with them'. I cannot win! Never, ever!

                              I think the best is to get the girls to write a list and you tell each relation what to get from that list (if it is in their budget of course).


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