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Help me narrow down the present pile to a sensible set for Ds 4.5

(44 Posts)
MiscellaneousAssortment Sat 22-Nov-14 17:35:47

Ive been buying things all year whenever they're on sale and so I end up with lots of random things which get split between people and occasions as I need to.

This year I knew I'd be in financial problems at the end of the year so have picked up more than usual in the sales to make sure Ds didn't go without.

Sooo, for DS I've got lots and I don't want to give him lots! Every year I've regretted giving him too much, he gets stressed and tearful if too much to open and then then gets horribly spoilt and upset if he has days and days of extended present opening which finally stops.

This is compounded by my parents being a bit crazy and they buy him a 'complete sey' of presents, full stocking etc as if they are the parents (whilst not even getting me one small present! Err, thanks parents, couldn't you pretend to care about me?)

Sooo, please help me decide which are Christmas presents and which are going back in the cupboard for birthdays and other occasions? To make it clear - this is NOT a boastie thread and I am actively seeking a balance between generosity and excess!

1. In general what kind of number and spread of presents is sensible for a boy who's just started school, adores the magic of Christmas but too many presents bad for him?

2. And can you help me divide the list into for Christmas pressies and what goes back into the cupboard?

LlamaLover Sat 22-Nov-14 17:38:34

What's the list?

MiscellaneousAssortment Sat 22-Nov-14 17:45:44

Main presents to choose between:
- Vtech gadget robot
- Hobby horse
- Puppet theatre (ties to a door frame)
- Galt marble run

Middle size presents
- Peter rabbit & fox figures
- Peter rabbits friends figures
- Lego junior police set
- Red riding hood puppets
- Doctor dressing up outfit with stethoscope

Games & puzzles
- Operation
- Body parts puzzle (layers of puzzle that builds up a body from skeleton to clothes)
- Crazy bee game
- Melissa & Doug words puzzles

- Mr men book cube with about 10 books in and a beanie mr happy
- various others but think mr men books are enough?

Arts & Crafts
- Stamp a scene Jungle+ Ink pads
- Make a meal sticker book

Then I've got a box of little presents I've collected and I guess I'll wrap lots then see if my parents leave any room in his stocking this year

I have asked them not to fill it up as its not fair - they actually pulled my presents out of ds stocking and replaced with their own for the last two years! Ridiculous petty weirdiness, but they won't get him a separate stocking as they believe children should only have one. Grrr. Ahem. I'm sure I'll wrote another thread about them over Christmas as mumsnet helps me deal with the irritation!

Misc stocking presents include:
Wooden snake
Smelly pencils X 5
Peas in pea pod soft toy
Frozen snow man
Plastic skeleton
Bendy Monkey
String of blocks
Foam frog

Donthackmenow Sat 22-Nov-14 18:07:00

I am fuming for you with regards to your parents outrageous behaviour!

Your list of presents looks really thoughtful I would be inclined to give him the gifts that may well be too young next year I.e. The peter rabbit stuff, unless you have younger children whom you buy for, in which case re-gift!

MiscellaneousAssortment Sat 22-Nov-14 18:25:31

Ooh that's a very good point - does anything else look too young/ will grow out of shortly?

I bought him the Peter rabbit characters in the summer sake when we absolutely had to watch one everyday. Now he's not interested. I'm thinking getting then will excite him again & playing with them doesn't necessitate avid tv watching too. The downside of pre-purchasing for children I suppose.

And yes, my parents are... testing. I find Christmas an absolutely foul time of year because of the family stuff, and will defo be posting desperate for support as the season gets closer!

I wish I could not spend Xmas with them, but since my sister died, and my husband left, it would be very pointed to not have them, and they would not be gracious at me keeping them from the only joy in their life (Ds).

There were a few wonderful years when I didn't go to theirs for Christmas, when my sister & her dh did the family duty (she was adored so not as horrible for her), and I absconded and had lovely Christmases with partner and friends in London... Ahhh, those lovely times.

Anyway, I digress, back to presents! What should I put back in the cupboard?

MrsPear Sat 22-Nov-14 18:33:28


My mum use to do the same as your parents and then i told her to stop. Yes i was that straight but i am know as the person you go to if you want no sugar coating! So tell them you are very grateful but it has to stop - one present is enough!

OK now i have a ds1 who has just turned 5 (in Oct) and he is getting 10 presents from Father Christmas and one main present (scooter) from me and his dad. The most expensive present from FC was a spiderman outfit (£14) and cheapest a 3d sticker book for £1. I do the same as you as get different areas in the stocking.

From what i have read on here i am the norm as far as stockings but different for only getting one main present!

MrsPear Sat 22-Nov-14 18:35:54

Also the Salvation Army requests new toys every year for poor families - if you can afford to give it maybe an idea?

FreedomHuntress Sat 22-Nov-14 18:36:15

How about you give some of it before Xmas, from the elf on the shelf?

MiscellaneousAssortment Sat 22-Nov-14 19:17:55

The idea is that half are for his birthday, I don't really want to give toys away and then have to rebuy them a couple of months later!

I've written lots so maybe it's got lost but in my first post

" This year I knew I'd be in financial problems at the end of the year so have picked up more than usual in the sales to make sure Ds didn't go without"

The issue is I can't decide how to split them up and which should be for Xmas?

The parent thing is a different issue. I have indeed said NO, and I get a whole load of insanity screamed at me. It's better than it was, as last year I got in after midnight mass to find they'd done their usual stunt of taking my gifts out of his stocking, and I went through it in front of them and took half out and replaced with mine.

My mother screamed abd sobbed hysterically and spat out with hatred the following) 'youre so cruel Misc. It's alright for X (my dad, her husband), as your dh has dumped you, X has a proper role on Ds life. I don't because YOURE still there'

'Err mother, are you really wishing me gone from my sons life? Because you feel somehow excluded because Ds has a mother?'

'Yes. You should be sympathetic it's so hard for meeeeee'

'You sick selfish woman'

YonicScrewdriver Sat 22-Nov-14 19:23:28

"My mother screamed abd sobbed hysterically and spat out with hatred the following) 'youre so cruel Misc. It's alright for X (my dad, her husband), as your dh has dumped you, X has a proper role on Ds life. I don't because YOURE still there' "


OP, are you on the stately homes threads?

SoonToBeSix Sat 22-Nov-14 19:26:53

I don't actually think that is too much. Obviously it's fine to buy less but those presents are a similar amount/value to my dc presents I don't feel I spoil them.

RedButtonhole Sat 22-Nov-14 19:29:42

I think your main concern should be telling your poisonus mother to get to fuck.

With regards to presents, I agree with a PP who said to gift the "younger" ones this year and keep back the ones that he'll still be interested in a year down the line.

From your first two lists I would keep back the V-tech robot, the marble run and the lego set, my DS is a year older than yours and they are the sort of things he has received/will be receiving this year. The other things on your just seem more suited to a slightly younger child.

It's a lovely list though, you've obviously put alot of thought into his gifts, he's a lucky boy!

I hooe you smooth things out with your mother and she takes a step back and lets you enjoy your role as mum/main present giver smile

SoonToBeSix Sat 22-Nov-14 19:30:05

Give less not buy less.

erin99 Sat 22-Nov-14 19:39:44

My 2 have christmas birthdays and I don't lose any sleep over what's for christmas and what's for birthday.

Maybe for christmas give the stuff that he needs an adult to help set up /get him started - I'd pick out the puppet theatre and puppets, and operation game from your list, and maybe lego or marble run. I agree that the peter rabbit stuff will get outgrown first but a lot of your list should last fairly well. Word game and sticker book I'd give now. You could give a marble run to a 7 year old. Puppets could go either way.

It's obviously a personal thing how much to give. We tend to do a 'big' thing from us, one from FC, and one for birthday - as well as your 'big' list, I'd include the dr kit or a watch in that, but sometimes it's been bigger stuff like a scooter or castle. Then a couple of games, a few books - maybe some non-fiction eg usborne beginners.

erin99 Sat 22-Nov-14 19:41:08

Oh and your mum sounds, ahem, extremely unusual and hurtful.

ClashCityRocker Sat 22-Nov-14 19:50:13

I would save the marble run, operation and body parts puzzle as I think that they will be age appropriate for a whole yet.

But you need to sort your parents out!

youarewinning Sat 22-Nov-14 19:52:44

That's a lovely list of gifts and could easily be split between 2 celebrations and perhaps the odd 'gift' at other times. Eg something new and simple at beginning of school holidays. Board games etc are great for that.
I'd go for the hobby horse and marble run now and save the other 2 and save the puppets. Dressing up if give now because you have bought it yo fit and they grow fast! I'd also give the peter rabbit stuff and save the lego. Split the games up and just give 1 now and whatever amount of books you think your DS will get through.

As for your mother - words fail me shock

MiscellaneousAssortment Sun 23-Nov-14 00:43:52

Thanks so much for all the helpful thoughts!

Do the Christmas day presents look a bit too small now or am I just not being stern enough with myself?!

I could get him a football as he only has smaller balls or cheapo plastic or foam balls. Can anyone link to one on amazon? I get confused by the choice and confused cos the colours mean something sometimes w football clubs etc?

Other than that, how does the list look?

1st dec - Christmas sticker book plus a box full of seasonal stuff from last year including Xmas books, Christmas house w FC figure delivering pressies, dvds etc

Christmas eve
Christmas pajamas (need to buy, forgot about this!) & choccies

Christmas Day
Big presents (1 from FC, 1 from me, and 1 to find outside as Rudolf dropped it off the sleigh!)
- Vtech gadget robot
- Hobby horse
- Puppet theatre

Middle size presents
- Peter rabbit & fox figures
- Peter rabbits friends figures
- Red riding hood puppets
- Doctor dressing up outfit with stethoscope

Games & puzzles
- Operation (I sooo want to play this again!)
- Melissa & Doug words puzzles (?? Or give at another time)

- various books but keep mr men block of books til birthday (?)

Arts & Crafts
- Make a meal sticker book

Plus stocking pressies
Plus one extra medium size present held back for another day, maybe NY or first day back at school - a day when it feels all flat and fun finished

-Galt marble run
-Lego junior police set
Games & puzzles
- Crazy bee game
- Body parts puzzle
- Mr men book cube with about 10 books in and a beanie mr happy (?)
Arts & Crafts
-Stamp a scene Jungle+ Ink pads

erin99 Sun 23-Nov-14 01:04:16

Looks good to me! I wouldn't give an extra present on a random day when it all feels flat personally. My children will be thoroughly spoiled already by New Year's Day and definitely not in need of any presents! But then we are not in the habit of giving them "just because" presents, which is kind of what that would be.

A football is a good present but only get it for christmas if he is going to be playing outside in the winter. Depending when his birthday is.

FelixTitling Sun 23-Nov-14 01:17:55

As a rough guide to presents I always give (and got as a child):

1 big present and couple of medium sized ones (the biggest / most expensive ones) off us - under the tree.

1 pillowcase stocking full at the end of the bed (smallest / cheapest) off Santa.

And as for your mother - she needs putting back in her box. I hope you find the strength to do that.

MiscellaneousAssortment Sun 23-Nov-14 02:02:26

Oh Lordy you're right about the weather. He does football club so I thought having a football would be good, but actually, he'll use their footballs in class and doubtful much playing will happen beyond that in the wet and miserable months...

Humm, does he need something else? Or not?

There are a few superhero figures I've seen other people recommending, anyone think they'd be a good idea or no? Power rangers or marvel super hero mashers? It would be starting a new interest ether than something he's asking for...

Donthackmenow Sun 23-Nov-14 05:50:38

If money is tight I wouldn't worry about getting superheroes, he will probably love them next year and they will be in the Sainsbury's toy sale so you could get then for next Christmas!
I like the split you are suggesting re Christmas/birthday so go for it!
Your mother is clearly insane, I thought my mil is bad (she has had a tantrum this weekend because we only get 2 tickets for the nativity and she thinks she should have them not us) but she is starting to realise that I am the mother not her... I hope she doesn't ruin Christmas for you but I imagine we will both be on a 'irritating family' thread before Boxing Day smile

ClashCityRocker Sun 23-Nov-14 07:25:06

If he hasn't yet shown an interest in superhero figures, I'd leave it - it sounds like a lovely thoughtful set of presents and the superhero stuff will be age appropriate for a good few years yet - you may well be able to pick up some bargains in the January sales.

Blu Sun 23-Nov-14 08:03:29

That is a great selection of presents for a child that age and you really don't need to get anything else for Christmas or birthday; maybe just have a fiver 'in hand' in case he gets keen on any crazes his friends like as his birthday approaches, such as Powere Rangers or Transformers. But definitely don't get them just for the same of it now!

So sorry about your mother, is your Dad any more reasonable?

I wonder whether it is the pressure of being the focus of so many adults desperate for him to give them a 'role' and needing him to make them important that stresses your DS out rather than the actual presents. It sounds as if they come and stay at your house. No possibility of them arriving mid morning Christmas Day? Taking presents out of his stocking, and then what she said....well!

If your Dad is reasonable and recognized that as unacceptable can you talk to him in advance and say if she behaves like that again you will not be spending Christmas with them again for a good few years?

fuzzpig Sun 23-Nov-14 09:04:12

I think your list sounds great but would swap the games - give the bee game and body puzzle now and the operation and word puzzle for Xmas.

Can you tell me more about the body puzzle though please, as it sounds fab! grin

I'm sorry your mum is so utterly toxic. I think if you can possibly manage it, an ultimatum is necessary - she either steps back this year or you don't see them at Xmas anymore in the future.

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