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Competitive frugal present giving - for kids?!

(58 Posts)
KERALA1 Tue 23-Dec-14 19:22:56

Not come across this before - but several people when I ask what they are getting for their DC give a righteous look and reply "wellies" or "a new water bottle for school". Am slightly fshock. Yes I get the wanting to be not commercialised, not spoiling DC etc of course. But this is too far the other way surely?!

None of these families are short of cash btw its not that. And actually all have really lovely DC who deserve decent presents. Seems rather a shame to me - surely ages 4 - 10 the really magical years still have happy memories of receiving a much wanted camera one year, pixie boots the next, game of Guess Who. Think I would have been gutted to receive a water bottle from my parents!

Cooki3Monst3r Tue 23-Dec-14 19:25:28

Are you sure these people weren't joking?? fconfused

KERALA1 Tue 23-Dec-14 19:26:56

No. They definitely weren't joking. I was too polite to say anything - didn't know what to say actually but was inwardly shocked! Hoping they have really lavishly generous gps...

Cooki3Monst3r Tue 23-Dec-14 19:28:41

That's down right odd. Definitely can't get my head round that one.

TeenAndTween Tue 23-Dec-14 19:29:41

Maybe they're trying not to boast? So picking out a low value item rather than mentioning the ipad?

Maybe the school water bottle is a much coveted moshi monsters one or whatever?

If people ask me what my DDs are getting I may not mention the main present if I think it is going to be way off the budget of the person I'm talking to.

randomAXEofkindness Tue 23-Dec-14 19:35:42

Well if they're hardcore enough, they'll be giving the gp's pressies to charity surely [only partially joking].

There was some sort of worthy and weak argument for the frugal Christmas thing on one of my fb groups, but tbh I lost interest half way through (when I realised that my time would be better spent on 'theworks' buying more Frozen bits grin) so I won't be of any help.

Saz12 Tue 23-Dec-14 19:41:17

Seems really odd to me, too.

ShootTheMoon Tue 23-Dec-14 19:46:12

Did you ask in front of the children? Because I have been asked twice this week in front of mine - and as the gifts are surprised I haven't wanted to say!

LaurieFairyCake Tue 23-Dec-14 19:47:42

I would also guess they're picking a low value present so they don't offend anyone poorer than them, they're being sensitive.

Or you could take it that they think you're really poor or will judge them grin

Iggly Tue 23-Dec-14 19:49:45

Maybe they thought you were mad for asking in front of the kids or within earshot so lied.

KERALA1 Tue 23-Dec-14 20:11:04

No kids present- I'm not daft! Am telling my two they are getting satsumas. And it was am sad to say done in a slightly holier than thou tone...

MarjorieMelon Tue 23-Dec-14 20:17:15

I've experienced this too. They have a holier than thou attitude but they are talking crap because their children all have iPads and expensive playhouses. In my experience the parents are either lying or they give them nothing at Christmas but spoil them the rest of the year.

ChilliCrouton Tue 23-Dec-14 20:23:40

But Christmas isn't all about the stuff, there's the special food, family time, fun games, whatever your traditions are. We don't really give our dcs toys at Christmas, to us that's what birthdays are for. They're each getting a onesie and some chocolate, the big excitement will be the train ride experience my dad has bought them. They are so excited about seeing family we've not seen since the summer. We could get them big toys (for our already overflowing house) but we're rather do token gifts and have a really really memorable time together.

randomAXEofkindness Tue 23-Dec-14 21:28:42

Is the 'already overflowing house' already overflowing with toys you have bought throughout the year by any chance Chilli?

serin Tue 23-Dec-14 21:41:19

I get where you are coming from Chilli and wish I had the conviction to be more like you.

Instead we, as a family, get sucked into the commercialisation and spend a fortune just because it is expected.

We are getting better as the DC are getting older, but when I think of all the plastic crap we bought over the years I feel slightly sick.

ZeViteVitchofCwismas Tue 23-Dec-14 21:45:48

well we know one thing, they are def mumnetters grin.

You should have said " Brilliant, now this is a DIY water bottle isnt it, to be made, looked at then passed on for OXfam charity...made from sheeps inards and not pastic"

ChilliCrouton Tue 23-Dec-14 21:56:44

Overflowing because three of my four children have had birthdays since summer, because we have everything from baby toys to intricate craft things and big Lego sets. No we don't buy them things throughout the year (although they are fortunate to have had some fantastic hand me downs along the way). Looking back at my childhood Christmases I can't remember a single present, although I know I got plenty,I can remember the hilarious family games, the massive table with everyone day around it, just the happiness and specialness of the day. I hope to goodness I'm not competitively frugal though how dull but when asked what we're giving the kids I answer with a smile and also talk about how much they can't wait to get to the grandparents and decorate their tree. I find the culture of list writing and 'wants' so self centered, and not a value we want to teach our children.

ChilliCrouton Tue 23-Dec-14 21:57:43

sat not day...

KERALA1 Tue 23-Dec-14 22:03:50

IMO as with everything there's a balance though. Of course the family spending time together is the most important thing but there is (for me anyway) a magic to those presents received when you were under 10, much anticipated. Cannot wait for my dc opening their presents or seeing my 2 year old nephew playing with the remote controlled dinosaur I've got him! Know that I am in the wrong though and should have got them all half nibbled pencils

ZeViteVitchofCwismas Tue 23-Dec-14 22:05:07

I answer with a smile and also talk about how much they can't wait to get to the grandparents and decorate their tree

Thats so sweet and so lucky for you that your DC have grandparents who are alive and whom you get on with.

Many people don't. Its lovely you have a large table and lots of family to sit round, again many people do not.

* find the culture of list writing and 'wants' so self centered, and not a value we want to teach our children

I don't think writing a list once a year for about 6 years going to turn any well brought up child into a self centered one.
I see children with very rich parents who have access to everything money can buy and they are well brought up lovely children and I see children with lots less, who are quite greedy and materialistic.

A child who is lovely 364 days a year isnt going to turn on one day. And isnt going to morph into a nightmare whilst writing a list. grin

Cooki3Monst3r Tue 23-Dec-14 22:06:25

I use birthdays and christmas as good excuses to make sure my children's toys are meeting their current developmental needs repeat until believed, repeat until believed

Cooki3Monst3r Tue 23-Dec-14 22:12:46

oh look, yet another harmless thread turned in to a bashing session because someone dared to offer an opinion. fshock.

dashoflime Tue 23-Dec-14 22:24:53

"I use birthdays and christmas as good excuses to make sure my children's toys are meeting their current developmental needs"

Lol: I tell myself the same thing Cooki3Monst3r I just put Ds's presents into his Santa sack and feel a little bit sick at myself for the scale of it. And this is before he sees PIL on boxing day.

ChilliCrouton Tue 23-Dec-14 22:31:01

You're right, I'm lucky their grandparents are alive, but I've been the child who grew up without grandparents, and lots of gifts don't make up for that.
OP I totally agree with you, competitive frugal gift giving is a PITA. But I disagree that any child "deserves decent presents" if decent means expensive, and toys.

randomAXEofkindness Tue 23-Dec-14 22:32:21

I think children benefit from having plenty of play materials. I don't think there's anything commendable about purposefully limiting toys for young children.

I would imagine that if you provided the toys throughout the year, you could easily omit them at Christmas and still have a wonderful time, of course you could. It's a nice tradition though, I think, to save up a bundle of those toys and give them at Christmas. It makes it more exciting - if you can do it, why not? I can't imagine why a parent would choose not to join in with this fun tradition if they were able to.

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