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Too Many Presents!

(20 Posts)
NanaNina Sat 26-Dec-15 23:03:11

Wonder if anyone else thinks that some kids just get too many presents. I love to give presents especially to children but this year we spent Christmas with dil's family (which we've done lots of time before) our own kids are grown and even the grandchildren are of an age when they know what they want or we give them money. This family now have grandchildren, twins (boy and a girl) aged 5 so there were going to be lots of presents, but the amount was staggering. They were just opening them and barely looking at them, tossing them aside, and opening the next one. I found it really upsetting. DH had made a garage for the boy and it had taken him weeks, and it was just plonked down without a 2nd look and I'd bought a big doll and made loads of clothes, and again that was tossed aside, as was everything else.

The children's mother just rammed all the presents into cardboard boxes and lots of things were squashed. I just thought it so sad that the kids didn't seem to get any pleasure out of anything - it was almost a form of deprivation.

Shortly after this some more relatives arrived with another sack full of presents and the whole thing started again............I have memories of our kids looking at their presents, even reading the new books, and just appreciating everything.

Is it just me?

Riderontheswarm Sat 26-Dec-15 23:18:37

I felt my DC got too much from extended family this year. They played with all of them but they could have been kept busy all afternoon with a fraction of the toys they received. I felt they were becoming a bit less excited with each present that was produced but I didn't have any control over the number of presents others gave them. I put some away when we came home and will get them out again when they have played with the others a lot and will appreciate the novelty of the hidden ones. It wasn't the fault of the DCs in your family. I am sure they will look at your lovely gifts when they get home and the excitement of unwrapping too many presents is over. My DC haven't stopped playing with their new toys all day and yesterday I had the same fears you are having - that they might not appreciate the toys as much as they got SO MUCH. I still think it would have been better for people to have given them less.

Fueledwithfairydustandgin Sun 27-Dec-15 07:18:11

I think everyone's different. My sister has always been so excited by Christmas she will tear through her presents whereas I will spend more time. My brother asks for a few things and only wants those unless you surprise him with something perfect. That's just a personality thing. So maybe they were just over excited.
DS had a lot of presents, so many books he didn't even glance at but I know once the Christmas madness is over we will read them again and again. I'm quite happy we still have about 10 unopened presents under the tree. Even if they are there in a month that's fine. These toys are a years worth of toys so he can't possibly appreciate them all in a couple of days.

Star2015 Sun 27-Dec-15 08:12:08

I know what you mean we have cut right down on the number of presents we buy for child relatives... When we took presents around Christmas morning they were ripped open and tossed to one side, it really annoyed me!

SitsOnFence Sun 27-Dec-15 08:15:25

What lovely presents you bought/made, lucky grandchildren! It's such a shame you didn't get to see them played with and given the love they deserve, but they'll get such pleasure from re-discovering them in the coming days.

I do agree that children are overwhelmed with presents this time of year. We have presents from (large, generous) family on Boxing Day and just one (this year, shared) gift from parents plus presents from father Chrismas on Christmas Day, I prefer Christmas Day for this very reason! We spread Christmas Day gifts over most of the day so it's lovely seeing them giving time to each, small but thoughfully chosen, gift. Boxing Day is a different matter altogether! Interestingly, the toys they tend to latch onto on Boxing Day are rarely the ones that have true longevity. For example, a wooden marble run and box of Lego were not played with, but I know they'll be the gifts getting the most love by the end of next month!

I'm sure your lovely, timeless gifts will get lots of play.

duckbilled Sun 27-Dec-15 09:03:58

Your gifts sound lovely and very thoughtful. fsmile

jamtartandcustard Sun 27-Dec-15 13:11:30

my step-dd is exactly as you've described. she opens and puts to one side without a glance then on to the next. its very hard after you've gone to so much effort to find lovely gifts but I've learnt over the years that its just her personality. she gets absolutely no pleasure from receiving and opening gifts(suspect she may have mild autism) so hey ho.
I had the opposite problem with my kids though, i was worried they would look at their gifts and ask 'is that it?' but i needn't have worried as everything was loved so it really showed that quality over quantity always wins

NanaNina Sun 27-Dec-15 14:47:26

I wasn't blaming the kids because when there are so many presents, they haven't got time to look at anything! Mind I do think the parents could step in and draw their attention to things. Like you star I was more upset than annoyed - I'd really been waiting to see the little girl's face when she saw the doll so was disappointed.

I won't make the same mistake next year!

caitlinohara Sun 27-Dec-15 15:51:21

I find it really hard to control what my dc get for xmas. The problem is that they have so many people buying for them, most of whom completely ignore my suggestions. We had family staying, otherwise I would have done what I did last year and hid half the presents so that they can be brought out later or on Boxing Day or even afterwards. When I was a kid, relatives other than immediate family and grandparents just bought you a selection box, which I never remember being disappointed by! These days my kids get enormous Playmobil sets from random friends of ours from uni! It's such a waste.

NowBringUsSomeFuzzpiggyPudding Sun 27-Dec-15 17:48:38

I think it's easy to go overboard! I love choosing presents for my DCs. They have loads of toys, but they play with them all, there isn't anything that is cast aside after a few weeks. They are 8 and 6 and still play with their Happyland for example.

I generally refuse to by tat though, both DCs went a bit gaga over the chocolate coin maker adverts and wrote it on their lists, but did they care (or notice) when it didn't appear? Not in the slightest. I do think that heavily advertised 'must have' presents are usually the things that get discarded quickly. I avoid the lists like 'top ten buys for kids 2015' etc.

My DCs had a lot to open this year as there was no big ticket item. I'm happy with it all though. FWIW it's funded not just by us but by my parents/grandma as well, as they prefer to give money so we can choose something on their behalf - we do this with some of the money and use the rest for their clubs (so great grandma pays for rock climbing etc). Anyway, they got absolutely loads but I'm not worried because it will all be well used - craft supplies, board games, Lego, instruments etc are used year round. They got a pile of clothes as well as theirs were full of holes but it's exciting to open as a present (most were pretty generic in their preferred colours, but a couple of nice t-shirts)

I do think it's important not to always expect a huge reaction. My DCs never get really excited about the pile of books Santa always brings, but that's ok! I wouldn't expect them to spend that long looking, because obviously the play shop is way more exciting. Doesn't mean they won't be appreciated long term and become much loved favourites. smile

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 27-Dec-15 17:54:51

I think it is important to slow down the present opening - it takes hours in our home because I like the children to really look at and appreciate every gift.

That crazed frenzy of opening makes me feel a bit sick.

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Sun 27-Dec-15 18:02:40

Rushing through present opening is fine if everything is looked at and played with afterwards. I hate the expectation to open a present, then spend 10 minutes marvelling over it before being allowed to open the next one. especially if it's clothes or toiletries, there's only so much you can gush about a bath bomb or pair of socks

cuntycowfacemonkey Sun 27-Dec-15 18:24:47

I don't mind the crazed fenzy tbh. My dc do tend to tear into their presents but there's lots of shouting and screeching of excitement. We have a fairly low key Christmas and I have watched over the last couple of days as they have happily played with their gifts. We haven't even left the house since Christmas Eve and I've not heard a peep out of them as they are content with their new things. Yes some things are still in their boxes and as yet not looked at but there is still over a week before they go back to school so lots of time to play with them and no excuses to say I'm bored!

myotherusernameisbetter Sun 27-Dec-15 18:33:27

Mine always got a lot and still do, and the present opening can be a lot like you describe, but those gifts basically have to last them 6 months of excitement smile so whilst they just open and put to the side initially, over the coming weeks everything gets brought out and played with and some stuff sticks around longer than others. Mine are teens now, after they opened everything, about a third of it got taken straight upstairs and that's what they have been using - I neatly stacked the rest under the tree and I know that they will be taking things from there as they need them and enjoying everything they received.

PerspicaciaTick Sun 27-Dec-15 18:45:40

Christmas Day was a bit of a rush (3 houses to visit and DCs the only children) and a bit overwhelming.

The two days since have been an absolute joy as they have pottered around, exploring everything, playing, getting excited when they discover new things. Today DS has been eulogising over a vest he got (which I only put in for an extra thing to open), apparently it is brilliant and better than all his other vests.

Pantone363 Sun 27-Dec-15 18:48:46


This year ex did a whole second Christmas with stockings and presents. Overall without exaggeration, the DC probably received 100+ presents each from both sides of the family and friends. Utterly ridiculous.

Cantwaittillboxingday Sun 27-Dec-15 18:59:33

I agree and add to that a Christmas birthday and we are overwhelmed here. The packaging and the mess get me as much as anything.

I also agree with pps though that the children do play with things in time even if they don't seem appreciative when they open them.

SitsOnFence Sun 27-Dec-15 20:25:53

I can almost feel your disappointment, OP, especially with the extra care and time you'd taken on choosing such lovely gifts. I get such pleasure from watching people open gifts I've chosen, especially children and, whilst logically I know that their reaction is not the true purpose of my gift-giving, I'd be bloody devastated if that happened to me.

Not helpful for this year, but perhaps going forwards you could save the really thoughtful gifts for other times of the year, when they come to stay/visit, perhaps, and just give a book or selection box at Christmas? Possibly an idea you've already had youself!

Everhopeful Sun 27-Dec-15 21:34:24

Tbh I think it's only a problem when you have families with conflicting views. I come from a family with a one-present-per-person mentality and can't see much wrong with that. I've watched the kids opening all this huge wall of presents they get on the in-laws side and there is, no matter how many presents there are, that disappointment when you realise there are no more (ridiculous and childish, but there it is). As the kids have got older, some of the presents have been substituted by cash instead, but it still all feels way too much to me. DH and I have sometimes made things, but they don't seem to get appreciated much. Have flowers and know you were good to do what you did and one day they'll know it

georgetteheyersbonnet Thu 07-Jan-16 21:55:09

DD is only young (2) and we don't spend a lot (her main present was a £25 box of Duplo), but even she was so overcome with excitement she didn't see everything she was given from other relatives. I probably overdid the stocking, too, as she's so little she now doesn't really remember what was in it! But opening the stocking was great fun, and nothing was expensive (lots of small things about a pound each). I do need to try to remember that just the excitement of Christmas Day and a few well-chosen gifts is more than enough for very little ones!

My SIL goes a bit overboard though; DNieces get loads of presents - they are one of those families who post pics on Facebook of giant piles of presents under the tree. This year they got a Wii, a tablet each, giant boxes of lego, talking cuddly toys, a bike each, and even more stuff! I had bought quite a few expensive and nice things for them as SIL expects it, and they ignored most of them. (The older one is a bit of a brat and never says thank you for anything - age 10 - and is quite materialistic herself, knows the value of everything you buy. The younger one is only 5 and very sweet, but even she was most delighted by a £2 pair of deeply boppers that I'd put in just as an extra! I might as well have just given her those and a sleection box and she would have been just as delighted!) I must remember next year not to go overboard there as well. When I was young we'd get presents from relatives but they would only be little things, as a pp says a selection box, or something like Victoria Plum bath cubes (remember them?), some ear-muffs, or one of those 1980s boxes of pastel multicoloured stationery. I used to covet those and was massively, massively delighted one year when my aunt bought one for me. I had no idea that they were £1 in Poundstretcher, I couldn't have cared less what they cost, I was so pleased! grin

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