Do kids compare?(10 Posts)
DS will be just turned 4 this Christmas and it will be the first year that he will have the conversational skills to describe what he got for Christmas (without me translating for him). And he's starting preschool, so will have lots of time with kids to discuss whatever takes their fancy. So how much will the compare their Christmas experience and presents? I remember talking about Christmas as a child and discussing what we got but even though we were fairly poor and my parents had a very tight budget, I never remember feeling bad about my gifts compared to wealthier friends.
DS may be on the opposite side of those discussions now. I don't actually spend a huge amount on gifts but I buy (practically) perfect toys secondhand throughout the year and put lots of nice bits away for him at Christmas. My parents and brothers do the similar and if they find something particularly good in a charity shop/car boot sale it gets put away for Christmas. So while nobody spends huge amounts, DS does get quite a few really great toys at Christmas. And I don't really want him to make other kids feel bad because they aren't going to know or care that we didn't spend a lot.
At 4 by the time he goes back to school he will have forgotten half of what he had. Throughout his childhood (life actually) he will meet people who have much, much more and others who have a great deal less, it's just life. When they get to the preteen years then there is comparison I think (and competition) but I do remember asking my daughter what her friends got for Christmas/birthday at primary school (purely out of interest, she had a small group of friends who were like extra daughters to me they were so often at my place) and the standard answer was 'I dunno' So don't worry, give what you are comfortable with.
These threads are full of people who have such differing ideas about presents, some give modest gifts, some seem to make a huge thing about giving one conker and a pair of second hand gloves, others give practical gifts and some go all out (me?)
I heard something last year suggesting that big gifts should be given by the parents and only smaller gifts labelled as from santa. I think it's a good idea, if kids do end up comparing it seems wrong for "santa" to give kids different levels of gift. Especially with the whole naughty and nice thing.
Dropbear we do that, Santa brings a bundle of smaller gifts, maybe a book, a cd, bubble bath,selection box, make up bits, general knick-knacks. We give the bigger gifts, that's how it was for me when young so I have carried on the tradition.
In my experience children will remember a couple of favourite gifts which aren't always the most expensive.
I remember when dd was in reception they did an activity where they drew a gift they got for xmas... she drew a toothbrush!!
My DS, 5, never remembers much about what other people have been given and when he does remember it's some random cool cheap thing. At this age they have no idea how much things cost, so they're not making that sort of comparison.
Thanks for the reassurance. And it's true, DS has definitely fixated on one or two things that he has gotten in past years, it's just that I wasn't sure if that would change now that he's more articulate. I have told him that Santa and the elves are environmentalists (they do live in the Artic after all) and love recycling toys that other boys and girls have grown too big for. They are so happy when a child is happy to receive recycled toys that they give some extra surprises. I think this covers any slight imperfections that might be on the toys he gets and helps explain why he gets some extras.
What's worried me is that the toy my dad has found is one that I remember a mum at playgroup last year telling me her older son really wanted but wouldn't be getting because it's too expensive for what it is. Which it is, imo, and it hasn't come down in price since last year. That said, an awful lot of the reviews on Amazon are from grandparents who bought it for their grandchild/ren. So it's probably not totally strange for kids to get what I'd consider 'Santa level' gifts from grandparents.
When DS was 6 the leader at Beavers went round the group in a circle asking what they got for Christmas. It was all phones and games consoles. My heart was in my mouth for DS. When it got to him he answered with a happy grin "colouring pens and spinning tops". Neither he nor the other boys seemed to detect an issue with it.
I don't think they do at 4 but they certainly do once they are around 10+ . At the pre- teens stage , the friends will have compared notes before Christmas Day is over.
We label 1 small gift from Santa now! Tbh though they have about 2 weeks left after Xmas so they forgot.
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