Have any of your DC been desperate for a pet for Christmas?

(8 Posts)
Isthisusernamefree Mon 14-Nov-16 15:26:39

Me and OH need some help. So basically, I know that buying pets for kids for christmas is usually bad news, in this case we (and when I say we I mostly mean OH) have made a rod for our own back and my DSS (8) is asking, on a continuous repeat, for a hamster for christmas.

The back story is, during the summer we had agreed to get DSS a fish tank, my OH is a fish fanatic and said he always found fish fascinating, DSS had decided he loves fish too. We told DSS that if that's what he really wanted, he could have one for christmas or he could use his money box stash to buy it himself. He chose to have it for christmas. DSS rabbited on about this fish tank for weeks and how he was going to play with his fish, obviously we told him that you can't play with fish, but OH started to get cold feet thinking that DSS 8 and DSS 5 would have their hands in there all the time when we weren't looking. So one day in late summer, OH and I were discussing the pet idea and he suggested maybe something more interactive, such as a hamster. DSS has had a couple of hamsters over time at his DM's but they never seem to last long!

Problem came when we realised DSS had overheard this conversation - he burst into our bedroom raving about how much he loved hamsters and how he would much rather have one of those. OH then gets carried away and says 'Ok, well how about we go with a hamster instead of fish?'

I strongly dislike hamsters and OH hates anything small and furry that lives in a cage, I do not want a hamster, I will end up looking after the hamster and they're loud, smelly and nocturnal. My OH will get fed up with hearing it have a hamster party in the next room within 15 minutes of us going to bed on the first night. Also it will probably keep DSS awake. And I can't have it downstairs because we have dogs and I don't think that's fair - plus I don't want it downstairs.

We hoped he'd get distracted nearer to christmas with all the toys and lego he could have instead, but he still steadfastly wants the hamster. I totally hold my hands up to the fact that this is our fault, we should have managed this better, but what do we do now? He'll be crushed if we say no or just don't get him one.

His birthday is in feb, my DM suggested not getting it for christmas, see if he's heartbroken and then maybe bite the bullet and get it for his birthday if he's still going on about it?

I would feel like the worst SM in the whole world if he was distraught on xmas day because we've let him think for so long that a hamster is a possibility. Should we just accept that we did this to ourselves and get him one?

ARumWithAView Mon 14-Nov-16 15:30:41

No no and no! Pets for Christmas are a really bad idea, and it doesn't sound like you even want one.

It's more than a month to Christmas: be firm, be consistent, be clear. He's not getting one. Don't let the missing hamster be a surprise on Christmas Day: deal with any tantrums or sadness now.

ineedamoreadultieradult Mon 14-Nov-16 15:33:50

I agree tell him now that pets are not Christmas Presents. Let him be upset now then he will be over it by Christmas.

noramum Mon 14-Nov-16 15:44:01

DD (9) wanted rabbits for years. I had rabbits as a child and adult and know the amount of costs and work involved.

So, after DH and I made the decision to get them as a family/pet for me DD got two "care for rabbit" books for Christmas two years ago. No pet itself is ever a Christmas present.

DD loves the rabbits but they are basically mine and I do the majority of the job. So, if you don't want a pet, don't get one. It will be you/OH to do the job of feeding/cleaning/vet bills (yes even hamsters). My DH hates anything in the house so it was clear from the beginning they would live outdoors.

BigSandyBalls2015 Mon 14-Nov-16 15:45:14

NOOO don't do it. DD got a hamster for Christmas a few years back when she was 12, thrilled to bits, declared undying love for it, best thing ever, she was going to look after it and clean it.

All bullshit, she cleaned it half a dozen times in the 2 years that it lived. It became another thing to nag her about. I loved that little mite more than she did, she didn't even cry when he died, and I was ridiculously upset and missed him.

CryingShame Mon 14-Nov-16 15:55:16

My DBro wanted a hamster for Christmas as a kid. Breeders ship them out when they're too young to leave mum to meet Christmas demand. He guessed he was getting one so it was brought back home from a familt friend a couple of days before christmas, which was good as it meant he'd seen it for a few days before he found it dead in its cage on Christmas morning. Because it wasn't old enough to have left its mum, it couldn't feed properly. sad. DBro was about 9, not the best start to Christmas.

If your DS wants a hamster, get one for his birthday as demand will be much less in May or July than it is now.

YouCanDoThis Mon 14-Nov-16 15:59:46

If it was something you wanted to adopt as a family then I think it would be okay, however it doesn't seem as though either of you really want a pet. It already sounds an inconvenience and unwanted so perhaps not the best idea at all. We have always had Guinea pigs. They are the sweetest loving little things but I have spent £200 in vet bills this last month. Small pets are still a significant responsibility and you really have to be prepared for that, as well as ensuring it has a happy life too.

EmsyApples Tue 15-Nov-16 01:18:56

No! Don't buy a pet for a present. In the madness of xmas morning its not a good idea.

If he really wants one maybe the 'how to look after" or a 'Your first hamster' style book would be a good idea? So that DSS has a real idea of just how much caring they would have to do.

Or a toy one in a ball/cage or similar. If their birthday is in feb and they're still insistant then maybe? But the responsibility for the pet would be mainly yours, and if you feel uncomfy looking after it, i wouldn't reccomend it.

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