Christmas gift donantions - AIBU?(23 Posts)
So DS is 18 months and an only child of two only children. Combine that with the fact that both DH and I both have 2 sets of parents each means one very spoilt toddler. We have limited space in our home as it is, and I've already been inundated with requests from the family asking what DS would like for Christmas. WIBU to just ask them to donate a winter bundle to a Syrian refugee instead? How would you feel if you were asked? Also, do a make a wanky announcement on social media to prevent friends and extended family sending well-meaning but very bulky gifts, or should I just keep it to when asked?? This is my first time posting on MN, but I always value the brutal honesty!!
I think if they ask, that's a really really lovely idea - be prepared for them to pushback and say they want to give DS something too, so have ideas of non-bulky token gifts (book, experience, etc) to hand for that eventuality.
I think that you are right in saying 18 month old babies don't need a lot of presents at Christmas. However, his grandparents may really want to buy him a gift.
I don't think you can ask for stuff to go to a specific charity. All the grandparents I've ever met love buying stuff for grandkids and I've seen the shops packed with grandparents buying toys in Sept/Oct.
You should instead come up with things that the grandparents can buy that are things other than toys: e.g. Next size up wellies/coat, ticket to some attraction, money for bank account. Or you should do a sort out after Christmas and donate surplus items to the charity of your choice.
Might be better asking them to put money in bank account for when child is older, can then put it across as happy with pots and pans at the moment, loads of toys etc but would be great for him/her to have money to buy something when older, or put towards a car or something.
I think it's OK to ask for charity donations instead of gifts for you but you shouldn't make that decision on behalf of somebody else (your child)
Hmm... that's true about the push-back. It's the grandparents who are the worst though! I've already had to stop my DM from buying him a sit-in Mini Cooper and a drum kit!! 😂 Also, part of my predicament is the people who don't ask (usually aunts, cousins, parent-friends) are the ones who buy lovely, but very often, unnecessary gifts. How can I pre-empt some of these?
Good point about nominating the charity too - I hadn't thought of that!
Also, I would only say when asked but maybe do an unsubtle hint on Facebook
Need to have a clear out, can hardly move for child's stuff and it means (s)he doesn't have enough room to properly play with any of it
I like that idea of the not-so-subtle post!!
I'd also encourage things like:
*my top tip is books. I always ask for books. They don't take up too much space and are always useful. If I get duplicates I generally re-gift those, unless they have come from my local bookshop where I will swop them.
*You could encourage grandparents towards charity gifts that involve something for the child too, e.g. sponsor an animal at a local wildlife park or abroad/London Zoo membership etc
*You could look at experiences rather than gifts, e.g. theatre (stickman is on for this age?) or if the budget is bigger, a weekend in centreparcs/by the sea;
*You could suggest combining present giving with lunch and day out then to a store where the gift is likely to be small, like lego (new flagship opening) or Disney store (at this age, you're likely to get dressing up I'd have thought) - I do this and it is lovely, and also spreads out the present giving (kids get enough as it is)
*You could have a chat with grandparents about cost of university in the future and house prices etc, and how what you'd really like is to also start a saving account for the future - don't think this works for other relatives
*You could figure out both big and small items you might need and then suggest those, e.g. items of clothing versus a balance bike
I have to be honest, I'd actually be a little upset if somebody asked me to do this. I donate a lot to charity anyway and would like to get your child a gift. I would be quite happy if you asked for it to be small, or an experience - ticket to the zoo, or consumable - nice baby bath or whatever Or even money to put in their bank account so they can either spend it when older, or choose themselves to donate it to charity if they want to. I get the lack of space thing.
All great suggestions! I knew I could get some good answers on here Thanks MNers!! 👌💖
Now that my kids are getting older, grandparents tend to ask what they would like for birthdays/Christmas but I have started saying money for their bank account and one present. That way kids get something to open, grandparents/family get the pleasure of seeing kids open presents and at the same time they are not inundated with loads of presents that invariably get overlooked or not played with.
When my dc were young grandparents started buying garden toys like swing sets etc which they got loads of use from over the years and as they were outside, didn't clutter the house.
I think honesty is the best policy - be open with the people you can be and say until such time as Little Sassy can tell us what they would like for Christmas we would love it if you would put some money into their savings account but if you'd prefer to give a gift then clothes for 2yrs and upwards would be great.
I've done similar with my family and friends - DD will be 10 months on Christmas day and I've suggested books, pyjamas, new outfit etc rather than toys because she'd rather play with an empty box and a remote control as opposed to her toys and we just don't have room for big things.
I don't buy my DC ice cream from an ice cream van, let them go for a ride on the carousel which is at the park most weekends or put money in the character ride things at supermarkets etc. The grandparents do & this is, essentially, part of the DC's birthday & Xmas presents. If there was anything they needed, I am sure the GPs would spend £100 each on each grandchildren; as it is, I direct them to something worth about £20 & then the children have all of these treats when they see the GPs (about once every six weeks). I'm sure the GPs could/would buy expensive presents & pay for the other bits too but we just don't have space.,
Do you have a local attraction that has a yearly membership? We were once bought a yearly pass to the London Wetlands which was not far from us. We could take kids there whenever we wanted and there were lots of activities for the little ones. We enjoyed it so much we continued it when it expired.
Local zoos, Petting farms, National Trust, Gymboree are great for this, even if you go once or twice a month you get your money's worth. With a membership you can visit for a couple of hours and are not under pressure to spend the whole day there.
I can see your point, but if I were the DGP I would be a bit disappointed.
It's nice for them to be able to buy something. I would write a list of what you were going to get, include outdoor toys and stuff for the next year or so - balance bike? Scooter? Allocate them each something.
I agree a voucher towards an activity is also nice, particularly if they can come along to the activity. DS got a day out with Thomas for Christmas one year, he loved it.
Give the money you save to charity if you wish
I think it's important to remember that DGP aren't asking IF they may buy a gift, they're asking for guidelines on what he would enjoy WHEN they buy him a gift. This is their money and to be fair you can't tell people how to spend their own money.
I think giving to a charity is a wonderful idea but that's a decision for you to make with your own money.
DGP get so much joy out of spoiling their little ones, it's one of the great joys they get later in life. It's also one of the privileges of having a Granny or a Grandpa. I gave up trying to get my DM to tone things down when she explained all of this to me. I now feel guilty for ever having tried to tame her enthusiasm.
My suggestion is this... why don't you pack up all of DS's toys, just put them all away so that he get a whole lot of new goodies and you can then rotate things as you see fit.
The other recommendation is, if asked for guidance, mention that books, clothing, shoes, or a contribution to his education policy (or whatever else) will always be put to very good use. Otherwise, whatever they decide on will be greatly appreciated.
I'm afraid it's just one of those things we have to roll with... it's all coming from a really good place and those of us with doting DGP are eternally blessed to have them.
I'm in a very similar situation. What we have decided to do is not buy anything ourselves apart from one small gift, a few books and a stocking. Then everything we would have bought can be bought by others instead. It doesn't matter who gets what as ds is too small to remember or care and then we pop some money in his bank account. It works for us
We did this for DD's first Christmas last year. She was only a couple of weeks old so really wasn't going to use anything she was given for a long time. We were asked by a lot of people and asked they donate to a charity instead. We still got a few small things, books, a few teddies, but people were generally thought it was a lovely idea. We let them choose the charity.
For a friends DS 1st birthday party recently, we were all asked for cash instead of gifts as he has so much stuff.
This family are incredibly wealthy (multi multi millionaires) and I didn't feel cash for a 1 year old was necessary so I bought a gift that would be useful as he gets older. Also I felt that gifts are given, they're not an expectation (I appreciate that's not your attitude). So if he doesn't need any stuff, then why feel you can ask for the cash equivalent?! Several friends ended up not going to this child's party as they were so monumentally pissed off at the parents.
HOWEVER. Had they asked for donations to a children's charity or similar, I think that would have gone over incredibly well. I certainly would have gone along with that request and enjoyed doing it too. And thinking of it now, I wish that's what I had done.
For many people it is just not possible to "put it all away somewhere". This was us in our last home and to a certain extent the current one. Extended family pretty much got used to that and fell into line. Ideas that help:
-books, it is fast becoming tradition that for my niece's birthday I take her book shopping, just the two of us. She is the younger of 2 and loves getting a grown up to herself for the afternoon as much as she loves new books.
-from mid year we pause before buying for child and consider if it can wait and be a gift, so by the time people are asking we have loads of ideas
- as previously mentioned, next size up of stuff, e.g. decent winter coat, Stocks of clothes have been allowed to run right down for DS so he can get them as gifts, and get slightly more expensive ones e.g. from Disney Store, not Primark.
-stuff that gets used up like arty/crafty materials
-board/card games, maybe more when he is a bit older, but they can usually be neatly stowed and they give you something the whole family can get involved, no batteries, no screen.
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