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Does anyone else regret buying too many presents...

(37 Posts)
Lovemusic33 Wed 18-Oct-17 15:20:44

Dc's are now older but I used to buy them quite a lot of tat (think big piles) for Christmas. I'm horrified at the amount that ended up in landfil broken, pieces missing as well as the huge amount of packaging. Some things never even got looked at. Flimsy plastic tat or gadgets that were fads (played with once). I'm looking at people pictures on Facebook of what they have bought for their dc's, piles of tat that will likely end up in landfil and I feel bad that I used to buy all this rubbish.

So far this year I haven't actually bought anything for my dc's, I dread family members adding to the pile of plastic tat (which I have spent all year removing from my home, mainly because it's broken or unused). This year we are doing the 'something you want (main gift), something you need (clothes), something's no to read and something to make'. I'm trying hard to avoid any tat, I'm sure I will cave and buy a few bits but no big piles, no black bags full of packaging Christmas morning and no items that won't get used.

Anyone else feel the same?

User5trillion Wed 18-Oct-17 15:33:12

Yes totally. I am trying to steer a few members of my family towards passes for things. Mil buys a softplay annual pass and a little gift to open on the day. Cinema vouchers and bowling passes have gone down well too.

My family are very generous but with bdays either side of xmas the kids get very spoiled and loose interest in a lot of stuff very quickly.

We had a whole year bday party for my ds last yr and we had to find a home for an extra 30😱 presents. Obvs we were very grateful but... so we did some toy rotation and half the presents went up the attic and came down during the summer holidays. It was new toys and the kids were very happy and have already said we can do it again this year.

We are focusing on family games, uno, junior scrabble, they are to stored out of reach otherwise my youngest just chucks bits about. Then craft stuff and playdoh and books.

Dd is into.lego but I have bought wilko lego storage boxes to keep it all in and a large tray that it has to be played with on.

Outdoor toys always go down well.

I struggle with the waste aspect of it, luckily.my kids are young and I.am not on facebook so I am trying to not give in to the piles of stuff. We didnt have loads at xmas growing up and I never felt deprived.

Last year we had to open presents over 3 days as it was overwhelming for the kids 😱blush not doing that again.

LeavesinAutumn Wed 18-Oct-17 15:40:40

Any tat has been really cheap and than passed on when they got back bored ie second hand. We tend to spend more money on stuff like djeco craft sets which are fab quality and last ie stamps, board games, card games, schleich figures always been huge hit, hours of play etc and one of best buys was Xbox. In no way are dc addicted or on it all the time which I was worried about, instead, literally grey miserable day xbox gets played which is prefect.

LeavesinAutumn Wed 18-Oct-17 15:41:11

Oh yes play doh and lego...

Lovemusic33 Wed 18-Oct-17 15:42:12

I have asked grandparents to give them money or vouchers as they tend to buy lots of tat ,luckily we don't have a huge family, I tell some not to bother buying them anything at all.

Dd1 is getting a new 2ds and isn't expecting much else, dd2 is queen of tat but she's also destructive and nothing lasts long before it need to go in the bin, I haven't got a clue what to get her.

I have got rid of most their old toys, sold half the lego, they don't really play with toys anymore.

Annabelle4 Wed 18-Oct-17 17:10:17

I probably sound really ungrateful, but I've 3 DC and both our families give them toys for birthdays & Christmas. I'm literally falling over their toys, and find it such a huge waste too, especially as they're usually just thrown on the floor after the first day.

I regularly have to buy mine things like pyjamas, shoes, a new coat, socks, etc. I always think that it would be so great if instead of wasting money on toys that they'd buy them something they need. Mine would appreciate a nice warm hat & scarf set for the winter rather than yet another barbie that will be tossed in a corner, naked and with knotted hair after a month...

And yes there have been things that we've bought too over the years that were a huge waste. It's usually the 'must have' toy that year, while something that was an afterthought was played with and loved.

Annabelle4 Wed 18-Oct-17 17:12:31

I meant to say that I cleared out the play room last December, I literally binned about 80% of their (mostly broken) toys, and they didn't even notice, and still haven't 😑

ShesAStar Wed 18-Oct-17 17:15:27

I am going for quality over quantity this year. No more plastic joke/rubbish toys in stockings, no more buying on a whim. At the moment I'm clearing my house of everything we no longer want/need. I cannot believe how much 'stuff' we've accumulated, some of the DC toys have never been out of the box - big boxes of hexbugs, craft, Star Wars figures never even out of the box. It's a strange time we're living in!

ShesAStar Wed 18-Oct-17 17:18:02

Annabelle - you don't sound ungrateful! We are part of a large family and my DC are the only children on my DH side. They get so many presents and we just don't have the room! I did the same as you and my DC didn't notice either!

Lovemusic33 Wed 18-Oct-17 17:31:35

Yes, pj's, hats and scarfs, socks and hair bands are always needed.
Now my dc's are older I really appreciate my living room space being toy free, not having to pick up toy or find the right box.

I think part of the problem is that there's so much available, when we were children there was a few pages in the Argos catalogue to choose from, supermarkets didn't sell many toys and there wasn't Amazon. People seem to be constantly looking for 'a bargain' and end up buying things because they are cheap, not because their children want or need them.

I have been looking at people posting what they have bought from Sainsbury's toy sale today, most of it is complete tat (I know as I bought some last year and none of it lasted).

FusionChefGeoff Wed 18-Oct-17 17:54:53

I am totally with you on this. Had a huge awakening about 3 months ago about how so much of what people spend their time doing (ie at work if you are in or support somehow production / retail) has the end result of just creating landfill.

What a gigantic waste of time which is so precious just to sell more crap. Which only works when people buy more crap.

So I am really targeted about gifts - hardly anything from us as they get so much from family.

FusionChefGeoff Wed 18-Oct-17 17:58:19

Luckily mine are only 3 and 5 so I’ve not got that much to regret!

It worked relatively well for DD Birthday this weekend, she got lots of clothes which are definitely needed, a suitcase, some lovely craft stuff and just a couple of bits which will be broken in the bin by Christmas!

ArcheryAnnie Wed 18-Oct-17 18:05:06

Completely with you on this, OP. I've just been on another thread where people were talking about 25-30 presents for each child, which is just Dudley Dursley levels of ridiculousness.

It's not good for the kids, and it's deffo not good for the kids' futures (ie the environment).

Lovemusic33 Wed 18-Oct-17 18:53:04

25-30 presents is just crazy, they don't ask for all those things. I have bought way too much in the past and they don't even enjoy opening them. I'm going to try and keep it under 10 gifts this year, which is more than enough. Both dd's will be getting some clothes this year as they always need them, I don't usually buy clothes as gifts but now they are getting older they want more expensive clothing so they have to have them as part of their Christmas presents.

SpiritedLondon Wed 18-Oct-17 19:38:20

Oh I would say that we certainly gave over 20 presents last year and that included things like a craft box that I made from DDs old baby box which had multiple craft items in. ( although it does get played with). The only thing my DD5 asked for was an alarm clock and a set of drums. She got the clock and a drum machine which is barely played with. The other items I bought like the My little pony light up castle is also rarely played with but was bought because I wanted her to feel a Christmas is special. In
my defence I do include in the presents items that I would be buying anyway- e.g. Last year it was a new dressing gown and matching PJs which have been worn all year. My DSIS thinks this is cheap of me and goes for the full on plastic tat experience. I do remember reading on a thread someone commenting that giving piles of presents was a working class thing. Although part of me wants to tell them to fuck off which their classist judgements the other half does wonder if there's anything in that. In any event I'm trying to resist this year even though some of the frenzied bargain shopping on these threads makes me feel I'm missing something.

Justabadwife Wed 18-Oct-17 19:47:48

I regret the times i used to buy dd things for the sake of buying them, and i used to buy cheap things to get more for my money. Obviously it used to break and end up in the bin.

Now I just buy things that she will love. There maybe less of It, but its better quality so lasts.

christmasunicorn Wed 18-Oct-17 21:23:39

* *25-30 presents is just crazy, they don't ask for all those things.

I’d just like to point out that my ds1 sent a 5 double sided a4 list of presents he wanted to Santa last year hmm so there are some kids out there who do ask for all those things (the other 2 dc asked for about 5 or 6 things each. Dc4 possibly ate his list. Babies!!)

However saying that yes I totally agree with you. I’ve always been super strict buying 3 toys each then bulking out with clothes and chocolate then a few years ago I relaxed and went totally OTT and months later half was still in boxes or at the bottom of a toy box untouched since December 31st. Total waste. I’m somewhere inbetween now when I buy probably about 10 gifts each but that includes clothes, books and little blindbags as well as toys and any toys I do but I know will get played with.
No buying for the sale of buying. I’ve posted what I’ve bought on the pictures thread. To me there is tons but to others there is probably hardly anything but I’m happy and comfortable with the quantity

SingaporeSlinky Wed 18-Oct-17 21:49:53

Just to say, isn't the rhyme "something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read"?

Frege Wed 18-Oct-17 22:00:45

Yes, I get this every year. I always plan just to buy a few carefully chosen things then somehow end up with a vast quantity. I think part of the problem is trying to buy equal amounts for two children- I'll look at what I've bought and think DS has slightly more, so buy something extra for DD, then DD seems to have more so I buy something for DS etc etc- like trying to cut your hair straight and ending up cutting it all off as you shorten one side then the other.

It makes me feel sick. It also makes me hate the gifts and feel as if I just went into a shop and ordered a hundredweight of assorted presents, despite the fact that I've actually chosen everything with care. Bleugh.

RenardeRenarde Wed 18-Oct-17 22:01:56

I don’t have children but grew up in a house where we went “all out” at Christmas with huge amounts of time and money spent on acquiring piles of gifts. There is no way I can remember even 10% of the stuff I was gifted as a child.
As an adult I still have that mentality and have to really reign myself in over Christmas now, so it’s worth bearing in mind that the traditions you put in place now are likely to be repeated in the next generation- it’s definitely made me wary of getting too overexcited when I have my own kids, I don’t want them to feel the pressure as an adult that I do over producing masses of stuff at Christmas time.

Lovemusic33 Thu 19-Oct-17 08:13:54

I didn't get huge amounts as a child, one main present, colouring books, chocolate and new pj's plus gifts from family (I remember a horrid tartan skirt from my aunt). I think when I had children I wanted them to have the things I wasn't allowed, one year I spent a fortune on Sylvanian families (only rich kids had these when I was a kid), the dd's showed no interest in them at all, total waste of money. Same with the fuby and playmobil.

The only thing they really play with now is their iPads, 3ds and a few Pokemon figures. They don't actually need much this year, dd1 needs a new 3ds but has said the 2ds will be ok. Dd2 has asked for Pokemon but by Christmas she probably won't be interested and will be asking for something else so I'm waiting.

We have had a few big costly bills over the past few months (huge vet bill, car repairs etc...), the dd's understand that their won't be huge piles of presents.

Itsjustaphase84 Thu 19-Oct-17 08:27:29

Completely agree... I'm buying dc something they want and other things like sticker books, something they need this yr. I'm dreading the amount of crap family are going to buy this year.

reetgood Thu 19-Oct-17 08:33:16

I wish some relatives would get this message. No kids, just adults at the moment. Boyfriend still gets a pile of things he doesn't want, so that giver can feel they are giving lots. Neither of us are big gift people, we'd honestly rather they saved the money as it's not like they have lots of disposable income. But it's not about what he wants, really.....

2014newme Thu 19-Oct-17 08:38:43

Yes I've never been a tat buyer. I don't move in circles where people post piles of presents on fb that would be seen as vulgar. I focus on get them what they actually will use rather than tonnes of stuff.

Lovemusic33 Thu 19-Oct-17 10:49:58

reet I hate my relatives buying me tat, I would rather they didn't bother or they bought me food. I tend to buy things when I want/need them so I don't really need anything at Christmas. My parents often ask me what I want but then buy me something different. The shops are full of rubbish tat for adults, stuff that is funny but will never serve a purpose.

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