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What would happen if you DIDN'T buy your children the toy they are absolutely desperate for this Xmas?

(47 Posts)
MrsMerryHenry Sun 27-Sep-09 23:59:23

Would they die? Would anybody die? Would the world implode?

DS will be 3 this year and is just teetering on the edge of the 'I want this' age - not that he knows Xmas is a time for getting great gifts, but if he sees something he likes in the 'let's-over-commercialise-your-innocent-and-impressionable-wee-kids' pages of an otherwise good comic, then he has a barny about wanting the stuff.

I don't believe that kids should get everything they want. I think that is astonishingly bad for them - and adults, let's face it (recession, anyone??). However, I've read a few threads on here which show that some parents really feel the pressure to buy, buy, buy.

Is it something all parents struggle with, or does it depend on how strict you are about stuff? We're pretty firm about setting boundaries in our household, so I imagine that whenever DS really gets into the whole materialistic childhood thing we'll give him gifts as we see fit (hoop and stick should be fine till he's 15 wink) and still be firm about the rest. I certainly don't intend to stress about whether I can afford a £200 gift for him - don't think I've ever had such a pricey gift since my wedding day, so why should he?

Are we in the minority?

alwayslookingforanswers Mon 28-Sep-09 00:01:29

No. No. No. No

(to your four questions)

TheLadyEvenstar Mon 28-Sep-09 00:15:57

<<<<<<I know I will be classed as horrible by some but this year I am not buying anything new for ds's. So far I have got


Battle Ships
Umbro Jacket
Dr Who Toys
PS2 games x3


Stickle bricks
Board Books x 6

and I am not finished. DS2 is getting a wooden kitchen but it is going to be second hand and well played with because it is coming from a local school.
Neither will die without having all they want and I will be better off financially as well lol.

PortAndLemon Mon 28-Sep-09 00:15:59

No, No, No and (probably) No.

But fortunately the thing DS (nearly 5) most wants in the world at Christmas has never been anything hideously expensive anyway. The Christmas before last it was a 3-inch tall figure of Wendy from Bob the Builder (cost about £4), last Christmas it was a Kung Fu Panda DVD (cost less than £20 although I forget exactly how much), and this Christmas it looks likely to be a Ben 10 Omnitrix (costs £14 for the "deluxe" model). So I don't see that there's harm in getting him his heart's desire in those cases.

The thing he most wanted for his birthday this year did retail at £75, but I got him a secondhand one for £28 on eBay and he was perfectly happy with that. If I hadn't found the secondhand one he'd have got something else instead and I expect he would have coped grin.

MrsMerryHenry Mon 28-Sep-09 00:35:30


TLE, what's 'horrible' about your list of gifts? They're getting loads of stuff, lucky them! smile

TheLadyEvenstar Mon 28-Sep-09 00:38:08

Mrsmerry, because none of it is Brand is all as new.
And as for the kitchen for ds2 it is coming from a school and costing me nothing....I guess I feel a bit mean especially as my sister just glared at me when I told her they were getting pre loved presents.

MrsMerryHenry Mon 28-Sep-09 00:44:40

If you bought your sister a pre-loved 1st edition of her favourite book, would she still glare? Or a vintage coat from her favourite designer?

It sounds a very materialistic reaction. A gift is a gift, and if it's given thoughtfully that makes it all the more meaningful.

I for one am not looking forward to packing off yet more unwanted Xmas gifts to the charity shop - IL's are very kind to always buy us things despite our protests, but it's always, always something that they would like. With a 50-year age gap, somehow I don't think our tastes would be all that similar!

TheLadyEvenstar Mon 28-Sep-09 00:46:54

Mrs, I have bought my sister a very old has one of her favourite singers on it...but it is old and second hand so don't know whether to give it to her...

MrsMerryHenry Mon 28-Sep-09 00:49:14

Maybe wrap it up in a print-out of this thread? I'll happily expand on my 'she's so materialistic' diatribe if you think it'll help!


TheLadyEvenstar Mon 28-Sep-09 00:51:37

oh she is very very materialistic. So different to me lol.

My ds's are frequently in pre-loved/non name brand clothes. Hers are in name brands and only hand brand new things. Yet her youngest has a favourite toy..a horse head on a stick hobby horse?? which i bought him because he asked me for it in a charity shop lol.

MrsMerryHenry Mon 28-Sep-09 00:52:54

haha - does she know it was 2nd hand?

Okay, definitely wrap her gift in this thread, then send me a snap of her face when she opens it so I can see the reaction!

Night night.

TheLadyEvenstar Mon 28-Sep-09 00:53:53

lol night mrs

Flamesparrow Mon 28-Sep-09 08:12:10

The world implodes if all christmas dreams are not fulfilled.


No idea in the slightest what mine are getting or if we even have any money for stuff!

TheFoosa Mon 28-Sep-09 08:15:31

I remember wanting a space hopper for ages and I never got one <sniffs>

still yearn for one now

PortAndLemon Mon 28-Sep-09 09:21:25

I think most things they are desperate for and don't get they will move on from without any real concern. But a few things will turn into life-long "I always wanted X but my parents would never let me have one" complaints that are still being dragged up on wine-filled evenings in their late 30s and result in their children being bought said object whether they want it or not in an attempt to compensate (so not actually reducing overall consumerism but merely delaying it).

I don't think there's any way to tell which are which, though, so in the case of anything costing £200 it's probably sensible to assume the "move on without any real concern" option (and anecdotal evidence suggests that it's not the expensive stuff they complain about in later life, so that may be a good rule of thumb quite apart from the cost issue).

tummytickler Mon 28-Sep-09 10:55:18

I always wanted a Mr Frosty and my parents never would get it for me (in case i mangled my fingers in it apparently hmm). I still talk about it now, because i am a saddo grin.
However with my dc's they know that just because i ask what they want it does not mean they will definately get it, and if they want to ruin their Christmas by sulking about it then so be it <heartless cow emoticon>
Tbh they never have sulked or they have done it quietly!
I am doing a lot of second hand this year. They don't know most of the time and they know my views on reusing things and not buying wasteful unnecessary nonsense.
Also dd2 wants a Sylvanian mansion and i could not afford this unless i get it from ebay with all the furniture. I would rather they had something they wanted second hand than rubbish that was brand new!
So no they don't always get what they want and i expect them to be fine with this. When dd1 was sulking because she couldn't have a magazine she wanted dh showed her the Live Aid film to show her what really matters in life. (My neighbour was horrified we did this ut that is a different story!)
So that is my long ramble on the matter grin

ShinyAndNew Mon 28-Sep-09 11:03:36

Dd1 really wants a doll that she is not getting because like her other 10 million dolls it will be played with once and then adopted by dd2, who has enough dolls.

She also really really really wants a Barbie trike that she is not getting because she has a perfectly good bike and is far too old for a tricyle anyhow. She only wants it because it has 'secret make up' hmm

Although following on from PortndLemon's point dd1 owns about three Doodle bears, not that I ever wanted a Doodle Bear every year for about 5 years and still don't have one wink grin

If she asks for something she didn't get the year before that she wanted then it is reconsidered as it is obvious she actually wants it rather than just likes the look of it. Also she has pocket money she saves up and is allowed to buy whatever she wants with that and xmas/birthday money is hers to spend on what she wants, even if it is a Barbir Trike <though she would be advised against it, I wouldn't ban her from wastung her money>

Flibbertyjibbet Mon 28-Sep-09 11:20:51

IME they just get so excited on xmas day with what they DO get, that they forget that they didn't get what they've been on about for ages.

Until a few weeks later then you can say 'oh you could see about that for your birthday' which in ds1's case is the week before xmas grin

The adults this year are getting my home made jam (if dp hasn't eaten all of it by then!), hand knitted gloves, kids friends are getting hand knitted hats.

My two are getting nearly all 2nd hand from us, including 2 bikes that my dad is doing up for us that I got for £4 each from ajumble sale.

So, my two could write out a list (well no cos they can't write yet!) but if it aint in the charity shop or car boot then they won't be getting it.

TheButterflyEffect Mon 28-Sep-09 11:47:33

Message withdrawn

Marioandluigi Mon 28-Sep-09 12:40:42

Mine too Butterfly - Santa cant fit expensive large pressies down the Chimney.

I am lucky that DS1's birthday is quite soon after Christmas, so if he wants anything too expensive it becomes a joint Christmas/Birthday present, like last year when he wanted a Wii, it became a joint present from me and his Grandad.

Apart from the Wii, I am lucky that he hasnt wanted anything too expensive over the years. This year is a lego set which he saw in Wilko for £60, which I managed to get on Amazon for £48 (I sold some stuff on Ebay to pay for it). He also wants the Horrid Henry Album 2010 which I got on Ebay for £7 which was quite lucky.

My other two DC's are too small for the 'I Want' stage, but I have managed to spend less that £60 all together for both of them.

chipsandtart Mon 28-Sep-09 12:50:18

mario and luigi, would now be the wrong time to tell you that the horrid henry album 2010 is only 5 pound in the works book shop.
i like to try and buy what my kids want as i never got a present i wanted and i still want it now as a adult but if we cant afford it then they dont have it, simple.

kids prefer second hand cos they dont have to wait around while you assemble it.

spacedog Mon 28-Sep-09 12:51:20

I think there are quite a few of us who perhaps didn't get much when we were young and still remember the disappointment of not getting the Mr Frosty or Barbie House <<I am not bitter, honest wink>>. I would expect that very few of us have required counselling as a result. Perhaps it is harder for children these days (did I really say 'these days'??) as expectations are higher and less people seem 'without'. It's certainly harder to spend less (and get away with it) on adolescent children.

scattyspice Mon 28-Sep-09 12:52:22

There is always going to be some dissappointment at Xmas, because it is so hyped up.
You could buy the 'must have' present and it would probably be a disappointment (ds at 6 is starting to realise that toys aren't always as good as they are made out to be). But managing this is part of growing up. As parents we can do alot to reduce this by not building xmas up too much and not focusing too much attention on presents (focus on the festivities instead).

Tis so hard to do though hmm.

Romanarama Mon 28-Sep-09 13:01:22

I always wanted a Mr Frosty too, but had forgotten about it for at least 20 yrs until you just reminded me so thanks very much tummytickler

snapple Mon 28-Sep-09 13:05:21

I never ever thought I would survive xmas as a kid and not getting what I wanted - but to my astonishment I did survive it - each and every year. I used to find catalogues and just dream and dream about toys which never materialised.

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