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Christmas present dilemma - it is such a waste to buy all these presents

(11 Posts)
QuintessentialShadow Mon 28-Sep-09 08:25:10

I am very tempted to really cut down the christmas expenses to the bare minimum for our kids.

Children seem to get far too many christmas presents, it has become far too commercial, and everybody are thinking about the gifts more than anything. Kids are spoilt, and most of the kids in my oldest sons class get just about everything they point to.

Our oldest is getting £4 pocket money per week. This I save for him, so he does not get to see it. He and his brother broke the wii, and we are saving up for repairs. We have put a stop to ALL small toy and plastic tat purchases, as it is unecesary.

We are not bad off, things are ok, I just hate the way kids seem to expect so much these days. It is "Give Me", and "Please Can I have" all the time. And they dont appreciate what they have.

We were thinking on going for a holiday just before Christmas, and just buy ONE present for each.

So, what can I get a spoilt 7 year old who no longer play with toys, but is only interested in Pokemon Cards, Nintendo DS, games, Lego Technics,Bakugan and sports?

I was thinking of Lego Mindstorm?
A cd player?

And what about his 4 year old brother who is TRYING to copy his brother all the time?
He hardly play with any of his toys, yet is not advanced enough to really do as his brother does? I want to get him something that is JUST for him, that he will take an interest in, without being shadowed by big brother?

FlamingoBingo Mon 28-Sep-09 08:28:37

You get your children more than one present each usually? shock

By the way, children are only spoilt when the material things they have are in lieu of enough proper time spent with parents, and if they get whatever they want whenever they want.

Get your DS1 more pokemon cards, a new DS game, some lego technics, a new football (or whatever sport he's into)?

DS2 you can get most of the same for, can't you? 4's old enough for lego, DS games, sports.

FlamingoBingo Mon 28-Sep-09 08:31:03

Sorry - that reply sounds really stroppy! It's not meant to! I haven't slept all night long.

I have four DDs so the younger ones always want what the older ones have - we often end up getting two or three of the same thing - if that's what they want then that's what they want! They each had a scooter last year.

I don't know what they all want yet this year, but get so much from relatives etc. - we have obscene amounts of toys in our house sad - that we don't spend much on them at all ourselves - one special present each, usually a board game or dvd as a joint present and then five or six small presents in their stockings from Father Christmas of course!

QuintessentialShadow Mon 28-Sep-09 08:33:26

Yes usually he has got more than one present. Last year he got a new pj, 3 small beginners readers books from M&S, a sweater, and a millenium falcon construction kit, and something similar for his younger brother. I am not talking heaps of expensive presents.

Elenio Mon 28-Sep-09 08:33:37

I agree with you and tbh i am often shocked (and secretly want to roll my eyes) when i see posts on here about Christmas. Such a huge deal is made of it and i just do not get it!

I do not live in the UK....Where i live Christmas is not even discussed or thought about until December. I often wonder if this is because we have many festivals/celebrations whereas the UK really only celebrates Christmas??

Anyway, most parents buy one present for their Children and that is it. They will get other presents from grandparents etc but it is generally much more low key. It is perfectly reasonable to get only one gift.

QuintessentialShadow Mon 28-Sep-09 08:34:51

They are bound to get presents from other people too, so they dont need so much from us.

I keep clearing out toys and taking to the charity shop, or giving to younger children of friends, but I think of Christmas and everything just ends up as clutter.

Fizzylemonade Mon 28-Sep-09 15:22:44

Quint we had to lay the law down with the grandparents who bought not only one main toy but heap loads of others. Times this by two, and add some generous Aunts who have no children and my sons were so spoilt that there were still toys unopened and unplayed with in March.

We tend to get one small gift from Father Christmas so a dressing gown, socks and pants. Main gift comes from us and last year it was a Wii so they got very little else.

I think lots of people go on quantity rather than quality.

A photo album of good times is a nice idea, children seem to like looking back at holiday photos in their own album. Also you could make a "voucher" for say a day out later on in the year.

Don't know where you are in the country or if you have been but although Lego Land is minting money, you can use Tesco clubcard deals to get in.

haventsleptforayear Mon 28-Sep-09 15:30:00

I think it's fairly simple to cut down on what YOU give for Xmas, surely ? (although I quite like having lots to open so give new pjs or socks if needed as "presents" because it's fun opening them).

What is harder as Fizzylemonade said is the presents from all and sundry.

I have tried to lay the law down gently suggest this to aunts and uncles i.e. "just get a book" or "a ball".

Cue 7 books (half of which non-age appropriate) and an "extra" present to go with the ball because they "had to spend the same on them as on the other cousins". (DS2 was 1 at time).

Not sure how to cut down on this but have sent JUST a book myself for presents for the last couple of years in the vain hope they will cop on! grin

ramonaquimby Mon 28-Sep-09 23:42:00

not sure of what boys are into (but Lego have some new game type sets??) but I absolutely agree. Last year I cut down on what we give the girls and this year it's going to be a christmas sock each - dh and I both come from large families with doting grandparents - and with 3 kids we already have SO much stuff. I tend to be pretty practical as well (in the sock) and never get novelty type crap - things like tights, toothpaste, batteries, friends think it's awful lol) but so understand where you're coming from

what about a night out? cinema tickets? special day with mum/dad only? trip to the city? (not sure where you are) football game?

QuintessentialShadow Tue 29-Sep-09 08:23:07

Guys, you have given me food for thought...

We dont have much family. My inlaws dont send Christmas presents. They send some sweets at the end of november, and I use that for the advent calendar and the stocking.
They have only 2 aunts, and 1 uncle, and 2 cousins. My parents usually give me £50 to buy them something (they are elderly, and dont go shopping much). They get Christmas presents from very few people.

We have just moved, and Christmas was a big thing in London. I had a group of friends from the NCT, witch children the same ages, we used to do a Christmas party with Santa, there were food, presents, etc. My kids godmother lives in London, she would give them presents, equally my husbands aunt. Nobody seem willing to post any presents, so it might be very little under the tree.

Thinking back to last year, it was the first year my son was a bit sad in the face for Christmas, as we were on a budget, and there were very little presents.

haventsleptforayear Tue 29-Sep-09 10:48:22

I agree with Ramona about wrapping up little things.

My dad does this to the extreme (wrapping up all kinds of "funny" presents ie anti-aging vitamins for my mum etc.) but it IS fun having loads to open on the day.

You could just save up lots of little things that you would have bought them anyway, they are often the things the DC remember afterwards too, not the BIG main present.

I think the Flylady site has quite a few suggestions about how to give clutter-free presents (can't remember if they tell you how to make it fun though - ie not just giving a cinema ticket but wrapping it in some fancy way? iyswim?

flylady link

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