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I am overthinking present giving etiquette yes alright it's a Christmas thread shut up

(32 Posts)
Tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 29-Jul-11 13:32:59

I can't help it, my DD's daycare sent home a toy catalogue today.

Anyway. Here's the thing, I think my DD has too many toys, and I don't think she has nearly the amount a lot of kids have. So maybe I'm projecting. BUT. My SIL, for example, has two girls 18 months apart. The elder is a similar age to my DD, we've always exchanged gifts for them, fine. The younger will be 9 months old at Christmas. I realised today that I probably should buy for both, but I only really want to buy for the elder. Not because of money, but because, well, won't the younger already have all the elder's now-outgrown toys to play with already?

What I do is, every year I go through after Christmas and put away a) half her new stash to be brought out during the year, and b) anything she's outgrown but is still in good condition. So I'm thinking that for DC2 I'll just bring out that year's toys, which will be new to them, for the first few years.

So will those people who buy presents for DD1 also buy presents for #2 from the getgo? Which means I will end up with a spiralling stash of crap? Should I be doing that with my SIL and others, so they also end up with a spiralling stash of crap? I do realise that once the kids are older they'll have separate instincts and hobbies and need separate presents, but surely for the preschool set it's madness?

ENormaSnob Fri 29-Jul-11 13:34:47

148 days to go grin

BecauseImWorthIt Fri 29-Jul-11 13:35:06

<pats Tortoiseonthehalfshell on the head>

Go and have a nice lie down. It's July. Plenty of time to worry about this.


<passive aggressive>

HairyJo Fri 29-Jul-11 13:36:29

You can't buy for one and not the other regardless of the thought process behind it you just can't. I suggest vouchers for each are the way forward and never give it another thought

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 29-Jul-11 13:37:03

The catalogue! The catalogue is sitting in front of me, with its little order form RIGHT THERE waiting for its little boxes to be ticked, and then I won't have to worry about it in November and I will be Organised Smug Mum.

Does it help if I say I will have a newborn at Christmas?

ENormaSnob Fri 29-Jul-11 13:37:09

I wouldn't buy for one and not the other tbh

perhaps get books or clothes instead?

PorkChopSter Fri 29-Jul-11 13:40:22

Buy DC1 a toy that will last and can be handed down to DC2.

Buy DC2
1. something that does not hand down well like tights or PJs
2. something that is now more trendy e.g. Octonauts toys
3. something that is really for DC1 and DC2 to play with together

Pseudo341 Fri 29-Jul-11 13:41:41

As a second child I can tell you it sucks always being in siblings hand me downs and getting their toys. Birthdays and Christmas are the special times you actually get something that's been bought new just for you. Okay so a 9 month old won't notice but it's still nice to buy something special just for her. As to the etiquette, no you can't buy for one and not the other, it's treating one child differently to the other.

DurhamDurham Fri 29-Jul-11 13:43:03

I would be very hurt if a member of my family bought one child a present and not the other. You don't have to buy plastic tat, what about clothes or book tokens, or a voucher for a session at an indoor play centre.

It would never occur to me to buy for one niece and not the other, I think you are really over thinking this. Especially as it's only July!!

DeWe Fri 29-Jul-11 13:47:22

I'm guessing you didn't have an older sibling.
As a second sister, I know how important presents are because you're always getting second hand stuff. Often if we were given joint presents it was basically something for my sister and I could grow into it (by which point it isn't new)
You've also potentially got the issue when dd1 recognises something and says "that's mine" and they both claim (rightfully) it's theirs.
With my dd2 I haven't struggled often to get something new for her because her tastes are different. You can always ask for clothes, books, craft sets or vouchers for them to spend.
You can't buy for one and not for the other unless you have a good reason, or a special connection (eg Godparent to just one). If you're auntie to both then you should buy for both, it can be very hurtful otherwise.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 29-Jul-11 13:47:25

Yeah, I know.

I do know.

It's just that I am suddenly aghast at the realisation that from next year I will have double the crap to shovel out of the door, so I was thinking everyone else might be feeling the same. But of course I'll buy for both. I like buying baby presents, after all. And in a couple of years they'll be able to play together and I can buy one big gift and oh God shut up tortoise it's JULY.

HairyJo Fri 29-Jul-11 13:49:41

Of course we all feel the same however it just easier to accept that our feelings aren't important children need the tat!

supadupapupascupa Fri 29-Jul-11 13:52:09

what you need to do is sell the good toys that you have but no longer need or freecycle them.

as it is the giving and not the receiving that matters you should get both children gifts.

Treats Fri 29-Jul-11 13:53:16

Another second child here and taking this post very seriously as I'm expecting my second in November.......

I encouraged my relatives to put money in my DDs savings account instead of buying her gifts when she was too young to appreciate them. Now she's a bit older, she'll probably prefer a present, but I can ask people to put something in DC2s savings account this year if they want to buy a present but don't know what. It should all equal out over time.

PirateDinosaur Fri 29-Jul-11 13:55:47

So will those people who buy presents for DD1 also buy presents for #2 from the getgo?

Which means I will end up with a spiralling stash of crap?

(P.S. you wait until she starts having birthday parties. You don't know what a spiralling stash of crap is until your child has had a birthday party...)

Should I be doing that with my SIL and others, so they also end up with a spiralling stash of crap?

Yes (well, for a given value of "should", but it's socially expected which I think is what you were asking).

Get one or both of them books or something art/craft activity based (i.e. will get used up) so that you don't contribute too much to the crap mountain.

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 29-Jul-11 13:57:28

lol OP you NUTTAH

Yes you do have to buy a present for each.

But as she is a baby you can buy her a jumper if you like.

Put the catalogue DOWN

notcitrus Fri 29-Jul-11 14:01:18

If the kid is only 9 months old how about some storage boxes for all the other toys?
There's folding ones that look impressive when opened and they pop up and then baby can throw things in and out of them for ages...

Ive found with two children toys get destroyed much faster so in future years dn2 can be given replacements of things dn1 had once upon a time...

Bartimaeus Fri 29-Jul-11 14:01:55

I was always miffed as a second child that my parents got money as presents for my older brother at his birth, which they put into a savings account for him. As the second child I didn't get any sad. ok it wasn't 100s but it was a lot to a small child!

You can't not buy for the second child, just be a bit more inventive? We've been scratching our heads about this as we're staying with friends this summer and want to take presents for them all. Their DS1 has loads of toys and we're assuming their DS2 has inherited his old toys, but we're still going to give him a gift anyway.

BecauseImWorthIt Fri 29-Jul-11 14:03:16

AIBU by stealth! wink

Put the catalogue down, as GOML so wisely says.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 29-Jul-11 14:09:09

I have put the catalogue down.

Mostly because I realised how much cheaper I could buy the same things on Amazon.

Re: clothes, though, wouldn't that be the worst of both worlds? She'll have all the clothes from her older sister anyway, and also as a second child wouldn't you just think oh, great, my older sibling has a brilliant new farm and all the animals, and I've got a cardy? I mean if the point is to please the child, clothes won't work!

rogersmellyonthetelly Fri 29-Jul-11 14:14:37

You do need to buy for both I'm afraid. Second child speaking from experience and it sucks.
On the too many toys front, we have a toy amnesty the week before a birthday, and the week before christmas, any toys that don't have all the bits generally get binned, anything that hasn't been played with for more than 3 months gets free cycled. Kids join in as we sell it to them on the basis that they have to make room for all the shiny new toys :0)

minipie Fri 29-Jul-11 14:32:38

I'll be honest and say that personally I don't think 9 month olds need presents at all. They will much prefer to wrapping paper.

But if you gave DC1 a present at 9 months old, you need to do the same for DC2.

So I'd say YABU but for a different reason.

(obviously once DC2 is old enough to know about presents, you need to get her one. But by then you can probably do joint presents for the 2 DC anyway).

Journey Fri 29-Jul-11 14:55:32

Buy for them both and stop being mean.

People go on about all the plastic crap kids get to try and justify not spending money on them. It's an overused saying that really means "I want to keep my money rather than spend it on the kids/other people's kids".

GetOffOfMyCloud Fri 29-Jul-11 15:00:03

You most definitely do need to give both children something, but I completely agree with the fact that most children have way too many toys.

I have two young nieces and DH and I nearly always give them money each and a very small item to unwrap such as a book or a drawing pad and crayons but they nearly always get so excited at so many presents from everyone that they don't realise who has bought them what anyway so it really wouldn't matter if they didn't have something from us to unwrap. However their mum would most definitely notice and be understandably miffed if we got a present (even if it's just cash) for one and not the other.

And it very much makes a difference if you'll have a newborn at Christmas. I'm also getting all my Xmas shopping done now as DC1 is due at the end of October so I don't fancy hitting the shops in the Christmas rush with a newborn (how long's it a newborn for?) in tow!! Anything that isn't done beforehand will be done on-line!!

Firawla Fri 29-Jul-11 16:20:40

I think it wont be nice to not buy for the younger one based on that reason of they will get the older one's handed down stuff, then the younger one gets nothing new just for themselves then?? and everything just passed down? thats a bit unfair. I also have 2 the same sex 1.5 yr apart and i feel bit sorry for my younger one sometimes cos i feel the older one gets more as its easiest to buy for the oldest child as younger age group stuff we have a lot of already, so have to make a point of making sure he also gets his own new stuff not only what ds1 already has and outgrown

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