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to ask my parents not to buy DCs Christmas presents....

(30 Posts)
Solola Tue 11-Oct-11 17:17:20

... but to buy them a trip to the theatre instead?

Quick background. I have 3 boys age 5, 3 and 1. Between them they have an enormous amount of toys, mainly bought by my large family. We have a pretty small house and I have got to the point where I really don't feel that there is anything else they need or would appreciate right now.

Just had a couple of birthdays and when people asked for present suggestions I was having a v. hard time thinking of anything without people wasting their money buying things that are rarely played with.

So, I was thinking that perhaps I could ask my parents to buy them an experience like a trip to the theatre (something we can't normally afford) instead of a toy? I was thinking something like The Lion King for my 5 year old and The Gruffalo for my 3 year old.

But - AIBU? A lot of the fun of Christmas for children is opening presents. Just a couple of tickets in an envelope is not the same.

Am I being far too sensible and boring?

Kayano Tue 11-Oct-11 17:21:12

Depends really

Are the tickets the equivalent value of their usual spend?

squeakytoy Tue 11-Oct-11 17:22:08

I think that is a great idea.. maybe you could ask the grandparents if they would like to take them too so that they get pleasure out of it as well, and you get a night to yourselves! smile

The kids will be getting other presents too, so they wont be upset at just getting tickets and it will be something to look forwards to after the excitement of christmas has worn off.

LindyHemming Tue 11-Oct-11 17:26:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

piprabbit Tue 11-Oct-11 17:26:58

Make "vouchers" on the PC to go with the tickets using images from the shows, explaining exactly what will happen, really building it all up into a big deal.

e.g. Dear MiniSola, G&G are very excited to be inviting you to come to the theatre with us in January. We will be going to see The Lion King, an amazing show with lots of singing and dancing. The theatre is in London so we will be travelling by train. etc. etc. etc.

You can get theatre tokens, that can be used at lots of participating theatres - dsis gave us those two years running, and we really appreciated them.

skybluepearl Tue 11-Oct-11 17:41:09

they will have lots to open even if parents don't give gifts. I love the idea of a theatre trip instead. I'm going to do the same

Solola Tue 11-Oct-11 17:43:07

Love those ideas - thanks!

Yes Kayano, they usually spend the equivalent of 1 child, 1 adult ticket plus train fares (we are lucky, they are very generous) on each child.

terrierist Tue 11-Oct-11 17:45:00

YANBU. As a GP I think it's a great idea. If it was me I would get an inexpensive second gift (I love to see children open presents) and look forward to DGC telling me all about it.

ImperialBlether Tue 11-Oct-11 17:45:43

Are you planning on going with the children, or do you think it would be nice for your parents to take them?

leelo Tue 11-Oct-11 18:35:15

i buy cinema vouchers for some of my nephews as they are past the toy stage. also we do monkey-bizness where i treat them or they treat us. so they get an experience instead of a toy that is not necessary.

My sis does this every year, makes sense to me tbh.

popadop Tue 11-Oct-11 18:43:20

Is this really a present for you?

MosEisley Tue 11-Oct-11 19:08:52


Might copy your idea...

Theas18 Tue 11-Oct-11 19:15:15

Several relatives club together for us to all go them , us the 3 kids to a show in London at Xmas and have done annually since the youngest was 6. It's totally amazingly magical YANBU at all - I'd suggest that the grandparents actually take the older child or 2 though rather than paying for you to go with them - the magic of the occasion will be multiplied for all parties.

Solola Tue 11-Oct-11 19:17:49

I would ask my parents to choose whether they want to take them to the theatre or would prefer one of us to take them. They can be quite protective about their free time as they both work in v.intense jobs.

Since am getting positive responses here, I'll bring the idea up with them when I see my parents tomorrow. Terrierist - it was helpful to get your perspective as a grandparent

Seems a bit early to be thinking about Christmas but I realised today that we would need to book tickets soon if we want them to see certain shows over the Christmas period. I think it would be nice if the present can be experienced sometime near Christmas as DC still quite young so would probably have forgotten all about it being a Christmas present if they went in March.

duvetdayplease Tue 11-Oct-11 19:23:47

YANBU and I disagree about it not being exciting, we have asked for things like animal sponsorship at a zoo (which includes a ticket) or rides on steam trains. If the item doesn't come with a nice poster or whatever I make a voucher so they get excited. Yes the younger ones will struggle to understand but the 5 yo will get it.

We have been skint for a few years and its easy to get cheap toys in charity shops but taking the whole family out costs a fortune.

MissBetsyTrotwood Tue 11-Oct-11 19:35:27

I think that's a lovely idea. We ask for membership of ZSL every year and it's been worth it many times over.

On the day, we printed out pictures of their favourite animals at the zoo and explained that with their present they could see them as many times as they wanted this year. Having something to look at on the day is nice.

Cadsuane Tue 11-Oct-11 19:45:16

Great idea. My parents used to buy us four tickets to the panto for our family christmas present. It was a big success. The only reason my parents stoped is that dds school started subsidised panto trips as a reward for good behaviour.
The school have change the venue for the reward trip this year so looks like we are off to the panto again (grin).

Yorky Tue 11-Oct-11 19:49:14

My MIL has already set up direct debit payments to our local leisure centre for DCs swimming lessons as their Christmas present.

If your parents go along with your suggestion would it be worth getting a small token opening present that goes with the trip - a small lion king cuddly perhaps?

cat64 Tue 11-Oct-11 19:50:13

Message withdrawn

dolceebanana Tue 11-Oct-11 20:06:38

I think part of the magic of Christmas is the whole present giving and receiving thing...especially for children. I wouldn't personally give instructions to family or friends on what to buy.

cat64 Tue 11-Oct-11 20:09:47

Message withdrawn

MyPod Tue 11-Oct-11 20:14:24

When I was little my friends grandma always bought Christmas Eve panto tickets for all her dgc (about 15 of them) plus all the parents. I always thought it was a lovely present.

lazylula Tue 11-Oct-11 20:37:24

For ds1's birthday last November I suggested to my in laws that they just got a 'token gift' (a small car or something for him to unwrap) then some money towards the renewal of the gold card he has for the zoo. They actually gave him almost enough for a platinum card, so they gave him the rest as part of his Christmas present. He can now go to the zoo as many times as we can until June 2013. They then did the same for ds2's birthday in June. Ds1 definitely appreciated that more than he would another toy, I think what you have suggested is a great idea.

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