To consider giving our DC absolutely nothing for Christmas(167 Posts)
So this week DH asks, what do you think we should get the DC - ages 5 & 8 -for Christmas. (He likes to budget and plan ahead, the sensible man.) He says this just after I have had a good clean-out of the kids' toys, books and games. And you know what? I cannot think of one single thing they need. Or would really play with more than what they already own.
We are not wealthy, and I don't think the kids have overmuch stuff compared to their friends. But birthdays and Christmases and aunties and uncles and grandparents all pile it up. There's enough Lego in this house to build a small city, and furnish it. There are Barbies, Polly Pockets, card games, board games, art supplies, and enough books and DVDs to start a library. They have bicycles and scooters and footballs and dress-up clothes.
I am sick of having all this STUFF. And you know what it's like, there's always little bits of toys/games piling up somewhere, on a bedside table, on a desk, under the bed. I'm forever picking up something and thinking, now what did that belong with originally?
I really don't want to buy them any more stuff. And I don't want other people to give it to them either. AIBU? Or miserable?
Sounds like the problem is the stuff. It would be a bit mean not to get kids of that age a Christmas present.
You say you've had a clear out, and yet you still have too many toys. Can you clear out further?
Is it a storage problem? Do you need to invest in a lot more cupboards?
Of course YABU - are you serious?!
Can you not sort through it/get the older one to sort through it and take what they no longer use to the charity shop or put it on Ebay? Maybe explain to them that other children aren't so lucky and this is a good way for someone else to enjoy their toys because they have too many?
I can see why you feel a bit overwhelmed though - if you have generous relatives it can be lovely, can also be a bit too much! I wonder if 8 is old enough to understand if you're extended family were happy to give money for a university fund/first car fund by now, too? It's a nice thing to start IMO, if your family are willing. They might even prefer it to buying toys.
How about starting savings accounts for them instead?
YANBU in my view. If it's anything like our family, they will have plenty to open from other relatives and won't even notice that there isn't anything specifically from you! I would spend the money on a family day out instead. We buy one or two small token presents usually because we are very lucky in having generous relatives.
I think at 5 & 8, I would have been very aware if my parents had not got me a present. Mum and Dad always got the main present, and other small presents were from relatives.
I cannot imagine not getting my children a present at Christmas.
Why not do stockings and let family buy presents but not buy them any yourselves? Then put the money in a savings account as others have said, or do something as a family instead.
I see where you are coming from. I get like that. But Christmas at their age is about magic and you don't really want to take the magic away. I long since did away with the mountain of crap that you buy just because you feel you have to.
I always had two good clear outs to the chrity shop a year, just before birthdays and just before Christmas.
A lot of it depends on the mindset of your children. Are they the sort who will pay attention in the playground because they didn't get the latest xBox live-all-singing-all-dancing model? or are they actually happy children who enjoy 'time' with you?
Mine are of an age where clothes are all important but they also understand that they will get clothes that are 'useful' - trainers/shoes/football boots/coats/and a years supply of lynx and shower gel "hee-hee" etc.
One year I totally went against electronic gadgetry and bought everyone a stocking filler for painting by numbers (me included!!!) and we had a great afternoon! Top trumps - a simple card game, keeps everyone amused for hours.
Why not do what another poster suggested a few weeks ago and take them to a show instead? Buy them tickets for an event or show they would enjoy?
5 and 8 year olds don't want savings accounts for christmas.
It's mad isn't it - you end up buying just for the sake of it However, I would still buy them things for Christmas, they are far too young to accept money in the bank for the future.
I would ask Gp's, Aunts & Uncles to cut down & I would see if friends would like to have a 'no presents' Christmas this year - some will have already bought presents so you'll have to go with it, but I am sure the others will be happy to do this!
The other things I would do though (after the big clean out) is not buy things other than at Christmas and on their Birthdays. I think kids get far far too much 'in between' stuff these days.
YABU - just because you can't think of anything to get them - have you asked them what they would like? Kids always want something.
Explain to them that they need to give some stuff away (for you to sell?) otherwise Santa will think they don't need anything.
YANBU to be sick of so much STUFF.
But I'm sure you'll get them a lovely Santa stocking with some nice books and games and goodies in it. Don't forget the chocolate coins!
I think you have to get them something just not loads of plastic rubbish essentially. What about some clothes and books, a small amount of plastic rubbish plus perhaps as others have suggested a show/some other event they might enjoy?
YABU, you know you are. I bet your parents didn't not give you presents because they hated your stuff.
DD has tons of toys too and we'll do a clear out before Christmas. It's part of the rich cycle of life.
They might not notice on the day, but first day back at school or sooner, someone will ask "what did your mummy and daddy get you?" and then the penny will drop that you didn't get them anything. Long term, the pile of gifts will be forgotten, the thing that will stick in their minds 40+ years on is that you didn't get them anything for Christmas.
These are the people who will pick your care home in old age, think carefully...
And what about buying them lessons in something, dancing, martial arts or something that you wouldn't normally want to pay for but would do as a gift iyswim
Wow, thanks for all the replies thus far. It's not that they don't WANT anything - I'm sure if I ask they could come up with quite a list! It's more that I feel like we'll be buying stuff, as Chipping said, for the sake of it.
I don't feel that I can ask the family members for money, or not to buy. I will of course buy pressies for my nieces and nephews, and you can't dictate to others what they give/how they spend.
But anything I buy, no matter how much they wanted it, will be just one more thing in their rooms, or in the closet, getting to be honest no more attention that what they already have. I just feel that they have... enough.
Oh, and Trois... they don't have any computer games and aren't fussed about it. So, yes, simpler things would keep them happy. And I agree about Top Trumps.
It's not really a question of money. It's a question of clutter and waste.
Could you a Wii or something for the whole family to use? Some of the games are fab played all together.
I feel your pain with the yet-more-stuff syndrome, but you know yabu. How about art materials, books, outdoor toys or even some little piece if furniture (a desk for you 8yo)? I got ds2 a large cardboard rocket for his 3rd birthday, which he loved (now recycled!)
The thing I find is that I am constantly clearing out, just to make room for heaps of extra stuff, feels like big consumer cycle.
We have lots of grandparents and other relatives who buy presents (mine are 5 and nearly 3). Last yr I just bought them one toy each, DS had a Buzz Lightyear figure and DD had a boat for the bath. Both toys are still played with.
I think what other people buy the kids is between them and the children, not for you to disctate unless they ask.
I second what another poster said about tickets for a show or event. Memories last longer than plastic toys.
My eldest DD is having a winter scout camp paid for as part of her chritmas box, and the rest is going on new clothes for it. There is nothing wrong with getting clothes for christmas, especially if they are a bit more upmarket/luxurious than you would normally pay out for.
Maybe start a tradition of activities you do on the day instead of presents? The holiday can be whatever you want it to be, really. Kinda difficult since everything is pretty much closed (misses the American tradition of a film and Chinese food).
Seriously, we don't even celebrate Christmas, so obviously my kids don't get anything for it, and they've never had an issue with it or with their Christmas celebrating friends. They talk way more about the active traditions of holidays we do together than any of the toys they get for it.
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