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DS is asking everyone not to buy him christmas gifts and to give money to charity.

(71 Posts)
Illgetmycoat Sun 11-Nov-12 23:09:16

What would you do? He is 11 and has declared for the past 12 months that he is vegetarian and (just recently) buddhist. I am a meat eating atheist and a deep believer in the magic of Christmas. He is bonkers, but I love him.

I think he means it. He is suggesting WWF and Water Aid.

Or would you say he is too young and ignore what he says, because he will be gutted on Christmas day? Or do we go for it?

SooticaTheWitchesCat Mon 12-Nov-12 10:53:10

He sounds a very thoughtful and caring young man. I would say if that is what he wants then as Jen547 suggests get him a subscription to the WWF, you adopt an animal and they send out a soft toy with an infromation pack and regular newsletters throughout the year plus emails to tell you how your animal is doing. I have done that for my girls ands they love it.

You could probably do that for some other charities too. That way he will have some packages to open on Christmas morning but they will mean something more to him.

MamaBear17 Mon 12-Nov-12 11:08:15

One of the parents of a pupil I teach told me that at home her children have three money boxes, one for saving, one for spending and one for good causes. She gives them a small amount of pocket money each week and asks them them to divide it between the three. She encourages them to spread the money in order to teach them about balance. If I were you I would give him an amount to give to charity, but also get him a present. He is clearly a lovely young man who cares about the world around him. However, he still deserves to have his own gift xx

FantasticDay Mon 12-Nov-12 11:16:58

What a lovely kid! Wateraid is a great charity - we chose it for our Church Sunday School's charity last year and the kids loved raising money and also all the yukky 'poo' videos etc on the website talking about the importance of sanitation.

You could also suggest to him for his 'big present' sponsoring a child through Action Aid or Plan - then he would have the pleasure of writing to and getting letters from a child in Africa or Asia. You could ask grandparents etc. to get him gifts from Oxfam unwrapped, so he could enjoy opening and seeing that he had bought e.g. a goat, a term's school fees, and see the difference he is making.

I would get him some nice Fairtrade chocs, clothes (try Shared Earth or Oxfam) etc for being such a hero.

MmeGuillotine Mon 12-Nov-12 11:42:18

He sounds wonderful. I hope my own boys grow up to be like this - you've done an excellent job. As a vegetarian wannabe Buddhist who apologises to insects and animals all the time I'm a bit biased though. smile

I'd make the donations as requested but also buy some extra ethically sourced things too like fairtrade chocolate, vegetarian cookery books and treats etc. smile

Frontpaw Mon 12-Nov-12 11:54:16

I do know a child who did this - he set up a page on 'just giving' site (not sure of thats the right name).

Jenny70 Mon 12-Nov-12 13:12:39

Definitely let him do it, my friend's boy at 8 decided all he wanted was money for his birthday so he could donate it to the kids hospital (he'd visisted someone, but not been closely affected by any children's illnesses etc).

He was beside himself with excitement donating all this money to the charity, never asked to keep a penny for himself.

Secondsop Mon 12-Nov-12 21:11:35

Something else you could do when you give him his stocking/presents on the day is to say something like "I'm so proud of how you think of others not just yourself, and how much you care about the world around you. I know you said no presents for you but I wanted to get you these as well as [insert whatever ethical/charity option you end up going for] because you deserve something for how much you care about others". This would reinforce your support for his beliefs and would make it clear that you're definitely not seeking to go against his wishes by buying him a few presents for him.

ventilatormum Mon 12-Nov-12 21:37:01

I had this last year with one of my DDs then 13.
i said it was not really done to specify to people what they should give her for Christmas, although she could request charity donations.
Quite a few gave her cash to do with what she wanted, and some just gave her presents.
As parents we did the normal stocking plus I think just one present under the tree.
Also instead of presents to teachers etc we bought a prosthetic leg for a charity!
She seemed happy with the end result, and I say good on yr son.

flow4 Mon 12-Nov-12 22:04:31

Obviously you know your DS better than we do, OP... A few times over the years, I have asked people not to buy me presents, and I have been rather frustrated that few seem able to follow my wishes... If you think your DS will feel the same, I would do as he asks.

But I think for some people there is a great pleasure in giving, and it may be worth discussing that with him. If you give him cash to donate to a charity/charities of his choice, and he gets a buzz out of doing that, then he should also be able to understand why some people want to give him gifts smile

Thanks v much for the kiva info, Nymphadora smile

ivanapoo Mon 12-Nov-12 22:25:55

Your son sounds BRILLIANT.

I really think you should send this thread to Water Aid and Wwf (maybe via twitter? They're both on there) and see what they suggest in terms of the best gift packages for him. They might come up with something for you we wouldn't think of.

ThisIsMummyPig Mon 12-Nov-12 22:48:01

This has been bothering me. Why do people thingk that a few bits under a tree are more important than knowing that your parents trust you and value your opinions?

I really would do as he asks. I have been given over the years chickens, goats, seeds, mango trees. I appreciate them a lot more than gloves again.

Snazzyfeelingfestive Mon 12-Nov-12 23:18:17

This is where things like the Good Gifts catalogue come in, because other people then get the pleasure of 'giving' something tangible. Here is the link to set up a wish list with them - your son could do this and then people could buy him food for abandoned animals, pills to prevent river blindness, comics for kids in hospital, all sorts! I love it.

flow4 Mon 12-Nov-12 23:54:26

Oo, thank you for the Good Gifts link too Snazzy smile

TheMummyBean Fri 16-Nov-12 23:02:42

Go for it!! I think that's lovely!

The African Children's Choir do a 'Give up a Gift for Africa' campaign here...

Illgetmycoat Sun 18-Nov-12 23:29:27

Just to update. DS is asking all the family to donate to the Good Gift Guide in the environmentalist section. He will get crackers with a gift slip inside to let him know how he has helped. Thank you to everybody who suggested ideas.

Just between us mums, I am sure that Father Christmas will give him a stocking too.

RichardSimmonsTankTop Mon 19-Nov-12 00:02:26

How about a Kiva loan? Kiva facilitates loans to people from developing countries all around the world - check out their site. You eventually (should) get the money back. It's tangible, too - you can see when they've raised enough money to buy goats, open their shop etc.

I hope my DCs grow up to be half as altruistic.

RichardSimmonsTankTop Mon 19-Nov-12 00:02:46

Oh sorry, just saw your update. Great idea!

Charltonangel Mon 17-Dec-12 12:05:42

Give More have published a Christmas Give Guide with loads of great ideas as to how you can get the best of both worlds on this - you could get some presents from a charity shop supporting one of his chosen charities... What a lovely story. Made a little tear come to my eye smile

LaCiccolina Mon 17-Dec-12 12:10:08

Do it but have something to hand incase his jaw wobbles.. X

ConfusedPixieThinksSheIsAnElf Mon 17-Dec-12 14:46:36

I know this is a month old and has been bumped, but your son sounds lovely OP!

& YY to Kiva. I've had money in it in the past and plan to put money back into it in the new year and will continue to put a (very) small amount in on a monthly basis to keep revolving.

peaceandlovebunny Mon 17-Dec-12 15:38:57

go with it. you've brought up a nice, deep-thinking kind of boy.

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