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to spend much less on one of my dcs than the others at Christmas?

(173 Posts)
handsandknees Thu 06-Dec-12 09:19:56

3 dcs - DD1(11), DS(almost 10) and DD2(7). I want to be fair. I try to be fair.

DD1 has asked for inline skates for Christmas. I've also bought her Trivial Pursuit which I know she wants but isn't expecting and few bits and pieces - books, backpack, t-shirt. DD2 has asked for a Design-a-Friend doll so she's getting that plus extra outfit for the doll and I've also bought her a doll's seat for her bike, and some bits and pieces. The extras are basically things they need which they would get anyway but I know they will like them. I've probably spent about £80-£100 each on them including stocking chocs etc.

DS has asked for a box of craft things, which will be only his and which he won't have to share with his sisters. He has specified paper, tape, string, stapler - that kind of stuff. I've bought a box and filled it up - I spent less than £15. I also bought him 3 books and some chocs but have only spent about £30 in total. He isnt that into books but I've tried to pick ones I think he will like. He loves chocolate/sweets so will be happy with those. He's never been interested in toys - he prefers to make things and I know if I buy more toys for him he will ignore them. He isn't interested in clothes either and doesn't need a new backpack.

The dcs have the same number of presents to open. Is this ok? Do dcs notice the value of gifts at this age or just the number?

missnevermind Thu 06-Dec-12 10:17:13

My DS(11) is Into myth Busters off the telly. So I have bought him blueprint paper and silver sharpys.

It looks a really crap present but he will love it.

handsandknees Thu 06-Dec-12 10:17:54

We've tried clubs/courses and he always says he doesn't want to go. He really is a free spirit. I am fully expecting a great invention from him in the future if he can get his arse in gear and do some school work.

Floralnomad Thu 06-Dec-12 10:18:24

Also it's swings and roundabouts as one year one will want something more expensive and then another year it will work the other way .

handsandknees Thu 06-Dec-12 10:20:26

That's true floral - he got a nintendo DS last year. Not that he's very interested in it any more.

lovelyladuree Thu 06-Dec-12 10:24:42

You don't have to spend much more. Join your local Freecycle group and ask if anyone is getting rid of a lamp, desk, craft items, etc. It amazing what people give away. I got a huge Hornby track layout for my DS for free and I recently gave away a massive box of new Christmas cards which we didn't need. Of course, you don't have to give anything away yourself, but it is nice to join in the spirit of things.

whois Thu 06-Dec-12 10:26:59

I'd probably get a good stock of really good craft paper. You can get lots of different kinds of weight and colour and you'll easily spend some cash! As a minimum he needs a pack of black card, white card and various colours. Plus then get some really heavy weight card. Some nice types of paper etc.

I used to love making things out of paper, and I think a decent craft knife would be useful if he can be trusted. I had one from about 10 and it really makes paper craft easier.

What about stamps? A set of letter stamps and ink is good for paper craft.

Scholes34 Thu 06-Dec-12 10:27:39

Flora's right. I'd also be very sorry if my children sat and added up the price of their presents. More paper might be nice, to assuage any feelings of guilt - different colours and weight, plus vouchers to buy more once his supplies have run out. What about double-sided sticky tape and stickyback plastic? I always felt deprived as a child, as I never had these.

shewhowines Thu 06-Dec-12 10:28:12

You could make up a tool box with tools from Poundland and source some scraps of wood/nails etc.

You can get a paper guillotine for about £4 from Home bargains etc.

As some one else said you could be more inventive what you put in the craft box. Lollypop sticks/cotton reels/different types of paper/scissors that make patterns/machines that crimp paper/stamps. You could spend a fortune if you wanted to make it the best craft box in the land or poundland is your friend

He will notice the difference though with only £15 worth of stuff. A voucher for him to choose his own stuff (can be a shop voucher or a promise to pay voucher from you) would get him what he really wants.

Scholes34 Thu 06-Dec-12 10:28:45

Swiss Army Knife?

CremeEggThief Thu 06-Dec-12 10:31:31

I am another who thinks you need to find a way to even things up. There are lots of good ideas on this thread. Good luck!

piprabbit Thu 06-Dec-12 10:32:23

How about making him a voucher for a special day out - just you and him. Take him to one of those pottery places where he can paint his own creation and then go for lunch.

Or - how about adding some Fimo clay to his craft box.

ICBINEG Thu 06-Dec-12 10:32:55

WTAF? So you are getting the kids what they want but are still worried that this isn't fair?

Surely fair is everyone getting what they want? Well actually fair would be everyone getting what they NEED...but I imagine there is no point pushing that one in the face of xmas commercialisation.

Reinforcing the idea that monetary spend is the only way to judge VALUE is bonkers. You don't actually love one of your kids less because their chosen hobby turns out to be cheaper than the others....

Chopsypie Thu 06-Dec-12 10:33:13

I think vouchers for somewhere like hobbeycraft would help to make it up.

Or what about a lot more different colours typed of paper/card tissue etc?
Make the box into a chest and stuff it with things?

Is there anythign else you think he might like to learn that yuo would set him up with? Painting with an easel and paints? Or modelling? sewing/knitting?

ICBINEG Thu 06-Dec-12 10:34:46

oh I forgot to say YADBU. all of =/= money

Floralnomad Thu 06-Dec-12 10:37:32

I think all this treat everybody equally attitude has got completely out of hand . What would you do if one child went horse riding once a week , would you give the other child the cost of the lesson in cash so they didn't feel deprived?

ethelb Thu 06-Dec-12 10:38:02

I'm going to go against the flow here and say YANBU.

He is difficult to buy for. So, he's going to need to learn that he wont' get loads of pressies. Or maybe he won't be so difficult to buy for in a few years and you can make up for it then.

You can just make up for it in other ways through the year, ie let him chose the nicer piece of clothing, take him and his friends out for a trip somewhere more expensive than usual.

forgetmenots Thu 06-Dec-12 10:38:54

Sorry OP forgetting this is AIBU, my suggestions were based on the fact I thought you'd already decided to get him something else.

It depends on how much the difference 'looks' and on whether you think it'll annoy you or DS. Personally if it's what he wants and it looks equal enough tht sounds ok to me, it's swings and roundabouts as someone else said.

MrsHoarder Thu 06-Dec-12 10:39:53

YABU. If the children who ask you for the most always get the most then it isn't very fair on the one who doesn't ask for anything much.

Its not love, its spreading your resources fairly for their wants. Yes you should split your resources for needs depending purely on what they are, but I think that wants should be handed out evenly.

handsandknees Thu 06-Dec-12 10:40:31

OK, more/better paper could be good.

The box has about 13 different things in it already as the box itself only cost £2. Lolly sticks, 2 different kinds of tape, straws, foam shapes, paper clips, elastic bands. All the things he's always asking me for, and I got it all really cheaply, but he will be delighted with it.

He would love a guillotine! (but, eek)

shewhowines Thu 06-Dec-12 10:41:00

To those saying just give him what he wants.

I don't think you need to spend exactly the same but i do think it needs to look of a similar value. If even now, my DM gave me a £1 bar of chocolate because i like and asked for chocolate but she gave my sister a gold watch because that is what she asked for, I would be very disgruntled. You can't single out any child with an obvious difference. It will make them feel very undervalued.

I too, would be very upset if I thought my DC were totting the value up to the nearest penny but it does need to look somewhat fair.

shewhowines Thu 06-Dec-12 10:44:41

The guillotines are slide across and you can't cut yourself because there is a plastic safety guard (not like the old fashioned bring down and slice your hand off ones)

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Thu 06-Dec-12 10:45:33

"honestly be just as happy or happier with scraps from someone's skip!"

My 10 year old boy is like that.

Scraps from various discarded old telephones, old computers have been lovingly disassembled (by him) and the valuable bits, motherboards, connectors etc are taken aside into his great big box for "inventions". Together with plastic bottles, cardboard, pieces of carpet, sponges, etc. confused He built a robot model from old electronic waste, and it has light up eyes, thanks to an old infra red pen used for reading invisible ink. It actually moves and lifts its arms, as he included a moving component from his Lego Mindstorm, along with the under carriage from a remote control car that he thought he would get better use of by taking a part and using the components.

Other peoples rubbish is his treasure, but this does not mean that he would not notice if we spent a fortune on his brother compared to what he got. Not sure he would be upset though.

Any chance you can just start a secret collection of rubbish between now and Christmas?

My sons were collecting cardboard for weeks, to build their own cardboard skate park for their finger skateboards. It made them really happy.

handsandknees Thu 06-Dec-12 10:45:49

Shewhowines that's why I posted - they are all getting what they asked for but I worry that DS will be able to tell the price difference. I'm not sure if he will be able to or not though. He actually doesn't have that much of a clue about what things cost. DD1 would realise, but not say anything.

Yorkpud Thu 06-Dec-12 10:46:01

Could you get him a hobby craft gift voucher so he can top up his supplies throughout the year?

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Thu 06-Dec-12 10:46:29

(my sons class mate cut really close into the bone of his knuckle when using the guillotine during arts & crafts yesterday, so I second your eeeek)

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