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AIBU to be pissed off that people keep trying to get me to buy my kids more for Christmas?

(138 Posts)
CrapBag Thu 07-Nov-13 16:47:31

I am getting sooo fed up with people implying that I am not spending enough or getting my kids enough presents for Christmas.

We don't have a lot of money, I like to have a budget and stick to it, and we have done it this year. One time I mentioned my budget to a friend and she was horrified as she spends 4x the amount on her kids, then all the stuff they get from relatives, they are pretty spoilt tbh.

My kids are not in the slightest materialistic, they would be perfectly happy with a few small things, although we have got them more than this. Plus we don't have the space to put loads and loads of new toys. They do get things that they want, its not like we get them some old shit that they won't like which is what I feel is implied sometimes.

I had a couple of friends tell me that they have got their kids 30+ presents! That's not including relatives who all spoil them as well. My kids don't get spoilt in the slightest by relatives, and while I don't want them to be spoilt, I am also slightly sad that our families don't seem to make as much effort as my friends families (I get a run down of all the things their families have bought for their kids, its way over the top but I still feel sad, can't really explain it myself).

A friend has been asking DD (2) what she wants. There are 2 things, neither of which are big or expensive. She is getting more as well but my friend kept trying to get DD to add more things to her 'list ' in order to make me buy her more. hmm

Another friend told me I should buy my DS something else he likes, that is another £80! As in, "oh its only that, go on buy it for him" This is much more than his entire budget.

There will be plenty of years where they want big expensive things and these earlier years mean you can get away with buying less. I have been accused of being tight on more than 1 occasion because I don't constantly spend money (that I don't have) and I am getting really fucking fed up of it! AIBU.

CocacolaMum Thu 07-Nov-13 16:50:21

I don't really understand the whole "budget per child" thing. What DS wants will inevitably be twice the cost of what dd wants (he is 12 and she 7) and I will be damned if I am going to then buy her a load of other (unnecessary) toys just to make it "fair"

who gives a shit what others spend or what they get for it?

Joysmum Thu 07-Nov-13 16:52:06

My daughter isn't materialistic either and tends to like things like diaries, pen sets and craft stuff. My hubby guilt buys as he works long hours and feels guilty. So the wii and the DS etc don't get used and she wants to sell... To have money to buy what she'd like.

Trying to rein hubby in is hard and we are married!

Personally I'm not backwards in telling friends and family my values re Christmas and hoping they follow them.

NeedlesCuties Thu 07-Nov-13 16:52:28


I have a similar experience too. My kids are nearly 4 years old, and just over 1 year old.

I get them about 3 presents each, nothing expensive. I also 'vet' the gifts from friends and family as I'm a bit strict about what they're allowed and I don't want them getting stacks and stacks of clothes, toys, tat.

Some people think I'm Ba-Humbug, but I'm not, I just don't see the point in ££ crippling myself in order to fulfil a capitalist dream. My kids are happy with what they get, and I'm happy with what I spend.

DoJo Thu 07-Nov-13 16:53:51

Refuse to discuss it with anyone else - that way they won't know how much you are planning to spend and won't be able to have a say. I can confidently say that I have never discussed my present plans with anyone and don't intend to, so it's not impossible. Just say 'I'm not even thinking about Christmas yet' until December at which point you can change it to 'I'm sick of talking about Christmas' and be done with it!

Sirzy Thu 07-Nov-13 16:54:00

Just ignore them.

If some people want to make it into a competition that up to them, but doesn't mean you need to pay attention or let it get to you. It also works both ways with the "competitive scrimping" though.

Personally I couldn't give two hoots what someone else deicdes to spend their money on!

Theoldhag Thu 07-Nov-13 16:55:46

You are defiantly not being unreasonable!
What your friends are teaching their children is this, that everything is disposable (out with old toys in with new....unless they like living in a toy shop), that material things equate to love and that they are entitled to what ever they want when they want it.

I commend you for not buying into this consumer driven bullshit. On an environmental level I think that buying stuff for the sake of it has a huge negative impact on our planet.

Really these people should learn to zip their mouths shut!

FixItUpChappie Thu 07-Nov-13 16:56:12

YANBU to get your kids what you want....but neither is the parent who chooses and can afford to get more. Your children are not going to be ruined by a few well chosen gifts nor will other people's children necessarily be spoiled brats for getting more.

Its about attitude and gratitude not budgets IMO.

HorryIsUpduffed Thu 07-Nov-13 16:59:47

Article on BBC today about children's having too many toys.

TeenAndTween Thu 07-Nov-13 16:59:49

You have a budget, good for you for sticking to it. Kids, especially young ones, don't need loads of expensive stuff (nor does it all need to be brand new).

My DD1 tends to end up with more expensive things. Sometimes we bung a bit extra into DD2s savings account to balance things if they are very uneven.

Christmas is never worth going into debt for imo.

Guiltismymaster Thu 07-Nov-13 17:00:57


Sounds like you have lovely kids.
I used to get most excited about the little presents in my stocking as a child, i.e pencils, lip balm etc because it was exciting.
I'm not anti buying expensive things, but that's not what makes Christmas exciting and 'magical' for children. It's the leaving out a carrot for Rudolph etc.
As long as you have a nice time together, they are not missing out.

GingerPCatt Thu 07-Nov-13 17:01:09

My mother used to tell me that if three presents was good enough for the son of god it was good enough for me. Growing up we'd get a book a toy and clothes. Santa would bring one other present and stocking stuff.

dunnohowifeel Thu 07-Nov-13 17:03:13


We are reigning it in this year. I bought DD stuff that I know she will love and not spent too much either as it was in the sale. When I mentioned how much I spent to my friend (she asked) she was horrified, yes really telling me how dd would be so disappointed on christmas morning.
I was very upset with her and told her so.

SunshineMMum Thu 07-Nov-13 17:04:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mim78 Thu 07-Nov-13 17:05:28

Just ignore them.

You are completely right IMO. They don't need loads of presents or expensive presents at a young age (or any age). Also, it's up to you what you do, not others.

I feel guilty if I get carried away and buy too much for dd - think I am being a bad parent if I overspend on Christmas or if I encourage her to think money grows on trees. I'm going to try to stick to a budget like you this Xmas.

Your friend is not being very helpful!

If you were worried you could always ask relatives to buy kids a present instead of getting one for you, but no need for them to get masses of things or for you to be worried about this.

curlyclaz13 Thu 07-Nov-13 17:10:55

What business is it of anyone else what you spend or buy your kids ? You know them and what they want and know what you can afford. Ignore them and enjoy Christmas with your lovely sounding children. Fwiw OH
Asked if we were buying ds anything as he will only be 6 mo and won't have a clue about Christmas I see his point but we will get him something small.

tillytuck Thu 07-Nov-13 17:19:51

if it makes you feel any better my children are getting 1 present each and a stocking lol

ds1 - his getting his yearly membership to dance class
dd1 - getting a cheap tablet
ds2 - is getting a cheap tablet
dd 2 - is getting a vetch walker lol

I don't give 2 hoots smile

Isabelonatricycle Thu 07-Nov-13 17:20:39

We are a one, maybe two presents per person family. Children generally make things (pomander, rum truffles, peppermint creams etc). Teenagers buy with their own money or make, so it depends how much they save - generally a budget of up to £10 per person. Adults reckon on spending max. £25 per person, though if the right present is £5, that is what will be spent! If someone wants something which costs more than that, then it is a case of combining mum and dad to make £50.

Stockings are filled with clementine, fudge, pencil/pen, notebook, toothbrush, bubbles or something like that and then one small present - a bracelet from Accessorize/small lego thing etc.

Family friends definitely think we are all massively deprived, but this is just the way we do things. Presents just aren't such a huge part of Christmas for us, it is also about the religious festival, spending time with family/friends etc. Even more deprived because no presents before the Queen's speech!

On topic though, YANBU at all, and it sounds like your friends are stirring.

CoffeeTea103 Thu 07-Nov-13 17:25:22

Seems like you know a lot of foolish people. Stick to what you are doing. Xmas is becoming more competitive and people are losing sight of what it means. Do you think those kids are learning appreciation, value and what Xmas means? Probably not, Xmas = gifts and being spoilt rotten. You are sensible and teaching your kids lessons for life.

SkullyAndBones Thu 07-Nov-13 17:28:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ZombieMojaveWonderer Thu 07-Nov-13 17:28:48

I don't do budgets either but this year I have actually bought the kids exactly the same thing because they all want the same thing (thankfully) They get their big presents from their dad such as a desk top computer blush
I've gone down the handheld console route because they always get the most use out of them. I don't buy presents just for the sake of it and I just laugh when I see pictures of kids surrounded by presents - buying their love much??wink

HorryIsUpduffed Thu 07-Nov-13 17:29:03

Ginger that's a good retort.

One of them was gold though...

I go by the "something to wear, something to read, something you want, something you need" rule, plus stocking which is satsuma plus "something you can play with quietly and not wake your parents up before the morning chorus" hmm .

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Thu 07-Nov-13 17:29:28

I really dislike both ends of the spectrum.

People spending £££ just for the sake of it and bulking up on any old tat just so there are piles of presents. I grew up in a house like this and if anything by the age of about 8/9 the sheer quantity of stuff makes things less magical.

However, nor do I understand those who could spend more but have a 'budgeting' competition. I can't see why you would brag that your kids 'only have £20 spent on them' - so what?

WhereIsMyHat Thu 07-Nov-13 17:33:53

We're going small this year. My kids play with a tiny amount of their toys, lots of it gets thrown away so we're going for quality not quantity. One present that they want, PJs, socks, pants and some small bits for thei stocking.

When I was a child my parents got us everything, I was spoilt rotten and I don't think it did me any favours.

One part of my family buys complete crap for the kids, their hearts are in the right place but the stuff they buy is loved for a couple of hours and never looked at again. I'm trying to think of a diplomatic way to say maybe just get something small rather than £100s of pounds worth of stuff the kids don't want or need but ultimately they are doing it from the kindness of their hearts so who am I to say don't?!?!

This popped up on my FB

MaryShelley Thu 07-Nov-13 17:34:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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