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Donating to charity instead of giving a child a Christmas present?

(88 Posts)
QTPie Tue 07-Oct-14 21:57:26

My sister-in-law has just announced that she is donating to charity instead of giving husband, son and me Christmas presents this year.

Lovely idea to give to charity: we are a very fortunate family and I nominated the NSPCC to receive my sister-in-law's donation: I would like to see less fortunate children benefit.

However AIBU that I find it sad that my sister-in-law is not making an effort for DS (who is 4.5)? He is just beginning to appreciate Christmas and receiving a gift from his Aunty (and godmother) would be really appreciated. This is probably the age when it is most appreciated. I think that as we age, Christmas changes in our eyes, but at 4.5 it is still rather magical. My SIL (40, no kids) maybe somewhat missing it.

SIL lives in the US, sees us maybe once a year (not over the festive season) and will probably only send an e-card. It would be nice for DS to have something tangible (in his eyes) from his aunt. It isn't money/cost that count, but the thought (I know that there is thought that goes into a donation and that it is better that someone in much more need benefits, but...). DS will in no way be disadvantaged by not receiving a gift from his aunt (he will still receive nice presents, although I do ensure that he isn't spoilt), but there just seems to be a lack of festive interaction (hard to explain). DS is a "young" 4.5 - so would not appreciate the "giving to less fortunate children" at this stage (to abstract for him).

I don't know, I probably haven't expressed it very well at all,

SantanaLopez Tue 07-Oct-14 21:59:14

YANBU, it's a bit mean and 'oh so worthy'.

BonaDea Tue 07-Oct-14 21:59:46

Yanbu. By all means donate in lieu of a gift for adults but for a 4 year old it seems a bit mean!!

Only1scoop Tue 07-Oct-14 22:02:07

Bit mean to not send dc a small gift....the donations are great for adults though.

OwlWearingSunglasses Tue 07-Oct-14 22:02:43

I agree. Your DS is too young to appreciate that concept. As much as I dislike the commercialisation of Christmas, I do feel it's for children while they believe in it and it would be lovely for your DS to have a small pressie to open from SIL.

Suefla62 Tue 07-Oct-14 22:03:05

It is a bit mean. It would probably cost 3x as much the mail something as to buy it though.

Viviennemary Tue 07-Oct-14 22:04:13

That is mean. Not a good idea for children to miss out on Christmas presents. Most people would do this only for adults. Say you don't agree to this.

trixymalixy Tue 07-Oct-14 22:04:16

Yanbu. It's fine for adults , but kids wouldn't understand at 4.5.

Waltermittythesequel Tue 07-Oct-14 22:04:34


Fair enough for adults but not 4 year olds!

Pepperwitheverything Tue 07-Oct-14 22:05:23

Oh golly it is awful when people do this. My sister bought me a goat for a family in Africa for years....I just thought if you care then do it off your own bat...don't use me as an excuse!!! I just wanted a present that had thought in it for ME...not a family in Africa.

manicinsomniac Tue 07-Oct-14 22:10:56

It's not mean (the value of the gift has still been given away) but I think it's misguided where children are concerned.

Giving adults charity gifts or donations in lieu - great idea.
Giving children a small gift and making a donation in addition - also great
Leaving a small child with no physical gift - not cool imo.

BuilderMammy Tue 07-Oct-14 22:10:57

My PILs started buying Oxfam goats for their grandchildren a few Christmases ago, so our two (4 and 2) have never had real presents from them (they give cash for birthdays). I know it's because they have 14 grandkids and that's a lot of birthdays and Christmases, but it seems a bit hard on the tinies who can't understand it and would be ecstatic with a toy from the pound shop!

PenelopeGarciasCrazyHair Tue 07-Oct-14 22:13:30

My DCs are always pestering me to sponsor a leopard or tiger, one of those ads on TV that send you a photo and a cuddly toy of the animal you're adopting. That kind of thing I can understand, but not if it's just "merry Xmas ds, we've donated to the NSPCC on your behalf"

As you say, he won't really miss the present, but it doesn't seem very festive for him. Could you suggest that yours and DH's charity is the NSPCC and DS's is the WWF

kittensinmittens Tue 07-Oct-14 22:13:59

It depends on how much they get through the year to be honest.

I do personally dislike the commercialism of Christmas and I wouldn't do this myself, but sometimes I wish I had the courage to!

missingmumxox Tue 07-Oct-14 22:15:11

YANBU, get your sis a DVD for Chrimbo, I suggest this,

When I played it it had a advert for Agos toys first smile

notagainffffffffs Tue 07-Oct-14 22:18:32

Couldn't you ask her to sponser an animal at the local wildlife sanctuary/zoo instead? They usually send nice pics along with a little cuddly leopard/penguin etc

ILovePud Tue 07-Oct-14 22:19:56

I think this is a bit worthy too and a bit misguided for a four year old who won't understand it. Does she have kids, perhaps she doesn't really have an idea of the age when children would understand the sentiment behind this? I appreciate it would cost a lot to mail a pressie but she could get something sent from an online retailer in this country.

MaidOfStars Tue 07-Oct-14 22:20:16

I'm really not keen on any 'charity donations in lieu of gift-giving', whether it's gifts for adults or children.

But it does seem especially harsh for young children. Poor fella.

TheHouseonHauntedHill Tue 07-Oct-14 22:20:18

well my sil is well off, both of them actually and both seem they would rather pull teeth than go to town on their only DN and DNP.

we have had presents passed of as theirs when in fact mil got them, we have had nothing...or recycled gifts. Both are very well off and childless, one is 32 and one is 45.

It annoys me but I try and rise above it.
and lower my expectations.

I just shoulder all presents for the dc myself really.

TheHouseonHauntedHill Tue 07-Oct-14 22:21:21

I wouldnt mention it to your son, and I would tell her this,

* oh thats lovely but I wont be telling son he is too young to undertsand and is just getting I will wrap something in lieu but thanks so much for the thoughtful gift!!

SuperLoveFuzz Tue 07-Oct-14 22:24:44

She's not really donating anything herself since she's using the money she'd otherwise have spent on gifts for other people.

Is your SIL also requesting donations to charity instead of receiving gifts herself?

DrCoconut Tue 07-Oct-14 22:25:10

Would a 4 year old actually realise who had and had not given them a present if it was not mentioned? I think in a materialistic culture it is nice to think of others less fortunate.

londonrach Tue 07-Oct-14 22:29:36

I dont like the idea full stop as its more about the person giving than the one receiving. I was also given a goat the year we were sofa surfing as we had no where i live. For a child its cruel. Yes donate and buy a goat etc but dont wrap it up as a present for someone else. Everyone has their own charities they like.

sanfairyanne Tue 07-Oct-14 22:30:07

dont worry about it. your son will be happy enough with presents from you and father xmas. your sil is mean imo though
we buy more than most at xmas as all our siblings opt out of xmas pressies. kids are still happy

OVienna Tue 07-Oct-14 22:30:14

PILs did this for a few years-DH and I got the Oxfam goats and a very sanctimonious card each. They mysteriously stopped when we reciprocated in kind the next year; the gifts came back. Started again last year, unexpectedly. This year I am going to say: are the adults doing charity donations or gifts this year and if charity let's agree together on which one. I have no issue with the charity donation at all in and of itself but I think it is very to accept a gift yourself without any comment- pils have never suggested they participate too- but give others a charity card with the sentiment : we reckon you don't need anything.

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