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Gift giving etiquette?

(18 Posts)
Methenyouplus4 Wed 10-Aug-16 20:53:29

We have 4 DC. If buying for friend's who only have 1/2DC, should we try to match what they spend on our 4 DC?

Context: we are struggling for money and have told friends not to buy DC gifts as we can't afford to reciprocate. Many still buy, so if (for example) they spend £10 on each of our DC, we feel like we need to spend £40 on their DC (which we don't have, we don't even spend that on our younger DC for their birthday).

Is it reasonable to just spend what we can afford? About £10 per child?

KatharinaRosalie Wed 10-Aug-16 20:57:58

It is always reasonable to spend what you can afford.

molyholy Wed 10-Aug-16 21:00:07

Agree with Katharina

Friends would be upset If they thought you had skint yourself spending the same.

Nocabbageinmyeye Wed 10-Aug-16 21:01:05

No spend what you can afford but I would have thought roughly the same per child irrespective of how many per family, so I'm this case £10 roughly per child, the other way would never have crossed my mind to be honest

bleedingnora Wed 10-Aug-16 21:01:38

No way should you try and match.

Spend a couple of quid if that is what your budget allows.
A pack of water balloons and some water pistols please most kids.

And as an aside if you have stated pls don't buy for ours and people do then they are rude.
Maybe be a bit more explicit that you really aren't in a position financially to reciprocate gifts right now so please would they stick to the no gifts request.

Claireabella1 Wed 10-Aug-16 21:02:34

Of course you spend what you can afford. If you feel the need to match the cost of gifts, do it per child/ gift. If I bought a child a gift that was say, £20 and my child was given a £5 gift it wouldn't mean anything to me, it's not the point of giving a gift.

Methenyouplus4 Wed 10-Aug-16 21:04:08

Okay thank you. We usually spend £10 per child (or ideally something that was £10 but reduced to £5), but feel a bit uncomfortable that some friends spend that on our 4 so they spend £40 on our children while we might only spend £10 on their child. I have told friends not to buy as DC have plenty but they do tend to buy anyway.

LadySpratt Wed 10-Aug-16 21:27:38

If it helps to get an opinion of a parent with one child, it has never, ever crossed my mind that my friends would spend multiples on my son to match what I spend on their children as a whole, and I most definitely would not expect it.
I too buy things in the sale, and with classic toys etc. that go in and out of sales, year after year, the parents will be none the wiser that I bought it at a discount 😌 After all if the shop wants to sell their product to me for less, who am I to turn their offer down? Tadah! flowers

Bomb Wed 10-Aug-16 21:52:43

When are you giving these presents? If your four kids are pitching up at a friends child's birthday party and are coming with a packet of balloons and a warpter pistol I think it's possible that someone might notice.

Why don't you really insist to your friends that you don't want to do gifts. I'd feel awfully uncomfortable if people were spending £40 on my DC while I only spent a few pounds on theirs. confused

If it's for xmas then suggest doing a family present rather than individual presents.

Notso Wed 10-Aug-16 21:55:10

DH and I have recently realised this is what two of his siblings do. So there's six of us and we each get a £10 birthday present, the childless couple get a £30 present, the couple with one DC get a £20 present and the couple with two DC get a £15 present.
At Christmas when we don't buy for adults as a rule (though we get a token gift from our kids to their Aunts and Uncles) our older two get a £15 present and the younger two a £5, nephews get a £20 present and niece gets a £40 present.
Me and DH usually spend £25-£30 on kids and around £30 on adults.

Ameliablue Wed 10-Aug-16 22:11:22

If you've told them you can't reciprocate they obviously don't expect it. Just get a token or look for sales and special offers. I'd also say you don't need to double the per person spend because you have more children.

noeuf Wed 10-Aug-16 22:17:09

I'm in the same position Op. So at Xmas my friend (2 kids) buys them all an annual (they love them ) or a big selection box each or another Christmas type gift that's fairly cheap and saves me buying, and I buy her two something more expensive. Likewise I buy my childfree friends a decent present and they get little bits for mine. I feel happier - the Christmas and birthday fun stuff gets bought and I don't feel guilty. However this is as the result of conversations along the lines of 'i have loads of kids, I would love you to just buy them each an x,y,z.'

NeedACleverNN Wed 10-Aug-16 22:22:05

I always stick to budget no matter how many children they have

£20 for family children such as nieces and nephews and £10 for friends children

Methenyouplus4 Wed 10-Aug-16 22:56:16

Not so much an isue with family but with friends I have been spending £25 on close friends DC. I give either at party or whenever I see them near their birthday. Some friends have done as poster mentioned above and changed to small token gifts (e.g. a book) for our DC but some still get gifts which look like they cost £10/£15 which makes me uncomfortable. I have said a few times something to the effect of "That's a lovely gift but you really don't need to, they have loads of toys with there being 4 of them so a card would be lovely". One birthday party we actually requested that if anyone felt the need to make a purchase, to make a charitable donation in their name as have so many toys...Still got a load of gifts! I don't mean to sound ungrateful, and u feel reassured reading these posts and realising people most likely don't expect the cost of a gift exactly reciprocated.

Enidblyton1 Wed 10-Aug-16 23:12:04

For kids presents I tend to spend about £5-10 on friends and £15-30 on family. I don't alter the amount I spend based on the number of children involved - far too complicated and would take the joy out of present buying if I was always thinking 'oh I can spend £15 on this hold but only £10 on this one'
The child wouldn't have a clue how much is spent and probably the adults wouldn't either (because I often buy carefully in the sales).
Surely more important to give something that the child would enjoy (and parents appreciate) even if it only cost £3, than sticking to a particular budget just for the sake of it?

KatharinaRosalie Thu 11-Aug-16 11:17:22

our older two get a £15 present and the younger two a £5, nephews get a £20 present and niece gets a £40 present - So your DC are sitting there with their modest gifts, looking at their cousin opening something several times more expensive?
Would be nicer to just do £5 gifts for everybody.

GreenHen Thu 11-Aug-16 11:33:12

No - I definitely wouldn't do that...they might then start to feel obliged to spend more on each individual gift for your child.

My wealthy SIL (DH's sister) has four children and she never spends more than £20 (and when she was younger it was more like £10) on my one DC - I am very grateful for this as I would then feel obliged to up my spending on her four children. I spend around them same on each of her four children.

With just one DC I found all the gifts too much when she was younger, so I can only imagine with four. It can all get very silly and wasteful very quickly.

Methenyouplus4 Fri 12-Aug-16 09:03:07

Green- it is really wasteful. We end up regifting a lot (for example DS2 does not/would never need 6 car transporters)! or given to charity. A couple of friends have started giving our eldest cinema/bowling vouchers etc which is lovely, we can drop him and a friend there as this is something we usually strufile to afford.

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