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To buy more presents for DC just so they don't feel like the poor cousins?

(20 Posts)
puglife15 Mon 19-Dec-16 11:54:31

We're spending customer with relatives including our DC's cousins. Their parents tend to be very generous with gifts for them (you literally cannot move for toys in parts of their house).

GPs also seem more generous with presents for the cousins. I initially put this down to the cousins being older but judging by this year's birthday presents and general behaviour towards the kids, it may just be good old favouritism. sad

I'm worried my older DC (4) will start to notice this year that they're getting less and I've not bought much for them (so far a small stocking with about 6 small gifts plus one other small gift from us).

AIBU to buy some big presents just for the sake of it? Or will a 4 year old still be too young to register?

puglife15 Mon 19-Dec-16 11:55:26

Christmas, not customer! Clearly festive consumerism is messing with my autocorrect ;)

Manumission Mon 19-Dec-16 11:55:42

I wouldn't get sucked in, myself.

4 is still young anyway.

MollyHuaCha Mon 19-Dec-16 12:01:05

Seems a shame that Xmas has to be so materialistic... you sound v caring and I think what you already have is fine. But if you wanted to try to avoid present envy, you could bulk up DC's presents with cheap things that are physically big like colouring book, one of those huge felt pen and crayon sets, cheap football, chocolate selection box etc.

CaraAspen Mon 19-Dec-16 12:03:21

I agree. Do not get pulled in with what amounts to gross materialism. What an indictment on our value system this splurging is. Ugh

gingina Mon 19-Dec-16 12:05:41

Don't be dragged into that competitive buying shit!
Maybe you should make this the last year that you all open Christmas presents together, open your gifts at home before you see the family maybe?
Your dc need to understand that some children get more than them and others get less. Christmas shouldn't be about material things.

Andbabymakesthree Mon 19-Dec-16 12:10:29

Don't do it. When you say spending Christmas with relatives are you arriving there Xmas day. If so agree with gingina do presents before you get there.

If you are staying for festive duration you might need to address the inequality between grandchildren. However let the parents do their own stuff with the children. Sodding ridiculous. I'd be embarrassed!

yorkshapudding Mon 19-Dec-16 12:13:34

I completely understand your dilemma.

My PIL openly favour their other grandchildren over DD, purely because they are DH's sisters DC and they have always favoured SIL over DH. The older my DD gets the more I worry she will notice their favouritism. She's too young to see the pics on Facebook of them treating her cousins to exciting day trips, meals and even holidays and because we don't see them that regularly (for obvious reasons!) it doesn't impact on her day to day. I do worry that it will be obvious at Christmas though and it's tempting to overcompensate but I wonder whether I would be doing so to make myself feel better rather than for DD?

The conclusion I have come to is that I don't want to fall into the trap of spending more than I can afford on DD at Christmas just because SIL and PILs have chosen to spoil her cousins. DD's cousins are already so materialistic, far more aware of how things look and how much things cost than I feel primary school aged children should be. Thats not something I want to emulate.

StewieGMum Mon 19-Dec-16 12:26:31

It's incredibly shit when GPs so blatantly favour one set of grandchildren over the other. Even if you were to buy your DD the moon, she will still eventually realise that her grandparents treat her differently. For this year, I'd bulk her presents out with some lovely keepsake books (Lauren Child edition of Pippi Longstocking is huge and beautiful). Then I'd stop spending Christmas with the extended family. There is no reason to expose your child to blatant favouritism. Both of you will be much happier having a lovely Christmas at home rather than with extended family who behave appallingly.

EweAreHere Mon 19-Dec-16 12:37:27

Whose parents (GPs) are they? If they're yours, have you said something? If they're your husbands, has he?

I would speak up, in a 'I'm not sure you're aware, but you do this...' kind of way to start, before favoritism gets out of hand to see if it could be nipped. They may not realize? Or if they do, you can explain they will see less of you if it continues..

DailyFail1 Mon 19-Dec-16 12:42:30

I think it's a good idea to let your DD raise this directly to GP if and when she notices. My parents were the same way with my sister's kids, and it took my brother's son shaming them at Christmas for them to get their fingers out.

CaraAspen Mon 19-Dec-16 12:49:03

As for grandparents favouring some grandchildren more than others - that is beneath contempt.

KlingybunFistelvase Mon 19-Dec-16 12:51:22

Don't do it! You'll end up buying crap your DCs don't even want or need, which will only end up gathering dust. And then what happens next year when the cousins get even more? You could just end up in a bit of a competition. Maybe save your money for something more worthwhile and enjoyable, like a cool activity you can do as a family? That way it isn't money down the drain / a load of useless rubbish lying round your house.

Also, this is how retailers get you to part with even more of your hard earned cash <cynical>. I'd refuse to do it on that basis alone.

Sorry your DCs' GPs are showing favouritism though. That sucks. I hope they realise how unpleasant that is.

CaraAspen Mon 19-Dec-16 12:53:58

As others have suggested you need to start doing Christmas your way. Why go along with this unpleasant charade? Make Christmas about your own family unit.

middlings Mon 19-Dec-16 13:15:50

Don't get sucked in. Just don't. I hate hate hate hate hate (and I don't use that word) the notion of financial value and physical size being considered the key attributes of presents, particularly for children. I made DMIL PROMISE me last year that she wouldn't do the piles of shite and guess what? They don't want most of it! So I regifted a bunch of it and they never even noticed. Seriously, they have not asked ONCE about the stuff I gave away.

"But I spent x on y so I have to spend the same on yours!" NO YOU DON'T!!! You really really don't.

I have not spent the same amount on a variety of family members. I haven't even spent the same amount on my two DDs (go on pearl clutchers, grasp away) but I have put very significant thought into what I have bought and THAT is what matters.

Sorry, I know I'm shouting but fuck me, the planet is literally suffocating under a pile of shite. And Christmas has gone bonkers!

CaraAspen Mon 19-Dec-16 13:25:09

I concur, shouty one!!!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 19-Dec-16 13:51:57

It's tough when a grandparent or other relation has favourites and it becomes very obvious at Christmas. Don't get dragged into this, I'm sure they'll love whatever you already bought and it's already enough.

Visiting others can be illuminating, it's not always favouritism at work, sometimes if the hosts go conspicuously OTT everyone else thinks they'd better up the ante too.

AgeingArtemis Mon 19-Dec-16 15:27:41

I agree it's unfair, but you don't want to be dragged into buying more for the sake of it. If you are really concerned, maybe a couple of big cheap things to bulk out the pile. (Although I hate that that's a "thing"- it's not a bloody bolognese which you can bulk out with lentils grin)

At 4 DC will probably not notice.

We spent xmas with our cousins growing up, and some years they had more and some years we had more, but we only started noticing "ooh this year James has LOADS" once we were 10 or so. Granted it's slightly different as it all evened out in the end, but at that age you don't really think long term.

On a related note, my grandad and his wife (I suspect it's his wife who does the shopping) always buy much better gifts for male DGC (eg remote control helicopter for grandson, and sparkly gloves for granddaughter). I think it's because they only have DSons so they are used to buying smaller gifts for their sons wives, but seriously odd when they have both male and female grandchildren! Even then, I didn't really notice that it happened consistently until my mum casually mentioned it when I was about 17.

wornoutboots Mon 19-Dec-16 16:55:37

when my kid was 4 he asked me "mam, nan and grandad love XXXXXXX more than me, don't they? Coz they get him loads more than we got for christmas"

so yes, they do notice.

puglife15 Mon 19-Dec-16 18:48:47

Thanks for the advice / support. SIL and BIL are significantly better off than us so we couldn't compete even if we wanted to.

I did actually mean to get DC1 a colouring set so I'll do that and I've thought of something else we'd actually agreed to get ages ago but I'd forgotten, whoops. But you're all right, buying stuff for the sake of it is crazy and so not "us".

We don't live near PILs so can't just pop in halfway through the day. The main reason we're going is so our DC can see their cousins tbh.

I can explain away the reason why the parents of cousins get them more, but I really hope that I'm imagining the favouritism...

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