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to want to give my two year old the best Christmas ever

(335 Posts)
mancmama1614 Thu 16-Nov-17 10:47:01

When I was a little girl, growing up my parents were really poor. However they saved all year for Christmas and used to spend up to £1k on each of us so we had loads of Christmas presents to open. We made loads of family Christmas memories too (Disney on ice, Christmas Eve hampers, eve-of-the-eve-of-Christmas-eve presents) and I look back on those Christmases with the fondest of memories.
Now, I am in a similar position to what my mum and dad were in when they were younger; my partner earns a good salary (I am a SAHM) however we are paying off quite hefty debts from our hedonistic twenties 🙄 so we are strictly on a tight budget.
AIBU to still go what some people would class as overboard at Christmas? So far the presents I have bought him are about 35 in total, I have spent about £350-£400 (don't count) but still want to get him all the clangers merchandise which will be another £150.
Added to this there will be visits to the santa train, Christmas parties at all the playgroups we go to and a winter wonderland trip.
His birthday is in January and we would like to have a big party for him and all his friends and also buy about 10-15 presents for that too.
Can I just add we aren't taking out any credit for this because I wouldn't be accepted for any anyway
All I see on Facebook and in the news are people only buying their kids one present, letting the grandparents pick up the slack or following that bloody soulless four gift rule.
Not buying for adults this year and me and my partner aren't buying for each other but we are buying for kids of friends.
Does anyone else do a Christmas like this when they are on a bit of a budget? Or any free trip ideas (ideally in Manchester) to add an extra special touch?

Witsender Thu 16-Nov-17 10:48:40

He's 2. I would go more for experiences than gifts, and rein the whole thing in a little.

HousefulOfBoysNow Thu 16-Nov-17 10:50:01

Your child may not thank you for it.

I grew up with 101 presents every Xmas - it was overwhelming and boring having to plough through it all. I envied my friends who got 5 or 10 really special, considered and longed for gifts.

Focus on quality not quantity.

BucksFrizz Thu 16-Nov-17 10:50:16

I think a 2 year old might find 35 presents a little overwhelming!

HarrietKettleWasHere Thu 16-Nov-17 10:50:33

Do what you like (personally at two I would rein it in big time) but it's really nothing to do with you what Christmas gift 'rules' other people follow.

CandyMelts Thu 16-Nov-17 10:51:47

Does the environmental impact not worry you? I'm sure the majority is plastic and will be binned eventually.
Sure make your kids happy, do what you can afford (and youre in debt so you cant afford it)
He's 2, he won't remember it.
I'd probably take the money and buy some play equipment for the garden or something that will last.

toolonglurking Thu 16-Nov-17 10:52:05

If it makes you happy go for it, but I wouldn't choose to spoil my children in that way. I'd probably choose to put at least half of the money into paying off debts.

MyBrilliantDisguise Thu 16-Nov-17 10:52:38

Sorry, but your mum and dad weren't really poor if they could spend thousands at Christmas!

It would be much better for your son if you saved most of that money to either pay your debts or for his future. He is two years old. He won't remember any of this. He will love fairy lights and a few little presents. You're not doing what's best for him, but rather what you think is best for you.

SaucyJack Thu 16-Nov-17 10:52:40

It's up to you.

I'd prefer to do things differently tho.

Saving up £1K per child throughout the year like your parents did isn't really poverty IMO. It's just a particular approach to budgeting.

If I did it for my three (for ex.), that'd be £60 a week. I'd rather spread the fun around over the year than spunk it all on one day.

Silverthorn Thu 16-Nov-17 10:53:05

Well to be completely honest you sound very foolish. Sure buy him a fair few presents and take him to see santa, but my 3.5yo will be spoilt this christmas because he knows what's going on. My 19mo will have similar for parity but he's just happy opening empty boxes! Last year my eldest would have been a bit unnerved by long queues to sit on a strangers knee.
I would be focussing on getting out of debt so you can make a big fuss in years to come when he knows whats happening. A 2yo does not need a whole collection of clangers toys so really this is all for you.
harsh emoticon

Tortycat Thu 16-Nov-17 10:53:07

Personally i think thats a bit crazy - he's only 2 so wont even be able to remember it, and wont play with half of those toys!
If his birthday is in january, you'd be better off buying less now, but more throughout the year as he becomes developmentally ready for new toys.

I'm buying small and secondhand while dc are small as i know i wont be able to get away with it forever!
Why dont you think of memories that are cheaper eg making decorations, leaving things out for santa, making cakes etc?
Sorry to be bah humbug but unless money is no objecy i think you're going ott...

MidnightAura Thu 16-Nov-17 10:53:17

A two year old won’t care about that many gifts! Sounds a bit over kill.

HarrietKettleWasHere Thu 16-Nov-17 10:54:03

That's a good point actually, I do wonder atvuour definition of poverty if you were treated to a lavish Christmas every year.

ShuttyTown Thu 16-Nov-17 10:54:25

You really didn’t grow up poor if your parents spend 1K on each of you at Christmas. That’s ludicrous

DotDashBeep Thu 16-Nov-17 10:54:29

He’s 2. confused

StaySexyDontGetMurdered Thu 16-Nov-17 10:54:30

Doesn't sound as if you are over your 'hedonistic twenties' tbh

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 16-Nov-17 10:55:10

He won't remember the Christmas he is 2. If you want to spend money to make memories for him I'd do it from when he is 7 (and concentrate on getting the debt shifted sooner).

hooliodancer Thu 16-Nov-17 10:55:11

He is 2. A serious question, do you remember being 2?

It's your money so you must do what you think right, but I think you are mad doing this.

I love presents, but if you give children too much they just rip the paper off and don't appreciate each individual gift. If you are in debt then you are doing this rather than saving for a bit of security, i.e. not having the debt.

You are doing this for you, not him, because he won't really understand

HotelEuphoria Thu 16-Nov-17 10:56:00

I distinctly remember my two year old only playing with an empty Happy Meal box and McDonalds toy on Christmas morning. The Happy Meal treat following the previous evening at the panto.

Is this a genuine post, I mean eve-of-the-eve-of-Christmas-eve presents honestly?

boredofmyoldname Thu 16-Nov-17 10:56:05

Completely up to you what you do with your family.

I grew up with stupid amounts of gifts and quite honestly, it's wrecked Christmas for me as I couldn't do that for my kids and felt guilty at first. Feeling like what they had was never quite good enough and that somehow I must be inadequate or care less than those who do, including my parents.

Now the kids are 11 and 4 I've learnt that actually they don't care in the slightest because they don't need or want all of the latest things and crazes.

This year 4yo has asked for a £10 dolls pram and 11yo has asked for an £80 trainset. They're both set that they don't want anything else.

mumeeee Thu 16-Nov-17 10:56:41

A 2 year old doesn't need lots of presents he will just get overwhelmed. Going to a couple of events and Christmas parties will be enough.
When my 3 DDs were small children my MIL used to buy lots of presents ( no way near the amount you have bought though).
The youngest in particular used to get overwhelmed and some of tge toys were left untouched

RatRolyPoly Thu 16-Nov-17 10:56:42

Yeah, your parents definitely weren't "really poor".

Do what you like, but my two year old will also be having the absolute best Christmas and we've spent about £50-£70 all in.

YouStoleTheBowlFromTheRoom Thu 16-Nov-17 10:56:46

Do whatever you like, OP: your money, your kids, your choice.

I’m not convinced this isn’t just a stealth brag, though. I’m comfortably off but your post made me really uncomfortable - the “bloody soulless” 4-gift rule is 1) what other parents might think is best and 2) all some families might be able to afford.

So TL;DR, do what you like but maybe don’t trot out all the stats for the world to admire.

pudcat Thu 16-Nov-17 10:56:51

Perhaps your parents were poor because they foolishly so much money on Christmas. You do not have to spend thousands of pounds on presents. Your son is 2, he is not going to remember this Christmas or his birthday in years to come. But he will remember living in poverty if you cannot pay your debts. 35 presents is more than enough. Especially with his birthday coming up.

MerryMarigold Thu 16-Nov-17 10:58:11

I don't think you and your partner shouldn't have presents, and go without so your DC can have £500 spent on them at the age of 2. It's important for your child to learn about giving and receiving. At least watching you receive some things should help that. Mine are 9 and I will give them a bit of money to spend on me, so they need to think about what to buy, to be considerate. Also to realise the world at Christmas and the other 364 days of the year, does not revolve around them alone.

On another note, I can't stand watching that ripping off paper, glance at present, shrug, move on. When there are too many, it's just this weird thing that sets in with kids. There's no enjoying the moment, it's all about the next one, the next one, the next one. Urghhhh

I'm sure if you really think about your memories, a lot of them will be experiences and a lot of them will be of your family being all together and happy, not about the 50 presents you got. Those emotions can be recreated with any number of presents and any kinds of trips out. You can go and look at the Xmas lights and go to McDs for something cheap, but fun, happy and lots of pics.

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