To not worry about the other families (Christmas presents)(30 Posts)
Difficult to word briefly - basically each year for Christmas we go on holiday with three other families. We’ve always agreed that “Santa” only brings stocking presents and parents/family get all other presents, even though now only the little children still believe.
Usually I get DCs each one “big” (£40-£50, maybe a little more as they get older) present and maybe two or three books/other similar small gifts. Other families often do something similar, though mostly their gifts are slightly bigger, but that’s never really mattered before. However this year for DD12 and DD13 I’ve struggled to think of any “big” presents, so have just got quite a few smaller gifts (books/clothes/stationary - but most smaller things like stationary and makeup go in stockings).
I hadn’t even thought about comparisons but DH pointed out that this was quite different to what the other families usually do, and I’ve now asked the other parents who have all indeed got big presents (desk/guitar/phone). AIBU to just stick with what we’ve got or should we think of a “big” present? And if so, WHAT?!?? Because I honestly have no clue
Dd 13, is getting an Echo ( but dots are cheaper) and a paloroid camera as main presents.
I think at that age a " main" present is still appreciated, as the other items could be saved up for a bought through the year with pocket money.
Are you buying for these other families DCs, or just your own?
Have you asked your DC what they want?
I just get what the kids ask for, be that "big" gifts or lots of smaller, cheaper bits. People get their knickers in such a twist about what others do -it isn't a competition or a comparison event. Just do whatever you want to do. Nobody else will give a shit.
It's unlikely your 12 and 13yo believe in santa so get what you want.
It doesn’t matter what the other families’ DC get, just spend what you can afford, think is reasonable for your family, and DC would like.
My 14 yr old and 6 yr olds are getting "big presents " 4K tv and American Girl Doll ( over £200 for the bloody thing ) but-
There have been years when there has been no "main/big" present dependent on what they have asked for. This applies more to the teenager.
If your teens already have what they need in terms of phone/tablet etc then to buy them a main present for the sake of it seems crazy. I'm sure as you know them best, they will love what you have bought them already.
Just looked up the echo dot and don’t think it would interest either DC. DD13 already has her own new Polaroid camera and in the house we have about four old ones.
Sorry - maybe not clear. Each family just buys presents for their own kids! (And then we do a secret Santa across all the families). We all stay together in one huge house and spend the week around Christmas together, kids all open presents at the same time - which is why we’re worried about the children comparing with each other.
I have asked and I got one shrug accompanied by an “I don’t know” and one request for a certain book (which I have got). I have tried to badger but they can’t seem to think of anything.
Oh they definitely don’t believe in Santa - I have younger DC (5 + nearly 2) and there are other younger DC with us at Christmas (8, 9, 10) who all do, and we’ve been doing this for almost 10 years which is why we agreed early on that stocking was Santa and everything else was real people.
If they don't want anything specific, then I don't think you need to spend money needlessly.
Could be a good lesson for them that comparison is the theif of joy?
Could you wrap lots of little things in 1 box so it's still 1 thing to open?
They’ve always been given slightly less expensive gifts than the other families but it just feels more noticeable now they’re getting a few smaller things if they do end up comparing with each other.
The box idea might be good - I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it I guess.
I think just talk to them about it - just ask them how they will feel on Christmas Day if all the other kids have something big to open and they don't - if they can't think of anything they might be ok with it - or it might prompt them to think of something!
It’s not so much that I want to spend more on top of what I’ve already got (probably spent about £50 each excluding stocking), it is just the concern about the unwrapping as if the other kids have a big, exciting present (ie an iPhone 6s/ a new desk, although I highly doubt that’s being wrapped... I guess they’ll just tell their DC!) but DDs have the pretty standard selection of things I’ve got them, they might start to compare. The younger DC have one big and one medium playmobil set to share between them and some picture books each so that was easy. DS18 has a weird malleable tripod thing for a camera that he asked for.
I’ll definitely speak to them about it just don’t want them to think they’ll be fine with it and then find jealousy kicks in on Christmas Day!! Definitely don’t want it to ruin the week after Christmas either (which we spend with all the same families - we’re all in one huge house together and the kids share rooms, so not easy to avoid one another).
I was more thinking about sending back some of the items to exchange for something bigger, but I suppose if they can’t think of anything then there’s no point.
Could you do an IOU? Bit of paper drawn like a voucher saying "We Owe You One Present ^redeemable when you find something you want^" or similar?
I wish mine still wanted Playmobil at 12 and 13, I used to love Playmobil!
Anyway my dc are only slightly older and have no main present either.
They have got.
A nice makeup set
A giant Stitch toy (and Dvd if I can find it)
A pair of Friends Pjs
A animation toy thing
I will probably get either an amazon dot or a voucher for something to add.
Last year I got a bike at request after they couldn't think of a big present and I felt pressured to get one and it's currently in my Mum's back garden rusting after being ridden once which is bloody irritating
each year for Christmas we go on holiday with three other families.
Sounds like my idea of hell.
Xtra playmobil is actually for the younger DC (5+2)! They’re obsessed and one of the sets is a big one, so that will be their big and exciting present. It’s the 12 and 13 year old DDs I’m stuck for. I’m also less worried about the little ones comparing as they are the youngest by a few years (so just won’t be jealous that a 17yo is getting a laptop, for instance.)
Excluding stocking 12yo has a duvet cover, a royal ballet calendar and diary, 5 books, a muscle roller and a t shirt.
13yo has a Moomin calendar, 3 books, a book of cello music, a pair of trousers, a jumper, and a string of faerie lights.
So lots of nice medium sized things but nothing “big” per se.
In their stockings they already have a few bits of makeup, stationary (flash cards/pens), chocolate, nice tissues and stickers, a scented candle each, pants and socks.
Example of a previous year:
Last year 13yo got the main present of a “One Tree Hill” boxset (9 seasons - cost about £50).
12yo got a ballet turn board (about £40). Both were things they specifically asked for.
Does it matter what the other kids get? Seems utter madness to buy stuff just so they have ‘big’ things to unwrap.
I know, that’s what I thought when DH first suggested it! But at the same time I don’t want jealous feelings to crop up, so am just trying to get out of them if there’s anything slightly more exciting than a duvet cover/clothes I could get them.
The other families have always spent more than us on Christmas, and I just worry that will become more obvious to our children when they see the other children getting a big expensive gift while they’ve just got a selection of normal things. And then in the week that follows, when said children/teen are using their new big present.
Honestly. They’ve put in their requests and got what they asked for. If they change their mind on the day it’s frankly tough. Just like the 5yr old who asks for and gets a bike then wishes they’d got a scooter instead.
I really don’t see why you’re stressing. Give them what they want. Certainly don’t push them into asking for something “big” they’re not even that fussed about.
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