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Colleagues' competitive spend on gifts for their children

(19 Posts)
ChinkChink Sat 16-Dec-17 00:16:33

Mine's grown up so I'm way past this stage, but every year there seems to be an increasingly competitive vibe among my younger colleagues to outdo each other on how much they spend on their children's Christmas presents.

Designer gear they'll grow out of within six months. Customised trainers, likewise. Mega-expensive tech toys. 'Stocking fillers' that I'd consider more of a main present. It just seems so unwise and wasteful and likely to be unappreciated much beyond Christmas Day.

While I don't want to come over all, 'We got a piece of coal and an orange and were happy', I don't think I'm BU to suspect that in some cases it's more about what they think they 'should' do than what is thoughtful and reasonable and memory making. That's what I'm hearing anyway.

I guess I just want to say to them that chucking money at children is worth much, much less than your loving time. But then, how much time do you have to give when you're slogging in 40 hours on minimum wage? And therein lies the dilemma. I'm not entirely unsympathetic.

Hovering over the post button here as I'm sure it must have been discussed before but hey-ho here goes.

Snowman41 Sat 16-Dec-17 00:30:35

guess I just want to say to them that chucking money at children is worth much, much less than your loving time.

I buy what some would consider to be expensive gifts. I don't show off or even tell anyone what o have bought the DC's, it's no one else's business. The idea that they don't get love/time is a bit odd though. It is possible to be a good parent, and buy expensive presents.

Originalfoogirl Sat 16-Dec-17 00:34:47

If you’re not part of the conversation, why say anything at all?

We buy expensive gifts. We also spend time with our daughter and show her lots of love.

There is no dilemma, people do what suits their own circumstance and generally don’t want someone giving them unwanted advice about how to raise their own children.

ChinkChink Sat 16-Dec-17 00:46:29

I don't say anything. I merely observe.

ChinkChink Sat 16-Dec-17 00:49:21

Interesting that the first two responses mention how much they are spending.

#Justsaying

ScreamingValenta Sat 16-Dec-17 00:52:04

We were joking about this at work recently - it does seem that modern teenagers are much more designer-label conscious than they were 'in my day'. I have no DC so am spared any sense of competitiveness - I can sit back and channel my granddad ( orange, lump of coal etc.) with impunity!

geekone Sat 16-Dec-17 00:52:52

Interesting that the first two responses mention how much they are spending.

Oh look it's GF time hmm

ChinkChink Sat 16-Dec-17 00:57:26

Honoured I'm sure. grin

CantSleepClownsWillEatMe Sat 16-Dec-17 01:16:00

There's nothing you've posted to support your suggestion that they're competing with each other. Are you sure you're not just seeing an opportunity to be disapproving and judgmental? Why on earth do you imagine your colleagues give a damn about "outdoing" each other confused? Surely, like most of us, they're focused on what's normal for their family?

Honestly there must be at least a thread a day banging on about piles of plastic tat/how children don't need this, that or the other/consumerism/the environment and of course we prefer to spend time together and with family and friends cos of course you can't have some decent gifts and enjoy time together hmm. It's none of your business, your way is just that, your way.

ChinkChink Sat 16-Dec-17 01:29:40

Fair question CantSleepClownsWillEatMe

What set me off was a conversation in coffee break area which started with one person boasting [okay my interpretation] that they'd spent two weeks' wages on custom trainers. Whereupon there was some not so subtle 'Well mine will have to make do with.. <<< xyz bigger present >>>.'

It's becoming more noticeable [to me].

I could perhaps illustrate my issue further with the following. Caught a bit of an old J Kyle show when I got home from work the other day. A child had been reunited with a father, and the 'presenter', and I use the word loosely, said something to the effect that the Dad had 20 years of birthday and Christmas presents to make up for.

No. He has 20 years of time not spent to make up for. Again, it's not about how much money you chuck at it.

echt Sat 16-Dec-17 02:12:49

You would be VVU to say anything. Can't even see why you have an issue with other people's business. How do you know you know their material gifts are a substitute for time spent with their children?

ButchyRestingFace Sat 16-Dec-17 07:08:46

said something to the effect that the Dad had 20 years of birthday and Christmas presents to make up for.

No. He has 20 years of time not spent to make up for. Again, it's not about how much money you chuck at it.

It’s a throw away comment, one quite commonly used, I would say.

The presenter wasn’t implying that the father can literally compensate for a 20 year absence through the medium of a fuck-tonne of presents.

MaisyPops Sat 16-Dec-17 07:16:39

We were joking about this at work recently - it does seem that modern teenagers are much more designer-label conscious than they were 'in my day
I agree. I teach in a normal state comprehensive and Michael Kors bags, Vivienne Westwood ballet flats, lads with £300 aren't the norm, but are more common than I ever remember as a teen (whrn it was all about having the Jane norman carrier bag for your PE kit grin). It's also more noticeable in the last few years at secondary too. It's quite a shift.

I think the OP has a point when people are going on about Christmas presents. Sitting at work discussing lots of expensive gifts (to me anyway) feels a bit look at how much money i am throwing at my child.
That's not to say all kids who get expensive presents don't get time and affection but I would say that there are a fair number if kids in my school who are money rich abd time poor. Thry are the ones who seem to be all flash thr new stuff.
Students who clearly do get expensive gifts but don't go around bragging always strike me as probably coming from homes where they do get time and attention as well as objects.
I wonder when people sit bragging about money what they are trying to compensate for

ShowMePotatoSalad Sat 16-Dec-17 07:19:57

You are vastly, incomprehensibly unreasonable to use the phrase "memory making".

But aside from that I agree with you!

Matildatoldsuchdreadfullies Sat 16-Dec-17 07:27:58

When my dc were small I would undoubtedly have gone for the competitive under spending. You know the drill: "oh, ds's main present is a second hand car from the charity shop."

This doesn't make me a better parent - just a stingy frugal one.

Unfortunately, now my doc are teens I can't get away with this anymore fgrin.

MaisyPops Sat 16-Dec-17 07:30:41

At least the OP just said memory making. For others it wouldn't just me memory making, it would be #memorymaking #famalam #feelingblessed #blessed #truespiritofchristmas #theseones #thoseeyes #motherhood #lovetheselittleones
grin

oblada Sat 16-Dec-17 07:31:13

I'm generally baffled at the amount of money some people spend on their kids at Christmas and I can't help wonder how much they earn to afford that or indeed if it is such a good idea. Growing up I was pretty spoiled I have to say but even then it didn't reach the levels I see mentioned sometimes (or maybe it does? Difficult to account for inflation etc... I did get loads of presents)...and I don't think it was such a good idea, I had a happy childhood but not because of all the presents..

MrsFassy Sat 16-Dec-17 07:31:13

This sounds almost identical to a conversation I had with some colleagues yesterday 🤔 But it was a running joke that myself and another colleague have been having for a few weeks after her teenage daughter asked for some £450 trainers. Anyone listening in may we'll have taken what we were saying completely out of context and assumed we were trying to "one-up" one another.

Now I'm trying to think who else was in the break room at the time 🤔

EmilyChambers79 Sat 16-Dec-17 07:43:12

So you only think they are trying to "one up" each other?!

It's perfectly normal conversation to have. Most of my friends I've had the same conversation with but there's no element of competition there.

My boss asked me yesterday what we've got DS for Christmas, I told her, I asked what she was getting her two, she told me.

Why do expensive presents mean you don't spend quality time with child? What's the value cut off before a present becomes too expensive and means that parents are. It spending time with their children?

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