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£40 on one child Vs £10 on four children

(202 Posts)
Courtney555 Wed 20-Nov-19 11:27:04

I'm interested on people's opinions on buying Christmas gifts for children.

If, we could skip the "I don't give to receive, spirit of Christmas" and the "well I make the most amazing gifts for 50p a go" stuff and just go with the direct example, and your reasons behind your answer, that would be fab...

So. If family A has one child, and family B has four children, does:

Family A buy £10 gifts for each of the four children in Family B, and Family B reciprocate the £40, but as there is only one DC, it gets a much nicer £40 present?

Family A buy £10 gifts for each of the children in Family B and Family B reciprocate with £10 for the child in Family A. So Family A receive £30 less of gifts.

I see it both ways. What if Family A chose only to have one DC as that's all they could afford, but have to spend £40 on Family B (on the basis that a gift much under £10 per child, is barely worth the bother). But then why should Child A have a far superior gift than the 4 Child B's, shouldn't they all be treated fairly in that respect?

If we could also avoid the silly "well if Family A are that put out, they just need to have 3 more DC! Ahhh ha ha ha ha" that'd be grand grin

JoJoSM2 Wed 20-Nov-19 11:30:29

The presents are for children not per family. So just a small token gift each.

ImFreeToDoWhatIWant Wed 20-Nov-19 11:30:33

Family A give family B £40, and Family B give family A £40. Families A and B can then choose how to spend it themselves...

HolyMilkBoobiesBatman Wed 20-Nov-19 11:31:48

I don’t really see why the amount of money Family A spends has any bearing on what Family B spend.

Spend within your own budget a gift that the recipient will enjoy. I buy what I can afford year on year as do my friends. I wouldn’t expect my friends who might have more children or have had a harder year financially than me to reciprocate in terms of the money they spend on my DC.

peachgreen Wed 20-Nov-19 11:33:27

Obviously the second one. The first is bizarre. Much more important that children receive the same kind of value present than the parents spend the same amount of money. And if you've only got one kid you can spend extra on your present to them.

I say this as someone with one child who is best friends with someone with three children. Wouldn't even occur to me to expect a better present for my DD!

Courtney555 Wed 20-Nov-19 11:33:36

(awaits answers as requested, direct to example....)

GrumpyHoonMain Wed 20-Nov-19 11:34:07

Honestly I believe in reciprocity. So if family A’s child only received a £10 gift then all of family B’s 4 kids would receive a total of a £10 gift - so poundshop / B&M stuff or perhaps a group present. The gifts would still be thoughtful but I wouldn’t want to spend more on their kids than they do mine.

DH and I are having this debate now. First child after years of fertility. My side has already spent as much as we did on all their kids during gender reveals / baby showers etc, but his side hasn’t bothered (they get cash gifts). So he has been counselled by his mum to stop giving them cash gifts this year (lol mil is more pissed off about this than DH is!).

Beldon Wed 20-Nov-19 11:35:13

I treat each child individually, not as a family budget. I work out how much I can afford and they all get the same spent on them. I do not give like for like although it’s works out pretty close. I only buy gifts for family though

BeardofZeus Wed 20-Nov-19 11:35:51

I have one DC, our closest friends have three. We buy each of their children either something each of around 15-20 pound value or a combined gift around 50-60. They pay around 25 for our child

FriedasCarLoad Wed 20-Nov-19 11:36:00

Ideally the same amount per child than per family (and I say that as the parent of an only child).

However, it’s perfectly reasonable to spend a smaller amount if money is tight.

User3421090989098 Wed 20-Nov-19 11:36:05

You’re overthinking way to much. Just all spend the £10 per child, it’s not a family gift it’s not a how well did we collectively do this Christmas! That’s a strange train of thought.

Courtney555 Wed 20-Nov-19 11:36:10

@peachgreen thank you

Using the £10 per child example, what if your bf had say, triplets next year. So then it would be £60 on her children, and £10 received back. Would that still be reasonable? I wonder if there's a cut off...

Zilla1 Wed 20-Nov-19 11:38:08

What's the relationship between the two families or the two sets of children? Are the parents friends or siblings or something else?

awesomeaircraft Wed 20-Nov-19 11:39:42

If you have a great imbalance in number of children, I tend to go for a shareable gift: nice board games, multi player sport equipment, etc. and write all the kids' names on it. It is better than given x number of crap plastic to keep things "equal".

JagerPlease Wed 20-Nov-19 11:40:21

I don't think there's a cut off (and I have an only child) - why should a child get better presents because they don't have siblings? In my generation in my family there was one household with 3 kids, one with 2, and one with 1. It would never have occurred to anyone to spend different amounts on each grandchild/niece/nephew dependent on how many siblings they had

AlexaShutUp Wed 20-Nov-19 11:40:41

The children should all get roughly the same. Yes, the family with four kids will get more spent on them in total than the family with only one child, but that's just the way it goes.

I am the parent of an only child btw. I'd be mortified if I thought that parents of multiple children felt obliged to spend the same on dd as I spend on their kids. The children are individuals.

HolyMilkBoobiesBatman Wed 20-Nov-19 11:40:43

* awaits answers as requested, direct to example....)*

Sorry, I’m not in the habit of asking all my friends and family what their Christmas budget is, how many people they buy for and how much money they spend per person.
Other people’s finances are not my business. I buy what I can afford and understand that others might want to buy something for my child but for whatever reason may not be able to afford the same as me.

TheBrilloPad Wed 20-Nov-19 11:41:51

£10 per child, regardless of how many kids they have. If my friend had quads and I could no longer afford £10 a child, I'd suggest "shall we just exchange selection boxes or a token gift for the kids from now on to make life easier".

Trying to make sure that you spend the same amount of money on each family is bonkers and not feasible. If you had one friend that got married and one friend that never did, would you say you couldn't get Friend A a present as you wouldn't ever get friend B one etc.

Thehop Wed 20-Nov-19 11:41:59

Don’t buy anything and pay for your own children to go to a soft play area for lunch in the holidays.

That’s what we do and it works brilliantly

DownRightAmazing Wed 20-Nov-19 11:42:13

We have two children and bil/sil have one. We only buy for the children (SILs idea, started when we each had one). They generally spend approx £20 on each of ours and I tend to spend more like £30 on DN to 'even it up' a little. But I don't really worry about it and if I find a fab present for her for £20 then I know bil/sil wouldn't moan!

VenusOfWillendorf Wed 20-Nov-19 11:42:18

I agree that the gifts are for the child, not the family - so in your example then Family A buy £10 gifts for each of the children in Family B and Family B reciprocate with £10 for the child in Family A.

But if this is leading to bad feeling on either side, then it would be better to not buy gifts for the children at all, and just gift the family biscuits or chocolates etc.

spoonfulofsalt Wed 20-Nov-19 11:42:24

I think the best solution would be for the children to be given equal value gifts, with the family with more kids giving an extra bottle of wine or coffee beans/tea leaves etc to the parents of the other.

ODFOx Wed 20-Nov-19 11:44:58

In cases of such disparity, OP, a 'family gift " of a board game or tin of chocs is easiest, if the parents are the type of folk to worry about equivalent pecuniary value.
Most people though would do what a pp said and buy things that would be appreciated, within their budget, and not worry if each child or family has gifts of the same price.

Stripyhoglets1 Wed 20-Nov-19 11:45:11

In the circs you mentioned I'd probably spend 20 on the only child just to even things up a bit. I actually spend a bit more on my sis as she has no children but buys mine something.

Courtney555 Wed 20-Nov-19 11:45:50

We're having twins this year, and we'll be the ones with a bigger family.

I'm thinking about next year, when we'll receive £££ of gifts because of our 3DC and what to gift back to the rest of the family members who have only 1. On average I'd say we do about £25 per child. I think I'd feel cheeky knowing that mine had cost them £75 odd, and I'm only gifting £25 back. But equally, I'd rather not have loads of £8 per child gifts to add up to £25, because it's generally going to be tat at that value.

Or...do I say, we buy £25 for each of their single DC, and they draw a name out of a hat and buy for only one of ours? That way, our 3DC get equivalent pressies but not costing the rest of the family an arm and a leg?

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