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If you do the 4 present rule for your children.....

91 replies

Totallycluelessoverhere · 16/12/2019 14:56

If you do the 4 present rule for your children (something you want, need, to wear and to read) is that the only presents they will get or do they also get presents from other family members?

We have never done the 4 present thing but other than me and my husband the only person who buys for our kids is my mum and she usually buys clothes. I honestly can’t imagine my young kids just getting one toy on Christmas day but maybe 8 would feel differently if they received some from family or got toys regularly throughout the year Xmas Confused

OP posts:
Totallycluelessoverhere · 16/12/2019 14:58

And I’m not judging, just wondering if I am being excessive in my present buying and justifying it using the wrong reasons.

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Aroundtheworldin80moves · 16/12/2019 14:59

We don't buy our DDs much at Christmas because of having massive families- including very generous grandparents.

steppemum · 16/12/2019 15:02

we don't do it as such, but we certainly don't get loads of stuff.
So, one big present under the tree and then some bits and pieces.

I think ours do get some nice stuff from relatives, in our case about 4 families who buy them gifts, but we do have a budget cap on nieces and nephews of £15.

A lot depends on the age and stage of kids as well.

isitxmasyet · 16/12/2019 15:04

I get mine much more
They aren’t spoilt or brats and are very appreciative and generous themselves

Aria2015 · 16/12/2019 15:06

We do 4 gifts but they're toys. I give a book on Xmas Eve. My lo will receive quite a few other gifts at Xmas too maybe another 6-8 so will have plenty given lo is 4. We don't do stockings either, mainly because I didn't have them growing up so didn't think of it and now don't want to start lol!

RuffleCrow · 16/12/2019 15:06

I'm doing 10 presents each based on a similar system which feels about right but we don't have much family. I have one with asd and one borderline and i think our house would be meltdown city on xmas morning with just 4 presents each. I'd rather have the relative peace and quiet than make a political point.

steppemum · 16/12/2019 15:10

I'd rather have the relative peace and quiet than make a political point.


What political point?

Stompythedinosaur · 16/12/2019 15:39

I get my dc a fair bit more - I would feel that 1 toy is a bit disappointing on xmas morning tbh. If it is all finances allow then that is a different thing. I get around 10 things and I don't think my dc are spoiled.

unlimiteddilutingjuice · 16/12/2019 15:47

I do less than 4 (evil mum cackles)

One stocking from Santa
One "big" present from Santa
One present from me and DH

Lots of DH's family also buy for them and MIL goes a little bit overboard.

I grew up with just my Mum and Dad buying for me so the first few years I bought like mine were going to be the only presents. It was too much and just overwhelming for them.

My ideal is around 10 presents total. That's enough to feel like a nice pile but not so many that they don't appreciate each thing.

hidinginthenightgarden · 16/12/2019 15:54

My kids get more than 4 but we don't buy them much during the year. We buy about 6/7 presents from us and then they get another 6/7 from family.

BlueEyedFloozy · 16/12/2019 15:56

Buy as much or as little as you want and/or can afford.

Unless you are in mounds of debt and/or your children are rude and unappreciative about it then you are not being "excessive" and you certainly don't need to justify it!

RhymingRabbit3 · 16/12/2019 16:00

Our daughter is getting about 10 presents. One big one (£50) and then smaller ons costing between £1 and £10, so we've spent about £100 in total.

We are very lucky to have a large family though, so she will probably get a further 15 presents throughout the week after Christmas.

reluctantbrit · 16/12/2019 16:14

We are like you, hardly any other presents so I think it doesn't work for everyone.

PassMeAnotherCoffee · 16/12/2019 16:17

Never heard of this rule. Just ignore all these rules about Christmas and have a nice time with your family.

It doesn't matter if your child gets 'just one toy' if it's the right one. Last year my teenagers got a new phone each, a book and a stocking. It wasn't tight, or joyless, or excessive. It was what they wanted. They were happy.

When they were younger they pretty much just got one present from us on Christmas Day. I can't recall every single year but they never seemed to find it a problem!

Camomila · 16/12/2019 16:18

I don't do this (actually give less!) but...

'Need' can be fun though - sports kit, art supplies, baking stuff, posh toiletries (for older DC)

I always wanted books for Christmas, I found them as fun as toys from about age 8+, there was no Amazon/Book people yet when I was in primary school so books were a bigger treat.

Clothes, there's character stuff, things with sequins, brands for older DC...

CinnamonStar · 16/12/2019 16:20

I don't stick to the rhyme, but I have always bought a mix of toys, books, clothes, sweets/chocolate and useful things.
Across about 10 presents (including small stocking presents) there would probably be 2 or 3 toys, one under the tree, one or two in the stocking.

We do have a large family, but most wouldn't give toys either, usually clothes or books.

I'd feel lots of toys would be excessive and all detract from the specialness of each other. But the reason I'd feel that is that was what I grew up with (as did DH). Everyone has their own different "too much-not enough" boundary, and most people just end up doing what they're comfortable with.
The children will be happy with whatever is familiar to them, they don't know what others do.

PickAChew · 16/12/2019 16:28

Both of mine have asd and are overwhelmed by lots of presents.

musicalmrs · 16/12/2019 16:55

We only do three presents. Something they've asked for (a big Lego kit each this year), some books, and something they haven't asked for. They get silly little things in their stockings (stationery odds and ends, socks, small toys etc) too.

We have lots of family, and some who buy a ridiculous number of presents. We feel they don't actually need that much, and get spoilt enough, so it works well for us.

ImNotWhoYouThinkIam · 16/12/2019 16:59

Some years mine have had lots of presents, small low budget stuff
Other years they've had 1 big one, or 1 really expensive to share and a couple of cheap bits each. Eg one year they had a ps4 to share and a couple of small things each.
We have a massive family though, and their Dad always makes sure he buys loads of plastic shit so they get plenty.

Totallycluelessoverhere · 16/12/2019 17:03

Okay so it seems that most people don’t do the 4 present rule and especially those who don’t have family buying stuff. I think if we had presents given by a few family members we would probably buy a lot less. My 4 year old wrote to santa with a huge list but some of the items were just chocolate, sweets, colouring pencils. The children do appreciate everything they get (well except the teenager who just grunts at everything and mumbles thank you but even he is grateful deep down I think). We haven’t bought everything on the Xmas wish lists but even so each child has around 10 -12 gifts and a stocking (not all big gifts, a selection box is a gift here).
We saved all year so no debt from buying presents. I think I’m goong to stop worrying and just enjoy Christmas Xmas Smile

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Littlepond · 16/12/2019 17:03

We’ve always done this. Santa brings a stocking too - 5 or 6 gifts worth £5 or less and some sweets. The kids might get a present from Grandma although this year we are away just the 5 of us (me DH and 3 kids) so they will just get the stockings and the 4 gifts. Christmas has never been about piles of presents for us. We will play games and go for a walk and enjoy the day. Presents are a teeny part of Christmas for us. It works for us and everyone’s expectations are managed!

TerribleCustomerCervix · 16/12/2019 17:06

We have a 2 year old and a 9 month old and I do the 4 present rule.

They’re the first grandkids on my side and if I didn’t restrict what Santa brought then it would only be a matter of time before we were buried alive by brightly coloured plastic.

I plan to stick to it as they get older. We have quite a large extended family on DH’s side so they’d get quite a few presents for Christmas anyway, and it can get pretty overwhelming.

KittenVsXmastree · 16/12/2019 17:06

My kids will get a stocking, presents from me and DH and something from my mother.
Books will be underneath the stocking. No clothes. Some pokemon cards, chocolate, a craft kit, can of something fizzy.
Then a present from Gran. And from us an echo dot each, a puzzle each, a toy and a football kit for DS2, and a crafty thing and a raspberry pi for DS1.

I think its low compared to many families, but my kids are certainly excited about Christmas.

RudolphIsMySpiritAnimal · 16/12/2019 17:09

I spoil mine rotten at Christmas. Birthdays are more restrained - one big present or 2-3 smaller ones - and the rest of the year they get very little bought for them. But at Christmas I go a bit mad - for me, their faces lighting up when they see a big pile of "presents from Santa" is part of the magic of Christmas.

I'm quite a strict parent, usually, so I like having one day in the year when I don't have to be the Bad Cop and can just say "Yes!" to everything.

wendz86 · 16/12/2019 17:11

I don't follow this rule but I have only got my kids 2-3 presents each . They will get lots though as their dad has got them about 6 presents each plus they get gifts off lots of other people.

If they didn't get a lot else I might feel differently .

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