For this year and pretty much for Christmas we get together 5 times (that's including just the 3 of us). Both our familes are divorced, and the days are ALL side by side. She is almost 2 and has alot of toys, we have barly had to even buy her clothes yet. Don't get me wrong it has helped us so much, and we are very grateful. It's just that day after day she will be recieving presents, alot of presents and I hope she doesn't expect it all the time. We bought her a couple outfits, books, and movies. We have stopped getting her stuff because she is going to get so much. But I feel bad because we stopped getting her stuff. Do you guys think I should get her some more Christmas presents or is that okay?
I am in that kind of situation also, we don't have lots of get togethers (just 2, one with my family and one on the other side), but my mother spends a ton of money on xmas, my grandmother sends money for presents, my dad usually sends a bunch of stuff and my brother spends a lot of money on them. So by the end of it i look like a cheapskate and they look great. Last year my mother bought everything i had mentioned i wanted to get for my youngest, there wasn't even anything left for me to buy. I'm like you i like the extra help, the burden to get them what they want isn't entirely on me, but at the same time i can't even get them a lot because my family gets them so much that it would just be silly to have that many presents. I just make sure everybody knows what i've bought them so that we don't end up with duplicates, and i buy pretty much what i want and let them take it back if they buy my kids any of the same presents that i have.
We have stopped buying "stuff" because the more they get, the less they appreciate. It also helps me to be really creative. My son just turned 4 and didn't get a single toy for his birthday. I told everyone that I was going to redo his bedroom in dinosaurs. He loves dinosaurs so this was really exciting for him. I had everyone get him something for his room. For my other son's 2nd birthday, we bought a swing set for the back yard.
We set the tone on how they receive gifts. We also set their expectations based on our past behavior. My kids know that they are going to get what they really need with a touch of what they really want.
I don't think it's bad at all not to buy her something at this age when she is going to get so many things from other people. Maybe this year your focus can be less on gifts and maybe more on starting a Christmas tradition around your house.
My ex-SIL used to complain that there was too much Xmas for the kids -- that the ended up celebrating too much. But really instead of opening a zillion presents in one sit down, the kids end up opening one or two presents at each place.
We're really working at trying to cut down on both giving and receiving. Last year we got ONE toy for DS and he got one from his paternal grandparents, but his uncle and MY parents went totally crazy and really, at the toddler age, he really just wants to play with the boxes.
I just get so disgusted with some of the cousins 'cuz it's gotten to be a competition and a couple of the kids have gotten really demanding -- expensive name brand sandals, name brand make up and perfume for little girls who should still be playing with dolls. I can't imagine spending $20 for a lipstick for a little girl! Then they complain how unappreciative the kids are.
OK Ladies, all I have to say is enjoy it now. I have the same "problem" as you call it. My husband has a huge divorced family. there are usually 5 get togethers and my kids would end up with everything and I never had to get them anything, until they grew up. Now that they are getting older (6 and 9)the things they want cost more money and there is a much larger list. I am thankful for all the things that family has bought them in the past and now that my kids are older and there are so many new babies in the family our girls don't get as much as they used to. So now we are the heros when they get that new bike, swingset, scooter or gameboy they have been asking for for a year now. Appreciate it now and trust me, you will be the hero later when they get older. I always ask family to get my kids clothes and I end up getting them the gifts they really want, it always works out!!!
And remember to always teach your children about the real meaning of Christmas. If they truley understand we celebrate Christmas because God "gave" us his son on this day, then they will truley be thankful and understand the meaning of giving!!!
Last edited by SpeisFamily; 11-09-2004 at 09:53 AM.
Sheri - she's two for goodness sake! She won't know who bought her what a week later! Presents are fun and overwhelming at 2! It will come out in the wash so to speak.....Personally, I wouldn't buy anything else. She can only play with one toy at a time.
I've always said that Xmas is for the kids and should be fun. Especially when people (like my ex-sil) complained that her kids (my niece & nephew) were celebrating too much. In her case she was annoyed because they lived 4 hours away from everyone else and in our family we celebrate Xmas Eve opening presents at one aunt's house, and the next day after Santa visits our own homes, we have Xmas dinner at another aunt's house and then SIL has her own family obligations -- so the kids were celebrating Xmas at least 3 different times. What she really wanted was not to have to travel for the holidays and have EVERYONE come to her house to celebrate, except not stay over and not have to cook anyone dinner. bah-humbug!
I really enjoy watching all the kids open their presents and get all excited and surprised with their new toys. And I enjoy finding the perfect gift for someone. If people want to give DS lots of loot, that's fine because we as parents are going to make sure he says please and thank you and doesn't turn into a demanding spoiled monster. He doesn't NEED all those toys, but his family LOVES spoiling him rotten. And it just means I can spend money on practical things and one toy. Until he's older and becomes more vocal about his Xmas wishes.
I feel the same way as a few of you -- Christmas has become about the gifts -- the toys and "things" -- instead of the true meaning. Commercialism has taken over EVERY holiday, though. I mean, look at Easter -- the Easter Bunny, buying all that CANDY -- *sigh*. Okay, sorry about the little rant.
Anyway, w/ my kids, it really isn't too bad, since most of my family has about the same amount of money as we do, which isn't all that much. Now, their grandparents (my mom and dad) like to give them something nice, but not HUGE. Maybe a Playskool Kitchen set or a couple of movies. I always tell the family that we would really like clothes, or even money, for the kids' gifts. That way, we can spend it on things they really NEED, rather than a whole mess of toys they won't ever play with, that just sit around on the floor to be tripped over.
I have a suggestion, though I don't know how well it will go over here. Don't yell at me, please? My idea is: when they ask you what the kids would like, give them maybe a small gift to get, or a monetary limit -- say $15-20 -- OR, ask them to make a donation to the charity of your choice -- Toys for Tots, for example. That way, they have a few different ideas, but none of them allow for you to have tons of "stuff", and if they contribute to a charity, they can write it off their taxes. Everybody wins, you know?
All the toys or clothes we've gotten that we don't use or they outgrow, we give to a charity. If they're near new/still in boxes, they go to the Lions' Club or whatever for kids in our own community. The others, which aren't so new, go to Salvation Army. This way, our kids have learned since they were young that it's better to give than receive, and it's a lesson that will stay with them forever.
Hope I helped a little! Have a great Holiday season!
I was a genuine spoiled brat up until I was about 9...and because of that I would get truckloads of gifts for Christmas. But what can I say? I was an only child and they cherished me like I was the world's most valuable treasure.
But now I am 17, and while I still collect action figures, I have over 10 gargantuan plastic totes chock full of old stuffed animals, as well as garbage bags full of Barbie merchandise and a huge crate of Beanie Babies (which i do still like). My mom always makes it a point to yell at me, saying, "You just HAD to have all those toys..." - well, I only wanted them, but no one was holding a gun to her head saying she had to buy them all for me. So, in reality, she has no one to blame for the toy excess but herself.
But here's a tactic my aunt, a mom of 4 years, tells her little one: To keep her from making the house a toy repository, my aunt tells her daughter that Santa needs to bring the other kids some stuff too and she might not get every last thing she wants. And her daughter understands that quite well...so she pinpoints what she really wants and forgets what she only wants a little bit. ^-^
But hey if you need toys I'm more than willing to get rid of mine XD XD
Dark Stranger - wants to give all her unwanted toys to the local charity Christmas collection for kids