When you buy presents do you...
Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive November 2006:
When you buy presents do you...
go for quality or quantity or both? I guess I have always been a person that goes overboard, last year my younger ds and dd got nice sized piles of gifts that I "thought" that they would be interested in. For ds I bought lots of kits, such as building electric cars, electric circut boards, gi joe doll, ect... Oh and a few video games. Dd I bought alot of things related to her collection of pigs, that 20 questions game among other things, oh and a few video games. Out of everything that is the only thing they really did anything with were the video games. I guess I have always went with them having lots to open and I think that it has been too much. I thought that this year I would change my tune and go for quality instead of quantity. Dd wants an Ipod, and we are thinking of getting her a cell phone, one because it would be very helpful in getting in touch with her in case we are running late in picking her up, etc. Also, she has mentioned heelies, ds thinks those would be cool too. He hasnt really mentioned much for ideas! I don't want them to be disappointed but I don't want another year like last year either what do all of you do for christmas??
Quality. Nothing is more frustrating than piles of cheap plastic things purchased at the Dollar Store. I've experienced that with my kids and it leaves us with too much stuff, and inferior stuff that breaks.
However, the things you bought last year don't sound like junk....it sounds like you had a high quantity of quality items!
quality. I don't want the focus to be how much we get.
We are very specific with the number of things my kids get. Each child receives 3 gifts, period. We tend to go for quality, but budget comes into consideration. If you get an ipod, expect the other two gifts to be very inexpensive.
Santa also brings a gift and fills the stocking, the stocking is usually much of nothing.
Quality. I'd actually like to limit the number of gifts we get because I feel pressured to buy more items for the family. I don't want to buy things that won't be used or that seem wasteful. What I personally tend to do now, is get one stocking stuffer per person, get one thing off of their wishlist, and give them one thing that I made (or semi-made). It's easy right now because that's just 4 adults and 2 kids.
Quality! My kids are only allowed to ask for 3 things. They usually get more but by sticking to 3 they give a lot of thought to what they want. I generally get gifts that work with what they have. Like more gears to go with their set, Playstation or Nintendo games.
Ditto Kaye. We have such an extensive family and my dks are the only grandchildren either side of the family is close to so they certainly aren't going without. It really helps me from going overboard. An added benefit is my dks really prioritize the things they ask for.
I'm thinking maybe 1 or 2 quality items, since Sarah already got the cool camera that she wanted and we bought Emily a new bike, earlier in the year!
Wow...this is an eye-opener with regard to the number of gifts. When I was growing up we always got at least 8 gifts to open, plus something cool from Santa, plus our stockings which had lots of neat gifts in them. My DH's family is waaaay overboard but with lots of quality. I bet I get at least 15+ gifts from them each year. They also don't buy things throughout the year either, but make Christmas a big to-do.
Just an insight into what others do, and I didn't realize it. I can't imagine only asking for 3 items at Christmas, but I wasn't raised that way so it's just a different perspective. One of the reasons I love coming to this board!
And to answer the question...always quality!
I always went for both quantity and quality with all my kids and my DH. When my older DK's were growing up in the seventies and eighties there weren't nearly all the things there are now. However, they always got whatever the "cool" thing was (one year it was "boom boxes"), plus clothes, books, games, puzzles etc. Then of course, the stocking was a gift in itself: pens, pencils, casette tapes, candy, gum, fruit, hair accessories (for DD), etc. On average, everybody had five to six gifts to open.
When our younger DS's came to us four years ago, we went totally overboard. I wanted them to have a really wonderful first Christmas with us. Also, it is sad to say but, when children have been in the Child Protective Services system, they are very materialistic, and judge how much you love them by what you are able to provide for them. (Thank goodness we are not at that stage anymore). However, that first year was totally nuts: expensive name brand clothing, a Playstation 2, five PS2 games each, a Gameboy Advance each and games to go with those, books, a new Bible each, plus the huge stocking, plus gift cards.
It is getting harder to do that for several reasons: they HAVE everything. Now that they work, they buy what they want during the year. It is hard to come up with ideas. And, I stopped working when they came to give them all my attention. We have been living on one income for four years now. Also, I have a grandchild now, so the "wealth" has to get spread a little farther.
We made mutual agreements to stop buying for friends. It got to be too much to try to come up with ideas. And, after the boys came, all our "couple" friends now felt obligated to buy for the FOUR of us, and we only had two. Even DH and I have agreed not to buy for each other this year. We have all we need, and then some, and DH (bless his heart) always buys me something that I can't use. One year he bought me Halston perfume and it gave me a migraine everytime I wore it. LOL!
We are keeping it simple this year. DH and I have always taken tags from the Giving Tree at a local restaurant and bought for 3 or 4 disadvantaged children. Last year, our boys did it, too, with their own money. I am giving my DD and SIL money. I bought my grandaughter the Disney Princess TV that DD wanted. The boys are getting money. My sister is into horses so I got her a couple of horse books and a horse calendar. My Mom is in a nursing home, so I may get her bath products.
I had too many years of stress filled holidays, running around crazy. I'm getting too old for that. LOL!
Our family has a tradition of 3 quality nice gifts under the tree Christmas morning. My kids bucked about it once when their cousins got a million of things (most from the dollar store) under their tree. I reminded them that Jesus only recieved 3 gifts on Christmas. It brought the message home.
Kelly, we have done the same thing in the past, because when I was growing up we had piles of presents to open, so I just did the same thing with my children. Only to find out that they didn't really play with half of the stuff!! We are trying to tame it down this year and get them some quality items, but I can already tell that the pile is adding up. Its hard to break that habit!
We get each of our dks 3 presents, just as the 3 wiseman brought baby Jesus gifts.
We definitely go for quality. However, we do try and stick to a budget. This year they are getting a computer, so their other gifts are not as expensive. With all the other gifts they get from Grandparents, and my brother, they still get plenty of stuff.
Well, I will be the first to admit that I go crazy at Christmas, and for birthdays, too, when it comes to my children. I enjoy giving so much. It makes me so happy. And we don't buy a lot of stuff throughout the year just because we want it. If Ash or Em wants it badly enough, they'll save up their money and buy it. We do buy toys on occasion, for reasons such as a super brave trip to a doctor for a scary test, or for doing something we are really proud of, or for just deserving something special...
But, they usually only want one or two things really badly. And so we get those for them, plus I buy them a large quantity of good quality items. For a couple of years I bought lots of things that I was just sure they'd love, but they never touched. So now I put a lot of thought into what I buy and only buy things I am positive will be used. If I have a doubt, I don't buy it.
My children are wonderfully behaved children, I can take them anywhere and they are angels, and they have perfect conduct as school. They give me no problems with getting homework finished, they don't beg to stay home from school, and they make straight A's. I feel that working this hard all year long, they deserve a couple of holidays where they get a lot of things that they have deserved all along. And it really works out that their birthdays are in July, so it splits the year up.
I could never imagine only three gifts under the tree for each of them, or even for my hubby! I love seeing mounds of presents under the tree. We don't have tons of money, I'm disabled, and young enough that when I became disabled, the check is very small, but we budget and save for this holiday so we can enjoy it.
I definitely get the meaning of the three gifts, and I appreciate that, but it's just not for me!
And yes, we very much celebrate the Reason for Christmas, also. We have a Nativity Scene, and we talk about Jesus, and we read the Christmas Story. So it isn't totally commercial for us. I'm just showing the kids that we totally appreciate them. And they absolutely are so appreciative of every gift. I told my husband that if they were not so sincerely happy with what we do for them, it would be different. But they thank us a thousand times over, and mean it everytime.
I love the idea of the three gifts and the meaning behind it (I was also thinking The Trinity). Christmas to us, too, is first and foremost the birth of Jesus. We attend church services on Christmas Eve and come home and read The Christmas Story from the Scriptures, and then discuss it while having a nice dinner.
I always buy good quality.You only get what you pay for.We also spoil big time.Lots of presents to open on Christmas morning.There's nothing more magical than being a kid and wondering what else Santa brought you....
I would say quality. We do not set a limit on how many presents each get. My son gets the fewest because his stuff is the most expensive. He likes playstation games, and stuff like that, that gets costly. My 7 yr old is still happy with Barbies, and my little pony and things like that. Those things do not cost that much money compared to my sons stuff.
Adena and Sherri - You said it better than I could/did. Giving to our families and now our child is such a joy. We're going Christmas shopping tonight for Natalie and we will come home with a truckload. Our list for her consists of all quality items IMO, that we have been thinking about for the last few months and deciding if it would be a good toy purchase. I never buy stupid junk for her...that's what happy meals are for! LOL So far we have tried to pick out good learning toys for her, and when she does get something mid-year for no reason, it's always learning related and on sale.
No limit on the # of gifts, but definitely a budget to follow now that we are on one income.
I liked the sentiment of the three gifts and it stuck. But the reality for us is this...we have three kids, that adds up fast, plus my kids get gifts from my dad, from my grandmother, from my husbands dad and step mom, from mom and step dad and then we open gifts with the cousins, so by time it is all said and done my kids have SOOO much. Then we toss in a halloween bday and two february birthdays, it is all just so much stuff. For example, my middle kid just had a bday, he got an ipod and 3 video games, for christmas he will get several more games, a nintendo wii (a shared gift), a chess set, some books, some clothes and we haven't bought anything yet. It just really gets carried away with all our family.
I basically go for quality, but as was said above, if the *main* gift is an expensive one, then the other gifts will be cheaper.
And the type/price/quality of the gifts are relative to the age of the child/adult child as well. Some years the kids have wanted things that were (IMO) outrageously expensive. And other years, what they wanted was extremely reasonable.
Last year Jen got an Ipod and I got Jay a home theatre system. The gifts for Jules and Jeff were *lesser* gifts, but mainly because there was nothing *special* either of them wanted. I DO try to spend about the same amount on each one, always have.
Now that they are adults, they generally get one very nice gift from me, and Madison gets the most stuff.
This year Christmas will be small. As I posted in another thread, Jen wants a digital camera, and my X was supposed to split this with me, but I have no idea if he still intends to do it. So I'm looking for suggestions for a good, easy-to-use digital camera for a beginner that is very reasonably priced.
I'd rather get quality gifts and have fewer of them, even if it means only one thing, than waste money on junk just so it looks like there's a lot of stuff.
We go quality too. For "filler gifts" (to make it look like there are tons of gifts), we buy a lot of clothes that they can use. New jeans, sweaters, church clothes, etc. Those are all from Mom and Dad. All the toys and fun stuff is from Santa.