I totally understand.
I totally understand.
I also tend to tell relatives that we just simply don't have space for all these gifts - which is true. My mom has toned down a lot because of that. So aside from not liking the idea of the sibling gift you can try that approach.
It really sounds like her love language is gifts. If so, it might be very hard for her to stop. Instead of toys could she bring something like stickers, craft supplies, consumables of some sort? Those types of gifts could be fun for everyone, even your two year old, and would be used up.
Nope! Of course the boys both have July birthdays so we plan to do combined parties in the future for them.
My niece and nephew are very close in age (about 15 months apart), and I got in the habit of getting each of them a gift on one of their birthdays and did that probably until they were 9 and 10. The one whose birthday it was got a bigger gift. Come to think of it, I've done that also on occasion for my brother's kids who are not so close in age (2 years 8 months apart). For example, I one time ordered a personalized book for my niece on her 5th birthday, and also sent her little sister some personalized stickers. I don't expect people to do the same for my kids, but I don't think there's anything wrong with it. (Actually, I don't necessarily want people to get my kids birthday gifts at all.) I just always thought it would feel nice for the other child to get a small gift, even if it wasn't his/her birthday and I don't thin gifts should be tied to birthdays anyway. But I also haven't read this full thread so my thoughts may be totally unrelated to what this conversation is about :)
Personal experience with this. My grandparents started this with my sister and I when we were babies (we're 16 months apart). DON'T DO IT! It created so much drama growing up. The birthday kid not feeling special, like they have their own day just for them. Once it started, there was no way to stop it. This drama went into our teen years.
Just my personal experience.
Mind you, we only did this with the LITTLE kids. Once they got old enough to understand, then the siblings quit getting gifts.