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Thread: Gifts for every holiday

  1. #1
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    Default Gifts for every holiday

    Does anyone's parents give their kids something for EVERY holiday? My MIL (and mom) have "a little something" for almost every national holiday: Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc. Obviously they get stuff for xmas and their birthdays...I think it's a bit much. It's not like it's a lot but I don't like that they are going to come to expect to get a gift, you know? And when I have tried to mention this to them I get told I am mean or that they are grandmothers and that is what they do... Or that it's "just a little something".

    I get it - I am sure I will be tempted to do the same when I am a grandmother but I just don't want my kids to expect something all.the.time. I am especially feeling this way about Thanksgiving and Halloween - I see NO reason for gifts on these days. I am trying to teach my kids about Thanksgiving and being thankful for what we have especially this year where so many people around us lost so much from Hurricane Sandy.

    Anyone else dealing with this? How do you handle it?
    Thing 1 (8), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  2. #2

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    We don't have anyone in our family who does that. I only give my kids gifts for Christmas and maybe their birthdays, not every year for birthdays but we usually will do something special, just no gifts.

    My grandmother though was like that and I do think it is a grandparent thing. Grandparents like to spoil their grandkids. My grandma also liked to shop lol, she she bougt us things all the time. For instance, for every sporting event we did, she'd get us new equipment. I still have softball gloves and volley ball knee pads she got me.

    I would just let them continue to buy the things and not worry about it, especially if you and your DH don't give them things all the time.

    Erin

  3. #3
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    My mom constantly buys stuff, and it makes me crazy! They have so much crap, their rooms are constantly cluttered. And that's not counting the cold cash my dad hands out every opportunity! It does irritate me sometimes, but my kids love granny and poppa, and they love them right back. I'm not going to mess with their relationship just because it irritates me.And the girls know how lucky they are, and not to expect that from me or dh.

  4. #4
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    We have neighbors and grandparents who do that. We only see my parents 3-4 times a year, so I don't worry too much. But as our kids get older, I want them to be able to let go/donate old toys when they get new ones. This will hopefully keep their rooms from being filled with toys that they don't play with (because they can't see them) and give them a giving spirit. But I wouldn't stop the neighbors or grandparents from giving gifts. Your kids are going to pick up your behaviours because that is who they are around. So just model what you want them to pick up and the extra gifts from others won't become an issue (hopefully)


  5. #5

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    As long as it truly is small then I probably wouldn't worry too much over it. And by that, I mean - stickers/socks from the dollar spot with holiday/festive icons, maybe even up to a shirt as long as it was just one of those holiday shirts (pumpkin for Halloween or something). Because that seems more about celebrating the spirit of the holiday than the gift, per se. (I myself have a hard time not picking up little somethings here and there related to non-gift-giving holidays.)

    But if it were actual gifts - random toys that you can buy any time of the year from a toy aisle, especially if they are wrapped like presents - then I know I would get pretty annoyed. Halloween I could almost understand, because I'd almost rather a 'gift' (within reason) than a ziploc bag full of candy (but again, a wrapped gift would be completely strange to receive here.) Thanksgiving I can't understand the need for a gift at all (except maybe holiday apparel - i.e. turkey shirt that says "Thankful for mom." etc.

    I don't know if I'd have the guts to say anything to MIL if she went all out on gifts on random holidays, but I would easily tell my mom no presents, but holiday stickers/small things would be just as appreciated tokens without being "gifts."

    [/CENTER]

  6. #6

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    Christmas and Birthdays are the only ones they really get presents for. On Easter I make them a basket that usually has eggs filled with candy, and then oen special thing in it that cost under $15.

    *Kimberly* Mommy to Hayden (7), Alexis (5), Makenzie & Brooke (18m)!
    Looking for some bows for your little one? check us out --> www.sweetnsassycouture.com

  7. #7

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    My mom gets a little something for some of the holidays, but it is similar to what PP said - a few dollars in a card, stickers, or something else that is holiday-related. I don't mind her doing it though. My parents live in California and don't get to see my kids for a lot of the holidays, so that is their way of letting them know they are thinking of them for the holiday. I think Easter, Halloween, and Valentine's Day are the ones where they get a little something. She sends a card for all of the others.


    Anne (37) DH (37) Olivia (4) Harrison (1)

  8. #8
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    I give gifts to my children on holidays. Not every one though. Sometimes I do Valentines gift but its rare. We always do birthday, christmas and easter.



  9. #9

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    My parents and ILs do gifts through out the year, not just holidays. Holidays are normally books, other times are clothes or something special they saw they knew would be well loved. For instance, my mother just sent DD a tiara for dress up. I dont have any issues with it. They dont expect it and are always surprised.
    ~Coral~ BF, Co-Sleeping, Gentle momma to Delaney (3) and Caelen (1)


  10. #10

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    yes, and it drives me crazy because we have so many toys, and half of them are stuffed away in closets because they don't play with them. (I do rotate them out, but they've been getting new gifts so much that I havent rotated in a while).


    I was just talking about this to DH. From September through April, it is gift-giving season for MIL. It started with early bday gifts for DS1 and will end with Easter. I don't mind little things, but they get real, big, toys. I have a wishlist for Amazon, and MIL told me last night what she bought for Christmas. All very reasonable and it's fine. Then, they are going away for a month or so with BIL and SIL. When they return, they always bring a little gift back for us. I always thought that it was something that they saw while away and brought it back. This time, they have their gifts already bought off the wishlist. MIL told me exactly what it is, and they are real toys. So, now the boys will get early Christmas gifts in a few weeks, then their gifts from us (they get very little from us on Christmas...a book, a blanket, and one toy this year) and from my parents on Christmas, and then 2 weeks later, more presents. I wish that they would just give all the presents before they leave and give a little something when they return...a shirt from there, a little book, a little car. The boys will just be happy to see them return, they don't need a toy. And it is not just MIL, but BIL, too, who gives gifts.

    I know they just want to spoil my children, but it is almost getting to the point of being overwhelming. I'm kind of a hoarder, and I struggle, especially to get rid of any baby toys that they have outgrown since there is a chance that one day I'll have another. Yeah, so my closets, attic, and basement are getting pretty full

    ETA: My oldest is beginning to think that every time he is with MIL he is going to get something. Every time we visit, he brings a car home. If I say no, he throws a fit, and MIL doesnt back me up, so he gets a car. We don't go to her house very often because he expects a gift every time. I also can't ask my MIL to help me with errands since DS expects her to buy him something every time. I ask her to come along and keep the kids occupied since she is unable to watch them by herself.
    Last edited by i.<3.cheesysmiles; 11-15-2012 at 12:32 PM.

  11. #11

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    My Mil does this!! I think its cute when she saves the gifts for holidays....my problem is that she gives Ari gifts randomly and Ari expects them, two minutes after entering their home Ari will tug at my sleeve and say 'Does grandma have a present for me' .... I tell mil that she doesn't have to do that, Ari enjoys 'just' seeing her. I'm going to say that its a grandmother thing!! My mom does it too. That's why Ari loves shopping with them so much, they hardly ever say no to a toy! However, Ari doesn't see them on a daily/weekly basis...maybe twice a month..so I dont know if that has anything to do with it.

  12. #12

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    My MIL did this too. Since we lost her last year the amount of "little somethings" coming into the house has decreased because the only grandparent left in the area is my FIL who's much more of a practical guy. He tends to get the kids things they can't use yet like larger bikes and fishing poles My dad lives a 10 hour drive from us and my mum lives in Britain so we very rarely get anything other than money from them.

    Our gift giving holidays here are birthday and Christmas. Easter doesn't get gifts, we just do Easter things. This year we coloured eggs then I hid them in the yard and the kids went on an egg hunt.
    Last edited by Dreya; 11-15-2012 at 12:08 PM.
    Megan (29) and Jayson (31) Happily married 9 years



  13. #13
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    Yes my parents do it with my kids. MIL does it at random times. The kids are very spoiled. BUT, they don't expect it and they are thankful/appreciative.

    IT'S A BOY!!!

    Marissa 12, Peyton 7, Jayden 5 and #4 due 7/4/2014

  14. #14
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    Can you suggest that she do something with them - a craft project, for instance - instead of bringing gifts? Or that she take them out somewhere - park, a performance, to the zoo, etc.? Basically have her substitute time with the kids in lieu of buying stuff they don't need.

  15. #15

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    My Mom gets the kids a little something for every holiday. The big holiday is Christmas, but she does get them little things for all of the other holidays. Sometimes it's just a book, or stickers, or activity sets. It's important to her, and the boys don't expect it and are always surprised and thankful, so I don't fuss over it. My MIL always sends cards on holidays...that's her thing. Nothing in them, just cards. But I'm a freak about cards, too, so again it doesn't really bother me.

    I agree with Suja. Maybe she can substitute some 1-on-1 time instead of physical gifts?




  16. #16

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    My MIL sends something for most (all?) holidays. A card and something small like Tshirts, an easter basket with toys, a silly halloween themed thing (can't describe it) last month. (My parents occasionally send something outside of bday/xmas but that's b/c they were traveling or maybe they just saw something that they simply wanted to send. It's not tied to a holiday.)

    It doesn't bother me. She's several states away, sees her grandchild once a year if that. If this is something that she wants to do with her spare time, to think about her grandson and send stuff, she has the right to that pleasure/connection. I think alot of it is garbage but other than directing family to the list that we put out for him for his birthday and christmas/hanukah, nor am i telling her what to choose. Maybe if she were sending extravagent toys and home electronics - or if my child were behaving in an ungrateful way, I might think differently.

    As my son gets older, I'll probably use it as a lessons thing where he'll write grandma and grandpa thank-you notes for the gifts and where we pick something out for them, too. (We already send some crafty stuff on some occasions. At 3, he's not making the correllation, though.)
    Last edited by ibisgirldc; 11-15-2012 at 03:49 PM.

  17. #17
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    Since neither of our parents have grandkids yet....and we have all been waiting a long time, I pretty much expect them to do this.
    Hopefully I can direct them to stuff the child will need/could use. Clothes, books (especially love books!), if into american girl stuff maybe an outfit or accessory for that, if into legos maybe a new kit of that, arts and crafts supplies.

    I just see it as less stuff we need to buy and it's a grandparents right to spoil their grandchild. I didn't really have grandparents like that and wish that I did. Hopefully my child will have that special bond with our parents that I didn't have.

    There is a difference between being spoiled and being spoiled rotten. First one you know it and appreciate the gifts.....second one is you totally expect it and are ungrateful brats about it.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  18. #18

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    We only do store bought gifts for Easter, Christmas and their birthday. We do festive things...special treats on most of the others but no bought gifts. MIL doesn't really do much outside of that, if she happens to be out and finds something she will get it but she doesn't go out looking for gifts for every Holiday.

    ~*~Katrina~*~ Momma to Xander, Hayden & Lily (6) and Jericho (3 1/2)

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by i.<3.cheesysmiles View Post
    yes, and it drives me crazy because we have so many toys, and half of them are stuffed away in closets because they don't play with them. (I do rotate them out, but they've been getting new gifts so much that I havent rotated in a while).


    ETA: My oldest is beginning to think that every time he is with MIL he is going to get something. Every time we visit, he brings a car home. If I say no, he throws a fit, and MIL doesnt back me up, so he gets a car. We don't go to her house very often because he expects a gift every time. I also can't ask my MIL to help me with errands since DS expects her to buy him something every time. I ask her to come along and keep the kids occupied since she is unable to watch them by herself.
    Quote Originally Posted by futuresoccermom View Post
    My Mil does this!! I think its cute when she saves the gifts for holidays....my problem is that she gives Ari gifts randomly and Ari expects them, two minutes after entering their home Ari will tug at my sleeve and say 'Does grandma have a present for me' .... I tell mil that she doesn't have to do that, Ari enjoys 'just' seeing her. I'm going to say that its a grandmother thing!! My mom does it too. That's why Ari loves shopping with them so much, they hardly ever say no to a toy! However, Ari doesn't see them on a daily/weekly basis...maybe twice a month..so I dont know if that has anything to do with it.
    My MIL does this too. She started asking them while visiting... what kind of present do you want next time I come. It got to the point where she would walk in the door and my oldest would ask say... what did you bring me. I had to put a stop to that, because that is not what I want my children to think of when a grandparent comes over. Very frustrating. As for every little holiday, not as much. Mainly they stick to Christmas, Easter, Birthdays.
    Growing fast... DD1 (6) & DD2 (4)
    Forever loved, forever missed... Twin Girls with us for 19w3d 6/12/06

  20. #20

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    My family does too. I'm ok with it though since we live 5 states away and they just want them to know they are thinking of her. She loves getting mail and loves calling in return.

    Mommy to Piper 6/5/09 and an 11/2011
    Make a pregnancy ticker

  21. #21

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    We all do it with my DD. We LOVE Target dollar bin Often it's crafts (foam bats, turkeys, apples, snowflakes) that she decorates whenever the mood hits her. Sometimes it's small wind-up toys, flashlights, window clings. We rarely come home from a shopping trip without something for her, but we're all that way--- I come home with a lipstick or mascara, my mom picks up a new vitamin or warming shoulder wrap, for my DH it's usually gun or car related. We usually justify our purchase-- "Well since winter is coming up...", "You know, because it's almost Thanksgiving.", "It's a fall color.", "She had to have it, Halloween is her favorite holiday!" So, yeah.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmosmom View Post

    There is a difference between being spoiled and being spoiled rotten. First one you know it and appreciate the gifts.....second one is you totally expect it and are ungrateful brats about it.
    I agree. Right now, DS1 is still too little to be ungrateful, but I can see all this gift giving turning into it. The new cars he get...he plays with them one day, and then he doesnt care. I think if he had LESS toys, they would be more important to him. MIL wanted to take DS out for his bday to choose any toy he wanted for his bday, which was great. I went too, and I tried to steer him toward some stuff that would last and encouraged creative play. He chose a piece of plastic junk that was so flimsy I could not put together. DS2 destroyed it with ease within 48 hours, and it's already gone. That is the stuff I dont need in my house! And, DS1 never even asked about it after that day that he got it....which makes me think he might be getting spoiled rotten by the ILs.

    I would love it if MIL bought us things like craft supplies and/or books. He also has a million books, but I could never say no to books, and craft supplies are something we always need to replenish. Half of DS's wishlist is books, and I think from now one, there are going to be more and more books, and less toys since she doesnt like to buy books
    Quote Originally Posted by ljs318 View Post
    My MIL does this too. She started asking them while visiting... what kind of present do you want next time I come. It got to the point where she would walk in the door and my oldest would ask say... what did you bring me. I had to put a stop to that, because that is not what I want my children to think of when a grandparent comes over. Very frustrating. As for every little holiday, not as much. Mainly they stick to Christmas, Easter, Birthdays.
    That reminded me..just a couple weeks ago, DS2 was sick. I had a rough day, and needed some medicine and food, so MIL picked some up for me, but just dropped it at the door. Inside was a gift for DS1...just because his bro was sick. I never gave him the gift. Having a sick sibling doesnt warrant a gift!

  23. #23

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    My dad used to do it. After my mom died, every single time he came over, he had gifts. Of course I didn't say anything because for whatever reason he wanted to do it. Then one day when he pulled up my kids ran outside to greet him and asked him what he brought for them. After he left that day I had a pretty serious talk with them about how they should never expect a gift and that when they do that, grandpa might feel like they are happy to see him because they want a toy, and not just happy to see him for him. They seemed to get it and have never done that again. I also did mention to my dad that day not to feel like he always has to bring stuff for them. That he is enough for us. It was kind of a tearful exchange to be honest. I know what he was trying to do. He's a freaking saint and the sweetest man I know. Anyway, he eased up on that and now he will call before he comes and ask if I need fruit (lol, sounds strange but he lives near the co-op I like to buy produce from) and then he brings every single sort of fruit you could ever imagine.

    My mil always brings gifts but we only see her twice a year.

    I do think it's more important for us to teach our children about gratefulness than it is to try and stop people from giving them gifts. I really feel like a lot more goes into a "spoiled child" than just frequent gifts.
    Last edited by Bridget; 11-15-2012 at 09:09 PM.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmosmom View Post
    There is a difference between being spoiled and being spoiled rotten.
    Absolutely. I wonder if those equating the two think that they would be more grateful as adults or better human beings if their grandparents had spoiled them less? Or maybe if they had fewer or less lavish toys as children? (Doesn't matter what you got or how often or expensive. Regardless of levels, if you had received less than offered, would you be a different person? Would your parents' teachings, influence and discipline have had a different effect?)

    Or maybe the problem is simply that in some relationships, the gifts are viewed as interference into one's parenting?

  25. #25
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    I do it myself. Normal Christmas/Easter/bday stuff.

    I get her like a Halloween Barbie, socks and hair things to make up for not letting her have much candy. Same kinda thing for valentines day. Thanksgiving ill get her a tiny chocolate turkey. I do holiday apparel too, but that's more for me.

    My mom does it too, but more Christmas style on all holidays. That makes me a little crazy

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    My dad used to do it. After my mom died, every single time he came over, he had gifts. Of course I didn't say anything because for whatever reason he wanted to do it. Then one day when he pulled up my kids ran outside to greet him and asked him what he brought for them. After he left that day I had a pretty serious talk with them about how they should never expect a gift and that when they do that, grandpa might feel like they are happy to see him because they want a toy, and not just happy to see him for him. They seemed to get it and have never done that again. I also did mention to my dad that day not to feel like he always has to bring stuff for them. That he is enough for us. It was kind of a tearful exchange to be honest. I know what he was trying to do. He's a freaking saint and the sweetest man I know. Anyway, he eased up on that and now he will call before he comes and ask if I need fruit (lol, sounds strange but he lives near the co-op I like to buy produce from) and then he brings every single sort of fruit you could ever imagine.

    My mil always brings gifts but we only see her twice a year.

    I do think it's more important for us to teach our children about gratefulness than it is to try and stop people from giving them gifts. I really feel like a lot more goes into a "spoiled child" than just frequent gifts.
    That is really something nice to say, and I will use that if the gift-giving ever gets out of control and my boys begin to show an attitude of being ungrateful. It is the truth. The time my boys spend with his grandparents is worth more than any gift. I think I am going to start talking more to DS1 about this. We already started it with gifts and Christmas.

    Your story about your father bringing you fruit made me realize that MIL's love language must be gifts...she is always giving, and that must be one way she expresses love.

    Quote Originally Posted by ibisgirldc View Post
    Absolutely. I wonder if those equating the two think that they would be more grateful as adults or better human beings if their grandparents had spoiled them less? Or maybe if they had fewer or less lavish toys as children? (Doesn't matter what you got or how often or expensive. Regardless of levels, if you had received less than offered, would you be a different person? Would your parents' teachings, influence and discipline have had a different effect?)

    Or maybe the problem is simply that in some relationships, the gifts are viewed as interference into one's parenting?
    I was very close with my grandmother. I can't remember one gift that she gave me, but I have many memories of time spent with her, and I will cherish those memories always. She "spolied" me by letting me do things like stay up late or letting me drink chocolate milk in the morning. I specifically remember those things. I spent every Friday night over there, though, and my "chore" was to make the beds. I got one quarter every time. lol. I thought i was spoiled by her.

    And yes, the gift giving does interfere with some of my parenting. There are certain holidays where I do not want gifts to be given (like Easter).

  27. #27

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    I have the same relationship with my grandmother (and had with the other). I can't recall most of what either gave to me. That's because in the long run, gifts will mostly fade into memory; instead, a kid would likely recall that grandma always thought of them on those days and fondly recall the excitement of receiving the packages/gifts. That's not materialistic, imo; it's just memories made.

  28. #28
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    I agree with the point above that my kids may not be ungrateful (yet) but they don't have a lot of respect for their toys. Things get ruined like crazy in this house and I think there are a few reasons why - too many toys, cheesy or flimsy toys and just basic disrespect for property tbh. The first and last I am trying to work on with them. The flimsy issue has to do with just this topic - MIL (she brings the crappy stuff mostly) will bring them these "little somethings" and they are cheesy dollar store items that either break within seconds or are so random they get misplaced. So while small gifts are relatively harmless in terms of spoiling them I think it contributes to the seemingly endless flow of stuff into this house. I worry about that more than them being spoiled/ungrateful because so far I have not seen them act spoiled I just fear it will happen someday. I DO see them act disrespectful towards things which upsets me.

    Both sets of grandparents see and do enough with them so I don't think replacing the gifts with time spent will change anything. Lots of times they bring food which I don't mind - fruit or even cookies or cupcakes. I would rather that than gifts honestly.
    Thing 1 (8), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by ibisgirldc View Post
    I have the same relationship with my grandmother (and had with the other). I can't recall most of what either gave to me. That's because in the long run, gifts will mostly fade into memory; instead, a kid would likely recall that grandma always thought of them on those days and fondly recall the excitement of receiving the packages/gifts. That's not materialistic, imo; it's just memories made.
    I agree, but when they get a gift all the time, it loses its excitement, you know? I was really excited for DS to go to the toy store to pick his own toy for his bday. Then, that is the toy that just broke, and then 3 weeks later, MIL buys him a pack of cars while shopping at Kohls.

    I think that is another reason why I do not like the boys being given toys so often. The excitement is gone because it's so common. I do remember the thrill of opening up some gifts on Christmas day. I don't remember if they were from my grandmother or parents, but I remember being so excited! I want my boys to experience that kind of excitement too! They LOVE spending time with their grandparents, and they love doing things like going out to eat with them (even DS2 (21 months) still talks about going out to eat with my mom a month ago!). I know they are forming good memories with their grandparents, but I don't think the excess of gifts is adding anything to it. And I know that grandparents like to spoil, but it's only fun when the child is getting something out of the ordinary. Otherwise, it just becomes what's expected.

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