Here at MFM HQ as Christmas fast approaches, we’ve been chatting a lot about what presents we’ll be buying and how much we’ll be spending over the festive season.
We’ve gasped as one of our mums admitted she has a friend who spends close to £1,000 on each of her three small children, and reckon another mum’s £30 budget is a great idea.
But how about this for a Christmas present rule? It’s not so much about the money, but is more about what’s being bought, and has been going round social media for a while now – though to be honest, we’re not convinced…
We like the idea of getting your child something they want (kind of goes without saying) and a cool book can be a great gift.
But not all kids, especially younger ones – would think of clothes as presents – and as for something they need…well, doesn’t sound very Christmassy to us. Just saying.
And when we asked you on Facebook what you thought, no surprises that the reactions were mixed…
“I like that rhyme, and I’ve used it to buy for my son, nephew & niece this year (all 3 or under). Clothes can still be a gift – my son is getting socks with his favourite character on. A treat as they’re more than I’d usually pay for socks.”
“I kind of work by this rule. I wouldn’t be able to get my kids half as much for Christmas if I didn’t get them stuff they needed, eg clothes. My children have been raised to be grateful for whatever they get. But not just that, my youngest doesn’t care what she gets as long as it has Peppa Pig, Snow White or Little Mermaid on it. My older 2 love getting clothes and we have a fashion show with all the new clothes.”
“It was my little girl’s first Christmas last year and I went crazy, spent a stupid amount of money and had an obscene pile of presents. It was ridiculous and I will not be doing that again! I have done the 4 gifts for the presents under the tree. She will also have a stocking on her bed from Father Christmas with some little bits and pieces. This year Christmas is about the experience and we will be crafting, baking, visiting people and dancing to cheesy music all December – not wasting money on unneeded gifts.”
“It’s not an excuse to be cheap, it’s about really thinking things through. What if the “need’ is a laptop for homework? The ‘want’ is usually straight forward as it is everything they see advertised on the TV, ‘read’ is an excellent way to develop learning. ‘Wear could be anything from pjs or socks to a blooming expensive coat. I think the main thing is the thought, not just following the crowd or the hype. I have five kids and using the rhyme last year, I had five very happy kids.”
“So by the same token of a 4-present limit for Christmas, do they think a child should only get 1 present for their birthday?! My little girl is 4 months old and has no concept of Christmas or presents, but she’s got a pile of stuff under the tree!”
“I save all year to go mad at Christmas. We work hard and sacrifice certain things to do that. I don’t begrudge families that have expensive holidays, why should anyone begrudge me spoiling my family and friends at Christmas time?! How I spend our money is my business.”
“Here’s my thing. I enjoy having the excuse to buy presents for my children. Shocking, I know. This year I have pleasure in knowing that under the tree is everything they could want and more. My children are good kids, they are kind, they are considerate and they are thoughtful. They also believe that Santa brings them the one present that they want more than anything and we provide the rest so they get less if we can’t afford it. We have had some tight Christmases I can tell you but I have found ways to make it work so they haven’t noticed.
“There’s some reverse snobbery going on where the less you buy your children at Christmas the better parent you are. Has anyone considered that the reason that so many parents on low incomes get themselves into debt buying their kids the most expensive toys for Christmas are actually not being excessive and are not trying to show off but actually trying in some way not make their children feel left out by the circumstances they have been born into. It’s not about how much you do or do not buy for your children it’s about trying to be the best parent you can be.
“Let’s acknowledge that whatever your circumstances parenting is blooming hard and we are all doing our best even if we are doing it differently.”`
Each to their own
“I think people should be able to buy whatever they want and however much they want for their kids without being judged. Spending £30 or £500, as long as the kids are grateful and happy, does it really matter?”
“I’m speaking as a child of a family that grew up poor, having to get second hand presents, hampers from the church for dinner, etc. I now have a child of my own and have so far spent around £150 on brand new presents for her second Xmas.
Growing up our xmasses were amazing. We had no idea we were actually poor, no idea what work my parents put into giving us an amazing day. We appreciated everything and it genuinely never bothered us about other kids getting more.
I’ve lived both sides and let me tell you, not many people care. Everyone’s just doing their best to treat their kids. Aside from if the kids are spoiled (which is a year round issue anyway) they won’t care either.”
“It’s no-one’s business what anyone else chooses to buy their kids. As long as the kids stay off the naughty list they will have a fantastic Christmas.”