40 presents from my dad!

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by cindyc, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

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    My dad doesn't really understand the frugal lifestyle. Most of the time he smiles and says nothing, but Christmas time is a bit of a problem. I have five kids. They were given a total of 40 presents. They are stacked up against the wall over my head. I live in a 900 square foot house for a little while still. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH THEM?! Believe it or not this is REALLY PARED DOWN from what he usually does. He has really tried to hear my concerns about "too much", so I can't really complain. For him, this is MUCH more reasonable that it used to be. But some of these things will be played with for five min and then the kids will move on to something else and never touch it again. There will be too many things to hold little attention spans for very long. They have toys. They don't really play with them, except maybe one or two. They play outside, climbing trees, swinging on grape vines, or playing imagination games. They play some board games sometimes. They build stuff with k'nex. The girls play with dolls sometimes. That is about it. :shrug: Half this stuff will not interest them at all.
    Cindyc.
     
  2. patnewmex

    patnewmex Jane of all trades

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    A few weeks after xmas when the kids have given up on most of the items, donate them to charity. Look in your local area for a children's hospital or something like that.

    Pat
     

  3. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    My mom was like that wihen the children were small. One Christmas, I made the girls a doll and a quilt. They got underwear, socks, fruit and gum (a big treat back then) in their stockings. My mom had bought one of everything they had in Toys R Us. My youngest got so tired opening gifts that she climbed in a box and went to sleep. After that, we started letting the children decide which gift they wanted to keep and donated all the others to the Battered Women's shelter that was near our house. Maybe you can regift them to less fortunate children in your area.
     
  4. DenverGirlie

    DenverGirlie Well-Known Member

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    Maybe sugest that next year instead of presents he pays for a family vacation with all the kids and him of course and you all head to Disneyland or something?
    That will be remembered long after the Christmas presents have been forgotten.
     
  5. almostthere

    almostthere Well-Known Member

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    We are broke this year so we are giving the kids 4 gifts a piece. Now that sounds like a lot to the more frugal minded but we found them on closeout and in the cheap toy isle(under $10). They will also get a gift from Santa; a gift exchange from school; a gift from thier teacher; a gift from 2 sets of grandparents ; a great aunt; a great grandmother; a great uncle; a cousin and possibly a neighbor. So its not like they do without anything. Also, my ds's birthday is Jan 5(he will be 6) and the grandparents give gifts to both of them every birthday(she is 7), Easter, Valentines day, and every I saw it & knew you had to have it from the one grandmother. The other grandmother makes most all ther clothes. I don't think I will ever buy my kids more than 3-4 gifts at a time as long as they are minors and live at home.
     
  6. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In the future instruct the kids to tell Granpa (when he asks) that they want chickens, goats, hatchets, ammunition, corn shellers, wine presses, and a moonshine still.
     
  7. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

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    L! Now that is the ticket!
    Cindyc.
     
  8. Tracy Rimmer

    Tracy Rimmer CF, Classroom & Books Mod Supporter

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    Does he gift them with his time? I wish I'd had more time with my grandfather -- I wish my sons had more time with theirs.

    Suggest gifts like movie vouchers and a Saturday in the new year when he takes them to a movie -- either one-on-one or as a group (if he's able to handle all five kids at once :) ) A trip to the zoo, or a museum, or a nature walk in a nearby nature preserve. All of THOSE things mean so much more to kids.

    My DH had one "rich" grandfather who handed him money every time he walked through the door as a kid, fussed over them, showered them with presents at birthdays and Christmas, etc., and another grandfather that TOOK them places, showed them things, arranged scavenger hunts in the woods and trips into the city (on the bus) just to walk around and explore, and maybe buy an icecream cone. Guess which one he talks about fondly now, twenty years after both passed away? :)
     
  9. cider

    cider Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Give your Dad a big hug and tell him how much you love him.
     
  10. Freya

    Freya Can't find bacon seeds Supporter

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    Ditto. :goodjob:


    :shrug: Why are you complaining exactly? Two of my three kids don't even have grandparents let alone gifts from them.... and there are many kids who are going to get squat this year from anyone.


    Not to sound rude or snippy, but it's a nice luxury to have to complain about getting too many presents.



    And giving to those less fortunate is a nice lesson for the kids. Let them pick what they want to donate.
     
  11. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

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    We will surely give some to charity. I guess it sort of goes back to Tracy's post... money and stuff given, no time. They met us somewhere and dropped the presents off. Didn't even see the kids. The kids would rather have

    You guys don't understand what I mean by too many presents. Before I talked to him about it, one christmas, he literally FILLED the dining room -when we had a dining room- with them. (Read, no place to walk!)

    Also, I would like Christmas to have some meaning beyond the gifts. I work hard to accomplish that, and establish traditions, and meaningful way to celebrate. Sometimes, on the younger ones, the whole thing gets LOST in Dad's extravagance. Not so much on the bigger ones anymore, I'll admit. They are sort of tired of it. If they took them out for lunch, and spent an hour with them, that would mean SOOOO much more to them than the presents do.
     
  12. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    No no... I know where you're coming from Freya, but the overgifting by the well intentioned is a serious issue. For one thing it sets up expectations for children that just aren't realistic but are internalized. How many of us come from backgrounds where parents tried to make up for things with Perfect Christmases and trees overloaded with presents?

    I know I did. It took me years to figure out that not only were those holidays stressful because that much excitement is exhausting (and you can't really enjoy it) but they've built up this expectation in me that it isn't "Christmas" unless it is excess.

    Which is stupid, because you know what I dreamed about as a little girl? Having a real "Little House on the Prarie" christmas with only a few gifts and an orange in the toe of a stocking! Having so little I could actually enjoy each thing.

    By overgifting kids we steal from them peace of mind and real enjoyment of what they do get.
     
  13. belladulcinea

    belladulcinea Well-Known Member

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    You can be the one who influences your children, my parents always kept us in check by reminding us that sometimes that's just what grandparents do. Part of loving someone is letting them be who they are. Gifts of time would be great but obviously your dad may just be an extravagant gift giver. Let them choose what they want and donate or put a couple up for later. My father gave us all alot of gifts but we had his time too, as did the grands, we all miss him alot. This will be the 3rd year since he passed on to a way better place. Hug your dad and kiss your kids!
     
  14. Freya

    Freya Can't find bacon seeds Supporter

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    This is not what you were posting about. You did not mention this part in your original post. You were only complaing about not having enough room for all the presents. Go back and re-read your original post.


    Now your dad not being involved with the kids is a WHOLE other issue! That one you can simply say, "If you can't even be bothered to see my kids... you can just keep your gifts and stuff them somewhere nice".


    You CAN say no. You have that power. Especially if you want to set an example for your kids that gifts don't buy love. Effort "earns" love.
     
  15. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

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    My Dad loves my kids. He just doesn't "get it". There are a number of culture clashes (for lack of a better word) between consumerism, and how I choose to live that we are dealing with right now. This is just one of them. I would not cut him off because of it! Nor am I being just ungrateful to try to uphold my values with my kids in my home. There is a paradigm that I live by, and one that he lives by, and sometimes they clash, and it is uncomfortable, that is all. But we love each other. We work it out. I sort of thought folks here would "understand" that.

    WOW!
     
  16. Aintlifegrand

    Aintlifegrand Well-Known Member

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    I do understand..My children are all grown and I too used to be caught up in that buy everything whether they need it or not mode as well as two sets of grandparents...luckily my children always had the same excesses in love and joy or they would be worthless right now. Stick to your principles, but make sure that you share your concerns with dad on the time. You probably won't be able to stop his buying but you can let the kids donate as you said and all will be ok...Merry Christmas!
     
  17. Tracy Rimmer

    Tracy Rimmer CF, Classroom & Books Mod Supporter

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    I know exactly what you mean, Cindy.
     
  18. dragonfly65

    dragonfly65 Well-Known Member

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    If he didn't even see the kids and doesn't spend time with them, then he won't know which gifts made it to the kids and which didn't. Keep the ones that the kids will enjoy and let them open them on Christmas and donate the rest so someone elses child can have a nice Christmas that might not have one otherwise.

    As for Grandpa, I will tell you what my sister told me when I complained about all the money my mother was spending on the kids on her last visit. "It's easier to just let her do it and let her enjoy spending money on them." (Now, my mother would love to spend more time with the kids but lives on the other end of the country so can't, but she really could have used the money to pay bills, etc.)

    My dad spends way too much on all the kids and grandkids, but I figure he's going to spend it anyway, it might as well be on the kids. But my dad sends everyone a check now that they are older (used to be gift cards when they were small). Maybe you could suggest to your dad that he send gift cards or a check to each of the kids instead so they could get exactly what they want. You might also suggest a shopping spree with Grandpa then they'd at least get to see him. These options would also associate all the "stuff" with Grandpa instead of with Christmas in your kids' minds. Most years my kids use Grandpa's money to buy gifts for others as well as themselves.
     
  19. Ark

    Ark Well-Known Member

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    I would probably put some of them up high in a closet somewhere UNOPENED, except for one for each kid. Let each kid pick one to open on Christmas and the rest get saved for a rainy day.
    Then, when that rainy day came, if it was something they only played with a couple times and it was still in good condition, I'd give it to a less fortunate child.
     
  20. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Ark has a great idea, a friend of mine used to do this. As presents from the (excessively generous) grandparents came in they'd squeeze and prod, or even pop an end, to see what was in there. For the holidays each kid got one toy from the grandparents (each set) and a few things from the parents. But even my gifts (the beloved aunt!) were shelved unopened (I do books, mine were easy to tell) and then brought out slowly over many months. Which meant she had a pretty much endless supply of surprises for when a kid got sick, or it rained, or someone was particularly good and should be rewarded.. whatever.

    And today those kids are grown and remember that at their house Christmas really did come "every day."