Post # 31
jannigirl : Yes. We live on a ski hill so it’s not an added expense. And yes, I do think you’re extravagant.
We don’t subscribe to the idea that you need either quality (in your case) or a quantity of extra things just because it’s Christmas. That’s an idea that’s been brainwashed in to society for the past (fewer than) hundred years and frankly, it’s bullshit. Literally the only people who benefit from it are corporations. If your kids didn’t get Uggs (big Ugg fan here) at Christmas they’d just get them some other time.
At any rate, that’s not even what the OP’s post is about. It’s about spoiled children who should know better and at least appreciate the gifts they receive. Something that was instilled in me as a child and will be instilled in my own child. So far I think it’s working.
Post # 32
onlythemarginleft : An 8 year old is going to want toys. Toys are often plastic & are easily broken. They also cost far less than that TV I bought my son. When my kids were little, we spent far less than we do now & there were far more presents under the tree.
Some parents buy, buy, buy throughout the year … and so, the kids have the same toys as their counterparts who get a big haul at Christmas & birthdays, only. Do you really think those kids who only get 2 toys at Christmas (one of them a book, even) only have 1-2 toys to play with all year? No. They’re parents likely buy toys for them randomly throughout the year. Sum total of yearly toys is probably pretty equal to those who get lots of stuff at Christmas.
Seriously. Picture it. Have you ever gone to a (middle class or higher income) house that have kids & the kids only have 1 toy that they play with? “Oh, that was my Christmas present” and the shelves in their room are bare & their toyboxes are empty? No. The whole “we value experiences” doesn’t necessarily mean the kids don’t have loads of material goods, as well.
Post # 33
jannigirl : it necessarily does in our house. Our son has more than 1 or 2 toys, but not much more. He has plenty of art and craft supplies, and if he can’t keep himself busy with what he has, then he can go outside and play or ride his bike just like we did as kids. He has friends with hundreds of toys that NEVER get played with. To spoil your kids with cheap plastic crap is a complete buy-in to the consumerism mentality that is quite literally killing the planet and creating spoiled, ungrateful, entitled brats. Like the OP’s family.
Post # 34
DaniGirl03 : I get why you are miffed!!! The lack of thank yous would have sent me over the edge, even if you can forgive them for not being stoked about something you thought would be a hit
I recently had the same epiphany with my nephews on my husbands side. They get sooo much stuff and they open it all in literally .2 seconds, they don’t even know who gave what! So this year I decided no toys and got them blankets and pjs and that was that vs trying to find the coolest toy that they won’t even remember who gave them it.
In my family on Christmas morning each member of the family will open ONE gift at a time, with the whole family watching. When you open it you acknowledge who gave it to you, everyone oohs and ahhs over it, and you thank the person who gave it to you. Growing up it was kind of torturous ( literally took hours, with 4 kids having to sit and watch 5 other people open a single gift between your turn to open a gift!!) But you bet we all learned how to appreciate what we got and how to thank someone!!
I will be doing the same with my own kids. I don’t even think my nephews will even know what they really recieved on Christmas, its all a blur of presents and so much stuff.
Also, we did not receive tons and tons of toys for Christmas/Birthdays either. Maybe one or two, then the rest were clothes, books ect. I think when parents and grandparents go overboard it kills the real fun of gift giving.
Post # 35
I’m sorry your feelings got hurt. I’d feel the exact same way if my nephew reacted to a gift I’d searched weeks for and stood in line hours to buy. 🙁 I’d be really embarrassed if I were your sister. Maybe you should offer to return it and get them each gift cards (totalling a smaller amount than the game console) and keep the rest of the money.
To be honest, I’m really not buying the whole, “they’re kids, you can’t expect them to fake liking something” excuse. Even before the ages of 8-10, my sisters and I knew that smiling and saying “thank you” as sincerely as possible, regardless of whether we *actually* liked the gift or not, was the only acceptable reaction.
My mom did help guide us when we were younger by sitting nearby and saying enthusiastic things like, “Wow, isn’t that neat?” and we’d agree. It kinda took the pressure off when you’re 10 years old and your maybe senile, maybe just insane grandfather gifts you with a tennis racket (never played tennis), an algebra I book, and a cigarette company promotional duffel bag with the brand name on the side (it coincidentally happens to be our surname.)
I hope that mental image made you smile a bit. I hope the rest of your Christmas was better.
Post # 36
Boxerlover24 : Same thing here! We each took turns opening one gift and the whole family watched. Youngest to oldest and then it went back around in a circle.
Post # 37
forthewalk : Isn’t it the best! We still do it to this day, I love it!
Post # 38
I can understand why the kids wouldn’t be too interested in it. Kids change their interests all the time. I was in a similar situation where my friend’s daughter played on my 3DS all the time so I bought her one for her birthday, yet she never touches it. Now she’s just getting gift cards from me but only because I never know what she likes from one month to the next!
But I’m sorry, saying “oh, we already got electronics” then just walk away without a thank you would NOT fly with me. Had my siblings and I behaved like that my mom would have given us an earful until our eardrums bled!
Post # 39
daisy123 : Ah. So your kids would receive the Uggs the week after Christmas so that means you aren’t extravagant. Got it. *wink* Good to know that’s the difference in your mind.
I grew up in ski country. Skis are expensive as are lift tickets & ski maintenance (waxing, etc), along with appropriate ski apparel. Season passes for the family are typically very expensive. Even cross country skiing can get expensive. Some would call that extravagant, even.
My kids have grown into exceptional individuals, even during these teen-age years. I owe it to the fact that they haven’t grown accustomed to receiving unearned extravagant things on the regular, but these things are seen as a true gift, something given maybe once or twice a year on special occasions… you know, like at Christmas.
Post # 40
jannigirl : I grew up in a middle class home, and at birthdays/holidays my parents would buy me 4 presents (want, need, wear, read) and, when I was old enough, they would also give me some money which I could choose to spend, share, save, donate, or any combination of those.
I never had nearly as many toys as most other kids I knew and I didn’t care because I genuinely enjoyed every item I owned. If I didn’t use or like something, then I was encouraged to donate it. I never wanted for anything, but I also never had excess. Because my parents were sparing with the amount they bought me, they were able to spend more on the quality items they did buy. That coupled with the fact that they taught me to look after my belongings meant that things were rarely broken.
I never suggested a child should only have one toy, or that they shouldn’t have an adequate amount of stimulating toys and activites. Interestingly, the average child only plays with around 12 of their toys regularly, even if they own far more than that.
Post # 41
onlythemarginleft : oh yes, she likes to see the huge pile of presents. It’s how she balances out that we had less as children. There are toys the kids will break on Christmas Day or play with once and never again. She hauled presents to the hotel and each kid had two huge garbage bags of toys.
Post # 42
forthewalk : oh it was. We had prime rib, roast chicken, stuffing, two kinds of gravy two kinds of potatoes. Veggies and then mincemeat tarts and whipped shortbread cookies. My moms language of love is food and homeade pj bottoms and crocheted slippers and mitts. I now have wine and my kid and I are rocking out on my parents super NES from the 90s
Post # 43
If possible, I would have waited for a more structured time or when your sister was there to give the gift. If for some reason she could not be, and the reaction was the one your nephew gave, you can be sure that either the grandparent or I would have pleasantly said, “Now, what are you supposed to say when someone went to the trouble of buying you a present?”
Also, I think everyone is forgetting that this young man has had a lot of confusing changes in his life in a very short time. In the last six months he’s gained two step-siblings and a future step-father. It’s possible he’s acting out.
Post # 44
jannigirl : No, he’ll get new Uggs when he needs new Uggs. Just like all his other possessions. We don’t buy things just for the sake of having lots of presents under the tree. Good for you for doing so and still churning out well adjusted kids, even though it’s totally unecessary and a huge contributor to the demise of the planet.
Anyway, I’m on this thread to comiserate with the OP. OP, I think you should continue to give a thoughtful gift each Christmas and hopefully one day they will appreciate you. I give my neice and nephews each one book at Christmas time. They get tons of toys from other family too, but books are our tradition and they Facetime me on Christmas day to thank me. I can see it in their smiles that they are appreciative. If they weren’t, I wouldn’t hesitate to give my sister a little nudge.
Post # 45
jannigirl : I don’t think there’s anything wrong with going all out for Christmas! I hate how people act like spoiling a child one day of the year is going to turn them into a horrible person. If you teach your child to be grateful and appreciative year-round, one day isn’t going to ruin that. Most people I know that buy a ton of presents at Christmas are getting mostly necessities anyway (new shoes, a new winter coat, etc) so it’s stuff they would have bought their anyway, but making it a present for the kid just makes it more fun
OP, a 10 year old should most definitely know how to say thank you even if they don’t like the gift. This sounds more like they are pretty spoiled year round or they weren’t taught basic manners (or they could have just been overwhelmed and not realized how rude they were being but I don’t buy that considering their ages.) if this is how they typically act, I would be getting them much smaller gifts in the future.
ETA: I would maybe give the stepkids a pass if they are more introverted and if they don’t know you that well. As a kid I was super shy and I would have had a hard time going up to someone I didn’t know well and saying thank you. Of course that doesn’t make it okay, I’m just saying maybe they werr aporeciative but we’re just following the lead of your biological nephew since they are new to the family.