Holiday Question

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KET_2010's picture
Joined: 08/13/11
Posts: 1737
Holiday Question

Happy Valentine's Day!

When I was little my parents gave each of us a little something on Vday (and any other kinda big holiday). Such as a little box of chocolates or candy hearts and maybe a little toy. On Easter we each got 6 eggs we got to dye and find and then we'd get a goodie basket that had a few toys and candy in them. Of course bdays and Christmas we got presents as well.

My question is, do any of you give your kids a little something on holidays or plan on giving your LOs a little something?

I'll admit...my mom goes overboard on gifts. We have a play area full of toys that we've been slowly downsizing because of this. But on Vday and Easter I don't mind a little gift from her and from DH and me to the kids. However, DH HATES it. He says presents should only be given on bdays and Christmas. When he found out she sent stuff for Vday he hid it and said they have to wait for Christmas (well he's not here this week so I gave them the toys anyway ha ha). I can understand to an extent that yes she gave too much (she sent them each 4 presents) so I just got them a glass rose each and then they got 3 of those presents (a Wuggles pet maker, my Little Pony, and Littlest Pet Shop).

Do you agree that presents should only be given on bdays and Christmas? The thing that bothers me about how DH reacts is then he immediately brings up how "that's not how he was raised" and "he was taught only to give gifts on Christmas and sometimes bday, that's spoiling the kids and when you spoil the kids like that they're going to turn into bullies!" (HUGE eye roll). DH had a tough childhood. He was the youngest and VERY abused by any man his mom brought home because she didn't have high standards. Most of the time he didn't get a bday. So he grew up being a douche in HS and then when he snapped out of it about 2 years later is when I met him and he has changed from that state. He also has a real big thing about the kids "trying to control us" but that's another thing lol. But because of that I think he grew up thinking that you should never do nice little things like that for the kids around the holidays. I dunno.

I was just wondering though because when he saw I bought little things for the kids for Easter he got annoyed. I told him to get over it lol. It's not like for EVERY holiday I do it, like I said just Christmas, Easter, and Valentine's Day. And of course their birthdays! Anyone else do this?

ShylahEQ's picture
Joined: 12/08/07
Posts: 1003

I didn't buy my son a little gift for Valentine's day, but I did get him a special cupcake from the bakery and a card. For Easter we do baskets with a small toy and some sweets. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. I might be annoyed if the grandparents went overboard with gifts on the small days (mostly because i don't want my child to EXPECT a bunch of stuff), but something small from them wouldn't bother me.

Joined: 06/15/11
Posts: 611

My Ex is alot like you are describing and he still doesn't do anything really for our daughter who is 8 for b-days or Christmas. He had a tough childhood and his mom had 4 kids and was a single mom off and on. He thinks that one toy for Christmas is enough type of person... Well I on the other hand am the only child and was pretty spoiled growing up.

For your question... My kids get stuff for Valentines Day, Easter, & Christmas & of course B-days. V-day is usually some candy and a stuffed animal (I don't buy cards, not a sentimental type of person). Easter they usually get 1 nice gift and basket with goodies, like last year they both got a new bike. Birthdays and Christmas I go all out.

MrsRiggert's picture
Joined: 11/21/07
Posts: 2195

My kids get gifts for all the holidays ROFL

Valentines day- little heart box of candy and a stuffed animal

Easter- Easter basket full of candy, a couple toys, and bubbles (every year they get bubbles)

Then the little holidays I usually make treats for the kids to take to daycare; St. Padtrick's Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, May Day, etc.

Joined: 06/15/11
Posts: 611

"MrsRiggert" wrote:

My kids get gifts for all the holidays ROFL

Same here! Hey it gives me an excuse to buy them something! Not that I need it. Smile

KET_2010's picture
Joined: 08/13/11
Posts: 1737

I forgot about Halloween! Lol of course they get candy on that day!

DH doesn't mind the whole sort of going all out for Christmas and Birthdays, as long as the room isn't filled with toys lol. For example, each kid gets about 7 toys for Christmas and 7 for birthday. Sometimes a few more if they get a bunch of small toys. He was okay with when we went shopping the clearance toys after Christmas and I spent about $300 on toys (they were marked 70% off). The toys are for both kids birthdays and Christmas, a few for DS for Christmas (since they hardly ever have baby toys clearenced), stuff for my nieces for their bdays and Christmas, and then we got some Toys for Tots. He was supportive of that because he saw how much we saved lol. Oh and there's also gifts in there for Easter (so my shopping for next year is pretty much done!!!).

He said everyone he's talked to agreed with him that kids shouldn't get that many gifts throughout the year. But then again the people he asked were single, childless males lol.

I wanted to make sure I wasn't the only "unnormal" person because he says it's not normal. But then again he didn't grow up with much...his mom allowed him to only have a small bucket of toys and when she felt he didn't need them anymore or they were broken, she'd throw them away or give them away. Then he'd only get one or two new things for Christmas/birthday (they combined his bday with Christmas because it's Dec 11) and then he'd get a big toy he'd share with his sister.

Maybe it's a mom thing!

jolly11sd's picture
Joined: 02/02/05
Posts: 3327

We don't always do toy/candy gifts for the kids on holidays but we do usually do something special as a family. When my kids are too little to understand (like my 15 month old) I don't really bother doing anything because its more for me than them. Like DS2 was 14 months at Christmas and we didn't get him gifts cause he didn't know or care either way. Let see...

Vday--DS1 (age 6) got a book from the family and we will have a special dessert tonight. Usually do a special dinner too.

Easter--They get new bathing suits and shower/bath stuff in their Easter baskets. My mom did this for me when I was a kid so I kept doing it too. DS1 can't really have candy so this works well instead of that stuff. We do a speacial meal with friends and I recycle the eggs and small toys in the eggs each year. DS1 still hasn't complained that its the same stuff from when he was 2...lol.

Halloween--We have a special family dinner.
Christmas--My older one gets a santa gift and one gift from us.
Bday--One gift from us and special meal. If we do a 'friends' party then that is the gift from us.

PsycheGal's picture
Joined: 12/07/08
Posts: 768

My kids do get gifts on every holiday, but they don't have to be expensive. Like today, they got a little bouquet of heart lollipops ($1.00 each LOL) and we took them to Target and told them to pick something out -- my oldest picked a pretty bag with a heart on it ($3.00) (OH and toothpaste! LOL!) and my youngest picked out a princess Belle plush doll, another 3 bucks. Nice too cause that is what they wanted, we didn't have to say no to anything more expensive. Mom bought each of the girls a toy monster truck (small ones) and the girls gave me a gift bag for the baby -- they each got her a little doll and a onesie.

On the other hand, DH and I hardly every shop for each-other on holidays, we'd rather spend the money on the kids or going somewhere to do something. If we were both not boggled down by piles of homework today we would have gone to the Arcade all day w/the kids. Tomorrow is DH's 35th birthday, so mom is baking him his favorite cake and I'm making sure he gets his favorite breakfast, lunch, and dinner -- and then we are going to watch a marathon of Fringe LOL All this after we go to the midwife and I am sure that while we are at the MW appointment my mom will have the girls make daddy something.

For mother's day and father's day the kids make us stuff (no real spending) and for our birthdays DH and I just tote on each other with the kids help and again usually get keepsake home-made gifts -- like favorite breakfast in bed and so on. MY DH is great and always gets me these amazing cards and potted flowers (he knows I like them alive better LOL!)

We go all out on the girls birthdays and Christmas - we usually do a big combination party or they can choose to not have a party and we can go somewhere like Disney or a ZOO or any place of choice for the weekend. (I have a big family, feeding all those people costs me more than taking all five of us on vacation for a weekend!)

My husband came from a family that was very "minimalist" when it came to the children. He was brought up to think gifting to your children was actually BAD and that it made rotten spoiled children, yet, I was given just about everything I ever wanted and I started working at the age of 12 and never asked for anything that was outside of my parent's means -- it's not what you give your children that turns them into spoiled brats, it's how you raise them and teach them about the value of work and money. I think that as long as gifts are deserved it is totally fine.

On the other hand, my kids are such grateful little girls, they think their food is a gift! (Which obviously it is since we are all lucky to have the means to eat!) I come home from the supermarket and I always get.... "did you get me a present?" and I'll say something like "I got you some bananas!" and they will kiss me and the bananas and thank me for their beautiful healthy food LOL

Okay I went on and on endlessly like a lunatic! I was in a really crappy mood before and for some reason this post made me happy LOL!

KET_2010's picture
Joined: 08/13/11
Posts: 1737

Lol I love that your girls love the bananas and see them as gifts! When I come in from the store, if the girls are still awake, DD2 comes running to look through the bags and sees what there is for her to eat (she usually finds either bananas or fruit snacks ha). She gets excited about that.

It makes me feel better to see that others do the whole little gift thing for other holidays. DH was making me think that I was one of the very few people who did that. Now, I do also do little gifts (or I call them prizes) that are about $2 if that if we go on a long shopping trip and the kids have been good. For example that shopping trip I mentioned going shopping for clearance toys I rewarded the girls with a $1 or $1.50 toy because they didn't whine or throw a fit or say how bored they were (ha ha DD1). And that trip took all day because the store was an hour away. DH didn't think they should've been rewarded but instead that that should be expected of them. I dunno, I see it as that they're young still and it's nice to reward them for being good. It's not like they're teenagers sulking through the store and I'm bribing them lol.

I think DH also got a bunch of whispers about it from his siblings. They use to tell him that DD1 was a spoiled brat and I did a horrible job raising her. I'll give them that she was very spoiled, but that was my mom's doing (she literally hand fed DD1 until she was 4! UGH! And did anything and everything DD1 demanded her to do). But this is coming from his siblings who one doesn't have kids, the other almost got her kid taken away because she cared more about drugs and alcohol than taking care of him, and the third has kids he doesn't want and neglects the one who is disabled and screams at her all the time while the other is now almost a teenager and she still talks like a baby and gets piggy back rides because everyone thinks it's cute. UGH sorry, I really don't like my in laws LOL.

Don't get me wrong, DH is very sweet and I love the crap outta him. We just have different view points on things!

Okay I'm done ranting lol.

mommyof1.5's picture
Joined: 08/06/07
Posts: 897

I think the majority of it comes from family of origin, like you're talking about. I grew up in pretty low poverty conditions (a single-wide camper trailer with four kids and our dad, floors rotting, growing mushrooms out of the carpet, the infamous black mold that I hate, etc.)... My dad just couldn't afford anything special. So while I enjoy giving gifts to my children, I do have it in my head to impart a sort of appreciation and *a little* minimalism in their heads... I can tell you they have TONS of toys in their room, and it's about time to sort/give away, so they don't just have a few things.

Some examples of my style: last year their Easter basket (a rubber basket they still play with) included large white/pink marshmallows in place of Easter grass, always a medium/large chocolate bunny, jelly beans, and some other random goodies.. and they each got a Scentsy buddy "smelly animal" lol. Halloween I hand-make their costumes. Thanksgiving I don't give a gift for. Christmas is always 2-3 family gifts from Santa, 1-2 individual gifts from Santa each, pajamas, other necessities, and about $100 worth of toys from the parents each. Birthdays are $50-75 worth of gifts usually (may change, when family dynamics/finances are adjusting all the time) Valentines Day, I got the girls each a tiny balloon from the grocery store (since they're always asking for one), a pack of gum and a box of candy hearts each.

PsycheGal's picture
Joined: 12/07/08
Posts: 768

Amanda, that doesn't sound minimalist to me - sounds pretty standard!

I also hand-make all costumes for my kids, and even handmake some clothes. I actually just taught myself to crochet a few months ago and I have several blankets and outfits made for this baby already! I am also learning to make toys -- I've made a dog, a snail, and a mobile so far and my kids seem to love what I make A LOT MORE than anything I can buy them at the store.

SuzyQ16's picture
Joined: 02/01/08
Posts: 879

I always get DD something little for Valentine's day, this year she got some crayons and a new train for her set. We always get gifts for christmas but we don't go crazy because the grandparents go way over board!

Makenna's birthday is on New Year's day and I always feel bad for her because Christmas is so close to her b day, so we always get a few extra gifts for Easter.

Halloween she gets candy when we go trick or treating, I buy her costume cause I just don't have time to make one and I am not at all crafty.