Before I had my own bundles of joy, I didn’t see the importance in baby shower gifts, birthday gifts or other occasions. Now I love to buy great gifts. I put a lot of thought into the gifts I give my family and siblings. I feel that if I make someone cry tears of Joy at Christmas that “I Won Christmas”. The appreciation I get and see in the recipients eyes makes it worth my time and money and I want to do it again.
With our first child we had nothing, when someone asked us what we wanted/needed I had a list because the only way we were getting a crib, or highchair was if it was a gift. Thank goodness for my parents, one shower given to us was for the high chair. My mom gave the people attending the option of contributing to the high chair or bringing their own gift. With the addition of 2 more what they need and want changes, and so has the space in our house.
Things I am trying to do
- As a parent keep an ongoing list of things your child(ren) are going to need or mention they would like. People are going to spend the money and want to buy gifts, so offer them items on the list that you would buy anyways.
- Parent – don’t leave it open to the buyers. I want to know that my money is being put to good use and not re-gifted or thrown in the garbage.
- Gift buyer – When a parent tells you what their child wants or needs – BUY THAT. Our homes are filled with ‘treasures’ that we never asked for. What happens when the buyer decides that my child has too many my little ponies and they think it would be more fun to buy some littlest pet shops; the toy gets un used, re-gifted or thrown in the garbage.
- Gift buyer – when un sure $$ is always the answer. The money can be put into the child’s RESP or put together with other money to buy a bigger item.
- Pick a theme based on the Childs interest. An aunt of mine is terrific at that. This year Rhett was obsessed with “What does the Fox Say” her gift at Christmas was the book based on the song, an outfit with a shirt with a fox on it and a tiny fox stuffy, which he loves and sleeps with every night. (side note I hate stuffies, unless you are absolutely positive that it will become a favorite and is special, never buy a Stuffie)
- Baby Gift suggestion – Babies grow fast, yes the little cloths are cute, however if you buy clothes for when the child is 2T and beyond, they will get more wear, and as a parent it is thrilling to see you child still has new cloths, instead of discovering that they went from being able to change 6 times a day to having no pants that fit.
Early in our family life we set a limit with our other family members with children. With growing families’ limited income, it was important for us to set up guidelines and be sure that everyone was on the same page. There is nothing worse than thinking that someone is spending more on our children then we are on theirs and stressing what they are saying about us. To get rid of that we set a $50 amount for Christmas and Birthday presents and of that $30 goes into the child’s RESP and $20 towards something to open. There has been times were I felt out of the loop and unprepaird and just gave $50 and other times when more was spent on the gift to open and less to the RESP.
Another neat idea my sister in law suggested was multiple members of the family who buy gifts for our children paying for the lessons or some of the lessons or activities our children do. Example Grandma loves piano so pays for some of the years lessons. Then the child can associate her piano with grandma.
Thank you for the gifts, now please consider my suggestions 😉
How do you try to control the gifts that come into your house?