Money Moral Dilemma: How much should I spend on presents for friends' children?

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  • anotheruser
    anotheruser Posts: 3,485 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post I've been Money Tipped!
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    Can you be my friend?

    My mates don't get my kids anything...
  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,750 Forumite
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    What did you do last year?


    As one friend has 4 children and the other 2, I'm sure you had a similar dilemma last year - unless the friend with 4 kids has had twins in the last year.
  • archie1411
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    Whilst buying for the children of friends may sound a nice idea, especially when they are small, you are taking on a commitment for at least 18 years and yes, the parents will compare. If you really feel you must do it, spend the same per child but, having fallen in to this trap before, don't start. If you have children, the other parents will feel compelled to spend on yours. If you don't, it becomes one-way traffic and you may grow to resent that, especially as the kids grow up, you have increasing pressure to buy something 'appropriate' which will, inevitably, increase your spending, and this may be compounded if the child and/or parent can't be bothered to even thank you for the gift. My advice? Don't start
  • stmartinsdiver
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    :eek:
    archie1411 wrote: »
    Whilst buying for the children of friends may sound a nice idea, especially when they are small, you are taking on a commitment for at least 18 years and yes, the parents will compare. If you really feel you must do it, spend the same per child but, having fallen in to this trap before, don't start. If you have children, the other parents will feel compelled to spend on yours. If you don't, it becomes one-way traffic and you may grow to resent that, especially as the kids grow up, you have increasing pressure to buy something 'appropriate' which will, inevitably, increase your spending, and this may be compounded if the child and/or parent can't be bothered to even thank you for the gift. My advice? Don't start
    Spot on Archie. Totally in line with my thoughts.
  • mjderrick
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    Just don't start it, when do you stop!
  • crmism
    crmism Posts: 300 Forumite
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    I don't believe there has been any time in my life when I bought a present for someone outside the immediate family, and can only assume what you have in mind is an overthrow of another practice in the USA that's made its way here and everybody feels they should adopt in order not to lose face.
    Youngsters' expectations are already high in this gratuitous age, and giving them even more than they need or deserve is the right way to go about diluting the value of money at a time when they should be encouraged to look after and husband it.
  • borkid
    borkid Posts: 2,478 Forumite
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    crmism wrote: »
    I don't believe there has been any time in my life when I bought a present for someone outside the immediate family, and can only assume what you have in mind is an overthrow of another practice in the USA that's made its way here and everybody feels they should adopt in order not to lose face.
    Youngsters' expectations are already high in this gratuitous age, and giving them even more than they need or deserve is the right way to go about diluting the value of money at a time when they should be encouraged to look after and husband it.




    I actually do buy for a friend's children but not on a regular basis. For instance this year I saw a dinosaur moulding set and the little boy really likes dinosaurs so I bought it. Then bought something for his sister, probably in total about £8 so not a lot but both children are creative so they will get pleasure from them. I only buy for hubby and my 2 adult children plus my son's partner so not many.


    I enjoy giving children presents and do at other times of the year if I see somethng a particular child will like. I do always make sure though if they have brothers and sisters I get something for each of them. Often it's something I make or more recently a story I wrote especially for the child.


    Presents don't have to be expensive just thoughtful.
  • VikEw
    VikEw Posts: 8 Forumite
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    ..I set a 'guide price' in my head..but, unless you buy identical gifts, this can vary..buy what suits that child up to a value of say £10 but if one perfect gift is £6 and one £9--who cares? Not the child or the parents if it is a gift exactly right for that child...that is the secret, spend time choosing the 'what' and not the 'how much'..I think anyhow
  • ExFitty
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    I was an older mother and the first Xmas after she was born she received 52 presents from O/S the family; friends, work colleges, anti-natal group, church etc. It was ridiculous!! While thanking everyone I ensured that this did not happen again. While given in good faith much of it was unused, duplicates, too small, tat etc.
    My DD aged 18 still keeps in contact with 2 daughters of parents I met at anti-natal classes. No presents needed just friendship
    When I was growing up - we each put the sum of money we would spend on family presents in a pot. Mum would then buy a big present for each of us - that as individual presents we could not afford. When adults, presents stopped, and we each contributed a sum of money to food and drink. Now parents are gone, my siblings and I take in turns to host Xmas - each bringing a course or dish and of course alcohol. We do buy presents for children whilst in full time education, but none for O/S family. My own children used to always look for the 'large' box present, which would be a box filled with about 20 - 30 books from charity shops / boot sales. It made no difference to them whether they were brand new.(It was not their only present) Now in their teens it is harder to buy for them, so along with token gifts they mainly receive money to spend after Xmas.
    If you are already in the cycle of giving presents to friends kids, then set a time limit on it i.e. stop when they start school, leave Junior school etc
    Christmas is about getting together - whether family or friends - not presents
    My house is not filled with presents that we do not need, will not use and don't want. Instead we have the money to go out, entertain and buy what we really want.

    ************************Give up giving unnecessary presents************************

    By the way, my 3 siblings and I are all mortgage and debt free. Coincidence??
  • Middlestitch
    Middlestitch Posts: 1,486 Forumite
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    If you want to get them presents, that's entirely your choice. I'm baffled by the idea that there is some sort of 'dilemma' on the amount to spend. Buy each child something you think (preferably know) they will like, making sure you have an upper limit on your spend. The actual cost really isn't important provided you can afford it and stick to your original budget.
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