Author Topic: Telling the Family not to Buy Birthday/Christmas Presents  (Read 40578 times)

justajane

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Re: Telling the Family not to Buy Birthday/Christmas Presents
« Reply #50 on: September 02, 2014, 07:54:07 AM »
This is a definite struggle in my life as well. I hate all the waste, and over the years, I've noticed a pattern that the things that languish in the basement or end up in the Goodwill are invariably Christmas gifts from well-meaning family. The reality is that even if someone thinks they know what you like, they often don't. This is especially the case with clothing. Heck, I can't even get it right with my own husband sometimes.

One thing that compounds this problem, at least in our family, is divorce. Since my husband's parents are divorced and both remarried, we get twice as many gifts. It didn't really start to be a problem until we had kids, and oh boy, the clutter! I have about two freak outs each year about the sheer volume of kid stuff in our home, and they usually come right before our big birthday month (May) and Christmas. I just can't STAND all the crap, but I gave up a long time ago. The best we do is direct the parents towards one type of toy. When the kids were younger, one Christmas was Little People Christmas. We have at least 10 little people sets, but I figure now I can eventually sell them in a lot on Craigslist. Now it's all about the Legos, because they are expensive and small. That minimizes the amount of crap we get, since the parents appear to have a set amount of money that they want to spend which is way out of proportion to what they should spend. It hurts my frugal heart to have so much money wasted on more Legos, but at least they all fit into one plastic storage system.

To no avail, we had suggested that the grandparents give one small toy, some clothes and put the rest in savings bonds or the 529 for the kids. But after several suggestions to that effect, we gave up. As the kids get older, the toys get smaller and more expensive, but I still can't shake the colossal waste of it all and how much more useful that money would be to my kids if it was put into a 529. But there's only so much you can do.

But with my third child, who is now an infant, I am going to put my foot down about the toys and say adamantly, NO TOYS!!!! I mean, come on, he's the third boy. We pretty much have every developmental toy and every type of toy he could ever want. 

jabba

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Re: Telling the Family not to Buy Birthday/Christmas Presents
« Reply #51 on: September 02, 2014, 07:56:27 AM »
Another thing I wanted to mention about gift cards. Sometimes I get VISA gift cards and I hate using them because you can't use them at gas stations or restaurants efficiently, tracking the balance sucks, and if you don't use them fast enough there is usually a fee. My solution: use the VISA gift card to buy myself an amazon gift card, then apply it to my amazon account. Again this works because I generally buy quite a few household items from Amazon anyway.

MillenialMustache

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Re: Telling the Family not to Buy Birthday/Christmas Presents
« Reply #52 on: September 02, 2014, 07:58:14 AM »
Jabba,

I like the way you think. We do something similar at our house. Amazon is awesome.