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Somewhat worried about Xmas morning


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  #1  
December 10th, 2011, 08:07 PM
Lovemykiddos!'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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So when we do our Christmas shopping for the kids we pick out a specific amount of money and spend that much on ech of the kids so that it's "fair". But with what my step-daughter asked for this year, a 3DS, I'm afraid that compared to the other 2 kids she is going to feel like she didn't get anything. The other kids each got 4-5 things that were much less expensive while she got a DS and a game and a few small things.......I budgeted exactly the amount we need and there is no room in the budget to change it. But I feel like I should buy her a few more inexpensive things to ebb her feelings......DH thinks it will be fine....what do you think??
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  #2  
December 10th, 2011, 08:14 PM
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How old is she?

I can see your concern...and she may not understand value and such...however, depending on her age, it may be the time for her to learn that?
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  #3  
December 10th, 2011, 08:29 PM
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I think a few small things would be a nice touch - such as lip gloss or nail polish or even a certificate for a makeover given by you? If she knows about Santa then the conversation about equal money is so much easier, but if she still believes then she might feel left out.
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  #4  
December 10th, 2011, 09:51 PM
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I'm not sure if she still believes. She is 9, while my son did not believe at that age, she might. The problem is whether she believes or not she has no conce
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  #5  
December 10th, 2011, 09:58 PM
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I'm not sure if she still believes. She is 9, while my son did not believe at that age, she might. The problem is whether she believes or not she has no concept of the value of money. This is not really her fault, her mother babies her and spoiles her excessively. She has actually thrown literal temper tantrums in stores (at the age of 9) cuz she wanted something that we refuse to buy.

I did get her a few small things, some hair stuff, and one lip glosses, that kind of stuff. I just don't want unnecessary sadness on Christmas morning.
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  #6  
December 10th, 2011, 10:21 PM
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Well really it could go either way.
A. You buy her some "filler" items that are inexpensive. If she has no concept of money, she's not gonna realize these are indeed "filler" presents and feel like she got the same amount of stuff as everyone else.

B. You keep the budget, and attempt to teach her the concept of money and value. Her stuff costs more, so it appears she got less...when really they got the same amount dollar-wise.

Personally I'd go with option B. She's gonna have to learn eventually, and if she's gonna throw a tantrum she's gonna throw a tantrum no matter when the lesson is taught. You're trying to keep it fair it sounds like, and that's the best way to do it.
Every Christmas my little brother has more presents to open than anyone else, and I've never gotten too jealous over it because the monetary value all about equals out. I've always been taught that he gets more quantity wise because his stuff is cheaper. My dad even took me aside the year we both got TVs as our big present to explain to me that while they look the same, mine has better specs, they aren't truly the same...just so I wouldn't feel cheated that year.
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  #7  
December 10th, 2011, 11:32 PM
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I think she needs to get over it. Christmas isn't about how much you get, it's about spending time together as a family and giving BACK. I think she is not too young to understand that. My kids are getting 1 gift each this year, from santa, because buying the house has wiped out our Christmas money. We've explained this to them, and every year we tell them that Christmas isn't about getting stuff - and low and behold they aren't upset at all about a small Christmas! My oldest is only 7, so if he can get it so can she.
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  #8  
December 11th, 2011, 06:17 AM
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We had this issue with Maddie (she is 10). She is getting an ipod touch so I told her that was fine, but that I didn't want her upset Christmas morning because Gracie had more gifts than her. She completely understood and didn't care because she wants that gift so badly.

At 9 I think she will understand and if she really wants the 3ds she won't care.
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  #9  
December 11th, 2011, 06:54 AM
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She's old enough to understand that if you ask for more expensive gifts you get less under the tree. She may not want it to be that way, but she is definitely old enough to understand. My parents had the same rule when we were younger, and they just made sure to remind us of it when we asked for the big ticket items.
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  #10  
December 11th, 2011, 07:46 AM
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We set aside a set ammount and have not gone over it. However...It really doesnt look like much.
We have also agree'd that once baby is here they will BOTH get the same ammount spent on each other at christmas.
If you dont want to spoil the magic of santa - Tell her you and her dad gave santa the same ammount of money for all of them but as her things cost more she has less.
Im sure there wont be any unnessasary upsetness at christmas. Im sure she will be too engrossed in the toy she wanted to notice what her siblings have/had.

I know when we was younger my little sister prefered a lot of cheap tat so she got more - but I on the other hand would pick expensive stuff so I wouldnt get as much.
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  #11  
December 11th, 2011, 07:48 AM
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Thanks ladies. You are right. I just hate that she makes me feel like "the evil stepmother" sometimes it's a hard role to play haha

Hopefully we won't have a tantrum Xmas morning, but if we do, I will let her deal with it
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  #12  
December 11th, 2011, 07:51 AM
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Maybe if her dad explaines it wouldnt socome across as the stepmom pulling rank kinda thing, if thats what your worried about?
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  #13  
December 11th, 2011, 07:58 AM
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Dad doesn't do a whole lot of discipline =/. It gets old. My kids think I'm the big mean mom cuz I'm the one that always has to do the time outs and the telling of Nos. so yes it would have to be me, which never makes for a pleasant weekend visit.

If I tell DH to do it, he will either sugar coat it or take it too far. He has no happy median.
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  #14  
December 11th, 2011, 10:13 AM
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If she was MY kid and threw a temper tantrum on Christmas morning she'd lose her gifts until she could be more appreciative.
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  #15  
December 11th, 2011, 11:28 AM
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Well I'm gonna be the dissenter in the group. I'm also Jewish so I'm used to having different customs on Christmas. But here's my take on it. Christmas isn't the time to teach lessons. It's just not. And it isn't about fairness or budgets either. I think the idea of spending the same amount of money on my 7 month old baby and my 3 year old is ludicrous. I could give 2.0 a cardboard box next year and she would be happy with it. Claire is going to want a dollhouse or something. The bulk of the money is gonna to to her. You could buy a sleigh full of toys for a small child and not spend the money that one item on a teenagers wish list would cost. There are all kinds of things you could do to have wrapped gifts under the tree for her that will not cost a lot of money. Think custom cd mixes, clothing from a thrift store, books, etc. or maybe hide the DS and have a series of wrapped gifts with a clue and she has to assemble all the clues to find it. Ultimately I think what's important is to have Christmas morning for every child be magical and special. As long as she isn't sitting around watching everyone else open presents you're fine. And remember that children ate incredibly narcissistic by nature. Regardless of reality, if she is sitting on the sidelines watching everyone else open presents and she has nothing to open, she's going to feel like she's being excluded and doesn't belong bc she's a stepchild. That has nothing to do with maturity or reason or discipline. That's child psychology. So do everyone in the family a service and avoid THAT scenario.
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  #16  
December 11th, 2011, 12:19 PM
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If you don't teach the lesson at Christmas...when exactly do you get the opportunity to teach it again? Growing up, my mom didn't have a lot of money, and there were a lot of times when my little sister got more than me in terms of quantity.

Same thing as we got older and we would head to my grandparents or some other relative's house...the older we got, the less we got. This is precisely why I try to keep D's family from overdoing it with DD for Christmas. I don't want her to grow up thinking she has to have a house full of toys. And for most of us, it gets more difficult to go all out when more children are involved. The next two years may not be an issue, but as these yet to be born ones get older and have their own wish lists, it's gonna become a chore to create equally enjoyable Christmases.

I'm just really against pushing Christmas as a time to expect a whole bunch of crap, because that is not the meaning or reason for the holiday...in my house.
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  #17  
December 11th, 2011, 12:54 PM
WhoaMomma!'s Avatar Danielle
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I think children should be learning about the value of money, hardwork, generosity, sharing, giving, etc throughout the year. I don't believe in teaching lessons to young children by making them learn it the hard way. I don't think that actually teaches anything except jealousy and resentment. Now i also don't know the kid or her maturity level. With some 9 yo's you could talk to her ahead of time and explain that she gets 2 Christmases and the other kids get one so you're worried about the OTHER kids feeling jealous. It's possible you could enlist her help in doing things on Xmas morning to keep her busy so she feels like she's being very mature and helping make her you get siblings happy. But if she isnt learning the values required to make that work ahead of time, I don't think Christmas morning is the time to do it. It's also a tricky situation bc it sounds like (could be wrong) the custodial parent doesn't WANT the kid learning about the value of money and such. That's very similar to my own childhood. My Dad (who wasn't the primary caregiver) wanted us to learn about hardwork and the value of money. He was insistent that Christmas should be one gift each. For Chanukah (his holiday) we got things that weren't really gifts (toothbrush one night, underwear the next, socks one night, etc. - all things that had to be replaced periodically anyway so he did them at Chanukah and killed two birds with one stone). My Mom was very much the opposite. She was very indulgent and was much more concerned that we learned about generosity. I emerged from that a bizarre hybrid - very cheap when it comes to spending money on myself and able to squeeze blood out of a coupon but I take far more joy from giving things to others. I just think there's no reason to draw a line in the sand and teach a lesson - one it sounds like the custodial parent may not want being taught - on Christmas morning. Not when a little creativity and planning could head off the potential problem without anyone getting upset.
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  #18  
December 11th, 2011, 01:00 PM
WhoaMomma!'s Avatar Danielle
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And I dont mean this to be offensive but it seems illogical to me to try and teach a child about the true meaning of Christmas by teaching the child that everyone in the house is entitled to the same dollar amount of gifts. I'm not criticizing the concern over the budget. Families aren't made of money. I'm just saying I don't think the meaning of Christmas is the issue here.
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  #19  
December 11th, 2011, 01:17 PM
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No, I don't mean the lesson of budget, but the lesson of giving and being a gracious recipient and being thankful for what you DO have and understanding that there are some who are far less fortunate. I mean, wasn't that the whole meaning of A Christmas Carol?

But I only have a 3 year old, so who knows how she'll receive these kinds of lessons when it's time...and then again, by her having a sibling, I hope she's as understanding as I think me and my sister were...you share.
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  #20  
December 11th, 2011, 01:23 PM
WhoaMomma!'s Avatar Danielle
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I'm totally down with THAT lesson. But I think you can learn it without ever being sad on Christmas. I know I did.

But unfortunately some people never learn it and that's a real shame! My SIL is a real ***** at Christmas! She will open something and "jokingly" criticize her mom for choosing that for her. She asks for receipts so she can return things on Christmas morning as she opens stuff! It makes me insane! I just wanna hit her! My husband was raised by the same people with the same traditions and discipline and everything and he's NOTHING like that! I don't understand how two siblings only 22 months apart could have turned out SO different!
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