Kids Toys | Holiday Toys

Is It Terrible If I Only Buy My Daughter 2 New Gifts This Christmas?

Mom Jeanine
November 15, 2010


Good Question, Holidays, hot topic

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Okay, before you get all up in arms, hear me out. My daughter is only two. If I don’t put up a Christmas tree or wrap a single present or play any Christmas carols, she’ll have no idea anything is awry. So I’ve been thinking, why stress out trying to get her the hottest holiday toys when she probably won’t even realize if I wrap toys she already has?

I know, part of me thinks it’s genius, but part of me thinks it’s totally cruel. But I am still a little sour from our Halloween debacle. She was so excited in the weeks leading up to Halloween about being a cupcake and trick or treating that I splurged on a $50 Halloween costume. When October 31 came, she was in the worst mood, didn’t want to wear the costume and slept through trick or treating. Talk about a bust… and a waste!

So for Christmas, I’m seriously considering getting her 2 new toys and calling it a day. Why fight the crowds for a Sing-A-Ma-Jig or a Disney Princess & Me Doll when she already has a ton of toys buried in the toy box that she hasn’t played with in months? We have years of never-ending Christmas lists to come, so why not enjoy these first few years where the simple act of unwrapping something is more exciting that what’s actually inside the wrapping?

Am I crazy? Cruel? Be honest and let me know if it’s the worst thing in the world to get a toddler only 2 new gifts and pad the Christmas tree with some toys your kid already has in the comments.

And in case you’re wondering, the one toy I will probably get her is this dancing Dora We Really Did It doll. Even though I hate toys that make noise, I think my daughter will really love this considering she’s a Dora fanatic.

(Ed Note: No, that isn’t my tree or even my apartment in the pic above, but a girl can dream, right? A lovely pink tree and perfectly wrapped empty boxes underneath? Love that!)

If your child is too old to fake out, you’ll probably want to read up on the Fisher Price iXL and the VTech MobiGo.
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  • Mo
    November 15, 2010

  • I completely agree and will even take it a step further. If you don’t begin your child in the ritual of buying the entire store and going broke for Christmas, you will avoid setting them up to be spoiled when they get older. Kids are unbelievably far less bratty than we think. They only come to expect what we have trained their little minds to expect. If Christmas is family-centered, then they will look forward to the ritual of everyone being together, not all the toys and the tree and all the trappings that mean nothing… except to our wallets.

  • SparkleFarms
    November 15, 2010

  • Hear, hear! Enjoy it while you can! There will come a day when your daughter will ask Santa for all sorts of expensive toys and gadgets, that you will bust your butt trying to get for her, yet Santa will get all of the credit.

  • Lucy Rios Saunders
    November 16, 2010

  • Not only do I think this is great, but I think it’s odd that we are even talking about this like it is something novel or even possibly CRUEL! I didn’t even celebrate Christmas for the first 13 years of my life (we were Jehovah’s Witness) and when we did, it was one large gift and stocking stuffers. I still LOVE my parents, remember my childhood fondly and am a productive member of society. The presents don’t matter…it’s creating memories for them. I do not remember one gift I received as a child, but I remember evening car trips to see Christmas lights in the neighborhood, building snow forts, etc. THAT’S what counts.

  • Melissa
    November 16, 2010

  • In the first few years, I bought my boys as many gifts as they are old. One the first year, two the second… Now that he’s 3, I will get him 3 “big” gifts, and a few stocking stuffers, and that’s it. I totally agree that less is more. Plus, he will get gifts from grandparents, aunts and uncles, and I think that’s PLENTY for a little guy. His brother will follow in his same footsteps, as I am sure he will be more interested in the paper and boxes from his brother’s gifts, then some plastic toy that he would get from “Santa.” I wish there were more people like you out there, thinking less about consumerism, more about spending time together as a family, and enjoying the real reason for Christmas.

  • Erica
    November 16, 2010

  • I agree with the other posts. Its not only not cruel, its perfectly normal. My daughter will be 3 in Jan & this is the 1st Xmas (or bday, Easter,etc) that she is even getting a gift from us & we think it will just be 1 toy & a bunch of stocking stuffers. I agree with the others that now is a good time to set the precadent & not let their expectations get out of hand. We’ll leave the spoiling of the kids to their Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, etc. =)

  • Ada
    November 16, 2010

  • I see nothing wrong with it. In fact, I see something absolutely wrong about bringing up little materialistic kids who don’t know what the holidays are even about.

  • lisa
    November 16, 2010

  • Save your money. They don’t know yet what Christmas is or what day it is. It is more for you than for them at this age.

  • Tracey
    November 16, 2010

  • I agree with the keeping it simple approach. My kids are 3 years old and 7 months old, so still young enough that I can get away with very few gifts.

    A tradition my coworker does, and that I may adopt is that the kids get 3 gifts from Santa and anything else is from the parents. This also sets the ground for giving back to charities like Toys for Tots where you can explain that yes, the kids still get their 3 Santa gifts, but their parents need help in providing a few more.

  • Barbara
    November 16, 2010

  • So what is cruel? Buying your child one or two gifts that she will love and enjoy or overspending, over-stressing and ensuring that she ends up with a stressed out unhappy mom who feels guilty about everything and whose time with her kids is tarnished as a result? Maybe what we teach our kids from the beginning is that holidays are times where we cherish family, friends and traditions. That the valuable things we receive are a sense of love and belonging and that the “things” we receive are nice but not the reason for the season.

  • CBNC
    November 16, 2010

  • No way! It actually encompasses the meaning of Christmas more! After all, we are celebrating our Savior’s birth as the ultimate gift from God, and hopefully, teaching our children about giving too. So, don’t spoil this holiday by turning it into an “I want! I want! I want!” session, but rather help her see the joy in giving. Maybe, together, pick out some of her old toys to give to a family in need. Or, if you have the funds, take older kids to go buy something they really want and give it to a child in need. Jesus received three gifts from the wise men, so we give our children three gifts. They can be really nice gifts or something smaller and special, but either way, if it was enough for the Lord, it’s enough for my kids!

  • Sonrisa
    February 9, 2011

  • I think it’s a great idea — especially since she probably got a lot of gifts from other relatives and friends. This is what happened to our kids and I STILL felt guilty about limiting the number of gifts under the tree from us. We all need to remember that kids this young find the simplest things fascinating. I found a site that has a whole section dedicated to affordable family fun that has articles that remind us all that toddlers and young kids need very little to keep themselves entertained:
    I especially like the article called “Fun With Toddlers: Simple and Free.” Sometimes we all forget.