Anonymous asked in Pregnancy & ParentingParenting · 1 decade ago

did I get my 3 yr old enough for christmas? feeling guilty....?

I have a large family where everyone buys a present for everybody. We knew that my three year old was already receiving a TON of geo tracks (his favorite), a play dough activity table, a piano / easel activity table, he got 6 or 7 toy trians last night at my grandparents get together and 5 toy cars. (the big ones not the hot wheels) 4 new movies.. and so much more that I cannot even think of. We knew he was getting all of this beforehand since relatives always say "Oh I am getting him this he doesn't already have it does he?" So my husband and I racked our brains trying to find something that would be special from us. The only thing we could think of was the Bob the Builder V Smile game.. which we got. And then just got some hot wheels to add to his collection and some clothes. Now as I am sitting here on Christmas waiting for him to wake up I kind of feel guilty. Like I didn't buy him anything. I spent more money on other family members than my own child. But they can only get so much at this age I really didn't have a clue what else to buy. He's getting so much since we have already had 2 family christmas get togethers and still two more left ... How can I make our christmas special? I mean when you take your children to family get togethers where they are getting at least 15-20 presents how can you top that? We don't really hurt financially but at 3 all the toys just eventually run together. Did I do my son wrong? Is there another way to make it special besides just presents?


wow .. I am shocked with the rude replies. I didn't mean to make it sound like he was spoiled. I know and am THANKFUL he can receive as much as he does. I just want him to enjoy our christmas morning. And look forward to waking up with mommy and daddy and brother and "santa" having been there. I don't want it to seem like it is just a week full of toys and out morning just blend in with all the parties....

24 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I know EXACTLY how you feel. My family is the same way. I also want my son to feel like mommy and daddy give the best presents but WOW! They get so overwhelmed with all the other gifts!! I think as they get older and start specifically asking for things it might get easier. . Get your son involved in the wrapping/ buying and giving gifts to other people. Most importantly try and get some "traditions" started. Something that he will look forward to and know that only you guys do together every Christmas.

  • 1 decade ago

    Take it from a grandmother & a mother it's enough. At 3 yrs. old most of those gifts won't matter in a week. Of the 12 christmases before my parent's divorce the only one I really remember is when I was 9. My dad bought this little stuffed kitten on a pillow that was like $3. Probably the cheapest I ever got. What made it so special was I had mentioned it months before while dad & I were shopping & he had remembered how much I had wanted it. The only gifts my daughter remembered was a gallon jug of kosher pickles. She was always spending her allowance on big pickles. My son his first real train set. He wanted one he didn't have to push or make the sounds to. That's when I realized the gift or it's price didn't really matter. It was the fact someone cared enough to listen & watch & get something that was really wanted. Not just buying from a list. Both of my kids fav. thing to do was to pick a child from the giving tree & help decide what to get them. Then after Christmas we'd go through old toys & donate them to a mission, etc. Often they'd donate even some of their new ones. We'd talk about & they'd get such a thrill imagining how happy some other child would be to get it. They'd see me dump change in the salvation army bucket. As they got older they'd do the same. The only guilt should be if you bought stuff for all the wrong reasons. Otherwise it doesn't matter. What will make it memorable is if you get down on his level & play those games with him. Boys, especially at that age, never see clothes as a gift. My BIL spent a small fortune on my son at 5 getting him good designer clothes because with hubby out of work he needed them. He said thank you but the disappointment in his eyes was so obvious my bil said next time he needed clothes just tell him. But never again for a Christmas gift. He's 18 now & still doesn't count over $200. worth of clothes from us as Christmas gifts. But relax. What will make it special is if you play that game along with him & spend time really listening because you want to.

  • 1 decade ago

    hi mom! u sound like a very caring mother and i know the feeling of maybe I'm not giving enough or maybe I'm getting this "whole thing wrong". it's normal since no kid comes with a manual of how and what to do in order to get it right.

    you can start by telling your son that what you bought, u bought cuz "i knew you liked this so when i went in to the store i thought what would make my big boy happy and then i saw this..." that gives the gift a touch of mommy love, which is worth more than any gift in the world.

    second you can tell your son that this year we're gonna do something spacial. and at some point during all these parties take a brake of ten min to actually sit with him and PLAY with him and his new toys - that he'll remember more than anything.

    remember, it's not what or how much u give, it's the love and happiness that come with it.

    we can't afford everything we'd love to give our children, so instead we scheduled a pure family day for the holidays last year; parks, 'twister' 'monopoly' etc. it was the best day of my life and my kids spoke about it for a loooong time after.

    you'll be fine, your son loves you and you love him and that what counts!!!!

  • SD
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    it is a little late for my reply but it isn't about what you get him it is how it is presented.

    if you have an exciting morning where you go down and see if santa ate the cookies and have christmas music playing and take turns opening presents one at a time it is fine! you'll make breakfast together as a family and then get ready for visits from the extended family and watch a special christmas movie as a family on TV. he'll love the presents that he has. at 3 he doesn't have any real expectations on what santa will and will not bring.

    merry christmas! SD

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  • 1 decade ago

    I doubt many parents do not fret they did not do enough for their especially at this time!..You want everyhting perfect for him, and fret and stress over everything. Then, an hour after he has opened the relies, you had nothing to worry about in the first place@ i am fretting now myself..not much i can do to fix is 2:45 am here. lol..but yes there are ways you can make it special, do something to start your own tradition together. Something like, make a ginger bread house together on Christmas day..or decorate cookies..things like that. Or, if you have snow..go tobogganing . Just do something, that only you and he dad can do together. It does not have to involve anything big..just something like, every year you all sit together, drink homemade coco warm fresh cookies..and read the night before Christmas. Anything like that will make it special, in more ways than any toy someone has gotten him.

  • 1 decade ago

    First dont worry yourself he is only 3! Second next Christmas if you want to get him more, start early & you can do as I do I email or snail mail everyone that buys for my children a list of what they want & ask them to call me when or if they buy something. I do not inlcude the things my hubby & I are buying our children. We do this for the reason like your son got 5 train sets we wopuld get the same 10 dolls or 12 trucks, just insane no child plays with 10 dolls when they have 40 from years before. Your son will be happy with what he has recieved , Merry Christmas & a blessed New Year!!!

  • Haven
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Don't feel guilty, your son is getting plenty. That is a huge amount of toys for a child to be given, and he's only 3!

    As for making it special, you can always have special family time/traditions.

    Maybe next time, when your relatives call asking what he already has, if whatever they're wanting to give him sounds good and you think you'd rather get it for him, tell them that he <does> have it already, and then go out and buy it...

  • 1 decade ago

    Sounds like he has more than enough. Probably overwhelmingly so.

    I do understand where you are coming from though. What you can give him that will ultimately mean more to him in the future than presents he won't remember are traditions and memories of what you do together every year as a family to prepare for and to celebrate Christmas.

  • Bill G
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    If he has stuff to open Christmas morning, he won't know or care about who gave him what. He's just three. The best thing you can give your child is your time. It's also the most valuable thing you have.

    When I grew up we had loads of junk under the tree. That's what Christmas was all about for me. It actually ruined Christmas for me because as I got older, Christmas became less. We try to buy our children off and it's wrong. My mom is gone now. I wish I had more time with her and less time with all the stuff in my life.

    Just love your child and don't worry about all the stuff that gets in the way of what Christmas should be all about.

  • 1 decade ago

    Take an empty refrigerator box or washmachine box, remove staples, cut a door in the side and set next too all your new christmas presents... he will play in the cardboard box more then with the new toys...

    kids think they want toys.. but that gets old... they want security and love and time from their parents... toys have their place but they arn't stupid... they know what is important... time reading books, sitting and talking and discovering bugs and things... thats waht they want..

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