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Smarter Mom: Keeping It Fair

Posted by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 12:00 AM
  • 46 Replies

I suspect every mom has done this at least once: you get the presents out of wherever you have stashed them, and make a pile for each kid so you can wrap them...and then realize oops, one kid has a lot more than the others.

I think this especially becomes a problem when your kids' interests start to diverge, with one leaning more toward "big-kid" wants and the other still into toys. For example, my daughter wants an iPod or Nintendo DS this year, while my son wants a remote control monster truck, some Legos, a toy garbage truck (I don't even know where to begin, there) and some race cars. His pile would be a lot bigger than hers unless I totally blow my budget to even up the present count.She's kind of at the tail end of the Santa years, too, so I can't explain it from a budgetary standpoint.

I'm getting around this by giving her my old iPod Touch and buying her fancy earphones and a gift card for apps, thus making the unwrapping equal and my budget unblown. But this might be the last year I can get away with that. I know some families do the "Victorian four": something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read, while others do three gifts, for the Three Kings, which are good ideas too.

How do you keep the present distribution fair?

by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 12:08 AM
I'm struggling with the same thing this year. My oldest still believes in Santa and doesn't understand how one present costs more than the other. But she wants more expensive stuff.

My 2.5 year old is so easy to find stuff for and it's always inexpensive so it's much easier to buy him stuff than either of my girls. I like to find stuff nicely used at OUAC and it's SO easy to come across cool Thomas the Train toys or other train table sets. I easily find him Cars stuff and Bob the Builder or construction toys.

I might have to come up with a system next year because it's hard! My youngest is only 14 months and she's outgrowing the baby toys. So this year was easy to find her her own toys to replace the baby stuff but next year will be tough to figure out what to get her!
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by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 7:11 AM
1 mom liked this
I don't worry about keeping it fair. The world isn't fair and that's just the way it is. That's what we tell the children in our family. If they complain, we make them donate their gifts.
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by Sarah on Dec. 6, 2012 at 7:48 AM
We only have one kid, but I don't remember this being an issue when I was growing up.
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by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 8:12 AM

I don't worry about fair. One of my children can only handle two gifts before he gets upset and hides due to there being too much going on. My 17 year old gets less packages but her things cost more. My children know that I love them all equally and it is not the packages that matter. 


by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 8:30 AM
We spend the same amount in each of them. My 5 year old understands that things cost different amounts and my 18 month old doesn't care.
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by Platinum Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Try to set a set price amount and keep to it. Doesnt really matter about quantity as much

by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:05 AM
My kids are 7 1/2 years apart. Its tough to keep it fair, the gifts they want are so drastically different in price. I just try to make sure they each have enough to open or the "big" gift they really wanted.
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by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:10 AM
I only have one child so I don't really have this issue. My nieces get gifts from me of equal cash value to avoid this.
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by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:18 AM

I try to or at least amount spent even

by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:38 AM

 Well this year it has been a bit harder since my ds's stuff is so much more expensive than our dd's. They will have an equal amount to open though.

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