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Smarter Mom: Keeping It Fair

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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
Replies (21-30):
RLT2
by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 1:05 PM

My kids are close in age, and are still Santa obsessed so I haven't had this problem yet.

Gabbysmom615
by Kira on Dec. 6, 2012 at 3:23 PM

 i dont think my youngest can figure that out yet that shes doesnt get the most shes only 20 months but next year may be different

heydooney
by Danielle :) on Dec. 6, 2012 at 6:51 PM

My parents tried to keep it even, they were very honest with us about it. My boys are so close in age if one pile is bigger than the others I can creatively shuffle stuff around or make one thing an "everyone" gift. All their toys are kept in one room anyway so it doesn't matter a whole lot.

bether89
by Ruby Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 10:49 PM

 We try to spend about equal amounts or equal number of gifts.

Roo1234
by Bronze Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 11:08 PM
We have always taught our children that fair and equal aren't necessarily the same thing.
Wish2Be
by Michelle on Dec. 6, 2012 at 11:35 PM

I give equal amounts of gifts....and I try to spend equal amounts, but sometimes it doesnt work out that way...and everyone is just grateful .


chinosruca
by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 11:38 PM
I have never counted presents and.it does not bother me if one gets more than the other. I set a budget, stick.to the budget & the kids get wjat they get. If one gets more expensive stuff...they will obviously get less.
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mom2aspclboy
by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 11:39 PM

It's easy for me, I only have one kid...lol

elasmimi
by Ruby Member on Dec. 7, 2012 at 7:33 AM

It's easy when you only have one, lol. But when I was raising my own three, I did try to balance it out. Of course they didn't have all the expensive electronic toys, back in the dark ages.

dream528
by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 10:36 AM

I'm not struggling with this quite as badly as I know I will in a few years - my kids are still pretty young. But I do remember my parents having this issue. I was the oldest and my more expensive presents, all wrapped up, looked like nothing compared to my little brothers' mass amount of cheap toys.

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