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Christmas presents for ungrateful kids/parents who have it all

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#1 Fright bat

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:27 PM

We have two kids that need to be bought for. One in FYOS and a toddler.

Both parents are pretty disengaged from the kids - they watch TV or play by themselves. Their house is chock full of toys, spilling out of cupboards and littering the floor (their mother will buy anything and everything from eBay/gum tree/garage sales etc) and the kids are expected to jut play with them by themselves. More often, they just end up in front of the TV. They have enormous piles of clothes, also haphazardly throw about. So I'm stuck.

Additionally, because they have so much, the kids eyes glaze over when they get anything. The only thing that briefly excites them is stuff which is interactive, because it gets played with with the other adults present on the day it's given (eg board game, golf set etc) but then the parents will never pull it out again. The parents very much take it all for granted, they give presents because they have to, and receive with the same 'meh' attitude - now don't get me wrong, I don't expect overwhelming thanks or anything, but when you put a lot of thought into something, spend $80 on it, and the parent doesn't even look at it (even on the odd occasion the kid gets excited and wants to show it to them) apart from bundling it all into the car to carry away and stack it in a cupboard never to be seen again - well you start to lose motivation after a few times.

But - 1. I love these kids and 2. I have to buy for them. So help me EB!

Board games? Kids are too young to play with each other and parents won't play.
Arts and crafts? Parents won't help kids.
Books? Won't be read.
Clothes? Too many already.
Scooters/bikes/balls/other outdoor things? Parents refuse to take kids out and ride bikes/scooters, or go to a park, or even play in their own backyard.
Electronics? Loath to give a Wii as a combined gift or a DS to the elder as they both get SO much screen time (yes I know, not my kids... But still, I can't in good conscience do this).

They have doll houses, trains, sandpit, trampoline, other usual suspects.
What is left?

Edited by MsN, 04 December 2012 - 06:28 PM.

#2 Mitis angelam

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:29 PM

Tickets for a zoo trip or other kid-friendly experience?

#3 beaglebaby

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:31 PM

How about Movie Tickets or Mini Golf or something similar - even better if they come with a promise from you to take them!

#4 la di dah

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:31 PM

Can you do an experience gift with them? Are they sort of well-behaved? I saw my first movie in theatres when I was 6 and I still remember it.

Something like a trip to a local waterpark or something? I mean I know its not super cheap but if you're looking at 80 dollar gifts anyway?

#5 Tiamo

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:31 PM

If you love them how about an experience with you?

A show, a movie, zoo trip, afternoon tea?  

#6 Niamh23

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:32 PM

QUOTE (Ange Vert @ 04/12/2012, 07:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tickets for a zoo trip or other kid-friendly experience?


Or if you're really game - a donation to World Vision or similar in their name! wink.gif

#7 ginger72

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:36 PM

Dress up costumes?  Just bought my 3 year old a doctor costume + medical kit for her birthday and she loves it (as does my 5yo).

Mine also love sticky mosaics and once you spend 2 minutes showing them how to do it, they pretty much get it.  (Boy, are you down on their parents, by the way!).

Puzzles?  Mine love puzzles too and the big one will help the little one if she gets stuck.  The Melissa and Doug ones are great.

#8 Milly Molly Mandy

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:38 PM

I know you said they wouldnt be read, but I would get books. Maybe a box set or something

#9 GenWhy

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:41 PM

I have kids like this - but it's because my family spoil them. We aren't buying them any presents - instead we are going shopping with pocket money and buying food for the homeless. Then we are going to hand it out Christmas Day. The best present I can give my kids is the true gift of giving.

#10 ///

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:46 PM

A magazine subscription - especially for the FYOS child.

#11 Fright bat

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:49 PM

QUOTE (la di dah @ 04/12/2012, 07:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Are they sort of well-behaved?

They are appallingly behaved! The elder is getting better with 'institutionalised' discipline (kinder/school), the younger is constantly on a knifes edge - he is never really communicated with apart from yelling.

QUOTE (ginger72 @ 04/12/2012, 07:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
(Boy, are you down on their parents, by the way!).

I love the parents too. The whole thing breaks my heart - they are both actually really really bright, happy, beautiful children, and the parents are generally kind and well meaning, just... the situation is as I describe. I don't mean it in a judgey way (although there is no way to not be judgey about it) - I was just trying to give facts.

Experiences are a great idea and we got them an experience last year for a birthday - and then the parents were upset that they had to pay for parking, food for the day etc etc (we checked if it was ok before we got them the tickets and the parents seemed really excited about it). They are not really well off, we are much better off than them. And knowing this, I'd happily give them tickets plus money for extras - but I think this would stretch the limits of their pride.

I would also happily take them on an outing myself but wouldn't be allowed. They also live some distance away so it wouldn't be an afternoon at the movies, for example.

#12 Lolpigs

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:56 PM

I know people like this too. It is hard when they have everything that open and shuts.

Can you get them something that they will adore and tailored to each of them. Like for a little dolly for a girl that she can love. Or a special teddy for a boy?


Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:58 PM

New beach towel, bathers, goggles, sunscreen???

#14 nakedrhubarb

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:00 PM

Audio books or an annual membership to the local science museum/zoo. There are some fantastic audio books that come with the actual book for children to read along with.

#15 steppy

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:03 PM

I'd just get them really great quality crayons or pencils and art paper and activity books and leave it at that.

#16 kadoodle

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:06 PM

QUOTE (Ange Vert @ 04/12/2012, 07:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tickets for a zoo trip or other kid-friendly experience?

That's what I was thinking too.

Give them your time  happy.gif

ETA - just read your update  sad.gif I've drawn a blank, I'm not sure how you could get around those circumstances.  Do some places include parking in their costs?

Edited by kadoodle, 04 December 2012 - 07:11 PM.

#17 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:13 PM

trading cards
craft stuff that they can do independently
beach towels
gardening kit/ bug catcher
baseball cap/ handbag
science experiments
stuff from nat geo shop
gift voucher to go and spend

#18 suline

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:19 PM

We have two kids that need to be bought for. One in FYOS and a toddler.

Both parents are pretty disengaged from the kids - they watch TV or play by themselves. Their house is chock full of toys, spilling out of cupboards and littering the floor (their mother will buy anything and everything from eBay/gum tree/garage sales etc) and the kids are expected to jut play with them by themselves. More often, they just end up in front of the TV. They have enormous piles of clothes, also haphazardly throw about. So I'm stuck.

We must be friends with the same people. I love them very much however, so they (2 girls) will be getting a musical jewellery box each filled with hair clips and play jewels.

#19 gabbigirl

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:28 PM

What about one of those Oxfam vouchers where you buy a goat, or some seed

#20 noi'mnot

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:30 PM

I've got a similar problem, with slightly older kids. No matter how creative I try to get for Christmas and birthdays, they hate it. Every single time. I'm watching this thread with anticipation, because I'm honestly at a loss.

If you're interested, things that have not been successful include (but not limited to):

Craft supplies - even tailored to child's favourite colour/theme/whatever
Gardening kits
Science kits
Board Games
Cooking/baking things

#21 2bundles

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:37 PM

$ Voucher for experience. Then you can make sure there is enough for meals. Btw very bad form for them to complain about that. Pack a sandwich or suck it up.

#22 wallofdodo

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:37 PM

What about books on cd. Or what my MIL wants to give my son, because 'he has so many toys', a wind chime.

#23 Lyra

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:44 PM

Because I am trying to have less 'stuff' in my house my kids are getting as one of their presents

* a penguin adoption  (7yo girl)
* orangutan adoption (5yo boy)

with both of these you get a certificate and some puzzles to do. The penguin adoption comes with a toy and email updates throughout the year and a birthday card on the child's birthday

another thought is maybe some bubble bath or similar bath products. I love these kinds of presents as they go down the drain, the packaging goes into recycling and there is no clutter in my house LOL

Edited by Lyra, 04 December 2012 - 07:45 PM.

#24 Guest_LeChatNinjah_*

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:45 PM

I love that idea, Lyra!!

#25 Lifesgood

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:48 PM

The parents sound a bit worn out and the kids acting up because they are neglected (attention-wise).

How about a present for the whole family that involves you (and your kids?) going to their house for the day and playing simple games/doing craft with them. Buy a Snakes and Ladders game, inexpensive and even the toddler can play that (well my DD was pretty good at it when we got her a set at age 4) or a craft set that you could do with them.

Book in a day with the parents and tell them to go out and have time to themselves, see a movie, have lunch together, whatever.

That way you can devote your time and attention to the kids and maybe the parents after some time out will feel more like engaging with the kids?

Just a thought. Might be hard to organise though.

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