Mum asks for ideas to reduce the amount of gifts the kids receive on special occasions.

“Our babies first birthday is coming up in a few months. Half of our family is really into buying things. We got overwhelmed at Christmas, despite asking for books or one good present. How can we go about telling people no gifts or just good, memorable keep sakes?

“We don’t want our kids to grow up feeling a need for all the pointless stuff, but there’s a lot of family members who have that “buy all the things” mentality. I know our wishes won’t be respected, but I’d like to try and minimise it as much as possible.”

Some of the great suggestions include:

“Have the invite suggest that they buy their favorite book from their childhood to start your childs own library.”

“Ask everyone to write a letter stating who they are to the child and a photo. When the child turns 18 they get to open the box with lot’s of wonderful memories.”

“You could open a bank account for him (if you haven’t already) and ask them to put money in it instead of a present…. Asking them to invest in his future…. That’s what we did and our families were happy to.”

“Maybe you could go to a zoo/theme park or somthing for example and ask that people simply pay for their own entry rather then buy gifts memories are worth more then gifts.”

“Maybe try the group gift suggest a cubby, sandpit, water play set, swingset some kind of large (to do) item that will last and provide lots of happiness and memories.”

“Ask for money for swimming lessons or zoo pass, aquarium etc experiences rather than stuff. It’s lovely that you want to tech your kids lessons but remember some people love giving gifts and seeing the joy it brings others.”

“Donate to charity”

“You can always ask for donations for an animal rescue or children charity.”

Join our Facebook discussion below.

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  • My sister has started a group inbox for presents for our kids. The idea is to put in there what the kids have asked for and the family can all put in


  • We have always been grateful for everything we have received, yes depending on the party the kids have ended up with so much, we we end up putting things away for occasions.
    Now the kids are older we have just asked family to keep it simple, or an something to do


  • It can be a sensitive topic, some people might get offended.


  • It is difficult to find the balance, I recognise however that buying gifts bring some people joy so I don’t like to restrict that.


  • All great ideas. I was always grateful for anything we received for the children, but they do get so much it’s a bit of overkill.


  • True, kids and babies tend to get a lot of stuff that it either gets broken, not touched or in the bin.
    So agree on gift vochures to create memories at the zoo or a book library something that is worthwhile.


  • My son had a birthday party today and i look around at all the stuff he got, which probably wont be played with next week. I wish we had of asked for a book or nothing…….


  • All great suggestions, but I’m afraid if people want to buy gifts, I can’t see you stopping them. Especially the grandparents and aunties and uncles. As a first time nan, I know I might go overboard with gifts. But I don’t think I buy ‘useless’ presents. Xmas 2018, grandson got oodles, but they were all doing presents (pencils, textas, play doh, things to build, cooking utensils) so they were all useful, not useless.
    I also spent lots of time with him. We read books together, cleaned dad’s car, played in the sandpit and paddling pool together, watched DVDs, played play doh and did drawings. So I think he got both great gifts as well as quality time and memories made


  • Some great tips on getting the loved ones to hold back a little with the toys and plastic throw always.


  • I asked for no presents and my son got a heap of toys. I learned from this. Now when people ask what to get my children I say “a small contribution toward activities and experiences or a book”


  • I like the donating them to others who are less fortunate idea. If having things bought for their children is really such an issue, then perhaps thinking of those who have nothing would be a good idea. There are many charities that would be happy to distribute the gifts, I’m sure – especially if it is around Christmas time.


  • Good luck with your idea! I have found that people buy things anyway, no matter what you say, but if there is something like a swing set or other expensive requirement, then I would mention that to your relatives and ask them to see if they could band together with the others to help you out. Put the idea back onto them – it might work.


  • Yes experiences are great presents and I like the group present idea. For my grand daughter we do get together and buy her a present together and also do the same for her parents, my 2nd son and his partner. This way we were able to get different art supplies last Christmas in a container to hold it all.


  • People will buy presents because they want to. I’m not sure how you fix this. You should be able to tell family, or if anyone asks, have some suggestions ready.


  • We don’t get enough toys and presents for our little one, happily have presents!


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