Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

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knightrider
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Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by knightrider » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:24 am

Every year our grandparents shower our little one with new books, toys, and clothes. The issue is he already has enough of all those and we get them for cheap used anyways.

Can I suggest anything else they can give? Money and gift-cards are not an option as it's against their principles or something...

RickBoglehead
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:27 am

A big cardboard box. Invest in a 529 for college?

Are these your child's grandparents or your child's great-grandparents? Just curious.

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Alexa9
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by Alexa9 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:30 am

College savings might be more meaningful than just cash/gift cards.
Or request no gifts. Or keep the gifts for a month and then donate them if you are acquiring too much stuff.
Personally, I wouldn't request anything. They probably enjoy doing it.

Silk McCue
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by Silk McCue » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:33 am

knightrider wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:24 am
Money and gift-cards are not an option as it's against their principles or something...
Because every grandparent dreams of the day they can give one of their greatest treasures in life cold hard cash. SMH

Please allow them to enjoy the act of giving to their precious grandchildren even if that means donating some of the toys and books that you already have so that underprivileged children can benefit.

Cheers
Last edited by Silk McCue on Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Watty
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by Watty » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:37 am

For years when my son was small my parents gave us a membership in the local zoo. That worked out really well and we enjoyed it since with a membership we could stop by for an hour or two and not have to worry about what the admission cost. Even when he was a younger teenager that still worked since they had special events like concerts, Halloween decorations, and christmas lights at the zoo.

There may also be things like kids museums in your area that would have memberships.

If you get something like that then be sure to look at the details. Often places like zoos or museums will be in an association where your membership will also be good at other zoos or museums across the country and that can be handy when you are traveling.

Goal33
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by Goal33 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:50 am

There's no winning here...

My parents give my nephew cash in the college account but feel guilty/envious about how my BIL's family is connecting over material gifts despite the fact that the cash towards college is worth way more $.

When they give gifts my sister 95% determines its not acceptable for whatever reason (too many gifts, doesn't align with some of her values--yes, she's odd IMO, etc) and donates it.

As for myself, I learned my lesson early on when he was never allowed to use the gifts I got him because of whatever insane reason my sister decided. I have since keep the budget around 10 dollars to reduce my risk, although sometimes I admit postage costs me more when I can't make an event in person. Recently I got a lamp that projects a solar system on the ceiling, and he loves space. I also bought a t-shirt with a cool design representing a place I recently traveled to.
A man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure.

knightrider
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by knightrider » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:58 am

Alexa9 wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:30 am
Personally, I wouldn't request anything. They probably enjoy doing it.
You are probably right. I just get annoyed at the mountains of stuff they buy unnecessarily. I would be happy if they at least bought it used. But that too is against their principles..

corysold
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by corysold » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:06 am

I agree with the membership idea.

My grandmother would gift our family our local pool pass every year. It would get a ton of use all summer long.

A local zoo, children's museum, history museum, arboretum, really anywhere you go that needs a membership is a great idea.

chevca
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by chevca » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:30 am

knightrider wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:24 am
Can I suggest anything else they can give?
No... let them gift how they please.

If you're annoyed by mountains of toys and stuff around the house, donate some of it. Keep the stuff the kid plays with a lot, donate the stuff they don't care about or ever use. Keep it simple.

chevca
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by chevca » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:32 am

corysold wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:06 am
I agree with the membership idea.

My grandmother would gift our family our local pool pass every year. It would get a ton of use all summer long.

A local zoo, children's museum, history museum, arboretum, really anywhere you go that needs a membership is a great idea.
Except the kid being talked about here is 2.5 years old. All of that is pretty lost on them at that age.

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leeks
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by leeks » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:45 am

chevca wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:32 am
corysold wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:06 am
I agree with the membership idea.

My grandmother would gift our family our local pool pass every year. It would get a ton of use all summer long.

A local zoo, children's museum, history museum, arboretum, really anywhere you go that needs a membership is a great idea.
Except the kid being talked about here is 2.5 years old. All of that is pretty lost on them at that age.
Not at all, those memberships are all wonderful activities for a 2.5-year-old!

For gift-giving, I often go with consumables (for adults, wine/baked goods/flowers/etc) because the recipient can use or give it away but no expectation it will take up space in their house for more than a week. For little kids, consumables can be favorite foods/drinks (home baked or not, a bag of mandarin oranges is an example of something my kids would love playing with and eating) but also things like art supplies or one-time projects kits (stuff that is meant to be used up). Collected things can be cool too, a basket of pinecones from the grandparents' yard, a box with special shells/rocks collected by a grandparent, etc.

RollTide31457
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by RollTide31457 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:52 am

Sit and Spin

Rupert
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by Rupert » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:04 pm

I surrendered in the battle with my mother over this issue long ago. Some people just like to give gifts. My mother, in particular, likes to watch the kids open the gifts. If your kid's grandparents are like that, you're never going to talk them out of gifting without hurting their feelings and damaging your relationship. At that age, when my kids were capable of forgetting a gift a few minutes after opening it, I would take some of the stuff and store it in a closet. Then I would pull it out piecemeal over the next year, e.g., on a rainy day when the kids were bouncing off the walls. Some of it I donated to charity as soon as possible.

stoptothink
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by stoptothink » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:24 pm

Rupert wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:04 pm
I surrendered in the battle with my mother over this issue long ago. Some people just like to give gifts. My mother, in particular, likes to watch the kids open the gifts. If your kid's grandparents are like that, you're never going to talk them out of gifting without hurting their feelings and damaging your relationship.
It's especially frustrating in our case because my mother and in-laws are literally broke; they spoil our children and we are essentially paying for it because they come back and expect us to financially support them. In the past we've kindly asked them to stop giving toys and offered some alternatives (ie. a museum pass or day at an amusement park), but they just get their feelings hurt. My MIL doesn't even care that most of the stuff she buys our kids gets opened and nearly immediately thrown into a bag to be taken to the thrift store or in the garbage.

I recently opened a 529 account, to initially help pay for my wife's on-going education and ultimately to slowly begin saving for our children. I told my mother and in-laws about it and that I would prefer that Christmas and birthday gifts for me go to that fund (didn't even suggest that they give to this fund in lieu of gifts for my children) and they were really offended - to the point that my wife made me reach out and formally apologize.

I've given up trying to understand why some people are so emotionally attached to giving useless garbage to others. So, I have taken my wife's advice and just keep my mouth shut. As long as they are OK with the idea that most of it gets given away or tossed, and I am not storing their useless gifts, then I let them have their 5 seconds of joy watching my kids open whatever they decide to give them.

Afty
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by Afty » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:29 pm

My kids always enjoyed getting books as gifts. My in-laws would write a little note in the front of the book for each child, and years later I find those very meaningful. Plus books are small, cheap, and don't take up much room.

corysold
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by corysold » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:40 pm

leeks wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:45 am
chevca wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:32 am
corysold wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:06 am
I agree with the membership idea.

My grandmother would gift our family our local pool pass every year. It would get a ton of use all summer long.

A local zoo, children's museum, history museum, arboretum, really anywhere you go that needs a membership is a great idea.
Except the kid being talked about here is 2.5 years old. All of that is pretty lost on them at that age.
Not at all, those memberships are all wonderful activities for a 2.5-year-old!

For gift-giving, I often go with consumables (for adults, wine/baked goods/flowers/etc) because the recipient can use or give it away but no expectation it will take up space in their house for more than a week. For little kids, consumables can be favorite foods/drinks (home baked or not, a bag of mandarin oranges is an example of something my kids would love playing with and eating) but also things like art supplies or one-time projects kits (stuff that is meant to be used up). Collected things can be cool too, a basket of pinecones from the grandparents' yard, a box with special shells/rocks collected by a grandparent, etc.
Agreed. Our 2 year old loves going to the pool and the children's area at the arboretum. He has no idea who the gift is from, but he wouldn't understand that regardless of what was given.

It also sets a precedent that can age with the kids. Children's things now, museums as they age, maybe a play or other cultural event beyond that.

bloom2708
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by bloom2708 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:47 pm

RollTide31457 wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:52 am
Sit and Spin
Yes. Or find one of those popcorn popper toys where the kid pushes it around and it makes popping noises. A lot of popping noises. Fun for the kid, not so much for the adults. :wink:
"We are not here to please, but to provoke thoughtfulness." --Unknown Boglehead

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by Nearly A Moose » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:46 pm

We've tried but mostly failed in this. We're trying to push toward one “big gift” rather than a million little things, but ultimately, they’re going to do what they’re going to do.

That said, if it’s undermining your parenting approach, it’s worth at least one more chance at a rational explanation. But set expectations low, and try to disentangle it from your own gift giving so that they aren’t setting expectations for your kid as to what mom and dad do.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

Thegame14
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by Thegame14 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:50 pm

how about instead of them buying him stuff, they can pay for a train ride to see santa, or a trip to a theme park for kids like Seasame place, or whatever equivalent you have in your area. To me the best two gifts a grandparent can give are a contribution to a 529 or an experience that will have pictures and memories, the rest is just stuff...

MJS
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by MJS » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:33 pm

You want fewer things. They want to pick out touchable reminders of affection. You could ask them to combine the two in fun ways, and plan to use the stuff during the whole year to remind your child of their grandparents: A zoo membership & old fashioned animal cookies, a stuffed panda, jungle puzzle, animal video, books. Or swimming lessons and a towel, goggles, a mermaid video, a bath toy.

Discard the stuff over the year after it's been used as a reminder. It will also help in finding stuff to talk about when skyping or visiting.

Dottie57
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Re: Christmas gift suggestions for 2.5 year old?

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:42 pm

Let grandparents buy what they want and You pull back or buy more practical gifts.

You can remind them that college money helps the childs future.

As kids get older, experiences are wonderful gifts.

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