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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this has been discussed before, and I guess I'm sort of venting or seeking commiseration. DS had his first birthday yesterday and I am shocked by how much he got, and how annoying much of it is! (I don't mean to sound ungrateful, because I am glad so many people love him and are so generous.)

I was afraid my mom would buy him tons of stuff, so I talked to her before CHRISTMAS. She really wanted to buy him a wagon and I thought that was great. She ended up getting him a wagon and a stuffed snowman. No problems there. And my dad and other family members each sent him one thing (a book, cloth rattly cube thing, etc). It was nice and not too much.

Then his birthday came. I assumed they'd stick to the type of thing they did at Christmas. That was a major mistake. He got at least 8 plastic toys, a couple of them with 20 or more pieces, several of them electronic and LOUD. There are plastic things EVERYWHERE. Now, we haven't set a "no plastic" rule or anything, and I am not completely opposed to it. But why buy so much? (I know I sound SOOO ungrateful here.) Seriously, overnight his toy supply doubled.

I know I can donate it or put it away. It does feel kind of touchy all of a sudden, though. If I just get rid of it, the gifters will definitely notice. And if I make a big deal about "no plastic" now, I'm sure they will think about everything they already gave him and how I must hate it. (Which is sort of true, I guess, so maybe they DO need to know.)

Ack! Thanks for listening.
 

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This is exactly what I was afraid of for dd's 2nd birth earlier this month. What I did to nip the problem in the bud was to have the party away from home and just let everyone know that we wouldn't be opening gifts at the party. I gave several reasons so our materialistic family wouldn't be too offended.
1.) we were at the playground and didn't want anything to get lost
2.) there would be more than enough excitement with cake, family, and playing
3.) we want birthday parties to be a celebration centered around the birthday child and loved ones, not on getting "stuff"

I know that doesn't help you now, but it's an idea to save you future headache. For now, if there are any toys you don't think are appropriate (for whatever reason), pack them up and ship 'em out (consignment shop, goodwill, neighbor kids, whatever). Don't feel bad about it, it's just *stuff* and if it doesn't bring joy to your family then what place does it have in your home?
 

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We're still suffering from 1st birthday party toy overload and my son is almost 2.
:

This year we are going to Hawaii for his birthday and forgoing the party all together. Much easier this way. We will still have a cake a couple SMALL gifts for DS because he does love a birthday party!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by CryPixie83
This is exactly what I was afraid of for dd's 2nd birth earlier this month. What I did to nip the problem in the bud was to have the party away from home and just let everyone know that we wouldn't be opening gifts at the party. I gave several reasons so our materialistic family wouldn't be too offended.
1.) we were at the playground and didn't want anything to get lost
2.) there would be more than enough excitement with cake, family, and playing
3.) we want birthday parties to be a celebration centered around the birthday child and loved ones, not on getting "stuff"

I know that doesn't help you now, but it's an idea to save you future headache. For now, if there are any toys you don't think are appropriate (for whatever reason), pack them up and ship 'em out (consignment shop, goodwill, neighbor kids, whatever). Don't feel bad about it, it's just *stuff* and if it doesn't bring joy to your family then what place does it have in your home?

That's good advice and I wish I'd done it. I didn't spell out the points for my family, but we weren't even planning to have a party. Actually, we didn't even have a party. My brother's family came over (they live about an hour away) and my mom drove up and we went to the zoo. Then we came home and had lunch. Not because it was his birthday, but because everyone has to eat! Then my brother and his family left before we opened any gifts. When dh was upstairs working later that evening my mom and I sat with ds and opened the gifts.

Oh well. What's done is done. I know I can talk to my materialistic family about this. I was just taken by surprise about the whole thing yesterday!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by SiValleySteph
We're still suffering from 1st birthday party toy overload and my son is almost 2.
:

This year we are going to Hawaii for his birthday and forgoing the party all together. Much easier this way. We will still have a cake a couple SMALL gifts for DS because he does love a birthday party!
Hawaii! Now that would solve my problem!
 

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You could tell them that you are rotating toys so that ds doesn't get overwhelmed if they notice their gifts aren't around. At least toys for 1 yo don't stay age appropriate for long so you'll be able to get rid of them all relatively soon. Just make sure you address the issue before the next occassion. It's great when you can get everyone to buy components of some kind of set, like trains or Woody Click.
http://www.constructiontoys.com/store/tcs-wdc-main.php
My ds got his first wooden train set for his 2nd birthday.
 

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I am kind of on the fence about the topic of gifts that are not appreciated by me. On the one hand, I would love for my child to only have beautiful cloth and wood toys but on the other hand, I think it is rude to dictate too much what others can buy as a gift. I have sent some toys to Goodwill, especially the ones my grandmother sends. They are often inappropriate for her age or they are used and a bit yucky or they are just weird. But, my grandmother lives in another state and only sees us once a year and forgets half of what she has sent us. So, there is no fear of offending her if we don't have the toys out. But, I do think it is rude to dictate too much what your friends and family can give to your child as a gift. It is appropriate to make mention that "we prefer non-plastic toys" but after that, you should be gracious about gifts. Especially if these gift givers come to the house, you should not give the gifts away. I could see not replacing the batteries when the run out (you could say to friend or family member that you oppose batteries since they are a waste of money and resources) but it would be rude to not have them there at all. What if they came to your house and asked "where is the toy I bought him?" I know it is frustrating to have plastic and loud toys in your home, but we cannot control others. And, we also cannot control which toys our children like best. Yours may enjoy playing with those toys.

It may be materialistic and overtly consumptive to buy lots of plastic toys for a child. But, it is selfish and insensitive to give them all away like they have the plague. If you were in my family or were my friend and I found out that you were giving away the gifts I gave you, I would not only stop giving you gifts, but I would no longer come to the parties or be your friend because your attitude would hurt my feelings.

If you really want no plastic toys, just mention that to the friends and family members now and then, particularly when it is gift time. But, if they still give you plastic toys, just smile and say thank you.
 

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Something that has worked well is to pick something cool and expensive and ask people to contribute to the set.

we have gotten leap pads for all the girls, wooden train sets with thomas trains and a gerat wooden doll house.

SIL has gotten Thomas trains and tracks, and a great wooden barn full of Shielig (sp?) animals.

this is a system that works well in our family. there are always peices in everyones price range and yet enough stuff to choose from that they still get to make a choice that reflects thier personality.

but also i am not saying they have to get that and I am not petty over what they get. it may not have been something I chose but there are very few toys I put the absolute kibosh on and I don't have to worry about family getting those because they are equally repulsed. otherwie my kids are old enough that I know they will play with stuff for a little while and tire of it. or just not care about it and it wil get broken. whatever, if it isn't a great gift it will be ut the dor one way or another soon enough.
 

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I'm fortunate, as the only person who generally buys me gifts that aren't my thing is my sister. Since she's usually too broke to buy anything, we don't end up with many gifts we don't like.

DS2 was one yesterday. We're having his party on the 6th. I'm going to tell people that we can use clothes, as he doesn't have much summer stuff, and we're going on vacation on the 9th. If I get the clothes, that's great. If not, it's not a huge deal.

Everyone in my family tends to ask what our kids would like (and vice versa), partly because we don't want to duplicate things the kids already have, and partly because even close friends and family aren't always aware of the children's latest interests. (For example, ds2 just started "stacking" two days ago. I'm going to tell people that we'd love blocks for him.) Maybe that's the way to go...just try to stress that your son is interested in colouring/stacking/music/pouring/whatever, and would like gifts that fit into that?

DD just turned three in May. My dad gave her a colouring book, a box of crayons, a pad of construction paper and a pair of border scissors (the ones that cut a pattern around the edge of the paper). I think that was her favourite gift.
 
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