Children are expensive little items to say the least but this becomes more obvious at Christmas time. It’s not just buying your children gifts, you have to start buying their friends as well. My daughter has made friends with a few girls in her class and last night I found myself running out in the wind and rain for some late night shopping for a bunch of pre-teens that I’ve never meet. The end result was a shower gel set each which I’m sure they will probably hate. In a way I don’t mind doing this, to be honest I’m just glad my daughter made friends, but it was the expectations of my daughter that were the problem. I have never meet these girls but my daughter wanted me to spend a small fortune on stuff. Earrings, phone covers, sweets, and that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Christmas is not the only time. From children start to socialise and make friends, your money will start to bleed from your purse like it’s been attacked, repeatly. Birthdays are a horrible one when every parent seems to compete to get the birthday boy/girl the best gift. And most of the time, what is handed over is crap that said child will never use. It’s a sad truth that your hard earned money will go down the toilet on presents that no-one wants but in these situations you can’t not buy a gift. And it always has to be something “fun”. No child wants clothes from their friends, money as a gift screams “this parent has no time/imagination”, and useful things are not an option. But why not? There is a scene in Mermaids, the classic 80’s movie with Cher, when she hands out toothpaste and toothbrushes instead of sweets at Halloween, what an awesome idea! Why can’t we all give kids useful presents? I’m not saying that I should have gotten my daughters friends a box of tampons each….or maybe I should have? Let’s face it, getting that for Christmas would always stick in their minds.
In the end, I talked my daughter round to seeing things my way, which was “my money, I choose”. Like I said, I don’t mind buying a small gift for each if her friends but I refuse to buy them something expensive at every birthday and holiday. That’s just not happening. For now, she’s happy enough with what I picked out but you would be too if I had threatened you with a box of tampons as a Christmas present too.