I’m going to be an uncle in July. Although I have two nephews, I “inherited” them when I married my wife.
The way we generally give presents is to buy things separately for our own families. This method seems to result in fewer arguments over spending more or less than we think the other should spend (I’ll let the readers figure out what that means 🙂 ). So, this new little one will be my responsibility to buy for. My issue – what do I buy? I find a lot of baby stuff to be unpractical, such as toys and clothes (no matter how much fun it would be to put the child into a ridiculous outfit) that will be grown out of rapidly and then be useless. I see so much stuff being given to babies that is either barely worn or used and is either added to a stash in the basement or given away. So, I think I have come up with a plan for gift giving for the new little one on the way:
For when he/she is small: I think I will talk to my brother and find out what he really needs right at the moment rather than buying things that really aren’t needed. I would much rather buy practical things such as diapers, food or other needed supplies rather than the previously mentioned toys and clothes that seem to be popular items. The way I see it, the small person doesn’t know what they’re getting, and really doesn’t need anything at this age anyways.
For when he/she is older: My wife’s nephews are this age now and really really like to get toys. It drives me crazy on Christmas and birthdays to see the amount of “stuff” (crap) that they get – it just seems so wasteful. I am not really a Grinch, and I really don’t mind giving presents to kids, it just seems so useless to add to a massive pile. I think once my new niece or nephew is old enough, I’ll probably end up getting them something small and putting a portion of money in a savings account for the child to use at some point in the future. I would feel better knowing that I am not adding to a pile of stuff during holidays, and also knowing that at some point I can help my niece or nephew with something they perhaps really want or need.
At the end of most holidays people have basically just traded money around in the form of goods and the only people that really win are retailers. I have been told (by my extremely patient wife) that I am not allowed to negotiate a no present holiday because people don’t look at things the same way I do and it would be rude to impose my views for holidays and birthdays.
So, this is what I decided to do. Do you spoil your nieces and nephews? If not, what do you do?