I have a small issue that I am currently wrestling with, and wondered if any of you could help. It is about giving birthday and Christmas gifts to the children of my friends.
Basically, I have noticed that there is a trend for children these days to have huge birthday parties, however old they are, where 20+ children are invited. Each child is expected to bring a gift, and then all the gifts are opened at the party. There does seem to be a certain level of gift that is expected to be given.
Now, we do not have the finances to purchase £10-£15 gifts for each and every child, and then for their parents at their birthdays too, but yet I don't want Ruth and Benjamin to feel embarrassed by the gifts that they give because they are not as expensive as the gifts of their friends.
I struggle to give presents to children who already have more toys than they will ever play with,( and ooh look at that, having a party with lots of people coming to get even more presents) who never say thank you (and the parents don't say thank you either), and I have never seen any evidence of our gift being used or appreciated. I certainly don't want to be spending a lot of money on gifts when they are looked at, put down and forgotten about. I would much rather spend that money on my own children!
I feel slightly guilty about feeling this way since the gifts that our children are given are usually incredibly generous. But I have a budget, and I would rather that my children didn't have to go without in order to give other children things that they can't have!
Am I wrong to feel this way, and what can I do about it?