Author Topic: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins  (Read 7977 times)

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Knitterly

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Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« on: December 05, 2013, 09:37:32 AM »
Today's Dear Abby has an interesting situation.
http://www.uexpress.com/dearabby/?uc_full_date=20131205

To sum up, the writer has four children, including a set of twins.  Gifts are give to the two older children individually, but one gift is given to the twins to share.  The most egregious example given was one t-shirt for the twins to share.

The writer wants to know how she can encourage family to give each twin their own separate gift as they are as individual as her older two children.

Abby's response was that it's not greedy to tell them that if they cannot afford to give each child a gift, it would be better to give nothing at all.  But I could see this not actually working, since clearly the gift givers see the twins as one person.

Thoughts?

How would one phrase such a request?

123sandy

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2013, 09:56:10 AM »
I could maybe see giving them a game or such like to share, but a tee-shirt?!?!

I'm not sure what I'd do in the same situation, I'd like to think I could be up front to my family though. My youngest brothers birthday is the 29th of December and oftener than not he was told gifts were for Christmas and his birthday too... :(

Cz. Burrito

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2013, 09:56:34 AM »
I can't think of a good way to phrase such a request.  I think I would be inclined to just request no gifts for the kids because that's an easier request to phrase.

Julsie

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 10:03:45 AM »
One t-shirt??  Who does that??

I can see when the twins are babies/toddlers them being given a big toy to share... a play kitchen or a bucket of Legos.  I can also see how as they get older that might start to bother them, since they might like to be seen as individuals.

But one shirt??

cabbagegirl28

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2013, 10:04:50 AM »
Today's Dear Abby has an interesting situation.
http://www.uexpress.com/dearabby/?uc_full_date=20131205

To sum up, the writer has four children, including a set of twins.  Gifts are give to the two older children individually, but one gift is given to the twins to share.  The most egregious example given was one t-shirt for the twins to share.

The writer wants to know how she can encourage family to give each twin their own separate gift as they are as individual as her older two children.

Abby's response was that it's not greedy to tell them that if they cannot afford to give each child a gift, it would be better to give nothing at all.  But I could see this not actually working, since clearly the gift givers see the twins as one person.

Thoughts?

How would one phrase such a request?

As someone who is a twin, I would say, "I understand that it's easy to think of Sally and Molly (making up names) as one unit because they were born to the same mom at the same time. However, they are separate people, and if you can't respect that by getting them separate gifts, don't give them gifts at all."

Luckily, nobody was ever that thoughtless to me and violinp. I would be okay with even a shared board game, because at least we can play the game together. But by about 6 or so, violinp and I had our own verrrry different personalities, and if someone had pulled that on us for long, one of us would have ended up hating the gift.


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metallicafan

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2013, 10:26:05 AM »
I really don't understand why twins would not each get a gift. One tee shirt? Really?
DH is godfather to one of a pair of twins, and we buy each girl a gift. 

Hmmmmm

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2013, 10:34:01 AM »
This is so odd. I've never heard of twins having to share a present like this. Maybe if they didn't have siblings who were receiving an individual gifts I could imagine an aunt giving a game to the boys to play together. But clothes?

I'd talk with the relatives who routinely do this. Maybe they feel they are spending $15 each on the other siblings but are buying a combined gift for the twins that is $30 so it's ok. But I think routinely doing that would still cause hurt feelings.

Pen^2

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2013, 10:49:12 AM »
I've known several siblings who've had similar things happen to them. It's thoughtless, I think, to treat someone as not a whole person, but as only part of one.

But it's such a basic thing (A and B are two people and should be thought of and treated as two people, not one), so it's hard to phrase without pointing out how rude the person has been being. Or, if they haven't done anything yet, it could sound accusatory when they were actually going to behave reasonably. I knew one pair of siblings who simply held separate birthday parties, as other siblings born close together might do, so it was implied that you'd bring a gift to each party for each kid. It would be kind of odd to only bring a gift to one, I guess. If the birthday was on a Wednesday, then one party would be on the preceeding weekend, and one on the following. This would work well with siblings who have very different personalities and wanted different parties (e.g. a princess sparkle party and a death metal party). The notion that twins should have the same party strikes me as odd when a family would have two separate parties if two other siblings happened to have the same birthday but were several years apart. But it wouldn't be feasible anyway for quads or anything--too many weekends.

I honestly can't think of any way to phrase a request that two people be treated like two people that doesn't sound passive-aggressive.

MindsEye

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2013, 10:52:38 AM »
I will admit that there are twins in my family, and I have been guilty of doing the "two-fer" present...  but it has always been things that they can use together or are made for sharing... board games, soccer set (ball, goal boxes, line markers), matchbox racing set, big box of dress-up costumes... stuff like that.  I suppose that I belong in ePurgatory for that.   But I would never have given them a single shirt or stuffed animal or whatever and told them to just share... 

Maybe the letter writer can request a big family gift, something all of the kids can share and use, and not individual presents anymore?

GlitterIsMyDrug

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2013, 11:06:35 AM »
When there is more then one kid I like to give a gift all the kids can share. Harder as they get older, but a board game for all four, or legos, or some art supplies. Something all the kids can play with. Then a smaller individual gift for each kid.

I think she could start mentioning how much Tom loves trains, and Tim is so into robots! I think people are seeing them as one unit, rather then two separate people. Start pointing out their differences. If someone asks what they kids want say "Well Jane is really into One Direction, and John is into skateboarding big time. Tom recently went to a train museum and just fell in to love with all the trains! I think he wants to be conductor, and you know Tim, that kid can't get enough of his robots!", no referring to the "the twins". They're separate.

I don't think it's rude to point out that all four kids have very different tastes and likes and dislikes. I'd also say something like "We know when Tim and Tom were younger it was easy to buy them a gift to share, but now that they're older they're really noticing they have to share everything while their older siblings get individualized gifts, it's causing some hurt feelings".

And a t-shirt?! One twin gets in Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the other Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and we rotate Sundays? Was that the plan?

*note: naming twins Tim and Tom is not recommend, typing this post was very difficult*

heartmug

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2013, 11:33:24 AM »
I do think she should speak up and ask that each child be treated as an individual, because they are, and a smaller present for each would be better.

My cousin had to ask her mom not to buy her twins matchy shirts every.single.year.  Both she and they were tired of it.  Luckily her and her mom are close and she took it well.
One option in a tug of war with someone is just to drop the rope.

shadowfox79

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2013, 11:38:48 AM »
I'd be inclined to give that relative one T-shirt between her and her husband. What's that line about being "of one flesh"...?

Honestly, who does that? I had friends who were twins and were sick and tired of getting identical presents when it wasn't appropriate, but I've never known anyone give one item of clothing between them. Twins aren't necessarily the same size, for one thing - if one's an 8 and one's a 10 that makes it a present for just one of them.

LadyJaneinMD

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2013, 11:45:37 AM »
Forget this whole business of discussing how *different* the boys are from each other.  They may be twins but they are TWO PEOPLE.  You give a present to EACH PERSON, even if they have identical tastes.   My sister had twin girls and it never even occurred to me to give them one present to share (unless, like other posters said, it was a game or a 'set' of something, like books).   That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.   The relative who does that is just plain cheap.
Are they going to share one college education?? One wife?  One car? (well, that might happen, but still...)
They are TWO PEOPLE.  TWO 8-year old people. 

nayberry

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2013, 11:55:55 AM »
if that was a gift to my fututre children and it was one item of clothing between two, i'd return it tot he sender with a polite note that there seems to ahve been a mixup with the childrens presents....

mime

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2013, 12:22:19 PM »
"Dear Auntie,
  Thank you so much for the T-shirt. The dinosaur picture on the front is so cool! We have already cut it in half so we can both use it. We'll have to flip a coin tonight to see who gets the front half with the left sleeve and who gets the back half with the right sleeve.
  Sincerely, Tommy and Timmy"

 :-\