I have twins and have no problem with gifts that are meant to be shared - like a game, box of legos, etc. One Christmas my mom got them this awesome giant horse that they could sit on. I would have NEVER wanted two of those! In fact, two of the same thing is just wasteful to me in most cases. I'm currently trying to convince my father and step-mother that they do not BOTH need a Leap Pad thingy (or one at all IMO).
However, "sharing" a t-shirt, one stuffed animal, one book, or something similar is just ridiculous.
Trust me on this one, if your father & step-mother are determined to get them a Leapster, let them get two. My guys have their own Leapsters but share games, it's is so much easier than just having one Leapster to fight over. Let them share the games which are expensive.
This is one thing I'm hoping to avoid with my twins though I suspect being boy/girl twins will help with that.
The only things twins should have to share us a uterus and a birthday. They are entitled to their own presents just like all the not twins out there!
You probably will avoid it, I was thinking of this thread today & I can honestly say my brother & I never did get joint gifts as our likes were divided down the gender lines. Plus you can't really get a boy a dress without someone making a fuss. Usually it's the boy in-question making the fuss because his twin sister got a dress & he didn't. Yes, there are pictures & yes, they are darn funny!
I think that shared presents can be okay. The caveat is that it should be something that can be shared, and it should be appropriate to the interests of both. And, ideally, it shouldn't be every time, unless you know that they really like it and don't mind sharing.
This, so much this. I know I've seen people bemoaning the number of gifts their kids get on birthdays, just imagine that doubled! I just about had a heart attack on the boys' first birthday with all the gifts they got, I never realized how much stuff two gifts from each family really meant.
I think as kids get older, it's more important to get only individual gifts (unless it's an expensive gift like an X-Box or a car
) but when they are younger, a fun joint gift that can be used by both is just fine. Yes they are individuals & yes my boys like different things but I really couldn't tell you which toy which twin got for Christmas last year (they were 4 yrs old then) other than their Leapsters which we put their names on right away. Speaking from personal experience, unless said gifts are radically different (like a doll & a car) the toys are all getting dumped into the same bin & shared. And even then that doll & car are going to get played with by both twins.
Twins should create their own identity but for a long time after birth, the sharing of toys as young children is one of those experiences unique to twins that really, really is not as bad as everyone says. When I was younger, I remember my parents always encouraging Bro & myself to be ourselves, independent of each other.
But then I had my own set of twins & I realized that this encouragement probably didn't start until Bro & I were able to express our likes/wants more independently. I've looked through old pictures & have noticed that we got a lot of the same gifts (i.e. the same thing in different colors) & that photos of us playing as young children show us playing with all the toys, no matter who got them.
I've also got a lot of friends with twins & it's the same deal, when the kiddos were young, all us twin moms just wanted toys that the kids could share that wouldn't take up huge amounts of space. When you've already got two cribs, two highchairs, two swings, two of everything that is really needed crammed into your house, it gets a bit hard to move around unless you have a huge house to handle all the stuff.
With siblings who are different ages, the differences in their likes/wants/needs are much more noticeable because they are at different developmental stages. But twins are (usually) at the same developmental stage & will like/use the same things for a long time; perhaps even longer as miranova stated her identical twin stepsons are doing. My boys are 5 now & are starting to develop their own interests which I have communicated to the primary gift givers (i.e. DS1 is more artistic while DS2 is more athletic). However, they are still so attached at the hip that if they got a joint gift (not a single t-shirt mind you!) they would be absolutely thrilled with it.
So please don't be upset with people who gift joint gifts to twins, provided they know the gifts are wanted & would be enjoyed by both children (I think all of the gifts MindsEye mentioned are fantastic joint gifts). Rather be upset with people who give a gift where the twins would have to go to King Solomon for a solution as to who gets it!