Author Topic: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins  (Read 7963 times)

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blarg314

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2013, 09:54:19 PM »
I think what I would do is this year, pre-emptively have the chat with the offenders - "Aunt X, the boys are old enough now that they notice when their siblings each get their own gift, but they have to share a single one. We're trying hard to make sure that they are regarded as individuals, not just "the twins", and it would mean a lot if you could help us with that."

Then, if possible, check the gifts in advance. If they show up again with separate gifts for the singletons, and a single gift for the twins, then the gifts get tucked away and not opened on Christmas, and the request for the *next* year is no gifts.

ie, start with the assumption that it's a thoughtless mistake, and give them a chance to correct it. If they refuse to do so, then stronger measures are taken.

Bluenomi

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2013, 10:01:21 PM »
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!

miranova

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2013, 10:01:55 PM »
I have identical twin stepsons.  Even their grandparents can't always tell them apart, and no one (including us) can tell them apart from the back, unless they are speaking because their voices are just a bit different.  At age 7, they still insist on sleeping in the same bed (even though they have bunks) and do everything together and want matching clothes.  When they were babies, they had their own language that only they could understand.  They are as alike as 2 people can be.  However, even with all of this sameness, I don't think I'd be able to hold back my shock if someone gave them ONE shirt.  It was bad enough when their preschool teachers couldn't remember which one of them had misbehaved or wanted to do a combined parent teacher conference for both of them (I suspect because they just couldn't differentiate or remember who did what) but a joint present that can't possibly be used together would put me over the edge.

cabbagegirl28

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2013, 10:08:22 PM »
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!

Exactly!


"To study and practice the goodness of life, the beauty of art, the meaning of music...To speak the words that build, that bless and comfort...And again, to practice./This is to be our symphony."

kareng57

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2013, 11:17:42 PM »
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?


If you wouldn't give a to-be-shared gift to the other kids in the family - then please, do not give one to the twin siblings.  They are individuals, and - whether or not they have similar tastes - they should not be expected to frequently share the same toys at the same time.  Your reference to "purgatory" seems to be rather P/A.

Of course I'm not talking about something like a board game, where presumably several siblings and/or parents would be using it at the same time.  But if you're giving Martha a doll, Stevie a model airplane, and the twins Timmy and Tommy get a Lego kit to share - uh-uh.  Twins already have to share a birthday and shouldn't be forced to share everything else.  It really doesn't take a lot of mental energy to think of an appropriate gift for each of them - or, at least ask the parents.

MommyPenguin

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2013, 11:47:07 PM »
I have two nephews with birthdays within two weeks of each other, although they're 3 years apart.  Several times for their birthday or Christmas, we've bought them a large LEGO set to share.  It's not because they don't warrant separate presents, it's because a) they like LEGOs, and b) we like LEGOs, so we enjoy giving them, and c) they would never get to get these large sets if it weren't for the possibility of a combined present, because we simply can't justify spending $70 on a birthday gift for one kid.  So we (and they) would be forever trapped with the $30-35 LEGOs.  Which are cool, but if you can look at the $60-70 range *and* know where to find the best deals (which we do), you can get a really great LEGO set, with the caveat that it's a shared present.

So it's definitely something that people sometimes do with non-twins.  In this case, it's because their birthdays are close enough that the present doesn't have to be too far in advance of one birthday or late for another.  There's always Christmas, of course, and I don't remember but we may have done it for Christmas once before.  From what I hear from my parents-in-law (the grandparents), the boys think that we are the coolest because we get them the awesome, out-of-normal-price-range LEGO sets.

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.

TheaterDiva1

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2013, 12:13:55 AM »
One thing mom with twins can do if talk about each kid's separate interests in conversation. "Jane's really into science these days... Jill loves painting and art!" 

scotcat60

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2013, 07:09:45 AM »
Even when I found out that there were twins and that one of them is a girl but we weren't able to find out before birth about the second baby, the second girl's name would sound like a reasonable choice for a sibling, but not overly 'matchy'

I read of twin girls who were called Amy and May.

As for the rest, all children are individuals, and should be treated so. O.K. so give the same sort of toy car or doll to children in case there is a dispute about "Why has he /she got one and I haven't?" but that is still giving one each and not expecting them to share. Sharing a T-Shirt? What curious thinking.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 07:13:41 AM by scotcat60 »

Yvaine

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2013, 07:51:18 AM »
Even when I found out that there were twins and that one of them is a girl but we weren't able to find out before birth about the second baby, the second girl's name would sound like a reasonable choice for a sibling, but not overly 'matchy'

I read of twin girls who were called Amy and May.

I went to school with a Tanya and Tonya.

Knitterly

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2013, 08:07:04 AM »
I have two nephews with birthdays within two weeks of each other, although they're 3 years apart.  Several times for their birthday or Christmas, we've bought them a large LEGO set to share.  It's not because they don't warrant separate presents, it's because a) they like LEGOs, and b) we like LEGOs, so we enjoy giving them, and c) they would never get to get these large sets if it weren't for the possibility of a combined present, because we simply can't justify spending $70 on a birthday gift for one kid.  So we (and they) would be forever trapped with the $30-35 LEGOs.  Which are cool, but if you can look at the $60-70 range *and* know where to find the best deals (which we do), you can get a really great LEGO set, with the caveat that it's a shared present.

So it's definitely something that people sometimes do with non-twins.  In this case, it's because their birthdays are close enough that the present doesn't have to be too far in advance of one birthday or late for another.  There's always Christmas, of course, and I don't remember but we may have done it for Christmas once before.  From what I hear from my parents-in-law (the grandparents), the boys think that we are the coolest because we get them the awesome, out-of-normal-price-range LEGO sets.

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.

I have a multitude of siblings.  Some years, money was quite tight, and our parents would get a shared "family" gift - something like a movie bundle or board game.  This is something truly shareable.

I wonder whether it might be easiest to suggest a group gift for all four children from those who have previously offended.  Something like a movie or a game.  Something that can really truly be shared by ALL the kids.

FlyingBaconMouse

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2013, 02:00:53 PM »
I'm just so flabbergasted that people do this! Even the branch of my family I sarcastically compare to The Borg treated their twin children like two people! (Two people they didn't really want thinking for themselves very much, but still, two people.)
I don't kill threads, but I do seem to stun 'em pretty good. :-)

johelenc1

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #41 on: December 06, 2013, 09:04:39 PM »
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. 

Erich L-ster

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #42 on: December 06, 2013, 10:21:23 PM »
The gift of the shared t-shirt or personal item meant for a single person is a cruelty toward the twins, however small and possibly unintentional. I think the prevention of gifting children with a bad experience trumps the rule about not mentioning gifts. Why continually allow the kids' feelings to be hurt on Christmas and birthdays? The repeat offenders need a straightforward talking to.

DoubleTrouble

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #43 on: December 07, 2013, 08:29:50 PM »
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!

MommyPenguin

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Re: Dear Abby, Christmas with twins
« Reply #44 on: December 07, 2013, 09:18:37 PM »
I think it's pretty similar for kids who aren't twins but are close enough to share interests, in that after the first few days, the toys generally get shared and nobody knows who they were for originally.  I find that tends to be the case, with the rare exception of a special toy that one kid really gloms onto.  But most of the toys, unless they are really age-specific (only my oldest uses the woodworking kit, only the toddler plays with the Elmo stuff), just get played with by everybody.

I love the King Solomon comparison.  :)