Last year, Christmas shopping seemed easier. My twins played with the same toys and were at similar developmental stages, so buying gifts was no big deal. We just walked up and down the aisles and picked stuff that looked fun (and not too annoying for us).
This year, I’m struggling. The kids turn 2 just a few days before Christmas and I can’t decide if we should get them the same things, mix it up a little or get completely different gifts for each of them.
The debate in my head goes like this:
If we get them the same things, there MIGHT be less fighting over a “favorite” item. But that seems like we’re ignoring their individuality and treating them like “a package deal.” They are not the same gender, so we can shop both sides of the toy store. And besides, what are the chances of less fighting?
If we mix it up and get them some of the same things, such as a school bus, which is all the rage at our house right now, we could still curb the fighting. And by getting them some individual gifts, we’re not treating them like a set of salt and pepper shakers. I think I like this option best.
Buying them completely different gifts doesn’t seem plausible to me. They do have similar interests, especially when it comes to Elmo and school busses, so why not give them each their own toy to enjoy? Again, fewer fights are a very appealing thought. It’s probably more of a dream, but ‘tis the season and I like to keep my hopes up.
Another struggle I’m having is if we should buy-in to gender roles. Do we get our daughter princess stuff before she asks for it? What about our son? All cars, trucks and trains this year? If that’s what they want, then I’m happy to find the least annoying item possible, but I don’t want to paint them into a “boy” or “girl” role. I just want them to have fun and not fight over toys.
Sigh. What’s a mom to do? Maybe I’ll make my Christmas wish list. Do you think asking for a few hours of no fighting over toys is asking too much?
—Rebecca Calappi, Publications Coordinator at Beaumont Health System and adoptive parent of multiples