Fri 28 Dec 2012
Whether you are buying gifts for twins or super-twins (triplets, or higher order multiples) or buying gifts to be given from twins to someone else, questions abound about twins and gifting. Parents of twins pretty quickly determine their own twin gifting philosophy, and it is often times those that are not in the immediate family that struggle with what to do. Those outside the family should not be shy about asking the parents for advice to understand the family’s general twin gifting philosophy.
Gifts for twins
Many questions arise when buying gifts for twins.
- How can we make sure it is fair?
- How can we make sure they don’t fight over the gifts?
- My child is friends with only one of the twins, are we expected to give gifts to both children?
Same / Same
Probably the easiest (and most common) philosophy when buying gifts for twins is to simply buy the exact same gift for each twin. This philosophy minimizes the fighting over the object as well as minimizing the comparison in value between different gifts. On the downside, buying 2 (or more) of the same thing sometimes feels wasteful. Gift givers often find themselves asking, “if we bought different gifts and they shared, they would get twice as many things.”
A variation on this philosophy is to buy two of the same thing in a slightly different pattern, color, or style. Twin parents often associate a specific color with each twin when they are young, and not surprisingly, these colors often evolve into the child’s favorite color as they get a little bit older.
Many twin parents feel very strongly that, as individuals, twins should be given individual gifts. This philosophy supports the individualism of twins and holds that each child should be treated separately — as they would be if they were born on different days.
Often the gift givers strive to ensure the gifts are of the same perceived value. This can provide more variety, and, if the twins are good at sharing, can double the number of unique gifts received by the twins. The critical point here is that “same perceived value” part. As can be expected, different gifts, even when the exact same dollar amount in purchase, can sometimes be perceived to be of different value by the receivers.
One Big Gift to Share
The third philosophy is to buy one larger gift that the children will share. This allows the buyer to pool the money they would have spent on individual gifts to buy a gift that might have been out of their price range had then been buying separate gifts. This method works really well for kids that share really well.
A Gift for just One
A very common question among those invited to a twins party is asked when the child invited is friends with just one of the twins. Is that child expected to buy a gift for both twins? Again, there is no “right” answer. But many parents of twins will say, “no”. You are not expected to buy a gift for both twins, when your child is a friend of only one of the twins. Understandably, it gets a bit stickier when your child is a good friend of one of the twins and more of a casual friend with the other. Each family will have to decide how they want to handle this. Just remember, there isn’t a “right” answer or expected norm. So, whatever you decide to do, you won’t be breaking the unwritten “twin code”.
Gifts from Twins
If you are a parent of twins (triplets, or more), and are buying gifts to be given from your twins to another child, many of the same questions exist, but in reverse. Should I buy one large give from both of my twins? or smaller individual gifts from each twin? Again, parents tend to choose the philosophy with which they are most comfortable. Interestingly, many parents feel very strongly about their particular philosophy, although clearly this is a matter of opinion and we hope by laying out the options we can help you weigh the considerations to make the decision that is right for you and your family.
Two Individual Gifts
Supporting the individualism of the twins, often twin parents feel it is important for their twins to each give their own gift. Another aspect of this philosophy holds that every other child invited to the party will be bringing their own gifts, and it should be no different for twins.
One Big Gift
Twin parents sometimes enjoy pooling the money they would have spent on buying individual gifts for each of their twins to give, into a more expensive item than they would have otherwise been able to afford to give. Along with this method, parents sometimes will have their twins each pick out small accessory items to go with the main item — so that they can feel more connected to the gift.
In addition to questions about how many gifts — there are many questions around invitations to parties for twins, and from twins. But that is a subject for another day.
Hopefully you weren’t expecting us to tell you the right thing to do — you’ll have to make up your own mind about that. In all the years of fielding questions from parents of twins and from those without twins, we have heard many opinions — and there doesn’t really seem to be an overall consensus about what is the “right” way to do it. You’re on your own on that one.
So… please leave us a comment to let us know your philosophy about gift giving and twins. What is your “right” way?