We are at the time of year when gift-giving is at it’s ultimate. Friends and family not only struggle with what to buy Twins but even the correct etiquette surrounding presents. Alison, our Philadelphia associate provides tips with the help of her ‘tween twins’.
My daughters were born just four days after Christmas so gift giving is a hot topic for us this time of year. I sat down with my almost 10 year old twin girls, Alice & Rita, to find out what they wish others knew about giving gifts to twins.
Twins each would like their own presents
It’s so easy to think, “same exact age, same gender, one gift is good since they’ll be playing together anyway.” My girls agreed that they like when they each receive separate gifts because it’s hard to share. As a parent, this drives me nuts sometimes. They both have the same taste in books. Why can’t books be shared? But I respect their feelings so we tend to give them different books in the same series and then they have the fun of “borrowing” from their sister. Alice added that she likes being able to unwrap her own gifts.
Sometimes it’s ok for Twins to share
They did add that sometimes it’s okay to give one gift for them to share. Their examples were some of the “big ticket” items they’ve received over the years like their dollhouse and their video game system. They pointed out that if it’s something that’s meant for two people to play with together that it’s probably okay, especially if it’s big enough that they can both unwrap it together.
Twins don’t always need the exact same gift
Alice pointed out that even though they are twins, they have different opinions. For instance, her sister is a huge Frozen fan and Alice isn’t. (I know! I can’t believe they’re twins either) They also have different favorite colors, style, and favorite characters. A purple Elsa t-shirt is only going to be a hit with one of them.
Try and get the same category of gifts for each
Rita blurted this one out at almost the exact time that Alice was sharing #3. She wants people to know that there are times when it’s good for each of them to have the same toy. When they were younger and both were in LOVE with Princess Jasmine, it was great that they each had the exact same doll. Rita said that it’s hard to share and having her own was important to her. She did agree with her sister that it was nice when they would get the same type of doll but different versions.
Mom note: I partially attribute the conflicting views for #3 vs. #4 to their age. When they were toddlers/preschoolers it was helpful for them to have two of the same toy. If one toddler was playing with a really neat toy, you could guarantee that the other one was going to want it at the exact. same. time. As they’ve gotten older they’ve developed their own styles and opinions. I think Alice was trying to say that she appreciates when people get to know her as an individual instead of assuming that she’ll like whatever her sister likes just because they are twins. Are there things they both love? Yes. Are there times when they are at complete opposite ends of the spectrum? Absolutely. The tough part is being aware of those differences. As their mom, I always appreciate when people ask what each of them like. I try to keep a running list so that we have plenty of ideas to share this time of year.
Presents that can’t be wrapped
Since their birthday is right after a major gift giving holiday, we also appreciate gifts that can’t be wrapped. Membership to the local children’s museum, movie tickets, and annual passes to the zoo are gifts that we can appreciate year round AND don’t take up space in our home.
Rita’s last piece of advice was that kids should say thank you even if they don’t really like something. (Glad that sunk in after nine Christmases and nine birthdays!) Know that whatever you choose to give will be appreciated so don’t overthink your purchase. As a mom, I appreciate anytime someone cares enough about my children to give them a present. Happy shopping!