A a few ideas to limit the gifts without dampening the spirits...
We want to spoil our children and loved ones with gifts and that’s normal. Sometimes we even find it hard to make the selection “Oh look at that doll!!! Isn’t she beautiful? She would love that!” or “It would make him soooo happy!!!”. That’s a normal reaction. And the rest of the family wants to spoil them too. Our little elves are submerged with gifts and suddenly, we realize that they have so many that they probably won’t appreciate them as much and won’t realize the kind gesture that it represents. Isn’t the Christmas magic about getting that special gift that you wanted so much? If our children have too many gifts, will they even experience the eagerness? Probably not if they are sure to receive everything that was in the flyer.
There also is, in some families, a gift race of who is going to give the biggest gift and spend the most. When you see that your families and friends are giving in to that frenzy, try to step back for a minute and think about the meaning of the gifts.
- Is it a way to compensate for something?
- Why do we spoil our children so much?
- Is it to make them happy?
- Is it to be like everybody else?
- Do we just feel like we have to?
So here are 8 good ideas to slightly decrease the number of gifts under the tree, without ruining the Christmas atmosphere.
- For every child, mom chooses a gift, dad chooses a gift and they choose the biggest one together. The nature of the gift is related to their bond with the child.
- We set an equal amount of money for every child according to our budget. If we usually give more, we use the “spare” money to go to the cinema, skiing or to the restaurant.
- Ask the other members of the family to offer only one gift or give them a limit. Do they want to give more? Ask them to put it in the child’s REEE (registered education savings plan) or in their bank account.
- When you suggest a gift, suggest a family activity (Theater, shows, plays, hockey games, zoo…).
- A magazine subscription is a gift that is received throughout the year. It is a fabulous way to make them read and kids love to receive mail!
- A gift card! No, it is not a last-minute gift! For the child who receives it, it is a great opportunity to choose what they really want… and not necessarily on December 27th! Buying with a budget in mind is a great lesson to be learned.
- “Happiness coupons!” Offer time and privileges for your child. Does it seem ridiculous? It is not, you’ll see! Make little coupons “An hour alone with you: you choose the activity”, “Your favorite dinner”, “We rent a movie or a video game tonight”, “Hot chocolate coupon”, “A massage before bed”, etc. You can even give that gift to many members of the family.
- If your children already receive so many gifts that you don’t know what to give anymore, you can invest the money that you did not use and rent a cabin for a weekend, a massage for everyone, a ski weekend, etc. When comes the time to use the gift, in February for example, you can bring something Christmassy to remember where the gift came from.
Motherforlife.com is listening! We want to know your little secrets, your ideas and your tips to avoid a gift avalanche in your home! Write us. We want to hear from you!