In most houses, Christmas gifts for kids come from Santa. Right? But is this what we always do or should we be doing something different?
Christmas gifts are emotive - we all want our kids to have the most magical Christmas time ever. And for many of us that means showering them presents. Except it isn’t us that does the showering. It’s Father Christmas.
When I was a kid I remember wondering why my parents didn’t get me a Christmas present? After all, I gave presents (handmade!) to everyone in my family, distant or otherwise. And everyone got everyone else a present. So why didn’t they get me something?
Obviously now I get it! There was a reason and that was Father Christmas. The reality was that after they had bought a big ‘Santa’ present, there wasn’t much left over (and they probably figured I’d had enough!).
Why is this relevant now I’m a parent? Well, some kids will be like me and wonder why don’t their parents get them much and it’s the start of the end of the magic. However, there is an even more important (and sadder) question some kids will ask:
‘Why does Santa get some kids so much and others only a tiny thing or nothing at all?’
“Why does Tia get an iPad, talking doll, tennis racket and complete Lego Elves set and Sam only get a puzzle?” “Why is Father Christmas not fair?”
And that is not a nice thought to have. It is essential asking “Why are some kids more valued than others?”. For any child to be thinking that Santa places different values on different kids is a sad thought.
I believe that for a child to think that they are defined by where they live and who their parents are is fundamentally wrong.
Well, Father Christmas will definitely come to our house but…
We will share what Christmas gifts the kids get so that different people get the thank you.
We will encourage them to think about what they’d like and to ask for things using this ditty (it is similar to the four present rule some family’s already use).
All I Want For Christmas Checklist For Kids
Something I want,
Something I want to do,
Something I need,
Something to read,
Something to wear,
Something to share.
I’ve written a whole post about this poem and how we use it here.
Essentially it enables the kids to make their requests wisely. They are free to ask for as much as they want (but understand they may not get it all). They identify their most important items (and their ‘nice to have’) and they enable us to share the cost and the credit!
Most importantly however, Santa does not completely fill their lives. He is still a magical part of Christmas but he doesn’t fill the house.
The presents are carefully thought out and not overwhelming. And everything is loved. Christmas is about spending time as a family, family traditions, fun, food, games and laughter.
Maybe parents with more 'disposable' income have more responsibility here to make sure their kids don’t feel over entitled or maybe the average amount spent per child at Christmas actually averages out, I’m not sure (it would be interesting to find out!).
But I do know that this Christmas my kids will be a getting a stocking (or sack!) with a few wanted presents from Santa (and the classic satsuma, nuts and chocolate) and other presents from mum and dad!
How will you be spending yours?
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