How many gifts should a child get for Christmas? This is a question many parents and parents-t0-be ask themselves. This is a very personal decision for parents and there are many factors to look at when deciding what to put under the Christmas tree.
The most important thing to remember when you are trying to decide how many gifts your child should get for Christmas is that once you set a precedent it will be hard to make a change later.
If you start off giving your children 10 gifts for Christmas and a few years later decide that 10 gifts are too many, it will be very disappointing for the children to get up Christmas morning to only 3 gifts. You may have some very sad faces and a lot of questions.
It is better to think through the different scenarios and make an educated decision on how many gifts should a child get for Christmas so you don’t have regrets later!
HOW MANY GIFTS SHOULD A CHILD GET FOR CHRISTMAS?
There is no one right answer to this question. It is going to depend on many different factors.
Some parents base their gift-giving on how things were done when they were children. My mother gave us a LOT of gifts for Christmas because her family didn’t have a lot of money and she got very FEW gifts as a child.
I have given my children a LOT of gifts for Christmas because I received a lot of gifts as a child and had such magical Christmas mornings each year. My goal was to do the same for my kids as was done for me.
Other parents will research gift-giving based on psychology and how gifts can affect children.
Spiritual beliefs play a role in the decision-making process for other parents.
Available funds will ultimately make the decision for some families because if money is scarce it is hard to give a large number of gifts.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE GIVING YOUR CHILD GIFTS
If I could go back in time I would ask myself some important questions and honestly, I would do Christmas a little differently then I have for the past 22 years.
These questions will allow you to look ahead and plan for the unexpected!
- How many children do you have or plan to have? It is easier to buy 10 gifts for one child, but if you have 2, 3, 4 or more children it will become very costly fast.
- What is your budget for gift-giving? If you are able to stick to a gift-giving budget and save year-round then you can base your gifts on the budget you set. If budgeting is difficult for you this could be an issue in the coming years.
- Do your spiritual or religious beliefs play a role in gift-giving?
- Are you a parent who believes strictly in equality among your children? If so, take this into account when planning the gifts. Each child will need to have the same amount spent on them and receive the same number of gifts.
- What message are you sending with the gifts you are giving to your children? Many parents worry if they give too many gifts they are sending their child a message that Christmas is only about material goods.
- Am I taking into account inflation and the continued rise in the cost of gifts as children age? It is cheap to buy 8 gifts for a toddler, but 8 gifts for a teenager will cost a lot more!
- Will my family be doing “Santa”? If so, how many gifts will Santa bring my children and how many gifts will I be giving my children?
- Do we have a lot of extended families who will also be giving my children a lot of gifts each year? If this is the case it can lead to an overload of “stuff” for your kids and you may want to scale back a little on what you buy.
- Will you give a gift on Christmas Eve as well as gifts on Christmas morning?
GIFT-GIVING IDEAS FOR PARENTS
Now that you have looked over these questions it is time to start deciding how to proceed. Remember, you will find no judgment from me on how you choose to do Christmas at your house. I am hoping to help you solve any questions you may have and find the best path that works for your family!
Some families have “solved” the question of how many gifts should a child get for Christmas by setting up a hard and fast rule from the get-go! Here are some examples of gift-giving ideas for parents:
- 3 Gift Christmas: The 3 gift Christmas rule is based on the fact that the wise men in the Bible brought baby Jesus 3 gifts. Some parents decide to give their children 3 gifts each year for Christmas. It could be any 3 gifts you choose or some parents do a theme for each gift. One gift is based on something the child wants, one gift is something spiritual and the last gift is something for their body such as clothing.
- 4 Gift Rule: The 4 Gift Rule for Christmas is obviously giving 4 gifts to your children. This is very straight forward. Each child receives something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. I have seen a lot more people doing the 4 gift rule in recent years.
- 5 Gift Rule: Yes, there is also a 5 gift rule, LOL. The 5 Gift Rule for Christmas is almost identical to the 4 gift rule except it adds one more gift to the list. The last gift is something that the child hasn’t asked for, but is something you know they will love. It is basically a total surprise gift.
- Santa Gifts: When Santa visits and drops off his gifts it is different in every home. Santa may bring one big gift to each child. He may bring one small gift and fill the stockings for each child. It is important to decide what Santa will bring and what the parents will be giving. It is hard to change up Santa gifts later so decide how you want to do it when the kids are very young!
- Go Big or Go Home Rule: I admit that I go overboard at Christmas time. My parents made Christmas magical for me and my goal has been to do the same for my kids. I am not a parent who buys my child toys throughout the year and I don’t feel bad for going all out at Christmas time.
HOW TO CHANGE HOW YOU DO CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR KIDS
Let’s talk for a minute about what you can do if you want or need to make a change in how you do Christmas gifts for your children.
It happens. Life happens and sometimes our best-laid plans have to be ditched and reworked.
Over the years I have made some gradual changes to how I do Christmas morning. I used to have Santa bring almost all the gifts and my husband and I only gave the kids one or two gifts.
I came to realize that I didn’t want Santa to be getting all the credit, LOL. So I gradually began to decrease the number of gifts that Santa brings down to 3 plus the stockings. I did this over the course of 2 years so it wasn’t a big change in one year.
If you have the time and resources to make a change gradually that would be my recommendation. Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to do a gradual change in gift-giving.
If you cannot give the number of gifts you normally do and your children are older then I would talk to them about the reality of life and the changes that have to happen. Hopefully, they will understand and be graceful about it.
If the children are younger my advice would be to buy less expensive gifts and wrap even small gifts. Children love to open gifts even if they are small and inexpensive. Younger children will probably not notice any change at all!
REMEMBER THE MEMORIES MATTER
I hope you aren’t going to stress about how many gifts your child should get for Christmas and forget about all the fun memories you can be making.
Kids will look back on the Christmas family traditions and the love they felt during the holiday season just as much if not more than on the gifts they received.
Leave me a comment and let me know how many gifts you plan to give your kids for Christmas and why!
Don’t forget to PIN this for later!