It may seem counter intuitive, but giving your child less for Christmas can actually help to guarantee that they will enjoy what they do get more. Huge amounts of presents can overwhelm kids – especially very young kids – and make it hard for them to remember what they got and be thankful for it. In fact, when kids get so many presents, they may not even be able to get to all of them. What exactly does this accomplish?
Four Gift Rule
To keep gift giving simple and enjoyable, some parents have opted to try the four gift rule. In the four gift rule, parents give children one thing they want, one thing they need, one thing to wear, and one thing to read. Doing things this way lets kids know right off the bat that they will not be receiving the 30 toys they listed in their wish list. It may help kids to narrow down their list to a few things that they really want and may make them think about what will last longer and be enjoyable for a few months to come, rather than just for a few moments on Christmas.
Setting Amounts of Gifts
If the four gift rule is too restrictive or if you do not wish to play by those rules exactly, it may be more realistic for your family to simply set a limit for the number of gifts that each child will receive. This can let kids know what to expect in advance so that they are not disappointed and so that they can maximize their enjoyment by picking the best of the best to put on their wish list.
Consider Outings Instead of Gifts
Experiences can be memories that last a lifetime. Adventurous children may appreciate a wonderful dinner out or a trip to the local theme park more than some tangible gifts. Ask your child if they would rather have an outing during their Christmas break than one of their big gifts, and make it happen if they show excitement.