We all want to treat our children at Christmas. But each year, it’s becoming more and more difficult to know where to draw the line. Between the pressure of keeping up with the Jones’ and teaching our children the value of money, we find ourselves reeling at the question – how much do children need from Santa? To help you debunk this Christmas conundrum, we will explore the benefits of giving fewer gifts to ensure that this festive season is full of gratitude (not greed).
What are the benefits of having fewer toys?
We’ve all heard the saying less is more. But for some reason, we’re told this rule doesn’t apply at Christmas. Thankfully, we’re about to change that. There is a long list of benefits to buying your child less at Christmas – allow us to explain. Fewer toys:
– Increase your child’s attention span
– Promote creativity and imagination
– Teach children the value of money
– Encourage children to spend more time reading/writing
– Make children more appreciative of the gifts they receive
– Encourage children to spend more time playing with others
By buying fewer gifts this year, not only will you be supporting your child’s development, but you will also be teaching them fundamental life lessons about the value of presents and the importance of gratitude.
So, if less is more, how many gifts are too many gifts?
There is no exact number to suit every family – each child has different wants and needs, much like each family has a different budget. However, studies undergone by child psychologists suggest that the perfect balance lies somewhere between 3-5 toys.
In a study that gave children either 4 or 16 toys to play with, the children who played with four toys had greater concentration and played for much longer. Why? Because too many toys can quickly become overwhelming for our children. They end up spending more time flitting between toys than actually playing – which (when you think about it) sounds a lot like what we adults do when deciding what to watch on tv. In short, more choice isn’t always better.
So, if less is more – what gifts should take the top spot on your shopping list? We suggest using the ‘rule of 4’ to ensure you cover all of your bases. Try to get a gift they:
- To Wear
- To read
This way, your child will still receive a variety of presents (both fun and practical) without the added excess! So, if you’re still wondering ‘how much do children need from Santa?’ – we think that four gifts is the best answer.
How to keep the festive cheer with fewer toys this year
Downsizing at Christmas can be an adjustment, especially if your children have gotten used to receiving a lot of presents. Luckily, we have some tips to ensure that you and your children still enjoy the festivities despite having fewer presents this year.
- Start by explaining that Christmas will be slightly different this year. Your children need to understand that gifts aren’t a measure of love. Although some families might have more gifts than your own, it doesn’t mean they are loved any less.
- Once you’ve managed their expectations about how many gifts they will receive, you can then get excited about all the different ways you will be able to celebrate Christmas this year. Because you’re spending less money on gifts, you can now put that money towards making memories. There are so many activities you can get involved in – from ice skating and baking to visiting Christmas markets! Whatever it is, making memories and starting Christmas traditions will be far more memorable than any old toy!
- Make some donations to charity. Whether it’s money, toys or clothes – Christmas is the season of giving, so get your children involved. You can also take this opportunity to explain to your children that some families can’t afford luxuries like gifts at Christmas. This way, if you ask them ‘how much do children need from Santa?’ – they can answer by having a greater perspective and appreciation for those less fortunate than themselves.
If, at any point, you find yourself wondering ‘exactly how much do children need from Santa?’ – we invite you to revisit this article. Christmas isn’t about how much you can spend – it’s about spending time with your children, showing your appreciation for one another and teaching them to be grateful for what they already have.