3 Rules For Your Children’s Christmas Presents

Esther Walker: My benevolent neglect as a child was directly because my mother had so many kids.

Do you find yourself spending Christmas Eves surrounded by presents, wondering if you’ve bought the right things?

And then hate yourself on Christmas Day for over indulging your little ones?

Present buying is a minefield – practical presents are boring; plastic tat is guilt-inducing plastic tat..

And then there is the question of sibling rivalry – you’ve got to make sure you’re fair to each of your children. 

We have yet to get it right but we do believe that applying a few rules helps one to rein in unnecessary spending and focus on the best part of Christmas: spending quality time with family and friends.

Here are a few guidelines for present buying:

Ask Your Children Make A List

Or at least give you some idea about what their heart desires.

Set a deadline for list submissions and then whittle down what they’ve written into things you might consider and those that are completely off limits.

We have a rather cheesy but really fun Elf on the Shelf set where they can write their Christmas lists and then turn them into Christmas tree decorations. It makes an activity of writing Christmas lists and it’s fun to look back on the previous years’ lists while you’re decorating the tree.

Set The Practicality Ratio

For every two presents that provide “fun”, ensure that one present is practical .. (and something they will also love, such as a new hoodie or pyjamas or a fun bag for their swimming things).

Manage their expectations beforehand by letting them know which things they definitely won’t get. Eg a Nintendo Switch, electric skateboard etc.

Take The Focus Off Presents

As wonderful as it is to see their eyes light up, don’t let Christmas Day be all about presents.  

Warn them of this fact when they hand your a list as long as their arm.

Don’t Stress About the Cost

Children don’t need expensive presents. It’s often the smallest, cheapest thing that provides the most entertainment on Christmas Day.

When you’re shopping, try to get into their imaginations and think of the little things that give them joy rather than making sure everyone has a big enough box under the tree. 




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