As a parent, there are questions that it is natural to raise about materialism. You want to give your children a certain amount of toys with which to play, but you also don’t want to feel like you’re spoiling them. Because of that, there is a natural inclination to ask for advice from friends or relatives. You might look at how many toys the kids in other households are receiving so that you can compare that to your methods. It seems to be a universal truth, though, that Christmas time, much like a birthday, is an appropriate time to shop for kids toys for your young ones.
The “One Big Present” Method
Some parents feel like Christmas time is an occasion to get their kids five gifts, or ten, or twenty. Too many might seem extravagant, but how about one big one? One thing that some parents like to do is to ask their children if they want one significant gift for the holidays. That might be a new bike, a video game entertainment system, or an expensive dollhouse. That seems to be an acceptable way of doing things, particularly if the child understands that they will only get that coveted gift if they do their homework or clean up around the house.
The “Several Small Presents” Method
Another way might be to get the children several small gifts, the cost of which would be equal to the value of a larger one. Some children might prefer this way of doing things, especially if the smaller gifts are all surprises. If they are gift-wrapped beforehand, then the child will have the added pleasure of trying to guess what is in them if they are left in front of the Christmas tree the night before the holiday.
The Educational Gift Method
For the parents who are concerned that they are spoiling the child by purchasing extravagant presents for them, a middle ground might be to get the child some gifts that have educational value or will encourage thinking and creativity. For these parents, buying some books might be in order. The parent might remember some beloved literary works from when they were the same age that the child is now. By passing on these stories that they loved so well, it is a way to grow closer with their progeny. The parents might also get puzzles for the child that the family can do together, or science kits, or an arts-and-crafts project of some kind. These are gifts with substance that will be beneficial for a child.
Every Parent Must Make Their Own Decision
It’s probably best for each parent not to come up with some arbitrary number of gifts that they feel it is appropriate for a child to have, nor should they rely too much on what other families do or say. Each parent should take into account the child’s behavior, how much money they have to spend on the holiday, and whether there is anything in particular that the child has explicitly said that they wanted. That way, each parent will feel that they have done the right thing, and hopefully, the children will be satisfied as well.