How many Christmas Gifts do you give your kids? - Baby Steps in High Heels

Saturday, December 3, 2011

How many Christmas Gifts do you give your kids?

I’ve heard some great ideas about Christmas gifts for kids.

Only give them three gifts, because that is the number of gifts that were brought to the Baby Jesus.

Or, the 4-gift rule: one thing they need, one thing they want, one thing they’ll wear, and … oh something else. I’ll have to check Pinterest to remember!

I’m a little at a loss on how to handle Christmas gifts. I really like these ideas, especially since Christmas comes on the heels of Baby’s birthday and we’re usually swimming in toys by December 1st anyway.

However, at this age, I feel like she constantly needs new things. New clothes as she gets bigger. New cups to replace the sippy cups. New shoes, because her feet (that didn’t grow a single size for an entire year) are now growing a half size a month. New toys for developing new skills.

The thing is, I really don’t want to get in the habit of buying her these things on regular trips to the store throughout the year. I don’t want her thinking that she gets a toy every time we pop into the grocery store for milk.

So, a part of me thinks that birthday and Christmas are the perfect time to just load up on presents to last all year. We could keep some of them in a closet and pull them out as needed.

On the other hand, I don’t want to miss the meaning of Christmas all together and only focus on gifts.

What’s your philosophy? What does your family do?


  1. Randy and I give each kid one present - so Hayden and Harper will each get 2 presents. That being said, Santa is more generous and gives quite a bit more. He gives each kid about 10 things as well as stuffs their stockings. Santa doesn't wrap gifts. They are just all set out Christmas morning (randy and I do wrap the gifts and we don't know what each other give to the kids - it's a surprise to each of us as the kids open up their presents Christmas morning).

  2. To be honest, I always over did Christmas and now I regret it. I wish I would of set more limits.

    I have scaled back big time. The kids don't seem to mind. They get so spoiled by both sets of grandparents, they don't seem to notice.

    I do like to give each of them a new set of PJ's on Christmas Eve so they can wear them to bed.

  3. Mr. Gray & I do a Christmas Eve gift (PJs) and stocking (well, Santa does that). I think I did a few clothes last year, too.

    We ask grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. for toys to grow into throughout the year; he has a birthday that's late in the year, so Christmas is stock-up time.

    When he's a little older and knows the difference, Santa will play a larger role, but from us, birthday will be the big deal, I think.

  4. I bought my boys five gifts each. One from us(pjs and socks), and four from Santa.

  5. The best suggestion I have ever heard comes from a woman I rarely agree with.... She said "I can buy my children everything they could possibly want...but what would that teach them? I have them make a list of five things they would like...and I choose ONE. If they do not want to put five things on their list, that is fine." Of course her children are considerably older. For Marin, we put money in her 529 the first two years because she was overloaded with gifts from others, and frankly, she doesn't know who gave her what. THIS year we will buy her something small to put in her stocking, continue letting others completely over-indulge her, in spite of our pleas. (We are donating one old toy for each new one she receives. That is a good precedent to set.)

  6. Marlee's birthday is at the end of January. I have struggled with this as much and all of that. I don't want santa to be a big role in our family, so we are giving her a few presents (4 or 5) and then Santa is giving her one. I think she will get 7 total, but one is a shirt, and one is new sheets for her bed. I did BUY a lot of things, once I got them home, so I just split it and saved some for her birthday.

    I think you should do what you feel comfortable doing. And if you want to indulge two times a year, and not really any other times, than do it. You can still teach her the real meaning of Christmas. You can also teach her to give to others during Christmas...this year we did operation Christmas child, through Samaritans purse. Marlee loved that. And we will be going to get a child off the tree I think, to buy some presents for. I didn't do those things when Marlee was 2. But now that she is almost 3, she loved it! We also gave some of her old toys to the high school who does a fund raiser, and hosts a shopping day for families in need. If they can donate they do, if they can't, they still get some toys for their kids. Then whatever money the club raises they buy toys for tots.