A Leaner Christmas? What To Tell The Kids

Christmas is next month, and by now, kids are starting to place their order for their gifts. But that can create stress and guilt for parents if their finances are tight.
Does your child have a long list of gifts for Santa to fit under their tree?  Are they starting to ask for a few of their favorite (and expensive) things?

Betty Casey, editor of Tulsa Kids Magazine, says,  “During the holidays it’s a tough time for parents because we all want to give our kids what they want.  But a lot of times that’s unrealistic.”

So what’s a parent to do?  Casey suggests:

  • For the very young, tell them Santa only brings a few gifts.
  • As they get older, and want more expensive things, share with them about your own financial situation. “As they get older, especially into their teen years, they can understand that families have certain budgets, that you work within that budget, and not everything is realistic to buy,” according to Casey.
  • And if it’s a big ticket item, like an expensive smart phone, and they really want it, suggest that you’ll split the cost with them.

When times are tough, Casey says it’s an opportunity to get back to what’s important during the holidays.  “What do you really remember as a child about your own holidays. It wasn’t the stuff you got , it’s usually spending time with family and those kinds of things.”

Casey says the kids pick up on our attitudes about gifts.  If we think fun and family and friends are more important than getting things, chances are so will they. Putting a few of these ideas at the top of the list can make the holidays more meaningful and less stressful for everyone.


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