Ninth Day of Stress-less Christmas: Don’t feel pressure to give your kids everything they want

It’s desperation time – just 4 days to go before Christmas.  I see signs of it everywhere.  People are driving crazier than ever.  The jewelry store is open late.  Commercials on TV have turned to big-ticket, high-impact gifts like cell phones.  This is when we parents start to doubt if we are truly going to make that magical moment for our kids on Christmas Day.  Maybe we need to go out and get more, more, more!  Maybe there is one more amazing gift that will make it the perfect Christmas!

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Today’s tip in how to have a Stress Less Christmas is to take a deep breath and pause.  Don’t feel pressure to give your kids everything they want. That is not the point of the holiday and it does not need to be your mission this holiday.  

Another thing that drives us Magic Makers into a frenzy these last few days before the Big Show is the fear that my kids/husband/significant other won’t have enough gifts to open on Christmas morning.  This becomes more of an issue as kids get older and the big ticket gifts become more expensive.  So we spend the last few days scurrying about, buying filler gifts so that under-the-tree looks full of presents.

Here are some ideas instead:

Give experiences, not gifts:  How about wrapping up something that you might do with your family during school vacation week, like a visit to a museum, or movie tickets?

Give one, two or three things from your child’s wish list.  Make the rest things you would buy anyway (sports equipment, clothes, winter gear).

Keep notes on everything you give your kids and then look back next year to see what they really used.  For example, we gave our daughter a mermaid blanket last year (one that makes you look like a mermaid).  She never uses it.  Ever.  Instead, she loves the inexpensive, soft blankets you find at Kohl’s.  

For more ideas on how not to succumb to the pressure & hype, here are some articles on not giving in!

Good luck everyone!

NPR article

Today Show article