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How Many Gifts to Give Kids at Christmas

When it comes to Christmas, we often wonder how many things should be under the tree on Christmas morning.  How many is too many? How little is still enough? Here are some ideas to help you decide how many gifts to give kids at Christmas.

When it comes to gift-giving on Christmas day, it is important to find the right balance between too few and too many Christmas gifts. 

How Many Gifts to Give Kids At Christmas

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Here’s a couple of ideas on how to decide how many presents a child should get at Christmas.  Of course, there is no right or wrong rule, it really comes down to what works for you and your family.

​There are very important things to consider when choosing how many Christmas presents you should get each child in your life. You need to remember that what you choose to do for your family members may look different than what others choose to do for theirs.

Things to consider when choosing the number of presents you plan to get for your children: 

  • Consider the number of children you have and their ages. Look at your family size, do you have one child to buy for or many? Will they understand the difference between a lot of gifts versus just a few? Will they understand the excitement of receiving gifts? Will they be thankful for receiving however many gifts you choose to give them? What are their ages, are they older or younger children? 
  • Consider your budget. How much money do you have set aside for the holiday season? Think of the gift ideas you think the children would enjoy, do you have enough to cover it? Do you need to cut back on budget this year? 
  • Consider what Santa Claus is bringing the children. Do they need more from you? Do you need to pick up fewer gifts because of what Santa will bring? Everything here needs to be considered.
  • Consider what your children already have. Do they have things that they need? Is now the time to fulfill those needs that you haven’t been able to throughout the year? 

Remember that quality gifts are better to give, rather than just focusing on increasing the quantity. Besides, many children want to open and play with each gift right when they get it.

This makes having too many gifts frustrating because it drags everything out, or they just focus on opening everything in a hurry and forget to enjoy and be thankful for the gifts that they do receive. 

Now that you’ve made these considerations, here are some more things to keep in mind when deciding what to add to your Christmas shopping list for each kid. Remember that there is no right answer, it’s going to be what you feel best about and can afford to put under your Christmas tree.

The Rule Of Three

One thought is to give a child the same number of gifts Christ was given. Three would be the magic number of how many gifts to give kids at Christmas.

Following the three-gift rule is a great way to remind children of the real reason for the season and to check the top things off their Christmas list.

4 Gifts For Christmas

If you choose this route you will be giving your little ones (and big ones) 4 gifts. These include something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read (I love things that rhyme). Be creative on this one. My son’s laser tag set has a target that you WEAR. My daughter’s journal with a lock and key once written in will have something she can READ.

​I have found that using this method has been a fun way for me to get creative and find some of the best gifts for the kids that cover needs and wants all while staying within my Christmas budget.

Equal Money

How many gifts to give at Christmas may depend on your budget. One rule of thumb is to spend an equal amount on each child. You can get a big expensive gift or a bunch of cheaper gifts. As long as the dollar amount is the same.

This is the best way to make sure that their is an equal amount for every child.

Equal Number of Gifts

Next, is the equal number. This has been a winner in the past at my house. If it doesn’t look balanced under the tree then someone is sad. Even though someone may get more money spent on them no one seems to notice as long as they have the same amount of gifts under the tree.

This is a good idea to follow if you have competitive siblings in your family.

Sibling Gifts

If you want to add another gift to the mix try letting the siblings draw names. We tried this last year and let the sibling gift be the one that was opened on Christmas Eve. The anticipation of opening early that one gift combined with the excitement of watching your person open their gift made for a magical Christmas Eve.

This is a good thing to try if you have kids that have a hard time waiting until Christmas morning. 

For Those That Love To Open Things

I have been know to wrap a box of cold cereal. Socks and underwear that I was going to have to buy anyways. We often just like opening things. It’s fun to see what surprise is inside. So go crazy if that’s your thing and wrap away. It doesn’t mean you need to spend TONS or over buy.

Just get creative in what you wrap including all those stocking stuffers. Check out this picture from Woman’s Day that uses cupcake wrappers when wrapping.

The Gift Of Experience

If you feel like you have too much stuff at your house and you just can’t bear to add to it for Christmas then consider giving the gift of an experience. This could be a lesson in hula dancing or a pass to the zoo or local museum. Certainly a night out making or painting pottery, rock climbing at the local gym or attending a play would be a welcome gift.

Kids may find new interests or passions that they may not have realized when you give them the gift of different experiences and fewer toys.

This may open opportunities for them to experience and learn different things all year long (actually giving them a gift that lasts a little longer than toys or other things from their wish list that they would have opened on Christmas day- you know most have them have lost their interest in them by next year).

Talk with your children

If you expect that you will need to cut back this year compared to previous years, it may be wise to talk with your kids about it beforehand, if they’re old enough to understand. Discussing expectations and changes with kids who are old enough is smart and will make Christmas morning more enjoyable.

They will know what to expect and there should be no whining, complaining, being rude, ungrateful, or misunderstanding. 

This talk could also be a good time to discuss the importance of learning how to budget and the importance of sticking to a budget, especially during the busier time of year when you could let excitement take over your spending habits.

Remind them that it’s not always about the big piles of gifts, it’s more about getting them a holiday gift they will use and enjoy. Always take the age of your children and their maturity levels into consideration when deciding if you should include them in this conversation or not. It’s obviously not what you would include young kids in but may be better for teenagers or older children. 

Two of the biggest things you need to remember is that happiness can not be bought or given through a gift. Being a present, involved, and aware parent is what will make your young children and older kids happy as well. A big pile of gits is nice at the moment, a couple of expensive gifts are exciting for a few hours, but kids need quality family time with parents that are happy to be with them. 

The other thing you need to keep in mind when planning out your gifts is, the real meaning of Christmas. It’s not about how many presents you buy, what beautiful wrapping paper you use, or showing off all the new toys the kids got, or other Christmas craziness, the real reason we swap gifts for Christmas is to celebrate the gift and life of baby Jesus. Remember to instill those values in your children. It’s not all about the gifts, it’s about celebrating Him.

How many gifts to give your kids at Christmas can be a daunting decision but it’s a common question that many families will have to decide on. The bottom line is, if there is anything I have learned over the last 18 years of giving gifts to my children is that less is more. What they really want is our time and attention. Merry Christmas! 

How Many Gifts to Give Kids at Christmas

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