How Many Presents Should Children Get for Christmas
We all agree that there is no greater thrill during the Christmas season than seeing the excited faces of children opening the gifts that Santa Claus leaves under the tree. But how many presents should children receive at Christmas?
Increasingly, we’re turning Christmas into a time of consumerism and materialism, sometimes beyond our means. Presents from grandparents, aunts and uncles, their parents, and even friends and neighbors…
Many times, children choose a few favorites that they pay attention to for a few days, maybe more. But, with time, they forget all about them, given the overload of toys they have at home. What’s more, they start asking for even more new things.
I see it, I want it
Christmas starts when the first toy advertisements start appearing on TV and online, because everything catches our little one’s attention. In addition, stores and malls fill their aisles and window displays with toy after toy in order to appeal to children of all ages.
And no one can resist having all that in front of their eyes: They see it, and they want it. That’s why there’s a need to put a limit when it comes to the number of presents we actually purchase. After all, after a few days, children will only pay attention to a couple of toys among all those they’ve received.
Have you ever seen a child play with the wrapping paper or the box that the present came and completely ignore the toy itself? This says it all: Entertaining our children is often much simpler than we think, and they don’t need an excess of toys.
That’s why we need to really stop for a minute and think about how many presents our kids should get for Christmas. Going overboard isn’t only unnecessary, it’s harmful.
That’s why experts say that children up to the age of 2 should receive a maximum of two toys. This is because their attention span isn’t the same as that of an older child and they aren’t able to focus it for a long time on the same toy.
As they get older, you can increase the number of toys, but there’s no need to go crazy. Until the age of ten, children shouldn’t receive more than four or five gifts. That way, they’ll focus their requests on things they really want. What’s more, you won’t waste your money on things they won’t even pay attention to.
How many presents should children get for Christmas: The four-present rule
To answer the question asked at the beginning of this article, there’s something known as the four-present rule. It consists of giving children the following items for Christmas:
- A book: To instill in them a taste for books and the world of reading. Nowadays, the variety of book themes will make any child acquire a taste for reading and cultural enrichment.
- Clothing. Giving clothes or accessories as a gift is always a good thing that’s useful at the same time.
- One thing they need. Take advantage of the occasion to include something they really need: School supplies, a replacement of something that’s recently broken, a new bedspread, etc…
- Something they really want. Giving them something they really want will make them focus on that gift and forget all of the other more frivolous things they’ve been asking for. In addition, they’ll spend a lot more time enjoying it and won’t be surrounded by so many other things that quickly lose their attention.
The importance of reflection and sharing
An overload of presents produces insatiability in children. The more they have, the more they want. The result of this overload is that, as they get older, they’re never satisfied with anything.
In this sense, it’s very important to set limits. At the same time, it’s also important to teach them that many children may not have gifts or may have only one. Therefore, they should put themselves in the shoes of other children and not just think about themselves. They should also share what they have with other children.
A good way to set these limits is to sit down with your child to write a letter to Santa Claus soon. That’s because, if you wait too long, your child will have already seen hundreds of toys that they’ll want.
If you start early, the range of possibilities will be smaller and, in addition, you’ll be able to shrink it down by establishing the limits that we talked about above.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Caron, A., & Ward, S. (1975). Gift decisions by kids and parents. Journal of Advertising Research, 15(4), 15-20. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Andre_Caron/publication/275353453_Gift_decisions_by_kids_and_parents_Journal_of_Advertising_Research_154_15-20/links/587e51af08ae9275d4eb8f1b/Gift-decisions-by-kids-and-parents-Journal-of-Advertising-Research-154-15-20.pdf