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Managing Holiday Gift Expectations

With the gift-giving season fast-approaching, Rebecca Marshall, KXL101, asks how to help parents manage gift-getting expectations.
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Asking moms on social media is a great way to figure out what’s going on “out there.”  Here are some great suggestions:

  1. Prepare your children in advance. Talk about gift-giving and gift-getting and prepare them about what to expect (or not to expect).  Be realistic.
  2. Emphasize the importance of time with family and that gifts are a bonus. Creating yearly traditions around food and entertainment can be an alternative – watching a certain holiday movie, having a certain dinner or breakfast treat, etc.
  3. Set realistic gift-getting expectations – it’s okay to ask for them to ask for what they want but also tell them what they realistically can expect.
  4. More is NOT better.
  5. One mom tells her son one present he will be getting so he knows he can expect that one thing. She found her son didn’t necessarily like surprises and so knowing ahead actually kept the bargaining and anxiety around gifts to a minimum.
  6. One mom uses: something you want / something you need / something you wear / something you read plus stocking stuffers.
  7. That ELF ON THE SHELF ? – he’s giving back this year – kids are encouraged to hand over a toy or two so he can take them back to the workshop to repair and spruce it up for another child.  Read more here.
  8. Remember service to others during the holidays — instill the value of what you can give, rather than what you receive.
  9. One mom balances their wish list with family values and finds the comfort zone. Sometimes it’s a “no to that because we’re saying yes to that”! Like, no to too much, no to plastic, no to media/screen because we are saying yes to a healthy home on earth, healthy body and brain development, healthy human interaction!

However you choose to celebrate and negotiate and navigate this holiday season – may it bring you great joy and may you treasure all the moments.

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