How (and why) We Don’t Go Overboard with the Children’s Christmas Presents


Christmas can be such a busy time with people to see, places to go, things to buy. I love sitting and wrapping presents with a mince pie and Josh Groban’s Christmas album on as much as the next person, however, we decided to make a bit of a change.

Since having children, we decided that the focus shouldn’t be completely on Father Christmas and just getting lots of ‘stuff’. As a Christian, I want my children to remember, and myself of course, what is important at Christmas time and the real reason for the season. I think gifts are important, as we celebrate the gift of Christ at Christmas, but the children don’t need all sorts of random things – particularly as they get plenty of special treats and new toys to try out throughout the year (blogger’s children are so spoilt)!

So each child gets four things:

CASTLEWe aren’t doing this to be tight (though it may be that you are saving more money – a happy side effect) nor am I condoning anyone that does get their children a lot at Christmas – each parent does what is right for their children. The one gift they want could be something more grand like an xbox or equally something simple like a puzzle – so it is still up to you what they get. When we go through and write a letter to Father Christmas, it has really helped Max to focus on one gift that would really love and that he would make him happy (Chloe doesn’t know what is going on, bless her). We are able to at the same time, explain to him that it isn’t about what we get from Father Christmas but what we can do for others at Christmas too.

I’m not going to lie, it does help reduce my stress levels – with large extended families and a need to be obsessively organised, it is nice to know that the children’s gifts are easily taken care of. I bought their two ‘somethings to read’ a while ago and will just pick up selection packs for their ‘something to eat’ nearer the time. It also is a big help to narrow down my ideas of what to get them, as there are so many options!

Anyway, I just thought I would share as I have had a few people asking about it. How do you do things in your family? What are some of your Christmas traditions?

Rebecca x

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  • when mine were young I prded myself on doing a Christmas that didn’t cost too much, often I would hunt through charity shops for things I knew they would like for their stockings, now with teens I have to say that do cost too much but only allow them 1 present each outside their stockings which are full of boring esentials and a few fun things. Christmas needs to be kept in perspective. I hope you keep with your format.

    • Thanks so much for sharing that – lovely ideas. True – teenagers always want something more expensive (luckily we’re a way off that yet)!

  • N has one main present, and if it’s really expensive it goes across birthday (Jan) and Xmas, or in the case of the climbing frame – 2 years worth. This year he’s getting a new bike, because he’s got 2 at the mo (on loan from a work colleague, and a bashed up one from the farm/cousin no.3), and I promised that once he’d been biking for a while, and had grown into the next size up, he could have a new one. Birthday will probably be a scooter. Then it’s just a couple of small gifts and stocking. The bike is more than I’d usually allow for a present, but the other 2 he’s grown out of and this should last 3 years.

    I do find the OH’s family spend a lot more for gifts than my family ever did, but now there’s 7 cousins, I try to stick to £10-15 each for them. The BIL/SILs get ‘family’ homemade sweet treats.

  • I think that’s a lovely way of doing it. I’ll be honest we don’t really go too mad either. The kids get something from father Christmas and maybe a couple of very small stocking fillers like books then one present from us. They get so much from all of their relatives they really don’t need much from us! Xx

    • it’s so true, family get them quite a lot. and my son’s birthday is in December too – he doesn’t NEED lots of things!

  • I love this idea… I’ve seen it flying around social media recently and think its fab. We keep presents fairly low key here too. The children have SO MUCH stuff, so we actually always have a big clear-out before Christmas too… take a trip to the charity shop. This is a lovely way to keep things simple. Thanks for linking up with #SavouringtheSeason