When our kids were growing up, it was always a challenge during the Christmas season to keep the Greed Monster at bay. You know the one I’m talking about right? The kiddos were confronted with non-stop commercials for the hottest new toys during their favorite cartoons, and then the Christmas Wish Book Toy catalogs would arrive. Remember those? And I’m going to have to admit, I fell for all of that commercialism hook, line and sinker. I wanted my kids to have the latest and greatest at Christmas. I wanted to see the sparkle and joy in their eyes when they came downstairs and saw all of their Christmas wishes come true.
But over the years, we drowned in Christmas disappointment. Remote control cars that stopped running after a couple of days. The Barbie townhouse (that took hours, literally hours, to assemble, along with about a gazillion tirelessly applied stickers) broke after a couple of tries opening and closing it. That pink nightmare got shoved to the side of the toy room quicker than you can say Ebenezer Scrooge. Sometimes the crumpled wrapping paper and bows would still be piled up Christmas afternoon, and we’d be trying to figure out why something wasn’t working, or why that highly anticipated doll was laying there like she was still on the Island of Misfit Toys. I’m fairly certain that we would be millionaires right now if we hadn’t succumbed to the commercial aspect of Christmas so often. Are you facing this same challenge right now? Is the epidemic of the Christmas “wants” spoiling your Holiday season? Here are 5 ways to help you tackle the Christmas Greed Monster!
- Place limits on the number of gifts your kids can ask for. Do this well ahead of time! We decided to limit the wish list of each family member to three items. You may choose to limit to just one “Santa” item. Choose what’s right for your family!
- Create a “wish list” note pad and place it in a conspicuous place, like the fridge or your family’s bulletin board/planning space. Number the list 1-3, or whatever works for your family’s budget.
- Talk to your children and let them know that it’s okay to wish for things, but that this list is just a suggestion for Santa. Kids should know that just because they ask for something, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll get it. I know this sounds harsh, but when they do receive what they wished for, it’s so much more meaningful and appreciated. It takes away that assumption that they’ll get everything they ask for.
- Model this example for them. Use the wish list yourself, only asking for the correct number of gifts. Go ahead and ask! And in your conversations with your kids let them know that you’re okay with whatever “Santa” brings you.
- Let your kids change their minds for a couple of weeks, but have a definite cut off time. Say, two weeks before Christmas, or whatever works for you. I was never the super organized Mom that had all of my Christmas shopping completed by July, so two weeks before Christmas worked for me!
Please feel free to download and use this free printable as your family begins to think about their Christmas wishes.
I guess we were ahead of the trend, because nowadays people use the term “want, need, wear, read” as they form their wish lists. It’s a great way to limit that Greed Monster! We’ve started using that list idea during our empty nest years, and we love it! We are finding that we want and need less and less as the years pass by, so this is the perfect solution for my now grown family. You may tweak the wish list to include events and happenings, (instead of things) like concert tickets, restaurant gift cards or even a little weekend getaway package for the two of you. I’ll offer more gift suggestions for empty nester couples in my next blog post.
Thanks for reading! How does your family tackle the Christmas Greed Monster? Leave a comment and let me know!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!
6 thoughts on “How to Tackle The Christmas Greed Monster (and a free printable)”
Oh I can sooooo relate! We have started adopting the “something to wear, something to read, something you want, something you need” with the grand littles. Or maybe I should say I have “The Man” is hard to reign in….
Great suggestions! In the past, I have felt the pressure of “buy, buy, buy”. Not true for this year. We have set a limit on the number of gifts and what we are willing to spend. I’ve had great success buying from super clearance racks and thrift stores! <3 My kiddos are starting to realize and understand that it's a "wish" list not a guarantee list. <3
Love the idea of the 3 wishes! This is definitely a struggle for my kids!
I’ve decided that this year, we are not buying any electronics. I’ve bought the kids Ninentendo DS’s, multiple tablets, cell phones, drones, etc. for the past 4 years. That’s been for 5 children buying those items for as the other 3 are grown. My hubby has 8 children. They’ve either broken what they’ve received or have no idea where their things are. This year I’m getting new comforter sets (bed in a bag) for their bedrooms (which they’ll take to their moms house), new pajamas, journals for the girls, books for the boys and a $25.00 gift card for each child. If the kids want electronics, their mom will need to buy those items for them. They also receive gifts from their grandparents for Christmas.
We have done three gifts for years… baby Jesus received three gifts… so that helped us limit it . Our girls have also adopted this idea with their kids. Only problem is… the older they get the more expensive the “toys”😄
Santa’s budget does get stretched, doesn’t it? You might have to rework the gift idea, maybe limiting to one big and two small gifts?