The shopping madness is now truly upon us. Black Friday (and Cyber Monday-that’s a new one for me) have passed and many folks are up to their eyeballs in debt already.
Buying and giving gifts is of course a big part of the Christmas season. For some folks this is a joy, and for others a trama, but most have to deal with it one way or another. There are lots of great ideas and info out there on the blogosphere about how to deal with the whole gift giving process.
Now this works great for her family, but her children have been raised with this gift philosophy. It may be a bit harder to implement with children who have a completely different expectation. But that brings up a very key point-it is important to consider, and manage expectations.
What do I mean? Well in the case of a family with older kids, or grownups, that means letting folks know, well in advance, what your Christmas morning (or whenever you give gifts) is going to “look” like. If you intend to make drastic changes then the more time you give folks to get used to the idea, the smoother things will go. Catherine at the Frugal Homemaker Plus talks about how she opted out of the extended family name drawing, and put somewhat of a cap on the kids gift giving.
For kids, especially smaller ones, it can be even easier. You can simply talk up whatever method you chose, and for the most part they will accept it. You can also prepare them to be excited about whatever you have chosen to purchase.
Let me explain with a few examples from my own holiday.
Number one-We do the whole “Santa” thing. (I know some folks disagree with this, I happen to like it.) but YB and I wanted our children to understand early that although they can make a list with all of their hearts desires, that Santa doesn’t give you everything you ask for, just some of the things. This was part of our childrearing philosophy-that kids should learn that they don’t get everything they ask for. Call me a mean mommy-but I’ve made sure that each year there is at least one item on their list that they don’t get. Believe me, with 3 sets of grandparents and 5 aunts and uncles all asking for gift ideas, sometimes that is difficult to do
Somehow Princess got it into her head this year that Santa only brings you ONE of the gifts you ask for, and that you have to think really hard and decided which one it is. That works for me
Buddy is excited about Christmas, but didn’t have a specific wish–so here is how I managed his expectations. A month ago I found a transformer at Aldi’s at a great price. Knowing he likes trucks, robots and all things that are typically boy I bought it and hid it in the closet-even though as far as I knew he had no idea what a transformer was. Then I started getting him excited about the idea of getting a transformer. I pointed them out at stores, and it fliers (which they are pouring over the way I used to pour over the Service Merchandise catalog before Christmas) and at this point he is convinced that he really wants one. When he opens it on Christmas morning he will be very excited. Of course, if I had not done this build up he still would have liked it, but this way he will be thrilled when he opens it.