Why I Won’t Be Buying My Children Just Four Presents for Christmas

Why I Won't Be Buying My Children Just Four Things This Christmas

Why I Won’t Be Buying My Children Just Four Presents for Christmas

Christmas, it’s one of my favourite times of the year and has been since as long as I can remember. I don’t think there’s anything I don’t like about Christmas really, and even more so since I became a Mum and have been able to make the Christmas magic for my children.

There has been a movement that started last Christmas based around the fact that children are given too much and perhaps it might be better to buy them just four presents for Christmas:

  • Something the need
  • Something they want
  • Something to wear
  • Something to read

I understand the principle behind the concept, that in essence there are people who feel we have lost the meaning of Christmas behind consumerism.

Here’s the thing I kind of hate it. No, not kind of, I totally do.

The meaning of Christmas is important. Whether you’re religious and believe in the birth of Jesus, or if you’re not an believe in the importance of family. Christmas has pretty strong meaning for a lot of people. It’s a time for family, love, charity, compassion and yes giving.

Here’s the the thing, I love to give presents. I love shopping for presents, choosing them right thing for the right person and watching them unwrap their gift. I love to give presents to people I love even more. For me it’s an extension of my love for that person, choosing that perfect gift or as in the case of my husband and children – gifts. But also sharing thanks to people who have helped you in the year.

Perhaps there is a self indulgence in that. I am in the fortunate position that we can afford to. We don’t get into debt at Christmas and save for it throughout the year so that we don’t need to. This may not be the case in future years and I am grateful that this is the case at the present. This year, I have made a spreadsheet with the aim of keeping track of our spending and I have definitely been more circumspect than I was last year.  There is after all, only so much stuff your house can hold! We also recycle, donate and pass on things as we grow out of them.

I most definitely believe in charity at this time of year too and the children and I do several projects, because I also want them to grow up understanding how fortunate they are too. Last year, my son had to select some of his own toys to donate to children in a women’s hospice. I was really proud of him for doing so.

But, the idea of giving my children just four presents sounds so miserable. My memories of my childhood Christmas is the underneath of the tree bursting with gifts for everyone. Excitement, fun, just the items you wrote on your letter to Father Christmas magically wrapped and waiting.

I respect everyone’s choice, if you choose to life a simpler life and that works for you, then that’s great. But if I want a Christmas full of goodies and want to give my children a present filled Christmas that’s mine. Perhaps in a previous life I was Mrs. Claus…

10 thoughts on “Why I Won’t Be Buying My Children Just Four Presents for Christmas”

  1. I’m with you, even though I am a big hippy and think that we are too wasteful as a society.
    However Christmas presents is a wonderful boost to our economy. I would rather focus on buying British, supporting small businesses and keep the giving going.
    The only scheme I agree with is for more expensive gifts to come from parents rather than Santa so those children who are less well off don’t feel like Santa doesn’t love them as much.

  2. I agree with you completely Laura. I think how many gifts people choose to buy is up to them and there shouldn’t be made to feel bad about it at all. Like you we save throughout the year, we donate toys to charity, and we work hard to save for the things we want. I want to spoil my kids at Christmas, and I am not ashamed to do so. My kids are well mannered and polite and greatful for every gift they receive. I’ll stop there before this turns into a rant! Merry Christmas x

  3. I’m a big believer in doing Christmas however the heck you want! I can certainly understand the sentiment behind the four gifts thing and actually think that it’s lovely. If that’s what you choose. But no parent should be made to feel bad for spoiling their children if they wish. We have four children so it would be easy for things to get out of hand. Especially as they get older and the gifts get smaller in size but bigger in value! But we tend to decide on a budget and stick to it. I personally wouldn’t dream of getting into debt for Christmas but who am I to tell others how to celebrate their Christmas?

  4. I love this and I agree completely. We work hard to make sure that Christmas is really special for our children, and we do spoil them with presents, but why not? We don’t buy more than we can afford, and they are truly grateful for everything they get, plus I waited a long time for these children of mine and I’ll be damned if I cant spoil them for one day a year!

  5. I’ve never heard of this four presents thing, but I have to say I would really struggle with it myself! I love buying and giving presents, and always go overboard. Each year I promise myself I won’t but I can’t resist. Maybe if inaim for just four presents I might get the balance right! Xx

  6. I totally agree with you, I always remember the excitement of running downstairs as a child and seeing the pile of presents on the sofa. It was magical! I love re-creating that for my own children and I openly admit I do spend a lot on them and don’t have a budget at all and spoil them, like you we save and don’t get into any debt and can afford it due to my partner working hard. I feel like those of us who do buy a lot at Christmas can’t really say anything without others saying something. xx

  7. This is very thought provoking! I will be buying my kids more considered presents this year and haven’t bought as much as in previous years. Partly out of necessity. Partly because there are a number of toys they received last year that never got played with that I ended up donating to charity. I love buying presents and j think there is something amazing about finding the perfect gift so I’m focusing on that this year.

  8. Totally agree with you. I was on mat leave last year and so am spending a bit more this year. I love spoiling my kids and choosing gifts for them.
    However much like yourself I do want them to understand our family beliefs around Christmas (we are not religious) and what it means to be given a gift.
    We have given toys away already this December at a school charity event and I have asked them to give something else for a party we are going to on NYE because they are about to receive more gifts. We speak about other families that may not be as fortunate as us and my 4 year old gets that now and is happy to choose something to give away.
    She will grow up understanding the value of gifts and the concept of giving to others.
    Me teaching her that is far more important than any gift but it won’t stop me from getting more than 4 things for her this Christmas.
    Great honest post.


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