Managing children’s Christmas expectations

“Christmas is supposed to be a wonderful time for all the family, a time of giving and receiving. But this December, with many families struggling to pay their bills and keep food on the table, buying presents may be just another headache and mean further pressure for parents.

Our children’s expectations are fuelled by TV ads and the media, their peers, past experiences of Christmas and of course, family.

Here are some helpful ways for you to manage your children’s expectations about Christmas this year.

For older children, sit down in advance and have a chat about what is possible for the family this year. Agree on a reasonable budget with your children. You will find they are often happier to forgo or substitute an expensive item when they have been involved in the decision. Include your children in the planning of gifts and ask them to think about what they really need or want. If a child really wants a bike, they may not care about its newness, so a second-hand one painted up with decals and stickers to their own design could be just as pleasing!

Get your children involved in planning Kris Kindle with the wider family. This will take pressure off everyone in the family, which many may be delighted and secretly pleased about.


If separated and the other parent is in your child’s life, try to plan (even if tough) for presents – agreeing not to double up on presents for example, and to keep the budget reasonable rather than competing with each other.”


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