Managing Children’s Expectations During a Holiday Recession
This will not be a great Christmas for many families, due to another holiday season with the economy still in shambles. That is, if you believe that Christmas should be measured in the amount of gifts you give (or receive). And while most of us wouldn’t say we believe the number of gifts we give to our children is important, many still rely on quantity acting as some sort of indicator of parental worthiness.
Psych Central writers have written before on this topic, doing Christmas on a budget and providing answers to people who believe simplifying during the holidays is just not possible. It is. And you should always set a budget for gift purchases every year (for all occasions, not just Christmas).
“But what if that budget this year is smaller than in years past? Won’t my children be disappointed?”
Perhaps, but not nearly as disappointed as you may think. Younger children aren’t as concerned about what the gifts specifically are, as long as they feel like they’ve gotten a lot. A bunch of smaller, less expensive presents may be easier on the budget than a few big, expensive ones. Teens appreciate getting exactly what they ask for, so even if their quantity doesn’t match years past (or their younger siblings’ haul), they’ll still be happy.
Christy Buchanan, a professor of psychology at Wake Forest University, has more helpful tips like these in today’s news article on the topic: Managing Children’s Expectations During a Holiday Recession.
Grohol, J. (2009). Managing Children’s Expectations During a Holiday Recession. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 21, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/12/21/managing-childrens-expectations-during-a-holiday-recession/