Expert Advice on Managing Your Children’s Holiday Gift Expectations

| December 5, 2011 | Comments (2)


At the Chicago Moms/Chicagonista holiday party, Editor in Chief Jim Silver pulled up a chair to chat about what was hot for kids this year.  He asked what was in our girls’ letter to Santa.  I replied, “More than they will get, of course.”

He told me that for every gift-giving occasion, he always has his children write a list for twice as many items as he’s planning to give them.  For example, if he’s thinking about buying three things, he’ll ask his children for six ideas.

He said that it was a good life lesson because if you always get half of what you want, you’re doing well.

I thought about it a lot since the party last night.  First, Jim had a great idea about the list.  I tend to say that they should only put what they really, really want on a list.  Something like, “Santa cannot bring you everything because there are so many kids in the world” is usually part of the conversation.  After thinking about what Jim said, I think I’ll ask the girls for more.  I think that limiting their lists builds their expectations.

Also, because they have so many relatives, the girls tend to get most of what they want.  It’s true that they don’t get everything on their lists, but it’s pretty close.

Fom now on we’ll definitely encourage them to put down twice as many items as we think they will get.  It will be good for them to learn that not everything on your wish list ends up under the Christmas tree, but if you end up with half it’s a good haul.

Disclosure:  I did win a doll during the holiday party.  It didn’t have anything to do with Jim’s advice, but I thought I’d disclose it anyway because was a party sponsor.

Shari writes about life with twins at Two Times the Fun.  Photo courtesy of Stock Exchange.


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Category: New Posts, Parenting

About Shari: Shari is a mom, wife, marketing communications professional, gardener, Chicago Blackhawks fan, college sports fan, traveler, quilter, community volunteer, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, Siberian Husky owner, Girl Scout troop leader and book lover. You can find Shari blogging about life with twins at Two Times the Fun and tweeting @slcs48n1. View author profile.

Comments (2)

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  1. Melisa says:

    Seems like pretty good advice!

  2. We have always been like you, we taught the boys that if they ask for too much then they are being greedy and that might put them on the naughty list. We went and saw Santa Saturday and they each asked for 1 or 2 things and Santa was like…”and what else”

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