We don’t want spoiled, selfish kids, and we don’t want to teach them to go over budget for gifts or to compete with others regarding gifts. We also don’t want our house to have a critical mass of toys. They get one present from us, one present from Santa, one from each pair of grandparents, one present from each other, one present from aunts and uncles and we take turns/rotate exchanging gifts with cousins. It still ends up being a lot of presents, but it’s not extravagant. We do NOT tell them they have to be good or Santa won’t bring them presents; we don’t want them to think that good behavior is tied to the receipt of gifts. We also find a couple of minutes to talk about how the tradition of gift-giving comes from the honor and love the wise men showed to Christ. Christmas is a happy occasion, and we don’t sour it by going into debt (including credit card debt). We also continue fun traditions like decorating, caroling, making cookies and giving service to others.
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