Liz Iudakhina

Liz Iudakhina

Dec 2, 2023. 4 mins read


Unwrapping Joy: Rethinking Christmas Gifts for Kids

It's December, and it can only mean one thing – Santa Claus is coming to town!  Whether you've been nice and organised or are still procrastinating in the naughty corner, postponing the holiday craze for as long as possible, this looming thing is practically impossible to ignore…Christmas gifts for kids, of course. Sigh. 

santa think have creative spirit thoughts to deliver gifts on his craft turbo card board rocket wings wear cap

Are you racing against the magic sleigh, trying to outdo last year's gift count? Hold your reindeer parents because it's time for a massive reality check as we lean into the annual parenting conundrum and rethink our holiday gift-giving strategy. 

The Great Gift Overload

"The more, the merrier" appears to be an overarching theme of Christmas spending in Australia, with adults routinely spending nearly $1500 on festivities, so saving money is seldom on one's mind during the most wonderful time of the year. Predictably, a large chunk of this sum goes towards all things wrapped and shiny under the tree, gifts for the tiniest members of the family included.

And we truly get that the joy on a kid's face as they rip through mountains of wrapping paper is priceless. But in the spirit of socially responsible parenting, let's pause and think for a second: does little Timmy really need twenty more toys? Are we instilling the right values in our kiddos or raising tiny hoarders? Are we teaching them that the holiday spirit is all about the quantity of gifts or the quality of moments?

While there's no universal answer to anything when it comes to parenting, it may be time for a mindset shift!

Instead of drowning in a sea of unwrapped goodies, imagine a more zen-like holiday where each gift is a carefully chosen gem. Quality over chaos, quality over quantity. Let's get intentional about our presents—think gifts that won't end up abandoned in the kids toys' graveyard by New Year's.

What's The Rule of 5 Kids Presents?

When shopping for Christmas gifts for kids, no matter how much of a seasoned eco-parent you are, it's easy to get carried away.

Just. Look. At. All. The. Things. Your little ones would love them so much, wouldn't they? But as we've touched on before, if you go way overboard, there's a good chance the goodies will quickly end up donated at charity or toy library or contribute to The Great Clutter in your home for years to come.

Busy parents crave a gift-giving framework, and one that we'd really like to highlight is the 5 Gift Rule. The first four gifts (which can be Santa's slam dunk if your littles are Christmas magic believers!) are something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.

As for the 5th gift, it's meant to be the real showstopper - the excitement curveball, the unexpected delight that leaves kiddos wide-eyed! When shopping for The 5th Gift, forget the predictable hot toys; we're diving deep into what makes our little ones truly happy. It's a chance for parents to be Santa detectives, listening keenly, observing their passions, and delivering a gift that goes beyond trends—a gift that creates lasting joy and genuine surprise.

Experiences: Because Memories > Material Stuff

Whatever you're gifting, let's not lose sight of the real reason for the season. It's not about the loot; it's about creating moments that warm the cockles of your heart. In other words, let's put experiences over material stuff!

This works in a couple of different ways– the first one being gifting your littleies adventures as opposed to another plastic gadget or trendy toy. Think theme park passes, tickets to kids' shows and wild animal encounters– fortunately, Australia has no shortage of absolutely fantastic things to do with littles! And if you're looking to save money, we’ve found ways you can entertain your kids without going broke.

Another take on this is when, somewhat inevitably, shopping for material stuff, don't just think of "what's the latest". Also, consider the experience your gift will bring and how much it's suited to your child's personality and quirky little hobbies. If you think about Christmas gifts for kids this way, you will see that the most show-stopping present may even be waiting for you in the realm of preloved toys, not on store shelves. 

When putting experiences over "stuff", the real magic happens. Instead of a bunch of things, suddenly, you have a collection of golden tickets to memory lane under the tree!

Wrangling the Reindeer and Bringing Back Sanity: The Cheat Sheet

Ready to declutter your to-do list and tame racing thoughts this holiday season? Here's your ultimate cheat sheet of actionable items!

  • Set a Limit, Be a Hero:
    Whether it's the "rule of 5" we've touched on before or "one-gift to rule them all," set a cap on the chaos. This includes setting limits for those you're celebrating with. Otherwise, Aunt Karen (with the best of intentions) might just go crazy on piles of toys your children may not need or even want! You'll be the hero who saved Christmas from gift overload.

  • Experiences FTW:
    Opt for gifts that spark joy and create lasting memories. These are the true treasures that keep on giving.

  • Gratitude Rocks:
    Make gratitude a thing. A tradition of expressing thanks for each gift turns unwrapping into a gratitude fest. Cue the warm fuzzies.

  • Family Time, Not Just Fa-La-La-La-La:
    The real magic happens when you focus on family moments. Bake together, play games, or cosy up for a holiday movie night. Because memories beat material stuff every time.

In a world of over-the-top gift guides and shopping madness, let's be the rebels who bring back the sanity to the season. When it comes to Christmas gifts for kids, it's time to ditch the excess, embrace the joy of less, and rediscover the true magic of the holidays– the magic that happens when we focus on what really matters. 

Cheers to cosy celebrations that are light on the loot but heavy on the love…because 'tis the season! 

Liz Iudakhina

Liz Iudakhina

Researcher . Dietitian . Crazy cat lady . Toddler mum

When she’s not decoding the universe or negotiating with a tiny human over juice vs. water ratios, you’ll find her cuddled up with two meowing furballs. A true plate-spinning pro, she turns broccoli into superhero snacks and threads various facets of motherhood into delightful stories.

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