One of the biggest questions parents, especially new ones, have to answer is how to handle the man, the myth, the legend — Santa Clause. Specifically, who gets all the glory. When deciding between Santa and parents gifts, there are pros and cons for both sides.
Santa and Parent Gifts: Deciding Who Gives What
Growing up Santa wasn’t a huge deal in my family. My parent’s preferred to give big gifts while Santa brought just a few, small trinkets. Still, every year, we excitedly wrote out our list to the man at the North Pole and visited him at the shopping mall. And when he asked what we wanted, my sister and I would go through our entire wishlist without holding back.
Today, however, Santa is playing less of a role in kid’s lives. Some parents prefer to not even use him in their traditions anymore. Other parents are pleading on Facebook to reduce the Santa fatigue and inequality by having parents take over the big gifts.
No matter where you lie on this subject, whether you love that traditional Santa or are looking to minimize his part in your holidays, here are a few things to consider when deciding who to write your child’s gift is from.
Big Gifts from Santa
Santa is a special force — one of wish making, dream listening. He symbolizes so much of good will and good heart all year round. Yet, he’s seasonal. He comes once a year, gets his job done, and goes on vacation for the rest of the 364 days of the year.
And that, is the core why many parents think Santa should give the big gifts — the gifts that will knock your children’s socks off. Parents want to give Santa the wonderment of the season. They want him to be the bearer of awesome things all in the name of the holiday.
Being special and only for one day quells expectations. Instead of children thinking they will always get these big, grandiose gifts every holiday or birthday, they know that Santa is once a year deal. Children may not be eager to ask for as much when it isn’t in a list mailed to a man and his elves.
Big Gifts from Parents
This year, I am seeing more of a push from moms to have parent’s be the giver of big gifts. This is mainly to stamp out inequity among children. There will be no reasoning why Santa gave one child a pair of socks while the other got an ATV. And for children in foster homes, without homes, or who simply do not celebrate, this may save hurt feelings.
One of the other reasons why you may prefer to give big gifts from mom and dad is because you want your child to associate you with the fun stuff. The pressure to score big Santa wins will be reduced, and you can sit back and watch your kids shriek in glee when they open their new favorite toy on Christmas morning knowing they will be thanking you.
The Financial Take on Who Gives the Best Gifts
For parent’s looking to teach children about financial literacy (which, isn’t that why you are here?), it’s the ELC take that big gifts from parents win. Becoming the big gift giver allows you to open up the discussion on money and the holidays.
With older children, you can share how much each child is designated and help them plan their list so that it fits the price range. While, on the other hand, small children can participate in shopping exercises such as buying for other children through a local angel tree. This takes Santa and his potential inequality out of the equation in both budgeting, spending, and giving.
However, in the end, it is up to your family. At ELC, we understand that traditions die hard, and that Santa is an important part of the holiday season for most. When in doubt, split it up evenly. Let Santa get a little shine on an awesome toy while parents buy the most wanted item. Or, mix it up every year so expectations aren’t set through rigid rules.
Santa and parent gifts shouldn’t be stressful or dramatic. Do what feels right for your children and your wallet.