What Should I Get My Kids For Christmas?


As we approach Christmas time, a lot of parents probably have that on their minds. In our culture, we are expected to get gifts for our children. The purpose of this blog is not to dig into the virtue or lack thereof of this cultural practice, but to give parents some wisdom on making decisions about this very important subject matter. Below are some helpful hints for parents who are asking themselves this question:

  1. It’s not wrong to get your child gifts. The opposite may actually be true. Because Christmas is known as the time of year when giving gifts takes place, if you as a parent neglect to give anything to your child, it could do serious harm to your relationship with them. This doesn’t mean that you have to give in to the rampant American consumerism, but a small gift could mean a lot to your child.
  2. How much you love your child does not equal how much you spend on them. America is out of control in this area. Surveys tell us that households with children plan to spend $1,306 this year.[1] This equates to over $184 billion this year.[2]
  3. Be wise in your spending. You are not helping yourself or your children if you go into debt to buy your children gifts this year. 74% of shoppers plan to use credit cards to buy Christmas gifts this year.[3] When you consider the reality that 31% of last year's credit card Christmas shoppers still haven’t paid Christmas 2022 off, this is very troubling.[4]
  4. Be careful not to buy your child things that will hurt them instead of helping them. Do your research. Look into how different gaming systems, electronics, etc., will affect children before deciding to purchase these items. It is likely that electronic possessions will increase your child’s dependence upon these things and will limit their doing other, more productive activities. Overuse of these kinds of devices can affect children in very negative ways. This increases the likelihood of anxiety and depression in children.[5] Other issues include sleep deprivation, development and learning delays, and many other harmful impacts on children.[6] It may be wise to spring for a bike or basketball goal instead of an iPad.
  5. Christmas time gives us an opportunity to teach our kids about denying ourselves and giving to others who are in need. A tradition that we have in our household is that we buy goats, cows, water filters, feed infants, and provide other much-needed items for people living in poverty. Our family sits down around my computer, they don’t have one, and we donate money for needy families through Samaritan’s Purse[7]. This organization seems to be reputable and the money we give for these projects is given for the assigned purpose. Teach your children to be givers and help them realize how blessed we really are. They probably don’t realize this. Help them to see that they are giving some of what could have been spent on them. This may sound odd, but it will help them learn a very valuable lesson.
  6. Don’t forget Jesus. If we neglect to make Christmas time about Jesus, then we have failed to recognize the reason for Christmas. This can be done by making time to faithfully participate in the special events at your church during Christmas. If your church has a Christmas offering, take part in it as a family. How ironic that we would be so busy at Christmas that we would neglect to take part in giving to and worshipping Jesus. Read the Christmas story found in Luke 2 as a family. Discuss what was happening here. Help them understand that this gift is the greatest gift that was ever given. Teach them that our gift-giving, to one another and to others, is to cause us to remember this gift.
  7. Spend time with loved ones during Christmas. It might be a good idea to have a no-phones zone to help this take place. Talk to one another. Get to know the older people in your life. Make sure your kids have the opportunity to create memories during this special time of the year.

If you began reading this blog with hopes of learning about the newest toy or latest gadget, I am sorry that you are probably disappointed. But I hope that you have gleaned some truths that will help you know how to lead your family to a place of Godliness with these suggestions.


[1] https://www.axios.com/2023/12/07/christmas-gift-holiday-shopping-2023.

[2] https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/shopping/2023-holiday-shopping-report.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] https://www.mhawny.com/2022/11/23/modern-day-parenting-how-screen-time-affects-your-childs-mental-health/.

[6] Ibid.

[7] https://samaritanspurse.org/our-ministry/gift-catalog/?utm_source=Ggl&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=m_YGCA-S23V&utm_content=Catalog_LP&gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAiAmsurBhBvEiwA6e-WPEHQgI1mnopm8G9Znv-aa1K9UR0Xm35GxTi6EMaOfY0PhugttAkifRoC66IQAvD_BwE.


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