The Truth About Holiday Spending: Why Over-giving Might Be Overwhelming Your Kids
For the past decade, since the recession, American spending on Christmas has increased every year. This year, the average American is expected to spend about $920 on gifts for family and friends. As a nation, that’s $1 trillion in holiday spending for the year. Could we have a problem?
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with giving gifts at Christmas, but when we go into debt or become overly stressed and anxious due to holiday spending, it could be time to reassess how you handle Christmas with your family this year.
Over-giving to your kids could be overwhelming them more than you think. Your child feels stress in the home, so at Christmastime, he or she can sense that you’re stressed about money or buying the perfect gift or keeping up with the Joneses. Over-giving to young children in particular can make them feel overwhelmed, which is why I recommend parents store most toys out of reach—in a basement or closet or somewhere--leaving a few accessible to their child at a time.
Additionally, gifting your child with too many gifts doesn’t necessarily make them feel more loved and can have adverse effects, making them less grateful or misinterpreting the reason for the season to be about gifts rather than celebrating the birth of Christ or spending meaningful time with family.