HOW MANY PRESENTS ARE TOO MANY?
Does your family have official limits on gift-giving? A set number per person? Drawing names rather than expecting everyone to have something for everyone else?
While many families find gift-giving limits the perfect solution to stress (not to mention overspending), many others consider such ideas restrictive if not stingy, and find personal joy in showering others with gifts. This doesn’t happen too frequently between adults (except with courting couples and at landmark events/anniversaries), but many children have grandparents, aunts, and even parents who just can’t give enough to them. You may be overdoing things and cultivating a sense of entitlement if:
If you see such attitudes developing in your own family, call a family meeting to discuss the situation. Don’t just scold the kids for expecting too much: listen to them and consider their points of view. Are they actually hungry for more of your attention, and grasping at material gifts as the nearest available substitute? Could they have developed the complaining habit without realizing it—or caught the “never enough” attitude from you?
Whether or not you decide to make major changes in your gift-giving habits, make a habit of encouraging the kids to be generous with others: giving some of their allowance to charity, sharing toys with friends, making special presents for Grandma.
Some additional hints for keeping present-giving from reaching the “too many” stage: