I came from a poor family, so did my husband and our parents. We never looked for charity at Christmas or any other time. I think people need to really think about what is most important, not a ton of toys, getting a video game or all that other popular stuff. I've found most children delight to getting anything, from a homemade doll, even a made doll bed.
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Sometimes when you are telling family members what you would like for Christmas, there is confusion. I know that sometimes when I am buying for someone, I wonder "is this the right item?"
I have two boys that look forward to that magical Christmas season. They understand all about receiving and opening gifts, maybe too well. The wish list gets longer and more expensive every year.
Encourage your kids to make a wish list. Every time they see a toy they want on TV or in a magazine, remind them to add to the wish list. Emphasize that this is a WISH list - not a demand list.
Children want a lot of things. When my children were growing up, I would put everything they asked for on a list. Items had to be in our budget to be included on the list. A few weeks before their birthday or Christmas, I would have them look at the list and circle the 3-5 items they wanted the most. This way they would get something they wanted and still have an element of surprise.