Have Kids Pick Their Presents from Santa

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With the holiday season coming up quickly it reminds me of what I did when my daughter was little and in grade school. On Thanksgiving evening, I would break out several magazines like Sears, Penny's or even Kmart/Walmart advertisements for her to look at, telling her that there were so many children in the world now that it was my understanding that each child only got to choose $100 worth of gifts from these catalogs. Parents would then turn in the order to Santa BUT ONLY if the items selected totaled $100 or less and no more.


Well, this kept her quite occupied and busy for several days IF not a whole week. This, I felt, was a sure fire way to show my daughter that these "toys" did not come easily, not even for Santa Claus. That they cost him a lot of money too, even IF his elves were making them for her and the other children world wide to have.

She would begin Thanksgiving evening picking out items, adding them all up and if it was over $100 she would have to start all over omitting something until it totaled $100 or near that amount.

This taught her how to add and subtract quite well I think. In fact so well, that she is now a Vice President of a bank here in NC.

She now does the same thing with her three small children to this day. I think this taught her the value of a dollar at a very early age and that these things (toys) were not free for anyone in this life.

I challenge you to try this suggestion with your own little ones this year and see for yourself that Xmas does not have to cost a lot when you do it this way.

By Paula Jo from Mebane, NC

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November 27, 20080 found this helpful

That's a beautiful idea. Great way to add math skills too.

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November 27, 20080 found this helpful

I have an only child. She browses all the ads and then selects what she wants from Santa, it is one item. Then I distribute the list for Grandparents, etc. We give her three gifts, one for the mind (a book), one for the body (new outfit) and one for the soul (toy or creative gift).


Through the season, she gives gifts from the angel tree at school, community and church. She gets to purchase the things that go into the gift box and then must write a letter of joy and good wishes to go with each gift. She must calculate prices, as each is approx $10-15.

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By Cyndi (Guest Post)
December 3, 20080 found this helpful

Wow such great ideas. I can't wait until DS is old enough to do this. 7 months is a bit young to choose your own presents I guess.

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By Cybergrannie (Guest Post)
December 11, 20080 found this helpful

All of my 6 children are now grown with families of their own but we started this practice in the 60s. We gathered catalogues from the various stores and each child got to keep one catalogue for 7 days and then they switched until all had seen each catalogue and could start over. They were given a certain amount of money to spend (according to our circustances that year) and they placed the items in order of priority.


This worked out great and they continue it with their families. Gives parents a much better picture of what their children really want and a sense of value as to what things really cost.
Christmas has always been a special time of year for our family - never forgetting the Babe in the hay! or the less fortunate.

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