Why I Don’t Feel Pressure to Buy My Kid Christmas Gifts

christmas giftsOkay, please hear me out on this before you report me to the North Pole.

Let me first start off by saying that my kid is in no way deprived of material things. He is my only child who is regularly lavished with things by his grandparents, dad, and occasionally me throughout the entire year.

That’s why I feel no obligation whatsoever to give him presents on Christmas Day.

Now, does my kid deserve to be spoiled with gifts? The answer is 100% yes! He is an excellent student, an amazing athlete, and an overall funny and witty guy.

However, if he receives so much during the year, then why should I further release a pile of additional gifts upon him just because it’s Christmas? It seems excessive.

Last year, his dad sent me a text asking me what I was getting our kid for Christmas because he didn’t want to accidentally buy the same thing.

My response was, “Well, unless you’re getting him nothing, we won’t have any repeat gifts.” (That text still makes me chuckle.)

My kid denies being treated indulgently. He recently tried to convince me that he lives a humble lifestyle. I may have even believed him had he not been texting his friends from his brand new iPhone at the time that we were having the discussion.

But I digress…

I like to focus on experiences over gifts, but these ideas don’t go over too well with my kid. The conversations usually go something like this…

Me: “Let’s listen to holiday songs while hanging ornaments on the tree!”

My kid: [turns and exits in silence]

Me: “Let’s make cookies and drink hot chocolate while watching holiday movies!”

My kid: [turns and exits in silence]

Me: “Let’s go to a winter festival and marvel at the wonder of all of the shimmering lights!” (Yes, I really say things like that.)

My kid: [turns and exits in silence]

I suppose that we could find a balance and meet somewhere in the middle between receiving gifts and creating experiences on Christmas.

Until then, I’ll continue to let my family pile endless gifts for him under the tree while I just eat my gingerbread in amused silence knowing that my gift of unconditional love for him is enough.

gifted kidsAbout the Author

Erica Whitfield is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and
Certified Therapeutic Art Life Coach who has a Masters in Counseling Psychology and over 10 years of experience working with children and adolescents. She is the Founder of Positive Development, LLC, a counseling practice for youth located in Jacksonville, Florida. Erica combines expressive therapies using art, music, physical movement and writing, with evidenced-based therapeutic modalities such as CBT, solution-focused and positive psychology approaches to help children and adolescents process past trauma, transition during difficult life adjustments, form healthier relationships, perform better in school and work through self-harming behaviors. She specializes in providing strengths-based counseling and has helped hundreds of youth unleash their capabilities, transform obstacles into opportunities and find healthy ways to express their energy and creativity.


  1. I love this!!!!! I also support you and think this article was really funny 🙂

    This year I am not doing presents either. I told my 6 year old daughter and asked what she’d like to do instead on Christmas morning. “Oooooh we could make Christmas CRAFTS and make ornaments and give them to people!” She was not upset at ALL and very excited instead. I am trying to DOWNSIZE the junk we already have and purge! We don’t need more.


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