As the holiday season approaches, many parents are wondering how many gifts they should give their children for Christmas. You want your kids to enjoy the excitement of the holiday, and all children enjoy getting presents. However, you don’t want them to end up taking things for granted and becoming unappreciative and greedy.

You also don’t want to leave yourself with an empty bank account.


“Good Morning America” talked to several mothers to ask what they think is an appropriate number of gifts for their children. Yet what seems right for one family may be too much or too little to another. Keeping this in mind, they chose three mothers with varying ideas of how many presents they give each child and why.

Many Presents

Mrs. Gidley insists on giving her children, ages five and two, a lavish Christmas experience. She says that each of her children gets 20 presents. She went on to say, “Christmas was a big event for me when I was small, and I wanted my kids to enjoy the kind of Christmas tradition of which every child dream. I realize now that we’re quite privileged.” However, the only other time that Mrs. Gidley’s children get presents during the year is for their birthdays.

She also wants people to know that her family buys presents for underprivileged children. Her children pick out the gifts, and the family goes to an event that focuses on helping the less fortunate and being kind to others. Mrs. Gidley says that it’s something to which her family always looks forward.

No Presents

Mrs. Norton says that her daughter, age two, won’t be getting any presents for Christmas, stating that she gets plenty already. She states, “I don’t believe in this consumer culture. I believe that immaterial things are more important and provide more happiness to a family, like playing outside and spending quality time together.”

However, she says that once her daughter is older, she will give her gifts, but they won’t be extravagant.

Just A Few

Mrs. Stahl says that she will be giving three presents each to her two children, ages seven and four. She says, “A good friend of mine whose kids are a little bit older recommended the idea to me. As her children grew, they learned about Santa Clause and got more specific with their top list of toys for Christmas. It’s helped me keep the holiday chaos at bay.” Her children also get presents from other family members, so there’s no shortage of unwrapping for them to look forward.

Mrs. Stahl says that she was initially worried that limiting presents to three each would ruin the holiday for her kids, but her children were so young when she started that it didn’t phase them. She also realized that it helped her to reign in her tendency to go overboard on the Christmas shopping. “It also keeps things fair for each child,” she states. “They know Santa’s rule is three presents each, and they’re always excited to get them.”

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