How many gifts should a child receive at Christmas? Advice for parents and Magi

The most common image on Christmas morning or of Christmas in any house where there are children is that of the children opening one package after another, ripping the gift paper at full speed to quickly discover what it contains and move on to the next one. A feast that is often repeated at the home of grandparents or uncles.

Santa Claus and the Magi are usually generous, but there are times when they pass and leave some children a real arsenal of toys. Are they really lucky to receive so much? Psychologists and pedagogues are clear: the abundance of gifts is not favorable for children. “By giving them everything they ask, they become immature and insatiable, and in the long run they will become unsatisfied adults, for whom nothing will ever be enough.”

The first consequence that has to be filled with gifts is that the child cannot serve them all, we create a certain dispersion and it is impossible to play with everything. They tend to have more than they can enjoy, if it becomes normal, emotion is lost.

It is also frequent that the Magi go hand in hand with the value of the gift. When they are very expensive, disproportionate to their age, they anesthetize children in values such as austerity.


What can parents do? The recipe is simple but requires that you practice it throughout the year: set limits. If the children are taught that they can not have everything, to avoid consumerism and appreciate the value of things, when Christmas arrives they will understand that the entire toy catalog can not be ordered and that this time is not about competition for receiving a lot and expensive.

Parents should agree with Santa Claus and the Magi in advance and ensure that there is no invasion of gifts, if not, the children are put into an experience of consumerism.

The parents who must “put limits on the number of toys that their children will receive, taking into account what is necessary, coherent and priority.” To the packages that the child discovers in his house on December 25 or January 6 (or both), the ones that appear in the shoe that grandparents, uncles or other close people put on them are added. In this case, parents should also take the lead and establish “a serene and cordial dialogue, telling them that it is understood that they do so with the best intention, but explaining the negative effects of excessive gifts on children”, advises this specialist.


Parents also have a golden opportunity at the time of writing the letter to the kings with their children to define what and how much they will ask for. If we see the catalog of toys with him, we can propose one or explain why another one is better to discard it, and that is how we anticipate ourselves, and before thinking about what we would be delighted about, we must consider what it is that the child needs and what toy will awaken his cognitive, social or motor skills. If the child asks for a video game, for example, it is better to advise one that promotes good values “instead of other ultra-competitive or violent.”

It is good for parents to ask children what gifts they are really excited to receive, because that forces the children to make a selection, it is about minimizing the impulsive choices they make influenced by advertising.


If despite all the efforts the camels are well loaded, the experts recommend two alternatives. The first is that parents are responsible for dosing those toys over time. If the kings are passing, you can save part of the gifts and take them out when the child has given all using the toys he has. The mission of the parents is to see what they play more and what comes best in each moment and save the rest for other celebrations.

The second option is to awaken in the child the desire to share. If the child receives, for example, six gifts, why do not we ask him if he wants to donate one to another child he does not have? Whether he does or not, we will at least get him to think about it.

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