5 Tips for Managing Children’s Holiday Expectations


The holidays can be difficult for parents trying to keep their children’s experiences positive during the holiday hustle and bustle. These are tips that cost nothing and can keep your children’s attitudes in check during family gatherings.

Be prepared

Have the conversation in advance about what the holidays mean to you as a family. What are your favorite things about the holidays? Sit down and have a holiday talk about what you want. Ask, “If you were to get one or two presents, what would you like them to be?”

Accentuate the positive

Focus on what you like about the holidays. Remember the quickest route to being happy is gratitude. Teach children about appreciation and gratitude. Start now, and focus on the positive.

Fight “compare-it is”

What do you when one child gets a present that doesn’t quite stack up to what a sibling or friend received? Put things into perspective. “Compare-it is” is a disease in a family. Have a family conversation about family values and what’s important in your family.

Have fun

Create a “family fun box.” Our family had an oatmeal box covered with dinosaur wrapping paper. Brett and Danielle would write what they wanted to do on little notes. What did they write? “P-L-A-Y.” Have family members write down things they want to do as a family that don’t involve presents. Then every Friday, do a “family fun” activity. You are celebrating the gift of each other all year not just during the holidays. 

Give time

Give the gift of your time and energy. Giving is better than receiving. Giving makes us happier than receiving. When you study happiness, material things don’t create as much happiness as giving the gift of y our time and your spirit.

Happy Holidays Everyone!



“Remember more is not always better. In fact sometimes more stuff, people and things to do is just too much.” -A “Chere’ism”

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