How many Christmas gifts are too many?

How many Christmas gifts are too many?

As we charge up towards Christmas I am reminded of when I was a child, I received literally a few gifts. Nowadays children tend to receive loads of gifts. These gifts often end up as landfill months or a few years later. Moreover, this overindulgence in gifts could also feed an insatiable hunger for more.

Sure, unwrapping a mountain of gifts produces a burst of dopamine—but it has no staying power, and can lead to a sense of entitlement and lack of gratitude.  

Too many toys can limit a child’s creativity and start addictions to ‘stuff’ which might stay with them forever. According to research, this materialism is connected to a decrease in life satisfaction, happiness, vitality, and social cooperation, as well as increased depression, anxiety and antisocial behaviour.  It also reflects a disregard for the environment.

Children and parents are marketed to on the daily, and parents feel pressured to buy things that will help their child’s development. But in truth children learn more from open ended resources like a cardboard box and nature where they have to ‘think’.

Far better to give one well intentioned gift that is very special to the child, as well spending quality time together, and giving to charity to make the Christmas time of year special, grounding, and authentic.