Heard of the ‘Four Gift Rule’? It’s the new trend slimming Santa’s sack this year – much to the blessed relief of bank balances (and the chagrin of toy-spoiled tots everywhere)…
The idea going social media viral is simple. You buy your children no more than four gifts this festive season, each falling under one of these categories:
Something to wear
Something to read
Something they want
Something they need
The thinking behind the present paring-down is to impart to your privileged preciouses the principle of thankfulness, and the awareness that money doesn’t grow on trees (not even Christmas ones).
Of course, as parents, we shouldn’t have to be reminded to teach our kids these imperative life-lessons – and if we do need a little reality-check, it probably needs to happen more than just once a year.
Still, we are mass consumerists by evolved nature; it’s tough to escape the sparkly allure of stuff. (In fact, there’s even a new dictionary entry for the capitalist condition – oniomania – describing the uncontrollable desire to buy things.)
A survey from OnePoll last year revealed that, on average, British children have 10 times more toys than they actually need. The average UK child owns 51 toys but only plays with 5 on a regular basis.
The Netmums forum comments on our tendency to go OTT are pretty surprising, but they probably reflect what’s going on in most of our homes…
“My little boy is 6 my hubby thinks I go overboard last year he made me count them to try and shame me. He had 56 presents. I don’t stick to a number but I generally go for the wow factor for when my little boy walks down the stairs” – Nichola
“Every year they get around 20 presents each for Christmas and birthdays including a main present each, plus shared presents” – Sharon
I originally said to myself “10 decent presents plus stockings and Christmas Eve box/bag” and that’s it. I’m now at over 30 presents each not including their Christmas Eve box” – Natasha
“My wee one has 32 from Santa, 25 in her stocking and 10 from me and her dad” – Nicola
So, are you an extravagant gift-giver, or more frugal with the material?