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What Every Mom Should Know About Giving Gifts to Her Children During Christmas

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What Every Mom Should Know About Giving Gifts to Her Children During Christmas

My daughter recently called me and informed me that her laptop was dying a slow death. She is in her 3rd year of college and relies heavily on her laptop to complete assignments and communicate with her professors. She was kind enough to relay to me that she would forego any presents I was thinking about getting her if I wanted to go ahead and purchase a new laptop for her.  

Instead of being instantly grateful to her as I think she expected, I felt stress. I knew this was about to be a difficult conversation. I knew that my desire to want to make her life as comfortable as possible so that she could succeed and in school and become a productive person in society would flare up during the conversation. I knew that anytime finances are involved a conversation with someone you are supporting can go badly if you cannot come to an agreement. However, I also knew this was an opportunity for me to model having a financial goals and budget setting strategies. 

I focused my intention on the conveying those life lessons of financial responsibility and budgeting. After years of trial and error, I have found that creating a budget for Christmas and sticking to it really helps with decreasing stress and feelings of overwhelm each year.  

So often we want to please are children and we go overboard with gift giving and trying to accomplish finding the perfect present. Then, after the holiday has past we fall into feelings of regret or despair trying to recover financially. 

Here are 3 tips I have found most effective:

1. Create a budget which allocates a specific amount to each child.

2. Include the child in an age appropriate conversation about budget and the expense of gifts as they are creating their Christmas/holiday wish list. Setting the stage for teaching them about financial planning.

3. Celebrate your accomplishment of sticking to the budge by complimenting yourself when you do a good job.

My daughter won’t be getting a laptop for Christmas this year. We did discuss how that equipment could be planned for in the future and what her contribution to reaching that financial goal could be. I was able to stick to my Christmas budget. So, I gave myself a huge pat on the back.  

For more tips for surviving the Christmas season, check out my new book entitled “The Busy Mom’s guide to Christmas Planning” now on sell via Amazon. Here is the link: