Children and Presents: Why you should not overwhelm children with gifts.

Hollywood’s star couple Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher have decided to take a radical step and leave their children without presents this year. But why would they do so?
The actors have decided to stop with the gift-giving due to the previous Christmas, when their two children received way too many gifts from their grandparents. ‘Wyatt, who is 3 now, is not even happy with the gifts anymore, and no longer appreciates these. Not to mention having something he would wish for from the bottom of his heart’, spoke actress Mila Kunis in an interview.

Avoiding this gift-shower is also approved by scientists: researches have shown that children who receive a lot of presents grow up to have a more materialistic view on life and place emphasis on owning things. Being so dependent on materialistic things, they also show a bigger likeliness to get addicted to gambling, shopping and the like. Additionally different researches show that there is no correlation between receiving presents and the level of happiness – children who had less things but had a loving family grew up more confident and more able to deal with stress.

Scientists point of view is also supported by baby counsellor Kadi Leppik. ‘December is a festive month, which is very family-oriented and is supposed to be peaceful. For some reason this has grown out to be a month of chaos with Christmas craze that starts months ahead of time! From all over the world people start buying huge amounts of gifts and the more expensive, the better,’ she mentions. International research Christmas Barometer 2016 done during the holiday season by Ferratum Group shows that the biggest spenders during this time in Europe are the Germans, whose Christmas presents take up to 807 Euros. But Estonians are not much off as Christmas presents take up to 571 Euros. The biggest spending point goes to toys.

‘Over these past five years, I am very grateful for being able to witness that children actually do not need any kinds of presents. I am working with a family who has three children aged 7, 5 and 2,5 years, and they have been taught that Christmas is the time of giving. With this in mind we get crafty and make our own presents. We have picked up cones from a park which we decorate on our own, and we have also bake cookies which we give away as presents,’ says Kadi.

‘Additionally we do not have that thing called ‘elfing’, where the elves bring you sweets overnight into a stocking or a slipper. Everyone does have Christmas calendars though, but this is more of a family event where opening these ‘windows’ is being done with the family to see the pictures hidden underneath the chocolate. I’m afraid Christmas is slowly losing its actual essence, when it used to be a time to spend with your family, where everyone cooked a lot and where the grandmother of the family finished her knitting just before the Christmas Eve,’ Kadi continues.

To bring this situation to life, she tells a story from one of her busy days at work. ‘One of the kids that was visiting us was very surprised to see that the children did not have a new robotic toy that cost around 300 Euros. I then had to get involved and said that we had different games we played. Then the little one said that this year’s present is going to be even more amazing! I then asked from the children under my care what was the purpose of Christmas and I was so happy and grateful to hear when they said: Christmas is the time of giving and the time to spend with their grandparents,’ Kadi adds happily.
‘Children do not actually care for things unless they have been taught to do so,’ she finds.

Kadi’s advice for this year: make it into a goal to spend some quality time with the whole family! ‘Go ice-skating, to a theatre, to movies, make delicious meals, read Christmas stories, go volunteer at a homeless care-house, get crafty and make presents with your own hands.

Teach your children the real purpose of Christmas and do not buy any presents this year.
With this kind of action you can be sure that when you are a grandparent, you will not be sent a pair of socks in mail, but that your children will come to enjoy the real essence of Christmas with you,’ she finds.

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