Since I didn’t celebrate Christmas growing up (I’m Jewish), and we only celebrate the non-religious aspects now, it’s been interesting trying to figure out our own traditions and Santa theories from scratch. Especially as the kids get older and we navigate greater expectations. Keep in mind, we have eight days of Hanukah gifts (and both my kids’ birthdays), so I don’t want the holiday season to get too gluttonous.
Here are a few rules that we’ve established (and a few I wish I established earlier), both to curb the greed and to keep the magic alive as long as possible.
1) Santa brings one gift per kid plus fills the stockings. All other gifts are from family and friends.
2) Santa only brings toys that he can make in his workshop. So no real live unicorns and no puppies. (Whether Santa’s workshop has the tools to make branded toys like American Girl Dolls or LEGO sets, is up to you.)
3) Nothing too large. It must fit in his sack and down the chimney.
4) Nothing too expensive. Santa gives presents to kids all over the world and tries to spread the love evenly. (I’ve also heard a lot of people suggest recently that expensive gifts should come from the parents. Some parents say it’s because they want the credit and others say this helps when kids of different financial backgrounds compare “what Santa brought them” when they get back to school.)
5) Santa won’t buy you a gift that defies your parents rules. So no iPhones if Santa knows your parents have already said no. Plus, iPhones are made in China.
6) Santa gifts are unwrapped. Alternatively, you can leave your own wrapping paper out for Santa to use, which helps explain why we stock the same paper as the North Pole!
What rules or traditions do you apply to gifts from Santa?