Is It Better To Give One Big Present, Or Several Smaller Presents?

What will you put under the tree this year?

With just a few days left before Christmas, I’m finishing up the last of my shopping.  Thank goodness for Amazon Prime, right?  Cullen is still young enough this year that he won’t really appreciate the concept of Christmas.  Because of that, I’m not really getting him many gifts.  I know he’ll be spoiled by grandparents and other relatives, and he’ll already be overwhelmed by so many new things all on one day.  Plus, let’s be honest.  He is relatively spoiled all year long.

This year, he just has a few small things.  But looking ahead to future holidays, I’d like us to be thinking about how we’ll approach gift giving in our family.

When I was growing up, we always came down and did our stockings first.  In addition to some wrapped gifts under the tree, there were also some unwrapped things set out – big things like dollhouses or bikes.  Looking back, I think Santa was very nice to us!  Some years there would be a little less under the tree, and instead there would be one special box to open – always last.  One year this was a brand new gaming system, and another year it was our family’s first computer.  This was a BIG deal.

I like the idea of doing one big gift for the family – the last gift of the day.  The 2012 equivalent would be something like an iPad or an Xbox – things the whole family could use.  I don’t think we’ll do it every year, but I can see it being a fun thing to do every few years when we have saved and planned for something slightly extravagant.

More than anything, I don’t think it really matters how many boxes are under the tree.  What is most memorable is the thought and care that goes into gift giving.  I hope that our kids learn to love choosing and giving gifts each year, as much as they look forward to receiving them.

How does your family plan for gifts?  Is it better to give one big present, or fill the tree up with smaller boxes?

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