Monthly Article Archives: December 2007

The Holiday Season: Questions about Gifts and GivingRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

I have been asked numerous questions about giving gifts to children during the holiday season.  I would anticipate that the following are not unfamiliar to many of you: “My kids request really expensive gifts.  They tell me that all their friends are getting these kinds of gifts.  What if we can’t afford to give them such expensive presents?” “I feel guilty if I can’t give them things they would like, including the latest video game or a $150 pair of sneakers.  Is there something wrong with me for feeling guilty?” “I told my children that there are children all over the world who would be happy to have a decent meal during the holiday season and that they should be grateful for what they have and they should stop asking for more.  This comment didn’t go over very well.” “My kids only want us to give them video and computer games.  They already have dozens of them and they play them for hours.  Last year when my husband and I didn’t buy them video games, they were disappointed and told us so.  Actually, a more accurate description than disappointed is angry when they saw the books and non-video games we

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