Little Wishlist - How Many Presents Should a Child Get for Christmas?
about 9 months ago / Parenthood

How Many Presents Should a Child Get for Christmas?

Christmas Presents (1)

Christmas is a magical time for children, filled with excitement and family traditions like making a Christmas wish list. However, determining the right number of gifts for kids can be challenging. In this blog, we’ll explore why children ask for so much at Christmas and how many presents a child should add to their Christmas gift list. We’ll delve into the ‘rule of 5 kids presents’, the average number of Christmas presents for UK children, and the tradition of receiving gifts from Santa.

How many things should be on a child’s Christmas list? 

The number of items on a child’s Christmas wish list will vary widely based on individual preferences, family traditions, and budget considerations. There is no right or wrong number, but it’s worth instilling a sense of balance to guide children. Children can become ungrateful and overwhelmed if they get used to receiving a lot. After all, we’ve all seen those photos of piles of presents with hefty price tags and wondered how a child could possibly want or need so many toys. 

If children become used to demanding and receiving toys whenever they want, they won’t understand the value of money or feelings of delayed gratification.

To help manage expectations and unrealistic demands for ‘lots of stuff’ from kids, the ‘rule of 5 gifts’ is a popular guideline. It suggests giving children five gifts on Christmas, categorised as follows:

  • Something they want
  • Something they need
  • Something to wear
  • Something to read
  • Something to share

This rule ensures that children receive both fun and practical items, but they don’t get everything they add to their wish list of presents.

To help you organise gift ideas, we've added a free printable present list for children to fill out according to the 5-gift rule. 

Download your printable gift wish list.

What is the average number of Christmas presents a UK child receives? 

The average number of Christmas presents a UK child receives can vary widely depending on the family or traditions. On average, children in the UK may receive anywhere from 10 to 15 presents. However, it’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all answer, as the number of gifts can vary significantly from one family to another.

Typically, most families will go for one ‘big’ present and lots of little gifts. Choosing a ‘big’ gift is an important decision as it’ll likely be quite pricey. Therefore, parents want to ensure it’s a present the child likes or wants.

Gifts we are expecting to be popular for Christmas in 2023 are:

Other classic choices include a toy kitchen, children’s bike, electronics, or an experience voucher. Smaller such as toys, teddies, games, sweets or chocolates, and stocking fillers add to the magic.

How many Christmas presents should be from Santa? 

The tradition of how many gifts should be from Santa (or Father Christmas) varies from family to family. Some families have Santa bring one special gift, while others may have Santa deliver a few presents. Ultimately, the decision should align with your family's traditions and values and consider the child’s age and expectations.

Some families choose to make a Christmas wish list and have Santa bring one thing. Family members can then select other items and send them to Santa or gift directly. 

When should I make a Christmas gift for my children?

The timing for making a Christmas gift list for your children is up to you.  That said, starting the process in the weeks leading up to Christmas is typically a good idea. This allows enough time for thoughtful consideration of gift ideas and for sharing the list with family and friends who may want to contribute.

Whether children should make a Christmas list is a matter of personal choice and family tradition. It can be a valuable exercise in creativity, expression, and gratitude. Remember that the festive season is about receiving gifts and fostering a spirit of giving, love, and togetherness with family and friends. So, let your child’s Christmas list be a fun and meaningful part of the festive season.

Free printable wishlist download

Download your printable gift wish list to help you organise gift ideas according to the 5-gift rule. 

Christmas wish list


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