As Christmas and the winter holidays draw near, children begin to compile their lengthy (and pricey) gift lists. Along with the usual wish-picks like bikes, new DVDs, computers, electronic games and assorted toys, there are other demands. The toy companies advertise continually through the holiday season and wish lists grow exponentially longer and longer each time your child turns on the TV.  Kids will be usually be happy with whatever they get at Christmas, but the pressure prior to the big day builds up on the parent’s end. It’s enough to cause an aneurism!

There are several ways to get “gift expectations” under control.  As the festive season draws closer, sit down with your kids and come up with realistic gift lists. There are many ways to do this, but the most interactive way is to sit down with your children and go through their favorite catalogs. They can cut out the pictures of the things that they want most and you can have them add up how much these gifts will cost.  Before you start this activity, give your kids a total budget for their presents. If they go above the budget price total you’ve given them then, get them to eliminate items from the list and you’ll soon find what it is that they really want. This activity won’t only trim the list down but will help your child develop skills like adding, subtracting and budgeting.

Whether your child wants the new Cars 2 DVD or the latest lap top computer you should try to make sure that you are coping with the financial stress of Christmas. In the end it is a festive holiday, full of merriment and joy – So have fun and be merry!