When choosing gifts for your children, do you put a lot of intellectual thought into it, or just grab an easier option (like what the kids are nagging for!)?

In an ideal world, I think we should have a purpose in mind for the gifts we give our children.

For example, we may decide it is important to encourage activity rather than sedentary lifestyle so we chose (predominantly at least) gifts to suit that lifestyle value. Or maybe healthy eating is important to you so you give dried fruit instead of lollies and healthy cook books rather than chocolate ones!

Instead of overall values, maybe the purpose of for gifts would suit each child and help with things they need to develop (maybe Scrabble for someone struggling with reading, jigsaws for those not skilled in problem solving or Pictionary or Cazoo for kids who need more communication skills).

As much fun and pleasure as kids derive from opening the gifts at Christmas, surely we should keep the big picture in mind and choose gifts that lead the child in directions we like?

Mind you, I am not saying give kids presents they’ll hate – let them enjoy Christmas and we want them to use the purposeful gifts. Just find a compromise – don’t give an inactive kid a bike but perhaps give an electronic game that involves moving or a scooter for getting to and from school.

What do you think? Is it better to choose gifts with a purpose, that support your goals and aims as parents (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc)?

If not completely about purpose, what proportion of their gifts would you like to have a purpose?