Gifts from kids

Who do your kids specifically give gifts to?

I remember as a kid that we only gave gifts as a family, but I know that my kids give some gifts from them, not the family.

Why gifts from kids?

I like my children to learn that gifts, and Christmas, are about giving and not just receiving. I want them to be generous and learn the pleasure in giving to others.

It’s also important to teach kids gratitude and appreciation. Which can’t happen if they just get gifts and never return the gesture.

So my kids give presents to certain people. And by giving, I mean their name(s) is on the card and they physically hand the gift over.

cousins handing out xmas giftsFor instance, they give presents to their grandparents to show that gift giving goes two ways. Often this is a token gift* or something they have made themselves as the point is the giving.

Who kids give to

Obviously it varies between family situations, but to give you the idea, my kids give gifts to their:

  • grandparents and great-grandmothers
  • scouting leaders
  • family day carers
  • class teachers
  • siblings
  • parents (yes, we get Christmas and birthday gifts from our children)

Have I missed anyone your kids give gifts to? Do your kids enjoy the gift giving as well as getting gifts?

* We usually give something bigger to grandparents as a family, too.

62 Responses to Gifts from kids

  • palaciosv says:

    My eleven year old daughter likes to give to all of the above and our neighbors. She does make most of her gifts, usually cards or tree ornaments. However, she usually starts collecting and making them early in the year. None of my other children like to do this, they are older and do not like to worry about these things.

  • GigBiz says:

    What a sweet post πŸ™‚ I absolutely agree with you that children should be taught the value of appreciation and gratitude – and give giving is one of the most natural ways to foster those ideals.

    At Christmas time when I was a small boy my mother would help us rap the gifts for our relatives, who we’d then personally deliver to dressed as Santa’s helpers on Christmas day πŸ™‚

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Dressing up as Santa’s helper and distributing presents is another great way to teach kids the joy of giving. My kids (and kids in our extended family) all clammer for the chance to ‘play Santa’ under the tree each year. Sounds like your Mum taught you in fun ways, GigBiz!

  • I come from a big family. Once we were old enough to earn an allowance, my Mom made sure we gave gifts to other people. We gave gifts to our siblings, grandparents, parents, and teachers. As we got a little older, we added friends to the list.

    The presents didn’t always have to be purchased. I am sure most of my parent and grandparent presents were hand made. The point was to think of someone besides myself during the holidays.

    I think it’s important to cultivate the spirit of giving. It’s fun to receive gifts. Who doesn’t enjoy that? But, children need to experience to joy of giving as well. Making someone else happy is is a special feeling.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      I agree – making someone else happy is a fantastic feeling – I feel sorry for people who don’t experience that so I give kids the opportunity to learn that.

      When I was a kid I loved making things for people so I’m sure my grandparents and parents got some ‘lovely’ gifts that they only valued for my efforts πŸ™‚ Most years, my kids make their gifts for grandparents, too.

  • tulosai says:

    I think it is fantastic that you are teaching your kids about the gift of giving at such an early age. I think that the list of people your kids give gifts to is pretty similar to my own, except for that I also think it’s important to give to aunts and uncles. Since kids receive presents from them too it feels only appropriate that they have something to give back.

    I agree with the above poster that, as they get a bit older, it’s also a great idea to add friends to the list πŸ™‚

    • Santa's Elf says:

      My kids sometimes make something for aunts/uncles but we don’t make as big a deal about them because gifts go to cousins as well so it gets hard to keep track of what’s happening πŸ™‚ It all depends on what family you have, I think.

  • tajnz says:

    Even as a child I enjoyed personally choosing or crafting gifts and seeing the look on the persons face as they unwrapped it. πŸ™‚ I have a small immediate family and so picked out a gift for each of them as well for my teacher. I’d also choose christmas cards for each student in my class and pair it with a candy bar. I took it so seriously deciding exactly who would prefer which card.
    A few years I also chose a toy for a child in need as you drop it off at the local mall and leave it under whats called a wishing tree with a sticker showing what age and gender the gift is for.
    I think it’s important to teach children the joy of giving. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just from the heart.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      The wishing tree concept is great – so many people want to help but don’t know how so these trees give us a practical solution. Even for families who can’t participate, explaining the treee when you walk past with kids still shwos the kids about giving and community spirit.

      Good to meet someone else who carefully selects cards for people, tajnz – I even choose gift tags on the gifts as to who would prefer each one!

  • Metarex says:

    It definitely is a wonderful idea for kids to learn about sharing at a young age and is a great opprotunity to grow. I remember when I was a kid giving gifts to others during those special days in the year, it was a fun experience. Giving a handmade gift is even better since you know that it wasn’t about the price tag or how expensive it is, but the thought.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      It is fun to give gifts. I remember being a child and nagging Mum to be allowed to give my own presents (instead of just having my name on the family gift).

  • Emilia says:

    Each year, I sit down with my son and we discuss what he wants to get for each person in the family. He’s only 5-years-old, so sometimes, he comes up with some pretty outlandish ideas, such as a “brand new car” or a “big ol’ house” for his grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Since most people don’t have the money to purchase new cars and homes for their loved ones, we sit down and we draw pictures of the things he wishes he could get for them. We fold ’em up, write a sweet little letter inside, and hand them out. It always means so much more when he gives them a handmade gift than a store-bought one.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      I love his generosity and imagination, Emilia πŸ™‚ And making a picture of it instead of the ‘real thing’ is just as precious because it comes from his heart.

  • LeetPro77 says:

    I remember when I was a child, I used to love making gifts and giving them to whoever I wanted. I used to make gifts for teachers, family, you name it!

    When I have children, I’m going to be sure to get them involved with gift giving, It’s fun and it’s kind spirited.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Sounds like you had a lot of fun making and giving, Leet. DO you still enjoy those things yourself?

      I’m sure you’ll do a great job with your kids at gift times!

  • Isabellas2007 says:

    My kids love to give gifts to the poor children. Our church has a giving tree set up around Christmas time. They will each go and pick an ornament off of it. Then they use their money to go and buy a gift off of the list of presents the family cannot afford.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Fantastic to hear, Isabella. Well done for teaching them that Christmas is about giving and a respect for others.

      Sorry I missed this comment earlier, too.

  • streakanime says:

    I have five younger siblings (three of them are six years old). They love holidays, especially Christmas and birthdays. My mother has done a very good job making them unselfish. They really enjoy going to the store and picking out presents for people. They always get so exciting watching someone open their gifts. Given, they have a pretty hard time keeping it a secret. πŸ™‚

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Hehehe, yes keeping secrets is not a strong point of young children! Since having children I have become an expert in not hearing, misunderstanding and distracting in the lead up to Christmas, Mothers Day and my birthday so they can keep a surprise for me on the day! It’s not always easy, lol.

      That’s great your Mum has taught your siblings that love of giving, streakanime. Did you learn it, too?

  • streakanime says:

    Oh yeah, right now she is trying to work on teaching me that as I get older people are understanding of the fact that I’m in a tight spot financially and have to pay bills before gifts. And that I can give gifts in ways other than spending money to buy something. Something I am struggling to learn. I am so used to getting all excited about going out and spending at least a set amount on each member of my family… It is hard to not be able to do that so much because of financial reasons.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      I hear you, Streakanime – I would love to just be able to buy whatever gift I feel is right for someone without worrying about the price tag. But reality is that most of us do have financial constraints and msot of us get that about each other, too.

      Sometimes, though, it is also fun to get more creative and find less expensive gift ideas – and your time and thought really is more important than the actual dollar amount you spend on a gift.

      You’re Mum is right again, streakanime πŸ™‚ If it helps, remember that in 20 years you may be the one with money telling your child its ok to not spend a fortune on gifts for you…

  • streakanime says:

    Haha! That is a very good point. πŸ™‚ My mother is so excited about the baby she actually bought ME a mother’s day gift and my fiance a father’s day gift this year. I hope I’m able to be as giving as she is with my kids.

  • streakanime says:

    Haha, What can I say? I really love my mother. πŸ˜€ If you could not tell from all my comments. I have this horrible habit of talking about her constantly. But, she was my role model and taught me everything I know. How could I not talk about her? πŸ™‚

    • Santa's Elf says:

      I think it’s great you not only have a great Mum but love to share her with the world πŸ™‚ She sounds wonderful and inspirational πŸ™‚

  • Breakfree says:

    Now I have got a really good impression of streakanime because of your sincere and wonderful words referring to your mother.I don’t know you but you seem a really nice person and that’s to be expected because you have such a great mother.

  • Fren says:

    When a child has made a gift for somebody special the anticipation on their face as the offer the gift is as magical as the anticipation on their face when they are themselves given a present. I think that children have an innate sense of generosity and sharing which should be fostered.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Absolutely agree, Fren – kids enjoy giving and making others happy – keeping that feeling alive is our responsibility and our gift to everyone I think.

  • Laura says:

    I totally agree, it’s so great to teach children about sharing and not only being spoiled and ungrateful. And actually I think offering a gift is such a pleasure that it’s great to give children the opportunity to search for an idea, probably create it (as I guess a kid can’t really offer an Iphone or a Kindle πŸ˜‰ ) and then wait until the right moment to offer the gift.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      For most of us, their gifts have be price limited – my kids certainly can’t afford to give iPhones as gifts! But kids generally aren’t worried about price tags – their idea of vlaue in a gift is different to ours. If they want it and like it, a $5 gift is worth so much more than a $200 thing they don’t care about.

      Kids are generous – until they’re taught otherwise. I think giving kids this opportunity lets them learn the pleasure of giving which makes them nicer adults and happier too.

  • StacyLynn says:

    Yes, our kids give gifts to others. A lot of times I have them make the gifts, it means a lot more. I also take them to the dollar store and let them pick out gifts that they want to give. It means so much more that the gift is something that they think fits the person that they are giving it to. The kids really love picking out the gifts for grandma and grandpa. Plus, it’s very interesting to see what they come up with.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Plus, it’s very interesting to see what they come up with.

      You’re absolutely right there, StacyLynn! My kids have moved between things that suit them (as distinct from the person they’re buying for!), great gift ideas anad some that are just plain weird and beyond my reasoning!

  • streakanime says:

    Awe! Thank you BreakFree and Santa’s Elf. I see no point in being negative or wasting time being unhappy. It is much more fun to be bubbly and optimistic all the time. πŸ˜€

    And Fren, I could not agree with you more. I love how excited a child gets when they give you a present. That is almost better than the actual present. πŸ™‚

  • pocs says:

    My kids are grown, but I think this still applies as adults they have budgets with no allowance. When my children were younger they always made me gifts, which I prefer and still have them all. As the grew they did start to buy gifts instead of making them but, over the past 6 years they have started to make them again. They usually get together and plan a theme, something they can all add to. They knew one of my favorite movies is The Breakfast Club., Christmas eve morning one year they all came over early and woke with breakfast in bed. The made me the soundtrack on cd to play in the background, served me breakfast in bed on a tray they had modge podged photos of them. It was wonderful. Those arenthe kinds of gifts that mean something.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      POcs, you have made some fantastic family traditions! I love how your kids work on a theme for their gifts to you – obviously thanks to you creating themes in their Christmas Eve gifts!

      Ah, The Breakfast Club and the Brat Pack! That’s really cool your kids found a way to tie in something special to you with Christmas giving.

  • Mrs. Rogers says:

    My 6 year old is a ‘card maker’ so I’m sure she’ll want to do that this year for everyone. We send a little money with the kids to school and let them pick out each family member a gift from the Santa’s Workshop that their schools put on each year.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      We don’t have Santa’s Workshop in our shcools – we do the gift buying stalls for Mothers and Fatehrs Day but that’s it. Christmas stall is also a good idea (especially so they can buy something for parents and keep it a surprise) but I’m guessing it’s hard work for volunteers at that time of year.

  • pocs says:

    My children also had a Santa’s workshop. I volunteered every year to help out. It was great to see the littles pick something out for their loved ones. The older children at the school, held a 2 cent or barter gift wrapping booth. Which was a great idea, if they had no money left over after shopping, they could barter with carrying books, trading a eraser or snack. It worked out well for everyone

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Adding the bartering booth is awesome – not just for continuing the Christmas shoping but to teach them that skill of helping each other for mutual benefit witohut it having to be about money.

  • pocs says:

    My father grew up very poor and as a result as a adult he became one of the most giving men I know. Every year for Christmas whatever he had in his Christmas club account he would take 20% off it, go to the local children’s home, count the children and buy presents for each and every child. He never let the children know who brought the presents, they always thought it was Santa.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      What a lovely gesture from your Dad – and I bet it made a huge impact on those kdis and their carers, way beyond the value of the physical gift.

  • gerkmeister says:

    I don’t have any kids of my own, but I remember as a kid giving gifts of course to my siblings, as well as parents (Mom would take me shopping for Dad, and vice versa). Mom always made sure we had a small but nice gift for our teacher(s). I also had a couple close neighborhood friends and we would exchange gifts when I was younger, probably up to about 5th or 6th grade. It is pretty expensive these days for a single guy like me to cover all the people on my list, I can’t imagine how much I might spend if I had 3 or 4 kids.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      It does get very expensive if you have a big Christmas list – it’s not so much my four kids but our extended family that makes it add up for us.

      Sounds like you have happy memories of gift giving, gerkmeister πŸ™‚

  • Magic Pixel says:

    Christmas should be about giving but sometimes it’s easy to lose the plot in all the revelry. It’s a great time to teach the giving habit to children. Especially, as you say to grandparents because they’ll know they taught something great to their own children when they get that appreciation from grandchildren.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      That’s a lovely thought, Magic Pixel – I hand’t thought about it being a ‘thank you from child to parent’ to teach the grandchildren appreciation. I like that angle.

  • pocs says:

    Not that it has anything to do with Christmas, except the saying Thank you. My aunt adopted to children when they were 3 and 5. Not being able to have children on her own she was thrilled to have children of her own. Every year her and her husband gives her children presents on mothers and fathers day. In her words she told me ” It’s may way of telling them Thank You for letting us be your parents”.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      That is wonderful, pocs. A reminder that being a parent is special and each stage can be so transient that reminding ourselves of that is great.

      I bet your cousins loved it – presents 4 times a year for them – Christmas, birthday, mothers day and fathers day!

  • mommaof3 says:

    My kids love to give gifts. They buy gifts for their siblings and a joint gift for my husband and I. For the rest of the family(i.e. grandparents, aunts, and uncles) they make them a gift. Homemade gifts are usually cards or pictures. I love to see their faces when they give the gift to the family members because they get so excited and are very proud of what they have chosen.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Hi mommaof3 πŸ™‚

      Thanks for telling us about your kids and their gift giving. It is a delight to watch happy little faces when they give – and showing them that pleasure, I think, is a gift in itself.

  • mommaof3 says:

    I completely agree with you that it is a gift in itself. I love to see my childs happy faces and think that I am the luckiest mother around.

  • pocs says:

    My kids were and are still gift givers and gift doers. They all have some sort of charity they donate time to. And as a family we have add a few others we add at the holidays. These we usually do as a family, but the kids still participate as if they will still little.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      ‘Gift doers’ – not a term I’ve heard before pocs but I like it πŸ™‚

      I think it’s lovely that you still do family things (and generous family things at that) at Christmas, pocs, even though your kids are gown up now.

  • Trissandra says:

    We also taught our kids to give other people presents for Christmas. At first my daughter and son were a bit shy and couldn’t bring themseves to approach our family members to give them Christmas presents. Now they enjoy it as much as we do.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      I think it’s important you didn’t give into them being shy, Trisaandra. There is so much pleasure to be gained form giving gifts, plus some lessons about generosity and caring for others, that I think kids need to learn to do it.

      When my kids are little, I put the gift in their hands and point them towards the right person, sometimes walking with them to help but leaving the focus on the child and recipient. It seems to work as my kids happily give presents now (and the youngest is only 2!)

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  • sorrowscall says:

    I have no children of my own as of yet. However, the kids I babysit love to make presents for their family from them specifically. Their favorite things to make as gifts are Christmas Cards; a tradition we started a few years ago when I found out they’d never handmade one. The parents love receiving the cards and the kids love to make them. They work very hard and all I really need to do is be there to help with glue, scissors, and spelling.

    • I think all kids love creating – especially something to give others – if they’re given the chance. The kids you babysit are lucky to have you do fun things with them sorrowscal πŸ™‚

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