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We have sort of told them that if it's too expensive for Santa to have time to make, then they probably won't get it. We even told them that when other kids get expensive gifts, they aren't really coming from Santa (although they are forbidden to tell others that). It's working for now. When they get a little older, we'll give them a price limit. That is what my parents did and it worked well.
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My kids know that Santa will only pick a few things off of their list and what they get is based off of what other kids want also, that Santa picks what he feels is best for them and leaves the rest up to mom and dad. Know I just tell my kids (on my end) that it is more then I have to spend and that they might have to come up with an alternate.
Im actually dealing with this right now. My 10 yr old thinks he is getting an ipad. Really?
I told him Santa does not bring $600 presents. He said, well he doesnt pay for them, he MAKES them and if I he doesnt bring it, then I wont believe anymore. I said, well I dont know what to tell you, because you are not getting it!!
Its so much easier shopping for the little ones. They dont expect all the expensive electronics.
Mummy to 7,
and 3 in my heart(3/13, 6/13 & 9/13)
I usually find a creative way to guide them away from the expensive item.
One year my dd wanted a pony and I said Santa wouldn't bring it because it would make me mad. I don't want pony poop in my backyard. I explained that Santa doesn't want to make mommys and daddy's mad or he might not be allowed back next year.
A few years ago they wanted the Wii and dh already has an xbox so I didn't want to spend the money. The kids across the street got a Wii and after Xmas my kids said "not fair!"...but I played the santa doesn't want to make mommy mad card and reminded them that I didn't want another gaming system in this house.
It works! The kids don't feel slighted by Santa...I take the blame!
With my oldest DS, he knows the truth, so he understands. As for the other 2, they usually get more of the cheaper gifts. Of course though, my husband likes to spend money on gifts so it never really has been an issue.
I also tell my kids that Santa has a budget. I told them that he makes somethings and buys others, but even when he makes them it cost him money to buy the materials. This year, I considered getting my two middle boys a Nintendo DS, but it would have taken up most of their budget. After talking with them, they told me they'd rather have other things than the DS....so that made it easy. My oldest knows, but she goes along with it for her little brothers.