I remember as a child I would fake believe in Santa Claus in order to receive two sets of presents. I also knew where to look and found where my parents hid the presents. The typical times I received gifts as a child was my birthday and Christmas. My gift giving policy is different with my kids.
I give my children little gifts throughout the year and make it clear it’s because I love them and like to see them excited (thanks slickdeals.net and craigslist). I gave my children the option of having their Christmas gift right away from me, or to wait until today. They decided earlier, so I obliged.
If you were given the option, would you want the gift right away or to wait?
I don’t like “traditions” when the utility value no longer serves its original purposes. I don’t like lying to my kids about nonexistent entities. I don’t like to withhold gifts and impose an arbitrary time restriction without clear utility. I don’t like controlling and manipulating my childrens’ emotions originating from a selfish desire focused on my own gratification.
If Christmas is ultimately about Love, then perhaps we should reconsider the traditions which hinder that goal. Some people prefer to wait because they enjoy the surprise. Some people don’t see the value in waiting.
Do you know what your child prefers and how they will remember your actions as adults?