We have a choice about the types of gifts we want to give children or each other. These include:
Gifts of Becoming. These are gifts designed to help the child explore new aspects of themselves, to develop some skill or trait, or to provide them with dreams that they may one day seek to make real. Examples of these could be sports equipment, music lessons, art supplies, a trip, or a camera.
Gifts of Delight. These gifts provide joy. Children are given these types of gifts with the hope that they will have fun. Examples of these gifts include candy and sweets to eat, toys to play with, books to read, music to listen to, or game to play.
Gifts of Doing, in which the child or recipient is given the opportunity to do something special, often with family members or friends.
Gifts of Necessity, like coats or shoes, are not necessarily exciting, but they can provide a child with absolute relief, which can ultimately be joyful.
Gifts of Bonding. Giving other people gifts is a way to create a relationship with them.
Gifts of Forgiveness. We all do things that we regret and we look for ways to make things right. Sometimes a gift will enable people to open their hearts.
Gifts of Deliverance. Some parents use Santa as a vehicle to gift their children things they want that they had refused to purchase. It allows the parent to save face, maintain their rules, and let Santa be given the credit.
Reciprocal Gifts. If someone gives you a present there is an expectation that you are to give them one in return. This can be fun – or awkward, especially if someone gives an expensive gift and you are unable to do the same.
Gifts For Others are what some children want most. They may want their grandma to get out of the hospital, for their parents to reconcile from a divorce, or they may want their little brother to get over an illness. Children who learn generosity and love may prefer these gifts rather than material objects.
Gifts of Unconditional Love are of utmost importance. Children appreciate receiving gifts that have “no strings attached.” Santa is a fine role model of how adults ought to behave as he teaches children that they deserved to be cared for and beloved, not for what they do, but just because they are.
Gifts from Santa vs Gifts from Family & Friends. Downsizing what Santa brings is good for everyone. Santa has a small sleigh and a sack that has to hold gifts for every child around the world – so the gifts have to be small, ideally to fit in a stocking or shoe. If you want to give big, many or expensive gifts, put your name on it, not Santa’s. And by the way, elves don’t make electronics. Elf-made gifts are simple.
Learn more about Santa Spirit gifting options in Re-Imagine Santa and The Legend of the Santa Stocking books at https://santalove.org/?page_id=547