Does my toddler need lots of Christmas presents?

Last year I made no secret of the fact that we weren’t really doing the whole ‘baby’s first Christmas’ extravaganza. Sure, we did some cute costumes for baby groups, but we didn’t buy lots of gifts. In fact, we bought Jacob one gift—a Jumperoo̦, so quite a big, expensive gift—and we gave it to him on the day we bought it rather than waiting for Christmas. My reasoning for this was three-fold:

  1. Jacob was a 4-month-old baby. He wouldn’t remember it. He also wouldn’t know if he didn’t have any presents to open on Christmas morning.
  2. We didn’t have space for lots of gifts in our tiny house. Plus I knew he’d get lots of presents from other people.
  3. I was on maternity leave, so we couldn’t afford to spend lots on presents, and I had no interest in spending more money than we had and getting into debt.

I did partake in some festivities last year!

We even sacrificed having a Christmas tree so we could fit the ginormous Jumperoo in the living room. I’ll admit I was slightly sad about that. Having no decorations did make me feel a bit unfestive, but we weren’t spending much time at home over Christmas so it seemed silly to get one. Plus, did I mention how big the Jumperoo was?!

Baby’s second Christmas

I thought that this year I’d feel differently, and go mad at Christmas. But actually, I feel sort of the same. I haven’t even started Christmas shopping. Eek.

Jacob will still be too young to remember Christmas this year. He’ll definitely pick up on the excited vibe, but he’ll enjoy it regardless of whether he has lots of presents. And he already has lots of toys; he’s definitely not hard done by. We will get him something, but probably only one big thing that he ‘needs’ (that sounds stupid, I know he doesn’t need anything!) rather than lots of small things. But he definitely won’t have stacks and stacks of presents from mummy and daddy to open on Christmas morning.

Jacob will still get lots from family so he won’t miss out completely. To be honest, I’d rather save the huge Christmas bills for a year when he’ll actually appreciate it. Maybe if money wasn’t an object I’d feel differently—although I suspect not! It all seems pretty wasteful.

More mum guilt

I still feel a little guilty about it all, even though I know it’s sensible. I especially feel it when I scroll through Instagram and see piles of presents stacked up under perfectly decorated Christmas trees. There’s definitely a lot of social media pressure, and I wonder how many other mums feel like me, but then get caught up in keeping up with everyone else.

We’ve moved house now and have more space (plus Jacob has outgrown the Jumperoo!) so we do have a pretty big Christmas tree this year. I’m not a total Scrooge!

Do you go Christmas-crazy or are you more bah humbug like me? 🙂 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


  1. December 9, 2017 / 10:13 pm

    No one needs a lot of presents – it’s just the pattern we’ve set up. Set the pattern you want. Ignore the rest of it. #KALCOLS

  2. December 10, 2017 / 6:58 am

    I do tend to get a bit carried away for the kids usually but I’ve cut right back this year. Our relatives always buy waaay too much and they’re too young to remember anything at the moment anyway so you’re not a Scrooge at all x #kcacols

  3. December 10, 2017 / 8:32 am

    I personally think that the whole message of Christmas is all wrong! It shouldn’t be about gifting but giving. It shouldn’t be about Santa, cute penguins, snowmen or nutcrackers..etc but the birth of Christ.

    Does that make me a bah humbug too?


  4. December 11, 2017 / 11:46 am

    When my kids were really young i was the same. They don’t understand about Santa or even christmas day! As they have got older and where aware of Santa then the lists would start but they have never got everything on their lists and we have a budget for both girls. We have always made christmas more about seeing family, decorations as well as presents, oh and lots of food too! #kcacols

  5. December 12, 2017 / 7:14 am

    I couldn’t agree more. People think I’m mean because I’m only buying my children (3 and 1) a handful of presents and have told everyone else to buy them ONE thing only! Children don’t need lots of presents to have a lovely Christmas.

  6. December 12, 2017 / 9:14 pm

    Our family buy him tons so usually we have been more reserved. First year we bought him nothing as he was barely two months old. This year he is three years and tbh he’s into everything so I’ve had to restrain myself because there’s so much I’d love him to have. Like you we now have more toys than we can fit in our house. Not sure I’m looking forward to finding places for it all post Xmas but looking forward to playing with it.


  7. December 13, 2017 / 2:52 am

    I don’t think that we did a whole lot at that age either, just wrapped up some stuff that she needed anyway. I think at two most of the fun comes in the unwrapping! #KCACOLS

  8. kateliliblog
    December 14, 2017 / 12:29 pm

    You should pop to my YouTube channel and watch my 20 month old get excited helping his dad put the Christmas lights up that will make you feel more festive! But no, I get what you’re saying, and you just sound like a really practical person. The kids will remember time spent with family more than what presents they had. #KCACOLS

  9. December 14, 2017 / 9:34 pm

    I agree, when my kids were young I just got them little token gifts so they had something to open. They soon get older and have lists of stuff they want so best to save your money while you can! 🙂 #kcacols

  10. December 15, 2017 / 11:31 am

    Its such as weird feeling isn’t it? We were the same as Mia was only 7 months old on her first Christmas. We didn’t really buy her anything and family bought her things she needed as opposed to lots of toys. We had a no-toy policy and we have kept the limited toy policy ever since which has been great! Even this year (she is now 4) we haven’t gone mad and we have bought practical presents too. Mum guilt is horrendous but we felt it was right 🙂


  11. December 15, 2017 / 3:39 pm

    We have decided that this year there will be no toys! It’s so hot here in South Africa that we have opted for pool goodies. Floaties and the like. Our kids have way too much and sometimes I feel like they don’t truly appreciate what they have. We are also getting them piggy banks so they can learn to start saving money. I’m not sure how it will go down, but I am holding thumbs! #KCACOLS

  12. December 15, 2017 / 10:05 pm

    We went a bit overboard when our daughter was small and definitely didn’t need to, they haven’t got a clue what’s going on! #KCACOLS

  13. December 16, 2017 / 8:27 pm

    Making memories is so much better than any box, toy or bauble! They are priceless! That being said, we have still had our share of overdoing it on the holiday. My father-in-law is the very worst! A roomful of present from floor to ceiling… AGH! Happiest of holidays to you and yours xoxo #KCACOLS

  14. December 20, 2017 / 7:09 pm

    We tend to go overboard at Christmas… I love to treat the kids as much as possible while they’re young, although we’ve always said the presents are from Santa so obviously they don’t understand the concept of things being too expensive if Santa brings them! Didn’t do that right haha! As babies of course they don’t get it so it would be insane to buy loads of presents! My children aren’t spoilt ordinarily so I don’t mind going all out at Christmas… can;t beat the look on their faces when they see all the presents under the tree! x #kcacols

  15. aliduke79hotmailcom
    December 20, 2017 / 10:11 pm

    I don’t think you need to buy babies/toddlers much at all. They have no idea what is going on, save all the fuss for when they understand a bit more.

  16. December 22, 2017 / 10:28 am

    I think babies/toddlers really don’t need very much at all! We only bought for them as babies for the sake of the older children, and even then it was practical things like clothes and a couple of small toys! #kcacols

  17. December 30, 2017 / 6:57 pm

    when they are so little I don’t really see the point of spending so much money especially when they play with each toys 5 minutes and let it go! #KCACOLS

  18. January 4, 2018 / 1:21 pm

    I found myself buying a ridiculous amount of presents for our 10 month old this year simply because if I didn’t our older two would question why she didn’t get the same as them! #KCACOLS

  19. January 4, 2018 / 8:22 pm

    For us Christmas isn’t so much about the number of presents received or getting expensive gifts… it’s about appreciating each other and spending quality time with family. My 22 month old only got a few Peppa Pig items this year and won’t go mad either next year. #KCACOLS

  20. January 6, 2018 / 11:38 pm

    To be honest I think less is more at Christmas. I now have three kids 6, 3 and 2 and just don’t have room for all the stuff they have! No mum guilt here. They asked Santa for a couple of things each and got a few bits from us too 😉 Then mountains from family, it gets insane. Lol! #KCACOLS

  21. January 9, 2018 / 8:56 pm

    My son was also four months on his first xmas and I took him for a trip as a present and let my family buy him toys if they wanted. I took him on another trip this year as a present and will continue to do so.

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