Gift-giving among siblings

Gift giving among siblings

It was the Sunday before Christmas and my kids were bouncing all over the living room, hardly able to contain their excitement. This was the day they were going to give their gifts to the sibling whose name they had chosen. I loved watching them hand their gift over with such anticipation of their brother opening it. Even after my kids opened their gifts, their eyes were still wide with the pride and joy of having picked out something special just for their brother or sister.

Sibling gift-giving is something we have done differently every year so far. Our kids are still young and we are still figuring out what works best. Honestly, what works best might not always be the same every year. These are some of the ways we have handled gift-giving over the years.

Kids using their own money

Using their own money is something that is becoming increasingly important as the kids get older. It helps them to feel ownership over their gifts. Our kids earn money by doing jobs throughout the week, so they are able to use the money they have earned to buy gifts. It may also be a good idea to offer extra paying jobs leading up to Christmas so they can earn more cash.

Think outside the shopping norm

Here’s the thing: Gifts don’t need to be expensive. My kids have happily shopped for each other in the dollar store — this is a great way to make it affordable when the kids are really young.

Last year, I had them come up with some general ideas for what they thought their sibling might like. I narrowed down some options on Amazon and let them choose one of those options. This helped take away the overload of options, which is often overwhelming in a regular store.

You can also get the kids to make a gift or create coupons for doing one chore for a sibling. It really is the thought that counts.

Let your kids wrap it

Even if the only thing they can do is stick the tape on the paper where you tell them to, gift-wrapping gives the kids more ownership. This is one of my kids’ favorite parts.

Make it work for your family

We have had our kids pick a name out of a bowl the night we set up our Christmas tree. For us, choosing names helps to keep the cost and amount of gifts down since we have 4 kids. I know other families whose children buy a gift for each of their siblings. You know your family so do what is best for the season you are in.

Our kids exchange their gifts on the Sunday before Christmas. We do this because we spend Christmas morning with extended family and there are gifts everywhere. In order to keep it special for them — and so their gift is not just one of many — we switched to having them exchange their gifts on a different day.

Teach your kids how to receive a gift graciously

Before they give or receive their gift, take time to remind your kids of how to receive a gift graciously — how to say thank you, and maybe mention one thing they like about the gift. In the days before, role plays and discuss gift-giving. Graciously receiving a gift is always a good lesson to learn.

How do you handle gift-giving among siblings?

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2 comments on “Gift-giving among siblings”

  1. This is so sweet! Last year was the first that my little girls bought gifts for each other. My husband took them each on a special shopping trip (daddy-daughter dates!), and they used their own little piggy bank money. They also had to talk to the cashier, pay for it, wrap it, everything themselves. And they were absolutely GIDDY to give each other the gifts; it was adorable! I totally agree about shopping at a dollar store, too. Three dollars goes much farther there than any other store we tried.

  2. It sounds like you started a great tradition! Seeing our kids so excited about giving to their siblings is such a fun thing to see!

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