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Kids Scale Back For Santa This Year

Kids Scale Back For Santa This Year

Sitting on Santa’s lap may never have been quite so telling as it is this year.  Santa Claus impersonators around the country are reporting that children are asking for more modest gifts this year probably due to the financial struggles they hear about at home.  Letters posted to Santa Claus in North Pole, Alaska where there is a Christmas-themed shop set up to receive wish lists from children is reporting a sentiment reflective of the tough economic times.  Rather than the normal expensive video game system, many kids are asking for more practical items like school clothes and lbrary cards.

A recent article from the Wall Street Journal reports on the change children have made to their wish lists this year.  Operations manager, Paul Brown, from the Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska has seen the change coming in the last couple of years.  Brown says of the letters to Santa that they receive, "When we had the housing crunch, we saw, ’Please help us stay in our house,’ This year it is more job related."

As a part of training, many Santas are now receiving tips from their employers on how to deal with questions regarding the recession and how to calm a worried child.  Some of the advice given to theSantas today are to let the child know that things will get better and instead of promising a specific gift to tell the child that Santa will bring a surprise this year. 

The Wall Street Journal goes on to report that Santa is not always the best indicator of how the season will turn out, economically speaking.  Some recent government data shows that sales inched up from October to November indicating that holiday shopping was well on its way. 

What do you think of the reports that children are scaling down their Christmas lists this year?

Have you seen evidence of this yourself?

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  • pjclayton57 By pjclayton57
    12.15.09  

    I think that children are more aware of the effects of the current economy whether it directly affects them or their friends. I believe that part of any change is the fact that families are coming together more during these trying times and that has created more of a family-based atmosphere - which seems to put "wants" on the backburner more. I have incorporated my grandchildren in some "giving" projects and have had conversations with them about children who are not so fortunate this year. This has really opened their eyes on how lucky they are and how much others need our help.

  • summitqwestcomp By summitqwestcomp
    12.15.09  

    I think that there has been at least a little bit of a difference in scaling back on presents this year. It's just sad to see little kids writing their letters to Santa about job related presents and wishes.

  • msfriendly By msfriendly
    12.15.09  

    The holidays should be more about families and celebrations instead of gifts. I hope this trend continues.

  • tif_ki By tif_ki
    12.15.09  

    this is very sad to see it this year. my 9 yo son had a very mosest christmas list this year and after talking to his bff mother her son has only asked for 2 things. I didnt look at it like this for him. poor guys =( we will have to have a heart to heart. I thought It was just part of him growing up.

  • Monzav By Monzav
    12.15.09  

    While I agree that this tugs a bit on my heartstrings, I think it's actually very sweet of children to be so conscious of the economy. It really shows the heart of younger generations, and the intelligence children possess in expressing their concern for these things in this way. Frankly, I have not seen this in my household much haha! My 5 year-old still managed to rack up a 70+ item online wishlist, although she did mention in passing how she expected "just a couple" of gifts. Hmm, maybe I am seeing some of this! I kind of like it because children are learning lessons in modesty, which is a necessary lesson for anyone.

  • momagarry By momagarry
    12.15.09  

    I agree this season should be more about family.

  • joy9281 By joy9281
    12.15.09  

    Kids are so aware of the hurts and stresses in our lives. This is what makes children so special and makes it so important for us to protect them and watch yourself around them.

  • basilandcatnip By basilandcatnip
    12.16.09  

    No, I still hear kids asking for things. It's the parents that are more concerned on how to organize with grandparents and other family members to make a few of the items on the kids list happen.

  • coupons4tucson By coupons4tucson
    12.20.09  

    It's gotta be the older kids realizing their parents financial situation. As much as parents can tell young kids that Santa may only bring a few items on their list, the young still seem tol have no boundries for how long their lists are. I do know that in my house my kids ask for everything that they see and it goes on the list, but when sitting on Santa's lap only the top 2 presents are expressed. It doesn't mean that they don't want the other things, but that they REALLY want those items.

  • Jenny623 By Jenny623
    12.21.09  

    Santa has never been a big thing in our home, and having lists have a different meaning. In our home, Santa only brings what is in the stocking. We have always wanted the children to know that the gifts left are those from Mom & Dad, and family, and that we all work very hard to get them the extrra special things. Yearly we "give" to those less fortunate in different ways, so my 5 year old knows and is greatful for all he has. Although he knows of the economy, and mentioned that this year seemed to be we gave more than last year, and asked if it were due to the Mom's and Dad's not having enough money. Family and friends are always more important than things.

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