Avoid Christmas Morning Disappointment With These 11 Tips

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Asking Santa for gifts is a magical part of childhood. Many children are all-in with their belief and fully buy into the myth that Santa can bring them anything their heart desires. It sounds wonderful until your child asks for a pony, a toy that hasn't been made in two decades, makes a list a mile long, or makes an addition to their list for Santa on Christmas Eve. Clever parents who have “been there, done that” have devised some ingenious ways to get around these Santa-based problems and avoid disappointment on Christmas Day.   

  • If your child requests a toy that is hard to find, no longer made, or just too expensive, tell them Santa lost the mold.
  • If you use Elf on the Shelf, have a list ready on December 1st (or whenever your Elf arrives) and tell your children that the Elf will take their list to Santa.  Once Santa has the list no changes are allowed.
  • See Santa early.  Check when your local Santa will be making his first appearance and go right away.  Bonus: You are less likely to encounter long lines early on!
  • If you don't make it the first day, whatever you do, don't wait until the last minute to see Santa.  See him at least two days in advance with enough time for an Amazon Prime delivery.  To be safe, build in an extra day or two so that Santa has enough time to find any last-minute additions to the list.  
  • Tell your children that Santa will bring them surprises.  You can ask your children what they are hoping to get from Santa, but if they don't ask the man themselves they are less likely to feel disappointed if he doesn't deliver and more likely to be happy with their surprise gift(s).   
  • If you suspect your child may ask for a pet, whether it be a dog or a pony, let them know early on that Santa only brings toys, not living creatures.  
  • If you believe your child may ask for ask for something forbidden in your home, whether it's a certain video game or a toy gun, tell your child that Santa never breaks the house rules.  
  • Set parameters, such as Santa only brings four gifts a year.  At Christmas time, many families live by the motto of “Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read.” 
  • To avoid having your child tell Santa they want a gift you didn't know about or make a last-minute change in requests make a list and be clear about sticking to it when your child sees Santa. This will also give you time to deal with any gifts Santa has no intention of bringing for whatever reason and get that item off the list before Santa ever hears about it.  
  • If your child asks for too many toys remind her that Santa has to give gifts to children all over the world.  Some parents tell children that the Elves have limited time to make everything and cannot make too many toys for any one child or else another child may not get anything at all.  
  • To avoid the risk of not knowing about a requested gift, tell your child Santa accepts gift requests by letters only.  If you see Santa in person treat it as a photo op and “remind” Santa that your kids already sent him a letter before they sit on his lap.
  • How do you avoid Christmas morning disappointment? Share your tips in the comments!

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Avoid Christmas Morning Disappointment With These 11 Tips

Jamie is a Beltway Insider who loves channeling her pre-motherhood love of traveling into spending time exploring all D.C. has to offer with her brood of two girls and two boys ages 9, 7,5, and a baby. She is a reformed lawyer turned full-time kid wrangler who enjoys photographing her everyday chaos and anything salted caramel. Since life is never dull, she loves writing about the issues and events going on in her life at any given time, including caring for a daughter with special needs and th ... More

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