What Children Think Globally About Christmas
Many people think that kids are only excited about Christmas because of the toys they will receive. But that’s not exactly 100% accurate. Find out what they really love about this holiday, right here.
Kids all over the world look forward to Christmas more than any other holiday of the year. In fact, some kids wait for Christmas more excitedly than they do their own birthdays. But, contrary to what most people think, what kids love best about Christmas is not just the presents.
The IKEA Advertisement
An advertisement filmed in Spain put out by Swedish furniture retailer IKEA shows kids writing a couple of letters to the Spanish version of Santa Claus, the Three Kings, and their parents to ask for the same Christmas present. And guess what – every letter indicated the desire for more time spent together, producing interesting insights into the actual wishes of children.
The list of the Three Kings contained toys as well as games, puzzles, and musical instruments; one child had “unicorn” on his list. The list for the parents, however, revealed an entirely different slew of wishes, all of them non-material. The majority of the kids, in fact, asked their parents to spend more time with them doing “more experiments” and having dinner together.
Toys are OK, but Time is Important Too
Time is the one overwhelming wish that the children want their parents to give them. Boys wrote about wanting time with their parents to play soccer or cowboys with them. Other kids said they wanted their parents to tickle them. One child wrote that the only thing he wanted was to spend “one whole day” with his parents and some children wished for their parents to quit smoking or drinking.
Arguably, though, some critics found the video as just another promotional stunt to purchase more IKEA products. Children, of course, will not pass off the chance to receive material gifts because, after all, they are children. According to the U.K.’s Royal Mail Group, these are the top ten toys requested by kids on that side of the Atlantic:
Top Ten Toy In The UK
• Any merchandise from the animated feature film, “Frozen.”
• Snow Glow Elsa.
• Anything Lego.
• Barbie dolls and various accessories.
• Peppa Pig.
• Merchandise of One Direction.
• Monster High dolls.
But just because they want – or won’t refuse – gifts of toys does not necessarily mean kids will prioritize them over abstract values such as family time. It may be surprising for parents to know that children actually look forward to having their family members together for events that happen during the yuletide season, according to Jean Coppock Staeheli and Jo Robinson, authors of “Unplug the Christmas Machine.”
Both Staeheli and Robinson explained that traditions make Christmas memorable and special for children. The gifts, no matter how expensive they are, in fact, are not even remembered by those who are asked as adults. Other non-toy Christmas gifts that children want, but are not given to them except perhaps in very rare cases, include the following (which may surprise most parents):
Non Toy Gifts Children Want
• Cooking and/or baking with parents or preparing a meal together.
• Attending classes in riding, painting, dance, music, drawing, and singing, among others.
• Memberships to museums, YMCA or YWCA, sports facilities or children’s clubs.
• Believe it or not, even kids who are glued to the internet enjoy getting magazine or newsletter subscriptions in the mail.
• Whether it’s for free popcorn, baseball cards or fruit cups, kids like the idea of coupons that they could actually “spend” whenever they want to.
• Restaurant gift cards are another treat that kids enjoy because these give them the freedom to invite friends, classmates, peers or even a favorite teacher or cousin.
• Homemade cookies, granola, fudge or just about anything edible is appreciated by a kid especially by one who is a certified foodie.
• Supplies for hobbies: Christmas is that one time of the year in which kids that have hobbies can have supplies for them without hassle.
You may or may not agree with the IKEA ad, but one thing is for sure: toys will come and go, but family traditions are what children, (subconsciously perhaps), will hold on to as they grow older. Providing children with non-material gifts eventually teaches them not only financial responsibility but the importance of family values. And remember that kids all over the world love Christmas not only for the gifts the holiday typically brings.