How Can I Explain to My 8-Year-Old That Santa Won't Be Bringing Expensive Things This Year?


"My daughter is eight and has a tablet and watches YouTube and sees richer kids talk about cool things to have…

She’s been making a Santa list with things like Apple earbuds and a laptop and Nintendo switch, and I’ve tried saying things like ‘remember it depends how good you’ve been’

I don’t want to ruin Santa for her yet, and she’s really never gotten gifts that cost hundreds of dollars, so I don’t know how to tell her she’s probably not getting any of the big stuff on her list…

Should I just wait and see how it goes on Christmas morning? I’m sure she won’t be a brat, but she’ll ask me why Santa didn’t get her those things?"

RELATED QUESTION: Should I not buy my daughter so many Christmas gifts due to COVID?


“I definitely wouldn’t tell her she’ll get those things if she’s good enough. Like, way to totally destroy a child’s self-esteem and make Christmas something bad.”

“I tell them Santa makes toys, not electronics.”

“Mine think we pay Santa. So how much we have will determine how much and what they get. (And it depends on how bad they are being. Not paying Santa for them to be bad when we can use that for something else.)”

“We tell our children that Santa can’t make licensed items due to copyright expenses. Electronics are too hard for the elves to make and retraining would take too long.”

“We make a Santa catalog (I cut pictures from Walmart and Target Christmas catalogs) and I put only the things we can afford for them to choose from… And they can pick 2 or 3 items each…”

“I told my kids Santa doesn’t bring expensive things. Those are things that are earned and saved up for. But we also do an allowance for chores. Don’t do the chore don’t get the money. I feel like it teaches them to earn things and I noticed if they save for it they appreciate and take care of it.”

“So from the time my kids were little, we always explained to them that Santa only brings things him & the elves can make in the workshop. He can’t make electronics (game systems, laptops, tablets, phones, etc.) So he doesn’t bring those. It’s really worked out for us. I started it w/ the intent that in case we couldn’t find something they asked for, or if we had a year where we couldn’t afford things like that, or in case some of their friends didn’t get those things but my kids did, their Xmas spirit wouldn’t be ruined. Now when my kids get a new game system or laptop or whatever for Xmas, they know it came from us, they know we worked hard to be able to buy it, and they appreciate it more. Honestly one of the best ideas I’ve ever had!”

“That’s why Santa only brings stocking stuffers to our house. I made that decision on my oldest first Christmas. That way if he doesn’t get that cool and expensive gift, we can explain that mom and dad just didn’t have the money for it at the time.”

“I tell my son Santa’s elves make toys, not expensive electronics. Those gifts come from family.”

“Maybe volunteer for a homeless shelter and teach her the gift of giving. Sure she may be young but kids are smarter than we give them credit for.”

“Tell her about what Christmas is really about: not expensive gifts but spending time with beloved ones. There’s gotta be a movie that can help you with that. If this doesn’t work, I would make an elf or Santa’s personal assistant write a letter telling you guys what it is all about, and explain this year is especially hard for everybody.”

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Mine think we pay santa. So how much we have will determine how much and what they get. (And it depends on how bad they are being. Not paying santa for them to be bad when we can use that for something else.)


Everyone differs. Some ppl buy a few expensive items or just 1 from Santa. The rest of the gifts you let the child know they’re from you

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Right I always do 1 bigger gift from me and smaller from Santa…

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I tell them Santa makes toys not electronics


Santa doesnt have the money to get every kid on earth those expensive things. Maybe start her on an allowance i.e. earning through chores etc so she can get some of those things herself.


Teach her about the reason for the season. Help out a needy family. My daughter once had mr give all her gifts to a needy family at church.

Maybe tell her that Santa brings toys for kids, that his elves don’t make electronics.

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Honestly we’ve always done only 1 thing from santa from their list or something we know they really like but under $20. Everything else is from us , any big stuff or more pricey stuff from us.
That way also we dont have to hide stuff once it’s wrapped

I do 3 gifts from Santa since that’s what baby Jesus got from the wisemen and they’re left unwrapped. Then I typically get them a few things and wrap them but on Christmas morning they think Santa brought all of it lol.

I told my kids that Santa only actually brings 3 smaller cheap gifts and the parents buy what they can afford to have more presents and some parents can’t do big expensive gifts or some years they can and others they cannot.

My house santa brings a stoxking and small gift. Our expensive ones are from us. Period.

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We tell our kids Santa’s elves can’t make things like that. If they get expensive gifts like video games they come from us, not santa.

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I have always told my kids that we pay Santa tax. Some kids parents have better jobs and pay more taxes so they get bigger stuff

I told mine that Santa doesn’t bring electronics, that’s a mom and dad gift.

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I just tell my kids Santa only makes toys, he doesn’t bring/make electronics! It has worked so far :clap:t2:


Don’t tell her its cuz she wasn’t good enough. We only do 1 or 2 maybe 3 small gifts from Santa usually like a doll n car or something but the big stuff comes from mom n dad.


I don’t allow wish list so no expectations.

We do one thing each from Santa. The rest from us.

There will be no Christmas for my family :frowning: due to COVID im barely making rent. I told mine because of COVID Santa will not be coming. If he went to all boys and girls house he could get sick! I’m going to have them write their letters to Santa and have friend ( who is a mail man) personal delivery a card from Santa. This is the best I can do and it hurts :frowning: