They will tell you that they "want," "need" and "can't live without" this toy, that game and everything else in between. Usually parents or grandparents answer to that is "Okay." But not so fast, before you make a promise that you really don't know if you can keep (especially when you have other people on your list that have needs as well) ask your children, "What aren't you playing with anymore?" Make them find something in their rooms that they aren't using and you sell it (that's money toward your Xmas fund,) give it away or if it's broke, fix it or throw it away.
Let's face it, our children can be greedy! They will play into our emotions with their tears, silent treatment, and anger outbursts. They can make us feel bad, mad and sometimes more than happy not to do another single thing for them. Yet, what do we end up doing when the smoke clears? We get them what they want!
Create a plan of action before you go buying all those wonderful gifts! Know how much money you will spend on each child and don't go over it! Be sure that they have picked out some toys they are willing to part with. Host a yard sale, an online auction, or just give it away for a tax write-off.
But whatever you do, don't add another thing to their room (even if your child is a baby) until you have cleared some space for the next items you and others will buy for them. Children need to understand the following: "You must give in order to receive." As parents we should remember, "Money doesn't grow on trees!"
Nicholl McGuire is the author of When Mothers Cry and blogger of this site and others.