Christmas gift registries replacing traditional wish lists
Image and etiquette expert says Christmas gift registries 'furthers a sense of entitlement'
Gift registries for weddings and baby showers are sure-fire ways for brides, grooms and parents to get what they need. Now, parents can do the same for their children by creating Christmas gift registries.
Rachel Rock has a four-year-old son and when her family asked for some shopping help, she screated a registry and sent it to her relatives.
"It just makes it easier to pin-point what they really want, so if it's for something like for Christmas or a birthday party they don't get something that they don't want," Rock said.
Big box and chain stores like Toys R Us and Sears offer the wish list service.
An image and etiquette expert worries about what message Christmas gift registries send to kids.
"It gives the child a further sense of entitlement. This tells a kid they can have this, that and the other," said Joanna Parris. "You need to learn to accept what you get. It’s like a race, you accept the place you got, whether it’s first, third or fifth."
Rock said her son, Xander, didn't participate in the process so it wasn't actually him asking for the gifts. Rock did it on her own on his behalf.
She said a computerized list doesn't detract from the spirit of giving.
"Kids like to make a list. There’s Santa Claus wish lists so it’s kind of the same thing," she said.
Parris said it's more polite for parents to wait for relatives and friends to ask what kids want rather than register a list and then tell people about it.
"Parents who are doing this need to understand we all don’t have money for these gifts. If the gift is a little above my budget, it puts me in an awkward position," Parris said. "It’s about giving. Allow me to give you something.
"For kids, let them enjoy the time."
Rock said she kept price in mind.
"I wasn’t putting things that are crazy expensive," she said.
Sara Dimerman is a family therapist, and the author of Character Is the Key: How to Unlock the Best in Our Children and Ourselves.
Dimmerman said it's good for parents to show love through gifts but that buying one or two more meaningful gifts is better than a laundry list of smaller ones.
"The more we give, the more our children want. The more they want, the less they appreciate what they have," Dimmerman said. "If parents remember that, they may be less driven to give their children more and more."