How Seriously Do Your Take Your Child's Christmas Wish List?

How Seriously Do Your Take 'The List'?

Good grief. If my kids change their Christmas wish lists one more time, I honestly won't be held accountable for my actions.

I was so determined to be extra organised this year, as well. It's my dream to have all my Christmas shopping nailed by the first weekend in December (er, that would be NOW!) so that I can spend the whole month basking in festive spirit instead of feeling frazzled.

But, yet again, my plans have been scuppered by my kids. First up, they asked for items that they knew rightly I had no intention of buying – 18-rated video games won't pass muster with Santa when you're only 11 years old. That necessitated an entire rewrite of letters to Santa, and I've spent the weekend frantically ordering items off their lists, only to hear this evening that they've got their eyes on altogether different stuff as of today.

I am really determined not to freak out this year. I'm not going to fall apart over how much to spend and whether I'm being excessive or Scrooge-like. I'm not going to stress about where I've put the presents that I bought in August (they'll turn up eventually) and I'm not going to spend the whole month feeling like Christmas is just one great big exercise in heaping more pressure on my already full plate.

No. This year I am definitely going o get sorted early so that I can spend at least some of the month relaxing. But, to that end, I need to ask you all a question and it's this:

How seriously do you take your child's Christmas wish list? I've got friends who treat it like an actual shopping list, merrily crossing items off it until they've shopped the lot, only stopping once they've got it all. But I've got other mates who treat it more like an aspirational thing; a guide, if you will, to the kind of items that the child who wrote it would be happy to receive. They certainly won't be buying everything on the list, and they don't tend to worry about their kids being disappointed to find that something from the list isn't under the tree on Christmas day, because their kids also understand that no-one ever gets absolutely everything on the list.

With three kids, I've got to hold my hands up and admit that Christmas seems to be getting trickier. My eldest just advised me to pass on a message to Santa – apparently he'd happily forgo all he chocolate and 'silly stuff' that Santa usually brings him at Christmas as this year he'd much prefer cold, hard cash. But you can't really do that, can you? My son might not mind if there's precious little in his stocking except money, but I'll mind. Christmas isn't Christmas without a stash of overpriced Christmas-themed chocolates.

I'd love to know what you make of all this. Come and join the conversation over on our Facebook page and don't forget to take part in our poll.

TOPICS:   Christmas UK


  • Sarah A.

    We always told ours you got only one really special gift from santa and that the rest came from us or other people.

  • Zara D.

    Normally they get everything they asked for but this year things have changed n they had maybe 3/4 things they asked for

  • Siöbhan M.

    My boy only asks for a couple of things so I get them, he knows not to expect them unless Santa is happy with his reward Chart

  • Gail P.

    I tell them to write a list and I decide what I buy off it... The only things I've always gone out of my way to buy is thier main item xx

  • Pollyanna H.

    I make a note of everything on her list and when people ask what to get her I give them something off the list that's within their budget and I get other (usually more expensive items) from the list for her. But we don't buy her everything ourselves

  • Lynsey W.

    I normally do buy everything BUT they know they can't rely on that and they also know they can only ask for 5/6 things and not all 'big' thingsz

  • Hayley M.

    My son asked for one item last year and two this year. It’s my (and his fathers) job to keep the magic alive for him and grant his wishes.

  • Tania W.

    They write a list I go through it if I think it’s affordable il get what’s on there if it’s not il sit with them making choices on what they really want and what they could do without

  • Karen R.

    Dont really get tgem to do list just tell me what they like but if the do it just gives me ideas but i defo do not get everything x

  • Nichola T.

    Haha a always think am finished till the add Something on last minute haha xx

  • Lisa G.

    We pretty much get wat they ask for tho. It's wat it's all about x

  • Louise G.

    The list is things they would like, but both my boys understand Santa has a lot of children to give to so they won't get everything. I don't go into debt for one day, but my boys are always happy (and appreciative) with what they do get.

  • Dawn W.

    Mine only get little bits and pieces from Santa. Presents come from me and anyone else. My kids don't really know what they want. Throughout the year I note down anything they mention they like. Then I get a few of those bits plus several other bits I think they will like. They never really have one big thing that they want. They only get tiys at Christmas and birthdays and they're utterly unspoilt so I feel justified in buying several bits. I do the Parks thing where I pay about £5 a week and then get it back in gift cards in November. We had several christmasses where we could barely afford to buy them anything so at least doing this I know it will be ok.

  • Amy K.

    I get every single thing, I like to see how happy she is knowing she got everything she wanted x

  • Toria D.

    I tell mine to make a list of 5 items for Santa, but bear in mind that Santa has a lot of children to give to and if they ask for something for their Xmas and don’t get it then not to be too disappointed as they can always ask for it for their birthday.

  • Ruth E.

    We only ask F.C. for three things! And then do our best to get them, thankfully the three things have always been reasonable gifts so not been an issue x

  • Janet H.

    My children write a letter to Santa and ask for "some" gifts from a (long) list of things they would like and they usually ask for a surprise. They don't expect everything on the list nor do they get it.

  • Nicola C.

    I let mine write 5 things the most wanted item at the top but Thu never get all 5 things

  • Emma S.

    My daughter only writes a small list this year was three things which will not cost a lot she also gets a stocking

  • Alison B.

    I use it as a guide. I get them to do there lists middle of november as two of my kids have birthdays before xmas so get some bits for birthday. I also pick something off list to give to granny and grandad as a gift idea.

  • Joanne H.

    I tell them they can only ask for 4 presents, that’s it!!! Then they get what they put on their list! (I do buy them other bits) and if they put something stupid(ie Cosmo) on there, I tell them no, and to think of something else!! They have never been disappointed!! Xx

    • Claire C.

      Agree completely with the cosmo NO £200 shocking

  • Helen C.

    I have not started the whole list thing with our 5 year old and not planning on doing so... This year he has wrote to Santa asking for a toy and a board game. He's been told Santa will only bring two gifts from lapland :santa:

  • Lizzi G.

    I go through it and write my own list of what I am willing to get them plus I pick up stuff I like for them along the way x

  • Roisin O.

    Ah sure we would never let it stress us out - they get what they get :laughing::hugging:

  • Claire H.

    They know that if they write a long list then Santa will only buy 1 or 2 items off it so they have always asked for 1 or 2 items they really want. They also get stocking fillers and a gift from us x

  • Karen S.

    I tell my daughter the list I ideas so that Santa can choose something he knows she'll like and always remind her she doesn't get everything on it. But I do try to get lots of things from her list if I can, as well as surprise or silly things :grin:

  • Paula C.

    My kids have never made a wish list. They've never asked for anything. They're always happy with whatever they receive

  • Anne J.

    I buy bits throughout the year in sales and on offer. They are bits that the kids have said they wanted. I then start probing them around October to see if there is anything 'new' they are into. About mid November they write and post their Christmas letters to Santa. Then I have a good idea when relatives ask what to buy etc.

  • Sarah T.

    We buy some, friends and family buy some and Santa chooses the things he thinks they'll enjoy the most from their lists. They also know that Santa gets for all children and shares out all the gifts fairly. They don't get it all. We have a cut off date too - as Santa may not have the time to get everything! X

  • Vikki T.

    Mine only asked for 1 thing in his letter so we bought it. He is only 2.5 though but he's consistently asked for a track to race cars on. Presents come from family and not from father Christmas but that's just so he knows who to thank.

  • Michelle D.

    My son is 3.5yrs old....tonight he asked Santa for an aeroplane, a fire engine bed, talking spiderman and.....a desert island!!! Yes, a desert island!!! :grin::joy:

    • Kerry H.

      How is that all gonna fit down the chimney chelle!! :joy::joy: xxx

  • Claire-Gareth C.

    I ask mine to write the 3 things they would really really like to get and then they will get some surprises, they love this, makes them really think about it

  • Liane R.

    My daughter's only asked for one thing this year...a toy digger...shes been saying she wants one for months so we've asked Santa! What she doesn't know if we've already bought her a while back :wink: My daughter's only 3 but I'm thinking maybe only ask Santa for one present and I'll just keep my fingers crossed it will be affordable and easy to buy :joy:

  • Nikki A.

    My daughter hasn't even come up with a list! That's probably not a bad thing though, as last year she asked for George Foreman grill, a pineapple, some cinnamon and some tongs! She was 5!!!

  • Chantelle T.

    I ask her to write a list and use it as a guide, make mental notes for the things that she mentions a few times. She only had 4 or 5 things on her list and I've got them all because they weren't ridiculous. It's going to be fun when the two little ones hand me lists as well though :see_no_evil:

  • Liane C.

    Our children know they are ideas lists only and they may or may not get anything off them. They just like making them and burning them on the fire so they go up the chimney to Father Christmas. They also know presents come from us and family. Last year my 6 yr old asked for people who didn’t have family to know that someone loved them :heart:. My 9 yr old doesn’t expect to get things off her list and my 4 and 2 yr old have not yet got into making lists x

  • Danielle M.

    They have chosen 3 things what they want and they will get that if I can :grinning:

  • Francesca B.

    I've always told my daughter that Santa will try his best to bring her everything that she has asked for. However, if he doesn't bring something, she is to concentrate on what she has got and not what she hasn't because she is a very lucky girl and there are children out there who aren't as lucky as her.

  • Emma M.

    Not too seriously as it's two a4 sides long :fearful::fearful::fearful:. At nearly nine I was kind of hoping she would forget to write one, but then last night she remembered and within 20 mins scouring the smyths toy catolouge it was onto the next side of the paper :disappointed_relieved::disappointed_relieved:

    • Jenny D.

      Snap!! Also have a nearly 9yr old whos list is longer than naughty nice list

  • Amy T.

    My daughter is 11 and she had 7 things on her list !!! Which came to 50 pounds . She has always been a good kid when like some kids have have the argos book :see_no_evil:. So yes i have brought everything on the list and i have brought extras i choose them . I have always said to her if i can i will get all of them . I think i am lucky tho xx

    • Lisa S.

      My daughter is also 11 and she is the same. Rarely asks for anything and have to go on at her to give me an idea of what she would like for Xmas! So far she asked for a desk for her room. It's not an easy age to buy for lol too old for toys but too young for teenage things xx

    • Amy T.

      Yes i think it is hard at this age . Yep i have walk round shops going oh do you like that? And this to see if i can get anything out of her. Suppose we should enjoy it tho as next few years it will be clothes, make up and all grown up stuff xx

  • Julie W.

    Called the Santa Suggestion List in our house.

  • Gina F.

    A guild but do like to be able to get them a couple of the list. I write things down when they say they like them without them knowing so the gifts are both wanted and a surprise

    • Yvette B.

      I like to make suggestions of things I've already got while they write it ;)

    • Gina F.

      haha yeah I’ve done that a few times :slight_smile: xx

  • Sophie L.

    My son chooses one small thing he would really like to ask santa for and we write him a letter to ask for it. He has a list of other things he would like. It its an ideas for mummy to get list and he knows he cant have it all

  • Cecilia F.

    I'm pleased mine wanted a tablet each as their must have pressie, got some amazon fires on offer cheaply. They didn't want much else apart from clothes n shoes n make up

  • Kasia G.

    My son loves writing the list and knows he probably get only few things off it. My daughter said "santa knows what i want" and she won't write it :joy::joy:

  • Linda Z.

    I'm actually having fun at the challenge of ticking off all the items. There is an entire year to plan ahead and put some money in place to get at least a few items they really want.

  • Anna M.

    My son knows that Santa only brings one gift per child. So when he goes to see Santa on the first weekend in December he has to tell him what he would like. (This year its a camera - he’s 3 so he’s getting a kiddizoom duo) and hopefully (if it’s not too stupid or expensive) Santa can bring that one special item. Everything else is off us.

  • Lynsey S.

    My 2 make a list. Santa brings their most wanted item and a few others from it plus some surprises. I keep a list of things they have mentioned repeatedly. They know not to expect it all. This year my oldest asked for 7 reasonably priced items so will get them all...the youngest on the other hand has a 2 pg list!!

  • Clare-Louise L.

    Mine only get a few things from Santa and the rest come from us and the family. My daughter writes a letter to Santa with a few things and when we take her to see him she gives it to him. I try to get what's on the list from him she does know he will try his best x

  • Laura D.

    Psshhh hell no! We do it to teach our kids that they can't have everything they ask for and if we did that, there's no way they'd appreciate all of it. They get a few things each Christmas from 'Santa' (us) and then family give them pressies too. :)

  • Suzanne K.

    My children went through the smyths catalogue and marked things with their intial of what they want. My daughter is 4 and my little boy 3. It ended up majority of the catalogue being marked. I sat her down and explained that Santa could not bring all these presents but that he will go through the list and choose some things and then mummy and daddy will choose some bits for her birthday. I have a limit that I usually stick to money wise to spend on them each. This year I was naughty and went over

  • Susan W.

    My son is 10, hes never made a list, this year hes asked for a travel mug to put hot chocolate in lol

  • Amanda C.

    I think this is where I've gone wrong x

  • Samantha R.

    My 4 year old requested a £350 drone, there is no way he is getting that :see_no_evil:

  • Mandy C.

    My 3.5yr old boy has asked for 2 things a transformer and a castle his godmother is getting transformer and santa (me) the castle then I've bought him pyjamas, pants and vests new toothbrush and new bedding so things he needs as he doesn't get things any other time in the year just Xmas and birthday if he doesn't have a party he'll get small present

  • Peter T.

    My eldest at 11 had to do 2 lists, the first one simply read "dear Santa, I have everything I need this year so don't want anything, merry christmas" so when he did ask for something we are getting it, he never asks for much. The others had 2 pages of wishes which we will use as a guide to what they are thinking about at the moment getting 1 or 2 things directly from the letters.

  • Tessa F.

    When the toy catalogues came through the post I told my boy to sit down and mark only what he really really wanted. He was quite meticulous and I'd already bought most of the things that he'd actually ticked...

  • Jennifer F.

    Well my 6 year old added a pet Parrot to his list last night ....

    • Jacqui R.

      Canne believe your not gonna run out and get him a Parrot

    • Jacqui R.

      Look this is the fun you could be having :joy::joy:

    • Jennifer F.

      That looks just like Eva and Kyle anyway :ok_hand:

    • Jacqui R.

      Haha that is the most random thing I've ever heard! What made him want a Parrot? Xx

    • Jennifer F.

      I actually have no idea, he was in bed and just came down and gave the Elf a letter. I asked him what it said and he replied " I forgot to put my pet Parrot on the other list I sent " :laughing::laughing:

  • Claire H.

    Yeah I think a shark and a turtle for her fish tank (and yeah that’s real ones) are a bit beyond even Santa’s abilities. Play doh and paint is a bit more do-able

  • Sarah B.

    was thinking about Joshuas list :heart_eyes::see_no_evil::grimacing:

  • Rachel M.

    Mine are 1,3 And 5. Only my 5 year old sees something on tv and asks if I can put it on her Christmas list :joy: but she hasn't out right said she really wants something. I remember circling everything in the catalogue and giving it to my mum :joy:

  • Maria B.

    Iv gone through it and kinda made note of the stuff I might be able to get :joy:

  • Rebecca B.

    My daughter (6) wrote her list at Rainbows. She wouldn't tell me what was on it as it was just for Santa' so I had to text the leader and ask her to text me a photograph of the letter! I told my daughter that Santa has a certain budget per child. She said that it was okay because Santa doesn't have to buy the presents as the elves make them so can get anything. I got daddy to explain about manufacturing costs like labour, materials, electricity etc (my daughter thought that was amusing!) and that Santa might ask other family members to get a few bits off the list. There are a few things that she's definitely not having as they're rubbish (chocolate sprinkle maker for example) and she'll never use them!

  • Gail C.

    Mine don't write alot on their list...they know to only ask for a few things as Santa has alot of kids to get for!

  • Sam K.

    I use it as a guide, they know they won't be getting everything off it, it's a wish list not a list of demands. And it's no use begging santa because he only brings a stocking and one small gift.

  • Kathryn A.

    My two are very good. Last year my now 6 year old asked for playdoh, pipe cleaners and pens. The year before a torch. This year a bike voucher so he can pick his own when the weather is better, some gloves and jelly beans. My daughter is 5 on boxing day and she wants a sylvannian family, a scooter and some chocolate marshmallows between Christmas and her birthday. Xx

  • Claire B.

    Santa usually brings their big gift they've asked for and some chocolates then we get all the other little bits and pieces and sensible gifts like new pjs and book :christmas_tree::grin:

  • Zee D.

    I get them to ask for 3 things and whatever else santa brings is based on how good they are. I keep note of what they say they like or what they are interested in and usually buy what i can afford.

  • Esther C.

    I usually get most of her things before she even does her list. Luckily I know her well and tend to have already got what she asks for :)

  • Sobia M.

    My kids make a list of 3 main presents and some smaller ones each . buy them one from Santa and 2 from us . In addition they get some clothes , shoes and dress up stuff . Their Christmas Eve boxes have new pjs , reading books and sweets . We don't go overboard as they get lots from friends and family too .

  • Vicky W.

    Mine make a list, doesn't mean they 're going to get it all, although will try and get one thing on the list if it is reasonable. Luckily my kids aren't all about the presents.

  • Jo D.

    My boys didn't write to santa ...santa brought special surprises in their stockings ,and family and friends gave them presents

  • Rhiann C.

    My two are still too little for lists but it will depend what is on the list if they get everything or not.

  • Sian H.

    I do a few things off their lists and some stuff I choose for them so they get some surprises too xx

  • Emily B.

    My son has asked for 6 things this year. All reasonably priced. He asked only for those things and said that he would be happy if Santa couldn’t get them all. We’ve got his 6 things and then when he’s shown interest in other things we’ve got them too (and shared the list with family). Over spending is so easy to do this time of the year but I’m glad my son isn’t greedy or his expectations are too high

  • Mags G.

    My son's asked for a wooden pizza and a kite :relaxed:. He's 7 x

  • EmilyBee1984

    it depends on the list doesn’t it? If it’s £100s then obviously they aren’t going to get everything on the list, but some kids put a list together of small things that are reasonable. Our son wrote 6 things on his list which were all quite inexpensive so he’s got them all. We tell him to write his list, we send the money to Santa and he brings as much as he can from his list

  • Ashley S.

    Mine do a list they are allowed to ask for 1 big present, some smaller things and a surprise but they know they might not get everything on there list x

  • Cerina W.

    Mine only put 3-4 things on their list and we aim to get everything on it from Santa.

  • Lisa M.

    Last year they had a long list and i used it as a guide and just got anything that was on offer but trying not to go mad. They were told they wouldn't get all of it as Santa has to share out presents to other children. This year however I've tried a new approach and they pick 3 things each and they've got the 3 things providing they behave :blush:

  • Laura M.

    I get a few bits after my youngest sons list is a bit erm only do able if your Richard Branson. Jet pack being 1. He’s got a few things off his list :joy:

  • Tracey B.

    Mine make a list but know that they won't necessarily get everything they have asked for as Father Christmas has lots of children to deliver presents too! Xxx

  • Terri W.

    I have a wish list too...that's what it is isn't it? A wish list not a shopping list. Not that my kids write to santa they just let me know what they would like and I pretend that I won't get it.

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