How Many Presents Should You Get A Child for Christmas?

6 min read

Last Modified 8 January 2024 First Added 27 November 2023

Oh, the sweet joy of Christmas mornings… the kitchen is taken over with dinner prep, the children are up extra early, the parents are typically sleep deprived, and everyone is anticipating unwrapping their gifts that are sat neatly under the tree!

It’s easy to be swept away by the excitement of Christmas, especially when spoiling our little ones. However, amid the festive frenzy, it’s important to strike a balance between creating a wonderful season and managing your budget.

In this guide, we’ll explore the world of gift-giving, tightening budgets, and teaching valuable lessons about appreciation and sharing.

Tightening the ‘reigns’ of your Christmas budget

Every parent dreams of creating a magical day, week, or month for their child, but the reality often comes with a hefty price tag. According to statistics from the Mirror in 2022,

“Christmas 2022 won’t come cheap – with parents planning to spend an average of £251 fulfilling their child’s Christmas wish list.”

The financial strain can be overwhelming, that is why it is key to make a financial plan for your Christmas budget. To learn how to tighten your reigns, read more from the HSBC for practical tips on ‘How to Create a Christmas Budget.

How many gifts do you give your child for Christmas?

There’s no perfect number, however establishing a rule can assist with planning and budgeting. Consider the 3-gift rule, great for meaningful presents, inspired by the gifts from the three wise men. You can also consider the 5-gift rule for a mix of bigger gifts and smaller gifts. Alternatively, there is the 10-gift rule which is ideal for a mix of gifts or if you have one child to shop for.

These rules encourage thoughtful giving without having to overspend! Read more on ‘How to Make Christmas Special On A Budget.

What is a good Christmas budget?

Crafting a budget involves smart strategies, from saving on postage, to how many people you’ll be shopping for, to considering homemade gifts!

Your budget should align with your household income with some financial experts recommending a maximum spend of 1.5% of your annual income. It is easy to spend more than you can afford at Christmas, but this season should not be an occasion to add any extra stress to your family’s finances.

Instead, there are ways to manage this. Whether shopping for gifts under £15 or gifts under £30, there are always options to limit spending. It is always a great idea to have a look at special offers on toys to see if you can find those hidden gems that your child has been wanting all-year-round.

3 gift rule for Christmas

The 3-gift Christmas rule isn’t just a practical approach; it’s a savvy way for parents to navigate the festive season without emptying their pockets. This approach encourages parents to be intentional and thoughtful with their gifts, shifting the mindset from quantity to quality.

When a child receives a limited number of gifts, they are more likely to appreciate and value their presents, instilling the importance of gratitude. Many follow this approach as you can purchase something your child wants, something your child needs, and something for them to read.

These quality gifts can include child-favourites like the Early Learning Centre Wooden Mansion Dolls House. This 3-storey dollhouse has plenty of features and accessories to inspire imagination and creativity as your little one’s bring the dollhouse to life with their dolls!

Big Christmas gifts, like the Early Learning Centre Sand and Water table, allows children to get busy and messy as they explore these treasures. Whether using their hands to encourage some active play, or creativity to create shapes, builds, and patterns.

5 gift rule for Christmas

This approach is typically the most popular! The five-gift rule continues the three-gift rule where the first four gifts are straightforward – something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. Then, the fifth gift is something they didn’t know they wanted!

This is a great approach to have fun and throw in an exciting gift. Whether it’s something quirky or something to do with their favourite characters like the Thomas and Friends Mystery Lookout Playset.

Explore some hidden treasures with gifts under £45.

10 gift rule for Christmas

In the 10 gifts rule, the four basic gifts remain the same and 6 more are added. These include something to give others, something to do for others, a toy to play with the family, something to make, and footwear.

The ten-gift rule is perfect if you only have one child to shop for as these can be smaller gifts with a wide variety of different presents.

Consider a range of toys not just for fun, but also for learning and development such as problem-solving toys, as well as soft toys to start a collection. Whether Snuggle Buddies like the Snuggle Buddies Dinosaur Dylan or Baby Annabell!

Christmas in the household with mum and two kids.

Teaching your child to share their Christmas gifts

Christmas is so much more than just receiving gifts – it’s about sharing joy whether with your family or with strangers.

Engage in games and activities that can instil teamwork and sharing in your little one. For example, games and puzzles are a suitable place to start! You can introduce Happyland puzzles or Christmas puzzles that involve some teamwork to complete.

Alternatively, you can explore fun games such as Snakes and Ladders and Ludo, Jitterbugs, Golden Honey Bee Tree, and Bug Building – there are many more options to choose from.

How much should I spend on my nieces and nephews for Christmas?

Shopping for nieces and nephews can be a challenge as we may not know their ever-evolving interests that can change on a weekly basis. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.

We recommend setting a budget for each child, depending on how many children you will be shopping for. If only one or two, then it gives room for a bigger budget per child. A general rule of thumb suggests people send between £15 to £25 per child.

Discover toy brands for little ones for gifting classics like Playmobil, Whizz World, LEGO DUPLO, Fisher-Price, and Blossom Farm.


In the spirit of giving, let’s make Christmas magical without breaking the bank. Whether you opt for the 3, 5, or the 10-gift rule, ensure to explore your budget-friendly options too. Discover endless gifting options in ‘8 Of the Best Christmas Presents for 4-Year-Olds’.

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