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Tempering Kids’ Christmas Expectations on a Tight Budget

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) With many families continuing to struggle in a tight economy, parents may be worried their kids will have unrealistic expectations about Christmas morning.

“They just build themselves up and up and just get so excited for Christmas. And then inevitably, at the end of the day or the next day there’s sort of a let down because it’s all over.”

Dr. Heidi Sallee, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at St. Louis University and SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital says it’s easier to scale back if you have babies or preschoolers — but school age kids are influenced by their friends and ads. Sallee says it’s okay to be honest. “If Christmas is going to be different than it was in previous years, I think those are important lessons for kids to learn. As your kids get older if there are financial constraints, one thing you can do is certainly talk to them a little bit about what your financial constraints might be.”

Beyond that, Sallee suggests focusing on other aspects of the holidays — family outings, traditions or your spiritual beliefs. “Find activities that are meaningful throughout the holiday season that aren’t around gifts.”

Copyright KMOX Radio

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