(WGHP) — Christmas can be tough.

You shopped. You wrapped. You thought you nailed it.

The kids ripped open their gifts on Christmas morning and…they hate it?


Three days after Christmas and the kids aren’t happy with what Santa brought them, or they didn’t get what they really wanted… what’s a parent to do?

Here’s how to handle the holiday gift-giving backlash.

Your child didn’t get the hot holiday toy other kids got

  • Validate your child’s feelings. Child development experts say to make sure you let your kid know that you do understand that this was something they really wanted.
  • Put the gift on their birthday wishlist. This can help teach kids delayed gratification. They still get the toy, just a little ways down the road.

Your child seems ungrateful

  • Have them write thank you notes. Putting their gratitude into words will offer perspective.
  • When the holidays come around again, consider giving your kid money to buy a gift to donate to children in need, so they can see all the hard work that goes into making the holidays special.

Your child loses interest in their presents quickly

  • Do things together as a family, like going for a walk, playing a board game, or watching a movie
  • Don’t fret too much over the material items.

The holidays can be a lot, for everyone. Children are people with interests and feelings just like adults, and the quickest way to soothe any hurt feelings is to be understanding and validate how they feel, and to not take their bad feelings too personally.