More likely than not, you’ve experienced a rush at the end of the holiday season to find the perfect gift for family members.
However, some celebrities have opted to skip the stress while also trying to teach their children a valuable lesson ahead of Christmas.
Stars including Kim Kardashian, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher and Drew Barrymore have shared in recent years how they’re trying to focus on the more important things in life, rather than accumulated gifts.
‘We don’t do gifts,’ she claimed to Allure. ‘[Kanye and I] talk about it all the time, about not getting too much and trying to be as grounded and well rounded as possible.’
Kim even claimed at the time that she doesn’t ‘like presents anymore.’
That same year, Mila Kunis shared with Entertainment Tonight that she and her husband Ashton Kutcher had instituted a no-gift policy while their children were young, as they couldn’t keep up with the bounty of gifts from other family members.
‘Our tradition is no presents for the kids. We’re instituting it this year because when the kids are [younger than] one, it doesn’t really matter,’ Mila said.
‘Last year when we celebrated Christmas, Wyatt was two and it was too much. We didn’t give her anything — it was the grandparents,’ she continued. ‘The kid no longer appreciates the one gift. They don’t even know what they’re expecting; they’re just expecting stuff.’
The wasted gifts forced Mila and Ashton to draw the line with the grandparents.
‘We’ve told our parents: “We’re begging you — if you have to give her something, pick one gift. Otherwise, we’d like to take a charitable donation, to the Children’s Hospital or a pet [or] whatever you want. That’s our new tradition,’ she explained.
Drew Barrymore was among the stars who most recently opened up about their minimal holiday gift giving.
While speaking with ET earlier this month, she shared her desire to give her daughters — Olive, 10, and Frankie, eight — life-enriching experiences, rather than physical gifts.
‘I don’t get them presents, which I think at their ages they don’t love, but I say, “I think we’ll remember the place and the photos and the experience and that’s what I want to give you,”‘ she said.
‘They get plenty of things throughout the year, so I’m not like some weird, strict, cold mom who’s like, “You don’t get any gifts!”‘ she clarified. ‘I just feel like a better gift would be a life memory. I’d rather invest [in that than in] a doll house or something. It all evens out and it’s fine.’
However, the Charlie’s Angels star admitted that her children might not care for the arrangement as much as they get older.
‘I like looking at the holidays through a comedic, realistic lens of, we’re gonna have a lot of different holiday stories,’ added the Poison Ivy star.
‘What one do you want to keep going and build as a tradition? Rather than, “This is my tradition and I’m stuck in it.”‘
Laguna Beach and The Hills star Kristin Cavallari hasn’t sworn off gift-giving at Christmas, but she’s not afraid to mildly punish her children if they have been misbehaving leading up to the holiday.
‘Growing up, the elves would come every day before Christmas, and if you were good, they’d leave a little something in your stocking, and if you were bad, you got coal,’ she said of her own upbringing to Us Weekly in 2018.
Now, she carries on the tradition, and any of her children who have been bad will find themselves with coal instead of extra stocking stuffers.
‘It’s a good way to keep your kids in line and have them be on their best behavior,’ she added.
Phil McGraw, better known as Dr. Phil from his eponymous television show, urged his viewers to value quality time with family over material possessions during a 2015 episode.
‘You need not buy them material goods in order to create a bond,’ said the former clinical psychologist. ‘Instead of tangible gifts, how about spending some time together? Be careful that you aren’t teaching them that emotions can be healed by a trip to the mall.’
Teen Mom 2 star Kailyn Lowry seemed to have a similar approach to celebrating Christmas with her kids.
During an Instagram Live session from 2021, she told her fans that she opted to skip the gifts and instead take her children on a vacation with her.
But while the trip was her gift to them, she let her exes give their children gifts, as it was ‘something they only do at their dads’.’
‘Every time I got the kids for Christmas my other family members were on opposite years with their families/kids & we started doing big vacations about five years ago,” she explained. ‘So Christmas can be with their dads & they don’t have to worry about splitting it.’
She added: ‘My kids don’t want or need for anything & I am thankful for that. Maybe one day we will celebrate without gifts on another day.’
Rounding out the celebrities who eschew Christmas gifts are Fixer Upper stars Joanna and Chip Gaines.
In 2017, Chip wrote in their magazine The Magnolia Journal that he and his wife had moved away from gift giving while teaching their children a valuable lesson by giving to those much less fortunate than their family.
‘I started to think about how we could impact our kids’ lives in a real big-picture sort of way,’ Chip wrote. ‘They were still young, but we’d been through enough Christmases … to know how quickly presents can get out of hand.’
The children got to be involved in the holiday by selecting gifts for needy kids and driving around to distribute them with Chip and his brother-in-law.