Teaching children the value of gift giving, not just receiving

Wish lists made long before the holidays for gifts galore. Pressure on parents to buy presents. Shopping sales in order to make it a happy holiday. But how much is too much?

"We connect what we give our kids almost as if it's a measure of our worth as parents," says Harriet Cabelly, a clinical social worker. She says that losing a sense of value is easy when you pile up presents. While kids can wish for things, parents should make it clear nothing is guaranteed.

"Santa has limits because he's got tons of kids to give to," Cabelly says. "We have limits because we don't have limitless money."

Experts say pointing out to your children that this is the season of giving is very important. It's not just "Me, me, me." It is also about helping others.

"We want to instill in our kids that there's a good feeling around giving to someone else," Cabelly says. "It's not just about what we get."

Power Wheels or PlayStation, games like Trouble or a trampoline, sneakers, and the Apple Watch. And if you're celebrating Hanukkah, a present for each night can add up.

"It could be one major thing and then one little $2 thing each night," Cabelly says. "Just the idea if you want to feel like you're giving."

So what should you do if an item is too expensive or sold out?

"If it's not available, get it after Christmas," one shopper said.

Another said, "Whatever you get from Santa you should be happy for."

An important lesson: You can't put a price on family.