Despite the tens of millions of dollars they rake in every year from movies, endorsement deals, and product launches, there are a handful of celebrities who don’t believe in giving their kids presents, especially around the holidays. It might be controversial to leave your children empty-handed come December 31, but these famous parents stand strong in their belief that a lack of gifts for their young ones will ultimately help them to become self-sufficient, and, more importantly, not a brat.
To learn more about this unique holiday ideology, we rounded up quotes from 10 A-list moms and dads who you’ll be hard-pressed to find putting gifts under their family Christmas tree this year. From Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher to HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines, check out our list of celebrity parents who don’t believe in giving their kids presents.
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher made headlines when they announced that they won't be giving their kids—3-year-old daughter Wyatt and 1-year-old son Dmitri—any holiday presents beginning this year. In an interview with "Entertainment Tonight," Kunis explained that she and Kutcher are implementing a new holiday tradition to prevent her kids from becoming spoiled, something she saw potentially happening after their grandparents gave them extravagant gifts last year.
“So far, our tradition is no presents for the kids,” she said “We're instituting it this year because when the kids are [younger than] one, it doesn't really matter. Last year when we celebrated Christmas, Wyatt was two and it was too much. We didn't give her anything—it was the grandparents. The kid no longer appreciates the one gift. They don't even know what they're expecting; they're just expecting stuff.”
“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.”
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian
After Kim Kardashian's burglary in Paris in 2016, she and Kanye West stopped giving each other presents, and instead, chose to find ways to spend quality time with each other on their birthdays and holidays—something she's carried onto her children (4-year-old daughter North and 1-year-old son Saint) to prevent them from becoming brats.
“We don’t do gifts,” Kardashian told 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.”
Chip and Joanna Gaines
With four children, HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines used to do it big for the holidays. Though, after years of gift-giving, the "Fixer Upper" couple decided the piles of unused presents "wouldn't be healthy." Now, instead of giving presents, the Gaines tell their kids to pick out presents to give to children in their neighborhood from struggling families.
“I started to think about how we could impact our kids’ lives in a real big-picture sort of way,” Chip wrote in his wife's magazine, The Magnolia Journal. “They were still young, but we’d been through enough Christmases as a family of six to know how quickly presents can get out of hand.”
Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw
As a psychologist for more than 40 years, Dr. Phil knows a thing or two about how constant gift-giving can affect a child's psyche. Instead of giving children presents, he and his wife, Robin McGraw, recommend spending quality time with them, something he considers to build a deeper bond than material items.
“You need not buy them material goods in order to create a bond," he said on his show. "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."
Ewan McGregor and Eve Mavrakis
Ewan McGregor is a strong believer in not giving his kids what they want. In an interview with Express, the actor revealed that he and his ex-wife don't buy their children gifts, which has resulted in them not wanting much.
I’m sorry but when you’re 12 you don’t need a new mobile phone every few months just because a new one comes out,” McGregor said.“I’m not going to buy [my daughter] the latest phone, I’m not going to buy her an iPod every time one comes out and I’m definitely not going to buy her a pony. As a result, my kids don’t want for very much. They’re not greedy. They’re wonderful, wonderful children."