There was a good article in the paper recently (AP byline) about talking to your children about cutting back on spending, though I see that many parents are still focused on buying expensive, high-end products for their kids. One parent quoted in the article said, 'What's wrong with spoiling them now?"
My parents worked hard when we were growing up; my mother made a lot of our clothes; we wore hand-me-downs; and she stayed up late doing chores, making Christmas gifts, etc. because she worked. We had a roof over our heads, enough food, and we were warm and protected, and she absolutely refused to cut back on milk. We had the basics, and when I was old enough, I made money babysitting and house cleaning. (And my parents never paid me for household chores!) I bought my first typewriter and school supplies with my own money. I never expected my parents to waste their money on things I didn't need.
Another thing, while I'm on my soapbox, is that we three children were not brought up to believe in Santa Claus. We knew our gifts came from our parents so we never wondered why Santa didn't bring us nice things. I've talked to many people who were sorely puzzled when they saw other kids getting toys for being naughty! Btw, my mother and father were very firm about telling us that we were never ever to tell any other child that there was no Santa Claus.