For most parents, dreaming up a Christmas list to make their kids eyes light up is one of the joys of the festive season.
But for those already stretched to the limit providing their families with food and shelter, trying to find money to buy these toys and gifts can be their breaking point.
That's why Keira MP Ryan Park said he hoped Illawarra residents would consider adding one extra present to their Christmas shopping list to donate to his annual toy drive.
"The women and families I've met who benefit from this toy drive say that it takes an enormous amount of pressure off them when they're already dealing with a whole heap of things in their lives," he said.
"These are people who sometimes have left situations with nothing more than a plastic bag, or a garbage bag full of clothes. So buying Christmas presents is not a priority."
Dapto mum Chynna Clayton, who is part of a Housing NSW outreach program which helps women get back on track after homelessness or domestic violence, said she was relieved and grateful to know her two young children could benefit from the toy drive.
"We don't have a whole lot, so these small things really mean a lot to us," she said.
"It's just me and my two little kids, and I'm trying to get through as a single mum, looking after them, working, it's hard to juggle everything
"We have weeks where things are a bit low.
"And at Christmas, the first thing you're thinking of is trying to make sure you have something to give the kids, so they can light up in the morning."
Gianna Baldoni, from the women's refuge Supported Accommodation & Homelessness Services Shoalhaven Illawarra (SASSHI), said receiving a donated Christmas present has ongoing benefits for families.
"A lot of people find Christmas a beautiful time of year but for clients of SAHSSI it's not such a great time," she said.
"Added to that, it's school holidays, where there's extra pressure to entertain kids and find money for activities, so receiving a gift or voucher which they wouldn't otherwise be able to afford can make all the difference."
"Having these donated gifts can mean that these parents can focus on putting food on their tables and paying rent, rather than stressing about finding extra money during this time."
She said toys were great gift ideas for younger children, and said gift or movie vouchers could be valuable for teenagers.
The ages of the children who will benefit from the toy drive range from newborns to teenagers. Gifts can be delivered Mr Park's Corrimal office, at 247 Princes Highway.