Oh The Joy!
Picture it. It is Christmas morning. Mom and Dad have made their coffee. The kids are awake and full of anticipation. They get the “go ahead” and run into the living room with the Christmas tree sparkling, a sea of gifts underneath. There is so much joy! It’s Christmas Morning! Giving gifts to children at Christmas is one of the most fun, joyous activities you can experience as an adult.
Is There Such Thing As Too Many Gifts?
Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Kids LOVE Christmas. It is so fun to watch children open gifts on Christmas morning. Their joy is contagious. I know as an aunt (and I can imagine as a parent) that it is so easy to go overboard giving gifts to children at Christmas. However, sometimes going overboard is not the direction that is going to be healthy for a child’s development. Plus, sometimes with abundance it is easy to lose the meaning behind the holiday. Below are some suggestions on ways to manage giving gifts to children this Christmas season. If you would like more gift giving suggestions or pointers, you might check out this article from Focus on the Family.
One idea that is gaining popularity is giving 4 specific gifts to your children. You gift them an item that they want, something that they need, something to wear and something to read. This is a good idea that places some limitations on the number as well as giving purpose to the gifts. This might look something like a child getting a bike or requested toy, a new backpack, a jacket or favorite character sweatshirt and a fun book. Some also add a larger gift from Santa to the 4 gifts from the parents.
Donate Then Get
Another idea is to help children purge their things is to help them donate to those in need. This helps teach children generosity and keeps the clutter under control. You can help make this easier for your children to get excited about by telling them it is to “make room for Santa’s gifts.” Also, pick a place to donate that lets children help or volunteer. This will allow children to see that their (gently) used toys are going to a good place to find a new home.
Christmas Eve Box
Each Christmas, allow your children to open a Christmas Eve Box. The box can include things like Christmas PJs, a Christmas movie, a Christmas book and snacks or hot cocoa to enjoy. This helps to begin the Christmas celebration and allows for precious family time creating fun memories. In order to make this tradition “work” try to give the same type of gift(s) each year and use the same box or crate each year.
Large, Medium, Small
This system can be put into place by giving your child a large or expensive gift, then a “medium” gift, as well as a small gift. Again, this helps to keep you from going overboard and can make what the children get more significant or impactful. This will take some narrowing down but with some thought and creativity, you could likely come up with 3 really great gifts that will be special for your child.
Can’t We All Just Have fun?
You may be reading this and thinking, “I do not want to put limitations on giving gifts to my children.” If that’s the case, enjoy putting all the gifts under the tree. At the end of the day, Christmas is the time to enjoy family, friends and the joy of the season. If you find that trying to find all the gifts fills your schedule with stress or puts a strain on the budget, then use these tips as a helpful guide to giving gifts to children.
What If I Still Feel Stressed?
As we head into the Holiday season, if you find that you are having a hard time managing the stress of the holidays, I would encourage you to call the therapists at Family Therapy Associates. They are trained professionals who can help you change your negative thought patterns, learn new coping skills, let go of the small stuff and help you navigate the holidays with more peace. Check out their website by clicking here!