Youthful eyes are on us this holiday season.
- They watch how we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
- They pay attention to what we spend our money and time on.
- They feel our stress or our peace during December and throughout this pandemic.
What our children learn to value at Christmastime, they learn from us as parents.
The holidays are the perfect time to teach our kids life lessons by choosing to celebrate, give, and receive.
Are you focused on gifting your children lifelong lessons or material items this holiday season?
Here are 5 gifts you need to give your child this Christmas season
1. The Gift of Appreciation
Model for your child how to show appreciation to others throughout the holiday season.
Teach your son or daughter what to do when invited over to a home for a party or dinner. Let your kids see you contribute to the holiday meal by bringing a dish or a small gift for the host. Talk to them about how you show appreciation to those hosting you this holiday season.
By all means, teach your child the importance of handwriting thank you notes for gifts they receive or kindness they’ve been shown. Teachers also cherish receiving written words of appreciation from their students.
2. The Gift of Giving
Teach your child the importance of giving to others instead of focusing on just receiving.
Let siblings pick out gifts for each other and buy them with their own money. My Mom used to have a ‘Mom store’ where my sister and I could buy things from a closet shelf where she had gathered inexpensive items for us to choose from. I carried on the same tradition until my kids were old enough to go out shopping independently.
Let children be involved in the gift-giving by using their own money and ideas. This way, they begin to learn the value of selecting personal gifts that fit each person. Who doesn’t love a thoughtful gift giver?
3. The Gift of Compassion
Talk to your kids about how you are helping people with your time and money this season. Unfortunately, many people are hurting during the holidays. What can your family do to show that you care?
We keep a Christmas Jar out on our counter all year long to collect any change or bills we found. The week before Christmas we will gather as a family and talk about who we may want to bless with our jar.
- Carry dollars for kids to drop in Salvation Army buckets.
- Pull angels off of mall trees and buy gifts for kids in foster care.
- Do the White Envelope tradition.
The ways you can help others through your giving are endless. Let your kids watch you continuously give to those who need your help if and when you’re able.
4. The Gift of Contribution
Christmas cheer shouldn’t just be made possible by mom. It should be a collective family effort contributing to traditions together.
- Have your kids help bake the cookies.
- Your son or daughter can stamp and seal the envelopes of the Christmas cards.
- Pull out the ornaments and adorn the tree together.
- Your children can help pick out gifts for loved ones and wrap them as a family.
Get children of all ages involved in contributing to the magic of Christmas rather than just consuming.
5. The Gift of Humility
Teach your son or daughter that gifts aren’t for posting on social media. Google the Christmas Haul if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Kids sit around on Christmas morning showing off everything they unwrapped on Instagram and YouTube for everyone to see.
We must talk to our kids about the inappropriateness and unnecessary posting of material items received at Christmas. Better yet, how about us not gifting them anything worthy of bragging about in the first place. We don’t want our children finding their joy in owning the top of the line iPhone or expensive athletic shoes.
If we teach our children to appreciate, contribute, and give to others this Christmas season, then our gifts will live on way beyond December 25th.
Merry Christmas to your family! May you enjoy this precious season, with your loved ones celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ!