Christmas is an exciting time for many kids – it means time off school, festive treats and usually an overwhelming number of gifts. With advertising and playground boasting, it’s easy for children to solely focus on how many gifts they receive on Christmas morning, instead of spending quality time with friends and family. In fact, this obsession with materialistic things can mean the whole family becomes stressed with fulfilling huge wish lists, often which are unrealistic and cost a fortune. It’s important to try and help your kids move away from wanting heaps of presents and remember the real meaning behind the festive season. Here’s some ways to try and curb a materialistic Christmas.
Give gifts with meaning
Gift giving is always going to be a part of the festive season. However, presents don’t always have to be bought in the shops. Teach your kids how to put real meaning and effort into their gifts. Start by encouraging them to be creative and make their own! This can be as simple as painting a picture for a relative, baking some fresh gingerbread or creating a personalised photo album for a friend or family member. Not only does this show how much kids care, but the experience of giving will be more rewarding for them and their recipients.
Teach kids to give their time
The gift of time is often much more meaningful than gifts that cost a lot of money. Encourage your kids to create special gift certificates this Christmas offering things like ‘A free car-wash’ or ‘Taking the dog for a walk in the morning.’ When family members are busy, these certificates will be really appreciated. Volunteering is also a fantastic way to give during the festive season. Just moving away from giving physical items can really help to show that the message of Christmas is much more than giving and receiving gifts- time, effort and kindness is much more rewarding. For some alternative ways to teach kids to give at Christmas, check out our blog post here.
Gift experiences not things
Physical gifts don’t nearly provide as much enjoyment than being given an experience. Ask your children to think of things they would like to do with the whole family or with friends. Giving this type of gift over toys will be much more meaningful and create fantastic memories your kids can remember for a long time. Experiences for children can range from tickets to a special show or planning a day trip to a place they’ve always wanted to visit. We guarantee they’ll will spend time looking forward to the event and talking about it for ages once it’s all over!
Create traditions that don’t involve gifts
A great way to shift the focus away from gifts over the festive season is to create traditions that don’t involve ‘stuff’. This can include activities as a family such as picking out and decorating the tree, going on a drive looking at all the neighbourhood lights, baking gingerbread cookies or going ice-skating on Christmas Eve. These things are often the most fun for kids in the build-up to Christmas and have nothing to do with gifting.
Set a good example
Showing your kids that Christmas is fulfilling without focusing on mountains of gifts and heading out on stressful shopping trips is the easiest way to help them realise the true meaning of the season. Try not to focus on what they want to receive and ask them alternative questions such as: ‘what can they do to help someone this year’ or ‘what family traditions are they looking forward too.’ Before long the presents under the tree won’t be the sole purpose of Christmas!