With the holidays coming up, you may have already received a few toy catalogues in the mail. If this has caused a bad case of the “gimmies” in your kids, you’re probably picturing your savings taking a serious hit as they circle high-end gifts on every page. However, there are ways to teach your kids about giving, not receiving, during the holidays with lessons that will last all year long.
When the holidays roll around, most people start asking kids what they would like. They then learn from a young age that Christmas means getting presents, and the older they get, the more they usually ask for.
You can stop this cycle by teaching them that Christmas is a time for giving, not getting, and limit the number of gifts they receive. Ask relatives to purchase small gifts.
Teach Them How to Give
There’s an old saying that charity begins at home, and there’s no better place to start when it comes to teaching your kids about giving.
Instead of exchanging gifts, family members should give their time and attention to each other in special ways.
Kids who have artistic talents can make homemade cards, or those who have musical ability can give the gift of song to the family. If they have fun while they give, they’re more likely to do so more often.
Reduce Commercialism in the Home
Christmas is a billion-dollar consumer business, and commercials for shopping start on television as early as October.
In order to keep your kids from being affected by advertising, scale back their TV time or find family-friendly programming on your streaming service. These services don’t have any advertising and have a wide variety of kids’ shows available.
Be a Good Example
Set a good example for your kids when it comes to giving. Talk openly about rational spending.
Make homemade baked treats for family instead of spending money on lavish gifts. Collect canned food and clothing for the homeless and let your kids help.
Even young kids can help in volunteer efforts. They can pack boxes with canned goods or fold clothing that you plan to give to shelters.
This will teach them that the true spirit of the holiday is to give and to focus on others, not what they’re going to receive.
Keep the Giving Season Going All Year
Teach your kids that they shouldn’t just give at Christmas. Focus on giving all year round by continuing to donate to homeless shelters and other local causes.
This will instill a sense of awareness in them that others aren’t as fortunate as they are and that it’s their responsibility to give wherever they can.
Teach Other Holiday Values
Instead of focusing on gifts at your house, instead, accentuate other traditions such as decorating, baking, or other fun activities so that Christmas means much more than simply getting gifts.
Start a tradition such as attending a religious service or a public tree lighting in order to foster both family and community goodwill.