Now that Thanksgiving has passed, the countdown to Christmas is in full swing! Decorations all over town are going up, Christmas lights are shining bright, and the Christmas music is blaring. As you walk into every store all the Christmas displays are set up and all the advertisements are filled with Christmas sales. I’m sure your kiddos have started to make requests about things they want for Christmas and all the relatives are asking what to buy. Some might be feeling a bit of anxiety as the season approaches when this should not be the case. I would like to share how to take a step back a little on the Christmas presents this year and to focus on what matters most.
As you start to plan out what your Christmas will be like this year, it doesn’t have to be consumed by the number of presents under the tree. This is something to really think about when your children are young. As you begin starting your Christmas traditions, don’t make it about filling the stockings to the brim. If you are stacking gifts under the tree to the max, they may start to expect it as each year passes and they become more aware of what is going on. This could cause your kiddos to loose sight of what Christmas is all about.
A really awesome idea I heard about a few years ago was to plan your gift giving around this mantra: Give your child what they want, need, wear and read. So simple! It really narrows it down to four easy categories to shop for and will drastically cut down on over giving. This really works great for all ages! Maybe you feel compelled to do a few items in each category depending on your family dynamics, but still stick to the categories. Buying even 2 items from each one will still cut down on the overflow of gifts. Continue to have fun and have your child create their Christmas list, but have them break it down into these categories.
Include them in the idea of not buying all the toys off the shelf and help them to understand as they grow older as to why. Also, it’s super important to not spend beyond your budget. Set a budget for each child and really stick to it! It is hard, I know! But doing the want, need, wear, read breakdown really helps!
Be intentional about filling Christmas time with other things instead of presents. Make the memories and show kindness to others during the holiday season. There are lots of events around town to attend, looking at Christmas lights while drinking hot coco is always fun, or even reach out by having you and your children do kind things for others or those in need. Christmas is really not about checking every item off your child’s Christmas list; it’s about spending time together, creating memories and starting lasting traditions as a family.
Lead Pre-K Teacher