It’s easy for all of us to get wrapped up in the holiday season. We all want to give the right gift and we especially want to surprise the children in our lives with exactly what they’ve wanted. It can be difficult to avoid the commercialism of the holidays and the overwhelming feeling that you forgot someone on your gift list. But what lessons do we want to send to children at the holidays? Should they expect to get everything that they ask for and how do adults know what the limit should be?
I remember when I was a child as the holidays drew closer, we looked in flyers and magazines and we made wish lists of all the things that we hoped to get. Making our wish list was a yearly holiday activity. We loved looking at the pictures of all those toys more than anything. We would circle what we wanted and as the holidays got closer our parents asked us to pick our very favorites, the few things that we would want most. There was always one thing we each wanted more than anything. The waiting, the anticipation and the sheer thrill of hoping that we would get that one thing was so exciting. My parents kept the gift giving simple so that we would appreciate what we received and because of that we really enjoyed and played with our most coveted items that we received. And many gifts came from other members of the family that we opened separately. And when we opened a gift from a family member we would call that person and thank them.
At the holidays children often receive gifts from so many people that nothing seems particularly special. There are so many gifts to open that it becomes a big pile of wrapping paper and boxes and the child doesn’t even know sometimes who gave the gift to them. It is important for children to enjoy gift giving as well as receiving. Take time at the holidays to make cards for others, wrap gifts for special people and donate gifts and items to those less fortunate. This pandemic has helped us to simplify things for sure. Celebrations are smaller and being together and sharing holiday experiences and activities like baking, decorating and being outdoors in the snow have become even more precious as we make new family memories.
Gift ideas for children to give and receive at the holidays:
- Books are the gifts that keep on giving-they can be read over and over, shared with others and passed down.
- Home made gifts are always the best-knowing that someone spent their time and put their love into your special gift makes it even more precious
- Experiences-give a jam making class gift certificate or a family snowboarding class-things that can be done together during and after the holiday season
- Games, brain teasers and puzzles that can be done together as a family-something that everyone can enjoy!
Read the article below for tips on how to make the holidays more meaningful for children.