Most of us are well-familiar with the stress of the holiday season and the financial strain it frequently brings. The search for meaning among the commercialization and over-consumption of Christmas is often a theme of cherished holiday stories. These annually-told tales remind us of the true meaning of Christmas—one not bought in a store.
Although children may have big expectations this time of year, they can actually become overwhelmed and overstimulated by receiving too much. This is particularly true for young children. As adults we must set healthy limits for children, which benefit them, especially later in life.
In general, there is a tendency to undervalue things that are too plentiful to use, and these things may even take a great effort to put away. (Read: children may keep their rooms clean with less clutter to manage.) A child with a few special toys learns to appreciate them and take care of them—a valuable lesson for life.
The best gifts you can give a child come from you. Have you ever thought of these gifts?
- Give your time and attention to an activity that they enjoy – your presence (remember to put away the distractions) is a present in itself
- Read books about the holidays
- Cut out snowflakes together to hang as decorations
- Make a gift together to give to someone else. This website can help you with this idea: http://happyhooligans.ca/40-useful-gifts-kids-can-make/
And adults often appreciate handmade gifts as well. Check out these websites for some quick, affordable ideas:
Whether you are sticking to a tight budget or want to find more meaning through simplicity this holiday season, remember that the things you do to strengthen and build your relationships with friends and family can be a gift you give yourself as well as others.
By Julie Mauchenheimer, Development Specialist