With Christmas well on its way, it is easy to see our children fall into the trap of asking for what they want rather than embracing the spirit of giving.

Classroom time is spent writing wish lists to send to the North Pole, TV adds show al the latest toys and where to buy them, all around the country children are sitting on Santa’s knee whispering in his what they want for Christmas, is it any wonder they Christmas as a time to receive rather than give?

With two nephews and Christmas lists that started in September, I have been pondering how we can get our children to approach the festive season a little differently.

For a long time now, I have asked that celebration times, be it my birthday or Christmas, remain gift free, and instead ask my family to just spend time with me. We organise family meals, a long weekend away or something fun to do. To me, this is far more fun and brings much more joy than a gift that I won’t use, which will sit on the shelf and do nothing, or something I will re-gift in the future(yes we are all guilty of this).

So, what if instead we taught our children that Christmas is not about receiving, but giving, and actually provided them options and ways to do this that didn’t mean spending a fortune:

  1. Make Something

Children are creative and nothing beats a homemade gift; cookies, a card or framed painting. Special, memorable and far more unique than something you buy in-store.

  1. Do Something

Make time to do something together, a meal, a hike, prepare a picnic and go to a park. Giving time is something which creates memories, totally priceless.

  1. Offer a Service

One of my Mum’s favourite gifts to receive from my siblings and I were ‘vouchers’. Vouchers made by us with things on it we could do for her; wash the dishes, weed the garden, 10-minute foot rub, make dinner… This really is the gift that keeps on giving. Don’t limit it to family either, think walking the neighbour’s dog, older children can offer to babysit as a gift too.

Share this with your children, make a list of all the people they want to give to and get making, doing or offering, bring joy to others in a special and unique way, after isn’t that what Christmas is about?


You may also like to read:

Valentine’s Gifts that Keep on Giving

How to teach your kids the gift of giving