The origins of Christmas have always been about celebration of family and community. But as the holiday becomes more and more commercialized, there are some parents who are backing away from the tradition of buying and moving back toward the original traditions.
Many families are asking themselves, “should Christmas be about presents or family?”
For my family, we like to do both. I take this time of year to indulge my daughter with a few extra gifts than I might give to her on birthday. But I still like to keep it simple. I realized when she was 3 years old that I had already begun to overdo it and I started scaling back each year after that.
When my 3 year old told me that “it was too much, Mama,” when I asked her which gift she liked the best, I knew that I had started off on the wrong foot with overindulgence. That’s not part of my values and I don’t want to instill that in my daughter’s life, no matter what time of the year it is.
Part of my gift giving involves getting her something that we can share with the family or friends. We buy bigger gifts and a few small things that are individualized. I also prefer to buy educational items like crossword puzzles, maps or globes, dictionaries, new books, crafting materials and board games or puzzles.
For the big items one of my favorite ways to celebrate the season is to buy backyard toys. Large items like that are typically reserved for Christmas or birthday gifts. They make a spectacular impression on Christmas morning. They are great to share with friends. And they are great for her health.
I know this is shameless self promotion, but play sets really are the perfect gift for the whole family. All your kids can enjoy a play set. If the mood strikes you, why not swing along your kids too! Just look at the joy a Kid’s Creations play set gave this family.
If you’ve already got a play set, you can buy new accessories as Christmas gifts. Some new swings, a disc rope swing, a steering wheel, a telescope, binoculars, trapeze bar, buoy ball, tire swing or glider make for great gifts that will keep your kids happy for hours.
Scale Down the Gifts, Ramp Up the Traditions
In addition to scaling back on gift giving, we have upped our traditions. Every year we do specific things and add something new.
Our favorite holiday traditions are:
- Making Christmas cookies to share.
- Going to see Christmas lights.
- Making a gingerbread house.
- Singing Christmas carols together.
- One gift on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas morning.
- Reading Christmas books. Our favorites are ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and The Twelve Days of Christmas.
- Joining local Christmas celebrations
- Going to Christmas tree lighting’s around town.
- Making Christmas crafts.
- Write a letter to Santa.
Christmas Traditions Should Create Lasting Memories for the Entire Family…
Whatever your Christmas traditions are, your kids will remember those more than the gifts they receive. Getting together with family and friends is a great time to build community and help make lasting memories for your children.