Written by Jana Angeles
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year! During this period, parents, grandparents and other immediate members of the family experience stress and anxiety when it comes to getting the perfect gifts for their loved ones. It’s also an important time to celebrate togetherness, love and appreciation on the wonderful memories created during the year.
However, parents need to be careful when it comes to purchasing gifts for their kids. Yes, asking them for their wish lists could make our lives easier, but spoiling them during Christmas is a definite no-no.
So, what are our expectations as parents when it comes to avoiding spoiling our kids during Christmas?
Give A Limited Amount of Gifts
As much as we all love to be the “favourite” parent, teaching your children that they cannot get all gifts they desire will teach them not to value materialistic gifts and appreciate the concept of giving back during Christmas. You may have encouraged your children to write long lists of Christmas wishes but ensure you don’t go too overboard when it comes to shopping time.
Only pick one or two items off the list and let them know that Santa can only give certain items as he has to give other gifts to other children. Over the years, they will understand that not everything is going to be given to them and that gift-giving is only part of the festive season.
Give Them A Rundown of Your Expectations
Communicating what you expect from your children during Christmas time is an important step. Yes, they are excited over opening their long-awaited gifts, but you also have to manage your own set of expectations when it comes to their behaviour and respect for your loved ones. Ensure that they are polite and thankful when receiving gifts from people and also emphasise the importance of giving back.
You may want to initiate this by volunteering a couple of hours during Christmas day for the homeless or make a generous donation to your charity of choice. Your expectations of them matter but also be aware that this will only develop over time. Don’t immediately assume they will grasp these concepts of Christmas, especially if they’re young and new to the festive season.
Set A Budget With The Relatives
We all know that sometimes grandma and grandpa can get a little too overboard when it comes to gifts. If you’re not impressed by your kids receiving extravagant gifts, it’s best to communicate with relatives on an ideal budget for them. Gifts don’t have to be expensive and the ones that are most memorable are treasured as keepsakes.
Photo albums, scrapbooks and sentimental toys can go a long way when it comes to your children. There are entertaining toys for cheap – sometimes, the most expensive toy isn’t the best option for kids as some may lose interest after a few minutes of play.
Don’t Let Your Kids Fall Into The Comparison Trap
It’s easy for your kids to compare themselves to their peers when it comes to receiving gifts. Although some of them may have gotten everything they wanted, you need to be firm and clear with your children that Christmas isn’t about receiving gifts – it’s also about appreciating the presence of family and friends.
Remind them that materialistic things don’t last forever but memories do. Let them know that you love and support them no matter what and that gifts are only a small part of Christmas. Showing gratitude is what counts during this time of year.
Overall, you don’t have to be the grinch during Christmas! As long as you keep teaching your children the important values of the season, you will avoid spoiling them. The memories you create with your kids will forever be appreciated. Enjoy the food, embrace the laughter and most of all, remind them that they are loved for who they are.