Make Christmas More Meaningful For Your Kids

The Christmas season is fast approaching, but besides excitement and anticipation, it’s a time of year when parents can feel a little concerned, even cynical about the meaning of the holidays. This is especially true when you have children. This time of the year has great significance, regardless of your faith or spirituality, but it’s easy for the focus on family, giving, and gratitude to best lost beneath the anticipation of Santa’s arrival. But what can you do to make sure Christmas is more meaningful for your kids?

Get them involved in the prep work
At an early age, children might not recognise the significance of Christmas simply because it’s a very occasional occurrence in their life. If you want them to start recognising the holiday season and its importance, then a good way to do it is to get them involved in it. For instance, you can try a whole range of Christmas crafts at home with them, from creating decorations to hang on the walls to helping them add their own touch to the tree. It’s a good way to get them in the festive spirit early and they will look forward to their Christmas crafts every year after.

Tell them some Christmas stories
Stories play a unique role in shaping not just our imagination but our understanding of the world and different events within it. If you want your children to understand the significance of the holidays, then a good Christmas story might be just what they need. Movies are an easy way to do that and there will be plenty in cinemas and on the TV at this time of year. However, books are a much more active and engaging experience that stimulates their imagination, rather than making them passive viewers or listeners. There are lots of favourite Christmas classic books that you can start reading to them, each full of their own interpretations of what the season means, so you can choose your favourite based on what you want to impart to them.

Give gifts with real value
The temptation is very real for parents to simply overload their kids with as many gifts as they can. It’s not a bad thing to indulge their wishes and the things they are most excited for, even if it’s a fad that they will be over by this time next year. However, you can make Christmas have a little more lasting value for them by getting them gifts that can help them grow, too. See more here about gifts that can encourage their further development and creativity. For instance, an age-appropriate instrument can help them start exploring a potential musical talent, and an art set can help them learn to express themselves beyond words.

Teach them about giving
For many children in many families, Christmas is all about the gifts they receive, which is a mistake. It’s a perfect opportunity to teach them about giving, as well. Even if they don’t quite have the budget to complete their own shopping Christmas lists, there are still plenty of ways for them to give. For instance, you can help them give to other children by donating some of their old toys. You can volunteer with them, so they can directly see the impact they have in doing a little good. They can even give simple homemade gifts or do chores and favours for family members as their gifts to them. Giving is its own reward, but the praise and confidence that comes with it show them that it’s worth the effort, as well.

Appreciate what’s going on around you
Christmas doesn’t just happen in the home. People celebrate across the community. They may be celebrating the season under different names and with different purposes but to many its all about providing family, comfort, warmth, and kindness in one of the coldest, darkest seasons of the year. Getting out an about and exploring the Christmas events in your own community or nearby towns and cities can help your child better appreciate what the season means to more people. From light shows to Christmas markets, there are plenty of fun days out that you can take your children to during this time of year.

Creating family traditions
Christmas is a tradition. Traditions aren’t just important because they create part of our identity. They’re valuable emotional touchstones that can be warm memories for them for years and help the importance of the season ingrain itself to them for the rest of their life. You can bring forward some of the family traditions you remember from your own childhood, if you can remember any, or create some of your own with a little inspiration from this post. However, it’s wise to try and remember the significance of those traditions in the first place. To be truly effective, it should have some value, fun, or memorability rather than being something that you do for the sake of doing it.

Teaching gratitude
Amongst the excitement of receiving presents, it’s easy to forget your “thank yous”, especially when you’re a child. Instead of raining on their parade and reminding them to say thank you every time, you can make it more natural by teaching them gratitude at this time of year. A 5-day gratitude challenge could be one of your Christmas traditions. This prioritises expressing gratitude, specifically for the things that money can’t buy. It can help your children better appreciate the relationships they have inside and outside the family unit. What’s more, being thanked by a member of the family feels good, and once more teaches them the value of doing nice things for other people. Gratitude brings a family together, but it’s something that needs to be taught.

Regardless of faith, Christmas has the meaning that you, as a family, choose to give to it. No-one is in more control of your children’s Christmas and what lessons they take from it growing up than you. Hopefully, the ideas above give you some inspiration to make sure it stays meaningful.

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