For a lot of families, Christmas is one of the most enjoyable times of year filled with games, laughter, good food, and gifts. While this is wonderful, there is a risk that Christmas can become more commercial in nature, with children focusing on the presents they ‘want’, and parents worrying about what they can and cannot afford. Of course, it does not have to be this way. If you want to make Christmas not only a time for fun and gifts, but also for kindness, gratitude, and reflection, here are some ways to make Christmas a more meaningful time for children.
Involve them in the giving of gifts
Often, because children do not have the financial or practical means to do their own Christmas shopping, Christmas can be all about what they are going to receive. Instead, why not ask them to think about what they would like to give their family members and/or friends. Decide together what they want to give, go shopping with them, and get them involved in wrapping. This will show them the other side of gift giving, which can often be more rewarding.
Make Christmas a time for family
While Christmas is a time for joy, it is also a time for family and togetherness. If you will not be able to see family members at Christmas because they live too far away, ask the children to write a special letter for them or a personal note in a Christmas card. If their grandparents or other relatives have passed away, find a way to remember them. You could reminisce about your special memories or hang memorial Christmas ornaments in their honor. Christmas is a time to spend time together, so try to organize activities you can all enjoy such as baking, building a snowman, or watching festive movies.
Do something for charity
One of the best ways to use our time at Christmas is to give back to the community. Why not find a charity which helps people who are less fortunate, and devise a way that you and your children can help? This might involve looking through the house for items to donate or sell, organizing a fundraising event, or completing a sponsored challenge. Ideally, the charity will be able to provide a letter of thanks or photos of how their efforts have made a difference so they can see how important it is to help others.
Create a Christmas tradition
If all children are only looking forward to receiving presents, they will not remember Christmas for much else. To ensure that Christmas becomes memorable for more than just presents, create a family traditionthat everyone will look forward to and cherish for years to come. It could be attending a Christmas show, ice skating, driving around the neighborhood looking for Christmas lights, or something else that does not happen often.
Plan a day of kindness
In the weeks before Christmas, sit down with the children and plan a day of kindness. Ask everyone what they would like to do to help others in their community and make plans to do everyone’s good deeds on that day. For example, you might be able help an elderly neighbor by getting their groceries or delivering hot drinks to people who work outside. The key is to get children thinking about how they can make a difference in the world, and how rewarding it can be.