Teach children a non-material vacation period
It’s the holiday season! If you live in a country that loves the holidays, you’ve probably seen decorations, delicious sweet treats, and gift talk creep into your everyday life. It’s an exciting time, especially for kids who can spend a few weeks out of school, sleeping, playing with shiny new toys, and munching on Christmas stockings.
Unfortunately, the holiday season has turned into an opportunity for brands to sell as much as possible in a short period of time. This leaves many families strapped for cash, and the kids will expect to wake up with loads of goodies that they are excited to play with that morning, but will soon forget. Teaching children the joys of an intangible vacation period is a great way to consciously shop, appreciate what they receive, and enjoy vacations for intangible reasons.
What holidays really are
Holidays are about family, downtime and maybe even religion depending on your beliefs. This can be hard to explain to a child who has grown up watching countless toy ads and is asked what they want for Christmas every year. It is much easier to focus on toys and treats than on values ââand moderation.
Explain why the holidays you celebrate are important. What’s the story? What’s so exciting about it? Read them a few books and watch a movie or two to get them in the party spirit without promising or asking questions about gifts and items.
Gratitude for gifts
Grateful children are happier children. They get better grades, experience more positive emotions, and are less likely to experience feelings of depression and jealousy. It’s hard to feel truly grateful for what they get over the holidays by tearing up 20 different gifts. Sometimes the most important gifts are the cheapest with sentimental value, not the shiny gifts that quickly fade into the background.
Ask your kids what they want for the holidays, but make it clear that they can only choose three things. This will help them manage their expectations and allow them to enjoy the toys they are given, not just the number they can open.
Recycled and non-material gift ideas
Providing an experience for your child is a unique and unforgettable way to celebrate the holiday season. You can take them bowling, roller skating, and give them a generous amount of tickets to arcade games. These gifts are exciting and kid-friendly, but don’t leave a trail of lost barbie shoes or unopened craft kits.
Recycling the items they already own is also a creative way to help them appreciate their possessions while always having something new and exciting to enjoy. Turn a bunch of their old socks into teddy bears or repaint their bedroom furniture for an updated, colorful look! You can also take small plastic toys they forgot and put them in molds with glycerin to make fun soaps. Have fun thinking about what might turn your child on that doesn’t require a whole new purchase.
The beauty of a non-material holiday season
In a world of countless commercials and endless trend cycles, choosing not to focus on materialism during the holiday season is a revolutionary act. It may take a while for your child to understand the importance of learning to enjoy and live on less, but it is a lesson that will remain for a lifetime. As an added bonus, getting away from material possessions makes your job as a parent during the holiday season less stressful. Challenge yourself to buy as little as possible this holiday seasonâ¦ you might be surprised how much weight you take off your shoulders by shortening your shopping lists.
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