Growing up with divorced parents, I would always say the one good thing was two Christmases!!
Now, my kids are lucky to have three sets of loving and very involved grandparents in their lives. They will not only get a Christmas from Santa, but a Christmas from three sets of grandparents. Not to mention all our brothers and sisters that love our boys just as much.
Right now, the kids are five and almost two, so it is just toys that they are getting. But a few years from now, I can see them wanting a laptop, and asking Grandmom; wanting an iPod ask Mohma in New York; want a new bike, just ask Pop. Basically everything on their list, they can ask for and receive.
I don’t think I can stop these grandparents, but I can control how my kids can appreciate all the love they have in their life. I was trying to come up with ways to make them appreciate and understand the true meaning of Christmas. I always knew that as a mom I wanted my kids to feel loved and have everything they need, but also feel grateful for everything they have. But somehow I didn’t realize that this wouldn’t just HAPPEN; it takes work, and examples that we can show them along the way.
Here are my ideas:
Adopt a Family In Need
This Christmas we had our son pick out a gift for another five-year-old boy who needed things. At first my five year old had some questions about why this kid “needed” us to buy him things. But once we were in the store he got into it and picked out jackets, pajamas, shoes, and some toys that he thought the boy would like. I hope to continue this every year with him, and that he will see that not everyone is as fortunate as he is.
While we are busy shopping for our own family, it was important to show him that we also have to remember those boys and girls who won’t have everything under their tree on Christmas morning.
Talk About the Real Meaning of Christmas
Kids learn all about Rudolph, Santa, Frosty the Snowman from all the movies they watch during the holiday season. But we need to also remember to tell them the real reason why we celebrate Christmas. For us, Nicholas has been a part of the Christmas Eve Mass play of the Christmas Story. He plays the shepherd. Every Tuesday in December he goes to church to practice for the play. Whether it’s reading a book of the real story of Christmas, or lighting Advent Candles, whatever you choose to do can help them remember Christmas is not all about the presents and Rudolph!
Open Gifts Together and One at a Time
Christmas is a lot of work for us mammas! All that buying and wrapping for everyone to just rush and open up gifts as quick as they can. It can be over too quickly. Slowing it down will make the whole family enjoy the moment, and memories being made. Have one person at a time open up their gifts, and everyone watches them. Have your kids thank the person who gave them the gift. Talk about what everyone got.
Get Into the Spirit of Giving
The reason why we want to give our kids everything they ask for is the reaction on their face when they get something they have really wanted. Pass that feeling along to your kids by showing them how exciting it is to give something to their brother, sister, or cousin. When they get the spirit of giving, they will hopefully appreciate what they receive.
How do you keep your kids from getting spoiled during the holidays?