The holidays are supposed to be about spending time with family and loved ones. However, over the years this tradition has fallen to the side lines and purchasing the latest and hottest gifts have moved forward to the front of our agenda. So, how do you teach your children the true meaning of Christmas in this world full of material things?
The first step is finding out what Christmas truly means for you and your family. I remember when I was little girl, Christmas meant the birth of baby Jesus and that we must always take a moment to reflect on what that meant for us as a family. Our father would talk about the struggles that Mary and Joseph went through just to deliver baby Jesus. And what his birth truly meant for the human race. So for us faith was an important piece of Christmas. If faith or God is not part of your family tradition, it is never too late to introduce it. The door is always open. All you have to do is invite him into your life.
The second half of Christmas was about spending time with our whole family. Taking turns to open presents as you wait patiently for your turn. Although, there were many things that I wanted for Christmas I also understand that with a family of seven children many of the things I wanted were not possible. There was no huge disappointment in knowing this. At a young age my parents made sure that we volunteered at soup kitchens and local food shelters so that we could understand how truly blessed we were.
Gifts were just an added bonus to this holiday. Helping your children understand that gifts are a blessing and not a requirement starts with how you give gifts and how they receive them. If you are able to afford more than one gift a good rule of thumb is giving one gift they need, one gift they want, one thing they can wear and one thing they can read. This allows the child to learn how to be grateful for all the gifts they are given.
The important piece about all this holiday bustle is knowing what is important to you and ensuring that your children are seeing and experiencing those values. Start by asking your children. What do they believe Christmas is about? You will find that within their answers lies the honest truth of what they have picked up over the years.