How to Handle Christmas Gift Giving and Receiving

The tradition of giving and receiving gifts at Christmas time is a bit of a double edged sword – lots of good things involved, lots of parenting challenges as well.
Lots of things I don’t want: I DON’T want Christmas gift giving to become the focus. But  also I DON’T want our kids to miss out on a fun tradition that, done in moderation, can teach a lot about the meaning of both giving and receiving. I DON’T want to break the piggy bank and live like a pauper for the rest of the year because all our money went into gifts. I DON’T want to end up with a house full of toys and “stuff” that gets excitedly used for a few hours, starts more than a few fights and ultimately ends up lying around tripping people. I DON’T want our kids to set high expectations, or feel entitled to getting the latest and greatest each year.
Lots of things I do want: I DO want my kids to experience the love behind the gifts they receive from friends and relatives. I DO want my kids to experience the gratitude that comes with receiving things gratuitously. I DO want my kids to learn how to be generous by dedicating some of their time, talent and treasure to making or giving gifts to others. I DO want my kids to remember that the gifts we give and receive are but a shadow of the greatest gift the Lord gives us at Christmas and repeatedly: the gift of himself.
So how can we keep it all in balance and pull out the positive aspect of the Christmas gift giving tradition our culture has come to over emphasize, without ending up with spoiled children and a bunch of unneeded stuff? Here are a few ideas that have helped me and might help you too.
Continue reading at Eyes On Heaven.

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