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How to Handle Christmas Gift Giving and Receiving

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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 …