What to buy kids for Christmas? What to buy teachers, grandparents, and friends? Where and when do you buy? What to eat over the festive period? All these questions are often what is on our mind this time of year. Christmas and New Year is linked to BUYING STUFF. But let’s give ourselves a ‘Time Out’ and think about what really is important to our family’s values and us.
Let’s just make it clear, I love Christmas! I love the feel of it, I love the smell, and I love the food and getting together with my family. I love the feeling of giving and generosity.
But I do not like the shopping and overconsumption, overspending and debt, environmental waste (cards, wrapping paper, food and present that are never used). I don’t’ like the stressing, worrying and ‘having to live up to expectations’.
So here are our 5 top tips to get through Christmas in a healthy way:
- Lets focus more on sharing than on shopping: go and help somebody you care about, give them your time not your money (it is great to give to charity who help people/animals in need). I am sure that your family and friends want you and your kids to have a fun day together or a nice cosy evening rather than gifts (that they might not even need).
- Giving is great – shopping is not: Christmas is about giving so lets not take that way. But why not try to make some your self and have the pleasure of give something that you and your kids have made with love and care. A photo on decorated cardboard – jar of cookies – decorated stones – draw on glass and mugs – kid’s drawing in a frame etc. Why not try to make a gift for your kids. I only remember one Christmas gift from when I was a kid, I was 8 years old and my mum had sewed a box full of clothes for my little dolly. I was so proud that none of this could be found in the shop and the thought that my mum sat up every night sewing it while I was in bed. I felt truly loved.
- Avoid waste: reuse newspaper to wrap your gift in with some nice ribbon, make your own cards using recycled cards from last year (save the ones you receive this year) – only buy gifts that are needed and wanted, don’t buy just to buy.
- Be realistic about how much you can afford and inform your kids about it: don’t over buy just because you feel that your children have to get the biggest and newest – it is all about your happy presence not about big presents!
- Create memories instead of buying stuff: what family traditions can you have that your kids will remember (they will forget all the presents but not the moments you spend together). We have board games, dance around the tree and sing, parcel games and read Christmas stories after the meal. What are yours?
This can be a great opportunity to talk about saving, overspending and educating them. It is a great opportunity to show our kids about giving, volunteering, helping the less fortunate and finding other ways to spend time together that does not require spending lots of money or shopping.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a mindful New Year.
From the ParentingSuccess Coaching Team
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