1. Be Careful How You Give
This day and age it’s far too easy for children and adults alike to get completely wrapped up in the gift giving (and receiving) part of Christmas. We’re not here to tell you to stop giving gifts, but to be cognizant of the value you place on gifts in the overall Christmas holiday. If you get the sense that getting presents is too big a portion of your child’s Christmas experience, consider giving fewer, more meaningful gifts. Additionally, the gifts your children receive should be aligned with the kind of lives you hope they’ll have. For instance, if your goal is to build a more connected family, shop for gifts that bring your family together rather than single-player video games which keep people apart.
2. Plan Acts Of Service
And the spirit of holiday gifts, make sure you balance all that gift getting with some intentional acts of service. Look around your community for needs and opportunities to give to others, and even include your children in the decision-making process. Some things you might consider are checking with shelters to see if they are collecting donations, serving food at a food kitchen, or even inviting your children to donate their own toys to children in need. And remind your children that acts of service do not exclusively have to take place outside of the home. Encourage them to be generous and loving with one another this Christmas season.
3. Share The Story Of Christmas
There’s something wonderful about watching your children experience the magic of Christmas for the first time. The tales of Santa Claus and his sleigh, or reading The Night Before Christmas together on Christmas Eve. If you want your children to know and love the true reason for Christmas as much as they do Santa Claus’ elves and reindeer, be intentional about sharing those stories. Whether you read right out of the Bible or find a storybook they love, you can make the practice of honoring the first Christmas a habit in your household. There are many advent story books available that will provide a daily reminder of what’s truly being celebrated.
Christmas is a beloved holiday for children and families around the world. There are a lot of things to love about this season, but nothing more important than the birth of one special child. So as you begin to celebrate Christmas this year, remember that you can teach your children to love the real reason of Christmas as much as they love the time off of school! We hope you find these parenting tips helpful, follow along on our blog for more. And if you’re interested in learning more about the St. Barnabas community, contact us today.