Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas-whichever you prefer. I’m not picky or offended by either. I’ll try to think up a new phrase that is all-inclusive. Happy End of December! On December 25th some families put presents under the tree for their kids. What’s in those boxes under your tree this year?
For me it’s difficult, firstly because this year finances are tight, secondly because I’m worried about damaging Anjie somehow (noticing a pattern yet?). She’s 3, so this End of December she is finally getting it. End of December means, pretty lights, trees, Santa, and every kid’s favourite—Presents! How do you not take the special away from her, but not let it turn into a buying frenzy with gift after gift ripped open and tossed into a meaningless pile? Or how do you not let it lose it’s meaning-whatever that meaning may be to you and your family?
Here are my ideas:
- Focus on Giving – I have really involved Anjie in the picking out, wrapping, and (making if we’re really ambitious) of gifts for others. She now understands that special gifts make other people happy and it can be just as fun to give as to get.
- Teach her about a Cause-Ok, she’s a bit young still, but I want to make it an End of December tradition in our family of learning about, spreading awareness or contributing to a great cause or charity. This is in hopes that Anjie will develop perspective, not take things for granted, and grow up to be a loving and caring person. This year I learned about this amazing organization-because I am a girl.
- Be Selective with Gifts- I would say give gifts that are going to be well-loved, purposeful, or are going to last for awhile. Sounds boring right? Wrong! Books are one of my favourite gifts for kids because as a child and young adult I loved reading. Adored it. Anjie is the same, so far. Books are simple, relatively inexpensive and they can be absolutely magical!
- Don’t Over-Do it- Too many gifts go unappreciated and they pile up into a playroom that eventually has to be purged. I don’t want to bust my wallet, create more work for myself and teach Anj that gifts are easily replaced and not sentimentally valuable.
What are your ideas on how to keep End of December meaningful? How do you keep the special without spoiling your kids?
You’re probably wondering what I got Anjie this Christmas. I got her Kindermusik lessons that go from January until May, and we got her a big wooden puzzle because she’s really into puzzles right now. That’s not to say she won’t be spoiled by her Grandmother or Auntie and Uncle…but we’re trying to keep it real at home.
When asked what she wanted for Christmas, Anjie told us she wanted brothers and sisters!! When we asked her how many she said 3 brothers and 3 sisters. Ok Anj, there goes the rest of my child-bearing years….