Ugh! Our kids think Christmas is about presents!

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 in Parenting

Teaching our children about ChristmasWith the holiday season here, I have been thinking a lot on how we are going to teach our kids the meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas instead of just getting all wrapped up in all the distractions the holiday season provides.

Maybe I’m a little cynical after the 2012 elections and all the Facebook, “Christ is still King,” posts and the bad wrap a lot of angry people were giving Christians, but surfing Facebook today I saw the first, “I’m keeping Christ in Christmas,” picture, which made me wonder, “How? How are you keeping Christ the main focus of Christmas instead of all the decorations, presents, parties, and travel plans?”

What My Daughter Learned About Christmas From Me

I noticed I created an issue with my children. I was out shopping with our 3 year old and everything she wanted she said she wanted for Christmas. It didn’t take me long to realize that for a few months I had used the excuse, “Maybe you’ll get that for Christmas,” as my cop-out to not buying her anything she wanted. Instead, of telling her about budgeting and money like I should have, it was just easier to keep her hopes up. I should have been straight forward and told her she couldn’t have whatever toy or clothing she wanted at the moment.

And so now, I am trying to figure out how to retrain our 3 year old from this consumer mindset she has already picked up about Christmas because of the words I have told her.

And I struggle with this, too. I would love to buy a lot of things for my family this Christmas. Just last week I almost bought outfits for the kids so they could have another Christmas gift. I justified it in my head by telling myself it was clothing and not toys, but in reality I just really wanted to get it so they had another gift to open. That’s not what I want them to think Christmas is all about.

What I’m Trying To Teach Her Instead

The Adventure Of ChristmasLast year I found a book called, “The Adventure of Christmas: Helping Children Find Jesus in Our Holiday Traditions,” that has lessons about the meaning behind the different traditions we do for Christmas. For example, there are children lessons about the advent wreath, advent calendar, sending Christmas cards, putting lights on the tree, baking cookies, and more. With our kids being 1 and 2 years old last year I didn’t bother to teach them the different traditions, but now that they are 2 and 3 years old, and our kids are able to understand a lot more this year. I think it’s time to pull the book out and prepare for the advent season and teach them the reason why we celebrate.

I’m sure each year will be a learning process as the kids get older and are exposed more to the consumer mindset of Christmas (hopefully without my help next year!). We’ll try to find new ways for them to understand the “Why?” behind Christmas, not the, “Wants.”

QUESTION: How do you help your kids keep the focus of Christmas on Christ despite the distractions?

About the author,

Dana is a stay at home mom who loves the Lord, her husband, and children. When she's not serving one of them in some capacity, she's working out, making YouTube videos, sewing or watching a reality TV show.

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