What do you want to teach your kids about the holidays?  Is it about the gifts received or the gifts you give?  Read these tips on being more mindful this year in the gifts you give.

Tips for Giving Back at the Holidays:

With a 5 and 3-year-old we’ve been talking a lot about giving at the holidays this year.  We learn from our mothers and at a very early age my mother taught me the importance of giving back, especially around the holidays. I hope to teach my kids the same because it’s easy to get lost in the gifts we want and only focus on our own Christmas lists. Here are three things we are doing in our home to give back this holiday season.

First, we cleaned out our playroom and my kiddos had to put old toys we don’t use anymore into boxes to be taken to a Good Will.  This was an awesome way to not only purge our overcrowded playroom, but it also made room for any new toys coming in from Santa!

Second, we created a Reverse Advent Calendar. Instead of my kiddos getting a gift each day leading up to Christmas, they get to pick something from the “giving bag” and put into the “gift bag” under our Advent Calendar.  On Christmas Eve we will deliver these gifts to a local children’s shelter.  This is the second year we’ve done the Reverse Advent Calendar and it warms my heart seeing how excited my kiddos are to pick toys and gifts from the giving bag each morning. They move their candy canes each day to mark a gift has been put into the gift bag. Their tangible reward is the candy cane, but my hope is the gift of giving these toys to children in need will be the bigger reward.

Lastly, I let each of my kids pick out one gift on their own for their sibling.  In year’s past I’ve always just bought something and put their name on it, but now that they are old enough to understand I hope they feel excited to give a gift they’ve selected.   We also created handmade gifts for the Grandparents and put a lot of thought into these gifts. My kiddos seem genuinely excited to give gifts this year and I’m thrilled!

Be Mindful & Present

It’s the week before Christmas and my MO is to go into panic mode and purchase random last minute gifts.  Not this year!  I am focused on fewer presents under the Christmas tree and being more present as a mother during the holidays. I made a list at the beginning of December and I’m sticking to it!

My goal this year was to give more experiential gifts to my kids and not just toys.  For example, I got my daughter concert tickets to her favorite teeny bopper pop star (aka JoJo). She is going to be over the moon and I can’t wait for our mommy daughter date! I also asked my parents not to buy the kids toys this year.  Instead they are sending us on a 1-night staycation at the brand-new Great Wolf Lodge that just opened in our area.  Awesome family time right after the New Year and lots of memories to be made!

 1 -2-3 Gift Giving

One mom I talked to last week told me she is doing only 3 gifts for her daughter this year and I thought this was worth sharing.  This is a wonderful idea and something to consider if you want to be more mindful with the gifts you give your kiddos during the holidays.

  1. Something they want
  2. Somethings they need
  3. One Experience

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