For many families, it’s a necessary pre-Christmas ritual: weeding through the old toys just to make room for new ones. Children typically have so much “stuff” they can’t keep track of or play with it all. When possessions become a priority, it’s time to re-evaluate your family’s stance on stuff.
Many of us keep materialism in check most of the year but then slip at Christmas. Although presents aren’t bad, you can ease the focus on materialism this season. For example:Remind your children that Jesus is our best gift.
Make sure they know that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday and that God sent Jesus because he loves us. When you decorate for Christmas, leave a nativity scene manger empty. Wrap the baby Jesus figurine in a special box and open it on Christmas Eve. Then read Romans 6:23b: “The free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”Discuss the gifts we can give to God.
Talk about how you respond when someone gives you a nice gift. Ask children what they can do that God would really like, such as pray or tell a friend about him. As a family, fill out gift cards listing what you can each give to God. Then hang the cards from your Christmas tree or wrap them and place them under your tree as gifts to God.Encourage children to be generous.
Emphasize the importance of giving, not receiving. As a family, participate in a service project for people in need. Help children experience the joy of giving by donating some time and money to others. Talk about how it feels to give, and discuss some ways you can continue doing so in the year ahead.