What are you planning for Christmas this year? Are you going to stick with the traditional
round of gifts for individual members of the family, or would you like to try something a little
different this year? Seizing opportunities to encourage children to focus on things other than
the material side of Christmas is important. From the middle of November, sometimes even
earlier, they are bombarded with advertising that targets their own individual desires rather
than the family as a whole. Christmas should be all about sharing things with the people you
love, so why not concentrate your efforts on a family gift? If you’re not sure how to do it, here
are some ideas.
Introduce the Idea Gently
Changing the way your family celebrates Christmas is going to be a challenge. Start
broaching the subject well in advance of the round of Christmas advertising. You’ll have to
sell the idea to many of your family members, and this may be hard. Introduce some
different ways in which you can celebrate Christmas and explain why homemade gifts, for
example, are going to be more meaningful. Selling the idea of something other than
expensive store-bought gifts will be worth it. Encourage them to think of it as setting new
Christmas traditions, rather than following the traditional gift giving idea.
Encourage Friends and Family to Join In
It’s not just your own immediate family you’ll need to convince and for friends and family,
you might have to ask that they simply scale back on the gift giving and introduce the idea
slowly. Perhaps you could introduce a 3 gift rule. Some people may find it very hard to
understand you don’t want to shower your kids with gifts and organize things for the family to
do together instead.
Your Time or an Experience Are Great Family Gifts
When you look back over previous Christmases, what do you remember most? Is it the
present you received from Aunty Jane, or the gift you gave to Cousin Jack? It’s more than
likely you remember certain experiences revolving around Christmas than the gifts you’ve
received. Experiences are far more meaningful gifts to give. Rather than buying a store-
bought gift consider giving tickets to one of the top London musicals, or to a baseball game,
or music concert. If your budget won’t stretch that far then offer to do something for
someone. Cook a meal for your elderly parents, take your kids to help out at a local animal
shelter, or declutter your best friend’s attic.
The gifts you give at Christmas should have nothing to do with value. The sentiment and
feeling behind the gifts being given are what matter most. Maybe it’s time to ditch the
commercialism of Christmas and go back to its true meaning, which is spending time with
those you love, friends and family, and enjoying each other’s company. Don’t feel pressured
into thinking that a joy-filled Christmas has to include piles of expensive gifts. Stick to your
idea and present it in the right way and your family is certain to follow.