The holidays are fast approaching and with them the abundant toy aisles begin to bulge at the seams with the newest, latest, fastest and coolest toys.
Are you looking to cure your child of the “gimmies” this Christmas?
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No matter where you turn there are sparkly, glittery, shiny and fast new toys that your child is already pining for. Let us not even mention the 100% increase in toy and gadget commercials that are almost leaping from the digital screen into your child’s not-so-subconscious.
What is a parent to do?
We live in a culture that teaches “more is better” mentality and we may even have been guilty of overdoing it for our children in past years.
Dare I suggest we may be a tiny bit responsible for our children’s “gimmie syndrome.” You have seen the error of your ways and are now ready to reduce the greed and holiday gimmies, but how can you do that this holiday season?
5 steps to remove the “gimmies” from your child this Christmas:
1. Scale Down to 3
This specific technique can work really well for Christian parents who celebrate Christmas as the birth of baby Jesus. If this is not you, you can still employ this means of giving.
It goes something like this…
When Christmas was first celebrated baby Jesus was given 3 gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
We are going to celebrate by giving each of you to 3 gifts a piece just like in the beginning.
This frees mom and dad up to not feel the need to buy each and every item marketed to their children, but to be more purposeful in their giving.
2. Give Away
Have your children count the number of presents that they have under your tree (hopefully you are employing strategy #1) and then add one for each relative that normally presents them with a gift.
The number they come up with is how many items of their current stash they need to part with before the holidays. Encourage your children to learn about others less fortunate and make a trip to donate their toys.
3. Handpicked gift
Have your child participate in either a giving tree at a local charity. We’ve done this for several years and girls are excited to shop for someone their own age and then a younger child.
You can specifically try to match your child with another their age and have them shop for a gift for that specific child explaining that not all children have parents who can afford abundant Christmas giving.
4. Eliminate the lists
If you have been guilty in the past of allowing your children to make lists of all their “wants”
eliminate that practice this year as it seriously promotes the “gimmies.”
Your children will need to keep in mind the suggestion from above about 3 gifts so no need for a list.
5. Encourage relatives to gift memories
No matter how good your intentions…grandparents can seriously wreck it in the
Therefore, ask relatives to gift memories instead of tangible items.
This can help prevent after Christmas clutter as well! Need help with overcoming clutter?
This is a great ebook:
I also have a post on clearing closet clutter in days. Read more here:
By “gifting memories”, things like passes to the zoo, local attractions, monthly subscription packages, music or sports activities, they can be used throughout the year without collecting dust in the corner when the shiny newness wears off.
Ultimately it is up to us as parents to rear thankful, appreciative children. We honestly do our children a huge disservice by overindulging them at the holidays, or any day for that matter.
It can backfire as we inadvertently create a generation of children with entitlement expectations.
Kristen Welch with We are That Family has a book about raising grateful kids.
I hope you incorporate some of these 5 steps (or all of them!) with your child this Christmas season to fight the “gimmies”.
Do you have other traditions you celebrate to bring giving and gratefulness to your holiday?