There is so very much emphasis on the excitement of children at Christmastime and the need to make sure that children get the things they desire to make them happy. In fact, some have even said that Christmas is for children. The truth is, Christmas is a time to recognize the birth of our Savior and it is for everyone, but we can’t help but want to make sure that children enjoy this very special time.
It is more important for children to experience the joy of giving than it is for them to enjoy the experience of getting, and the giving can make them happier than the receiving. Some may think that this is not possible, but if we look closely with our mind’s eye, we can see that we quite often remember the gifts we gave more than the gifts we received. It is the same with children. Children, however, need help in their planning and giving. This requires time, patience and resourcefulness.
We need to take the time to help children make a gift list. This list should include parents, teachers, grandparents, and other special people in their lives. It takes time, also, to help the children discover resources they have available such as money or materials for making gifts. After this is done, we help the children make or purchase gifts.
It is not easy to be patient with children when we, ourselves, are so busy trying to prepare gifts for others. Time spent making a plaster of Paris handprint, a jar of brownie mix, or a jar of soup mix takes a little time that we may not feel we have available. Making such gifts, however, provides a time of bonding and learning and is well worth the time involved. Many ideas are available on the internet, and just looking up those ideas is a learning experience for children.
Children learn to be resourceful and at the same time are learning to manage their money as they work to provide gifts for the ones they love. It is difficult for children to find anything to purchase with the limited funds they have. It is nice when adults help out with this problem. Some places provide a “holidaysStore” for children. The children go to the store with an adult and a list of names for whom they will purchase gifts. The list also indicates the amount of money the child has to spend. Items that have been provided by adults are available in the store, and they are priced very low so that the children can afford them. Some items are only 25 cents. Those on hand who volunteer to work in the store help the children count and figure how much money each thing costs and how much change they will get in return.
Who among us does not have some treasure from the past given to us by our children? This year I hung, once again, a wreath made of plastic bags by our youngest son when he was in elementary school. It provides another year of remembering his love for me. I still have ornaments made of Play-Doh that go on the Christmas tree. They are still feeling the joy of giving as they see their mom still being happy at having received those gifts. Christmas truly is a time to remember that it is better to give than to receive.