by Sarah Pearce
It’s easy for kids to focus on what Santa is going to leave them under the tree or in their stocking, so how do you teach them that this is the season of giving rather than receiving? We have some great tips to help your kids change their focus and realise that there is so much more to this time of year.
Help them create handmade presents for friends or neighbours (it can be as simple as a Christmas card with their handprint on it) and hand deliver it.
Get them involved
Let them choose their gift for their sibling or parent – if they are little ask them to choose between two options. You can also allow them to help wrap the present (“pass the sticky tape, please!”) and place it under the tree
Introduce some family traditions that you just do at Christmas time. This brings the focus back to family and gives them something other than presents to look forward to each year.
Ask your child to choose a few toys to donate to those that are in need. A present bought just for the Giving Tree is a great idea as well – don’t worry about wrapping it, they have to check all the packages anyway and will wrap it for you.
Small wish list
Only allow them to ask for one or two things from Santa – anything else they receive will be a bonus.
Open presents as a family – no touching until mum and dad are out of bed (my parents had a ‘coffee first’ rule as well!). Also, let everyone take turns opening presents on Christmas morning – once someone has opened a present they choose a present for the next person to open and so on. It slows things down and allows everyone to not only marvel at what everyone has received, but to thank the giver as well
Write a Thank You note to Santa (and to anyone they weren’t able to thank in person).
All of these suggestions are simple, but by building these ideas into your Christmas traditions, you can encourage your kids to not just focus on Santa.
Sarah Pearce is a stay at home mum of three very cute and excitable children, two of whom are on the Autism Spectrum. When she has some energy to spare she helps out behind the scenes at Baby Hints & Tips. She is passionate about raising awareness about the joys and struggles of special needs parenting. For all her articles, click here.