Holiday Gift Giving for Children
By Dana Greco, LCSW and Don Desroches
During this holiday season everyone goes crazy about spending and buying gifts for their friends and loved ones. It is also a time of anxiety especially in this economic climate. Money is sparse and incomes are weary. It seems it becomes most stressful for the parents who want to give to their children and make their holiday magical. Most parents, if they could, would love to lavish their children with glorious gifts. Children are making their holiday lists and wishful dreams of that wonderful holiday time when there are gifts for them creating joy and wonder.
With the hardship of one parent out of work or expenses getting the best of them it makes for a stressful worrisome time to keep the Spirit of the holidays alive. It doesn’t help that children’s toys are more expensive then they use to be. Some would say it’s relative to what parents spent on children generations ago, but it’s not. Children and teenagers are interested in name brand clothing, technology and intricate gadgets. Parents will spend money on high end games and equipment and go into debt in order to make their children’s holiday more memorable.
It has also been a fact that parents fear disappointing their children and not supplying them with the gifts they have on their list. Therefore the dilemma is whether to go into financial debt or fulfill their children’s holiday wish list.
The solution is very simple, maintain the true meaning from the start, when children are small, help them identify why the holiday is celebrated in the first place. It may not always hold a religious meaning, but a spiritual one, one that is about giving rather than receiving. Teach them, the spirit of the holiday is about the gift of giving. Have them make a small gift for their teacher, sibling or friend. They will experience the joy and heart of the holiday when they see the excitement and surprise on someone’s face after giving that person a gift. If this continues year after year, the holiday will start to bring up the memory of how they made someone smile with appreciation during this gift giving season.