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As our children get older, we are starting to realize how important it is to take the focus off of things for Christmas and put a lot more emphasis on the time spent together and memories made.
You see, my kids don’t remember the toys they got from past Christmases. They may remember the feeling they got around the gift, but they really don’t remember the gift.
For myself, I certainly remember some pretty messed up feelings around Christmas as a child. My mother loved to to go absolutely crazy for Christmas.
My brother and I would wake up to stockings stuffed full of candy and toys, the couches covered in gifts and the gifts spilling out from under the tree half way into the living room.
Once we got through this massive amount of gifts, there was always one more, one super expensive thing that was hidden.
Before you start thinking how lucky we were, hear me out-
I remember the feelings of wanting more and more. And then the sick feeling of depression would sink in, especially after the high of the final gift. The gifts only make you happy for a few moments and it’s not true happiness.
I can see that feeling in my children’s eyes already.
They’re 5 and 3. It comes out at birthdays and Christmas.
They stop caring about the actual gifts at all, just throwing them aside to open the next one. And then asking, aren’t there anymore? With sinking disappointment even though they just got a ton of gifts.
I remember the feeling well.
And that’s why I want to stop that shit in its tracks. I want to give my kids the gift of a care free and non anxiety ridden Christmas. One where the come down after it’s all over isn’t bad because there really isn’t much of one.
And I want that for myself and my husband as well. A Christmas where we feel GOOD afterwards, not horrible anxiety over the bills accumulated and the clutter covering every inch of the house.
Here are some Christmas gift ideas for your kids this year that cost nothing- but will mean everything:
As much as kids want things and candy (they do), what they want even more but just don’t know how to say is-
to spend time with you, their parent, their hero.
They want to know that they are WORTH it, that you care about listening to them and that you love them.
A gift doesn’t say I love you like you actually looking into their eyes, hearing what they have to say and just being present with them.
Get down on their level, play games, play toys and give them attention while they still want yours.
2. TOBOGGANING TOGETHER
Bundle up and hit up a local hill to go sledding with your kids!
3. NO PHONES
We are trying to be a lot more careful as to how often we have our phones in our hands. I think if we could actually see ourselves, we might be appalled at how it looks from our kids eyes.
For Christmas, just turn them off. Lock them up if you have to.
And think about the rest of the year too ❤
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4. BAKE COOKIES TOGETHER
This is so simple and so fun for kids. Make it a wonderful tradition to bake some cookies on Christmas Eve or Christmas day.
Smells and tastes make such a lasting impression in your memories. Fill your kitchen with the warm scents of Christmas cookies, the stickiness of sprinkles and icing and decorations.
Your kids will love to bake with you, regardless of how the cookies turn out!
Fill your children up with warmth and love ❤
4. TAKE TIME TO BE GRATEFUL
Talk about how much you love spending time with your kids, how lucky you are to all be there together. Talk about the less fortunate and keep things in perspective.
5. BUILD A SNOWMAN
Do you have memories of building a snowman with your parents when you were younger? I don’t know if it gets any better!
6. WATCH A CHRISTMAS MOVIE TOGETHER
Really truly watch a Christmas movie together. Sip some cocoa, make some popcorn and snuggle up together on the couch.
My kids love to make a ‘nest’ on the floor with a million blankets and pillows. Make it fun and cuddly!
7. GO SKATING TOGETHER
Grab your skates and get out the door! It’s so fun to go out and move together. And then you can reap the rewards of steaming hot chocolate when you come back inside!
This is a good one if your kids are a bit older. Spend some time at your local shelter, the animal rescue or soup kitchen. Teach your kids about giving back to the community.
This truly is a priceless gift to give your children. Not only are you making memories together, they will remember this and carry it forward for the rest of their lives.
Don’t save this just for Christmas time, this can be done throughout the year!
This list of free Christmas gifts for kids is meant to inspire you to take the focus off of the material gifts. Of course, let your kids be kids and enjoy getting presents.
But focus on PRESENCE while they are still young enough to want your attention. The things listed here are far more valuable than any thing you could possibly buy your child!
Make memories, soak up all the beautiful moments and have a very Merry Christmas❤
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