Last week we talked about ways to combat anxiety during the holidays. Today we want to focus on our kids and how do we teach them gratitude this holiday season. With a season that can easily turn into focusing on themselves and gifts they will get this can be a challenge. Here are some ideas to help teach gratitude!
1- Make a "Gifts to Give" List. This can be a column on their Christmas wish list or a separate list all together. Training your family to think first about the opportunity to give can change the feel of your whole holiday experience.
2- Rein Santa Claus in a little. Try one gift from the North Pole rather than multiple. Remember less is more sometimes!
3- Slow down the gift exchange. Instead of it being like the running of the bulls, try going around the room opening one gift at a time. This allows time for appreciation as well as everyone gets to see what others have received. This also allows for time to thank the gift giver sincerely.
4- Create holiday memories that don't come wrapped in paper and bows. One of our favorite things is a holiday movie night. We have a list of movies we watch together that I hope will remind my kids of this time forever. Also, daddy makes his "famous popcorn!" This is just one example but it can be any experience big or small this time of year.
5- Find ways to volunteer as a family. Shop for a local family in need, serve food at a homeless shelter, visit a nursing home and deliver handmade cards or art. There are so many opportunities this time of year and participating in these can make a lasting impact on our children.
I hope that this list is a start to get you thinking of how to teach and encourage gratitude during the holidays this year and beyond.