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Time to Play: 5 Ways to Tame the Gimmies at Christmas

Christmas is such a magical time of year. It seems that everyone is just in a better mood and there is a feeling of hope and love in the atmosphere. With that said, there can also be a bad case of the “gimmies” going on in your house. What are the “gimmies”? That’s when your child needs every single thing he or she sees (Give Me…). So, when would be a better time than Christmas to conquer this? After all, it is the season of giving. Here are 5 practical ways you can foster a sense of giving or valuing others during the Christmas season.

  1. Use the 3 Wise Men for your Example. Limiting your child’s Christmas list is a great thing to do, but what if you could make it relate to giving? You can! Use the 3 Wise Men for your example and tell your children that each of them will receive 3 gifts for Christmas. What a great way to share the message of Christmas and also relate it to real life.
  2. Make a Jesse Tree. A Jesse Tree is a type of Advent calendar that traces Jesus’s lineage through the Old Testament. I found a really great free e-book in order to create your own. You can download it from Feels Like Home and start working on this for this year or next. What a fun way to focus your children on the real reason for Christmas.
  3. Make a Service Advent Calendar. Many Advent calendars include treats for each day leading up to Christmas. Why not create one that includes different service projects for each day. No need to make these complicated, they could be as simple as having your child take out the trash or bake cookies for a neighbor.
  4. Volunteer. What a great way to show your children that there are others in need and to give back. Most towns have local soup kitchens or homeless shelters that are desperately seeking volunteers on Christmas day to serve food. Who knows, maybe you will start a new Christmas tradition.
  5. Donate Old Toys or Give New. If your house looks anything like ours, you have to purge the toys every year right before Christmas. Give each of your children a laundry basket and ask them to fill it with toys they would like to give to others in need. Another great idea is to participate in a local toy drive or charity where you purchase new toys for other children. Make sure your kids are involved in the entire process and talk to them about what life may be like for others.

Even if you only chose one of these activities to do with your family I can almost guarantee that your children will be looking at Christmas and life differently. The best part is that all of these are great ways to bring your entire family together this Christmas season. Dare to do something different!

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