Some of the best Christmas gifts for kids are… FREE
I know it’s early… but I’m a planner. So Christmas is on my mind. And this year, in particular, I want to get Christmas gifts out of the way early. In December I’ll be doing the whole new baby thing, and I think leaving the house for shopping will be tricky at best.
So I’ve been thinking Christmas gifts, and I’ve been thinking kids. But because I’m me I’ve also been thinking about prioritizing and intentional parenting.
And it’s occurred to me that Christmas is a really great time to give your kids a few extra gifts. Free gifts. Things that made Christmas a magical time for us, gifts that really matter, and will continue to matter for the rest of their lives.
The best free Christmas gifts you can give to your kids:
These are gifts my parents gave to us as kids, and I am forever grateful.
Give your kids the gift of Your Time.
No computers, no TV, put away your phone.
Spend your time with them, and be invested in them.
Play a board game, go skating, bake cookies. (This is a good year to start some fun family Christmas traditions!)
Let your kids be the most important thing in your day. THIS is the stuff Christmas memories are made of, by the way. And speaking of –
Give your kids the gift of Fantastic Memories.
I promise, in 20 years, they are not going to remember the paw patrol puzzle or the Dora the explorer backpack the way they will remember getting to stay up late on Christmas eve and watch their favorite Christmas movie with mom and dad.
Or the way they will remember a special Christmas party they got to host just for their best friends. And they will remember it even more when you make these things into traditions, something they can look forward to doing with you year after year.
Childhood memories are something you only get one shot at creating.
Give your kids the gift of slower, lazier days.
I could pretty easily fill up every day of the Christmas season with rushing and shopping and parties and functions. And I enjoy all those things. (Well, sort of, I don’t actually enjoy the rushing. But I do enjoy the general busy of the season.)
Give your kids time to be at home, to sleep in, to learn that life can be lived at a more relaxing pace. Christmas doesn’t need to be synonymous for “busy”. (This can be a pretty awesome gift for you too, FYI.)
Give your kids the gift of Understanding How Blessed They Really Are.
Pack a shoebox for less fortunate children with your kids (with the Samaritan’s purse operation Christmas Child program) and explain to them that not all kids are getting a pile of presents under a tree, or even a whole Christmas dinner.
Teach your children to be grateful.
Teaching your kids how privileged they are will not only make them better people, but they will appreciate the gifts they get on Christmas day that much more. (If shoebox gifts are out of your budget this year, find other ways to bless a family closer to home! Maybe donate gently used teddy bears to a teddy bear drive?)
Give your kids the gift of Parents Who Aren’t Stressed By Bills in January.
If you’re spending way too much on Christmas, it’s not just you that’ll suffer in the new year.
Kids know when mom and dad are extra stressed. It takes away from their childhood. And it’s a high price to pay for a few extra gifts under the tree. Don’t do that to them.
Set a Christmas budget, and stick to it. Be open with your kids about the budget, and they’ll be getting the gift of understanding money too.
Related: How to Have a Fun FRUGAL Christmas.
Give your kids the gift of knowing that Jesus is at the Center of Christmas.
It’s pretty easy to put Christ on the back burner while we celebrate Christmas. (Ironic, isn’t it?) Make time to read the Christmas story, make time to go to Christmas eve service, make time to talk with your kids about who Christ is and what the Christmas season means for those of us who believe in Him.
Take the materialistic out of Christmas this year, and enjoy every minute of this season with your family.
Related: Christmas Stocking Tradition Ideas