Last week I shared the first 10 of 50 ideas to help parents curb overindulgence during the holidays. This is important because many parents and grandparents are concerned that children are getting way too many gifts during the holidays? HERE ARE IDEAS 11-20 TO HELP STOP OVERINDULGING YOUR CHILDREN DURING THE HOLIDAYS.
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Click here for related story: Start Connecting and Stop Overindulging Your Children This Holiday Season - 10 Great Ideas by David Bredehoft
11. DON’T GO INTO DEBT
No one should go into debt in an effort to celebrate the holidays. Set a realistic budget. Let your children participate in the process. Give each child a budget to follow for gifts they will purchase for others. An extra bonus…..teaching your children money management skills!
12. BECOME AN ADVENT ANGEL
One idea our family will be trying out this year is called "Advent Angels." Each person in the family draws another person's name. He or she becomes that person's Advent Angel during the Advent Season. The advent angel is to do kind things for his or her person without letting that person know who is doing it. For example John might make Julia's bed for her before she is able to do it. Or, Jay might empty the dishwasher for John even though it isn't on his job chart at that time. On Christmas Eve we will reveal who is each person’s Advent Angel and the Angel will give that person a home made gift. We hope that this will emphasize the idea of giving is as fun as receiving and giving from yourself is better than giving gifts of monetary value. The children will also get to work individually with mom or dad on making the homemade gift for their person. Submitted by Lynn Baldus
13. CHOOSE A CHARITY OF YOUR CHOICE
A few years ago our extended family decided that instead of drawing names for gift giving we, would each contribute to a charity of our choice and talk about it at our family Christmas gathering. This has worked well for us! Submitted by Lenore Bayuk
14. FOLLOW THE 3 WISE MEN
In our family we follow the example led by the 3 Wise Men. They each brought baby Jesus a gift, thus he received 3 gifts. We give each of our children 3 gifts for Christmas (plus some little stocking stuffers.) Family and friends will be giving them gifts, too, so there is no need for us to go overboard. If there is something specific I want for them to get I might suggest it to my sister or Mom who would be getting them something anyway. My boys are little now, but we figure if we start this tradition now they won’t know any different later on! Submitted by Andrea Jones
15. ENJOY THE HOLIDAY LIGHTS
We take different routes home in the dark to see the lights on different streets and houses. Submitted by Cindy Gardner
16. TOY CARE PACKAGE
Take the opportunity to have the children go through their toys and books. We all have things that are just like new but we are tired of. And then prepare a "care package" for a needy family and involve the children in leaving it on the family's doorstep.
17. BECOME A HOLIDAY VOLUNTEER
Work at a local soup kitchen/shelter serving a meal during the holiday season, or volunteer at a local hospital or nursing home. Submitted by Barb Clare
18. GRANDPARENT EDUCATION FUND
Request that grandparents and others put money into an education fund instead of buying too many toys. Education funds, ideally, can be used to cover sports, music, theatre, other lessons, and summer camps that broaden the horizons of children and youth, but drain family budgets.
19. MONEY FOR MEMBERSHIPS
I use money from grandparents to buy Zoo/Museum annual memberships instead of more toys. Submitted by Debra K. O'Fallon
20. HELP CHILDREN TO BECOME A GIVER
Even young children can be involved in making cards, small gifts and remembrances for the adults in their lives. Perhaps the best way of avoiding the holiday “gimmees” is to help the child become a giver, not just a taker.
Look for 10 more great ideas to come next week.
There is more help about avoiding overindulgence in How Much is Too Much? Raising Likeable, Responsible, Respectful Children – From Toddlers To Teens – In An Age of Overindulgence (2014, DaCapo Press Lifelong Books).
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