The last three weeks I shared 30 ideas to help parents curb overindulgence during the holidays. HERE ARE IDEAS 31-40 DESIGNED TO HELP STOP OVERINDULGING YOUR CHILDREN DURING THE HOLIDAYS.
31. RE-GIFT TO OURSELVES
A few years ago we had a "lean" Christmas. So I told everyone that they had to find 3 things in the house that we had either never used or hadn't used in a long time - a book, game, puzzle, etc. Everyone dragged their feet - but once they got into it - we had LOTS of wrapped gifts under the tree and "re-gifted" them to ourselves. Our kids saw how much they already had and didn't need more. This is still something that we do each year. The kids are older and don't get all the gifts they used to get from relatives - so it makes them appreciate all they have and their "abundant" life. Submitted by Eileen Piersa & Steve Dahl
32. SHARE 10 THINGS YOU APPRECIATE ABOUT EACH OTHER
That same lean year we each wrote out 10 things we appreciate about each other and read them to each other on Christmas eve. It teaches the kids how to express their appreciation for others. Submitted by Eileen Piersa & Steve Dahl
Click here for related story: Start Connecting and Stop Overindulging Your Children This Holiday Season - 10 Great Ideas by David Bredehoft
33. MAKE MEMORIES RATHER THAN GETTING STUFF
Now that my kids are older - we talk about what is most important to them for traditions and then we do those. It changes as they get older. We are more into "making memories" than "stuff". It’s really nice. People ask me if I'm done shopping and I never really start. The kids write up a list - they get one "big" thing and then stocking stuffers. I don't buy for nieces and nephews anymore since they are all older. I'd rather give them a gift when I see them and enjoy it. Submitted by Eileen Piersa & Steve Dahl
Click here for related story: Ideas No. 11-20 to Help You Stop Overindulging Your Children This Holiday Season by David Bredehoft
34. ENGAGE IN FOREIGN TRAVEL
I curb overindulgence during the holidays by going each year to India where I can celebrate Christmas in a spiritual environment far away from the materialistic processes that occur here. There I experience being happy and exceedingly grateful for the small piece of cake that my spiritual teacher personally gives us to commemorate the day.
35. MAKE A MEMORY SCRAPBOOK FOR YOUR CHILDREN
I am giving each of my three children a scrapbook that I'm trying to catch up on -- for my second-grade son, it'll be his 1st grade scrapbook. For my middle child, who is in kindergarten, it'll be her baby book (which has been half finished for years now!) For my 15-month-old daughter, it'll be an album of her first year. I find it's helpful for me s a mom to have a deadline (Christmas Eve!). I imagine it will be fun to look through these books on Christmas Day, and the books will be treasures in years to come, too (I plan to give the kids books for each year of their life up until they graduate from high school). I hope to give them each scrapbooks on birthdays and Christmases from now on. Submitted by Molly Guthrey Millett
36. PRINT UP GIFT CERTIFICATES
Our daughter is the only child of two only children. So she has a lot of “stuff”. So we try to get her experiences instead throughout the year. We print up gift certificates to “a day of ice skating with two friends” or a “professional manicure”. This way, we don’t have to come up with all the money up front, making it so we don’t overspend, and we have fun things to do with her the entire year! Submitted by Candace Scott
37. VISIT YOUR LOCAL ART MUSEUM
As a family we always visit our local art museum and go through the “period rooms” which are decorated for Christmas. It gives us an opportunity to talk about how families from different times in history, some with more, some with less celebrate the holidays.
Click here for related story: Ideas No. 21-30 to Help You Stop Overindulging Your Children This Holiday Season by David Bredehoft
38. HAVE A SPECIAL BAKING DAY
Every year we designate a special “baking day”. The whole family bakes cookies and other holiday treats. I make it a point to bake my mother’s sugar cookie recipe written in her own hand and talk to my children about when I use to do the same with grandma. It is a wonderful generation touchstone. We bake enough that we give 5-6 dozen to the local soup kitchen.
39. COUPONS WORTH AN HOUR OF UNDIVIDED ATTENTION
We spend time not money by making coupons for our children. Each coupon is worth an hour of our undivided attention. My children can trade them in any time during the year to do an activity of their choice, with the parent of their choice.
40. HAVE CHILDREN RESEARCH LOCAL CHARITIES
Value giving rather than receiving. Have your children research local charities and pick one they are most interested in. Have them decide on a dollar amount they are going to give the charity from their savings. Encourage it by making a pact with them that you will match their donation dollar for dollar.
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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