Trying to figure out what to get your kids for Christmas? Several years ago we implemented a plan that we love and have successfully used in giving Christmas gifts to our kids. This system has helped make giving gifts meaningful and creative and gives us a strategy to avoid frenzied consumerism.
Our plan includes five different categories for gifts. We give one gift in each category to each of our kids. Check it out and see if it might work for you!
Most kids can name at least one thing they really want for Christmas. Every Christmas, we buy one gift for each of our kids that is something that we know that they want. (We live on a budget so the want will not be a Macbook Pro Computer.) This year, one of our kids would like a Kindle Paperwhite. When she opens up this gift on Christmas morning, she will be thrilled! (Please don’t tell her)
For our family, Christmas gift giving is not a time to fulfill every want. Our plan also includes giving each of our kids something that they need. This may be clothing, a new pair of shoes, or anything else that is a genuine need.
We are a family of readers. Chandra and I both read daily and prioritize our children reading. We even carve out time when everyone reads at the same time. My older kids have read hundreds of books over the course of their childhood. This did not happen by accident. Having books in the home has been strongly linked to academic achievement. Every year we give our kids at least one Christmas gift that is something to read. We often give sets of books or multiple books. Here are the New York Library’s best 100 Children’s Books of All Time.
We work hard in our family to communicate the value of life-long learning. Christmas is an ideal time to give gifts that encourage our children to learn something new. This category in the past has included games that teach computer coding, books on bugs and magic, robotics sets, and musical instruments. We even have given our kids two different languages of Rosetta Stone that our kids have worked through.
God, the Creator of the Universe, created us in his image to be creative. You may not think that you are a creative family, but we are all creative in different ways. We have given our kids painting sets, calligraphy pens, crochet sets, writing tools, and building tools. All of these things are intended to foster creativity in our kids. We want our kids to create and not only consume. Our youngest daughter is an artsy kind of creative. She can make anything out of an old Amazon box. Our 16-year-old is uninterested in art supplies, but creates and edits videos. Consider giving gifts that bring out the creativity in each of your kids.
Lastly, The best gifts are given with much thought and perception of what is important to the other person. The quick run to the toy store or last minute bracelet usually comes off as just that, last minute. Be creative as you implement a system like this in your family!
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Recently I heard Andy Stanley say,
Great leaders absorb. Mediocre leaders defend.
Learning this simple leadership principle will yield stunning results for any leader that commits to it. Absorbing criticism without being defensive seldom comes naturally for a leader. But learning to absorb rather than to defend is one of the marks of mature leadership. A mature leader listens and reflects. A novice leader argues and defends.