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It is natural for your children to be eager to open their presents on Christmas, but it might not come as naturally for them to want to give gifts to others. It takes time, energy, and perhaps even having money themselves to buy or make gifts before they can start enjoying gift-giving. As a parent, you are well aware of the joy giving to others brings. Teaching your children how to give meaningful gifts that bring smiles to others will allow them to share in this important aspect of the holiday season.

Gift Giving Values to Teach

Rather than diving right in to take your kids to the store, you should first take the time to lay the foundation of gift-giving values. These underlying principles can help children understand why they are going to give gifts and will help them to develop genuine enthusiasm for the activity.

Considering the feelings of others: Start by reminding your children how they feel after they receive a gift they really enjoy. You can guide them to think about a specific gift they received from someone, and then ask how the gift giver probably felt after giving such a special gift. Guide your children to consider whom they might want to give gifts to and to think about how those people might feel when they receive the gifts.

Choosing appropriate gifts: Talk to your children about money and how the best gifts are not always the most expensive. Help your children brainstorm a few of the things that the people in their life might enjoy receiving. A question your kids can answer is, "What could I give this person to show them I care about them?" This can help your children think of meaningful gifts that will truly bring delight to the recipients.

Ideas of Gifts Children Can Give

You should encourage your children to brainstorm gift ideas, and they might surprise you with their creativity. However, it can help to have some ideas to suggest to get them started or to help them think of new categories of gifts if they get stuck.

Purchased gifts

  • Potted plants or flowers
  • Book or movie
  • Mug and cocoa packets or tea bags
  • Christmas tree ornaments

Homemade gifts

  • Photo in a decorated frame
  • Homemade card with a handwritten note
  • Cookies or fudge
  • Woven or beaded bracelet or necklace
  • Votive candle holders
  • Painted refrigerator magnets
  • Fabric or paper bookmarks

When they are done buying or making gifts, help your children wrap the gifts and write out gift tags or cards to go with them. Being involved in each stage of the process helps them feel more ownership and get more joy out of seeing the recipient open the gift.

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