The holiday season can often feel draining. In between parties with friends, family, and co-workers; fighting the crowds in stores to find the perfect gift; and budgeting for a list of presents that seems to get longer every year, the last thing on many parent’s minds is how to get children involved in gift-giving.
However, there are valuable lessons to be had for kids during the holiday season gift-giving ritual, and instead of putting on another Christmas special to distract them while you try to get the wrapping finished, why not try involving them in the whole process?
Rather than buying gifts for everyone on your list, why not try finding a homemade gift that your child can help create? One great idea for co-workers, teachers, or family members who are difficult to shop for might be the “cookie recipe in a jar“. This gift allows the recipient to make great homemade cookies without having to do all the measuring and purchasing of ingredients, and it also allows you and your child to practice math skills with measuring. This project also allows your child to help decorate. Why not try having him or her write out the recipe on an index card, or decorating the printed-out directions with some craft supplies? Another great idea is to have your child make potholders using a kit. Your child will feel truly invested in the gift and proud of his or her contribution. Also, you can never have too many potholders! Think about other talents your child has or could learn, and utilize them to help cross people off your gift list. By involving your child in the creation of these gifts, you’ll be reminding him or her that the holidays aren’t just about buying things, but about showing loved ones that you care.
Another way to get your children involved is to have them help with budgeting. This is a great idea for older children who may be starting to make their own money through babysitting or shoveling driveways. While you may not want to involve them in the budgeting for their own gifts (or their siblings), try having them help with co-workers or teachers. Let them be part of the whole experience, from the initial decision of how much to spend to the shopping excursion to find the perfect gift that fits the established budget.
Finally, get your child involved in the wrapping process. Learning how to wrap a gift is a valuable skill, and having a little helper may seem like a time waster or a frustration when you’re just trying to get the job done, but if you approach the wrapping as a learning process and a fun family event it may not seem like such a chore.
What are some other ideas you have for getting your kids involved in the holiday gift-giving spirit?