Every Christmas, the kids get tonnes of gifts from various people, which makes Christmas their favourite holiday. They just cannot wait for Christmas Day to come so they can open all their presents. This year, I decided to introduce a new twist to things. I suggested that they should get something for each other. I don’t know if we are the only people who have neglected to get the kids to give during Christmas. *blush*
The older two are already receiving regular allowance, so they should have some money to get stuff for their brothers. I am not expecting them to get expensive things. I told them just small little stocking stuffers will do. I even bought each of them a christmas stocking for them to hang at their beds for this purpose. The youngest have no money, but instead of just giving him money to buy things, he has to earn the money. It is already an on-going practice that I will reward him with a small toy, usually a die-cast car (he is a car fan) that cost just a few dollars, whenever he finishes a certain amount of work for his ‘school’. E.g. if he finishes a workbook, he gets a small reward. I told him instead of redeeming a reward for himself, he could redeem something for his brothers. And so he did.
They will wrap up the gifts themselves and I will keep the gifts until Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve is the day we bring out all the gifts to stack under the Christmas tree.
Why this sudden change? I was thinking how our kids have been brought up thinking that Christmas is all about them, about them getting presents. Every year, they will talk about what they want for Christmas, wonder about what they will get for presents, and they even assume that they will be getting a few gifts each and not just one per person. We have not taught them to think beyond themselves. Sure, we have brought them for Boys Brigade’s gift delivery. But I am getting the feeling that it does not even cross their minds to get gifts for someone else themselves. Christmas is all about them getting presents when it should be a season of giving.
There are plenty of charities looking for gifts during this season. Why not give to charity to instil a bit of the spirit of giving? My thinking is this : charity begins at home. If the kids cannot be nice to each other, love each other, and think of each other on special occasions like Christmas, what’s the point of getting them to give to charities? I would like to first put the focus back on “Loving Your Family” first.
There are many things that we take for granted as parents. We assume many things too. We assume our kids will grow up to be respectful and loving ‘automatically’. We take it for granted that they will naturally outgrow things like throwing temper tantrums or bedwetting. But the truth is that many of these things may not come naturally. We have to guide them and give them a bit of a nudge now and then to get them going in the right direction. So this Christmas, I am nudging them a little to remind them to remember that Christmas is not all about them receiving gifts but them giving gifts too. I want them to think about their brothers and do something nice for each other. Cos I really don’t think they will naturally outgrow self-centredness and a ‘Gimme Gimme Christmas” will just reinforce it.