Teaching Your Child That Christmas Is Not Just About Presents

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Our Christmas tree

Nid’s super excited about Christmas and all the decorations I’ve put up. She’s excited by all the decorations she see in the lobby of my apartment building, especially with the giant snowman and Santa figurines.

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Our Christmas tree

She’s picked up from pre-school that Santa will be bringing her lots of presents. That worries me a little because what if Dev and I aren’t able to buy her lots of presents? Will she be disappointed?

I never mentioned presents to her because I didn’t want to her to think that Christmas was just about presents.  I wanted her to grow up understanding that the holidays are a time to celebrate our lives and our loved ones and to spend time with them, all while enjoying treats and great meals. I wanted her to grow up appreciating everything she already has instead of expecting for a magical day once a year to come along where she would be showered with gifts.

So, when she came home from school one day and said “Santa gonna come and bring me lots of presents,” I was saddened and disappointed.

I spoke to the teachers at school and they told me that while reading a Christmas book they discussed with the children about Santa Claus bringing presents and that many of the other children constantly spoke about presents. I strongly advised them to not go further into details with these children about presents.

I mean, do you really want your kid to think that’s all Christmas and the holidays are about?

Sure, it’s great to receive presents. Waking up on Christmas morning with the bottom of the tree full of perfectly wrapped gifts is an exciting thing to wake up to. But what about all those parents that can’t afford to buy their children big, expensive gifts or any gifts at all, for that matter?

I don’t want Nid to turn into one of those children that only appreciates a person by the gifts she receives from them. I want her to appreciate people in her life that love her and care for her.

So, after she told me that Santa would be coming and bringing her lots of presents, I told her no he would not. I told her that Santa will come, he will shower her with love and make sure that she’s well taken care of and if in the mix of it he decides to leave a present or two for her, she should be extra thankful.

What do you think? Did I do the right  thing? How do you handle your children when it comes to presents and Christmas?