Creative Child

Presence Over Presents

by Sarah Lyons

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The gift of helping others

Taking time to serve those in need not only brings joy to those who receive help but also to those who offer it. Kids who volunteer regularly have a better appreciation for the blessings they have in their own lives and are more likely to be generous and serve others as they become adults. Ask your kids what needs they see in the community and decide how your family would like to serve. Some ideas may include a coat or food drive, serving meals at a shelter, adopting a family for Christmas, raking leaves for an elderly neighbor, sending holiday cards to veterans, baking and delivering cookies to neighbors, or picking up litter in your community. Choose what fits your family’s time and budget and make it a priority.

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The gift of trying something new

Has your child always wanted to try a particular activity or sport but the cost of lessons was not in the budget? Consider purchasing this gift for your kids. This will give them the opportunity to try something new and will also let them know you were considering their interests. Families may also want to purchase a membership to a local zoo, amusement park, community center, or museum. This will be something the family can enjoy together over the year ahead.

You don’t have to get rid of gift giving all together, but being intentional about buying things that you can enjoy as a family and taking the time to purchase a few gifts that are really special to your child will help them see the importance of presence over presents. Your child will likely agree that the best gift is time spent with you.

Sarah Lyons is a stay at home wife and mother of six children, including 18 month old triplets. Using creative consequences with her kids has improved their behavior and encourages healthy relationships with each other.

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