With Christmas rapidly approaching, it can feel like every other conversation with your kids has to do with something cool that they would like for Christmas. In fact, it may be difficult to believe that there are things your kids want for Christmas more than gifts. My 5-year-old has a long list for Santa. He understands that many items may not be purchased and he is totally fine with that (his words, not mine). He just hopes that Santa delivers some of the gifts he’s requested.
In this article:
5 Things Your Kids Want for Christmas More Than Gifts
With my son, I usually remind him that the gifts are from God and that Santa just delivers what he can. He reminds me that he’s aware of this and he’ll be happy with whatever God gives him. Our conversations make me smile and laugh. My daughter, who’s 3, often chimes in with a “yes,” or head nod, signaling agreement with her brother. That makes me laugh even more. But in the midst of my laughter, I start to wonder about things my kids want for Christmas more than gifts. What would make them even happier than the toys they really want?
You see, kids are conditioned to want toys, gadgets, even pets for Christmas, so that is what they ask for. And, as parents, many of us try to give them what we can.
We make our decisions based on how old they are, what they ask for, what we can afford, and what we believe they deserve. But regardless of the decision-making process, most of us just want our little ones to have a happy Christmas morning.
But what if our kids weren’t conditioned to think Christmas is a time for receiving toys and material things? What if we lived in a world where gifts weren’t exchanged and they were expected to simply ask for what they want most? What would they ask for?
Here are 5 things your kids want for Christmas more than gifts:
They want your undivided attention.
Whether it’s email, social media, a phone call, a magazine, or something else, so many of us are distracted by something when our kids are trying to communicate with us.
It’s unbelievable how happy kids can be if you just give them some undivided attention. It doesn’t even have to last a long time. Just give them some time where they feel like nothing (and I mean nothing) in the world matters to you more than they do. That’s the best gift you could ever give your kid.
They want fun learning opportunities with you.
Children love to learn. They just need the process to be fun and interesting. If you get more involved in your kids’ education and enjoy learning with them, they will cherish every opportunity they have to learn something new.
Children are sponges, and, although they love to play, sending them off to play by themselves isn’t enough. Do a science project with them, get crafty, plan a day-long museum trip. Get excited about what they are learning and they will want to keep learning more…with you.
They want more family traditions.
You know what I remember most about my childhood? Our traditions. I remember what my mom always cooked for Thanksgiving, what we did on Christmas eve, and so many other small things that made our family feel special.
Traditions don’t cost a thing but they make all the difference in your kids’ lives. Build your life around traditions that matter to your kids—even letting them come up with a few—and your children will cherish those traditions for a lifetime.
They want new experiences.
You don’t need to be wealthy to have exciting new experiences with your kids. For children, almost anything new is exciting. The cool thing about new experiences is that until they happen they aren’t always at the top of the list of things your kids want for Christmas.
Whether it’s something local, or there is some travel involved, experience new things with your kids as much as you can. The years will fly by and you won’t want to wish you did more. Do more now.
They want you to be present in the moment.
This is probably the most important thing all of our kids want from us. Earlier, I mentioned undivided attention, but being fully present is different. It’s not just about putting away the laptop or the smartphone. You might also be amazed that if you directly ask, being present might top the list of things your kids want for Christmas.
Being fully present means blocking out all of the mental clutter that prevents us from being our best as parents.
It’s about setting aside the financial stress, the business issues, and the marital concerns so you can have a happy moment with your kids—a moment where your mind doesn’t drift away. Being present makes your kids happier, and it will ultimately make you a lot happier, too.
Your kids may be conditioned to make gifts their number one priority during Christmas. But, by changing things up a bit and giving them the gifts of time, attention, and priority, you offer them a value system that won’t be replaced by next year’s newest, techiest gadget. You will both learn that there really are things kids want for Christmas more than gifts!
BMWK family, what do you think your kids want more than gifts?
Editor’s Note: BMWK originally published this post on December 25, 2015. We have updated it for quality and relevancy.