The Christmas season means decorations, tasty treats, family celebrations, and gift giving…. and giving and giving. It seems that every year we lose some of the true meaning of Christmas because of the excess of toys that enter our homes.  Here are some strategies to avoid Christmas overload.

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 1. The four-gift philosophy

This gift-giving philosophy goes like this “Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.” This idea gives kids a variety of gifts without going overboard. It’s practical, affordable, and fun. Best of all it makes shopping easier, without the risk of impulse buying.

2. Give an experience

Instead of spending a lot of money on toys that may or may not get played with, consider giving the gift of an experience. Ideas may include a membership to a local attraction like a zoo or children’s museum, classes that the child would enjoy (dance, art, music, etc), tickets to a show, movie passes, gift cards, a special night on the town, or even a vacation. This gift idea is great because it can be given to the entire family and is sure to create memories that last longer than an easily outgrown toy or novelty.

3. A Family Gift

Try giving a gift the entire family can enjoy. Some ideas could include movies, books, board games, electronics, or a swing set. Individual gifts that go along with the family gift could make it more personal. For example, if the family gift is a new video game system, each child might receive a game of interest to them to go along with it. The benefit to this type of gift is it encourages quality family time.

4. A heartfelt gift

These types of gifts are special because they are so personal. Try creating a special recipe book that includes family recipes that had been passed down for generations. It’s a gift that costs little but is priceless to the recipient. These gifts require more time than money, but will keep giving for many years. Of course, one of the most heartfelt gifts you can give this season is the gift of time.

5. One big gift

For some kids there is one large, costly gift that they have on their list. Perhaps they want it more than anything else. Consider getting each child the one larger gift they really want and forgo all the smaller extra gifts. Buying one valuable gift can be a good lesson in understanding the costs of items.

During the holidays, it’s so easy to shower those we love with gifts; but when January comes around, buyer’s remorse often sets in. These strategies will not only reduce the excess toys but will also help your children appreciate the gifts they do receive while enjoying the true reason for Christmas.

Thanks for reading!!

Pearl River United Methodist Church
130 Franklin Avenue
Pearl River · NY · 10965
(845) 735-2241