My kiddos get four gifts for Christmas. You read that right, they each get four presents, and only one is a “want”. Want to hear more? Keep reading!
During this beautiful season of preparing for Christ, children are all so sweet and grateful for all of their blessings… until they do any of the following:
- Leave the house – There are billboards everywhere targeting our kids. (And now they are digital and the graphics on these things are amazing!)
- Go to a store – ANY store, even the grocery store. Companies pay extra to have their items put at eye level, for a CHILD!
- Watch TV – We only have one tv and it isn’t connected to ANY network television or streaming services but our children DO leave the house and well, TV is everywhere! And on TV are multi-million dollar ad campaigns targeting our kids.
- Get the mail – OMG! I thought the junk mail would reduce once the election was over, BUT here comes shiny, glossy, colorful magazine size advertisments from every corner of the globe, just waiting to tempt our kids.
- Talk to another HUMAN! Why does everyone ask kids what they want? Do you want my kids to be greedy? Are you planning on getting them what they tell you? Seriously is there anything else you can talk to my kids about? (What book are you reading? What are you learning about? What do you do for fun? Have you been outside to play today? Have you ever seen a snipe? Do you think spaghetti and chocolate ice cream would taste good in the same bowl?…)
- Go to the library – I know usually this one is safe! BUT a magazine had my son with a list in his hand for Santa that didn’t have anything on it under $200. My usually sweet child turned into a green-eyed monster over a build your own robot kit ($350), video conferencing walkie talkies ($200), and an ewok village ($500)!
Assuming it’s not a good idea to keep our kids in a bubble for the entire month of December, what’s a parent to do? Here’s what I think helps:
- Talk about it. – The pressure kids feel is REAL. Point it out to them. Discuss it. Look for it. Make it a game to realize where advertising hides and find it!
- Reduce the influence. – Limit TV. Don’t go through the toy section of the store. Change the subject. I wish we could remove it, but at least this is training for the future.
- Don’t give in. – Just because a kid “WANTS” something doesn’t mean they NEED to get it.
My Dad just sent me the following article The holidays can lead to emotion driven spending – Don’t fall for it! (Thanks Dad!). Nearly half (45 percent) of the parents surveyed agreed with the statement: “I try to get everything on my kids’ lists, no matter the cost.” It states that a shocking 73% of people are planning to use their credit cards for holiday purchases this year (last year was 58%). And that those same people will take longer to pay off their cards than last year – meaning a higher over all cost for those items and a longer period of stress.
As for my green-eyed son (his eyes are usually the prettiest shade of blue), we had a little talk about how Santa doesn’t like when kids are greedy and might not bring anything if his list sounds like demands from a bratty kid. We also talked about how that magazine made him want items he didn’t even know existed. Then we asked him what he REALLY, REALLY WANTS… and then we held our breath… and he said he REALLY, REALLY, wants the liquid to put in his train so that it makes smoke again. WHAT?! – that is under $20 🙂
Anyway, he wrote a new letter to Santa…
In my next post, I will share the other three types of gifts my kids will get this Christmas.
Another AMAZINGLY SIMPLE way to keep junk out of your home and life.